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This Was Hokage Hiruzen Sarutobi's Greatest Weakness On Naruto

The seven Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village are some of the most important characters in the entire "Naruto" franchise. As the military leader of their ninja village, the Hokage appears as the primary political figure throughout the series. Though they are technically outranked by the Daimyo of the Land of Fire, we typically see Hokage making the most important decisions. Since Naruto himself makes it his life's goal to become the Hokage (which he eventually does), we as the audience at least start out by viewing the existing Hokage as something to aspire towards. As the series goes on, however, we learn more about each Hokage, and how the mistakes they made while in the office create more problems for the people they are meant to protect.

Perhaps no Hokage illustrates this better than Hiruzen Sarutobi, the Third Hokage of the Leaf Village and the very first Hokage viewers are introduced to. At first, Hiruzen seems like a wise and skillful leader, guiding his people with a soft but firm hand. In time, however, we see that same moderate approach become his downfall, along with many other shinobi, as Hiruzen Sarutobi's greatest weakness undermines the good he intends for his people.

Hiruzen Sarutobi is much too kind for his own good

While the Third Hokage may seem very wise and very kind to begin with, those qualities can be a double-edged sword for a leader that needs to make tough decisions. In Sarutobi's case, his soft heart compels him to allow others to get away with their own selfish schemes. It's for this reason that fans generally consider him the worst of the seven Hokage.

A prime example of this is Sarutobi's treatment of his one-time pupil, Orochimaru. Despite the fact that it was very clear that Orochimaru, who eventually becomes a full-blown terrorist, was heading down a dark path, Sarutobi's soft spot for the boy prevented him from seeing very clear red flags in Orochimaru's development. The same can be said for Sarutobi's tolerance of Danzo, who would eventually go on to play a role in the Uchiha Massacre.

All in all, it's Sarutobi's temperance and soft heart that proves his undoing. When Orochimaru, in collaboration with the Sand Village, attacks the Hidden Leaf Village at the climax of the Chunin Exams arc, Sarutobi dies at the hands of his former pupil. Had he been more firm with Orochimaru as a child, then things might have turned out differently in the world of "Naruto."