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Chancellor of Niflheim. Ardyn rose to power by introducing magitek infantry to the ranks of the imperial army, and has since amassed political power at the emperor's side. An aloof manner shrouds the chancellor in mystery.

Official description[5]

Chancellor Ardyn Izunia, alternately known as Ardyn Lucis Caelum, is the main antagonist of Final Fantasy XV who also appears in the feature film Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV. He handles the Niflheim Empire's political operations for Emperor Aldercapt, and is responsible for the expansion of Verstael Besithia's magitek infantry.

Ardyn is a shrewd, humorous and manipulative man who appears casual and unfazed by the events around him. He has an eccentric appearance and personality, often coming across as patronizingly civil. He is unpredictable, and his exaggerated and performative personality hides his sinister intentions and dark past. He enjoys manipulating events and watching them unfold.

Ardyn appears as a boss fight in the main game and in the Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ignis DLC. His own DLC episode, Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ardyn, was released on March 26, 2019. An animated prologue that details Ardyn's origins leading up the DLC episode, premiered on February 16, 2019. He has a major role in Final Fantasy XV -The Dawn of the Future-, which depicts an alternate ending to the saga.



Ardyn is a tall (6'2") man with red-violet hair, amber eyes, and strong facial features. He appears to be middle-aged and dresses in a black trench coat and pinstripe trousers, an attire he is said to have acquired when he became the chancellor of Niflheim. He wears a red scarf and a hooded, gray and white flower-print mantle. Ardyn wears a black fedora (which he can swap for various other hats in Episode Ardyn) and sometimes wears a black winglike accessory on his left arm. Ardyn's wing accessory in FFXV Episode Ardyn

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

When his true identity is revealed, Ardyn's face sometimes appears daemonic and grotesque. His sclera turn black, his irises and pupils turn gold while appearing clouded, his skin becomes paler, and black markings appear across his face. It is implied he wears so much clothing because the sun hurts his skin.[6]

Two thousand years ago, Ardyn dressed in a simple white cloak, which he used to hide the spread of Starscourge that had infected his body. In Episode Ardyn Prologue his eyes are blue and his hair brown. When Niflheim retrieved him from Angelgard in the beginning of Episode Ardyn, he lacked a top, and had a ragged white and gray belt and matching pants. When awakening at Verstael Besithia's lab, he wore a white tunic and trousers noted to be uncomfortable on his skin. The attire was similar to the outfit he wore during his days as a healer.

Though wielding various weapons, Ardyn's personal arm is the Rakshasa Blade, a red counterpart to the Blade of the Mystic that his brother wields.


A man cursed with life eternal, whose immortality stems from the selfsame scourge that wrought the daemons. One so impure of body and soul was deemed unworthy of the Crystal's Light, and forbidden to ascend. His mind twisted by spite and bent on revenge, the Usurper came to bring darkness down upon our world. Only the True King, chosen by the Crystal and guarded by his forebears, can end the Accursed's madness.

Bahamut, referring to Ardyn as the Accursed

Ardyn is a man shrouded in mystery. He expresses his eccentric personality through his unique attire, and is both polite and flamboyant. He sometimes acts suggestive, likely as a means to creep others out, calling Noctis a "tease" and stroking Prompto on his cheek. Ardyn is bold and manipulative; he remains civil, patronizingly so, even in the face of hostility, and perhaps even to attract hostility. Ardyn's behavior is performative, and his expressions and movements are exaggerated.

Concept art shown at The Magic of Kingsglaive and Final Fantasy XV art exhibit in New York from August 19 to September 3, 2016.

Ardyn's ruthlessness grows until his true personality is revealed: he is evil, vicious, calculative, and twisted. Behaving unpredictably, Ardyn remains casual and unfazed by the world around him. He has a dark sense of humor, sarcastic wit and an utter lack of empathy, finding cruel ways to taunt others. He may torture people close to the ones he's targeting to force them to pick up pace. He has given up hope on humanity, and admits he wouldn't mind ending everything.

Ardyn often helps Noctis and his friends along their journey by giving them access to imperial-controlled areas and by saving them from hostile situations. He claims to have earned the right to call Noctis "Noct ", a nickname only his closest friends call him. His cruel intentions are revealed as he kills Lunafreya Nox Fleuret, and afterward continues to torment Noctis in various ways, such as by separating him from his friends, even if at the same time he desires for Noctis to reach his goal: the Crystal. He refuses to kill Noctis until the latter has become the True King, and during the final battle, repeatedly taunts Noctis, yet when he has Noctis pinned down, he releases him. Ardyn considers Noctis a means to an end and states his goal lies beyond revenge. Despite all his taunts, Ardyn seems to enjoy witnessing Noctis grow and in the end ultimately accepts his defeat with dignity. In the Final Fantasy XV -The Dawn of the Future-, Ardyn is said to enjoy tormenting Noctis because he resembles Somnus.[7] However, he later reluctantly acknowledges Noctis as being worthy of the title of the True King. Once he learned the whole truth about Ardyn, Noctis—despite everything that Ardyn had caused to him, his friends and the world—ultimately sympathized with him, understanding what he had been through. At the end of their battle he shows no anger and only promises that this time Ardyn can rest in peace.

According to Lead Scenario Developer Saori Itamuro[8], Ardyn sought to rise to power in Niflheim to bring him closer to the line of Lucis, and Noctis in particular, as he has no interest in imperial rule. Ardyn is bent on destroying Noctis as king, and does not want him dead until then. As a result, he leads Noctis while tormenting him, entangling Noctis in a web of contradictions.

Ardyn's twisted personality greatly contrasts with how he was 2,000 years ago. He used to be a compassionate and righteous man, devoted to saving the people. Described as an idealist and a dreamer by the directors of Episode Ardyn Prologue in stark contrast to his realist brother, the siblings' differing methods in saving the world made them turn against one another.[9] He had a strong will, as despite being accumulatingly infected with the Starscourge by the very people he was healing, he nonetheless retained his compassion. In Episode Ardyn he is horrified to discover he can bestow the Scourge upon others, and when dining with Verstael Besithia at his lab shortly after fully awakening, Ardyn refers to himself as a monster in a self-loathing manner. Besithia corrects him, saying he's "a marvel ".

Although initially having no interest in revenge, Ardyn's mind began to deteriorate after he started to daemonify others en masse, and being forced to experience his victims' memories is implied to have warped his personality to a husk of his former self. Filled with hatred towards his brother and bloodline, Ardyn has become a broken man who acts out of spite, regret and a desire for vengeance as he has become the very thing he had tried to prevent two millennia ago. Ardyn finally satisfies his lust for vengeance at the end of The Dawn of the Future, but rather than reveling in his victory, he laments about being forgotten and rekindles his love for his fiancée, implying some of his original persona was still latent within him.


For a moment I felt death's chill wind, such is the might of the gods. But then, I remembered I'm immortal. Such is my blessing and curse. Your attack hurt me, nevertheless… My feelings at least.


Ardyn conceals his true capabilities behind a frivolous and lighthearted exterior. He is extremely inteligent and is an effective manipulator and deceiver, positioning himself as the emperor's right-hand-man. He helped the empire develop an army of automata that utilizes ancient magiteknology, a deed that fueled his rise to his position as chancellor and paved the way for the rest of his plans.

Ardyn and Noctis cross swords both wielding the power of kings.

While Ardyn uses a simple dagger to murder Lunafreya, he later reveals his supernatural powers and true prowess in combat with Verstael stated that Ardyn can be God in his own right. Despite his corruption, Ardyn retains the "power of kings" granted to his bloodline: warping and phasing through solid matter, summoning weapons from thin air, and wielding the royal arms, as well as his personal longsword, called the Rakshasa Blade. He uses Armiger in various ways and can also manifest a red scythe Ardyns-Scythe-Episide-Ignis-FFXV. He can erect the Wall, although it is tainted by daemonic energy.

Ardyn can cast powerful magic, such as striking down bolts of lightning, summoning blizzards, and causing fiery explosions, all without magic flasks or needing to collect energy from elemental deposits. He primarily controls the element of darkness, but can also fire energy beams from the palms of his hands that can knock their targets back, and summon a barrage of meteorites from the sky. He can momentarily transform into miasma and use this to teleport and to fly, a feat independent of his ability to warp. He is also proficient in hand-to-hand combat (a skill he displays especially when wanting to conceal his identity as a Lucis Caelum). In fact Ardyn defeated both Regis and later his brother Sommus in his full armor King form with minimal effort, shocking them with his power, which make them call him a monster. Even after Noctis obtains the power of Providence, Ardyn proves himself an immensely formidable adversary, easily countering Noctis and even pinning him on the ground at one point. Ardyn can temporarily halt time and assume the form of another, distorting others' perception of reality to create illusions, making him able to manipulate people into attacking their friends by having them see them as himself. He can use his ability to read the memories of those he daemonifies to perfect his disguise.[10]

Two millennia ago, Ardyn was blessed with the power to heal those afflicted with the Starscourge and traveled the world purging the plague by absorbing it into his own body. He believed his ability to withstand the Scourge was a gift from the Astrals, but could not truly cleanse the darkness he'd absorbed. Now as the Starscourge incarnate, he is the one to spread it over Eos. He exudes miasma from his body at will, but unlike regular daemons, can operate in daylight as his body regenerates faster than the sun can damage him, although he still opts to wear clothing that conceals as much as possible. He can turn others into daemons and assimilate them to increase his power, which also allows him to experience their memories and is even able to do so to astral themselfs as he did so with Ifrit He can even revive the dead into ghastly mockeries of their former selves and brainwash certain rulers of yore into fighting Noctis. After having daemonified Ifrit, Ardyn can summon and command him.

Lunafreya's healing touch on Ardyn.

Ardyn also seems to be either immune to physical pain or extremely resilient to it. During the final battle he says, "Does it hurt? The pain is proof you're mortal!" implying that he is an exception. He doesn't shiver with cold in Shiva's presence the way Noctis does, and doesn't flinch when Noctis's friends deal heavy blows on him, simply getting up, picking up his discarded hat and leaving. He seems to be affected by the supernatural however, averting Lunafreya's healing touch, and being susceptible to Ifrit's flames[note 1] and torture from Bahamut in Episode Ardyn.

When released from Angelgard by Besithia and his imperial forces, Ardyn is left weak enough from the millennia-long crucifixion that he must be helped out and is barely able to speak. However, by the time the Royal Guard arrives, Ardyn regains his stamina due to his daemonic powers kicking in. Whether the Oracles' daemon-repelling magic of havens would repel Ardyn is unknown, but during the time he stays the night with the party he insists on not camping, claiming distaste for the outdoors, promising to pay for accommodation at an outpost instead.

His soul now trapped in the beyond[11] by the Crystal's rejection of him, Ardyn is immortal and even destroying his body will not stop him; the only thing that can end him is the True King wielding the power of Providence. Though the Dawn of the Future posits that Ardyn is immortal because his soul is in the beyond, in the game Bahamut describes Ardyn as: "A man cursed with life eternal, whose immortality stems from the selfsame scourge that wrought the daemons. One so impure of body and soul was deemed unworthy of the Crystal's Light, and forbidden to ascend ". The word "ascend" here refers to ascending the throne of Lucis, rather than ascending the mortal life into the afterlife.[12]

Document in Ardyn's red car.

He can drive and has a red car registered for Duscae while in Lucis. There is a document on his seat when he is not in the car that appears to be a contract of some kind. Though the text is too small to read, it doesn't appear to have been signed with any of Ardyn's real names, however.

According to The Dawn of the Future, Ardyn knows the Hexatheon language due to having daemonified Ifrit and thus absorbed some of the deity's memories. In the novel, he is eligible for the blood sacrifice to access the Ring of the Lucii's true power, which he uses to end Bahamut within the latter's realm.[11]


A self-styled "man of no consequence ", Ardyn possesses more power than he first lets on. As chancellor of Niflheim, he supervises the highest reaches of government while also overseeing the empire's various research programs.
The Ardyn who stands on the Altar of the Tidemother is a far throw from the "man of no consequence" who greeted the boys at Galdin Quay. He is cold and ruthless, stabbing Lunafreya right before Noctis's eyes. Though he has clearly made an enemy of the crown prince, his motivations are as of yet unknown.
Though Ardyn was born to become the Founder King of Lucis, fate had other plans for him. Blessed with the power to heal those afflicted with the Starscourge, he traveled the world purging the plague from their bodies by absorbing it into his own. Yet when he stood before the Crystal for judgment, it deemed him unworthy of becoming its champion, decrying him as impure of heart. Ardyn was cast into exile, shunned by the people who once adored him and condemned by his own flesh and blood. He now seeks revenge of the Lucian bloodline—in particular, on the "True King" chosen to serve as the Crystal's champion: Noctis Lucis Caelum.


He's been living a long time. In a world he could share with no one.

Noctis on Ardyn

Two thousand years ago, Ardyn was the firstborn son of his family. There exist differing accounts on his family line: according to some localizations he was born into the Izunia family, which later became the Lucis Caelum line.*(The German dossier for Ardyn is the most explicit on this, but Ardyn also says his original surname was Izunia in the French version of Episode Ignis, and the Japanese version of the main game says that Talcott and Ignis found ancient information on "Ardyn Izunia" (rather than "Ardyn Lucis Caelum") during their explorations on the long night. In the English version Ardyn tells Noctis that the latter "will never guess who Izunia was".)[13] However, this is not mentioned in the English version or the Episode Ardyn Prologue. Nevertheless, he as Ardyn Lucis Caelum was to be the first Lucian king. He looked after his younger brother Somnus and the two used to play chess together.[14] Ardyn and Somnus's parents bestowed the two a pair of longswords in the hope they would rule together.[15]

Ardyn as a healer with his fiancée.

Ardyn had the power to heal others by transferring their ailment into his own body, believing it a blessing from the Astrals. As depicted in Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ardyn – Prologue, the 33-year-old Ardyn traveled the countryside healing those afflicted with the Starscourge in secret while his brother rounded up the infected and those suspected of infection and burned them alive to contain the outbreak. Ardyn believed the Starscourge to be a potentially treatable disease, and abhorred Somnus's methods.

The two brothers awaited the gods' decision on which of them to crown the king of men. Ardyn concealed his deteriorating condition from everyone, believing he would be chosen by the Crystal to save Eos, and his actions made him a hero in the eyes of the populace. He secretly met with his fiancée Aera Mirus Fleuret, the Oracle, and the two explored ancient ruins whose builders had long since been forgotten. Aera promised she would always remember Ardyn even if he were to be lost to history. Somnus, jealous of his brother's status, began to persecute him and painted him as a monster, but also truly believed that the way Ardyn was handling the Scourge was harmful and short-sighted. Somnus saw Ardyn's denial of the reality of their situation as proof he was unfit to be king.[11]

Ardyn witnessing Aera's death.

Aera told Somnus the gods had chosen Ardyn to be king. When Ardyn traveled to the Crystal upon receiving word he was to be crowned, he found himself in a trap set up by Somnus who claimed the gods had chosen him and attacked Ardyn. When Aera died protecting Ardyn from his brother during their duel, the rage over her death caused his infection to fully manifest. Holding Aera while being attacked by Somnus and Gilgamesh, Ardyn approached the Crystal to know the Astrals' true decision. The Crystal's light harmed him and cast him aside, Ardyn realizing the Astrals had forsaken him for being tainted by the Starscourge. Somnus executed Ardyn on the spot and ascended the throne of Lucis as the Founder King.

When Ardyn touched the Crystal it absorbed his soul, which became trapped in the celestial realm where beings with physical form cannot usually set foot. This rendered him immortal.[11] Ardyn was chained up in Angelgard where he withstood an excruciating existence where the passage of time became meaningless. He was tormented by phantoms of his beloved and brother, though realizing they were projections by his own mind. Virtually all traces of him were erased from history, the Cosmogony extolling how Somnus became the Founder King after earning the Astrals' allegiance and conjuring a collection of glaives of light that purged the Starscourge from the world.

Ardyn in chains.

After 2,000 years of captivity, in M.E. 721, Ardyn was freed by Verstael Besithia of Niflheim. As he was escorted out of his prison he was attacked by the Lucian Royal Guard, and amid defending himself found that he could daemonify others while experiencing their memories. After seven months spent in Verstael's magitek research facility, Ardyn had somewhat acclimated to his new reality. Verstael informed him of the current state of the world and the results of the various tests he had performed on Ardyn.

Ardyn had no interest in aiding Niflheim in its war against Lucis, but learned about the extent of the empire's influence in Eos along with its research on daemons. Verstael showed Ardyn the frozen body of the treacherous God of Fire, Ifrit, deep in slumber at the lab after Niflheim had salvaged him from the Rock of Ravatogh. Ardyn was horrified when Besithia asked him to daemonify the deity, alluring him with Ifrit's memories. The lab was attacked by the Royal Guard, whom Ardyn destroyed when his hallucinations made him see its members as Somnus.

Ardyn declaring war on the Lucis bloodline.

When the enraged Ifrit awakened, Ardyn subdued and daemonified the deity who was stunned to see a member of the Caelum line present. Glimpsing the Infernian's memories, Ardyn learned the Hexatheon language[11] and came to understand the god. He learned he was prophesied to be the king before experiencing an intrusive flashback to Aera's last moments. The Aera of Ardyn's memories revealed she had told Somnus that the gods had chosen Ardyn as king, blaming herself for her unintentional role in Somnus's usurpation, and begged Ardyn to punish her. While Ardyn could not bring himself to harm her, he ended up being forced to watch her die by his memory of Somnus.*(If the player fails the quick time event when Somnus and Ardyn struggle, Ardyn will be forced to stab Aera. If the player succeeds, Ardyn casts the knife aside, but Somnus strikes her down with his Armiger.)[16] Consumed by hatred for his brother, Ardyn submitted himself to the Starscourge and decided to craft a path of darkness to satiate his revenge, not caring if it defied the gods.

Now going by "Ardyn Izunia" and an imperial citizen, he proposed the establishment of a magitek army in M.E. 722.[17] He eventually rose to the position of chancellor to Emperor Aldercapt, and the information on daemons he provided allowed the empire to build a mighty army and led to the decision to use humans as raw materials.[18] Verstael initially introduced Ardyn to the emperor in a bid to get more funding for their research, and Ardyn enticed the sovereign with promises of immortality,[19] gaining his favor, and advising him to advance on Lucis.[20] The imperial lands were ravaged by a "vanishing disease", Ardyn using the epidemic to absorb the memories of the infected to learn as much of Lucis as he could. However, doing so warped him into a shadow of his original self, no longer able to separate the memories of those he daemonified from his own.[16] His title of chancellor granting him freedom of movement, Ardyn visited the newly-constructed Lucian imperial bases to daemonify crown citizens and learn more about the kingdom.[20]

Ardyn confronting Regis.

Testing, 1-2-3. Is this thing on? Greetings, people of the Kingdom of Lucis! Do forgive me for interrupting the festivities… …but I must tell you this day of rapturous revelry shall be your last. Call it "divine retribution ". False kings and fraudulent nations are fated to perish. Sins of the past must not go unpunished. The time of reckoning is of hand! [And today, you shall atone on behalf of your forebears. Resist, if you wish, but know that your fight against fate is a foolish and futile one.]

Adagium's ultimatum broadcast during the Founder King Day ceremonies

Ardyn arrives in Insomnia at M.E. 734 during the Founder King's Day festivities. Posing as an MIA border patrol guard named Mars Sapientia (whom he presumably daemonified), Ardyn infiltrates the city and summons Ifrit to cause carnage before disabling the Wall amplifiers. He hijacks the broadcast feed to declare his intention of inflicting "divine retribution" upon Insomnia for it having "false kings" and being a "fraudulent nation". Ardyn defies Besithia's withdrawal orders to go after King Regis, intent on forcing him to summon the Old Wall to settle the score with Somnus. After Ardyn nearly kills Regis, the king's Ring of the Lucii summons Somnus's Lucii form whom Ardyn proceeds to fight. While trading blows, Somnus gradually admits his regret for what he did to Ardyn and confesses that he was jealous for being outshone. After losing to his brother, Somnus tries to explain himself, but Ardyn is outraged at his brother's audacity in asking to be understood after taking everything from him. Somnus wishes Ardyn will find peace as his spirit disappears.

The still-furious Ardyn is about to kill the unconscious Regis when the Astral Bahamut intervenes and pulls Ardyn into another dimension where he reveals the Astrals' new purpose for him: to cover the world in darkness and be killed by the True King as a sacrificial lamb, allowing him to find peace in death while also satisfying his revenge. Ardyn can either reluctantly submit, or defy his fate. If he submits Ardyn demands to know if Aera and Somnus knew of his fate. He receives no response and screams in anguish over the betrayal. If he rejects that fate he is tortured into accepting it by Bahamut.

Once back on the mortal plane, Ardyn finds himself in Angelgard. He laments that nothing matters anymore and accepts the role he is to play in plunging the world into darkness, his plan to kill the True King once he comes. He envisions himself murdering the cooperating Aera and Somnus.

Ardyn insisting on the wedding of Noctis Lucis Caelum and Lunafreya Nox Fleuret.

Ardyn keeps at his machinations within the empire, influencing both Emperor Aldercapt and Research Minister Besithia to suit his own ends. Ardyn is aware Noctis has been born in Lucis, and also spurs Verstael into developing "specialized anti-deity daemonic weaponry", hoping it one day could be used against Bahamut.[7] The army gets its chance to test it when Shiva awakens in M.E. 745 and is felled by Niflheim. As depicted in Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, in M.E. 756, Ardyn travels alone to Lucis to offer Emperor Aldercapt's terms of peace in person, much to King Regis's surprise. Besides relaying demands for Lucis to surrender all territories save for the Crown City of Insomnia, Ardyn also insists for Prince Noctis to wed Lunafreya Nox Fleuret, the Oracle, who he assures bears no ill will toward Lucis.

Ardyn meets Noctis and his friends at Galdin Quay where he tells them the ferry is not running. Declaring himself an "impatient traveler ", Ardyn states the ceasefire between Lucis and Niflheim is "getting us nowhere ". He tosses an Oracle Ascension Coin to Noctis and company, telling them to consider it their "allowance ". Noctis's companion, Gladiolus Amicitia, catches the coin and demands Ardyn's identity, who merely states he is "a man of no consequence ".

When Niflheim invades the Crown City during the treaty-signing, Ardyn and the emperor steal the Crystal. As Aranea Highwind later tells Noctis, Ardyn was the one who had instilled Aldercapt's obsession with the Stone. The pair watches the Old Wall fight a Diamond Weapon, a recently constructed magitek armor the empire unleashed upon the city, before fleeing on an airship. Ardyn laments it is a waste to see a city as glorious as Insomnia destroyed.

Ardyn meets Noctis and his friends.

In Lestallum, Ardyn offers to take Noctis and his friends to the Disc of Cauthess where the Astral Titan rests. He bids them goodbye, but returns after Noctis forges a covenant with the Astral. He arrives in an assault craft to save Noctis and his friends from the volcanic terrain ready to engulf them, and reveals his identity as Niflheim's chancellor.

When Noctis infiltrates an imperial base to recover his car, he is accosted by Lunafreya's brother, Ravus Nox Fleuret. Ravus begrudges Noctis as the apparent True King who is yet oblivious to the danger his mission puts Lunafreya in. Ardyn stops Ravus from attacking Noctis and lets the prince and his retinue leave the base. When Noctis is looking for mythril to repair the royal vessel so he can get to Lunafreya in Altissia, Ardyn has the roadblocks to the Vesperpool opened and Commodore Aranea Highwind assist him. Ardyn tells Noctis that while he is the chancellor, he is not in charge of the army, although he infers he can use his influence to sway those in charge of the army in any direction via connections.

Ardyn and Ravus head for Altissia where they meet with Accordo's head of state, Secretary Claustra. Lunafreya wants to rouse the Hydraean, Leviathan, to help Noctis. Ravus, as the high commander of the imperial army, is on a task to kill Leviathan before Noctis can forge his covenant. Ardyn talks with Ravus in front of the cathedral where Lunafreya was to wed Noctis, asking if he has had a chance to see her yet, and also alludes to knowing about Lunafreya's impending death as a consequence of forging the covenant with the Hydraean.

Ardyn stabs Lunafreya.

After she summons Leviathan, Ardyn stabs Lunafreya knowing that Noctis will witness it. He tells her to get the Ring of the Lucii now in her possession to Noctis, and to "remind him about the Crystal ". When Lunafreya says he will be freed from the thrall of darkness by the True King, Ardyn backhands her. He takes his leave in an aircraft.

During Episode Ignis, Ardyn poses as Gladiolus when coming across Noctis's friend Ignis and Ravus on the remains of the Altar of the Tidemother shortly after the latter's rampage upon seeing his sister deceased. Though Ignis is fooled at first, Ravus sees through the disguise and makes a futile attack. The two are detained by magitek soldiers while Ardyn gloats and threatens to kill Noctis. He offers Ignis the chance to join him, and claims there is no point in a world that "only ever disappoints you ", saying he wouldn't mind ending it right here. Ravus stops Ardyn from plunging his dagger into Noctis's unconscious body, causing Ardyn to blast Ravus into the altar with his daemonic energy before once again suggesting Ignis join him. Ignis, refusing, shakes off the soldiers' hold and adorns the Ring of the Lucii, a magical royal heirloom he had gained from the unconscious Noctis. Certain the old kings would reject Ignis, Ardyn is shocked when he is empowered by the ring. Ardyn duels Ignis without using the full extent of his powers, and once the ring's enchantment wears off and Ignis loses his sight, Ardyn takes his leave.

Without the Oracle holding back the Starscourge, Eos is plunged into further crisis. Ravus is blamed for failing to prevent Leviathan's rampage in Altissia and is sentenced to death. Ravus confronts the Scourge-infected emperor, but loses and is soon killed by Ardyn masquerading as Noctis. As told in Aranea's part of Dawn of the Future, Ardyn destroys Gralea, the capital city of Niflheim, by unleashing daemons, rogue MTs and a Diamond Weapon upon it. He publicly proclaims it the final day of the empire as the emperor is dying without an heir. He is confronted by Aranea, but easily deflects her. Ardyn plans to have the Diamond Weapon transported to Tenebrae, but Aranea destroys it.

"Ardyn" threatens "Prompto ".

After Noctis and his retinue recover the Katana of the Warrior from Fodina Caestino, Ardyn follows them as they enter a train. He later appears before Noctis on a train ride to Gralea and torments him by tricking Noctis into pursuing his friend Prompto and to push him off the train. Noctis meets Aranea in Tenebrae where he learns Ardyn is left in charge of a chaotic empire, as all the other higher ups are gone.

As depicted in Episode Prompto, following his fall from the train, Prompto is brought to Niflheim's First Magitek Production Facility run by Verstael Besithia. When Prompto accesses the facility using his ID tattoo, Ardyn appears and reveals this is Prompto's birthplace. After returning Prompto's gun and cryptically hinting at his past, Ardyn encourages him to seek out Verstael. Tape recordings scattered throughout the facility reveal that Ardyn helped Verstael create the magitek infantry, and Verstael credits Ardyn's cooperation for developing a way for him to transfer one's ego and consciousness into a magitek armor.

Ardyn watches Prompto ride toward Gralea.

Prompto learns that he is a clone created by Verstael. Confronting a mutating Verstael, Prompto kills him and Ardyn taunts him about his patricide over the speaker system. Prompto later enters an illusion where he is hunted by Noctis while appearing as an MT, but whether this is a projection of his own mind or an illusion created by Ardyn is ambiguous. After Prompto and Aranea defeat Verstael's magitek incarnation, a content Ardyn watches Prompto ride towards Gralea.

As Noctis passes through Ghorovas Rift, the Glacian grants him her power. Ardyn accosts him but Shiva freezes him solid, while Noctis, in a fit of anger, breaks Ardyn's body. Though frozen and shattered, Ardyn returns, revealing to Noctis that he is immortal. He tells Noctis Prompto is now being held captive in Gralea alongside the Crystal, and activates a device. Though not directly specified, this may be the activation of the Wallbreaker Wave at Zegnautus Keep, which will soon disable Noctis's powers.

Ardyn kills Ravus.

In Gralea, Ardyn's disembodied voice taunts Noctis after he is separated from his allies, but at the same time guides Ignis and Gladiolus to him. It is implied Ardyn allowed Ignis and Gladiolus open the vault to the Crystal room and to view a recording of Ravus first confronting the emperor, and then being killed by Ardyn. As he killed Ravus, Ardyn had mocked the former's desire to be the True King and save the world, yet being rejected. He had scattered the letters Ravus had sent to Lunafreya about his corpse for Noctis to discover.

After Noctis reunites with his friends, Ardyn has them face Aldercapt and a revived Ravus whom he has turned into daemons. When Noctis is forced to abandon his friends to seek power from the Crystal, Ardyn confronts him and reveals his true identity as Ardyn Lucis Caelum, which would make him Noctis' ancestor. As he watches the Crystal absorb Noctis, Ardyn states he will be waiting for him to return as the True King. As Noctis's friends arrive they attempt to take Ardyn down, he shrugs off the blows and unveils the deformities sustained from his work as a healer. He heads to the ruins of Insomnia's Citadel, while reflecting on everything that transpired up to that point.[21]

Unharmed by the Light. The Chosen King, indeed. Allow me to regale you with a tale. In an age long past, an incurable scourge ravaged mankind. A tiny menace that twisted men into monsters, the likes of which you've seen. In Lucis lived a savior that could cure the afflicted. His body would come to host myriad daemons, that countless lives be spared. But a jealous king, one not yet chosen by the Crystal, ostracized and demonized this healer of the people. Making a true monster of him. I gave you my name earlier, but you should know that it was not the name given to me at birth. Ardyn Lucis Caelum is my proper name. You'll never guess whose name Izunia was. Noct, killing you as a mortal will bring me scant satisfaction. Claim the Crystal's power. Arise as its champion. Only once the Crystal and King are no more...can I know redemption. Come back soon. I shall keep your friends company until you are ready.

Ardyn Izunia

In the German localization, Ardyn says the Starscourge originated from the Meteor of the Six during his soliloquy at the end of Chapter 13.[22] This is not stated outright in other versions; the Japanese version simply stating "a plague without remedy became widespread". In the English version he says "an incurable scourge ravaged mankind".

With Lunafreya dead and Noctis out of the way, Ardyn allows the Starscourge to spread and daemons run amok in Eos for the next decade. In Final Fantasy XV: Comrades he confronts the newly-revived Kingsglaive in his new abode, the Citadel in Insomnia, and dispatches Ifrit to deal with them. After they disable Ifrit, Ardyn congratulates the Glaives on wielding the Power of Kings to such extent they can force a god to retreat, before leaving to prepare for a "reception of his own".

Ardyn has spent ten years assimilating daemons to accumulate his power, ready for the battle of kings with the reawakened Noctis. He erects a barrier modeled after the Wall around the Citadel, the only place where Noctis can fulfill the prophecy, and when Noctis and his friends arrive Ardyn taunts how the barrier reminds him of Regis before teleporting away. After the party defeats Cerberus, "Ardyn's daemonic guard dog", Lunafreya's spirit summons the Astrals to break through the barrier, and on the Citadel courtyard Ardyn pits Noctis and his retinue against Ifrit. After defeating the Infernian with Bahamut and Shiva's aid, Noctis and his friends fight their way through some of the rulers of yore whom Ardyn has enslaved with the Starscourge, among them Ardyn's brother Somnus (the Mystic). After Noctis is triumphant, the Mystic asks for Noctis to release Ardyn from the thrall of darkness.

Noctis kills Ardyn.

In the Citadel's throne room Ardyn confronts Noctis with the illusory bodies of Lunafreya, Regis, Iedolas, and Nyx Ulric, which Ardyn had grotesquely displayed for his own amusement.[23] Noctis orders Ardyn to step down from the throne, calling him a jester. Ardyn incapacitates Noctis's allies so he can face the rival king alone. During the fight he taunts Noctis regarding his status as the True King, and rants how Noctis being sealed away for ten years was nothing compared to Ardyn himself having been in darkness for millennia. Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition offers extended dialogue, where Ardyn claims the Crystal is using Noctis. Noctis accepts it if it means he can banish the darkness, saying Ardyn himself is a slave to the dark, much removed from the kind and noble king he used to be.

Overpowered by Noctis, Ardyn accepts defeat and says he will await Noctis in the "beyond" before his body vanishes. Noctis gives his life to face Ardyn in the realm between life and death[24] where Lunafreya's spirit reveals Ardyn's true form. Noctis uses the Ring of the Lucii to summon the kings of yore to finally destroy the Starscourge within Ardyn. With both Noctis and Ardyn perished, the sun rises again.

Alternate endings[]

Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ignis[]

Blessed was the man born for the throne, yet he, so impure of heart, was denied by the Stone and cast into ignominy. Feeding on the dusk and embracing the darkness, he spurned the dawn, effecting a life untouched by time. And through the coming of night eternal, he now seeks to exact vengeance upon his own blood.

The "Mysterious Voice" describing Ardyn

Ardyn reveals his true name to Ignis.

If Ignis decides to follow Ardyn after facing him in Altissia, the latter takes him to Zegnautus Keep. When Ignis finds the Crystal, he is apprehended by Ardyn, who says he lured Ignis there as bait for Noctis, whom he wants to inherit the Crystal's power. Ardyn reveals his true identity as Ardyn Lucis Caelum, who in ancient times was to become the king of Lucis, but considers the title stolen from him by his jealous brother. Rendered immortal Ardyn has lived for two millennia, awaiting the time he can get his revenge on the Crystal and the bloodline that had discarded him. Ardyn defeats Ignis and is about to torture him to death due to Noctis taking too long, but Ignis reveals he has the Ring of the Lucii, puts it on, and gains its power for the price of his own life.

Ignis is able to disintegrate Ardyn's body[25], but as he is immortal, his return is inevitable. The dying Ignis is found by Noctis, Gladiolus and Prompto, who had been brought to the Keep by Ravus. In this version of the events, the train ride through Niflheim never happens, and Prompto is never captured. Noctis asks for the Crystal's power to save Ignis, and while he sleeps in its core for ten years, the others return to Lucis.

When Noctis returns he and his retinue head to Insomnia where they team up with Ravus to defeat Ardyn. They appear to have succeeded as light returns to the world. Yet, Noctis doesn't die and the Ring of the Lucii doesn't shatter, Noctis continuing to rule Lucis from the Citadel. Whether this means the prophecy of the True King has been fulfilled, or if Ardyn's immortal soul still lingers and the Starscourge can yet return, is unknown. Final Fantasy XV: Official Works posits that Ignis devised a "secret plan" to destroy the immortal Ardyn and drive out the darkness, and managed to surpass even the intent of the gods to bring forth another future.[25]

Final Fantasy XV -The Dawn of the Future-[]

Ardyn chooses to defy Bahamut, and is tortured by a vision of Aera conjured by the Bladekeeper to inflict the maximum amount of pain. Upon being returned to his cell in Angelgard, Ardyn rejects the gods' plans and vows to become strong enough to kill both the True King and the Astrals.

Ardyn sits on the throne.

When he waits for Noctis in the Citadel's throne room, to his surprise the one who walks in is Lunafreya, resurrected to aid Bahamut. Knowing Bahamut now seeks to purge Eos of life, Lunafreya intends to thwart his plan with Ardyn's cooperation, but Ardyn is uninterested in an alliance, uncaring Bahamut would destroy the world. When Lunafreya relays Aera's wish to save him, he angrily summons Ifrit to kill her. Lunafreya absorbs the Scourge from Ifrit, and makes a covenant with him. When Noctis arrives Lunafreya has fully turned into a daemon, as her power to absorb the darkness is the same as Ardyn had used 2,000 years ago. Ardyn mocks them as Lunafreya attacks Noctis.

Bahamut commands Lunafreya to unleash the darkness to power Teraflare, his ultimate attack that will destroy humanity and the other Astrals. As the Citadel is raised to the sky to protect the Crystal, Ardyn warps to it in the knowledge that Noctis will try to reach Lunafreya. When Noctis arrives, Ardyn relates Lunafreya's plan to force Bahamut to unleash Teraflare, which the other Astrals would block, forcing the Bladekeeper into slumber as his true death is impossible due to him existing within the Crystal. Ardyn continues to be defiant, attacking Noctis after asking for the Ring of the Lucii. Noctis realizes that Ardyn plans to use the power of the kings of yore to destroy Bahamut's spiritual self.

Ardyn is defeated, but Noctis stops short of killing him. While he hates Ardyn, he concedes that he wishes to save him and that his only salvation is death in defeating Bahamut. Ardyn doesn't care whether this will save humanity or not, he only wants revenge against the Bladekeeper. After being given permission from the kings of yore led by Somnus, Noctis gives Ardyn the ring. As Noctis and the other Astrals fight Bahamut's physical form, Ardyn ascends the throne and undergoes the ritual to travel to the beyond, just as Noctis would have done. The final blow is delivered by Somnus's spirit. Now in the spirit world, Ardyn summons the power of Providence and destroys Bahamut there. Before his soul disintegrates, Ardyn laments everyone will forget him. Aera speaks to him one last time, vowing to remember him always. In his last moment, he asks her to always be with him, and hears her reply before fading away.

Noctis and Lunafreya hold a funeral for Ardyn in Insomnia, declaring him the true Founder King of Lucis.[26]



Ardyn is fought as the final boss during the Main Quest The Cure for Insomnia. He wields the same powers as Noctis but with a red glow as opposed to Noctis's blue, and his set of royal arms are red rather than platinum Sword of the Father from FFXV. Ardyn uses dark magic and is immune to all status effects and the Death and Holy spells from the Ring of the Lucii. He resists Alterna (though it can still work). He is one of the few Final Fantasy main antagonist/final bosses to not transform right before the battle, and one of the few to be entirely fought by a single character.

Ardyn also has further boss battles in Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ignis and Final Fantasy XV: Comrades, where he uses a more extensive set of Armiger skills and weapons than in the main game.

Playable character[]

As "Prompto"[]

In Chapter 11, the "Prompto" who fights alongside Noctis is Ardyn in disguise, as revealed at the end of the chapter. "Prompto" says lines he has never uttered before, and moves slightly differently, the way he stands up and his swagger walk being the most noticeable. Similarly, when Noctis pursues "Ardyn" on the train he behaves in a way unlike how Ardyn normally acts, such as telling Noctis to stop playing around, running away in a panic, and saying "dude, are you seriously trying to kill me?" Prompto's experience of the events shown in Episode Prompto confirms that the "Ardyn" whom Noctis chases down the train car is actually Prompto, who recalls Noctis pinning him against the wall and threatening him.

The only difference between Ardyn in disguise and the real Prompto is that the player can't use the Snapshot Technique, and he uses different lines (from Chapter 14) than the real Prompto when invoking his other Techniques.

Episode Ardyn[]

Ardyn battle gameplay in FFXV Episode Ardyn.png

Ardyn is the only playable character in Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ardyn. He fights using daemonic powers as well as the power of kings. The player can freely move about at high speeds with his Shadowstep ability and defeat enemies via Daemonfication by landing a finishing attack. By turning opponents into daemons, Ardyn can drain their energy to replenish himself. Should his HP reach zero, he can continue attacking, but succumbing in this state will lead to a Game Over, as there are no Phoenix Downs.

Gameplay in FFXV Episode Ardyn.png

Ardyn uses a battle system similar to Noctis's weapon-swapping. He can switch between attacking with the Royal Arms, summoning a whirlwind of dark energy, using a sniper rifle, and draining his MP to restore his phantasmal meter, which determines the strength of his warp-strikes. He can equip various hats that alter his stats and appearance, and has a Technique bar that is used to summon Ifrit.

The player can develop Ardyn's powers via a character development system called "Descension" by collecting AP from felled foes. Curiously, the weapons in the "Royal Arms" command are not actually the same royal arms he uses in the main game and in Episode Ignis; rather, they are the weapons King Regis also uses as a boss.

Episode Ardyn also has a bonus battle called Kingly Clash, where the player can face off against Noctis and his retinue as Ardyn. The events of this scenario resemble the final battle against Ardyn in the main game, but Ardyn retains his hat and Noctis's friends join up partway through the battle, after presumably recovering from Ardyn's earlier subduing of them. After taking them out, Ardyn gloats how Noctis being sealed away for ten years was nothing compared to how he himself was in darkness for ages.

Spoilers end here.

Musical themes[]

In Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, Ardyn's appearance is accompanied by the theme "The Chancellor" from the Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV: Original Soundtrack.

In Final Fantasy XV, Ardyn has two themes: "ARDYN", which plays in Chapters 1–7 and has an upbeat tone, and the more sombre "ARDYN II", which plays in Chapter 10 onwards, including his appearances in Episode Prompto and Episode Ignis. A few more variations of "ARDYN" appear, including the scene between Ardyn and Lunafreya in Chapter 9's climax, one named "Beckoned by Darkness" when he meets Prompto in Episode Prompto, when he apprehends Ravus in Chapter 13 Verse 2 titled "Ravus's Last Moments", and a pipe organ rendition when he appears behind Ignis in the Crystal room in Chapter 3 Verse 2 in Episode Ignis under the name "ARDYN III". Bars from Ardyn's theme play alongside Somnus's theme in the battle against Episode Ardyn final boss. An even darker remix with low male vocals plays in the ending for Episode Ardyn.

Ardyn's three boss themes in Episode Ignis contain motifs from the "EPISODE IGNIS - The Main Theme".

The final boss theme in Final Fantasy XV, titled "Magna Insomnia", is split into three phases for each phase of the battle and contains motifs from "ARDYN" and "Somnus".

In Episode Ignis normal ending the final boss theme is "The Blazing Tactician". In Verse 2 the boss theme is "Become the Fire", though when Ignis uses the full power of the Ring of the Lucii, the final boss theme changes to "Ashes to Ashes".

Ardyn's battle theme in Chapter 3 of Episode Ardyn is "Conditioned to Hate", a rap song sung by Lotus Juice. The lyrics are from Ardyn's point of view as he's attacking Insomnia's Founder King Day festival in his vendetta against the royal line of Lucis. The main and ending theme for his episode is "Prayer of the Oracle", which features a soprano woman singing operatically in Latin.

Other appearances[]

Dissidia Final Fantasy NT[]

Ardyn appears as a DLC character.

Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia[]

Ardyn appears as a playable character. Prior to his debut, he was mentioned by name in Act 2, Chapter 10.

Final Fantasy Record Keeper[]

FFI PSP Black Mage Map.pngThis section about a character in Final Fantasy Record Keeper is empty or needs to be expanded. You can help the Final Fantasy Wiki by expanding it.
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Final Fantasy Brave Exvius[]

Ardyn appears as a summonable vision, although at the moment he is only available in the Japanese version of the game.

Mobius Final Fantasy[]

MFF Arden.jpg

One of Ardyn's abilities is Sword of the Wise, the first royal arm the player earns in Final Fantasy XV.

Edgar - Chainsaw2.pngThis section about an ability in Mobius Final Fantasy is empty or needs to be expanded. You can help the Final Fantasy Wiki by expanding it.

Non-Final Fantasy guest appearances[]

Assassin's Creed: Origins[]

Ardyn appears briefly at the end of the quest "A Gift from the Gods". Sealed in an underground tomb, Bayek releases Ardyn and hides as he steps forward. Bahamut swoops down and casts Ultima Sword, surrounding Ardyn with the blades and drawing him up in a pillar of light. Carvings of him also decorate the tomb.


Ardyn has a downloadable skin.

Behind the scenes[]

Concept artwork (spells his name as "Arden").

Ardyn was designed by Roberto Ferrari around December 2010. Tweaks to his initial design were made in January, 2011.[27] This would mean he was created while the game was still known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, but Ardyn never appeared in trailers or other promotional material for it.

There was going to be an imperial general named Safay Roth/Sapphirus, who was ultimately cut from the game. Proceeding this, Ardyn’s position was added as villain.[28] Ardyn was unveiled in the E3 2013 trailer for Final Fantasy XV where he is on the steps of the rainy Citadel with Iedolas Aldercapt, holding an umbrella. This scene is not in the final game, but Ardyn is with Iedolas on an airship and gazes down on Insomnia in Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV. Final Fantasy XV has a scene where Ardyn and Ravus are in front of the Altissian cathedral in rain and Ardyn holds an umbrella, apparently based on his reveal scene from the original trailer.

Ardyn often helps the party and his "assistance" is meant to convey that he is not a typical Final Fantasy villain: Ardyn is uninterested in material conquest, but harbors a deep-seated hatred for the royal line of Lucis, and assists Noctis to inflict more torment to him.[8] Ardyn's birthday is in April. In the Q&A session for Episode Ardyn Prologue, the developers revealed they chose April as birth month for strong-willed characters because then their birth stone would be diamond.[3] The characters who have their birthdays in April are Ardyn and Gladiolus.

In Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, the likeness of Edward Saxby is used to portray Ardyn.[29] Ardyn was given magenta hair as a reference to his Japanese voice actor, Keiji Fujiwara, who previously voiced red-haired characters in various Square Enix, games such as Reno from the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, and Axel from the Kingdom Hearts franchise.[30]

Episode Ardyn is a DLC episode focusing on Ardyn. Ardyn also appears as the main villain in Episode Ignis, but the developers refrained from giving him too much lore there so they can fully explain it in Episode Ardyn.[31] His stated motives slightly differ between the Japanese and English versions. In the former, he is mainly driven by self-preservation and exacting revenge on Somnus's descendants is a secondary motive, while in the English localization, his desire to have revenge on Somnus and Noctis is the only thing that truly mattered to him. Similarly, in the Japanese version he demands to know what being sacrificed to a True King truly means, while in the English version, he instead demands to know why he must continue to suffer after all he had already endured.

Final Fantasy XV has some dummied character dossiers, Ardyn's being one of them:[32]

Ardyn Izunia
This middle-aged military tactician rose through the ranks by reforming the empire's magitek infantry, and now runs the nation seated at the emperor's side. Quick-witted and observant, he not only grasps any situation in seconds—he also manages to transcend and take control of it shortly thereafter.

In the final game Ardyn's role as the chancellor is not expanded upon much (perhaps because he is never actually seen with the emperor), and his role in creating the magitek infantry 30 years ago is kept until it becomes apparent he has supernatural powers.

Ardyn had an extra scene added to the main game during the 1.23 patch at the beginning of Chapter 5, where he and Noctis's party briefly interact inside the assault craft shortly after they reluctantly accept his assistance in getting them out of the Disc of Cauthess. Similarly, the Royal Edition and Windows Editions expand his role in Chapter 14, where he greets Noctis and his party as they arrive at Insomnia's ruins, and generates a grotesque mockery of the Wall that Regis had maintained before his death. Although Ardyn himself doesn't appear in Final Fantasy XV: Episode Gladiolus, dummied dialogue would have alluded to him[33], revealing that he was aware that the Founder King's brother turned into a monster and they were left with no other choice but to stop him, foreshadowing Ardyn's true identity.


The most enjoyable part of playing Ardyn: the writing... He's a wonderfully written character. He's very human because he has so many different sides. He's got that very sincere insincerity, and I adored that about him.

Darin De Paul, on voicing Ardyn Izunia


Ardyn is voiced by Darin De Paul in the English version, who initially thought he was not right for the role, but his wife pushed him into auditioning.[35] De Paul largely voiced him with a slight English accent.

Ardyn is voiced by Keiji Fujiwara in the Japanese version. He shares his voice actor with Reno from the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, Izana Kunagiri from Final Fantasy Type-0, and Axel and Lea from the Kingdom Hearts series.


Etymology and symbolism[]

The main characters' names in Final Fantasy XV tend to derive from Latin. Although "Ardyn" is not Latin, ardēns means burning, but also shining, brilliant, ardent, and passionate. "Ardyn" is also an alternate spelling of "Arden", the name of a forest used as a stock location by William Shakespeare in several of his plays. Though possibly coincidental, Shakespeare quotes were used in early trailers for Final Fantasy Versus XIII.

In Episode Ardyn he is also known by the term "Adagium", a code name given by the Lucian royal family to conceal Ardyn's existence. During the development of the main game, this term was already sometimes used in the team.[16] Adagium is Latin for "proverb" and "adage".

Ardyn, in juxtaposition with Noctis, alludes to enemies and "devil" figures of major religions. In terms of Christianity, he could be compared to the Anti Christ, one of three major figures said to represent the end times, a being who claims to be Jesus but ultimately represents perversion and the straying of Christian principles. To a lesser extent, he also fits in with the False Prophet, another one of the three major figures said to represent the end times, as he attempts to manipulate Noctis for his own ends, and generally acts behind the scenes.

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

How he is of the Caelum line, but comes to plunge Eos into darkness and despair, is most significant of this allusion. When Ardyn uses powers similar to Noctis's, he glows red as opposed to Noctis's blue. He represents the forces of darkness whereas Noctis is the King of Light. Ardyn is unable to truly die whereas Noctis must sacrifice himself to free the world of Ardyn's influence. Ardyn is finally killed for good after Noctis returns as the King of Kings, which could allude to the Second Coming. Him becoming evil due to in-fighting with a jealous brother resembles Cain and Abel, although, ironically, even though he adopted the Cain element by wandering the earth with the mark of evil, Ardyn is closer to Abel due to being demonized by his jealous brother.

Artwork of Ardyn.

Some of the imagery around Ardyn alludes to Biblical themes. There's a piece of concept artwork of him riding a black chocobo into a city to prayers and cheers, alluding to Palm Sunday. Another piece depicts him stripped shirtless being chained up by people in black robes. This is realized in Episode Ardyn where he is chained shirtless with nails through his palms, alluding to crucifixion. He once believed he was chosen by the Crystal to cure the world of Starscourge only to fall from the gods' favor at 33 years of age and learning his true role is to die so the Starscourge epidemic can finally end. Jesus was 33 years old when he was crucified and died for others' sins. Ardyn being impaled by a spear in Episode Ardyn Prologue and in Episode Ardyn by a "ghost" of Aera hearkens to Jesus's side having been pierced by a lance as he hung on the cross. Ardyn wears an accessory that resembles a single black wing, a possible reference to Sephiroth, the villain of Final Fantasy VII, whose one-winged angel form in turn alludes to Luciferian imagery.

Ardyn's original role as a healer hearkens to the concept of a sin-eater, a person who magically takes on the sins of a person or household, thus absolving these persons' souls. Consequently, sin-eaters supposedly carried the sins of all people whose souls they had thus saved.

Ardyn's "true" face.

When Ardyn reveals his cursed state black tears leak from his eyes. This is reminiscent of religious imagery of weeping tears of blood or presenting stigmata, believed to originate via supernatural means. The concept is associated with divine miracles, especially in Catholic beliefs.

When Noctis first meets Ardyn as the "suspicious stranger" at Galdin Quay, the latter throws an Oracle Ascension Coin at his way, calling it his "allowance". After Ardyn leaves Noctis learns the former has been giving the coins out to everyone at the resort. In Greek mythology, Charon is the ferryman of Hades who carries souls of the newly deceased to the world of the dead, requiring a coin as payment for passage, usually an obolus or a danake. This allusion may be intentional, as Ardyn knows of Noctis's fate as the True King. Charon is the brother of, among many others, Thanatos (personification of death) and Hypnos (personification of sleep, whose Roman equivalent is known as Somnus—Ardyn's brother).


Where the name "Izunia" comes from is unknown, though it is close to (イイズナ, Iizuna?), the Japanese name for the least weasel. It is also homophonous with "is near" (イズ ニア, izu nia?). "Izunia" is also phonetically similar to the status healing spell "Esuna", present in every main series Final Fantasy game before Final Fantasy XV.

Where Ardyn's given surname "Izunia" comes from is ambiguous. In English, he simply says, "You'll never guess whose name Izunia was ". Ardyn's German dossier says he is the firstborn of the Izunia family, which became the Lucis Caelum line due to their unique skill[13], and he says he reassumed his original surname in the French version of Episode Ignis. The English version contradicts this, where he says "I gave you my name earlier, but you should know that it was not the name given to me at birth. Ardyn Lucis Caelum is my proper name ". In the German version of Episode Ignis Ardyn introduces himself as "Ardyn Lucis Caelum Izunia".[36] In Episode Ardyn Prologue Ardyn is known as the elder son of "House Caelum", and is descended from nobility. In Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ardyn, it is simply said Ardyn was given the name Ardyn Izunia as he became an imperial citizen.

In a Famitsu interview, the origin of "Izunia" was explained thusly: "Ardyn doesn't remember much about whose surname it is. By absorbing the memories of various people, while accumulating vast knowledge he gets confused and forgets details that relate to himself ".[16] This is also implied in the Japanese version of his soliloquy at the end of Chapter 13, where he asks in a semi-rhetorical manner where the surname "Izunia" originated from.

Spoilers end here.

External links[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Ardyn's English bestiary entry in Final Fantasy XV
  2. Final Fantasy XV Ultimania Scenario Side, p.018
  5. Character overviews (Accessed: December 01, 2018) at Final Fantasy XV Official Site
  6. Final Fantasy XV, Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ardyn Archives: A laboratory designed to replicate natural sunlight and study its effects on daemonkind. Chief Besithia discovered that, although Adagium incurs slight injuries when exposed to the sun, his regenerative abilities quickly negate any damage done.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Dawn of the Future, Page 98-99, According to Plan (Accessed: July 18, 2019) at higharollakockamamie @tumblr
  8. 8.0 8.1 Final Fantasy XV Collector's Edition Guidebook developer interviews
  10. Dawn of the Future Page 64-65, the City Somnus Built (Accessed: June 11, 2019) at higharollakockamamie @tumblr
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Final Fantasy XV -The Dawn of the Future- "Ardyn" translations by Autumnstwilight (Accessed: June 08, 2019) at autumnstwilight @tumblr
  12. Final Fantasy XV chapter-by-chapter lore exposition and development, part 3 (Accessed: December 21, 2018) at The Lifestream
  13. 13.0 13.1 German dossier for Ardyn: "Als Erstgeborener der Familie Izunia, die einst für ihre besonderen Fähigkeiten zur Linie der Lucis Caelum erwählt wurde, hätte er der erste Kônig zum Schutze des Kristalls werden sollen ".
    Translation: "As the firstborn of the Izunia family, chosen for their special skills to become the Lucis Caelum lineage, he should have become the Founder King to protect the Crystal
  15. Final Fantasy XV -The Dawn of the Future-; Noctis's part
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 『FFXV エピソード アーデン』開発スタッフに訊く見どころとこれから――物語は“ファンのために書かれた”小説へとつながる (Accessed: March 28, 2019) at Famitsu
  17. Final Fantasy XV Scenario Ultimania Translation Project — History of Eos (Accessed: July 25, 2018) at Medium
  18. Appendix 6 - Armaments of the Niflheim Empire from ''Final Fantasy XV Official Works'' translations by higharollakockamamie (Accessed: August 17, 2018) at higharollakockamamie @tumblr
  19. Dawn of the Future, rest of Page 59-61, An Imperial Audience (Accessed: June 15, 2019) at higharollakockamamie @tumblr
  20. 20.0 20.1 Dawn of the Future Page 62 - Ardyn’s Rise (Accessed: June 14, 2019) at higharollakockamamie @tumblr
  21. Final Fantasy XV, Episode Ardyn credits
  22. Let's Play Final Fantasy XV German Ending Full Fight (4:01) (Accessed: June 29, 2022 (Let's Play Final Fantasy XV German Ending Full Fight)) by Prinzdicky at YouTube
  23. Final Fantasy XV Ultimania Scenario Side translations (Accessed: January 08, 2019) at The Lifestream
  24. Noctis Lucis Caelum Character Profile from ''Final Fantasy XV Official Works'' translated by higharollakockamamie (Accessed: December 12, 2018) at higharollakockamamie @tumblr
  25. 25.0 25.1 Another Possibility: the Extra Chapter shown in ''Episode Ignis'' (Accessed: July 25, 2018) at higharollakockamamie at tumblr
  26. Final Fantasy XV alternate ending revealed in concept art for canceled DLCs (Accessed: July 23, 2019) at Digital Trends
  27. Character artist Roberto Ferrari speaks on Final Fantasy XV story changes, cut characters (Accessed: July 25, 2018) at Nova Crystallis
  28. Final Fantasy XV: Changes from Final Fantasy Versus XIII Explained; More Info on Characters Shared (Accessed: July 25, 2018) at DualShockers
  29. Edward Saxby's Instagram (Accessed: January 08, 2019) at Edward Saxby's Instagram
  30. Final Fantasy XV: the big interview summary (Accessed: July 07, 2019) at Gematsu
  31. Dengeki First interview translated by Paperchampion23 (Accessed: July 25, 2018) at /r/FFXV at
  32. [ spoilers ] unuse + cut + pending content topic at /r/ffxv at reddit (Accessed: June 12, 2018) at reddit
  33. FFXV Cut Content Transcription Episode Gladiolus (Accessed: June 13, 2018) at FFXV Caps @tumblr
  34. FINAL FANTASY XV: The English Voice Cast (3:42) (Accessed: June 29, 2022 (FINAL FANTASY XV: The English Voice Cast)) by Final Fantasy XV at YouTube
  35. FINAL FANTASY XV 2nd Anniversary English Voice Actors Thank You Message (5:35) (Accessed: June 29, 2022 (FINAL FANTASY XV 2nd Anniversary English Voice Actors Thank You Message)) by Final Fantasy XV at YouTube
  36. 【Final Fantasy XV】 Episode Ignis -German Version- (1:35:49) (Accessed: June 29, 2022 (【Final Fantasy XV】 Episode Ignis -German Version-)) by BlindingAwesomeness at YouTube

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