In FMA 2009/Manga, Edward is able to exchange his Gate of Truth for Alphonse's body.

However, I find this pretty dumb. The Gate symbolizes the knowledge of alchemy. Father's Gate is small and has no ornaments like Ed's which indicates that Father doesn't know anything as stated in the series. But alchemy is a science in this universe. They learn it from reading books. Why is Edward unable to use alchemy but able to read it? I can imagine that Ed is not able to use alchemy by clapping his hands anymore but by drawing circles and alchemy formulas.

Another question: Edward's toll (his leg) to see Truth is less than Alphonse's (who lost his whole body) and it is also stated that Al probably saw more of Truth than Edward.

So Alphonse's Gate is worth more than Edward's Gate. Couldn't Alphonse easily exchange his own Gate? He probably would still use alchemy since his knowledge is worth more than Edward's.

Edit: Just thinking about it, you don't have to sacrifice anything at all when using human transmutation. All you need to do is sacrifice your Gate and you won't lose that much of your body.

  • 2
    There seem to be a lot of questions here. Can you clarify what exactly you're asking?
    – kuwaly
    Jul 2, 2017 at 18:42

1 Answer 1


What does it mean that Ed exchanged his Gate?

In the context of Ed's final transmutation (in which he exchanges his Gate for Alphonse), the Gate represents his ability to do alchemy, rather than his knowledge of alchemy. In chapter 108, Truth tells Edward:

The Gate of Truth exists within everyone. That is how everyone can use alchemy.

Notice that the emphasis is probably on the potential to do alchemy. (Not everyone has the talent or knowledge to do alchemy in the universe of Fullmetal Alchemist!) Although what is beyond the Gate is alchemical knowledge, per the discussion surrounding Ed and Al's human transmutation attempt, that is not what is involved here. (One way to think of it may be to regard the Gate as necessary in alchemy because alchemical knowledge must be "let out" when there is a transmutation, but I digress.)

Thus, even after his final transmutation, Ed is able to learn about alchemy; he simply cannot put it into practice. (In fact, at the end of the manga, the brothers travel to learn more about alchemy.)

Could Alphonse have exchanged his Gate instead?

In general, one cannot trade one's Gate for something else. (See the discussion at Why can't Roy Mustang bring his eyes back using his gate? for details.) However, it seems possible in theory that Al might have been able to exchange his Gate for something after the connection between his and Ed's was discovered. Some possibilities as to why Al did not carry out such a transmutation:

  • Transmuting one's Gate for what was lost in one's human transmutation attempt is not necessarily an obvious line of thought. The idea may not have occurred to Ed or Al before Promised Day. Note that Ed only comes up with the idea after Al has sacrificed himself, not earlier, not even when Alphonse was starting to have problems with his body of armor.

  • Alphonse wanted to recover Ed's limbs; sacrificing his ability to do alchemy for his body would have prevented him from achieving that goal. Alternatively, had Alphonse exchanged his alchemical ability (i.e. his Gate) for Ed's limbs, it might have become impossible for his body to be recovered. Al's body sits at his own Gate, so if the Gate were removed, it might have become inaccessible.


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