Lelouch vi Britannia was born to Emperor Charles zi Britannia and Marianne "the Flash" vi Britannia of the Holy Britannian Empire, along with his younger sister, Nunnally vi Britannia. At ten, his mother was mysteriously assassinated and his sister crippled and blinded, he and his sister were sent to Japan to live with the Prime Minister's family. Later, after the Britannian invasion of Japan, Lelouch and Nunnally were thought dead. They changed their last names to Lamperouge, living as normal Britannian citizens.
Lelouch forever more had a great hatred for Britannia, swearing to destroy it and his father, as well as reveal the truth behind his mother's murder, and create a safe world for his sister. As a late-teen, he went into action with his new-found power - "Geass," granting him the power to command anyone to do anything he orders - and his masked alter ego, "Zero."
Lelouch vi Britannia, 11th Prince of Britannia, was born to Emperor Charles zi Britannia and Lady Marianne "the Flash" vi Britannia of the Holy Britannian Empire, along with his younger sister, Nunnally vi Britannia. He was raised around Nunnally, as well as his half-sisters Cornelia and Euphemia li Britannia, who he was closest to among his half-siblings. He also spent some time around his half-brother Schneizel el Britannia - the only person, sibling or not, to legitimately defeat Lelouch at chess. Lelouch, Nunnally, Cornelia, and Euphemia spent a great deal of their childhood at Aries Villa, Lady Marianne's private garden.
When Lelouch was ten years old, his mother was assassinated. His sister, Nunnally, was crippled from the waist down during the incident, and she was psychologically damaged, never opening her eyes. Lelouch met his father in the throne room regarding his mother's death and sister's condition. The Emperor dismissed him as a child and appeared very cold regarding the death of his mother and Nunnally's condition. In his anger, Lelouch renounced his claim to the throne, and his father scolded him for his arrogance, ordering that Lelouch and Nunnally be sent to Japan as political tools.
Lelouch and Nunnally were sent to live with the family of Japan's Prime Minister, Kururugi, and his family - which included his son, Suzaku Kururugi. Suzaku disliked Lelouch due to his royal status, but they soon became very good friends.
Unfortunately, their time together was short lived. Britannia invaded Japan utilizing their advanced Knightmare frames - armored mech suits which teared through the Japanese army. Japan was renamed "Area 11," and its people referred to as "Elevens." During the invasion, Lelouch and Nunnally were officially recorded as dead.
Lelouch and Nunnally were separated from Suzaku. The two royal siblings were taken in by the Ashford Family, kept in hiding and their last names changed to "Lamperouge" in order to keep their royal status secret.
Lelouch and Nunnally resided at the Ashford Academy for years, living in the student council clubhouse on campus, rather than in the dorms, so Nunnally and Lelouch could remain together. Lelouch became the vice president of the student council, and Nunnally was dubbed an unofficial "junior member" of the council, because she wasn't old enough. The principle and his grand daughter, Milly Ashford - the student council president - are among the only people to know Lelouch's royal status. In his spare time, Lelouch took to illegally gambling at chess, at which he was unbeatable. He did so to alleviate his boredom. However, he still fully intended to eventually bring down Britannia. During this time, Area 11 was in the control of Prince Clovis la Britannia.
One day, on his way back to school near the Shunjuko, Lelouch witnessed an accident, where a truck crashed on the side of a road. He went to help, and accidentally fell into the back of the truck. He discovered that the truck was being driven by terrorists who had stolen a bio weapon from Britannian labs.
In an effort to escape the Britannian military, the terrorists retreated underground, one of them attacking the military head on in a stolen Knightmare. Underground, a Britannian soldier attacked Lelouch, believing him to be a terrorist. The soldier, however, realized who Lelouch was, and removed his mask to reveal that he was Suzaku Kururugi, Lelouch's old friend. Their reunion was interrupted when the stolen device in the truck opened to reveal not a bio weapon, but a green-haired woman.
When Suzaku's superiors arrived, they ordered him to execute Lelouch, but he refused. For disobeying orders, the commander shot Suzaku. Suddenly, the truck exploded, the ensuing chaos allowing Lelouch and the woman to escape. At the time on the surface, the Shinjuku ghetto had come under siege, its people executed and the buildings leveled in order to keep hidden their secret - the green-haired woman.
Lelouch and the green-haired woman underground were captured by Britannian soldiers; they intended to capture the girl and execute Lelouch. When they tried to kill him, the girl stepped in the way of the bullet, taking it herself. When Lelouch checked on her, she grabbed him, speaking with him telepathically. She made a deal with him - accept her contract, which was left unexplained to him, and she would grant him the power to escape his fate. He accepted. With his new power known as Geass. He ordered all of the Britannian soldiers holding him captive to commit suicide. It was, at that moment, that he changed all of his plans for the destruction of Britannia.
Lelouch, with the aide of a stolen Knightmare frame and - with it - the comm channels, was able to direct a small band of resistance fighters to victory against overwhelming odds. He even succeeded in giving the terrorists some Knightmares of their own. In the heat of the battle was Kallen, one of the terrorists involved in the truck heist. However, the tide of battle turned when an experimental white Knightmare entered the fight - unknowingly piloted by Suzaku, who survived his gunshot wound - wiping out many of the terrorists and bringing Britannia to victory.
But Lelouch succeeded in his primary goal: getting close to Prince Clovis. Lelouch took advantage of the confusion caused by the battle in the Shinjuku ghetto - and a little help from his Geass - to get past the soldiers guarding Clovis. He forced the prince at gunpoint to spare the lives of the terrorists and to stop attacking the ghetto, before revealing himself as Lelouch vi Britannia, Clovis' brother. Lelouch used his Geass on Clovis to make him reveal who assassinated his mother. Clovis said that he did not know, but that Princess Cornelia and Prince Schneizel knew. Lelouch then executed Clovis and fled the scene.
At school, upon seeing his half-brother dead on the news, Lelouch vomited in the bathroom, after being faced with his first personal kill. However, he quickly overcame it.
The news showed that Clovis was dead, as well as the fact that they already had the "killer" in custody - Suzaku, who was being framed because he was an Eleven.
Lelouch later discovered that Kallen, the Knightmare pilot, went to the same school as him. He used his Geass on her to confirm his suspicion. But when he tried to use his Geass on her a second time, it did not work - that was when he found out that his Geass only works once per-person. Because of this, Kallen heard Lelouch mention the battle at Shinjuku, and suspected that he was the man who was commanding them over the radio during the battle. But Lelouch was able to utilize a previously-recorded phone call to Kallen from the "mysterious man."
He told her to meet him on a train car later in the day. She, along with Kaname Ohgi - the de
facto leader of the terrorists after Kallen's brother was killed - met the mysterious man. He appeared in a dark cloak and a mask, proclaiming himself to be "Zero." He ordered Kallen and Ohgi to create a replica of Clovis' private car. With Kallen in the driver's seat, they made their way to the military parade, led by Jeremiah Gottwald, where Suzaku was being escorted for his mock trial for treason. Instead, given the incident and Jeremiah Gottwald's loyalty now in question, Suzaku was freed.
Soon after, the woman who granted him his power - C.C. - returned, revealing that she was immortal. She essentially forced herself into his life, staying with him secretly in his room at the Ashford Academy. C.C. became his confidant - one of the few people who knew about his status as a prince of Britannia and as Zero.
Suzaku began going to his school. At first, they kept distance from one another, Suzaku fearing that the others would be suspicious of Lelouch and suspect his status as a prince if he was seen befriending an Eleven. One day, a stray cat snuck into Lelouch's room, his helmet falling on the cat's head. The feline then went running around the Ashford Academy, whilst a terrified Lelouch did everything he could to find and retrieve his helmet. Milly Ashford of the student council decided to mess with Lelouch - not knowing the significance of the cat and why he was looking for him - having everyone at the school join in the search, which included Kallen, who already suspected something. However, Suzaku was the first to find the cat, after the helmet had fallen elsewhere, allowing Lelouch to retrieve it later. Lelouch then publicly told the others that he and Suzaku were friends, and Lelouch invited him to join the council.
After revealing Zero, Lelouch decided to recreate the battle in the Shinjuku ghetto, attempting to defeat Princess Cornelia the same way he defeated Prince Clovis. However, Cornelia proved to be a far deadlier opponent than Clovis; she outmaneuvered his units on the field and almost cornered him into a situation where his identity would be revealed. However, C.C. was able to distract Cornelia by dressing as Zero, and luring Cornelia's forces away. This would not be the last time C.C. took on Zero's identity in order to assist Lelouch.
The Black Knights
A small band of Japanese loyalists not associated with those allied with Zero held a hotel hostage. The hostages included Princess Euphemia (younger sister to Princess Cornelia) and students of the Ashford Academy. Lelouch as Zero was able to convince Cornelia to let him past the blockade in order to "rescue" Euphemia, without having to resort to Geass. Cornelia's intent was to capture Zero in the process.
He was able to get into the hotel and into the inner sanctum of the terrorist leaders. When he discovered that their plans did not align with his own, he stated as such. The Japanese leaders moved to kill Zero, who in turn used his Geass to order them all to commit suicide. During the event, he came in contact with Euphemia; he allowed her to live. In an attack by the Britannian Military, done by Suzaku Kururugi, the hotel collapsed, causing many to think that the hostages - including Euphemia - died with the Japanese terrorists. However, it was revealed that the hostages and Euphemia were rescued by Zero and his group, who he named the Order of the Black Knights.
Battle for Narita
Lelouch brought the Black Knights into their first official, full-out battle against Britannian forces, who were led by Cornelia. The battle took place in Narita, where a portion of the Japanese Liberation Front was hiding out inside a mountain. Cornelia intended to wipe out the JLF, hoping to also find Zero. Lelouch was able to sneak a large portion of the Black Knights deep into Narita without being noticed, using his Geass on JLF watchmen. The Black Knights had a fresh supply of Knightmares, which included the prototype Guran Mk-II, a powerful Knightmare that could potentially face off against the Lancelot. The Guran was given to Kallen Kozuki. Zero ordered Kallen to use the Guran's abilities to collapse a large portion of the mountain, killing a very large portion of Britannian soldiers as well as JLF forces. The remaining Britannian soldiers, which included Cornelia and her Glaston Knights. Zero accomplished his primary mission, but attempted his secondary mission: capturing Cornelia.
The Black Knights were able to corner Cornelia, and Kallen was capable of destroying her Knightmare Frame. However, Cornelia was rescued by Suzaku piloting the Lancelot. Suzaku chased Zero into the forest - neither knowing the identity of the other. Lelouch was almost captured, but was again rescued by C.C., who telepathically drove Suzaku temporarily insane by flooding his head with images. The two retreated, and were later retrieved by Kallen.
Not long after the battle, Zero met with core members of the House of Kyoto, the most powerful people in the Japanese Liberation Front. Zero was able to deduce the true identity of their leader, that of Taizo Kirihara. Zero trusted him enough to reveal to him that he was Lelouch. Taizo agreed to keep his secret, and he also agreed to further align himself with the Black Knights.
Geass against Geass
Lelouch found out that Shirley Fenette - a girl from the Ashford Academy who was always in love with him - lost her father because of his actions at the Battle for Narita, where the avalanche he caused killed her father when the wave of debris hit the small settlement beneath it. Lelouch comforted Shirley in the aftermath of the attack.
Shirley, however, came across a mysterious stranger, who exploited her weakness and told her that Lelouch was Zero, and therefore the one responsible. He then took her away.
Lelouch, along with C.C., went in search of the stranger, who revealed himself to be "Mao." Mao and Lelouch shared a tram up into the mountains, where they played a game of chess. Lelouch was shocked when he was defeated so easily by Mao. Mao, however, revealed that he himself was also a Geass user; his particular ability was the power to read minds.
Mao tried to force Shirley to kill Lelouch. However, Shirley broke down, finding herself incapable of killing the person she loved. Mao retreated to the tram, with the intent of eventually returning. As he left, he saw C.C., a person he once knew many years ago. Mao later attempted to kidnap C.C., but was outsmarted by Lelouch. Mao returned a third time, now kidnapping Lelouch's sister, Nunnally, and holding her hostage. He challenged Lelouch to a game of chess to decide Nunnally's fate. Lelouch used himself as a distraction - using Geass on himself to prevent Mao from knowing his true intentions, giving Suzaku Kururugi time to save Nunnally. Mao, however, revealed to Lelouch that Suzaku killed his father a almost a decade earlier. In retaliation, Lelouch used his Geass to prevent Mao from ever speaking again. As Mao tried to escape, he was met by C.C., who shot him.
Following the incident with Mao, Lelouch chose Suzaku as Nunnally's "knight" and protector, so that he could put all his efforts into being Zero while he put Nunnally in the care of somebody he trusted. However, during a battle between the Black Knights and Britannia, Suzaku's identity was exposed publicly as the pilot of the Lancelot, the same pilot who had been interfering with Lelouch. Lelouch had a brief mental break once he realized that the person he trusted was his enemy.
Lelouch put together a new plan: capture Suzaku, in the guise of capturing the Lancelot unit, and attempting to bring him to his side. During the fight, the Lancelot was crippled and Suzaku held at gunpoint. However, during the battle, Suzaku gained the upper hand, attempting to capture him. Princess Euphemia li Britannia, sub-viceroy, entered the fight to save Suzaku - and Kallen Kozuki entered to save Zero. A second element entered: the Avalon, the mobile command center of the emperor. As they powered up their main cannon, Lelouch used his Geass on Suzaku, ordering him to "Live," just as the Avalon obliterated the area.
Mysteriously, they survived. Lelouch - as Zero - along with Euphemia, Suzaku, and Kallen, were transported to a small island. They were split into two groups: Lelouch and Euphemia, and Suzaku and Kallen. When Lelouch and Euphemia found each other, Lelouch tried to threaten her. But Euphemia revealed that she knew he was Zero, asking him to take off his mask. The two step-siblings rested on the beach of the island, reminiscing over their time as children, talking for the first time in almost a decade. She promised to keep his secret once they left the island.
After finding one another, Lelouch escaped with Kallen, while Euphemia and Suzaku were rescued by Prince Schneizel el Britannia, who it turns out was the one who fired the main cannon on the Avalon.
The Special Zone
During the school festival at the Ashford Academy, Princess Euphemia disguised her identity in order to meet with Lelouch once more, as well as Nunnally. The three talked again, discussing the future. When a gust of wind took away Euphemia's disguise, the crowd attempted to get to Euphemia. Euphemia, however, was rescued by Suzaku Kururugi, her knight. It was then that she made a public declaration: that she would create the Special Zone of Japan, where the people of Area 11 could call themselves Japanese and speak their language. Lelouch was horrified, realizing that this move would make his entire mission a failure - that the people of Japan would no longer need Zero.
Euphemia asked that Zero join her in leading the Special Zone. When he finally agreed, the two step-siblings met privately during the event, where Lelouch could remove his mask and they could discuss the Special Zone. Lelouch asked that she shoot him, in order to make him a martyr to the Japanese people. When she refused, Lelouch became enraged, almost using his Geass on her to force her to submit to his demands. But she surprised him with her genuine good intentions: she said she would renounce her royal title in order to run the Special Zone. Lelouch, finally understanding her intentions, agreed to lead the Special Zone.
Euphemia asked Lelouch how he thought she would agree to kill him. He confessed that he could make anyone do anything he commanded. He joked that he could order her to kill all Japanese, and she wouldn't have a choice. However, it was at that moment that Lelouch lost control of his Geass, unable to shut it off. Euphemia attempted to resist, but was unable. She submitted to his command, running into the stadium where she ordered all Japanese be killed.
Lelouch escaped the carnage, ordering all Black Knights to intervene and stop the massacre of Japanese people. Lelouch, with regret, entered the battlefield himself in order to stop what he caused. To that end, he shot Euphemia himself, saying that she was the first girl he ever loved. After the wounded Euphemia was scooped up and brought to the Avalon by Suzaku Kururugi. Euphemia died soon after due to her injuries.
The Black Knights captured the arena, where the surviving Japanese and those from all around joined in open rebellion. Zero proclaimed the evil of Britannia, rallying the Japanese and the Black Knights to go toward a brave strike at Britannia: an attack on Tokyo.
In private, however, Lelouch mourned Euphemia's death. He was comforted by C.C., the only person who could relate and understand his Geass.
The Battle of Tokyo and Capture
Japanese from all around joined as the Black Knights marched on Tokyo. They took up a base in the Ashford Academy, Lelouch hoping that they would be able to keep an eye on his sister, Nunnally, to keep her safe.
Lelouch's true objective, however, was to get his hands on Cornelia, the Viceroy and Euphemia's sister. To that end, he attacked the garden that used to belong to Prince Clovis. Cornelia attacked Lelouch in a bloodrage, damaging his Knightmare despite its inferior specs. Cornelia, however, was defeated when one of her loyal allies turned on her - due to being influenced by Geass prior to the battle.
Lelouch made Cornelia tell him everything about the death of his mother, Lady Marianne, because Cornelia was head of security at the time. She said that she did not know, and that Schneizel, the Second Prince, knew. Cornelia also said that Marianne had mysterious ordered her to withdraw her forces from the palace prior to her death.
When she had told him all she knew, Lelouch was forced to retreat, having heard that his sister - Nunnally - had been kidnapped. As he retreated, he was attacked by the rebuilt Jeremiah Gottwald, who had survived his injuries during the Battle of Narita, and returned with a cyborg body. After Jeremiah proved almost invincible, C.C. "sacrificed" herself in order to give Lelouch time to save his sister, crashing herself and Jeremiah into the Pacific ocean.
He entered the cave where it was believed Nunnally had been brought. However, before Lelouch could proceed, he was cornered by Suzaku. One of Lelouch's Black Knights, Kallen Kozuki, entered the area, attempting to rescue Lelouch. However, she did not prevent him from shooting Lelouch, the bullet cracking the helmet and revealing that Zero was, in fact, Lelouch. Suzaku blamed him for Euphemia's death, ignoring Lelouch's plea to help Nunnally. In fury, the two of them drew their guns, and prepared to shoot each other.
Lelouch was known for having a very stoic personality. He never cared about schoolwork, considering the entire thing trivial even though his intelligence would make it easy for him. He enjoys seeking out and defeating challenges, often playing chess with nobles and fellow members of royalty. In general, Lelouch takes most day-to-day affairs with a disposition of open disinterest, often not even noticing the affection of others, like Shirley - his fellow classmate.
Lelouch is very caring to one person in particular: his younger sister, Nunnally. One of his primary reason for starting a war against Britannia was so his sister could live happily.
Lelouch is very cold and tactical, sacrificing anybody - civilians or military - in order to obtain his goal. He killed multiple civilians during a landslide he caused to wipe out enemy forces, and considered it just a simple "mathematical overestimation." It is notable that he did care when he discovered that Shirley - a girl who has always appeared to love him - lost her father in the incident. He also saw no problem with collapsing a large portion of Tokyo, resulting in countless military and civilian casualties.
The first time he personally killed a human being (aside from using Geass), Lelouch vomited - whether this is because the person was his half-brother or not is unclear. However, Lelouch overcame this very quickly, and killing became nothing to him.
Powers and Abilities
Lelouch is a natural strategist. As a child, he was a brilliant chess player, besting any who opposed him - except for his older brother, Prince Schneizel. As a teenager, he utilized his masterful skills in real combat, leading a small band of terrorists to victory against overwhelming odds. He could manipulate people and factions with well-spoken speeches, clever lies, and simple tricks.
Despite his great mind and power, Lelouch is physically unimpressive. He is incapable of even running for long periods of time without running out of breath.
Lelouch is an unimpressive Knightmare pilot. He usually utilizes advanced Knightmares, but is easily brought down by superior pilots with less efficient technology. However, it is worth noting that Lelouch was capable of the complex calculations required to control the shield on his final Knightmare frame.
Lelouch also possesses the power of Geass, which is physically shown as a red symbol in his left eye (eventually, both eyes). With it, he could command anybody to do anything he wanted, as long as he had direct eye contact. While some would try to resist - especially if it went against their nature - they would always submit.
His limits would be:
Eye contact. He must have eye contact at the time of the command. At one point, Lelouch was able to reflect his Geass utilizing a complicated series of tiny mirrors. Powers do not work through thick shielding, such as Knightmare cockpits or some visors.
He may only use it once on a person. While the "command window" is open, he could initiate multiple orders or ask multiple questions, but once it was over, he could never use Geass on that person again.
Aside from his first initial stage, he had two more "evolved" stages of power.
Second stage: He was unable to shut off his power, requiring special contact lenses to keep the power in check. With even the smallest mistake, he could make an order. At one point, when he was unaware of the change, he ordered the execution of thousands of people without intending to. The plus to this new stage is that the "distance" restriction appears to be gone. When prior the effects would ware off beyond a distance of about 200 meters, this new power does not seem to have any restrictions, orders being carried out from great distances when circumstances are met.
Third stage: He no longer needs direct eye contact, capable of bringing an entire room of people under his command on more than one occasion. He was able to influence the entire Collective Consciousness while in C's World. At this stage, both eyes have a Geass symbol, rather than just the left.