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Why everybody seems to have gotten Griffith from Berserk wrong

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    Why everybody seems to have gotten Griffith from Berserk wrong


    Griffith is a complex, mixed up character. There’s a reason Casca and Princess Charlotte, even after what he does to them, still love him- because they know who Griffith is at heart; a good man. He’s young and handsome. While not completely self absorbed he’s vain, although he tries to remain humble, especially around women he feels fondness for. (I said fondness not love, because only 1 man is the love in Griffith’s life.) He’s ambitious. I identify with Griffith’s being a dreamer. When I was younger I, like him, had convinced myself that I was going to be something special… but the reality of my growing up proved to be sadly disappointing.) He’s enchanting with his words commands and speeches. He like Guts is talented with a sword. Because of his youth, while not being completely clueless, he’s still naïve in a way Guts evidently was forced to outgrow early. Even though he leads an army of men who trust him with their lives; he’s shy and deeply insecure. Probably why he has an easier time becoming the object of princess Charlotte’s affection than Casca- even though Casca feels jealousy when she sees them together.

    When Guts walks away from him, it breaks him about as completely as Guts' sword breaks his. In the 97 anime Rickert tells Guts “after you left; Griffith was unbelievably depressed… I think maybe it was because you left that Griffith just…” what else could he have said apart from “gave up”? On everything. The Hawks. His dream. Life itself. That’s why he commits ‘high treason’ by claiming princess Charlotte's virginity. That’s why he doesn’t fight the guards when they arrest him outside the palace walls… that’s why he tries to make the King admit that he lusted after his own daughter and her purity... and that's why he doesn’t even whimper as the king whips his chained up body to the point of a blood puddle forming beneath Griffith’s feet- nor does he beg for mercy when the king tells the torturer to, yes torture him, but not to kill him. When Guts is there to save him, that really messes him up. You can see in his eyes when he tries to grip Guts by the neck- whether its to try strangling him or see if he’s real or both.

    One thing I noticed almost immediately is how he cannot stand being seen as weak and not in control. His greatest feelings of disgrace and shame, and the realisation that his dream is starting to slip away, seem to come when Guts and Casca are having to take care of him. In the movie especially you can see it in his eyes, as grateful as he tries to appear to them, a deeper part of him resents it- which is why he silently begs Guts for his armour. You can almost feel the embarrassment emanating from him as Guts laughs and agrees and has to put it on him. Now; to Guts and his own naïve sense of being a good person, he was being friendly and helpful- as after all; they are in a war-zone. But to Griffith; it’s all a part of the same cruel trick fate has played on him. The man, the woman and the group of soldiers he has fought with and watched grow and mature as people and as warriors and who trusted him as a leader and who he almost got something great for from the King and Queen of Midland- who it turns out never really liked or trusted or saw him as good enough for their daughter in the first place, because of him being a commoner- now look down on and pity him, and have to do just about everything for him- his soldiers even content to leave him and his dream behind and follow someone else- because they no longer value or respect him as a leader, but see him instead as a useless shadow of his former self- who will never pick up or swing a sword, or ride a horse, or take an enemy life or even give a single command or inspirational speech again. That’s probably the reason why what happens in the tent, when Casca is rebandaging his hands, happens; because he doesn’t want her to see him that way, and he badly wants someone to look at him the way they did before… and he’s realised that all this time he’s been ignoring his other dream; to have someone by his side he can give all his love and all of himself to. Guts betrays him by leaving him and what he thought they had together behind. Princess Charlotte is still too young to really understand or appreciate what love and how he sees it is… but when Casca is that tender with him- even crying as she thinks about how things used to be; a few too many mixed emotions fill his mind. He wants her to love him, he’s realised he loves her, but the last thing on earth he wants her to do is pity him- which is exactly what he can sense she does when she realises what he’s trying to do by clambering on top of her, as broken as his body is, and gently puts her arm around him. She in his eyes can’t see him as a love anymore, but a cripple who needs constant care and attention, and he loathes it with every remaining fibre of his being. As Femto, during the rape, he’s effectively saying to Guts and Casca ‘I will not be seen as weak… or helpless… or small… or frail… or any of the other things she said about me! Do you understand? Not by you… not by anyone! not now! not ever again! You both still belong to me… you are both still under my control!’ (Everything that happens when he becomes Femto is a culmination of all the negative emotion Griffith was consumed by when Guts walked out of his life- as though it all meant nothing.) As the man, no way would he have committed such a despicable act upon someone he cares for. But as Femto? blinded by power and everything else brought to the surface? absolutely. As for Casca not giving her consent; the second she allowed him to lay his broken body down on her and embraced him, even if it was an act of sympathy; she did. I am not excusing the fact that Femto rapes her. Im saying because she allowed Griffith to (just as Princess Charlotte allowed him to enter her room that night) she showed him she cared enough to accept his pitiful advances.

    The scenes where he is very clearly moving and crawling and kneeling, even controlling a horse and carriage and picking up the behelit etc, even though the tendons in his wrists and ankles are supposed to have been completely severed could be written off as a mistake- but; for me now all that makes a weird sense because of one particular object; the behelit. Hear me out on this; ever since he came into possession of that creepy little face; I figure he was instantly endowed with a strength even he hadn’t fully realised because of the fact that he had become destined to become the fifth finger of The God Hand. That for me means he gets that ‘zero ****s given’ attitude, and can withstand and survive even the after effects of a hideous amount of torture and isolation, because of the fact that the behelit and the other fingers of the Hand are watching over him, keeping him going and drawing him in. They may have assisted the Hawks’ rescue of Griffith, so he could bring the sacrifices with him.

    The torturer in the series rips it from around Griffith’s neck, tosses it and says “It’s been bothering me… this charm of yours! It’s quite ugly… hasn’t brought you much luck has it? Well… better off without it!” (Once he’s lost the behelit and its layers of protection; things, including his pain, very quickly become worse. That being said; a part of me thinks he was supposed to lose the thing that was keeping him safe, and get pushed to his absolute limit (whereupon the behelit recieves his blood). "When a person knows the deepest suffering one can bear… so deep… that they break free from their original self; their compassion dies!" (that's why The God Hand are able to tempt and persuade him so easily, and why Femto does what he does and makes Guts watch.) Griffith’s compassion in the human world is dead. That whole thing with the castle on the hill; it’s all one big head-**** designed by the God Hand. The castle itself may well have been real, and he may well have seen it from afar as a child- with the sprig of a dream in his mind. When he’s imprisoned the big nasties get to him & finally find a way to exploit that dream. There was no old woman telling him about the cobblestone path, or how all the deaths were because of him. There was no dead boy or army of already dead soldiers cheering him on or wanting to go with him. It was all the Hand playing on his every insecurity and uncertainty and doubt, making him believe that it could all be his if he submitted himself to their will and accepted their offer and if he provided his army as it remained to become lambs for the slaughter.
    Last edited by livviebrundle; July 10th, 2018, 02:26 AM.


    *You’ll notice (in the series at least) all of the other fingers of The God Hand are wearing black with a muddied shade of purple. Slan’s wings especially. Femto, however is wearing what I still say is a more complete regal shade of purple- which signifies to me that Griffith, even though it’s in a way he might not have intended at all, has finally reached his “destined throne” and become a king. That’s what I meant by they exploited his dream ; they got to him when he was vulnerable and about to give up, made him an offer, and used him to achieve their own ambition; completing the Hand. The rape of Casca, and the death of almost all the others? To the other four fingers that’s all a bonus*

    In the world he is taken to when the Hand consumes him however; Griffith’s human consciousness still exists to the point where he’s able to fathom the situation he’s in- and even though he has indeed seperated from his original self; he soon enough is restored/reincarnated to a supernaturally enhanced version of the true Griffith, while still being able to command and control an army (of demons this time). He’s achieved his dream of greatness and now perhaps- with the aid of characters like Nosferatu Zodd- he can go about the business of setting a few wrongs right again in the world around them, and showing those like Guts and the King of Midland all the things they had come to think about him are wrong.

    One of the things about Griffith I most admire as a character is; how he is the thing that proves once you hit your rock bottom you have nowhere else to go but up. Whether or not he quite realised that was going to happen because of the wings he asks for and acquires I really don’t know, but hopefully you get what I mean. Femto is Griffith’s rock bottom and what he becomes after that is his up.

    if you made it this far congratulations
    read the full thing here:
    Last edited by livviebrundle; July 10th, 2018, 02:25 AM.


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