Gourry Gabriev (Japanese: ガウリイ＝ガブリエフ lit. Gaurī Gaburiefu) is a master swordsman and the self-proclaimed protector of Lina Inverse.
Despite being one of the most prominent characters in the Slayers series, Gourry is arguably one of the most lacking in background information. Almost nothing is known about Gourry's immediate family, except that he has a grandmother, as well as a brother whom he is supposedly on bad terms with. Gourry's family often feuded amongst each other over who would inherit the family treasure, the Sword of Light, a conflict that Gourry was not fond of. Eventually Gourry ran away from his homeland of Elmekia with the sword in an attempt to stop the fighting it caused. After running away from home, Gourry became mercenary, taking whatever odd job he could in order to earn a buck. He gave up his wandering lifestyle when he met a man who advised him to do something important with his life. In an odd twist of fate, this man turned out to be Lina's father (neither Lina nor Gourry know this), and a mere few days after parting with the man, Gourry came across Lina in the woods. The rest is history, as from that point on, Gourry became Lina's full-time "protector."
Rowdy Gabriev is his distant ancestor, but it's not known how exactly they are related.
Gourry is semi-famous in Sairaag, due to a task he performed there some time ago (it is not known what exactly it was). Gourry is extremely protective of his sword, as it has been in his family for many generations. In both the novels and the anime, Gourry gave up the Sword of Light. In the anime, he gave it to Sirius so it could return to its rightful place in Dark Star Dugradigdu's world. In the novels, Hellmaster Phibrizzo took it and returned it to Dark Star. After this happened, Gourry acquired the Blast Sword, a sword which recycles magical energy in the blade to make it become increasingly sharper. Milgazia the golden dragon had to put a spell on it so that it would be dull enough to be useful.
One running gag regarding Gourry is that he has been seen dressed as a woman in the seventeenth episodes of the first three seasons of the Slayers anime. This tradition was not continued in Slayers EVOLUTION-R.
Gourry is among world's greatest swordsmen. His battle ability is formidable, especially taking into consideration that he does not use any sort of magic whatsoever. However, his abilities are often overshadowed by his poor memory and intelligence problems. Gourry often does not remember important facts, or even the names of his enemies. Sometimes he cannot recall things he did only a matter of minutes beforehand. Despite this, he still has great intuition, especially out on the battlefield, and he can sometimes envision the motives of other people, such as when he would know what Lina's attack plan would be without her telling him about it first. Another notable example of his acute observation skills is that he had figured out that Xelloss was a mazoku long before anyone else realized it, not mentioning it to the others only because he had thought it wasn't important and that it was "obvious".
Surprisingly, Hajime Kanzaka has stated that Gourry actually has a magic capacity that would enable him to wield spells with a power and destructiveness that would near-rival Lina's. However, due to Gourry's inconsistent memory, he's rendered useless in the field of magic.
The only person Gourry is specifically close to in the series is Lina. In the beginning, he assumed she was a child who needed protection, but after he learned she was a famous sorceress, he became attached to her as a friend. Simply put, Lina is Gourry's reason for living, he himself stating that he would stay by her side "for the rest of his life". He considers it his sole duty to protect her, and without this duty, he would have nothing. As Lina obviously has no need for help in protecting herself, the pair instead both look out for one another as opposed to Gourry being the only protector. The friendship between them eventually turned into love, which was affirmed when they were reunited after Gourry's time in captivity at the hands of Hellmaster Fibrizo. The romantic aspect of their relationship is rarely if ever explored within any incarnations of the series, partly because of Lina's immaturity and discomfort with such subjects, as well as the fact that in reality, creator Hajime Kanzaka states that he isn't good at writing romantic scenes. However, it is still plainly clear to see the two have a very strong mutual bond, always traveling together and often being able to tell what the other is thinking. Gourry himself seems content with just being by her side.
Gourry and Zelgadis Graywords, being the only non-mazoku, regular males in the party, obviously have a friendship. Gourry does not understand why Zelgadiss occasionally beats himself up, and he shows him respect despite his appearance. They sometimes converse on the puzzling actions of the women around them.
Sylphiel Nels Lahda is openly infatuated with Gourry, yet he doesn't seem to realize this; or if he does realize it, he doesn't let it show. She is one of the few people whose name Gourry consistently remembers even after long stretches of time without seeing each other, although he does mostly only by associating her name with her good cooking. He acts as a protector and is almost a doting brother-like figure around her, showing her compassion and sympathy when others aren't able to.
Gourry and Zangulus are both rivals in the first season of the anime and Zangulus was always determined to defeat the swordsman of light, though Gourry always seemed to have the upper hand. Though neither of them wanted to admit it at the time, they both have a grudging respect towards each other. They eventually become good friends by the end of Slayers NEXT.