ByRob Clough/Updated: Aug. 5, 2022 3:08 pm EST
The Seven Deadly Sins is the nickname given to a group of disgraced Holy Knights of the kingdom of Liones. They are framed for a murder they did not commit, and their leader, Meliodas, commands them to scatter. Meliodas pawns his magic sword in order to buy the Boar's Head Tavern, a mobile bar built atop a giant pig. As the story begins, he's contentedly tending bar and cooking awful food, with his talking pig Hawk eating scraps off the floor. A young woman named Elizabeth Liones seeks him out after the same incident that leads to the Seven Deadly Sins being framed: a full-blown coup.
Despite looking like a child, Meliodas is unbelievably powerful, and when Elizabeth approaches him, he's willing to help her. He slowly puts his group of Knights back together, each of them having an odd story of their own. They overcome the usurpers of the crown and its plans to release a horrifying demon clan, clearing their names. This is just the beginning for the Seven Deadly Sins, whose convoluted backstories involve multiple reincarnations, memory wipes, painful family interactions, and lineages connected to gods and demons alike.
They eventually have to face the restored demon clan the Ten Commandments, who each possess a nearly unstoppable curse that makes them close to invincible. Much of the show involves each side trying to counter the abilities of the other, but who are the strongest characters and why? Let's find out, going from least to most powerful!
Ban: Immortal bandit
Ban is abused by his parents and runs away to become a thief. He learns of a magic fountain that grants immortality but runs into its guardian, a faerie named Elaine. He tells her he wants to be immortal because nothing good has ever happened to him, but he figures it might happen eventually given enough time. When a demon attacks, he saves her at nearly the cost of his own life. As he's dying, she gives him water from the fountain through a kiss, sacrificing herself. Ban is reborn as an immortal warrior.
After living through centuries of deaths and resurrections, he becomes an elite fighter, favoring a three-sectioned staff connected by chains. His special ability is called Snatch, which allows him to steal the physical abilities of others in order to become faster and stronger. This also allows him to grab body parts, like the time he rips out the heart of a demon using his staff. It's also in line with his history as a thief, allowing him to efficiently steal anything he wants.
Despite these abilities, Ban is still more or less a human with human limits that he can push with his abilities. Indeed, the worst punishment given to him is not execution but imprisonment. What makes him so tough is his tenacity and love of battle. Indeed, a big part of his dynamic with Meliodas, whom he refers to exclusively as "Cap'n," is their constant sparring. Don't underestimate his toughness!
Merlin: Crafty sorceress
For Merlin, a magical prodigy at a very young age, knowledge is what she craves most. She borders on the amoral in her pursuit of satisfying this curiosity, although she eventually winds up doing the right thing. Her dogged research and genius make her the strongest wizard in the realm.
Her magical edge is her Infinity spell. It allows her to freeze the effects of any spell, making its effects eternal. This is how she never seems to age. It's not that she's immortal, but that time has frozen around her. She's not much of a hand-to-hand combatant and is physically an ordinary human, but she has a powerful array of spells.
In combat, she has a mastery of fire, ice, water, wind, and lightning. She uses her disintegrating Exterminate Ray when she has to get serious. While these spells make her formidable, it's her support magic abilities that make her so indispensable to the group. Shunkan Ido gives her the ability to continuously teleport herself or others. Power Amplify makes her allies stronger. Location allows her to find any person or thing. Perfect Cube lets her create an impregnable haven. Apart from Infinity, her most terrifying spell is Absolute Cancel, which can erase virtually any spell from existence. Not only can she eternally sustain certain of her spells, she can get rid of other people's magic! Merlin always has a plan, even when dealing with god-level threats she can't harm directly.
Diane: Gentle giant
Diane is a member of the Giant clan who grows disillusioned with their warlike ways. She leaves her village and meets King, and they are happy together. When he knows he has to leave her, he gives her a flower that wipes out her memories of their relationship. She returns to her village but soon becomes disgruntled again. She meets Meliodas, who saves her from Holy Knight persecution. She becomes a valued member of the Seven Deadly Sins.
Diane is the first member that Meliodas seeks out when he puts the group back together. He knows how loyal she is, and even though she's jealous of Elizabeth, she's just happy to be around him again.
In addition to being immensely strong and over 50 feet tall, Diane possesses a sacred war hammer called Gideon. This gives her greater control over her primal ability called Creation. She can manipulate the earth in dramatic ways. This means she can cause tremors, move huge swaths of ground, and even manipulate mountains. When you need sheer, brute force, Diane is the one to call upon.
Gowther: Action figure!
Gowther is discovered in a dungeon by a fascinated Nadia, a princess of Lione. She falls in love with the mysteriously young-looking man. He falls in love with her too, revealing his secret:he is not a wizard or even a demon. He is a doll, an artificial construct of an ancient wizard, and he is thousands of years old. He proves it by showing her his artificial heart. When her own heart fails, he desperately tries to replace it with his own, but guards think he has killed her.
Gowther erases his memory of the event and joins the Seven Deadly Sins, disguised in bulky battle armor. His lack of appropriate emotional responses frustrates the members of his team, but even the revelation that he's a magical doll doesn't shake Meliodas' faith in him. Not being human, he is extremely difficult to harm. He's survived crushing attacks, broken necks, and even beheadings, nonchalantly getting back up and joining the battle again. He is strong and quick. He's also functionally immortal.
However, his greatest weapon is his Invasion ability. It allows him to trap his opponents in their own memories or simply read the memories of others. Using it with his magic bow sharpens the focus of his ability.
King: The Fairy Lord
Over a thousand years old, the being known simply as "King" was the king of the fairies before he was nearly killed by an evil human who wanted his wings and lost his memory. He meets Diane and they live together happily for many years. He leaves Diane when he realizes that his brother has betrayed him, pretending to be a human. He erases her memories of him because he's afraid he can't protect her.
He later becomes a Holy Knight, joining Meliodas and the others. His human form is that of an enormously fat man, belying his slender appearance in fairy form. He can also levitate and read the thoughts of others. He's not much of a fighter, however. His real power comes from his natural magic and his enchanted spear Chastiefol. The spear brings out his Disaster ability, which allows him to rewrite reality at a molecular level. He can turn flesh wounds into fatal blows, for example. It also gives him complete control over nature, especially plants. Given enough time to concentrate, this allows him to beat any foe short of a godlike being.
Derieri: Can't be bothered
Millennia ago, there was a Holy War between demons on one side and fairies, humans, giants, and goddesses on the other. The demons were led by their powerfulKing and his top lieutenants, known as the Ten Commandments. When the demons were defeated, they were sealed away, awaiting the day that someone would free them.
When that day arrives, they are ready to take on their natural opponents, the Seven Deadly Sins. The Ten Commandments have natural demon abilities on top of their own unique powers that make them nearly unstoppable. They have a dark aura that allows them to create wings for flight and actively causes fear. They also have supernatural senses.
Derieri is one of the toughest of the Ten Commandments. Despite her slender frame, blasé attitude, and seeming lack of protection, she is a brutal hand-to-hand fighter. In fact, her special ability is Combo Star, which increases the force of each blow when landed as a chain of moves. Each time, 200,000 pounds of force is added to each blow. Even against Meliodas, this is a devastating attack. If things get really bad, she can sacrifice six of her hearts (demons have seven of them) to transform into the overwhelming creature Indura. This is a last-ditch ability because Derieri loses all sense of self when in this form.
Monspeet: Ever so suave
Monspeet is Derieri's frequent companion. He's a gentleman demon, preferring to think before he acts. While an absolutely brutal fighter who can work up a frightening bloodlust, killing isn't his first instinct. He'd rather defeat his enemies in other ways, although Derieri's safety is his top priority.
He can punish his foes using a variety of different fire-based magics. His Hellblaze not only damages anyone in its path, but it also prevents immortal regeneration. This is quite a shock for those opposing him! Gokuencho releases a hellfire blast in bird form, with unerring aim. Kaijinryu gathers all of his magical power in one burst. The Demon King gives him the commandment of Reticence, which blocks the voices of anyone with hidden feelings. However, his most devastating move is Trick Star, which allows him to switch two objects of similar size. He uses this on himself when he's in a tight spot on several occasions. It winds up being his last trick, as he dies using it to save Derieri's life.
Drole: Gentle Giant King
The former head of the GIant clan, Drole is probably the biggest and most physically powerful being in existence. Nearly a hundred feet tall and possessing four arms, a single eye, and blue skin, he is feared but respected in his own community for his deep relationship with the earth. In the Holy War, he initially fights against the demons, but a humiliating defeat at the hands of Zeldris leads him to switch sides and become one.
His strength is such that he is easily able to push aside Diane, one of the most powerful giants. His endurance and ability to take any kind of punishment make him an ideal candidate to absorb heavy fire from his enemies. His Ground power is a more powerful version of Diane's creation. It allows him to massively terraform huge territories in an instant, to create intricate structures, and to construct earth golems to do his bidding. His special dance reflects his connection to the earth, allowing him to wipe out the effects of other Creation magic. His single eye allows him to read thoughts.
Gloxinia: The First Fairy King
Like his old friend Drole, Gloxinia, the first of the Fairy Kings, fights against the demons in the Holy War. However, he feels betrayed and bitterly rejects his allies after the death of his sister. He switches sides and becomes a demon, joining the Ten Commandments. The experience warps him, as he especially enjoys killing humans.
His powers mimic that of King, only they're stronger. Furthermore, he can combine his abilities with Drole, mixing rock and plant form to create impregnable prisons and monsters out of vegetation. His power is wielded through Basquias, his magical spear that often manifests as a series of vines. With it, he can fly, read thoughts, and use the Disaster ability to manipulate matter at a molecular level. Gloxinia eventually switches sides again, sacrificing himself to help defeat Zeldris. In his final moments, he reclaims the joy that once marked his true nature.
Zeldris: Cool, calm, collected
Zeldris is the son of the Demon King, the captain of the Ten Commandments, and the little brother of Meliodas. He's the spitting image of his brother, only his hair is black and he parts it differently. Like his brother, he is unbelievably powerful. While all demons inspire fear, Zeldris' mere presence creates absolute terror even in front of entire armies. Even his fellow demons are wary of him. Ever since Meliodas abandoned him to pursue true love, Zeldris has nursed a grudge.
He has access to Hellblaze that nullifies the regenerative powers of his toughest foes. His Piety commandment curses any who turn their back on him to serve him. His Dies Irae command allows him to summon a portal that shoots lightning blasts. His go-to power is Ominous Nebula. It makes his already superhuman strength and speed even deadlier by creating a maelstrom that sucks in his opponents, allowing him to slice them at incalculably fast speeds. It's the demon equivalent of a food processor. If all else fails, Zeldris can borrow the power of his father, the Demon King, which gives him the ability to dispel all magical attacks.
Meliodas: The Captain and the cook
He's the Captain of the Seven Deadly Sins. He's the son of the Demon King and brother of Zeldris. He's the proprietor of the Boar's Head Tavern. He's thousands of years old but looks like a teenager. He's Meliodas, who is cheerful as sunshine but also harbors the dark secrets of his past. Long ago, he was the leader of the Demon King's forces but abandoned them when he fell in love with a Goddess named Elizabeth. That relationship is doomed, as he sees her die a horrible series of deaths and then come back again.
He may look frail and childlike, but he's one of the deadliest beings in the world. He can use Hellblaze like other demons, nullifying the regenerative abilities of his opponents. In terms of physical fighting, his Kami Chigiri allows him to instantly slash a thousand times. His calm demeanor in combat confuses and enrages his opponents, but all he cares about is making sure that his friends are safe. His greatest ability, focused and accentuated by his sword Lostvayne, is Full Counter. When a magical being unleashes an assault on him, Full Counter not only shields him from the effects of the magic, it also reflects them back at the opponent with much greater force. It's aikido as magic, essentially, and perfect for someone who prefers not to initiate fights.
Escanor: Strongest... and weakest
In a series filled with strange, sad, and powerful creatures, Escanor may be the oddest of them all. At night, he's a meek, frail alcohol salesman. He's quiet, humble, and extremely self-effacing. When dawn arrives, he grows bigger and stronger, ripping through his clothes if he hasn't already changed them. His power is that of Sunshine, and what it does exactly depends on what time it is.
As the sun grows brighter, so does his strength, as well as his ability to emit light and heat. If he didn't control it, everything around him would catch fire. His main offensive maneuver is Super Slash, which he uses with his huge battle-axe Rhitta. However, when it reaches noon, Escanor unlocks his full power: The One. With a single wave of his hand, he can cut any opponent and destroy magic. With a point of his finger, he can stab any opponent. If pushed, he uses the Ultimate, which allows him to extend his power at great personal and magical cost. This awe-inspiring ability is at a godlike level, and even the toughest demons quake in fear. A few minutes after noon, however, and his power wanes, and he soon becomes meek and mild once again.