- "I love war"
— The Major's catchphrase
Appearance[edit | edit source]
The Major is a short, plump man with blond hair and golden eyes. His hair is oddly styled, with a longer section coming up and then down again in the front left side of his head, like a folded piece of paper. He is seen with a wide grin throughout most of the series, although there are a couple scenes where he is seen frowning. This grin is described as being "half laughing" and it is mentioned his cheek moves very little.
He is dressed impeccably, wearing an expensive white suit with a long matching overcoat, white gloves, glasses, and a black tie with a red gem on it. In flashbacks, he is seen in a German SS Officer's uniform, but with the coat draped over his shoulders like a cloak.
In the Hellsing manga, the Major has blue eyes and metallic grey hair, the latter of which matches his entire outfit.
Personality[edit | edit source]
The Major's defining trait in the series is a complete and utter obsession with war. By his own admission, he loves war in any and all of its aspects; even being on the losing side or having his own life at risk provokes nothing but glee and excitement. His insane devotion to war is evident in the sheer fondness with which he regards the havoc Millennium wreaks upon the world, as well as his cavalier approach to death, which was passed on to most of his forces through his speeches. Despite being a former Nazi, the Major does not care for the reasons behind any war, and appears to have no political or ideological leanings. Even during World War II, his enthusiastic work on the Millennium project was solely to ensure that he could wage war forever.
Contrasting his fanatical love of war, the Major is very calm, patient, and soft-spoken, almost always speaking in a polite, amused tone. One can see he seems to prefer an upper-class lifestyle, often seen eating high-class steaks and red wine, as well as wearing expensive clothes. Additionally, he seems to be well-versed in history and literature, often referencing both during speech. He is very eloquent and well-spoken, and often engages in numerous soliloquy-esque monologues. He is a military genius, having planned his attack on London for over half a century, and witnessing almost every detail go according to plan.
He speaks endearingly to his enemies, calling Alucard "My Dazzling Count" after declaring his hatred towards him, and respectfully calling Integra "fräulein." Despite not caring whether his soldiers live or die, he acts as if he cares for them as a group, giving them morale speeches and making note of acts worthy of reward; however, this does not extend to traitors, who he will happily have executed. He also has no qualms about dealing out punishment for other forms of insubordination, which in his "I Love War" speech is one of the things he declares enjoying. 
However, The Major freely admits his own evil while mocking the righteousness of his enemies; when he crashes the Queen's meeting in Volume 4, he mocks both Integra and Maxwell's beliefs while claiming that Millennium has no goals beyond wanton destruction and slaughter.
Despite being a self-proclaimed fiend and madman, the Major is very proud and protective of his humanity, which he defines as his willpower and "soul". During the fall of Berlin, he rejected the temptation to drink blood and ensure his survival by becoming a vampire, even though he seemed to be on the verge of death, and even though vampirism would mean he would be able "to taste life eternal and wage war throughout the centuries." It is this pride that leads to the Major's campaign against Alucard, who he views as a monster and an inherently inferior being for sacrificing his humanity for power - a sentiment ironically shared by Alucard himself. He also lists some of reasons for hating Alucard being because Alucard is "beautiful" and "loved" despite being a monster.
Plot[edit | edit source]
World War II[edit | edit source]
A former first lieutenant of the SS, the Major was chosen by Adolf Hitler to execute a top-secret project (Special Order #666) to perfect an artificial vampirization process, using the corpse of Mina Harker as raw material. The success of this project would allow the Nazis to utilize vampires in battle and turn the tide of the war in their favor. Unfortunately for the Nazis, a young Walter Dornez and Alucard tracked their operations to Warsaw, Poland in 1944 and seemingly destroyed their research.
Some time after this, the Major was among a group of soldiers who were overrun by Soviets after taking part in the fruitless defense of Berlin. He was the only survivor of the group, and even then only just - by the time the Soviets left, the Major had been beaten, shot, and left to die among the corpses of his comrades. As he clung to life, he noticed the blood around the battlefield beginning to move towards him. From the pooling blood, a dark voice spoke to the Major, asking him to drink the blood and become an unstoppable monster. However, the Major forced the blood away from him through sheer force of will, refusing to throw away his humanity even on the brink of death. Shortly afterwards, the Major was retrieved by the Doctor, who saved his life by transforming him into a cyborg. Soon afterward, the Major and his subordinates managed to escape to South America unharmed to continue their research (with the help of the Vatican).
Several higher-ranking Nazi officers accompanied the newly-formed Millennium to their South American hideout and attempted to exert their authority, but the vampire officers loyal to the Major quickly executed them after a colonel tried to beat The Major into submission.
Over the next fifty years, the Major oversaw the apparent success of Millennium's work, as they eventually transformed a thousand elite Waffen-SS soldiers into vampires. However, with World War II over, the Major's goals for his army had changed; instead of creating a Reich that would last for a thousand years (hence the name "Millennium"), he only sought to drive the entire world into chaos, thus creating a "glorious war" that Millennium could fight for all time. He also developed a fixation with Alucard, seeing him as an antithesis to himself, and began developing an elaborate scheme to permanently defeat the powerful vampire.
Early Actions[edit | edit source]
In 1999, the Major began setting his schemes into motion, having his minions create an upsurge in vampire attacks by capturing people and turning them into artificial vampires. When Integra Hellsing met Enrico Maxwell in a local art museum, the Major was watching from a nearby diner, gleefully observing the barely-averted confrontation between Alucard and Alexander Anderson. Satisfied that the "new" breed of vampires had gotten the attention of both Hellsing and Iscariot, the Major sent Jan and Luke Valentine to attack Hellsing Manor during a meeting of the Convention of Twelve. Although the brothers' stated objective was to kill the Convention of Twelve, their true goal was to slaughter as much of Hellsing's forces as possible while also gathering information on their combat capabilities.
When Alucard, Seras, and Pip Bernadotte went to Brazil in search of leads on Millennium, the Major directed his local agent, Tubalcain Alhambra, to stop them. When the BOPE forces allied with the Nazis proved useless, the Major called Tubalcain with orders to personally engage Alucard. Although Tubalcain failed and was consumed by Alucard, the Major was unperturbed, as everything was going according to plan. Since Alucard had access to Millennium's plans through drinking Tubalcain's blood, the Major knew that a meeting of the major powers in Britain was inevitable; exactly what he wanted.
Declaration of War[edit | edit source]
When the Queen of England called Iscariot and the Convention of Twelve to an emergency meeting about the return of Millennium, Schrödinger appeared with a communicator that allowed the Major to speak with his gathered foes. He calmly mocked both Integra and Maxwell, claiming that Millennium had no true goals and questioning the sanity of a God that would allow "madmen" like himself to exist. He ended the conversation by declaring war on England, claiming that it was only the beginning of a global conflict the likes of which no one had ever seen.
With his enemies on high alert, the Major began preparing the next phase of his plan. While the bulk of Millennium's forces began heading to London aboard three zeppelins - including his flagship, the Deus Ex Machina- a group of vampires under the command of Rip van Winkle took control of a British aircraft carrier out at sea. Unbeknownst to the British forces, the hijacked Eagle was both a distraction and a lure - the ultimate goal of Rip's occupation was to trap Alucard at sea, thus leaving him unable to stop Millennium's invasion of London.
When Alucard arrived on the Eagle and slaughtered the Nazi crew, the Major had Schrödinger bring another transmitter to the ship so he could congratulate Rip van Winkle on a job well done. He also prevented the Doctor from terminating his First Lieutenant with her implanted transmitter, claiming that cremation was an unfitting end for Rip. Promising that they would meet again "in Valhalla", the Major led his army in saluting Rip van Winkle even as Alucard consumed her completely. Watching the triumphant vampire cackling on his screen, the Major swore that Rip's sacrifice would allow him to eventually defeat Alucard once and for all.
The Invasion[edit | edit source]
With Alucard now trapped aboard the Eagle, and with Britain’s communication and defense infrastructure disabled, the British government now had no way to muster forces to defend against the Major’s invasion. As the zeppelins approached London, the Major gave his troops a motivating speech extolling the glory of war. He tasked Zorin Blitz with the assault on Hellsing Manor, assigning her the zeppelin Alfred Rosenberg and about a third of his troops. Before Zorin left, the Major warned her not to underestimate Integra or Seras, as they were "unknown variables" and far more dangerous than their appearances suggested. Once Zorin had left, the Major led the Letzte Battalion in a toast to their impending victory before beginning Millennium's attack on London with a barrage of missiles. As the modified V1s ravaged London and the SS troopers leapt into the city, the Major sat back and drank in the chaos.
Eventually, the Major decided to get a better view of the battle, standing outside on the tip of the Deus Ex Machina's armored nose. He received Schrödinger's report about Zorin's failure and death at Hellsing Manor with little surprise, commenting that he had expected the "foolish girl" to not heed his warnings. As the Major watched Maxwell's army of Papal Knights arrive in London, the Doctor arrived to beg him to come back inside; instead, the Major asked the Doctor about their "special project". Expressing satisfaction with the results, he proceeded to broadcast an order to his troops, reminding them to put on their masks to avoid damage from the Papal Knights' ultraviolet flares.
When the Vatican army began its attack, the Major remained atop his airship, gleefully "conducting" the battle below. He did not flinch or pause even as the Deus Ex Machina began taking fire from Maxwell's gunships, and merely posed dramatically as an assault helicopter aimed its gatling guns at him. The chopper was cut down by a rejuvenated and vampirized Walter - now allied with Millennium, leaving the Major to continue observing his war. When Alucard returned to London aboard the Eagle, confronting Anderson and the Captain between the massed armies of Millennium and the Vatican, the Major declared that all the "players" were present in his "Walpurgis Dawn"; the final battle was about to begin in earnest.
Endgame[edit | edit source]
As Alucard unleashed his full power (Control Art Restriction System: Level Zero), the Major exulted at the "river of death" manifesting below him, sharply contrasting the horrified realization of Enrico Maxwell and the armies below. The Major eventually returned to his command chair within the Deus Ex Machina, requesting that Walter make him a cup of cocoa while he watched Alexander Anderson face off with Alucard for the last time. When the remaining paladins of Iscariot arrived to support their leader, the Major commented that all of the surviving combatants in London had become one and the same; whether in the name of God, Nazism, or Alucard, they were all consumed by battle lust and the desire to defeat their foes even as their allies were cut down around them.
As the remnants of the Letzte Battalion continued to fall to Alucard's familiars, the Major ordered the troops still aboard his zeppelin to redistribute all remaining weapons and ammo among the surviving forces, with improvised melee weaponry being issued to those who would not receive guns. One of his officers protested, declaring that he refused to let any more of his men die needlessly, but the Major laughed at his "naivety" and attempted to shoot him. When every bullet missed, the Major had his other soldiers shoot the dissident, commenting that his aim was as bad as ever.
After appointing a new interim commander for his dwindling forces, the Major sent Walter and the Captain into the city to stand by and wait for the outcome of Alucard's battle with Anderson. When the former triumphed over the Iscariot paladin, even after Anderson used Helena's Nail to empower himself, the Major gave his final soldiers clearance to proceed. Walter killed Yumie Takagi before engaging Alucard in battle, while the Captain prevented Heinkel Wolfe from interfering. The Major taunted the survivors of Hellsing and Iscariot as the heavily damaged Deus Ex Machina landed in the street, giving Integra and Seras the chance to confront the head of Millennium directly.
The Final Hour[edit | edit source]
After killing the Letzte Battalion forces manning the zeppelin, Integra arrived in the control room where the Major was waiting. Protected behind a wall of bulletproof glass, the Major told Integra that she was just in time to watch his final triumph over Alucard, who had just defeated Walter. As the vampire began absorbing all the blood in London, the Major patiently watched and waited, mocking Walter's last desperate attempt to kill Alucard. Musing that his nemesis had now gained millions of lives by absorbing blood, the Major explained to the distraught Walter that he was just another life sacrificed for his grand plan of destroying Alucard for good.
When Alucard finally finished absorbing the blood, the Major gleefully announced that he had won - moments later, Alucard began to disappear. Integra demanded to know what was happening, and the Major was more than happy to explain: Schrödinger had killed himself and fallen into the rivers of blood, allowing Alucard to absorb him and gain the power of "the self-observing Schrödinger's Cat". However, Schrödinger's powers relied on his ability to perceive himself as an individual; since Alucard had millions of souls within himself, he was unable to control his newly-gained powers. Before Integra and the Major's eyes, Alucard vanished into thin air as he became "a collection of imaginary numbers", neither alive nor dead.
With Alucard gone, his army annihilated, and the Deus Ex Machina falling apart around him, the Major calmly faced Integra Hellsing and challenged her to kill him, stating that she was destined to be his slayer as he was Alucard's. After killing the Captain, Seras joined Integra and attacked the Major with her Harkonnen cannon, but the powerful shots barely cracked the glass wall. The Major wryly lamented that the Doctor had done too good of a job, but became elated when Seras pulled an 88 mm flak cannon from the armory beneath them. This enormous gun proved strong enough to shatter the shield, hit the Major, and punch through the wall of the zeppelin in the process.
As the smoke cleared, the Major lay on the ground with most of his left side blown off, revealing his cyborg nature. Integra claimed this meant he was a monster, but the Major insisted that he was still a human because he had retained his own will and mind - he claimed that his ability to defeat Alucard was proof of his humanity, and made a short speech of it. Drawing a small pistol from his coat, he again challenged Integra, asking her to "make war" with him. He repeatedly fired at his advancing foe without success, but finally managed to shoot her in the left eye as she shot him in the forehead. Despite this, the Major died with a smile, happy that he had finally managed to shoot something. As the machinery sustaining his life ground to a halt, he gloated to Integra that he had achieved everything he had set out to do; he had finished his grand war and destroyed Alucard. Integra retorted that Alucard would return one day, as he refused to die at the hands of anything but a human - and for all his claims to the contrary, the Major was still a monster. The Major's corpse was last seen burning on what remained of of the "Deus Ex Machina" after Seras and Integra escaped from the burning wreckage.
Although the Major died without regrets, long-term events would prove that he had ultimately failed. Far from being the seed of a world-consuming war, Millennium's attack on London was eventually classified as no more than a terrorist incident ("The Zeppelin Affair") despite the death toll numbering over 3 million (closer to 3.06 million due to the US casualties listed in Volume 10). The city was rebuilt, with both Hellsing and Iscariot regrouping and gradually restoring their strength. Even the Major's plan to defeat Alucard eventually proved futile - thirty years after his apparent "death", Alucard managed to return, having gained control of Schrödinger's powers by destroying all of the other souls within himself.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
Gifted Orator: Like his Führer before him The Major's main asset is his ability to inspire his troops with enthusiastic speeches. He can take almost any situation and spin it into a speech that will strengthen Millennium's morale for their next operation. Probably the best example of the Major's oration abilities is his famous "I love war" speech from OVA 4, where Millennium is preparing their assault on London.
Human Will: During a flashback, it is revealed that through sheer force of will, The Major was able to repel blood that would have turned him into a vampire, even causing it to form a circle around him. It is unknown if all humans are actually capable of this, or if The Major was one of few. After he is shot and revealed to be part machine, he claims it is his will that drives him, and claims a human's will to be "precious beyond all worth" and to be what defines a human, even going as far as to claim it is the one trait that puts humans above even angels (as according to the Bible, the angels do not possess free will).
Biological Immortality: As a cyborg, he's forever young. As long as the machinery powering his life functions is kept in good working order, he is effectively immune to dying of natural causes.
Master Strategist: The Major is an effective planner and strategist, developing complex plans to achieve his goals for over half a century. He accounts for the personalities and usual mannerisms of allies and enemies alike and never takes anything for granted - notably, he considers Integra and Seras to be high-priority threats simply because he knows little about their capabilities.
Weaknesses[edit | edit source]
Limited Marksmanship: The Major has some training with small firearms, apparently favoring pistols. Unfortunately, his aim is abysmal, leaving him unable to hit a target even if it is stationary and only a few feet away. This is shown when he tried to execute the captain of the Deus Ex Machina for insubordination, and ends up missing all 8 shots from his pistol at point-blank range, causing The Doctor to mock his poor marksmanship and question how he managed to get into the SS. This is shown again during his final duel with Integra Hellsing, where out of his 8 shots, he only grazes the eye of Integra, despite her being at close range and actually approaching him, which he states to himself is the first time he has ever hit someone with a gun.
Speeches[edit | edit source]
- I Love War - Reveals Personality, and demonstrates his ability to lead men into battle. Most famous of his speeches in the series.
- Views on Alucard - Reveals some of his backstory, and his views on Alucard and vampirism, particularly its costs.
- Death Speech - His final moments, he reveals that he values his humanity over power, and explains that what makes someone a human is their will.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- When he makes his first full appearance (in Hellsing volume three), the Major appears to be much slimmer than in future volumes. This is most likely because Kouta Hirano had not yet decided on a final look for the character.
- There are a few minor but noticeable inconsistencies in the Major's appearance towards the end of volume 10. In one panel, he has clearly lost half of his left leg, but in his very last appearance, it appears to be entirely intact. Also, the remains of his glasses are shown falling to the floor after Integra shoots him, but they are back on his face immediately afterwards.
- The prototype for the Major appeared in Hirano's earlier manga "Coyote". In the manga, he was mostly the same character with a few slight differences including being a lot slimmer, and being referred to by the name "Montana Max".
- Hellsing fans have adopted "Montana Max" as the Major's real name (including members of the OVA's English Dub cast), but as it has never been written in any of the dialogue, it is still considered unofficial.
- Before the reveal of the Major's true nature, some fans - and ADR Director Taliesin Jaffe - theorized that he was actually the incarnation/mortal disguise of a war god. They pointed to the Major's love of war, his apparent lack of a real name, his mysterious past, and his apparent immortality as clues, and the idea was briefly referenced in Volume 4, when Maxwell tells Anderson that the enemy of the Ninth Crusade was Mars, the Roman god of war.
- In the English Commentary of Hellsing: Ultimate IV, Taliesin Jaffe stated that the Major's "War Speech" was one of the hardest things he had ever directed, taking around three days to complete.
- As an additional joke, Jaffe added a "Karaoke Version" of the Major's speech in the Limited Edition of the DVD.
- The Major's infamous "I Love War" speech may have been inspired by the "Total War" speech given by Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels in 1943 as the tide of World War II began to turn on the Axis powers.
- The Major's desire for a war-torn world is similar to the motives of Liquid Snake from the Metal Gear series. However, their motives differ; while the Major loves war for its own sake, Liquid Snake wanted to create a world which always had a place for soldiers like himself.
- According to Hirano, The Major is an Otaku.
- Unlike Alucard and Anderson, when faced with a moment of utter despair and defeat, the Major chose to reject supernatural powers in exchange for his life and soul. This further strengthens his portrayal as Alucard's opposite, compared to Anderson's role as Alucard's foil/counterpart. Though this distinction is reduced somewhat by the fact that, though the major rejected supernatural power, he still allowed himself to be transformed into something other than human to survive. In that sense he was more like Alucard that Anderson as both Alucard and the Major were horrible warmongers and both became something other than human to escape despair and defeat.
- Before 1941, the Major was a first lieutenant. It is unclear how he was promoted to his current rank, but it is possible the promotion came due to Major's successful involvement in the vampire project. If so, it's possible that he would have been promoted again when the research bore fruit, had Nazi Germany not been defeated.
- Although he failed to destroy Alucard, he suppressed Alucard's blood interrogation power since Schrödinger is inside Alucard, leaving Alucard handicapped from interrogating future enemies.
- In The Hellsing Ultimate OVA, The Major is the only character to make an appearance in all ten episodes.
- Kouta Hirano confirmed The Major's motif is based on American actor Philip Seymour Hoffman on his own twitter.
- The degree of his cyborg-nature is uncertain. The Major was seen consuming beverages and food, he also bled when injured, so it can be assumed that a good part of his body was still biological. The circumstance that the Major still displayed a poor marksmanship, not enhanced by his artificial parts, suggests that his mechanical components were limited to life support.