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We've all heard of Fate/stay night, the much-beloved visual novel by Type-Moon that taught us that people die when they're killed.

But what does the title "Fate/stay night" actually mean? We can assume for the moment that "Fate" is just a designator for the series (hence Fate/Zero, Fate/Extra, etc.), but I'm still somewhat baffled as to what "stay night" could possibly be.

(Nobody on the internet seems to know, and I figure the ultimate answer is probably "it sounds cool", but I thought I'd put this out there anyway.)

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Actually, I think the "cool" factor overweighed the "sense making" part. – Hakase May 2 '14 at 4:56
"people die when they're killed" lol, nope, still aint true here, the Heaven's Feel Magic can recreate the soul, Saber coming back as Alter-Saber and the fact (almost) very servant died in the past. also outside Fate/Stay Night and in the Nasuverse as a whole, Brunestud of the Crimson Moon can come back to life through Arcueid or Altrouge and The Dark Six will be revived though the Aylesbury Valesti. and there's Rao – Memor-X May 2 '14 at 5:42
Just the "Steins;Gate" has no deeper meaning, Nasu probably just felt like using some gratuitous Engrish. Like "Crimson night & Celsion moon, misfiction, not save the Player is Prayer, yes, Dance Romanesque and unfinished Romancia" from Melty Blood ReAct or "blue blue glass moon under the crimson air" from the original Melty Blood. – ʞɹɐzǝɹ May 5 '14 at 4:25

When Kinoko Nasu first wrote Fate/Stay Night in college it was called Old Fate (旧Fate) and Fate Origin and was reimagined later to be Fate/Prototype. Nasu only wrote what would become the game's Fate Route.

there is speculation on what meaning there is behind the name. ie

  • Fate may refer to the fate of the servants like Saber accepting her fate in her life or the Fate of magi that battle each other in the war

  • Stay may refer to the desire to keep the servants like with Shirou and Saber, it may refer to make something remain or stay like the reason why Shiro enters the war in both Fate/Stay Night and Fate/Hollow Ataraxia was to keep the peace in the town or in Heaven's Feel Route which is like the ultimate climax to the game how Zouken wanted Heaven's Feel to become Immorality but without his body rotting. in Fate/Extra, Twice H. Pieceman had changed the Moon Cell's selection process to be a war believing humanity requires war to advance and evolve, he wanted Hakuno Kishinami and every other Master who appeared at the Moon Cell's core to wish for the perpetuation of war (stay in war)

  • Night could refer to how the battles mainly occurred during the night during the night or the darkness behind the war (In Prototype the Heaven's Feel system was meant to materialize Beast or in Fate/Stay Night Angra Mainyu's corruption of the grail)

Another theory is that the Fate part was taken from his original work, /Stay Night was just added to sound cool like with Kara no Kyoukai (空の境界?, lit. Boundary of Emptiness) - The Garden of Sinners or Tsukihime (月姫, lit. Moon Princess).

ref Anime News Network Forums

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Have you ever thought that "Night" could also be fancy (Nasu) wordplay on "Knight?" – ʞɹɐzǝɹ May 5 '14 at 4:31
@Krazer yeh, could be. Arthur either way was the King of Knights and every notable Saber has been in some way related to Arturia (Nero, Mordrid, Gwain) – Memor-X May 5 '14 at 5:30

This answer is just mainly based off of speculation.

Although the creators intention aren't actually really know well that much, here are some common theories that were put together as to what the Stay/Night might mean.

Some think that it may be related to some of the light novels because of their hentai-ish side. Which was where the (Stay/Night) might have came from. The theorie thinks that it might mean "Stay the Night" sexually implied. [Unlikely, but maybe]

Another theory is that it just sounded cool and the producers just choose it because it sounded cool. [Unlikely, but maybe]

Theory number three was that the name may be related to the other seasons. [Possible]

Mostly since this is just speculation, this answer is definitely not accurate but I have included some things that may help in answering your question. Hope it helped.

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my speculation: it refers to the Fate of the people who were involved in the holy grail battle, Stay Night, means that they are constantly have (always Stay with them) in a dark (like Night) Fate. – user2435 May 2 '14 at 12:22
I read the first theory but i kinda discounted that one because Fate/Stay Night to my view isn't nukige and we've seen in Realta Nua that it's just as good without any H Scenes in it – Memor-X May 4 '14 at 22:22
Curious, what do you mean by "related to the other seasons"? you mean like Fate/Zero, Fate/Hollow Atarxia and Fate/Extra? – Memor-X May 4 '14 at 22:23
@Memor-X- Yeah, kind of in a way. You can edit it if you want. My answer is just mainly based on the most commonly thought about ideas to as to where the Fate/Stay Night came from. – Izumi-reiLuLu May 4 '14 at 22:37

I believe it to mean that both Saber and Shirou want it to "stay night" so that Saber won't disappear in the sunrise

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