With a love story that dates back hundreds of years, the relationship between Zeref and Mavis is certainly one for the books. Find out whether the two most powerful mages in Fairy Tail eventually found their way back to each other.
Who is Zeref?
Zeref was deemed the strongest, most evil Mage of all time in Fairy Tail. Viewers had been introduced to the name Zeref as early as the first season of the anime. Most of the monsters encountered by Natsu and the gang were believed to be created by the “Black Wizard” Zeref. Yet, it is not until Episode 101 of the anime that the legendary mage first made his actual appearance. He was portrayed to be a gloomy, young man with dark hair and dark eyes. It was later revealed that everything Zeref touches dies, thereby prompting him to live his days in utter isolation.
As the story progresses, Zeref’s origin became clearer. He originally lived about 400 years ago. During this time, it was already revealed that he was actually the older brother of Natsu. They lived together at a time when Dragons still roam the world. But due to an unfortunate event, Natsu and their parents were killed.
Orphaned and alone, Zeref spent his days learning about magic and its connection to life and death. His ultimate goal is to bring his dead brother Natsu back to life. His intense interest in the subject eventually angered the god Ankhseram, who rules over life and death. As punishment, he bestowed upon Zeref a special curse: the more he holds life as something precious, the more he will bring death to anything he touches. This gives the curse the title “The Contradictory Curse.” The only way to stop killing any living creature he touches is by perceiving life as unimportant and trivial. Eventually, this led Zeref to take on a dark path and become a sinister mage.
Who is Mavis Vermilion?
Mavis was the first Guild Master of Fairy Tail. She was portrayed to be a lively, young lady with yellow-blonde hair that reaches down to her feet. Mavis was a skilled tactician and has a specialty in creating illusion magic. She can create life-like illusions of almost anything – things, animals, and even humans.
Her special skills led her to different adventures and helped her meet new friends. She even had the chance to meet Zeref and, oblivious of the man’s true identity, was able to create a close bond with him.
On one occasion, Mavis encountered a powerful dragon skeleton and was compelled to use the dangerous magic called “Law” which Zeref taught her. Similar to what happened to the dark mage, Mavis’ action angered the god Ankhseram and cursed her with the same curse he put on Zeref. As a result, Mavis stopped growing (which explains her child-like appearance). Similar to Zeref, she brings death to whomever she touches.
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How did Zeref and Mavis Meet?
The first encounter between Zeref and Mavis happened in Episode 289 of the anime. Mavis happened to cross paths with Zeref while he was bathing in a river.
Concerned about the potential danger he posed due to his curse, Zeref urged Mavis to leave the forest and kept his distance. Unaware of his true identity, Mavis followed him, prompting Zeref to reveal the nature of his curse inflicted by Ankhseram.
Moved by sympathy for Zeref’s plight, Mavis created lifelike illusions of animals, allowing him to experience the joy of being near living creatures once again. This act of kindness brought happiness to Zeref and marked the beginning of their friendship.
Seeing that the man is a magic holder, Mavis then tried to persuade Zeref to teach her and her friends how to cast magic. Zeref agreed on a whim and helped them discover their talents in casting magic spells before finally leaving. Later on, the people whom he taught how to use magic were the same people who founded the Fairy Tail guild.
Are Zeref and Mavis In Love?
The enemies-to-lovers trope is wildly popular within the anime world. But rarely do we find lovers-to-enemies storylines. In the case of Zeref and Mavis, their story falls within the latter. The two started out as friends, became lovers, and eventually turned enemies.
Following their first encounter, Zeref and Mavis eventually crossed paths again years again. During this time, Mavis had already cast the dangerous magic “law” and stopped growing. Zeref noticed this and realized that Mavis is also now cursed by Ankhseram. He broke the news to Mavis, who was oblivious of her own situation. Shocked and still in denial, Mavis ran off towards the Fairy Tail Guild. Coincidentally, upon her arrival, Yuri‘s wife, Rita, has just given birth to a son (Makarov). Mavis reached out to touch Rita’s hand, but end up killing her due to the curse.
This traumatized Mavis, who finally realized that what Zeref told her was the truth. This realization prompted her to run off towards the wood and stay there all alone for over a year before seeing Zeref again.
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Who Killed Mavis?
Fast-forward to a year later, Zeref found Mavis alone and hopeless in the forest. She has been living in complete isolation for the past year following the death of Rita. Finding themselves stuck in the same tragic fate, both Zeref and Mavis found solace with each other and eventually fell in love.
But just as they voiced out their feelings and shared a kiss, the greatest contradiction happened: Mavis died. Just as what the curse prescribes: the more they held life as precious, the more they will kill those whom they hold dear. Zeref’s love for Mavis activated the curse and killed the supposed immortal Mavis.
However, while Mavis has finally attained her peace, Zeref was left alive and breathing. The reason behind why this was later revealed in Chapter 537 of the manga. According to Mavis, she didn’t have enough strength to love. Zeref was the one who loved her more. Hence, in accordance with the rule of contradiction, the dearer he holds a person’s life, the more he will steal it away from that person. Thus, his love for Mavis killed her. But Mavis’ love for Zeref wasn’t enough to bring him to his end as well. This explains why only Mavis died while Zeref didn’t.
The whole incident further broke Zeref, who has long been finding ways to die. Yet he was left all alone again. And to make matters worse, his continued existence was a testament to Mavis’s inability to reciprocate his love on the same level.
Do Zeref and Mavis Have a Child?
It is not until the last arc of Fairy Tail that it was revealed that Zeref and Mavis actually had a child named “August,” who grew out to be the strongest wizard years later. But such a fact was unknown to either of them.
When Mavis died, her body was preserved by Precht in a giant Lacrima that was hidden in the basement of the Fairy Tail guild. While inside the magic crystal, Precht realized Mavis was pregnant. She eventually gave birth to a son while still on slumber.
Terrified by the child’s power, Percht abandoned Mavis’ son somewhere. Born from two powerful wizards, the child was gifted with massive magical powers. He also learned about the identity of his parents, Zeref and Mavis, based on his own memories.
The child lived his life trying to survive all alone until he meets Zeref. During their meeting, Zeref was unaware that the child was his own, but the child recognized him as his father. Yet, the boy didn’t disclose such a fact to the Black Wizard. Instead, he chose to simply stay by his side, serving as Zeref’s assistant. With his immense magic ability, he aided Zeref in creating the powerful Alvarez Empire.
Still, although oblivious as to the boy’s identity, Zeref named the boy “August,” remembering the time he spent with “a certain girl” during the said month.
Years later, August remained to be Zeref’s most powerful assistant. He was already portrayed as an old man when their empire waged war with the Fairy Tail Guild.
During a fierce confrontation with Gildarts, August, overwhelmed by his powers, attempted to unleash the devastating ancient magic known as Ars-Magia upon the entire town of Magnolia. However, in a crucial moment, his gaze fell upon Mavis, who lay wounded on the ground, struggling in pain. The sight of his mother suffering pierced his heart, leading him to make a life-altering decision. He relinquished his grip on Ars-Magia, abandoning his plans to obliterate Magnolia. As the ancient magic dissipated, August’s physical form began to fade away. However, before his presence vanished completely, he summoned his last remaining power to make a heartfelt wish—a desire he had carried within him for so long.
With his fading strength, August yearned for a single, cherished moment—to call Mavis “mother.” In that profound instance, his wish materialized, allowing August to address Mavis with the word he had always longed to utter.
Just as he uttered those words, August disappeared and was never seen again. Many fans perceived August’s life story to be very sad and heartbreaking as he died without his parents knowing he was their child.
Did Zeref and Mavis End Up Together?
Just as the battle between the Alvarez empire and the Fairy Tail guild comes to its turning point, Zeref’s and Mavis’ relationship also comes to its climax. After receiving Natsu’s punch engulfed in holy flame, Zeref was left unable to move on the ground. Natsu realized Zeref is now unable to fight and left the matters to Mavis.
In Zeref’s final moments, Mavis confessed that she had never fully believed in his love in the past, which prevented her from reciprocating his feelings deeply. However, as Zeref descended into complete darkness and evil, Mavis came to the realization that she needed to truly love him in order to bring about his demise. She had intended to execute this plan to end Zeref’s reign of darkness, but years passed without her being able to carry it out. Mavis acknowledged that her inability to fully love Zeref stemmed from conflicting desires: her wish for his death and her longing for him to stay alive and be with her. As a result, she consciously restrained herself from loving him completely.
Yet, when Mavis witnessed Zeref’s pitiable state during their final encounter, her heart was finally unburdened, allowing her to love him wholeheartedly without hesitation. However, this act activated the curse within them both, leading to their simultaneous deaths in each other’s arms.
In a subsequent episode, after the Dragon Slayers successfully defeated Acnologia, a scene depicting a man and a woman bearing a striking resemblance to Zeref and Mavis was shown at Lucy’s book launch. This scene hinted to fans that Zeref and Mavis might have been reincarnated into ordinary civilians, affording them the possibility of a peaceful and fulfilling ending together.
While the series did not explicitly confirm their reunion in a new life, this scene offered hope to fans that Zeref and Mavis might have finally found happiness and a chance for a shared future beyond the trials and tragedies of their past.