Haman Karn (ハマーン・カーン Hamān Kān, sometimes called Haman Khan) is an antagonist from Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam and the main antagonist in its sequel Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ. She is also plays a major role in the Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Deleted Affair: Portrait Of Young Comet manga series.
Personality & Character
When first viewed, Haman comes off as a cool, collected, and hardened leader. Despite this, she is very charismatic, and also portrays a care for the well being of her soldiers, even teaching the principles of war to some. This, however, is all a ruse though which covers up her true self; Haman's real character is one that desires power, not caring who she has to use or discard to get it.
She is noted to be very manipulative, playing on the fear or ambitions of others to use them as she sees fit. Both statements are proven during the final battle of the First Neo Zeon War, when Mashymre Cello, perhaps her most faithful and devoted subordinate sacrifices himself to take out as many of her adversaries as possible, with Haman denouncing his move, showing no remorse at his death, even after she took the time to train him as a soldier.
Judau Ashta, upon, first meeting her commented that he felt a dark, malevolent aura around her, thus reflecting the depth of her dark personality, possibly even implying she is truly evil. While she follows the beliefs of reforming the Earth for the better, she has no tolerance for Earthnoids, viewing them as corrupt, greedy individuals whose "souls are weighed down by gravity," and as such must be rid of, if Earth is to be saved under the aristocratic rule of spacenoids, with her herself as empress, reflecting she is a possible tyrant at heart.
It is important to note however that Haman was not always the way she was during the events of Zeta Gundam and Gundam ZZ. The manga Char's Deleted Affair and its mini prequel Haman's Deleted Affair, reveal that Haman had a sweet disposition as a young teenager. The latter manga reveals that Haman grew up in Axis after the One Year War, never having seen the Earth, and had to endure a hard life growing up as Axis was not well suited to support life, and it was not any better with the looming threat of the Federation possibly attacking them.
The former manga also shows she was a romantic of sorts, as she became romantically involved with Zeon's Red Comet, Char Aznable. Though CDA also reaffirms what was said in HDA, as Haman had to train to be a soldier and possibly felt obligated to protect the people on Axis, viewing their treatment by the Federation as unjust. Thus Haman's personality in the anime is a result of her troubled upbringing, never having had the chance to be a child and enjoy life, Haman became dark, cold, and isolated from the rest of the world, which she states in Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, is what made her stronger, and is her core strength.
However the original Haman never disappeared completely, as when Haman meets Judau, his personality and beliefs slowly begin to reawaken Haman's old self, which she herself notes, and is possibly why she developed feelings for Judau, as he shared the same personality she did when she was fourteen. In their climactic duel at the end of the series, Haman reveals that she is happy to have met Judau, possibly because he represented what she could have become, had she not let herself be corrupted by war.
Skills & Capabilities
In terms of piloting skills, Haman has demonstrated that she is a highly-skilled pilot, as well as a very powerful Newtype, even possibly surpassing Char Aznable's abilities. She is also a very capable leader, able to lead the forces of Neo Zeon on a campaign to retake the Earth Sphere immediately after the end of the Gryps Conflict.
As the daughter of Admiral Maharaja Karn who led the exodus to Axis, Haman took over her late father's role at the recommendation of Char Aznable, in U.C. 0083. At age sixteen, she found herself in charge of a community of dispirited Zeon exiles. Despite being so young, Haman's charisma and determination allowed her to rally Axis Zeon for their eventual return to the Earth Sphere.
As regent to the young girl Mineva Lao Zabi, last of the Zabi royal family, Haman was the true leader of the "Axis Zeon" faction (which she later renames Neo Zeon), based in the asteroid of the same name. Her goals were chiefly the revival of the Zabi Royal Family, and social reform throughout the Earth Sphere. From her various speeches and her general disposition, we can surmise that she favors a monarchist system of government with a style of aristocratic meritocracy operating beneath it.
Garnering ideas from Zeon Zum Deikun, as all Zeon-based factions do, Axis Zeon also desired to overthrow the old ways and the institutions of the past, and to do away with the trade barriers and tariffs that had plagued the Sides before the outbreak of the One Year War in U.C. 0079.
The shrewd and ambitious Haman was a skilled pilot, a very powerful Newtype, and the former friend of Zeon ace pilot Char Aznable. Char was initially sent to earth in U.C. 0083 to act as what she called a forward scout, but she expressed disappointment when Char reveals that he did not agree with her goals and would no longer help her.
Haman's personal mobile suit was the AMX-004 Qubeley, which was equipped with a miniaturised Psycommu System and 12 remote weapons known as funnels. Her aptitude with the psycommu was extremely high.
The Gryps Conflict
Haman's Axis Zeon group used its political and monetary influence as well as its numerical superiority to maintain a high ground compared to both the Titans and the AEUG, and both factions found themselves courting Axis Zeon over the course of the Gryps Conflict. The monetary influence that Axis Zeon exerted was principally due to the fact that Axis used a system based on actual gold and silver, which proved itself superior to the system used by the rest of the rest of the Earth Sphere which had been in recession since the end of U.C. 0079.
The AEUG entered negotiations with Axis in the hopes of making the Titans a mutual enemy of both factions. However, when Quattro Bajeena (Char Aznable) tried to attack Haman during their meeting aboard Axis' capital ship, negotiations broke down between the two factions, and Axis instead allied itself with the Titans. At a convenient time Axis eventually exited the alliance with the Titans. The war culminated in a final battle between Kamille Bidan and Char Aznable representing AEUG, Haman representing Axis Zeon, and Paptimus Scirocco representing the Titans, ultimately ending with Kamille in his Zeta Gundam showing up to fight Scirocco's The O, while Haman in her Qubeley, defeats Char's Hyaku Shiki. Although Haman usually acted as if she had gotten over Char's rejection of her ideas and her affections, she tried at least twice to convince him to rejoin Axis Zeon. At the end of the Gryps Conflict, she appeared slightly saddened when it seemed that she had actually killed Char.
First Neo Zeon Movement
In the aftermath of that war, Axis was in a position of strategic and tactical advantage, and Haman's dreams were about to manifest in reality. Spearheading the next move, she ambitiously sent envoys to various colonies, and subsequently landed a full-fledged occupying force in the Earth Federation's capital at Dakar, spreading her influence throughout North Africa. Whether her reforms would have lifted the indigenous populations out of their backward state of development is unknown, since the blow-back of her own machinations began to visit her in the form of the AEUG remnants on the Argama, and their rising star pilot, Judau Ashta. The two encountered each other on multiple occasions, as Haman attempted to convince Judau to join her. Judau however, refused, being deeply suspicious of her ideas and motivations. In spite of this, they did begin to discuss philosophy and develop a sense of understanding towards the other. The third time they encountered each other in Dhakar, she accidentally shot Leina, driving Judau into a rage that managed to terrify Haman and induce a rare loss of self control.
As the push to occupy the Earth slowly ground to a halt due to various elements of resistance, the first Neo Zeon movement took a turn in a new direction, as Haman decided to use a weapon of mass destruction in the form of an colony drop onto Dublin, Ireland, to force a surrender from the Earth Federation. Curiously, the Earth Federation chose not to warn or evacuate Dublin, and instead allowed its own citizens to be killed for the purposes of population reduction. One Earth Federation minister privately expressed his lack of concern with the words, "It doesn't matter, at least we will have less mouths to feed".
After this distasteful sequence of events, Haman seemed to be on the path to victory. Unfortunately for Haman, one of her subordinates, Glemy Toto, had acquired a taste for power, and had gained enough influence within the organization to begin to challenge some of the finer points of Haman's philosophy and methods. This subsequently escalated into an actual civil war within Neo Zeon itself, as the Glemy Faction began to fight against the units that were loyal to Haman's leadership. During this internal confusion, the Earth Federation exploited the Neo Zeon's disarray due to its infighting, by pushing a task-force headed up primarily by the former AEUG personnel on the Argama directly into Neo Zeon's homeland area and attacking Haman's remaining units after the Glemy Faction had been defeated.
Haman found herself cornered, and was both disappointed and frustrated with the cards that fate had seemingly dealt her. In that final battle, The Battle of Axis, Judau Ashta piloted his personal mobile suit, ZZ Gundam, against Haman's Qubeley, fighting her to a stalemate as the Earth Federation fleet bore down on their position. Here, Judau and Haman's ideologies clashed in the fervor of combat. Judau insisted that people shouldn't simply make decisions by themselves, but Haman replied by telling him that she did not feel the need to change herself to satisfy others. The subject of Newtypes was also raised, Judau attempted to intimidate Haman with a vision of the will of those sacrificed in vain fights, Haman replying again with an individualist outlook, asking him if he thought that his view of Newtypes should be the only valid one. Judau implored her to surrender, claiming that Haman was trapping herself, but at that point Haman was prepared to see the fight through to the end.
Using a play on words, Haman replied that trapping (concealing) herself was actually her strength, and gave an impassioned statement, "All humans are alone, that is their destiny", shortly before rushing in to clash sabers with the ZZ Gundam one final time. Judau foresaw the attack, and disabled Haman's Qubeley as Haman also disabled Judau's ZZ Gundam. Haman realized that despite having disabled her foe, she was herself disabled and surrounded by the Earth Federation Fleet. Lamenting the turn of events, she accused Judau of following a childish and naive path, telling him that it was because of people's childishness, that the Earth would continue to be ruled by idiots.
Declining Judau's attempts to talk further, she then took her own life, expressing hapiness at having met someone as decent as him. In the aftermath of Haman's suicide, surviving Neo Zeon forces either surrendered to the Earth Federation or retreated into hiding.
Haman first met Char when he arrived with the remnants of the Zeon Space Forces at the asteroid base Axis after their defeat at The Battle of A Baoa Qu. Despite this being their first meeting, Haman would have had no trouble recognizing the infamous Red Comet, and it was probably because of Char's reputation that she was infatuated with him. Her feelings for him probably became genuine, after he saved her from a Federation attack on Axis, as seen in Char's Deleted Affair. Contrary to popular fan pandering, Haman and Char never had a relationship.
Haman's relationship with Kamille Bidan was mutual and total animosity from start to end. Both had crossed path in their mobile suits, the Zeta Gundam and Qubeley respectively, at the height of the Gryps War, with Haman considering Kamille a young man with powerful and dangerous Newtype ability, while Kamille regarded Haman as a warmonger and the root of all tragdies. Despite Kamille's effort to forge a mutual understanding via their Newtype communication during Operation Maelstrom, Haman considered his actions as an act of violating her privacy, including a revelation of her past relationship/romance with Char Aznable during their Axis days. From that point on there was no way back between the two, but they never met again after the Gryps War.
While Judau was walking around in the Neo Zeon home base Axis, Haman sensed him, but thought it was Char. They met as enemies in the Neo Zeon home base Axis, much like Haman had met Char years earlier. Upon meeting the two had no idea who the other was, though both left a profound impression on each other via their strong newtype presence. Haman had apparently had Judau on her mind for a while as she was eager to speak privately with him when he demanded she hand over his sister, who was kidnapped by Zeon. From their second encounter Haman has always tried to persuade Judau to join her side, and has even noted she gets highly emotional and does not act like her usual self when around Judau. This all implies that she at some point developed romantic feelings for the AEUG pilot, though it was never explained why. From what is seen in CDA, it is possible that Haman fell in love with Judau because he reminded her of the child like Haman who was naive and felt things could be changed through understanding one another. This is supported by Haman's final words, where she mentions she was happy to have met Judau and called him a good kid. Another possibility on falling for Judau was that Judau reminded her of Char, since she mistakened Judau as Char the first time she sensed Judau nearby. Either way her feelings were unrequited as Judau disagreed with her dark ambitions and thus refused her advancements repeatedly. It is important to note that in their final duel he tried to unsuccessfully persuade her to abandon her ambitions and come with him, showing that he did feel some sympathy for her.
A loyalist and mobile suit pilot serving under Haman Karn, they first met when she challenged and beaten Mashymre to a MS simulation battle that he had been on a winning streak before.
After Haman's brave action in the battle with Earth Federation Soldier attacking Axis in U.C 0080, she was chosen as Minerva's regent. Because the ceremony was private, a parade was organized for the public of Moussa. Mashymre ran after the Haman's car and gave her a rose. When asked by Char if she known the boy, Haman replied "Yes". The rose Mashymre received years later maybe was a reminiscence of Haman of that particular event.
Mashymre's feeling to Haman was one-sided: He was extremely loyal to her, to the point he fought the Glemy Faction to death. Yet, when being informed about his end, Haman only showed a passing impressiveness, simply commented that the number of resources available to her had decreased by one.
Notes and Trivia
- Haman also made a minor appearance in Gundam 0083.
- Char also briefly mentions Haman in his speech to the 2nd Neo-Zeon Movement (Char's Counterattack).
- Haman is named after Haman from the Book of Esther in the Jewish Torah/Christian Old Testament. Like her namesake, she is a corrupt usurper who uses a ruler to fulfill his/her ambitions. The only difference is that the Biblical Haman sought ethnic cleansing (particularly of Jews who were the mortal enemies of her ancestors the Amalekites), while the Universal Century Haman sought domination.
- Haman is the Gundam character with the greatest number of different hair styles: her usual style, pigtails (when she was young), buns (when older in C.D.A), and combed straight.
- Haman had the dual role of both being a selectable "Navigator" to comment on the player's direction and performance and piloted her Qubeley unit in the arena fighting game Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs.. She shares that distinction with Katejina Loos and (in the Full Boost version) Nena Trinity.