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Van Hohenheim
Alias Slave #23
Philosopher of the West
Sage of the West
Race Human
Nationality Xerxian
Birthday c. 1464
Birthplace Xerxes
Age 450
Gender Male
Professional Status
Affiliation Himself, Elric Brothers
Previous Affiliation Xerxian Alchemist Master
Occupation Alchemist
Previous Occupation Slave
Previous Partner Father
Base of Operations Nomadic
Personal Status
Status Deceased
Relatives Trisha Elric (wife, deceased)
Edward Elric (son)
Alphonse Elric (son)
Father (blood duplicate)
Winry Rockbell (daughter-in-law)
Unnamed granddaughter & grandson
Alchemy Alchemy & Alkahestry
Skills Alchemical & Alkahestry Mastery
First Appearance
Manga Debut Chapter 40
Anime Debut Episode 12
Japanese Voice Unshou Ishizuka
Daisuke Namikawa (younger version)
English Voice John Swasey
Aaron Dismuke (younger version)

Van Hohenheim (ヴァン・ホーエンハイム, Van Hōenhaimu) is the oldest and most powerful alchemist in the world. He is the estranged father of Edward and Alphonse Elric. He is deeply connected to the first Homunculus, Father, and has planned to counter the latter's plans for as long as the Homunculus has been manipulating Amestris. He also was instrumental in the development of the creation of Alkahestry in the country of Xing.


Hohenheim, in his younger years, had a very youthful appearance, with long blond hair extending to his upper back, which he keeps in a ponytail. He wore gray clothing during his time as a slave. As he grew older, his facial features aged with time with golden irises, wore glasses, more defined cheekbones, and he grew a beard, which connected his hair with his sideburns. He typically wears suits.


As a teenager, Hohenheim was ill-tempered and prideful for a slave, reacting angrily to insults made by the original Houmunculus. He also was very curious guy, wanting to know what freedom was like and wanted to learn alchemy. As he grew older, he controlled his anger more. After the incident in Xerxes, he was plunged into despair, as he realized what his actions had done to the people around him. Since then, he has been making friends with the many souls of the Xerxes citizens trapped within him. His sense of duty is also great enough that he continued to work to prevent Father from achieving his goals. He also is somewhat prideful in his adulthood, calling himself the "hero" when showing up to confront Pride.

He was a father and husband, but estranged from his sons. He preferred for his sons to not follow in his tracks, as he viewed himself as a monster. The only woman he loved was his wife. His distance from his family was the reason why Edward blamed him for his mother's death, since she died while waiting for Hohenheim to return from his journey. However, Hohenheim still deeply loved his family, as he was once overwhelmed by emotion during a family photoshoot, and mourned his wife's death. His love extended to the point where he was willing to sacrifice himself in order to bring back Alphonse.


Van Hohenheim was not always a free man. Before his descent into the world of alchemy, he was a slave. Hohenheim was then known as Slave #23, and it was there that he met the mysterious figure, Father. Then, he was called the Dwarf in the Flask, otherwise known as Homunculus. It was the Homunculus who gave Hohenheim his name and helped him gain freedom and immortality (at a great cost).


Hohenheim eventually returns to Resembool and finds that his home has been burned down.[1] He then heads over to the Rockbell home, informing Pinako Rockbell that his house is gone. Pinako is surprised to see him return, and he apologizes for scaring her and Den. Pinako notes that Hohenheim hasn't aged since he left Resembool.[2]

Edward eventually returns to Resembool from Xerxes, and as he passes by the graveyard, he sees Hohenheim standing in front of Trisha's grave addressing him as his father. Hohenheim informs Edward that Pinako explained that he and Alphonse performed a Human Transmutation. Edward then remarks that Hohenheim had the nerve to show up in Resembool after all these years. Hohenheim questions why Edward hates him so much, and Edward only tells him that he would knock him out if he were not in front of Trisha's grave at the moment. Hohenheim then asks why Trisha died, and Edward replies that it's because of the hardships he made her go through by leaving her. He then tells her that he shouldn't have returned, as he no longer has a home to return to. Hohenheim questions why Edward burned down their house, and Edward tells him that he and Alphonse burned down their house as a sign of their resolve and determination, and felt it would be wiser to not have a home to return to. Hohenheim disagrees with Edward's answer, and believes that the real reason why his sons burned their house down is because they wanted to cover up their mistake, and they did not want to remember what they have done. Edward tries to deny Hohenheim's accusation, but Hohenheim continues to remark that he is simply running away from his mistake. Edward doubts that Hohenheim understands his reasons, but Hohenheim remarks that he does understand. Edward then tries to leave, insisting that he can't visit Trisha's grave while he's angry, but Hohenheim begins to follow him, explaining that the Rockbell home is the only place he can return to now. As they head home, Hohenheim notes that Edward is like him when he was young.[3]

In the Rockbell home, Hohenheim passes by Edward's room while he's sleeping. He then heads downstairs and asks Pinako why nobody scolded Edward and Alphonse for performing a Human Transmutation. Pinako replies that it's the parents' job to scold their children, meaning that Hohenheim should be the one to do so. Hohenheim remarks that he wouldn't know a good way to scold them. Pinako then asks why Hohenheim made no attempt in contacting Trisha while he was gone, as she waited for him faithfully. She also states that if Hohenheim was around, then Edward and Alphonse wouldn't have attempted to bring Trisha back. Hohenheim then asks Pinako if she disposed the remains of the Human Transmutation. Pinako tells him that she did, and Hohenheim then asks her if it was really Trisha that they made. Pinako is confused by Hohenheim's question, and Hohenheim asks if any specific physical traits were similar to Trisha's. Pinako angrily asks if what they created wasn't even their mother, and tells chastised Hohenheim for asking the question. Hohenheim prepares to leave the next day, and tells Pinako that it's fine if Edward doesn't bid him goodbye, as he would be late for the train. Hohenheim then asks Pinako if he can take a photograph of him, Trisha, Edward, and Alphonse with him, as it is the only photograph of the four of them together. Pinako says it's okay, and Hohenheim thanks her for her hospitality, as he knows that she was suspicious of his unaging form, yet still welcomed him. In return, Hohenheim decides to tell her that she should leave the country, as something terrible is supposed to happen in Amestris soon, and leaving the country would be the best thing for her to do. Pinako refuses, insisting that the Rockbell home is the only home Edward and Alphonse have to return to. Hohenheim is disappointed, but decides not to press the issue. As Hohenheim leaves, Pinako asks him to return to Resembool occasionally to visit them for a meal, but after Hohenheim leaves, he remarks that he can no longer eat with them again.[4]

While traveling, Hohenheim rides on a stagecoach with several other citizens. While staring at his family photo, one of the passengers inquires him about his family, and he tells her that he met his eldest son recently, and it seems like he no longer needs his father. She asks him if that makes him feel lonely, which Hohenheim denies, stating that he believes he and Edward would meet each other again, since they are both alchemists.[5]

The stagecoach is suddenly ambushed by bandits, who subdue the driver. One of the bandits decides to hold the passengers at gunpoint, but Hohenheim tries to persuade him to not kill them. Sneering at Hohenheim's suggestion, the bandit proceeds to shoot him. However, Hohenheim is unaffected by the bullet and scolds the bandit for shooting him. Confusing the bandits, they decide to shoot Hohenheim in the head, but he does not die from the shot, eventually scaring the bandits off. One of the passengers then asks what Hohenheim is, also confused about what just happened. Hohenheim replies that he is a monster.[6]

While traveling to the mountains, Hohenheim senses Father restricting alchemic transmutations in Central. When his guide asks him if something is wrong, Hohenheim replies that nothing is wrong and continues traveling with his guide. [7]

While traveling on a train, after dreaming of his past in Xerxes, Hohenheim wakes up to Izumi Curtis, traveling with her husband Sig Curtis. Hohenheim and Izumi are both surprised to encounter each other. Hohenheim thanks Izumi for taking care of Ed and Al, and expresses some regret that he left them without being a real father to either of them. Izumi then says that Hohenheim should have had a real talk with them before he left, but Hohenheim disagrees, saying that he was too ashamed. Izumi suddenly begins coughing, spewing out a little blood from her mouth. Sig frantically searches for her medication, but Hohenheim stop, requesting him to bring his car. Sig complies and leaves. Hohenheim then asks Izumi if she saw the Truth. Izumi turns away from him, suspicious of his motives, but Hohenheim assures her that he's not one of "those alchemists", and also tells her that he knows Xingese healing arts. Izumi then tells him that she tried to resurrect her dead child, which, in turn, took away her ability to reproduce. Understanding her feelings, Hohenheim then asks if the military tried to contact her recently. Izumi then tells him that Fuhrer King Bradley to persuade her into becoming a State Alchemist, but she refused. Hohenheim is relieved with her answer and then tells her to hold still. Much to Izumi's horror, Hohenheim rams his hand into her abdomen, causing her to cough up more blood. Sig sees this and punches Hohenheim before checking on Izumi's condition. Much to both Sig and Izumi's surprise, she states that not only is fine, but she can now breathe easier. Confused, they both check on the apparent wound Hohenheim left, but find out that he left none. Hohenheim explains even though he cannot return her lost organs, he arranged her remaining internal organs to improve her blood flow, and tells her that she mustn't die yet. Izumi asks Hohenheim what he is, and Hohenheim replies that he is a human Philosopher's Stone.[8]

ch20 pg12; ch40 pg33-40; ch42 pg3-16; ch46 pg2; ch54 pg20; ch75 pg27; ch76; ch78; ch80; ch81; ch82; ch85; ch88; ch91 pg 35-37; ch96 pg32-; ch97 pg6-; ch108 pg35


Plan: ch105 pg19-31

Alchemical Mastery: ch67 pg35; ch75 pg30-32; ch78 pg14-16 pg18-20; ch88 pg23-25; ch96 pg35-40; ch105 pg8

Alkahestry Mastery:

Immortality: ch46 pg8-10; ch82 pg13



  1. Fullmetal Alchemist manga; Chapter 40, pages 33-34
  2. Fullmetal Alchemist manga; Chapter 40, pages 36-40
  3. Fullmetal Alchemist manga; Chapter 42, pages 03-08
  4. Fullmetal Alchemist manga; Chapter 42, pages 09-16
  5. Fullmetal Alchemist manga; Chapter 46, pages 01-03
  6. Fullmetal Alchemist manga; Chapter 46, pages 03-10
  7. Fullmetal Alchemist manga; Chapter 54, pages 19-21
  8. Fullmetal Alchemist manga; Chapter 75, pages 27-35