|Also Known As||Empathy Smurf (birth name)|
Éamon Dunbar Smurf (alternate birth name)
Empath Psyche (Psychelian name)
1137-K (Psychelian designation code)
Zodiac Smurf (name used in visiting the past)
Great-Grandfather Smurf (future name)
Schtroumpf Empathie (Schtroumpf translation)
|Nationality||Smurf Village, Americus clan|
|Marital Status||Originally single, then dating and later married; also bonded to his friend Polaris Psyche|
|Known Relations||Papa Smurf (biological father)|
Lillithina Smurfette (mother, deceased)
Psyche Master (adopted father, now severed)
Polaris Psyche (bonded partner and adopted brother)
97 other Smurfs, 3 boy Smurflings (adopted brothers)
Smurfette (future wife)
Sassette (adopted sister)
Baby Smurf (presumably adopted brother)
Psycheliana Smurfette (future daughter)
Traveler Smurf (great-grandson)
|Residence||Formerly Psychelia, currently the Smurf Village|
|Voice Actor||Robert Duncan McNeill (speaking)|
Darren Hayes (singing)
Kiff VandenHeuvel (for Great-Grandfather Smurf)
|First Appearance||Empath: The Luckiest Smurf (novel)|
|Universe||Empath: The Luckiest Smurf|
|Name Translation of Empath Smurf|
"Being a normal Smurf is what this smurf always wanted to be, but just because this smurf isn't normal doesn't mean this smurf will ever stop caring for my fellow Smurfs. They're this smurf's friends and family, and they're everything this smurf wants to be."
Éamon Dunbar "Empathy" Smurf (known mostly as Empath) is a Smurf character who is solely part of Vic George's series of EMPATH: The Luckiest Smurf fanfiction stories, starring as the main character. He is a Smurf born with a yellow star mark on his forehead and with "extra-smurfory perception" powers that include telepathy and telekinesis, the latter of which also enables him to fly.
According to the story series, Empath is born the only son of Papa Smurf (referred to in those earlier times as Culliford, named for his creator Pierre Culliford, better known as Peyo) and his wife Lillithina. He was originally given the name Empathy due to his innate empathetic behavior, although Papa Smurf's friend Séamus suggested the alternate name of Éamon, meaning "guardian", with Angus McSmurf suggesting the middle name Dunbar. However, because Papa Smurf feared that his son would be ostracized by his fellow Smurfs, he was taken to a distant village called Psychelia to be trained how to use his abilities. Unfortunately for Papa Smurf at the time, the Psyche Master forcibly took Empath as his own and made it appear as if he had killed Empath by using his mind probe to erase the child's memories, resulting in Papa Smurf losing his wife and mourning the loss of his child.
It is in Psychelia that Empath spent most of his 150 years of living among a group of people called the Psyches, who tend to be rather emotionless in their limited social interactions, and was initially raised to believe that he was one of them, although different in appearance. It wasn't until around Empath's 70th birthday, when he was allowed the first of several visits to the Smurf Village for one year every ten years to experience how Smurfs live their lives, that Empath discovered who and what he truly was.
Over time, Empath got so used to the Smurf way of living that it eventually interfered with his studies in Psychelia. By the time of Empath's 150th birthday, according to the arrangement the Psyche Master had with Papa Smurf, Empath was permanently released from Psychelia. It was then that Papa Smurf had revealed the true nature of Empath's relationship to him, as Papa Smurf was prevented by the Psyche Master from disclosing his actual father-son relationship to Empath until that time. This caused a rift in their relationship, as Empath now believed that Papa Smurf had purposely left him in Psychelia because he was considered an unwanted child by his own father -- a rift which lasted until it was resolved when Papa Smurf prevented Empath from taking his own life as well as Baby Smurf's.
Ten years following his final return to the Smurf Village from Psychelia, Empath marries Smurfette and even has a child through her named Psycheliana. He also has a great-grandson from the future named Traveler, whom he ends up raising until his own death in the year 2005.
Initially Empath had the same personality as the Psyches he had lived with -- very emotionless in his expressions. He also saw himself as pretty much a member of the Psychelian race, although a "prototype" due to his blue skin, until he saw himself in Smurf clothes for the first time, which instantly changed how he saw himself.
While Empath over the years learned to be comfortable with expressing emotions as his fellow Smurfs, he is still unable to fluently speak in Smurf (except in moments where he expresses anger or fear), always referring to himself as "this smurf" in his conversations. However, he has learned to speak in various other languages, including the "lost" Smurf languages of Schtroumpf, Schlumpf, Pitufo, and Puffo (the equivalents of French, German, Spanish, and Italian in that order), although the only Smurf he can converse to in Schtroumpf is Painter Smurf, who is a surviving member of the Schtroumpf clan. During his honeymoon with Smurfette right after his wedding, Empath began to speak in Smurf fluently without needing to experience an extreme emotion, suggesting that he would never truly be complete as a Smurf without Smurfette. In his later years as an elderly Smurf, Empath had stopped using "this smurf" as his personal pronoun altogether.
He is also easily embarrassed by his own physical appearance (though not to the extreme that he does after Papa Smurf's revelation of Empath being his only begotten son), leading to his constantly wearing a shirt to addition to his star-pattern Smurf hat and pants which he wears since his 150th birthday. Because of this, Smurfette is always encouraging him to be more comfortable with himself and to not wear a shirt in public, though Empath tends to see this as a veiled desire for intimacy from Smurfette.
Due to his seemingly extraordinary powers that he has above his own fellow Smurfs among many other things, Empath is given the appellation of "the luckiest Smurf", leading his being highly admired and envied by every Smurf in the village with the possible exception of Hefty, who sees Empath as a "star-smurfed freak". Empath, however, prefers not to be the constant source of admiration and works to the end of every Smurf being equally recognized for their potential worth. And despite the envy he feels towards his fellow Smurfs for having the kind of life in the Smurf Village that Papa Smurf has denied him, Empath cares for all of them and will fiercely fight to protect them.
Empath's mixed morality teachings from both the Psyches and the Smurfs came into conflict roughly a week before his final release from Psychelia when he and all the Psyches were commanded to fight each other one-on-one to the death. Prior to this happening, Empath had made a promise to Papa Smurf that whatever happens, he would not resort to taking the life of another being, as that would require his own life during the annual Redemption Day ritual that the Smurfs partake to test their innocence. However, during the fight, Empath continually refused to kill his opponent Polluxis, which resulted in the fight continuing until Empath was nearly injured to the point of death. Spurred on by a vision of Papa Smurf that told him to do what he must to survive, Empath regained his strength long enough to finally defeat and kill Polluxis.
The death of Empath's opponent at his hands had stained his soul and conscience to the point where he was forced to confess this fault to his fellow Smurfs in the following year's Redemption Day ritual, ultimately resulting in Empath's death as he swam across the Pool of Souls. However, the spirits of the Pool of Souls saw into Empath's heart and realized Empath did not kill Polluxis out of malice, but rather because he did everything he could to prevent his opponent's death, and thus Empath was given a second chance at life. From that situation, Empath resolved himself that he would never take any being's life again.
Empath's artistic talents in music, while professional, were originally overshadowed by the fact that he could never sing the Smurf song with any feeling of happiness. This ended up changing when Smurfette was being manipulated by Lord Vladimir Smurfula, a vampire Smurf who had mistaken Smurfette for his long-lost beloved Elismurfetta, through his "smurphony of the night" to become his beloved. In Empath's and Smurfette's escape from Vladimir's castle, he ended up using the Smurf song to ward off Vladimir and keep Smurfette from being entranced by his "smurphony of the night" long enough to defeat him once and for all by using sunlight on him. From that point on, Empath could be found singing the Smurf song with the same happy feeling as any other Smurf.
It is likely that Empath may have developed a case of a split personality, as his original personality of being Empathy Smurf was replaced by the formation of his being Empath Smurf, with his latter personality being dominant over the former. In a few instances of entering his own "dream space", Empath had met with his original personality and was surprised to find how emotional he was compared to himself. It led Empath to wondering if he was truly himself or just another personality living in somebody else's skin, but over time he realized that without Empathy there would be no Empath, and the two personalities would fuse together until there was no distinction between Empath and Empathy.
- Papa Smurf -- As Empath's biological father, he served the main role of introducing Empath to the ways of Smurf culture and continually advises him in all things related to the Smurfs. Because of this biological relationship that none of the other Smurfs around Empath's age even share, Papa Smurf can speak to Empath on more of an equal basis and can confide with him in things that he cannot share with any other Smurf.
- Psyche Master -- He was considered Empath's "father" in Psychelia, who treated Empath somewhat different from the other Psyches but not to the point where he was given any preferential treatment above his fellow Psyches. Empath discovered that the Psyche Master had intended for Empath to replace him as the next Psyche Master, but given how Empath perceived the Psyche Master's treatment of both him and the Psyches -- by not allowing them to become individuals who would experience emotions -- he refused the Psyche Master's offer.
- Smurfette -- As Empath's love interest, she serves to teach him all the things Papa Smurf can't teach him about female Smurfs. She basically empathizes with Empath seeing Smurf culture as somewhat alien, given that she herself is a magically-created Smurf who at the present time of the EMPATH story series is only about several years old. She tries to get Empath to be more comfortable with himself as a Smurf and to not be ashamed of being seen in only a hat and pants as his fellow male Smurfs.
- Polaris Psyche -- As Empath's only friend in Psychelia, he serves to counter Empath's somewhat emotional thinking with a bit of Psychelian logic and reasoning, preferring to remain calm and level-headed where Empath is likely to act without properly assessing the situation. He and Empath are telepathically bonded to each other in a Psychelian ritual, thus allowing them to enter a "dream space" together. Although Empath considers his relationship with Polaris to be intimate, it is purely platonic, as Psyches are programmed to be asexual in their behaviors and Empath is a heterosexual.
- Brainy -- Up until Empath's 150th birthday, Empath and Brainy were left completely ambiguous about their actual relationship to each other, though Empath did sense a kinship with Brainy before the revelation was known. As one of the first Smurfs he has been around, Brainy helped Empath get accustomed to the finer points of Smurf culture and civilization, which Empath appreciated to the point where he finds Brainy a valuable fountain of knowledge and one of the Smurfs that he would listen to.
- Baby Smurf -- As he is the youngest member of the Smurf Village, Empath treats him like a little baby brother, jealous of the infancy that he gets to enjoy with Papa Smurf taking care of him like a grandson.
- Tapper -- As one of Empath's closest friends in the Smurf Village, Tapper provides insight and counsel from his own perspective as a bartender and a spiritual Smurf.
- Grouchy -- As another of Empath's closest friends in the Smurf Village, Grouchy will unapologetically share what he thinks and feels about things with Empath. Empath understands how uncomfortable Grouchy is in sharing his feelings with anyone and acts in the role of a confidante.
- Hefty -- His relationship to Empath is that of a rival who will only work with him when necessary, but otherwise doesn't like him very much to have any further interactions with him. The fact that Empath and Brainy are both half-brothers further reinforces his dislike for Empath. The rivalry is not reciprocated, as Empath highly admires Hefty and even trusts him in situations where his own abilities may fail him. Over the years, Hefty comes to realize how unfairly he has treated Empath and grows to respect and even trust him, leading to him making peace with Empath at the time of his wedding to Smurfette.
- Jokey -- During Empath's first few visits to the Smurf Village, Jokey helped him develop a sense of humor. However, nowadays Jokey finds Empath a challenge when it comes to pulling his pranks because hardly anything Jokey does catches Empath off-guard.
- Duncan McSmurf -- One of Empath's sparring partners as well as one of his combat trainers (in fact, the only one he has in the Smurf Village), Duncan offers himself as the Smurf that Empath can unleash his aggression upon within reasonable limits. Duncan enjoys going toe-to-toe with Empath when it comes to sparring with quarterstaffs, seeing how his former student has now surpassed him in strength and skill. Duncan also remembers Empath when he was an infant and was surprised to find him totally different when Duncan met Empath during his first visit to the Smurf Village, believing that "his friend" was not dead but rather buried inside Empath.
- The Smurflings -- They generally see him as a big brother Smurf who can easily relate to them as young Smurfs living in a world of grown-up Smurfs, given that most of Empath's childhood was spent in Psychelia and that his own desire is to be like his fellow Smurfs, if not always be as serious-minded as they are when it comes to everyday living.
- Marco -- He is his sailing partner on board the S.S. Smurf II, who along with Tapper and Duncan sing sea chanties together.
- Ares -- one of Empath's enemies, Ares has highly admired him and sympathized with his situation of being the overlooked "favorite son", desiring to make Empath the commander of his demonic forces to take on the God of Israel. Empath, however, has no interest in having anything to do with the legendary god of war, although he was once enticed into accepting the "gift of godhood" during the events of The Lost Year.
- The Mirror Universe Empath is one of his enemies, having first encountered him when he and Polaris had crossed into the Mirror Universe with the Janus Mirror. Besides being sadistic with his telepathic and telekinetic abilities, Empath was disgusted to find that his Mirror Universe counterpart was also sexually attracted to him like he was with his fellow Smurfs and with the Smurfettes of either universe.
- Traveler -- the great-grandson of Empath, whose actual relationship was never revealed to Empath in the present point of the story series, continually has contact with Empath during the ten years between his final return from Psychelia and his marriage to Smurfette. Although somewhat suspicious of Traveler's intentions at first, Empath has come to learn to trust the time-traveling Smurf in situations that are beyond his own abilities to handle.
- Psycheliana -- his daughter, whom he loves dearly and wants her to be fully trained in everything he knows about telepathy and telekinesis, but without having to suffer the problems he went through in his life as a Smurf with those abilities. He wants her to have the freedom to explore her own life, and trusts her with his fellow Smurfs to train her in whatever field of study she wants to undertake.
- Cassiopeia -- his Psychelian mate in an alternate timeline in "Hefty, The Luckiest Smurf". She is the only Psyche who was forced to physically mate with Empath when he suffered a hormonal spike that required mating to purge him of, which afterward made him feel sorrowful for having violated a fellow female Psyche in such a fashion, though she has come to understand the necessity for such. In the normal central timeline, Cassiopeia found herself attracted to Empath but couldn't do anything other than purge herself of any potential desires for him due to the Psyche Master's demand for sexual purity among the Psyches.
Empath's current role in the village is that of an assistant counselor, given authority to operate as leader of the village should Papa Smurf be unable or unavailable to do so. If necessary, Empath can pass along those duties to Hefty, whom he finds equally capable of leading the village despite whatever personality conflicts they may have with each other. He also works as a teacher for the Smurflings and as a guide for Polaris Psyche in his acclimation to Smurf culture. In his later adult years, Empath became the leader of the Smurf Village and served as a minister at Snappy and Sassette's wedding.
Clothing And Appearance
For most of Empath's stay in Psychelia, he wore a basic black Psychelian bodysuit with silver cuffs on his wrists and ankles. During his visits to the Smurf Village, Empath wore a standard white Smurf hat and pants as did his Smurf brethren. It was only after his 150th birthday that the black star-patterned hat and pants became his standard clothing, although after the events of the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf novel he also wore a blue shirt, mostly due to his revived embarrassment of being seen in only a hat and pants. A red suit was given to him by Papa Smurf to wear in the role of the village leader should Papa Smurf be killed or otherwise be inaccessible to take on the role, though Empath rarely if ever wears it.
Although Tailor Smurf mostly develops white clothing for the Smurfs because he sees it as traditional and "very distinguished", the star-patterned suit was designed specifically for Empath because he just couldn't see him in anything that was ordinary. Empath in particular prefers wearing the star-patterned suit over any other form of Smurf clothing. Because Psychelian culture considers it taboo to display nudity of any kind within its domain, Empath changes back to his Psychelian bodysuit whenever he returns from a visit, though when he left Psychelia for good, he changed into a Smurf hat and pants, as he is no longer considered a Psyche.
As with his fellow Smurfs, Empath became very contentious over the idea of not wearing a Smurf hat, particularly when he was forced to do so while he was living in Psychelia, as the hat is seen as an offensive symbol to their culture. The hat also serves to cover a brand mark on the back of his head which is his Psychelian designation code. The only time he doesn't wear a hat in the Smurf Village is when he's sleeping. During his honeymoon with Smurfette, she and Empath engaged in an intimate ritual of removing each other's hats.
In regular white Smurf clothes, the only identifying mark Empath has is the yellow star birthmark on his forehead, which he can make disappear and reappear to disguise his identity.
In his later adult years, Empath would grow a brown beard and moustache, which would be followed by hair growing around the back of his head in his advanced years of age.
While he was amnesiac during the events of "Empath The Bandit Smurf", Empath went under the identity of the Bandit Smurf, dressed in a black bodysuit and mask while he was committing robberies. Shortly after his memory was restored by Polaris, Empath maintained the identity in order to extricate his fellow Smurfs and to help bring Ganelon and Vincent Devereaux to justice.
In an alternate timeline observed by Traveler Smurf where Empath was not born with a birthmark or his telepathic and telekinetic abilities, he ended up being raised out in the wilderness when he was lost in the forest as an infant and grew up to become the Smurf known as Wild Smurf. In that history, the Smurf that would have become Wild Smurf was somehow spared that fate and remained in the Smurf Village as a normal Smurf.
When he accidentally visited the past in order to stop Gargamel from destroying him before his mother would give birth, he went under the name Zodiac Smurf, hiding his birthmark from sight in doing so.
Besides the one where Empath became Wild Smurf, there were at least two other alternate histories of Empath that were seen by Traveler.
"Papa Smurf & Mama Smurfette"
In one history, where Smurfette fell in love with Papa Smurf and married him instead of Empath, he led a rebellion against Papa Smurf by secretly recruiting his fellow adult Smurfs until the time of the birth of Papa Smurf and Smurfette's daughter, where he had amassed enough Smurfs to be on his side to expel Papa Smurf, Smurfette, their daughter, and Polaris Psyche from the village. However, when this happened, the Smurflings and Baby Smurf also chose to leave the village, choosing to live with the exiled Smurfs. A few years later, one of the Smurfs from the village found a baby dinosaur that was thawed out from the ice which they needed to return to his native time period, requiring the use of the Key of Chronos from Father Time. Unfortunately, all of the Smurfs from the village wound up trapped in the prehistoric era with no hope of ever returning to their own time period.
"Hefty, The Luckiest Smurf"
In another history, Empath was returned to Psychelia after a year of living with the Smurfs following his 150th birthday and had all his memories of being a Smurf erased, or so he thought. During his time away from the Smurfs in Psychelia, the Psyche Master had made Empath into his successor before his death, though nobody else in Psychelia really knew this had happened. After Empath became the Psyche Master, he sensed that not only was Smurfette now married to Hefty, but also that she was carrying Hefty's child, so he sought to punish Smurfette for her "betrayal" by having the Psyches capture Hefty in order to torture him until he died. Smurfette went to Psychelia to confront Empath as the new Psyche Master and pleaded with him to spare Hefty's life, forcing him to remember the life that he had with Smurfette. In the end, Empath released Hefty into Smurfette's care, but said to her that it would be the last time in this lifetime they would ever see each other.
Empath's abilities include:
- Telepathy, which allows him to mentally communicate with all beings whether they are telepaths or not, and to sense whatever thoughts and emotions other beings are thinking and feeling.
- Touch telepathy, which lets him touch an object and immediately know what the object consists of.
- Telekinesis, which allows him to move objects without touching them, to create force fields, and also enables him to fly.
- Psionic healing, although doing so causes Empath's life force to be weakened with each use. Unlike the Psyches, Empath does not require regenerative meditation to restore his life force.
- Psionic blast, which enables Empath to emit a powerful pulse of telekinetic energy through his hands, usually used to revive someone who has undergone cardiac arrest.
- Great physical strength, where through his normal abilities his strength level is ten times that of a normal male Smurf, with Hefty, Tuffy, Weakling, and Duncan ranking at five times the strength of a normal Smurf.
- Great physical speed, where through his normal abilities he can run at twice or three times the maximum running speed for an adult male Smurf his age.
- Great leaping ability, where through his normal abilities he can leap up to twice the maximum height of any adult male Smurf. He can use this jumping ability for attacks such as like the Super Mario 64 butt-stomp.
- Great artistic ability, where his level of skill in crafting poetry, prose, painting, sketches, sculpture, and music surpasses that of his fellow Smurfs.
- Great wisdom and intelligence, particularly for a Smurf his age, although his more impulsive tendencies do at times get in the way of applying that wisdom.
- Great culinary skills, on the same level as Greedy Smurf, though some claim Empath's cooking is much better than Greedy's.
- Great fighting skills, both in unarmed and armed combat. His preferred weapon of choice is the quarterstaff.
- Empathetic nature
- Polyglot, able to speak in several different languages, though unable to speak in Smurf unless he experiences an extreme emotion. With his touch telepathy ability, it is possible that he can assimilate and speak in other unknown languages.
- Artificial reality creation, which was creating environments similar to that of the Smurf Village Imaginarium, though this ability only appeared around his 1150 years of age.
Possible Voice Actor
Empath would probably be voiced by Robert Duncan McNeill, who plays Lt. Tom Paris on Star Trek: Voyager. Another possibility would be Michael Rosenbaum, who was the voice of The Flash in the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited animated series.
For Empath's future self known as Great-Grandfather Smurf, his desired voice actor would be Kiff VandenHeuvel, who is the voice of Zachary Comstock in the Bioshock Infinite video game.
His singing voice would be that of Darren Hayes, the lead vocal of Savage Garden.
- Empath was first created in 1984 by Vic George, with his origin story called "The Luckiest Smurf" that would become the basis for his novel that was begun in 1986 and completed in 2000.
- While sharing some visual similarity to the comic book character Alchemist Smurf, he really isn't intended to be an analog to the character, as in the EMPATH story universe Clumsy still plays the role that Alchemist does in "The Smurf's Apprentice".
- Empath serves as a partial author avatar of his creator Vic George, with similar parallels between the character's life and the author's life.
- Empath's speech patterns (and that of the Psyches) are based on the empathic character Morphea from DC Comics' Atari Force series. It is also similar to that of the Marvel Comics superhero character Mantis.
- Empath's birthday is May 22, which is the same day as that of his author Vic George making his First Communion, making his Zodiac sign Gemini.
- Empath Smurf, the character that appears in the non-canonical Smurf Warriors story.
- Reporter's Inside Stories: An Interview With Empath