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In "The Battle of Fairy Tail" arc did Laxus ever actually plan on fighting Makarov?

His magic reveals his true feelings, and he tells his grandfather he really just wanted to make the guild stronger. So we know that he never would have smashed the statues of the girls, and he probably never would have set off the Thunder Palace. These were both just ways of pushing Makarov into handing over the guild.

He knows Erza and Mystogan will be coming for him. He plans for an inevitable battle with them, which he is sure he'll win easily. He even tells Freed he'll take care of them.

But, the statues and Thunder Palace aside as he never would have used them anyway, what if he did manage to beat Erza and Mystogan? What if the Thunder Legion had beaten everyone, and Gramps hadn't fallen ill? Makarov would never have just handed over the guild.

But would Laxus have actually fought Makarov in the end to get the guild? Freed tells Cana and Juvia he's storing up his magical energy to fight the master, but Laxus' true feelings are revealed in the end.

Laxus' plan seems to be a little over all the place at times.

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Laxus knows Makarov well. He knows that above all Makarov values the safety of his "kids" and the adoptive city of Magnolia. Much of his irritation and the plan for "Battle for Fairy Tail" comes from the fact that the guild was able to handily destroy one of the strongest guild in Fiore, "Phantom Lord". He might have planned to use that situation to bargain his birthright as the leader of Fairy Tail and building it as the ideal and strongest guild possible in his image.

Let us looks at the facts

  • He uses Evergreen's magic to hold several mages including Erza as a hostage for the others to fight in his farce.
  • He uses Fried's runes to boobytrap the city so he could emotionally torment Makarov when he sees the "idiot kids" of his clan taking each other out.
  • He also uses Fried's runes to NOT ALLOW Makarov to leave the Guild Hall.
  • Mystogan is rarely present in or around the Guild usually absent for long duration of time.

From this fact we can surmise that Laxus never truly intend to fight the Master. He knew Makarov was old and frail, and had considered that he would step down. He was just trying to force his hand. He removes Erza from the fight early on and knows Mystogan is normally out of the city. Thus he didn't expect them to fight. His plan was for the master to surrender the guild once everyone was out of the battle of the fairy tail. Natsu, Gajeel being trapped in the guild was just a comic relief and foreshadowing of their history. So he didn't intend to fight Makarov, Erza or Mystogan. He tried to up the stakes with the Thunder Palace but he never expected to use it.

TL;DR Laxus knew Makarov well and he would have "just" handed over the guild to Laxus rather than see the members get hurt. Laxus had planned beforehand so Erza, Mystogan and Makarov can't participate in the Battle.

The real question is why would everyone go into this farce? Just threaten to quit. I am sure it will not be ideal to Laxus that his guild contains just him and the Thunder Legion.

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Like you stated Laxus was building up his power and saving his magic energy in case a fight with Makarov happened. Laxus wouldn't have enjoyed beating up his old man and would have only been doing it because that's what needed to be done for his goal. There was no way Laxus would win though. This is evident because we have seen Makarov grow as big as an island (Tenrou Island to be exact), and that is no small feat. There is a reason he is a wizard saint. Hope this answered your answer bud!

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