Who is Edward Elric’s Dad: Are Father and Van Hohenheim the Same Person?

Hohenheim, the alchemist, is strong, shrewd, and crucial to the plot. On the other hand, his fatherhood responsibilities are not up to the same standard. Despite the fact that Van Hohenheim has repeatedly let down his kids, there may be more grey areas than meets the eye when it comes to the reasoning for his actions.

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Hohenheim’s Mistakes

The protagonist of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is Edward Elric, while his brother Alphonse Elric serves as the story’s deuteragonist. Their father, Van Hohenheim, is first portrayed as a minor character whose sole purpose is to set in motion the events leading up to the conclusion of the story; yet, as the anime unfolds, it becomes evident that Hohenheim is much more than that.

Van Hohenheim didn’t just leave his family at the beginning of the franchise; he also left Edward the next day following their chance meeting. Even his closest buddy, Pinako Rockbell, was surprised to hear that Hohenheim planned to go without saying goodbye.

The fact that this was the first time he had seen his son in over a decade when he abandoned him further damaged his reputation. Hohenheim chose to abandon his son a second time rather than make an effort to reconnect with him as a parent.

Hohenheim’s abandonment of his family is a consistent theme throughout the series, and Edward’s perspective emphasizes this. Only after learning more about his past did we understand why he left. It is revealed, for instance, that Hohenheim intentionally abandoned his family in order to thwart Father’s scheme and avert the loss of thousands of lives.

Fans are also debating whether or not Hohenheim was a good father and whether or not his reasons for abandoning his family were valid and fair. In other words, Hohenheim would have had to live with the guilt of knowing that his family, along with the rest of Amestris, would be destroyed if he hadn’t abandoned them.

His Unfortunate Past

The 40th episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, titled “The Dwarf in the Flask,” stands noted for its successful exploration of Hohenheim’s origin tale. Hohenheim, a former slave who went by the number 23, had no money and no house when he was freed. From the time he breathed his first breath, the odds were stacked against him.

Before meeting “Father,” a Homunculus made from Hohenheim’s blood in an experiment, Hohenheim was a relatively unremarkable young man. Although Father owed Hohenheim a debt of gratitude, he also admired the latter for his bravery, honesty, and even naivete.

Who is Edward Elric's Dad
Who is Edward Elric’s Dad

Thus did the tragedy of Van Hohenheim’s life begin. Hohenheim owed a great deal to his father, who was also the one to name him. Both the gift of immortality and the gift of knowledge that Father gave to Hohenheim turned out to be double-edged swords. Even though it was out of appreciation that Father gave these items to Hohenheim, the two sides’ “friendly relationship” didn’t survive for very long.

Hohenheim’s Downfall

Hohenheim’s goal in life was to stop Father from achieving his goals, but it looked like he was being distracted by his growing feelings for Trish for a while there. He may have decided to marry her and establish a family since the prospect of living a “regular” life appealed to him.

It is also likely that having his two sons made him appreciate the vital things in life. But now that he knew the truth, remorse would eat at his conscience with every thought till he killed Father. For Hohenheim, it was a no-win situation. Though he left his family with the intention of returning, he never did, and Edward Elric believed only what he was shown: that his father was a cruel guy who betrayed their family.

At the end of the anime, it becomes clear that Hohenheim’s sacrifice at the beginning of the series was crucial to the survival of Amestris and his family, as well as to the success of the plot as a whole. It’s also important to wonder if Hohenheim was ever presented with a genuine option. Or if fate had predetermined that he would go through all of this tragedy.

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