Zelgadiss Graywords (Japanese: ゼルガディス=グレイワーズ Romaji: zerugadisu gureiwāzu; English: also Zelgadis Greywers or Zelgadis Greywords; nickname ゼル Zel) is a sorcerer-swordsman in Slayers. His Japanese voice actor is 緑川光 Hikaru Midorikawa. In the English dub, he was originally voiced by Daniel Cronin. However, after episode 13 there was a two year break in dubbing and Software Sculptors eventually lost contact with him.  Since episode 18, Zelgadiss has been voiced by Crispin Freeman.
Zelgadiss is around 21-22 years old, but he ages at half the speed that humans do due to his condition. He was turned into a chimera when he was roughly 18-19, 3 years before his first appearance. His height is 178 cm (5'10"); he weights between 80-90 kilograms (176-198 lbs) as a chimera, and was 60 kilograms (132 lbs) before his transformation.
In the series, Zelgadiss says that Rezo is either his grandfather or great-grandfather, but Hajime Kanzaka later decided that Rezo is his great-grandfather only (the rumor that Rezo was both was a result of bad translations).
According to an interview comment by Kanzaka, Rezo killed Zelgadiss' parents, and he apparently has no other living relatives. The murder of his parents was seen as an accident, and Zelgadiss apparently never learned of Rezo's implication in it.
Zelgadiss originally highly respected his great-grandfather, and attempted to aid his efforts of helping those in need to the best of his ability: He trained hard to be a skilled fighter; he also studied magic but not as seriously. Still not feeling qualified enough for the tasks before him, Zelgadiss strived to become more powerful. Rezo tricked him by granting him the power he wanted, in the form of turning his body into a chimera - one part rock golem, one part blow demon, and one part human. Then he had him put into drastic training to teach him the magic skill he would need to find the Philosopher's Stone. Zelgadiss, while troubled by his disfiguring appearance, still viewed it as the fulfillment of his wish and was prepared to put it to good use. He accidentally learned however, that his transformation was simply a test for Rezo in making chimeras; another method by which he tried to gain sight. After that, he came to hate both the Red Priest and what he made him to be.
His ultimate goal now is to find a way to turn his body back to its rightful form, and he goes to great lengths to accomplish this, even after it was revealed that Rezo himself doesn't know how to reverse his condition. According to Kanzaka, such a cure definitely exists, and Zelgadiss would likely find it after the events of the novel series.
His great-grandfather's betrayal left him very serious, reserved, and angst-ridden; he tends to be something of an enigma even to his comrades, due to his quiet and asocial nature. The possible effects that his transformation could have had on his psyche are unknown outside of nightmares and an increased tendency toward aggressiveness. While not a malevolent person by any stretch, he seems to have no problems with being regarded as evil by those afraid of him, to the point that he actually took a liking to the "heartless mystical swordsman" title they once addressed him as. Being seen as a monster is where he draws the line, however.
In magic, shamanism is Zelgadiss's area of expertise. He knows the most powerful spells of both spirit shamanism and earth shamanism. He's also quite proficient in wind shamanism, having created a variant of Ray Wing that he can cast on others instead of himself. He has quite a few good fire spells at his disposal, and while he uses water magic less often, he can cast the Van Rail. His black magic is also decent, but does not go beyond Dynast Breath-class spells.
Aside from magic, Zelgadis is also an exceptional swordsman, thanks to his superhuman abilities as a chimera. He is able to enchant his otherwise mundane sword using the Astral Vine spell, allowing it to harm mazoku upon direct contact. Though his skills with the sword were never directly commented upon, his mastery is most shown when he held his own - for a short while, at least - against a merciless Gourry Gabriev who was, at the time, under Hellmaster's control. (The same encounter reveals, however, that Zelgadis regards Gourry's swordsmanship as clearly superior to his own.)
Zelgadiss' body allows him abilities normal humans do not have. His golem DNA gives him rock-hard hard skin, hair as stiff as thick, steel wire, and increased strength and endurance, allowing him to run extended periods of time without becoming exhausted or lift Filia's mace with ease while Lina falls under its weight. His hair is so thick and sharp that it can be used as blades that he can throw. Zelgadiss' weight also seems to be considerably increased, as he was once used as an anchor for a boat. His blow demon DNA gives him superior speed and senses, especially hearing. His demonic nature also goes further than increasing his speed and senses by giving him a noticeable boost to his pool capacity. In other words, while it does not affect the power of his spells, it does allow him to cast more of them before becoming exhausted.
In combat, Zelgadiss has a tendency to be cold-blooded, intelligent and even cold-hearted on occasion; he always uses the exact quantity of power necessary to defeat a foe, no more and no less. To accomplish this, he combines swordplay and spellcasting with great skill.
Lina Inverse: Zelgadiss and Lina have mutual respect for each other and share a strong friendship. Both are fairly intelligent, and they can relate on several technical aspects of magic. However, they do not always get along, as Zelgadiss is not very patient, and Lina often drags him on what he deems to be annoying and unnecessary side trips.
Gourry Gabriev: He and Zelgadiss have a fairly good friendship which mostly shines through when the girls around them are acting crazy. Zelgadiss accepts Gourry as an idiotic, but skilled swordsman and kind friend, and Gourry accepts Zel for who he is without judgement.
Amelia Wil Tesla Saillune: Zelgadiss and Amelia got off to a bad start. The first thing she did in his presence was point and question his appearance. As a result, this made him immediately dislike her, which made her cautious around him as well. However, as time went on and they got to know each other better both in and out of battle, they became good companions. They can often relate with each other the strangeness of certain situations, and they often engage in small talk. They work together often in battle, casting the same spell at the same time for a double effect. Many fans have seen evidence that Zelgadiss has romantic feelings for Amelia; it is confirmed that she certainly has feelings for him (although in the original novels, this is far less evident).
Xelloss: Zelgadiss hates him. Any suspicious behavior from Xelloss infuriates Zelgadiss and drives him crazy. He cannot stand the idea of Xelloss gaining an advantage over him (though Xelloss is the only member of the Slayers not to make fun of Zel's appearance). Throughout episodes 14-17 of Slayers NEXT, Xelloss led them on several side-quests leading to the Claire Bible, which Zelgadiss wanted to use in order for him to change himself back. However, each case had turned up empty, causing the enraged chimera to either beat him up or chase him around.
Zelgadiss' original comrades were Zolf, Rodimus, Dilgear, and Noonsa - their friendship was what made Zelgadiss initially accept his condition as a chimera. He sent them out to find the Philosopher's Stone. The first two were quite loyal towards him; unfortunately, Zolf and Rodimus were killed by Ruby Eye Shabranigdu, Dilgear joined Rezo and turned against him, and Noonsa was killed by Zel himself when he tried to drown Lina. Zelgadiss once said he would not be lonely in the afterlife, as his friends would be there waiting for him.
- Slayers novels
- Slayers VS Orphen novel
- Slayers anime (EP02-EP10, EP18-EP26)
- Slayers NEXT (EP01-EP26)
- Slayers TRY (EP01-EP15, EP17-EP26)
- Slayers REVOLUTION
- Slayers EVOLUTION-R
- Slayers Premium movie
- Slayers: Super-Explosive Demon Story
- Slayers Premium manga
- Slayers VS Orphen CD drama
- Slayers Royal
- Slayers Royal 2
- Slayers Wonderful
- Chimera Kage (Archive Link) - An in-depth shrine and approved fanlisting to Zelgadiss, providing fans with info and media since late 1998.
- Slayers Premium DVD "BEHIND THE SCENES WITH CRISPIN FREEMAN" (ADV Films)