The Conflagration
Welcome to my humble fan-shrine to Jiren the Grey (Haiiro no Jiren), the all-powerful but misunderstood alien from the Dragon Ball Super anime! I am rather saddened by the absence of the fan shrines of olde on the modern Web and, seeing as how Jiren is my favourite fictional character and is one of the most underrated and unappreciated characters in all of Dragon Ball, decided to do my part to both bring back fan-shrines and give Jiren some love.

I've compiled various information about the character and his origins here, as well as a bit of my own head-canon on the various subjects included herein. As returning visitors have likely noticed, brevity is most certainly not my strong suit, so I have provided a table of contents to make it easier to skip around for anyone who is only interested in certain parts. Sections


Jiren's Backstory Analysis


Between Dragon Ball's tradition of dropping intriguing plot points and never following up on them, and the writing in Super being essentially a chaotic hodgepodge of Toriyama's suggestions, the whims of the many anime writers, and the whims of Toyotaro, it is frustrating to piece together an entirely coherent backstory for Jiren and the other major Universe 11 characters. What is known is the following:

Speculation on Jiren's Mysteries


The Evildoer


Jiren's backstory seems to raise more questions than it answers. For starters, who or what was the Evildoer, what were his motives for doing what he did, and what ultimately became of him?

It's easy to dismiss the mystery of the inscrutable Evildoer's motives and origins as being something that wasn't worth explaining, but there is also evidence that he was not just a throwaway plot device, but actually someone of great importance. The manga contained a rather shocking declaration by Marcarita, that she is unable to use her Angel powers to resurrect Gicchin because he was murdered by a "demon".

As everyone who is familiar with DBS is aware, Angels are an enigmatic race of virtually indomitable individuals who possess physical strength that is worlds beyond that of even titans like Jiren; Broly; and Beerus, as well as a myriad of magical abilities that include even resurrection and time travel. An individual capable of countering their magic by his status alone, is almost certainly not an average Joe.

As has been a recurring theme here so far, the label of "demon" seems to create more confusion than lucidity. The first canon demons that Dragon Ball showed us were Akkuman and Piccolo Daimao. The former appeared to fit the traditional definition of a demon, and was a rather weak individual that nonetheless possessed one very potent magical ability that could allow him to murder opponents that vastly exceed him in strength.

The latter, Piccolo Daimao, was a far more interesting case. Although first introduced as a traditional demonic, almost Satan-esque figure, it was later revealed that he was a mortal of the Namekian race, whose heart was so demented and cruel that it had caused him to somehow obtain the status of a demon. This appeared to manifest in two ways: all of his children (his reincarnation Ma Junior/Piccolo aside) were extremely deformed and as heinous as their father, and anyone who died by his hand would be stuck in limbo and unable to enter the afterlife.

It's later established that there exists an entire Demon Realm populated by beings such as Dabra and Towa, who are explained in guidebooks to essentially be potential Kaioshins that went down a dark path. It's not established whether these beings or any of the other types of demons can prevent an Angel from resurrecting their victims. Since traditional demons are fallen Angels, it's possible that the Evildoer was a corrupted child of the Grand Priest who will appear in a future arc.

Jiren's Eyes


One of Jiren's most well known traits is his unique ability to ostensibly attack his opponents by glaring at them. This usually manifests in opening his eyes wider and emitting a bright red or orange light from them. The only exception thos is apparent rule was when he produced what appears to be a glowing dark blue circle in his eye when preparing to attack Maji Kayo to save Dyspo.

While it's never exactly explained what exactly this is, the Kaioshin of Universe 1 implies that Jiren is using his willpower to exert power with his glare. Given that Jiren went from being a helpless child to surpassing all other mortals and even the Gods of Destruction with naught but his unparalleled drive to become the strongest, it would make sense that he possesses willpower so great that he is able to quite literally weaponise it.

It's also worth noting that the only three colours that his glare ability appears to emit, all correspond to colours of stars. Jiren's power appears to be connected to heat generation as he emits fire and even magma almost every time he powers up, so it's possible that his eye ability is nothing more than another aspect of that design choice.

When Jiren pummels Kaio-ken x20 Goku, he appears to use his glare ability to do so, but Cyborg 17 makes a remark about Jiren simply attacking at a speed that could not be visualised. This appears to be contradicted by when he visibly shifts from using his arms to using his eyes to push back Goku's Genki Dama later on however.

Jiren's Feats


"Transcending" time - After being frozen by Hitto sealing him in his Cage of Time, thereby stopped time around Jiren, the Grey was somehow able to overpower the technique with sheer willpower and break out. Kaioshin reacted by declaring that time itself "means nothing" against Jiren's strength, and even the Angel Vados remarked in shock that Jiren's power "transcends time itself".

Shaking an infinitely large void - While leisurely walking towards Son Goku in episode 109 of the anime, Jiren was able to generate such massive shockwaves that Cyborg 18 claimed that the entire World of Void was "shaking". Remarkably, he was still suppressed to what was most likely a miniscule fraction of the true power that he would reveal later on.

Surpassing a God of Destruction - Although Beerus was introduced back in 2013, before the Dragon Ball Super trademark even existed, it wasn't until Jiren arrived on the scene in 2016 that anyone (minus the Angels) had surpassed him or any of the other Gods of Destruction. To this day, only Son Goku and Broly share that illustrious honour with Jiren.

While the maximum abilities of a God of Destruction have not yet been explored, Beerus was stated in the Super anime to be capable of destroying an entire universe with the shockwave from one of his punches, and this is just while he was heavily suppressed against Goku.

Defeating Ultra Instinct - In both the anime and the manga, Jiren was ultimately able to defeat Son Goku after he attained Ultra Instinct - the state of the gods that even Beerus could not fully attain and that allowed its user to react in battle faster than thoughts can travel from their brain to their limbs. Although Jiren's victory ultimately came as a result of Goku's body giving out due to the strain of his new ability, in the anime Jiren was actually able to temporarily overpower and outspeed Ultra Instinct by increasing his own power even further through sheer willpower.

Jiren's Power in Relation to Others


There is a lot of misinformation in regard to Jiren's power, likely owing to the negative views that many fans hold towards him. Having been a fan of Dragon Ball since DBZ first aired on Cartoon Network over 20 years ago, I have observed that fans of the series are (for whatever reason) some of the most consistently uninformed fans of any work of fiction.

While Jiren is only the third most recent major antagonist in the franchise (counting the Broly movie and the manga-exclusive Moro arc), this does not automatically imply that he is only the third strongest, as is sometimes claimed. Beerus was the first antagonist in Super and was not surpassed until Jiren showed up four plot arcs later. Five if the Copy Vegeta mini-arc is counted. The rule of each antagonist being more powerful than the previous one is thus clearly not universal.

Bearing that in mind, I will break down where Jiren stands in comparison to the other current titans in the series, and explain my personal reasoning for him still being the most powerful non-Angel in the series.

Beerus


The closest thing that we have to a direct comparison that we have between Jiren and Beerus is the statement about Jiren possessing power beyond that of a God of Destruction. I've often seen this dismissed with the assumption that Beerus stands far above the other GoDs, yet there is no tangible evidence of this.

While it's true that Beerus was initially able to dominate the other GoDs during their battle royale in the manga due to his superior grasp of Ultra Instinct, Vermoud and Rumoosh were able to similiarly dominate all of their opponents when they began utilising their own special abilities. Even more interestingly, by the time the Grand Priest ended the battle, Beerus and Quitela were the last ones standing while Vermoud was completely undamaged due to pretending to be K.O.'d midway through the brawl.

It's worth noting also that both the anime and the manga had a scene that established that Beerus is equal in power to his obese twin brother Champa.

Most importantly, the statement about Jiren's power surpassing that of a God of Destruction is rarely brought up with its proper context. Whis followed up on the statement by declaring that the rumour about there being a mortal who even a GoD cannot defeat is indeed true. When Whis initially brought the rumour up earlier, he also mentioned that the GoD he was referring to lived in the same universe as the mortal, and was himself stronger than even Beerus.

Beerus is one of the most popular characters in the franchise and understandably, the notion of even Vermoud surpassing him is not a popular one, yet even the battle royale that people use to argue Beerus' supremacy seems to support this. As mentioned earlier, Vermoud was able to dominate the 11 other GoDs at once using his special technique, with one of them even exclaiming that Vermoud might be able to kill them all at once. He also remained completely undamaged despite sustaining multiple hits before feigning defeat, and even declined to be healed after the match.

Thusly, taking Whis' full statement and the feats of the GoD battle royale into account, we are left with: Jiren > Vermoud > Beerus

Broly (Dragon Ball Super)


Nu-Broly is another mighty character whose power is in the realm of a GoD, but was never directly compared to Jiren. There does exist a statement in promotional material that proclaims that Broly is the strongest "enemy" that Goku and have faced, and that he might even be more powerful than a God of Destruction.

I generally discount promotional material as it is not canon to the series, but for what it's worth, promotional material also claimed that Goku already wielded power beyond that of Beerus when he was in Ultra Instinct Omen, which itself contradicts the notion of Broly being anywhere near Jiren in terms of power.

Taking statements from the actual work and nowhere else, the only real statement that we have to work with is Son Goku stating that Broly is probably even stronger than Beerus. As explained in the Beerus comparison, Jiren is inarguably stronger than Vermoud, who is himself stronger than Beerus.

Moreover, in a franchise like Dragon Ball, where the writers are constantly trying to sell us how impressive the powers and feats are, we should always assume that power-related statements are being made to sound as grandiose as they can be made to be.

For example, if character A proclaims that character B is "not even half as strong" as they themselves are, we can deduce that character A is around 2.5x stronger than character B. If character A was a full three times stronger, then the more impressive sounding "a third as strong as" statement would have been made instead. Since the writers specifically chose Beerus for Goku's statement about Broly's power, it follows that Beerus was the most powerful known character at the time that Broly's power surpassed.

Moro


As explained in the Beerus comparison, Jiren is assuredly well above Beerus in terms of power. Since Moro was stated to, even at the peak of his power, be a foe that Beerus could vanquish if he chose to, it follows that Jiren also can. There does exist a potential problem in Goku's statement about Moro being the "toughest" person that he has ever come across. Even disregarding Jiren entirely however, this statement is so ludicrous that I'm amazed it supposedly made its way past Toriyama's watchful eye.

As mentioned earlier, Beerus is not only far stronger than Moro, but he and the indomitable Whis were actually standing 15 feet away from Goku when he made said statement! The Moro arc also takes place after the battle with Broly, who Goku himself stated was stronger than Beerus. It's not even worth mentioning the other 11 Gods of Destruction, 11 Angels, and the nigh-omnipotent Grand Priest who stands far above even the rest of Angelkind.

Gogeta


While I fully believe Jiren's superior status over Beerus, Broly, and Moro to be completely factual, I must confess that my belief of his dominance over Gogeta is closer to fanboyism than indisputable fact.

My main reason for not believing Gogeta to be above Jiren is due to such a thing never having been directly established. Even with Super Saiyan Blue, Gogeta had to go all out and repeatedly assault Broly in order to take him down, and given that Broly himself is likely not too far above Beerus, it's fully plausible that Gogeta's power could exist somewhere in the gap between Jiren and Beerus.

Jiren's Relations to Other Characters


Toppo


Being Jiren's only real friend, and the long-time leader of the Pride Troopers, the wise elder walrus Toppo is undoubtedly the most important person in Jiren's life besides his deceased master Gicchin.

The significance of Vermoud willingly retiring from his post as God of Destruction despite not appearing to be too old or frail for the job, and his successor Toppo already being able to wield GoD power is something that does not get brought up enough. To me, it seems that Toppo is purposefully holding out on ascending to his new position, likely because he wants to ensure that Jiren grows enough to succeed him in his current role as the leader of the Pride Troopers once he moves up.

We do see Toppo successfully pep talk Jiren on two occasions in the last episode of Super, and it seems that Jiren does accept Toppo as a mentor or even possibly a father figure. If the absurd manga-only implication of Jiren joining the Pride Troopers over 200,000 years ago is discounted, it's even possible that Toppo founded the Pride Troopers and was the leader when Gicchin first ordered Jiren to join the organisation.

While lamentably, we have yet to see anyone from outside of Universe 7 appear in canon after the Tournament of Power, there does exist a nice scene in the non-canon Dragon Ball Heroes manga where Jiren rescues Toppo from the Core Area Warriors and praises him for holding them off for as long as he did.

Being that Toppo is nearly universally viewed as one of the best characters that Super introduced, I am very hopeful that we will get to see how his and Jiren's relationship evolves in the future, including after Jiren takes over leading the Pride Troopers while Toppo ascends to godhood.

Dyspo


Although Dyspo seemed almost fearful of Jiren when the Grey stepped in to save him from Maji Kayo, this may be partially due to the shock of Jiren rudely ordering his superior Toppo to step aside in order to let him handle the situation. Dyspo immediately brought Jiren up when Toppo explained the Tournament of Power to him and Kahseral, so he does likely hold him in high esteem at the very least.

Manga-wise, Jiren is actually seen assaulting a group of warriors at Dyspo's request, but later allows both him and Toppo to fall off the arena due to not viewing their assistance as necessary. In spite of this, Dyspo does remind Jiren after he drops out that he and the rest of the Pride Troopers are his allies.

Dyspo did make a nice appearance in the manga version of Dragon Ball Heroes, and I am still hopeful that he and Toppo will make future appearances in the official series. Although not the most powerful being in the show, Dyspo's speed is so astonishing that even the Angel Vados had trouble seeing him move. It cannot be understated how much potential a hypothetical team-up between Jiren and Dyspo would have if they can effectively take advantage of each other's strengths.

Vermoud


Although little interaction is seen between these two in both the manga and the anime, the latter medium seems to paint a picture where Vermoud is one of Jiren's biggest cheerleaders, while Jiren begrudgingly accepts Vermoud as an authority figure he must tolerate at best. While Jiren is shown to be willing to take orders from Vermoud, he refuses to even use an honourific when speaking to him. To my knowledge, Jiren never addresses another deity so it's unknown if Jiren does not respect gods overall of if he simply holds Vermoud in contempt.

One possible clue is the fact that Jiren visibly lost respect for Toppo after he gave up his ideals of justice to transform into a God of Destruction, and even called Toppo pathetic before praising Vegeta for defeating Toppo without sacrificing his principles. Jiren also earlier referred to Hitto's pride as "rubbish", claiming that an assassin like him could not profess to even having pride. It's possible that Jiren views Vermoud with as much contempt because like Hitto, his job entails murdering people, including innocents.

Interestingly, the manga included a scene where Vermoud claimed that Jiren had a "foolish" conviction that prevented him from ever murdering anyone, no matter how evil they may be, which ties into this idea.

Ribrianne


The only interactions that occur between these two are anime exclusive. In one scene, Jiren prepares to interrupt Ribrianne's hypnotic Light of Love attack, which nearly ensnares Toppo and Dyspo but does not have any visible effect on Jiren himself. The other, far more interesting scene is when Goku sends Ribrianne flying and causes her to land by Jiren's feet. While the Grey visibly ignores her, Ribrianne repeatedly, fearfully hits on him before running away after not getting any reaction.

Although I do not expect the duo to have any further interactions in the series, I personally would welcome a potential pairing between the two. Ribrianne is in my opinion, one of the most creative and Toriyama-esque new characters in all of Dragon Ball Super. She is also one of the few new characters in the Universe Survival arc that was actually designed by Akira Toriyama himself.

Although having a rather weak performance in the Tournament of Power, Ribrianne most likely has the potential to return as an incredibly powerful character in the future. In contrast to Universes 7 and 11, Universe 2 was repeatedly shown to be a comically utopian and peaceful place where even the looming universal-scale apocalypse wasn't enough to drive a single person to riot. Much like the various threats that Goku faced drove him to go from being a weak child to a titan whose power exceeds even that of the GoDs, perhaps Ribrianne's loss in the Tournament of Power will drive her to achieve far greater heights.

Either way, after Mai x Trunks went from being a very odd one-off joke in the Beerus arc to suddenly resurfacing as a serious and wonderful pairing in the Future Trunks arc, I can't say that I would be entirely surprised if something actually became of Jiren x Ribrianne one day.

Son Goku


Jiren and Goku share many obvious similiarities: they both went from being quite weak to being the titans of their universes, they both lost their parents as children; were adopted and mentored by a grandfatherly figure; and then lost said mentor as well, they both wound up having a large role in protecting their universes, and they both refused offers to one day replace their gods.

While Goku's parents and race were wiped out before Goku could have any conscious memories of them, and his utterly carefree nature allowed him to move on from the death of his grandfather's without much issue, Jiren in contrast became utterly broken by his losses and his inability to protect those he cared about.

In contrast to Jiren's own tragedies however, every single loss that Son Goku ever consciously experienced, minus his grandfather, came after the Saiyan learned of the Dragon Balls and their ability to resurrect the dead.

It cannot be understated how much of a difference that likely made in Goku's development in comparison to Jiren's. By the time of the Boo arc, everyone has grown so accustomed to relying on the Dragon Balls that Piccolo goes as far as to buy time for Gotenks by encouraging Majin Boo to genocide all of the Earthlings that are still alive, knowing what minutae death was in a universe with multiple sets of Dragon Balls.

Keeping this in mind, it's not difficult to see why Jiren threw such a violent outburst upon Goku both gaining the advantage over him and proclaiming to him that his power came from the bonds he formed with those that he protects. Every single individual that Goku claims to derive power from his attachment to is only alive because they were fortunate enough to be born in one of the two universes with wish-granting balls and were resurrected after their deaths. Even Goku himself was brought back to life on two separate occasions.

While Son Goku does acknowledge Jiren's superiority in reaching the unparalleled heights of power that he did without relying on anyone for training or other assistance the way Son Goku constantly did, the fact that he also did so knowing that he had no magical reset button to fall back on is sadly never explored, in spite of it ostensibly being one of the reasons the two warriors turned out so differently.