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I've been watching the UBW series. When Caster abducts Shirou to take his Command Seals so she can use Saber against Berserker, Archer comes in and saves him - then fights Caster.

At some point during the fight, Caster sees Shirou unprotected, so she fires at him (at which point Archer saves him again).

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Why did Caster shoot Shirou, if she hadn't retrieved his Command Seals yet?

It's not like Shirou was any sort of threat. Surely dealing with Archer first would be a better idea, then retrieve the Command Seals off Shirou (since he's no match against Caster) to be able to fight Berserker using Saber.

Caster was definitely aiming to kill - other than the fact that her attacks literally blow up the ground, she was also smiling (as in, "gotcha!"), and then was surprised to see Shirou still alive.

  • This seems to be different from the Visual Novel. in the Visual Novel Caster stabs Saber with Rule Breaker and it breaks the contract between her and Shirou while granting Caster a set of command spells (see my answer here at the bottom) thus Shirou is not a master and doesn't have any command spells. as i haven't seen Unfotable's adaption of Unlimited Blade Works i don't know exactly how the first attack on Caster plays out may be different from the Visual Novel – Memor-X Apr 15 '15 at 22:11
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This answer is based purely on speculation.

However, I believe that there is one reason for Caster to do that, and one reason why that is probably not a big deal to her.

  • First, Archer was called there in order to save Shirou from Caster. Targeting Shirou would force Archer to move in order to protect him. That kind of tactic is also shown in Episode 15 when

    Near the end of the fight, Gilgamesh targeted Ilya to force Berserker to backtrack and protect her.

  • Second, even if Shirou had been hit, she would probably still have been able to extract his Command Seals. (Note that she only makes one magical shot on Shirou's location)

The scene happens a bit differently in the VN. In it, the relative locations of Shirou, Caster and Archer are less clear - the only clear things are that Shirou is in the line of fire, and Archer has to backtrack from the temple's exit to reach Shirou. In particular, it is hard to tell whether Caster specifically targeted Shirou or if she was just shooting at the area.

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    Extraction of the command seals after death is a definite possibility. We know that at some point after a master's death or a war's termination, any remaining command seals are recycled by the Greater Grail and are given to the overseer, or a new master if a suitable one is found and the war is ongoing. The latter was the case with Kirei in Fate/Zero. We also know that Kirei can transfer those seals to himself, and that he also killed Bazette and took control of her servant and seals after that. – zibadawa timmy May 30 '15 at 20:50
  • For the first point, Caster seemed surprised that Shirou survived (so she probably wasn't expecting Archer to save him). And the second point, that sounds plausible. However, the explosion could have destroyed Shirou's arm (in Fate Zero when Sola Ui loses her arm, the command seal is lost). – Omega Jul 28 '15 at 1:25

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