[fra-tri-sahyd, frey-]

Fratricide (from the Latin word frater, meaning: "brother" and cide meaning to kill) is the act of a person killing his or her brother.

Related concepts are sororicide (the killing of one's sister), child murder (the killing of an unrelated child), infanticide (the killing of a child under the age of one year), filicide (the killing of one's child), patricide (the killing of one's father), matricide (the killing of one's mother), mariticide (the killing of one's husband) and uxoricide (the killing of one's wife). See also siblicide

The term may also be used to refer to friendly fire incidents. In a United States military context, it may also refer to an incident where the catastrophic failure and disintegration of one jet engine in a twin-engined fighter aircraft causes the damage or destruction of the second engine, and possibly leads to the loss of the entire aircraft. It also refers to the possible destruction of one MIRV warhead by another.

Historical fratricides


Fratricide in legend and fiction

Legend and mythology

Literature and film

Film and television

Video games

  • In Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly, when twin girls were not available, twin brothers were used in a ritual in which one brother strangles the other. The one documented occurrence of this is when Itsuki Tachibana killed his brother Mutsuki. It is implied that Ryokan Kurosawa, the father of Yae and Sae Kurosawa, also killed his twin brother.
  • In Final Fantasy XII, Vayne Solidor, the main antagonist and eventual final boss, kills two of his older brothers at the order of his father, Emperor Gramis Solidor (whom Vayne eventually kills as well).
  • In Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Raziel kills his vampire brothers as he seeks out his creator Kain.

  • In the Metal Gear (series), Solid Snake commits fratricide and patricide.
  • In Devil May Cry, Dante kills his twin brother Vergil (under the guise of Nelo Angelo), unaware of the fact that Nelo Angelo was actually his twin brother.
  • In Mortal Kombat: Deception, Noob Saibot's ending shows him violently murdering his own brother, Sub-Zero with the help of Smoke by ripping him in half.
  • In Galerians, protagonist Rion Steiner kills his "brother" Cain, who strongly resembles him.
  • In Portal, the player earns the "Fratricide" achievement upon destroying the Weighted Companion Cube. This is a misnomer, as the Weighted Companion Cube is not related to the player character (it is, in fact, an inanimate object).


Ottoman Empire

In the Ottoman Empire a policy of judicial royal fratricide was introduced by Sultan Mehmet II. When a new Sultan ascended to the throne he would imprison all of his surviving brothers and kill them by strangulation with a silk cord as soon as he had produced his first male heir. The largest killing took place on the succession of Mehmed III when 16 of his brothers were killed and buried with their father. The aim was to prevent civil war as Islamic cultures had no fixed rules for royal succession (such as primogeniture) and bloody conflicts would erupt as the old king was approaching the end. The practice was abandoned in the 17th century by Ahmed I, replaced by imprisonment in the Kafes. This practice is alleged to have sent several future Sultans mad.

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