The Holy Grail War is a contest in which the Grail itself seeks the most worthy bearer by summoning great heroes and pitting their wills against each other. This is usually accomplished by fighting until only a single servant remains.
But this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. (We know this isn’t true because the Grail requires the prana of all the servants in order to manifest itself, but right now that doesn’t matter.) As long as all the servants can acknowledge one as being superior, the winner need not be the last one standing.Believing this, Rider invites the two other kings, Saber and Archer, to a banquet in which they can have a fight with ideals instead of with swords. In addition to each of their desires to have the Grail, they each have an idea of what it means to be king. Archer’s is the most straightforward and easy to understand. He is king because he is the best and strongest and therefore there could be no other. Gil doesn’t care about the War as he believes everything in the world already belongs to him as a mere fact of its existence. He fights out of principle, to punish the dirty thieves who would dare question his authority. Saber’s wish for the Grail is to undo the tragic Battle of Camlann in which she fell and her kingdom came to an end. She believes a king exists to serve the needs of the people; to protect them, to save them, and to die for them if necessary. She would sacrifice anything to save her country, even if it means rewriting history. Rider desires a true reincarnation. He wants to be given a real body so that he may once again begin conquering the world. As a king, he must shine the brightest to serve as a role model for the people to look up to. Therefore, he has to be the most selfish, to exemplify the extremes of good and evil, to ignite the flame within all of his subjects to desire such a life as well. Thus, according to Rider, Saber is no true king because she put her ideals of self-sacrifice above all else. A king must remain strong and lead the people when they are lost and she failed to do so. In wanting to do everything over, she would be throwing away all of what her subjects invested in her, denying their contributions to the country. Even though Iskander’s empire fell, he does not regret such a thing that resulted from his own decisions. The episode’s end comes with Rider’s final declaration and a display of power. He stands as king because he has his entire country backing his desire to conquer. His Noble Phantasm is a Reality Marble; Ionioi Hetairoi: Army of the King. Within the bounded field he can manifest his entire army because they are one with him and his ideals. Using them, he annihilates Assassin, bringing about the first defeat of the War.