Hiromu Arakawa's hit anime franchise Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood features a wide and colorful cast of characters. The adventuring Elric brothers meet friends, enemies, and just plain weirdos on their quest to restore their bodies, and some enemies in fact become friends along the way. Scar and Greed are two good examples of this.
One of the seven "deadly sins" homunculi, Greed is more than a man who wants money and fame. He is, in fact, a complex and intriguing character who shows that there's more to him than sheer ambition. He becomes a de facto ally of the Elric brothers and their friends, and he carves his own destiny independent of Father's machinations. So, what are the 10 most essential facts about the king of avarice?
10 He and Ling are alike
At first, these two people are worlds apart. Greed starts out as a deadly homunculus serving Father, and Ling was born as one of several princes in the far-off nation of Xing. Later, Greed staked it out on his own, and Ling journeyed to Amestris to seek immortality and thus win the Xingese throne.
They cross paths in Father's lair, and they hit it off at once. Both are very greedy, and Ling is nothing but ambition made flesh. He was not disgusted or terrified, but delighted by the prospect of Father inserting Greed's Philosopher's stone right into him! They became an unstoppable duo after that.
9 He's two centuries old
The homunculi are not truly immortal, and Greed openly laments this fact. But still, his birthday cake is loaded with candles. He's not even the oldest homunculus, either, but he has lived to see 200 years of life in Amestris.
During all that time, he's had the chance to gather minions, see the world and all its wonders (and horrors), and more. There are a few lifetimes packed into him, and he gives it all up, in the end, to help put down Father for good.
8 Greed is flexible
Unlike the dogmatic and stubbornly loyal Pride or Wrath, Greed is a man who can adapt to nearly anything. He was quite happy to enter Ling's body and adopt it, even though Ling is a mere teenager and looks nothing like his old body. (Greed boasted about his handsome looks in his original body).
Not only that, but Greed wasn't too proud to refuse to learn some new tricks from Ling, and he figured out how to (temporarily) exploit Wrath's eye patch during battle. This can help close up his few remaining weak points in his battle strategy.
7 He's a rebel
As mentioned before, Greed struck it out on his own at some point in the past, and when Wrath brings him to Father's lair, Greed is less than willing to join the fold once again.
Even when pinned to a rock slab with swords and suspended in the air, he didn't feel the least bit intimidated or pressured to rejoin the homunculus gang. Later on, he even gave his life to end Father, and Father openly raged at Greed's insubordinate ways.
6 His minions and their names
During his time in Dublith, Greed had a whole gang of his own minions, many of whom were chimeras with advanced bodies and combat skills. Their names may seem random at first, but Arakawa was more clever than that.
Each of Greed's major minions is named after a brand of liquor, such as Martel (pictured), Roa, and Dolcetto. This may reflect Greed's taste and desire for finer things and to show off his possessions.
5 Healing and hardening
Although Greed is a tough fighter, his skills have some blind spots. He can reorganize the carbon in his body to form a durable skin and claws, and like the other homunculi, he can rapidly regenerate his flesh, even from fatal wounds. But as Edward soon realizes, Greed must heal an injury before he can harden his skin in that area.
If his foes can injure him, they can keep up the pressure and cause some serious damage while circumventing his Ultimate Shield. Wrath did much the same to him during their brutal duel in the sewers of Dublith.
4 He doesn't know about Wrath at first
Greed took flight from Father's gang some time in the past, and this means that his information on his kin is somewhat out of date. Being a homunculus born as a human being, Wrath joined Father's gang after Greed had already left the group, so Greed didn't even know who he was dealing with when they first met.
Greed mistook him for the aging (and human) King Bradley, and got a nasty surprise when the Ouroboros tattoo made itself clear on Wrath's left eye. Their duel ended soon after that, and not in Greed's favor.
3 He's an optimist
Despite being a monstrous homunculus, Greed does actually have his virtuous side. One positive aspect of his character is that he's an optimist. Some Fullmetal Alchemist characters are quite dark, having suffered huge loss (Scar, the Elric brothers) or they're no-nonsense (Olivier, Roy).
But not Greed! He actually sees the best in things, and his greed for power and minions means that he will embrace the potential of the world around him. This was made clear when he told Alphonse "There's no such thing as no such thing."
2 He has a sense of fairness
True enough, Greed sent his minions to capture Alphonse off the streets of Dublith, and he was being self-centered about his quest to find true immortality at last. But then again, he did treat Alphonse gently at first, and he offered a straight deal to Edward when the elder Elric arrived.
Although the deal wasn't taken, Greed offered to help the Elrics restore their bodies, in exchange for getting the sort of immortality that Al currently had.
1 He's a bit chivalrous
This is a minor note, but Greed does have his sense of chivalry. When Ed and Izumi Curtis realized that Al had gone missing, and tracked him down to the Devil's Nest, Greed didn't attack them right away. He offered Ed a deal, and he didn't even want to hurt Izumi at all. He's got a policy to never attack women, and indeed, he won't even lie to people's faces.
In the manga, in particular, Izumi slugged him, only to injure her knuckles against Greed's Ultimate Shield. Despite being attacked, Greed allowed Izumi to return home without further harm.