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Evangelion
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Lance of Longinus.png

Spear of Longinus (ロンギヌスの槍[?], "Ronginusu no Yari") also called the Lance of Longinus is an extraterrestrial artifact with the power to penetrate any Absolute Terror Field and immobilize beings of god-like power.

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Overview

The spear of Longinus is a long, red, two pointed trident (bident) with a clear double-helical shape carrying throughout its body. The spear is extremely long, standing taller than an Evangelion unit with most of its length coming from its shaft where the double-helical shape is tightly wound before gradually splitting apart to form the two massive tines.

While the spear generally takes on its bident appearance, it also has metamorphic capabilities seen when used against the Angel Arael. After being thrown, the tines wrapped together to form a seamless piercing object after contact with Arael's A.T. Field, the "flaps" of the Spear open up revealing white, gill-like structures that appear to aid the spear with self-propulsion under conditions of extreme resistance. Finally, the Spear's bident shape is perpetually altered by Unit-01 at the start of third impact when she separates the two helices, and the Spear takes on a form reminiscent of a horizontally elongated infinity symbol, ∞.

This artifact also appears in the Rebuild of Evangelion continuity however its uses and origin is unclear and there are 5 spears as opposed to the two seen in Neon Genesis.

Replica Spears of Longinus

Replica Spear of Longinus in sword form from End of Evangelion

SEELE is able to create nine copies of the Spear of Longinus for use by their Mass Production Model Evangelions. The copies have most of the original's properties, such as its size and dimensions, along with its ability to pierce A.T. Fields, although they are bluish grey in color rather than red. Also unlike the original, they cannot be used to initiate Instrumentality with Lilith herself. Even after the original Spear was lost, SEELE felt they still had a chance, albeit more difficult, of initiating Third Impact, by using the replica Spears and Unit-01 (itself created from Lilith), though it is possible that even SEELE wasn't entirely sure if this would be sufficient (this remains unknown as the original Spear then returned to Earth).

Replica Spear of Longinus Piercing Unit-02's AT Field from End of Evangelion.

The metamorphic capabilities observed in the replicas exceed that of the original: When the Eva Series are first sortied in 25', their Spears are initially disguised as massive, double-edged blades that bear no resemblance to their native forms. The weapons' true nature is revealed when one comes in contact with Unit-02's A.T. Field and, within seconds, responds by morphing instantaneously into its Spear shape. When the Spear copies are destroyed, they initially bubble up into LCL-colored masses with little lower bodies projecting out of them (as per Lilith on the cross). According to the storyboards, this substance actually is LCL.

Officially, the "double-edged blade" variation of the Spear copies goes by two different names. The script refers to them as 重い槍 (omoi yari), or "Heavy Spear". However, this term is rarely observed elsewhere, and 大剣 (ooken), or "Giant Sword", is seen in its stead.

Properties

The Spear may be considered to be a weapon of "god-like" power. N² weapons have enough destructive potential to bring minor to moderate amounts of damage upon some of the weaker Angels; and Evas can use armaments against Angels after nullifying the Angels' A.T. Fields with their own. However, the Spear of Longinus is capable of piercing the active, unneutralized A.T. Field of any Angel or Evangelion, entirely by itself.

The Spear is not of Terran origin, having been created by the First Ancestral Race, an ancient extraterrestrial humanoid species. The one seen in the show is also not the only Spear of Longinus created: Every Seed of Life, including both Adam and Lilith, was sent with a counterpart Spear, meaning seven in all.[1] At least one established function of the Spears is that of a "security device" capable of safeguarding the First Ancestral Race's plans should they somehow be compromised.

Spears of Longinus are technically alive and are even said to have wills of their own. The Spear featured in Evangelion belonged to Adam, whereas Lilith's is believed to have been lost or destroyed during First Impact.

Neon Genesis Evangelion History

First Impact

When the First Ancestral Race cast out the seeds of life, each contained a spear of Longinus intended to in some way control or restrict the power of the ententes contained within. Of the seeds cast out, two landed on Earth. Of these seeds, the first to land was the White Moon containing Adam, however before Adam-based life could be established, the Black Moon containing Lilith crash-landed on Earth. This collision, known as the First Impact, destroyed the spear brought along with it. Due to an unspecified law in the First Ancestral Race's plan[2], Adams spread of life was locked by his spear allowing life born from Lilith to be born.

Second Impact

In the year 2000, the Katsuragi Expedition unearthed Adam and the Spear in the Antarctic. The Spear was removed, briefly relocated to the Dead Sea region, and then shipped back to the South Pole in preparation for the Contact Experiment. After the experiment led to unforeseen consequences, the team attempted to wield the Spear against Adam to "reseal" it, but they failed. In classified video footage of the incident, scientists can be heard shouting off-screen that the Spear needs to be 'pulled back', and that it's "sinking in".[3] Second Impact could not be averted, and, ultimately, the Spear appears to be responsible for causing Adam's retroversion to an embryonic state.[4]

Present Time

Lilith impaled by the spear of Longinus.

The Spear first appears in the series in Episode 12 under wraps as it is transported from the Antarctic to NERV on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier.[5] It reappears at the end of Episode 14 as Rei is ordered by Gendo Ikari to go into Terminal Dogma to insert it into Lilith, the result of which is seen in Episode 15. It remains there until the battle with Arael, upon which Rei once again descends to collect it from Lilith in order to destroy Arael, which was floating in outer space high above Earth's atmosphere.[6]

The spear embedded in the Moon.

Rei uses Evangelion Unit-00 to hurl the Spear of Longinus like a javelin into Earth orbit, and kill the Angel. The Spear exceeds escape velocity, and is lost from Earth's orbit, becoming trapped in lunar orbit, and eventually landing on the Moon. After being thrown at Arael by Unit-00, the Spear of Longinus issues a sound very similar to an Evangelion's roar.

Third Impact

It finally returns in Episode 26' after reacting to the awakened and freed Evangelion Unit-01. It proceeds to become an important tool for the Human Instrumentality Project and merges with the Eva, creating the Tree of Life. However, after Shinji Ikari rejects the process, the Spear is regurgitated, destroys the copies used by the Mass Production Evangelions and leaves Earth accompanied by Unit-01.

Rebuild of Evangelion History

Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone

When Misato takes Shinji into terminal Dogma to show him what they are fighting to defend, Second Angel Lilith is seen being impaled being Spear of Longinus. The reason at the time for this is unclear.

Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance

Four spears of Longinus shown during second impact.

During the battle at Bethany Base, the weapon wielded by Unit-05 is referred to as "Anti-Angel Extermination Weapon Spear of Longinus Basic Type (Pseudo-Restoration)". While the weapon does not resemble a spear sharing more resemblance with a lance, the name suggests some sort of connection to the set of spears.

Later during a flashback to second impact, four Spears of Longinus[7] are shown along with four Adams suggesting each came with a spear.

Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo

Evangelion 13 wielding two spears of Longinus.

Kaworu and Shinji descend into Terminal Dogma in order to retrieve both the Spear of Longinus and the Spear of Cassius. Kaworu realized however that there were two versions of the Spear of Longinus in Lilith's corpse. Shinji pulling them out with Evangelion 13 causes Lilith's body to explode and are both held firmly by Evangelion 13 as it begins Fourth Impact. Kaworu attempts to stop Fourth Impact by impaling both Spears into Evangelion 13 just before his death.

Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon A Time

Evangelion Unit-01 and Evangelion 13 battling across the Golgotha Object using their spears.

While it was thought there were only four Adams and therefore four spears of Longinus, it is confirmed that there are actually five spears of Longinus all along, all but two which had been previously destroyed as a part of Gendos plan.

After taking both the remaining spears into the Minus Space using Evangelion 13, one of the spears is claimed by Evangelion Unit-01 and transformed into a new Spear of Cassius. The Spear of Longinus is then described to be "The Spear of Despair", as opposed to Cassius being the spear of hope before the two begin to battle. After Unit-01 forfeits its spear, Evangelion Imaginary appears before Shinji and Gendo and the spears fused with it, destroying them to form a new Lilith.

Other Media

Evangelion Detective History

In the artbook released with the game Evangelion Detective, there are four different designs of Spear of Longinus: Type A, Type B, Type C and Type D, with different designs to the tip and the arrangement of the body.

Trivia

  • To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the franchise, a crowd-funded project aiming to send a mini replica of the Spear to the moon was started in 2015.
  • The Spear is named after the Speara Longini (a.k.a "Spear of Longinus", "Spear of Destiny", "Holy Spear", etc.) a weapon that, according to Christian tradition, was used by the Roman soldier Longinus to stab Jesus Christ in the side to confirm his death at his crucifixion. Bearing the blood of the Son of God was said to, consequently, bestow the spear with supernatural properties, making it a much-sought-after artifact (in a manner similar to the Holy Grail). Over the centuries there have been many reports of the Holy Spear being rediscovered, buried in the Earth, most notably when the Spear was supposedly discovered during the Siege of Antioch in the First Crusade, becoming a rallying point for the besieged Crusaders and leading them to miraculously break the siege against all odds ("Holy-Spear" on Encyclopedia Britannica Online).
  • In Japanese, the Spear is called "Longinus no Yari", with "yari" being translatable as either "Spear" or "spear". The translation "Lance of Longinus" is utilized by ADV and Manga Entertainment's localizations and is, resultantly, in prominent use by the English-speaking fan community. However, a computer display in 25’ (see image) indicates that the official English rendition is, in fact, "Spear of Longinus".
  • The Spear was created in real life by webseries Man At arms.
  • In the pachinko games Shito, Futatabi and Saigo no Shisha, the Spear of Longinus can be used by Kaworu in Unit-04 to dispatch of Angels under certain conditions.

References

  1. Neon Genesis Evangelions: Another Cases. Kaworu's Scenario, "Good End".
  2. Two Seeds are not meant to co-exist on the same planet, and it is strongly implied that Adam's Spear—as the only one remaining on Earth—took the initiative to subdue its own counterpart Seed. Adam remained in suspended animation for billions of years while Lilith-based life was allowed to develop and prosper.
  3. Neon Genesis Evangelion. Episode 21'.
  4. Evangelion Chronicle.
  5. It is unclear why the Spear was still in Antarctica 15 years after Second Impact rather than being secured by NERV or SEELE years earlier.
  6. Neon Genesis Evangelion. Episode 22.
  7. The script refers to them only as yari (spear/lance).


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