Will Ansem, Seeker of Darkness, Betray Xehanort?

Will Ansem, Seeker of Darkness, Betray Xehanort?

With 13 villains working together, it seems less a question of if any of them will rebel as it is who the traitor will be.

I favor the theory that Young Xehanort will switch sides, there’s reason to be suspicious of Xigbar, Marluxia and Larxene are known traitors, and then we’ve got characters like Aqua (and possibly Saix) who might not want to be on Team Xehanort at all.

(Maybe we should have an entire tag for “who will betray Xehanort?”)

But what about Ansem, Seeker of Darkness?

Ansem doesn’t seem like a natural pick for a potential traitor. After all… he’s Xehanort. He’s even a Heartless. Ansem is even more obsessed with darkness than Master Xehanort is, so why would he ever rebel?

Well, you can rebel against the Seekers of Darkness without being a good guy.

On some levels, Ansem is the incarnation of Xehanort closest to Master Xehanort. However, they also seem to have different motives. Ansem seeks knowledge and power, and he’s fascinated by the darkness. He might even view darkness as the natural way of things:

“All worlds begin in darkness, and all so end. The heart is no different. Darkness sprouts within it, it grows, consumes it. Such is its nature. In the end, every heart returns to the darkness whence it came. You see, darkness is the heart’s true essence.”

Master Xehanort uses the darkness quite readily, but his ultimate goal is balance. He wants to tear down the “tyranny of light” by creating a world where light and darkness exist equally.

(Of course, he could be lying even in his own reports. We can’t guarantee we know Xehanort’s true motivations.)

Ansem never indicated that he wants balance. Only darkness.

Fans of Ansem as he appears in the first game often criticize Dream Drop Distance for retconning his motivation and goal, saying he was a more interesting villain before he was made a facet of Master Xehanort’s scheme. Then there’s the problem with his behavior at the end, since Xehanort should have known perfectly well that Kingdom Hearts was light.

While we’re at it, if Ansem and Xemnas were supposed to be preparing 7 lights and 13 darknesses, Ansem does an exceptionally bad job of it: trying to kill one of the princesses of heart, abandoning the others when he thinks he can reach Kingdom Hearts, and (in Re: Chain of Memories) directly killing a loyal member of Organization XIII.

But one prominent theme in Kingdom Hearts is that different incarnations of the same person can be individuals. Sora, Roxas, and Xion are all different from one another. Kari and NaminĂ© are not the same. Xemnas doesn’t act the same as Ansem, and none of them are identical to Master Xehanort.

Ansem is Xehanort’s Heartless, but they are no longer the same person. They have very different goals. And now Ansem seems to have taken a backseat in Xehanort’s plans. In Dream Drop Distance, he acts more like Riku’s personal villain; in the climax and the Kingdom Hearts III trailers, he mainly stands by silently while Xemnas handles the talking.

Even though Ansem seems closer to Master Xehanort in personality, it’s as if Xemnas is now acting as Xehanort’s right hand while Ansem has been relegated to a minor player.

Maybe he’s just biding his time so that he can stop his other self’s plan of “balance” and win a victory for the darkness.

What do you think? Do Ansem and Xehanort’s goals align well enough to keep peace within the Seekers of Darkness? Why has Ansem’s role diminished? Will he rebel against the group? Share your thoughts and theories in the comments.

Tags: ansem, master xehanort, xehanort
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