When Van Hohenheim met Izumi the second time, he heard that she had opened the gate of Truth and lost some internal organs. Instead of giving her back her organs he rearranged them to improve her blood flow, and said

I can't give them back because they are a token of your sin

Dr. Marcoh at the end of the series volunteers to restore Colonel's vision. So does that means it was Hohenheim's choice not to give Izumi her organs back back so that she doesn't forget her punishment? Or they can't be returned since they were taken by Truth ?

  • I kinda get the title but when I read the body I don't really understand what your asking. Aug 25, 2014 at 8:41
  • Why Mustang could have his vision restored while Izumi couldn't get her organs back? beacuse it was Hohenheim's choice or because God wouldn't allow it since it was punishment for human transmutation?
    – libathos
    Aug 25, 2014 at 8:48
  • I edited your question to make what you're asking clearer - if I've changed the meaning of something, feel free to change it back.
    – Maroon
    Aug 25, 2014 at 9:59

3 Answers 3


Let's take a look at the events at the end of FMA - I'm using the manga.

  • Hohenheim offers to use himself to get Alphonse back, out of paternal duty. Ed refuses because what happened to him and Alphonse was their own responsibility. Notice that in FMA, there's this sort of emphasis on personal responsibility for one's actions (e.g. Riza's comments about Ishbal, Ed's comments here, etc.). Consequently, it's possible to read Hohenheim's comments to Izumi Curtis as implying that he shouldn't - morally speaking - just give back to her everything she lost, given her own culpability. If I'm not mistaken, Ed has a similar attitude towards his automail leg at the end of the manga.

  • Ling also offers the philosopher's stone he has for the same purpose, but since Ed promised Al they wouldn't use it to get their bodies back, Ed refuses. This and Hohenheim's comments seem to imply that it is possible to recover what's lost from Truth if the appropriate toll is paid and what you're trying to recover actually exists.

  • Marcoh asks Mustang if he can use his philosopher's stone as payment in exchange for his sight, on the condition that the policies on Ishval are revised. It's not clear if Marcoh knows about Mustang having been forced to open the gate, but it is clear that Ishval is one of his motivations for putting forth this offer.

Given that it seems to be implied that Alphonse could have been retrieved with means other than Edward giving up alchemy, this seeming inconsistency is probably best interpreted as Hohenheim choosing not to completely restore Izumi Curtis in accordance with themes and ideas about personal responsibility in the series (since the state of Alphonse and Edward is also a result of their own actions).

While Hohenheim's offer to use himself to get Alphonse back may seem out of touch with his comments to Izumi, it's honestly not that inconsistent, particularly when he feels some responsibility for his sons' attempt at human transmutation and when this is an egregiously life-or-death scenario compared to Izumi Curtis'.

Moreover, just because there's some sort of emphasis on personal responsibility (and, at least judging from Riza's comments about Ishval, or those in the last episode of Brotherhood, the impossibility of atonement) in FMA doesn't mean that the characters don't try to improve on their own situation or that of others (e.g. Hohenheim's improvement of Izumi's blood flow, Ed and Al's pursuit of a means to get their bodies back, etc.). Rather, it seems more like a rejection of the attitude of "if I do X, I can make up for Y and forget about it". As thus, in the case of Roy, we should also note that Marcoh seems to have had fairly specific motives apart from restoring his sight in giving him the philosopher's stone.

  • 6
    Yeah, this just looks like an ethical thing. Mustang's eyes were not his own sin, so I guess Marcoh thought it was okay. It was a bit of a moral grey area, tbh.
    – Cattua
    Aug 25, 2014 at 19:22

I figured it was because Hohenheim was not willing to use the stone's power to cure Izumi. He was a pro with medical alchemy, so it was just highly advanced Alkahestry. He said he made contact with all of the souls, then asked permission. He could only use them to kill the dwarf in the flask.

He had no idea Izumi would be part of the final battle.


Roy didn’t ‘sin’.

Izumi, Ed and Alphonse alike all performed human transmutation of their own will, unlike that of Roy, who was forced to do so against his will. I’d say that Dr Marcoh was able to use the philosophers stone to give Roy his sight back because he wasn’t purposely trying to commit a taboo and the truth would have known that since its y’know... the truth. Just my opinion

  • Hohenheim offers Ed his remaining philosopher's stone to save Al, and it is implied that this will work. (The logic of that doesn't contradict anything we've read, and Ed's objection is that he needs to take responsibility for his own actions.) So it's a question of Dr Marcoh's ethics, not those of Truth.
    – Maroon
    Mar 3, 2020 at 17:47

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