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Roderick of Staufen[expl 1] is the childhood friend of Magnifico[2] and the fiancé of Farnese. He is third in line for the throne of Ys, and an officer and captain of the Ys Fleet,[2] which is the forefront of the Holy See Alliance Navy. His flagship is the Seahorse.

Personality[]

Roderick is a quick-witted, aware, decisive, and capable captain. Although he is only offered Farnese's hand in marriage as part of her brother Magnifico's scheme, and despite being aware of the awful rumors and truths surrounding her childhood, he does not hold anything against her and develops a genuine interest in her.[2]

Roderick seems determined to display a gentleman's attitude, always treating ladies with dignity, respect, and refinement,[2] even in the midst of chaos. He is a flatterer, though not a dishonest one,[2] labeling Farnese a goddess commanding angels for her performance in protecting their ship and its crew.

As a seafaring noble, he is very proud of his abilities at maritime battle and is not hesitant to show it. Sea or land he will immediately jump to defense of the innocent, and will wisely leave larger monsters to the more experienced while doing so. He will also heed the words of those who are more knowledgeable than he is: when fighting against the tiger Pishacha in Vritannis, Farnese advised him to utilize a silver candelabra against them in lieu of his sword. Having seen that Farnese had knowledge of what they were dealing with, Roderick immediately accepted the advice and swapped weapons.

The defining trait making him fit for interaction with Guts and his companions, however, is his attitude toward the fantastic and catastrophic; he does not seem to show fear easily. Unlike many, he is not at all repelled by Guts' off-putting appearance or demeanor and greets him with a friendly air. This extends to the rest of his companions as well: in the midst of the chaos at Vritannis' meeting chamber and later the horrors at the harbor he is incredibly amazed, but doesn't lose his composure like Magnifico does, expressing awe at the group's abilities in battle.

Abilities[]

Roderick is not without some skill in swordsmanship, successfully slaying a few of the Kushan tiger familiars that interrupt the meeting in Vritannis, and a few daka, by himself.

However, it is at sea is where Roderick is at his most proficient. He is an excellent naval commander, easily defeating the incompetent Bonebeard crew, despite being at a disadvantage against three ships at once, and holding off the Sea God during its assault on his ship. He managed to sink three Tudor ships using one ship, earning him the nickname "Sailing Prince of Ys".

Additionally, Roderick is also an excellent swimmer and is deceptively strong. He is capable of diving after and pulling up Guts, who likely weighs considerably more than him, to the surface in order to save him from drowning.

Story[]

Millennium Falcon Arc[]

Roderick is introduced as part of Magnifico's plan to make a name for himself to his father. He is Magnifico's friend and the man his sister, Farnese, agrees to marry. Magnifico establishes his plan as such: If Farnese agrees to marry Roderick, and allows Magnifico to make the engagement announcement at the party, her friends will be free to use one of Roderick's ships to go wherever they need.[3] Introducing himself to the young woman, Roderick first remarks on the frightening exploits that litter Farnese's past, then contrasts her against roses, which he feels are gilded and not very noteworthy. Instead, he compares her to lilies, the qualities of which he feels are much more suited to her. This confusing exchange flabbergasts Magnifico, though Farnese seems to understand and appreciate it.[2]

Roderick is warm toward both Farnese and her brother and does not seem to mind being used as part of a scheme, but neither does he seem disinterested in Farnese. He asks to dance with her at the Vandimion party, a request she grants, and when the party is ruined by the appearance of Kushan tiger familiars he appears impressed with Farnese's jump into action, drawing his sword to defend the party-goers as well. Following the arrival of Guts and his group, he offers his warship - the Seahorse - for them all to escape in, explaining that Ys, though in the same religious sphere the Holy See domains are, has neither obligation nor interest in shedding blood as it's of a different sect. He and Magnifico follow Farnese out into the harbor with Guts' crew and quickly become caught up in an effort to survive during the Kushan assault. He holds up significantly better than his friend at the sight of the many terrifying monsters that appear throughout the night and the feats Guts and his companions perform to defeat them, instead expressing awe.

After the crew leaves Vritannis, he spends time socializing with them, being friendly toward Farnese and amused by Magnifico's antics, if unsupportive. Soon after they depart, Casca wanders off and falls into the ocean. Guts dives in after her and manages to catch and hoist her onto the rowboat Roderick uses to go after them, but ends up sinking right afterward. Roderick then dives after him and saves him from drowning. Roderick demonstrates his skill as a naval commander by almost effortlessly outmaneuvering and destroying the three pirate ships that later decide to attack the Seahorse, led by an incompetent Bonebeard.

Fantasia Arc[]

When Bonebeard returns with a crew now turned into tentacle monsters, Roderick maintains his composure and keeps the crew from sustaining heavy losses until Guts manages to fight them off. The crew sails until they decide to stop for supplies for the rest of their journey, settling on stopping at a nearby island. Upon arrival at the island where the Sea God lives, Roderick expresses distaste with the shoddy service provided by the only inn. He does not act when the situation turns dark and the townsfolk are revealed as tentacles, but takes control of the situation when it falls to him and his crew to fend off the monstrous Bonebeard. Later, he performs admirably in fending off the Sea God itself when it comes to attack.

After the beast is finally defeated through a combination of the warship's cannon fire assault, the merrow's neutralization of its sonic roars, and Guts destroying its heart, Roderick personally enters the Sea God's mouth to recover Guts.

He continues to accompany the crew when they finally reach Elfhelm. While Casca, Farnese and Schierke are entering Casca's own passage of dreams, a party is held. He drinks with Guts and Serpico talking about their journey until now and dreams.

Portrayal[]

Japanese Voice Actor(s)[]

Notes[]

Explanations[]

  1. ^ a b Dark Horse Comics' choice of "Schtauffen" has no out-of-universe precedent, except for in the case of the fictional character Siegfried Schtauffen from the Soulcalibur franchise. "Staufen", however, is a well-established German name that has been used for numerous things, most notably in the case of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, which ruled the Holy Roman Empire from 1138 to 1208 and from 1212 to 1254. It is worth mentioning that Roderick is a member of a dynastic noble family which rules over Ys.

References[]

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