|“||... It doesn't matter. You don't need to trust me. Just use me. After all... I'm trying to do the same to you.||”|
—Retrace XIII: A Lost Raven
Xerxes Break (ザークシーズ＝ブレイク, Zaakushiizu Bureiku), often referred to by his Pandora alias "Mad Hatter" (イカレ帽子屋"マッドハッター", Ikare Boushiya "Maddo Hattaa") was a protagonist from Jun Mochizuki's Pandora Hearts. He worked as a representative of Pandora under the Rainsworth Dukedom. It was he who organized efforts to facilitate Oz's escape from Abyss, though this ended up being in vain when Oz escaped on his own. Break conscripted Oz and Alice as his subordinates after threatening to arrest them. Most Pandora missions are delivered to Oz and his friends via Break, and Break serves as a mentor figure to the other protagonists.
Born into a family of knights as Kevin Legnard (ケビン＝レグナード, Kebin Regunaado) about twenty to thirty years after the Tragedy of Sablier, he served a minor noble house known as the Sinclair Family. Considerable social unrest followed the Tragedy of Sablier and a civil war had broken out within the country. Though the Four Great Dukedoms were considered the legitimate rulers of the country at the time, the Sinclair Family opposed them. One day, while Kevin was on a trip with the youngest daughter of the Sinclairs, the rest of the family died in an "accident." He became determined to revive them, Illegally Contracting a Chain called Albus and killing over a hundred people in sacrifice to the Intention of the Abyss. He became known as the Red-Eyed Specter (赤眼の亡霊, Akame no Bourei). When his contract was terminated and he was dragged to Abyss, the Intention met him personally to gouge out his eyes. Though she successfully took his left eye, she was interrupted by Vincent, and Break was able to convince her to alter time and prevent the Sinclair Family's death. In exchange, the Intention of Abyss asked that Break find a way to kill her.
He arrived at the Rainsworth Door to Abyss thirty years later, discovered by a young Sharon Rainsworth and Reim Lunettes. For fear of prosecution, Kevin claimed his name was Xerxes Break. After some investigation, Break learned the Sinclair Family had survived only a few more years before dying even more horribly as a result of his actions. Stricken by grief, he rejected those around him until he was approached by Shelly Rainsworth. Soon he grew close to Shelly and her daughter, and while only legally recognized as Sharon's valet, Break was acknowledged by the Rainsworths as her family.
Commonly referred to as Break, he is a member of Pandora and a servant of the Rainsworth household. Like Sharon, Break's appearance did not change during the ten year gap between Oz entering and escaping from the Abyss, on account of having a legal contract with the Mad Hatter. Break is often seen with a doll on his shoulder, which he calls Emily. He adores sweets and cakes. He has short white hair and wine-red eyes. He usually carries a sword disguised as a cane. Break has no left eye, as it was taken by the Intention of the Abyss and given to Cheshire. (As shown in Chapter 030 of the manga: Snow White Chaos)
On the surface, Break seems a carefree character, never serious and always smiling, with a weak spot for all kinds of sweets and cakes. Sometimes he eats whole cubes of sugar that which he always brings along with him. When needs be, however, Break can also be sinister and dangerous. Reim tells Oz that Break has not always been the way he is now. Before, after losing his eye and for a short while after, he was a bitter and angry person, never smiling. However, through the kindness of Shelly, Sharon's mother, he began to open up. It seems though that some of the emotions from his past still linger as he becomes slightly depressed when he is reminded of it. He has sworn absolute loyalty to Shelly; promising not to die until he has fulfilled the Intention's wish. Break's true motive is to find the truth behind what happened 100 years ago. He hates Vincent with a passion, due to him ordering Echo to attack Sharon, who afterwards was poisoned by Vincent. In Retrace 42, it is shown that Break has become blind. However, he can still differentiate different objects placed in front of him, but not people's faces. He states that he will lose that ability soon. Break says very early in the series that he might not have another year left of his life, as the strain of his contract is slowly crippling his body. He is therefore eager to achieve his goals as quickly as possible, even taking extreme measures when necessary.
He is very protective of Sharon. While he once said that he sees Sharon as a daughter, as Sharon matured with Break looking after her, Sheryl Rainsworth sees it more as a brother-sister relationship. He still looks after and worries about Sharon throughout the series although she is already old enough to do things on her own. There are times when he does not mention where he is going or the condition of his health to Sharon so as not worry her. Sharon especially gets mad when he does this; calling him Mister One-man-show. Break did not immediately tell Sharon about his blindness, fearing it would worry her and make her cry. In the end he finally does tell her and finds Sharon's reaction to be positive and supportive. At this point, Break starts to realize that Sharon is no longer a young girl, but a growing woman.
Abilities and Powers
Break has shown some magical ability. An example would be when Oz was possessed by Alice after they left the Abyss, Break set up a magic trap that kept Oz from moving while showing a magic circle on the floor.
Since he was formerly a knight, Break is also an excellent swordsman. He can easily defeat enemies without the use of his Chain. He deflected Fang's huge blade, given that he was blind and his sword was much smaller. He also stabbed Noise's hand and impaled her stomach.
- See More: Mad Hatter
Mad Hatter is Break's current chain. It resembles the Alice in Wonderland character of the same name but gives off a more sinister feel. Mad Hatter resembles a giant top hat with flowery decorations, under which is one big eye. It has the power to reject and destroy the power of the Abyss and exists for the purpose of killing other Chains.
Because Mad Hatter is his second contract, it is very dangerous to Break and strains the condition of his body. Even by using a little bit of Mad Hatter's power may leave his body in a critical state, making him cough up blood and almost unable to walk on his own. It is probably that this is also a consequence of his previous contract. As seen in Oz, an illegal contract can give the contractor extreme chest pain and creating a new contract only makes it worse.
"Please... no matter how much despair awaits them... Let what remains at the end of their stories… Be like that sunny day… Full of gentle light."
- "Are you going to finish that?"
- "I am the one who serves this dukedom... My name is Xerxes Break. By the way, this little one is Emily."
- "You...are an uncute brat."
- "Where in the world are you?"
- "You are one eerie brat.."
- "Oz-Kun. You've got three alternatives. First. If time continues to pass... the darkness of the incuse will also devour you. Second. If you keep looking for the truth... there may be a way to save yourself. And third. If you find the answer to THAT question, perhaps I...Remember this, Oz- Kun... That which ultimately remains... may not be hope!"
- "Say, Oz-Kun? You... Or I? Who will be the first to run out of time?"
- "There are a lot of things I would like to tell you, if I have the time."
- "Fortunately, you're a reasonable woman."
- "Hey, miss, Do you want...to be my friend?"
- "So...well...Sharon...for a little while...let me be...a good-for-nothing, just like this.''
- "Before I knew it,you turned into a really strong woman.''
- "Let me tell you something... People that misbehave for other people's sake, are the ones I hate most!"
To Gilbert Nightray
- "So throw away those useless emotions, I'll show you how to use everything and everyone available."
- "Let me give you a word of advice. A loyalty that holds fast will become a blade, and will pierce someday those you hold dear. So open your eyes wide. That is, if you... don't want to end up like me..."
- "Listen, Gilbert. You must remember your priorities. If there's only one person you wish to protect, you must be cruel enough to get rid of everything else. Because no one can get back what they've lost."
(*) - Denotes that the character did not appear physically, but as a part of another character's memories.
- Break's character heavily draws inspiration from The Mad Hatter of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures In Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass And What Alice Found There. The most prominent attributes Break and The Mad Hatter share include:
- Both Break and The Mad Hatter have eaten plates in front of the main protagonist.
- Both Break and The Mad Hatter began new lives under a pseudonym (Kevin Legnard to "Xerxes Break" and The Mad Hatter to "Hatta").
- Break has a friendship with the character meant to represent The March Hare, whom is The Mad Hatter's best friend.
- Another character from Lewis Carroll's Through The Looking Glass And What Alice Found There whom Break draws inspiration from is The White Knight. Some of these attributes used for Break's inspiration include:
- Break held the position of knight in his past life while serving under Lord Roman Sinclair.
- Break had an Illegal Contract with Albus the White Knight, whom was meant to draw inspiration from The White Knight as well.
- Both Break and The White Knight are rather elderly, and worry about being unable to be there for a protagonist, with Break worrying about Sharon to contrast Alice.
- The final character from Lewis Carroll's Through The Looking Glass And What Alice Found There whom acted as inspiration was Old Father William. Old Father William was a character mentioned in a poem who seemed capable of anything, despite initially being believed to be old and senile, much like Break.
- Break had the habit of appearing and disappearing out from underneath beds, or from within closets and pantries, however how he does this has never been explained.
- Break can will himself to never get intoxicated.
- He shares a voice actor with The Teacher from The Case Study of Vanitas.
|Current Duke/Duchess||Sheryl Rainsworth|
|Members||Shelly Rainsworth (†) • Sharon Rainsworth (†)|
|Valets||Xerxes Break (†)|
|Previous Valets||Reim Lunettes (†)|
|Chains||Owl • Equus • Mad Hatter|
|Previous Dukes/Duchesses||Raymond Nightray (†) • Arthur Barma (†) • Sara Vessalius (†) • Bernard Nightray (†) • Bernice Nightray (†) • Oscar Vessalius (†) • Rufus Barma(†)|
|Members||Gilbert Nightray • Alice • Sharon Rainsworth(†) • Reim Lunettes • The General • Turner|
|Previous Members||Jack Vessalius (†) • Gruner (†) • Vincent Nightray • Elliot Nightray (†) • Fred Nightray (†) • Claude Nightray (†) • Ernest Nightray (†) • Vanessa Nightray (†) • Shelly Rainsworth (†) • Calum Lunettes (†) • Xerxes Break (†)|
|Chains||Oz • Raven • Snap-Dragon-Fly • Owl • Equus|
|Previous Chains||Dodo • Dormouse • March Hare • Rocking-Horse-Fly (†) • Mad Hatter|