In the anime series Code Geass, Schneizel el Britannia (シュナイゼル エル ブリタニア Shunaizeru Eru Buritania?) is the Second Prince of the Britannian Imperial Family and the Prime Minister of the Holy Britannian Empire. He is a strategist on par with Lelouch, and the only person Lelouch could not defeat in chess as a child. Schneizel is also the main antagonist in the second season.
Schneizel is ruthless and cold as a strategist, willing to sacrifice lives to achieve his ends. He is also extremely charismatic, accounting for his ability in manipulating others. He seems to show disdain for force when it's unnecessary, such as negotiating a peace treaty with the Euro Universe despite dominating them militarily in every engagement. Schneizel has ambitions for the throne, a fact of which the Emperor is aware. Schneizel seems somewhat resentful of his father, remarking that he is not concerned with the present reality. Lelouch judges that Schneizel's ambitions are to preserve the present, in contrast to his own desire for the future and Charles' wish to revive the past.
Schneizel is also quite caring toward his siblings, even going so far as to call Lelouch the man he loved and feared the most, but he is willing to kill them if they get in his way. Cornelia notes that Schneizel has no desires for himself, and he would be the perfect king in a peaceful world. Additionally, Schneizel is suggested to know the truth about Marianne vi Britannia's murder: Clovis, when compelled to reveal who murdered Marianne by Lelouch's Geass, points Lelouch to Cornelia and Schneizel for further information. Cornelia similarly points to Schneizel while under the effect of Geass, stating that he was the one who took away Marianne's remains. Schneizel's involvement in Marianne's death is later disproved, however, when it is revealed that V.V. killed her out of jealousy.
Schneizel sponsors a number of experimental projects throughout the series. Not only is he is the patron of Lloyd Asplund, the developer of the Lancelot, but he also funded the construction of the Gawain, and he takes possession of one of the Thought Elevators in Japan to study it. His investments in new technologies result in the development of the F.L.E.I.J.A. warhead and, eventually, the floating fortress Damocles, both of which are integral to his plans for bringing the world 'eternal peace' through fear and intimidation.
Schneizel is first seen briefly at Prince Clovis' funeral, but makes his first major appearance in episode 18, where he orders Suzaku Kururugi to restrain Zero while the experimental airship Avalon bombards the area. When Lelouch uses his Geass to force Suzaku to survive at any cost, Schneizel uses his authority to clear Suzaku of the subsequent insubordination charge. He supports Euphemia's idea of creating the Special Administrative Zone of Japan for the Elevens. This is because he believes that the plan would weaken public support for the terrorist groups in Area 11, thus helping to pacify the region and restore public order, possibly even eliminating the Black Knights in the process. He is shocked and horrified when he sees her acting uncharacteristically and killing the Japanese people.
In episode 24, when his older brother, Prince Odysseus, is too indecisive to act during Zero's attack on Tokyo, especially after Euphemia's death, Schneizel steps up and volunteers to go to Cornelia's aid, taking the Pacific fleet to Area 11 to relieve her battered forces and restore order.
In the second season, Schneizel commands the Britannian forces attempting to conquer the E.U.-controlled North Africa, ending with a peace treaty despite repeated victories. As he explains to Nina, he did this because nothing but conquest invites defeat since it destroys hope. He also makes an arrangement with the High Eunuchs of the Chinese Federation, making them nobility in Britannia in exchange for much of their land. After the plot is exposed and the Chinese people rebel against the Eunuchs, he decides to give up on his plan, noting that leaders who do not have the support of their people cannot be called leaders at all. He leads the defense against the Black Knights' attack on Tokyo, and manages to learn Zero's identity and of his Geass by having Suzaku followed. He uses this information, in tandem with the devastation caused by F.L.E.I.J.A. and evidence relating to Euphemia's death, to convince the Black Knights to hand over Zero, agreeing to their terms for an independent Japan.
It was also at that time, Schneizel learns about his father's part in the Geass Order from Cornelia, deciding to usurp the throne after Suzaku volunteers to assassinate the Emperor in exchange for promotion to Knight of One status. Though shocking present company, Schneizel justifies his intent by explaining that his father's dismissal of the war and their government affairs as of no concern made him unfit to rule. However, after the Emperor's death, as the news of it was hidden from the public, Schneizel and his group take refuge in Cambodia to outfit the completed Damocles with every F.L.E.I.J.A. warhead there and removing their limiters to have them cause 10 times the damage. With Lelouch resurfacing to take the throne a month later, Schneizel is content to let his brother have it as it made his plan easier to pull. Taking advantage of Lelouch's actions as Emperor, Schneizel makes himself seem like the lesser of two evils when Lelouch makes his move on the U.F.N. By the time Lelouch launches his attack, the Damocles arrives to Tokyo after using a F.L.E.I.J.A. warhead to annihilate Pendragon. Schneizel than reveals another trump in the form of Nunnally, thought to be dead, to further unnerve Leouch. Unknown to her, though, Schneizel lies to Nunnally about the getting their people out of the city before F.L.E.I.J.A. is launched as he entrusts her with the control for the warheads. Being confronted by Cornelia of the matter of deception, Schneizel reveals his ideology to her as well as his plan to place Damocles in an orbital position to strike every country in the world, enforcing peace through terror and making him "god."
After disposing of Cornelia when she refused to aid him, Schneizel convinces the Black Knights to work with him for the sake of stopping Lelouch, intending to kill two birds with one stone. However, when Lelouch and Suzaku manage to break through Damocles' defenses, Schneizel prepares to evacuate while activating the fortress' self destruct so it would take them out while confident that another would be built. However, Lelouch outsmarts Schneizel in the escape shuttle, using a pre-recorded conversation to distract Schneizel while he approached in person and used his Geass on him, specifically forcing him to serve Zero. Two months later, Schneizel, along with the U.F.N. delegates and the Black Knights, are being transported to their executions. He is saved from his fate when Suzaku, in disguise as Zero, kills Lelouch, culminating the Zero Requiem. During the epilogue, he is shown to be working with the new incarnation of the Black Knights; as his Geass command was to serve Zero, not Lelouch, he is now loyal to Suzaku.
Appearances in other media
Nightmare of Nunnally
In the manga spin-off series, Schneizel head towards Japan, and has brought Lelouch's twin brother, Rolo vi Britannia, with him. When Emperor Charles zi Britannia creates the Holy Nation of Eden Vital, Schneizel confronts the Emperor (as the Prime Minister) with the Imperial Senate's decision to nullify his decision and his promptly arrested as his father dissolves the Imperial Senate and arrests all the senators. Prior to this, though, he had solicited written from all senators endorsing Euphemia li Britannia as the new Empress. His fate at the end of Nightmare of Nunnally is unknown.
Suzaku of the Counterattack
In the manga spin-off series, Schneizel is the series main antagonist and has knowledge of Geass and C.C., which he plans to use her for world domination.
After Schneizel arrived at Area 11, he meets Lloyed's assistant Mariel Lubie and discuss with her about the Knightmare combat suit and its connections with Geass. She reveal to him that it involves the being known as "Regulators" who were part of the Geass cult and have gained superhuman abilities. Schneizel then meets Suzaku and decided to appoint him as his Knight, which Suzaku accepted. When Zero and the Black Knights took control over the Britannian Art Gallery with the Emperor inside, Schneizel confronted Zero, who knows that its Lelouch, in the Emperor's private room with Charles dead body and revealed that it was a trap and that he killed the Emperor. Schneizel also revealed that he's the one that killed Lelouch's mother, Marianne, for discovering his plans and sent C.C. away, and later set him up by making Lelouch shoot him and just in time for Suzaku to appear and thinking that Zero, who has been revealed to be Lelouch, killed the Emperor and shot Schneizel. With the arrest of Zero, Schneizel has manage to have caught C.C. and plans on taking her Geass code and becoming immortal.
In the same night that the uprising of the Black Knights began, led by Kallen as Zero, Schneizel begins to extract C.C.'s code at the moment of the eclipse with a machine built by Lloyd, but is interrupted by both Lelouch and Suzaku who are planning to stop him. Schneizel has gained a portion of C.C.'s abilities and stopped Lelouch from using his Geass by puncturing his left eye and damaged Suzaku's combat suit, and just when he is about to finish them off Suzaku suddenly revealed his Geass code and stopped him, which has surprised Schneizel to find that Suzaku is a Regulator. Before Schneizel was about to have fully obtain C.C.'s Geass code, Suzaku killed him and has cause to not only obtain C.C.'s abilities but her immortality as well.
Schneizel is charismatic and calculating, able to form complex strategies that can match even Lelouch. Yet in spite of this, he shows a caring side to his subordinates, earning their respect and loyalty. His hierarchy in the Britannian family gives him great power and influence. He also shows a deal of concern for his half-siblings, aiding them in their ventures as well offering them protection in times of adversity (even in the case of Lelouch). However this seems to be nothing more than a ruse as he quickly gunned down his sister Cornelia (whom has been one of his closest siblings) without remorse or hesitation. On the other hand, as Cornelia received only minor wounds (perhaps indicating the use of non-lethal ammunition) and was promptly taken to a hospital for treatment, it may be the more ruthless aspect of Schneizel's personality that is the ruse. Cornelia herself remarks that under different circumstances, Schniezel would have been an excellent leader.
Schneizel is also strangely honorable; granting conquered people peace treaties instead of merely initiating an all-out invasion. He seems to show disdain for force when it's unnecessary, such as negotiating a peace treaty with the Euro Universe despite dominating them militarily in every engagement. He also firmly holds the belief that those whose followers do not agree with them do not deserve to be called leaders.