Vergil & Nero
|Relationship:||Vergil & Nero|
|Fandom:||Devil May Cry|
|Canonical?:||Long-lost father and son, super awkward|
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After Nero's introduction in Devil May Cry 4, there was some confusion among the fanbase as to how he is descended from the line of Sparda. Some fans were under the impression that Dante was his father, given their similar hairstyles and warm personalities. However, at least a slightly greater number of fans believed Vergil to be Nero's father, based on Nero's association with Vergil's signature sword, Yamato, and a Special Edition cutscene that showed Vergil in Nero's hometown, Fortuna, around the time frame of Nero's conception.
Before being canonically confirmed in Devil May Cry 5, Nero's heritage was debatable. At the time, the only concrete evidence available to fans was his strong connection with the Devil Arm Yamato and Sanctus's hypothesis about his relation in Sparda's bloodline. Logically, this would make Nero being Vergil's son the most plausible explanation, but some statements from developers at the time contradicted the timeline. Although there had been a number of unofficial statements that confirmed that Nero was Vergil's son, fans had to wait six years before [supplementary material] Graphic Arts 3142 finally confirmed it.
Vergil was explicitly established as Nero's father in-game during the events of Devil May Cry 5, and their relationship is a source of pain and pride for them both.
Reception and Popularity
There were some fan discussion and fics exploring the parent-child connection between Vergil and Nero after the release of DMC4 (2008), but the popularity of the relationship truly flourished after the release of DMC5 (2019).
Fanon and common tropes
- The Sparda Family often refers to Dante & Vergil & Nero. Sometimes V, Sparda, Eva, and Kyrie are also included in the label. Trish, Lady, Nico, Patty, and other friends also get in on the love.
- V & Nero is often treated as a separate relationship, with a more brotherly, less fraught dynamic. In a few fan works, Vergil transforms into V, or somehow consults with V, in order to better connect with Nero.
- You Are the Father! - Vergil discovers that Nero is his son. Fan authors detail a Missing Scene to explore Vergil’s inner thoughts and feelings during the canon events of DMC5. In AU works, Vergil often discovers his son’s existence much earlier, during Nero’s childhood—from as early as infancy, to as late as his pre-teen years. Sometimes Dante finds Nero first, with Vergil eventually crossing their path.
- Fatherly Pride - Vergil is proud of his son. In his inner monologue, Vergil privately admires the beauty of Nero’s Devil Bringer, wings, and cool hair.
- Angst and Emotional Constipation - Nero feels deep pain and anger over the years that he spent parentless and longing for a family, while Vergil feels deep guilt over his failure as a parent and doubt in his ability to have a decent relationship with his son. Vergil behaves in an outwardly aloof manner, further alienating and angering Nero, who tends to lash out.
- Hurt/Comfort - Due to the supernatural durability of the series' leading men, the DMC fandom can push whump to the extreme, featuring injuries and body horror that wouldn't be convincingly survivable by wholly human characters. In fact, extreme hurt—often facilitated by magical curses and poisons—is basically required for there to be any amount of drama in DMC hurt/comfort, given multiple canon instances of Sparda's descendants regularly shrugging off injuries as serious as chest impalement and getting punched in the face with the force of a truck. A common headcanon is that, compared to his half-demon father, the quarter-demon Nero is more vulnerable to injury and illnesses, and his healing abilities are slower and less effective; this causes Vergil to worry. Alternatively, Vergil proves his devotion to his son by sacrificing his own well-being to protect him.
- Dad Out of Hell - Dante and Vergil somehow make their way back from the underworld some time after the events of DMC5, giving Vergil and Nero the opportunity to spend time together.
- Best Option Available - Vergil steps in to take custody of young Nero for certain reasons. While Vergil may not be the best-prepared of parents, he may find that he is his son's best option due to the dangers inherent to Nero's demonic heritage, or the orphanage being abusive. Alternatively, Nero leaves the care of his unnamed mother, who may be recently deceased or feel unable to raise her son for various reasons.[note 1]
- Learning Curve - The great warrior Vergil struggles to adjust to the everyday lifestyle and responsibilities of a parent.
- Featuring Dante from the Devil May Cry™ series! - Invariably, Uncle Dante shows up to help his family. A common scene finds Vergil reluctantly showing up on the doorstep of Devil May Cry with Nero, and requesting a safe haven, which Dante immediately grants. As Vergil’s twin and the one who knows him best, Dante often helps Nero see past Vergil's frustratingly aloof façade.
- Full House - Vergil ends up raising Nero with the help of Dante, and often Dante’s friends Trish and Lady as well. Thus Nero grows up in the care of many adults. Everybody Lives AU fics may feature Sparda and Eva as his doting grandparents.
- Nero & Nelo - The power of parental love is enough to reach Vergil's core in the depths of his Nelo Angelo persona.
- Am I the Asshole for Ripping Off My Own Son's Arm? by TheWritingSquid
- tea and swords by annperkinsface
- Vergil’s Motivational Life by gzeidraws
Fan Communities and Archives
- Archive of Our Own (AO3): Nero & Vergil (Devil May Cry) tag, Parent Vergil (Devil May Cry) tag
- Tumblr: #Dadgil
- Twitter: #Dadgil
- Interview: Hiroyuki Kobayashi Talks Devil May Cry 4 Storyline "Hiroyuki Kobayashi: Lady appeared in 3, and now she's about ten years older than she was in that one <...>" Nero is clearly older than ten years old in DMC4.
- 3142 Graphic Arts (Click here to see.) (Pg. 92)
- Devil May Cry Wiki at Wikia. Nero. (Accessed 3 Jun 2021.)