Characters: Berserk Griffith/Femto
Voiced by: Toshiyuki Morikawa (adult) and Minami Takayama (child) (Japanese, TV series), Takahiro Sakurai (Japanese, movies), Kevin T. Collins (English, TV series and movies), Veronica Taylor (English, child)
"I did not betray my dream. That is all."
"The Black Swordsman, you say? His petty existence is beneath our notice."
A stock white-haired pretty boy
and leader of the mercenaries known as the Band of the Hawk, he is also Guts's closest friend until the Eclipse. Griffith recruits Guts to his band after defeating him in battle,
and Guts quickly becomes his right-hand man. There are also many hints that his friendship with Guts might not be completely platonic...
Griffith is driven by his dream of obtaining his own kingdom, and stops at nothing to obtain it. He is in a good position to do so, being a cunning strategist, an unusually skilled swordsman, extremely charismatic, and a shrewd politician. It also helps that he possesses the Crimson Behelit, an Artifact of Doom
that protects him from death several times. Griffith lacks any real scruples in his efforts to get what he wants - kidnapping, assassination, and self-abasement, even to the point of prostituting himself once so he could finance the Hawks,
are all considered acceptable, even necessary steps towards his ultimate goal.
Upon nearly achieving his dream, however, he falls apart when Guts chooses to leave the Hawks
, an action born from Griffith's own philosophies of independence and the tireless pursuit of one's dream. Devastated, he seeks temporary solace by sleeping with Princess Charlotte, an act that sets off the inevitable countdown to the Eclipse. Crippled for life after a full year of torture on the King's orders for having deflowered the Princess, Griffith is later freed by his companions. After overhearing Casca convince Guts to leave again
, Griffith crosses the Despair Event Horizon
and uses the Crimson Behelit to summon the Godhand, albeit unknowingly.
After betraying and sacrificing his whole party to the Godhand and the Idea of Evil
, Griffith becomes Femto, the fifth member of the Godhand, earning Guts's undying hatred both for throwing him and his comrades to the wolves in order to become a Godhand and for raping Casca to insanity right in front of him in his first act as Femto
. Griffith is later reincarnated into a human form after the mock Eclipse at the Tower of Punishment. Having gathered a new Band of the Hawk, one primarily composed of Apostles, he sets off to follow his dream once more. He is currently claiming ownership of his freshly conquered kingdom, Falconia, after defeating Ganishka in a massive Final Battle and fusing the physical and astral realms
As Femto he appears as a dark, massively muscled figure with taloned feet like a hawk, clawed hands, large bat-like Cape Wings
, and a hood that is modelled on the hawk-helmet Griffith wore back when he commanded the Band of the Hawk.
- The Ace: Pre-Eclipse. Then he fails once, and gets broken. Brutally broken. Then he goes all over this trope post-Eclipse.
- Affably Evil: Pre-Eclipse, there wasn't much he wouldn't stoop to if it would help achieve his goals, but he wouldn't go out of his way to be cruel and had several Pet the Dog moments. Post-Eclipse he may be closer to Faux Affably Evil territory, although this is a point of contention among the fandom.
- Agent Peacock:
- Almighty Janitor: Subverted. Not only were people surprised at the charisma and military knowledge that Griffith carried, but they were most surprised at the fact that he is not even of noble birth, climbing up in rank in the Midland army from a street kid with a ragtag bunch of misfits to a knight general. The upper class saw this as a threat to their own power.
- Ambition Is Evil: In pursuit of his dream of obtaining his own kingdom, Griffith has sacrificed the original Band of the Hawk, raped Casca to insanity while making Guts watch, and become a powerful demon, among other things.
- Ambiguously Bi: Sure, his sleeping with Princess Charlotte becomes a major plot-point, but the sheer amount of Ho Yay he throws in Guts' direction coupled with his reaction once Guts leaves suggests an obsession beyond mere friendship.
- And I Must Scream: Suffers a purely physical and realistic form of this after being tortured for a year by the Midland King's orders. His body is emaciated almost to the bone, his tongue is cut out and his tendons are removed. He's been reduced to an immobile cripple, and things only get worse from there.
- Animal Motifs: The white hawk, quite appropriately. As well as a Griffin for both his bird like motif and the fact that the name Griffith sounds similar to Griffin.
- Artifact of Doom: His Crimson Behelit.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: He became a God of Evil.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Half of the Hawks joined under Griffith because his mere image put them in a state of awe. The other half joined under Griffith because they saw him a strong leader that they wanted to follow - meaning that most of them got their asses kicked by him when they tried to confront him. Same with the new Band of Hawks, with added prophecy bonus.
- Attempted Rape: When he sees how close Guts and Casca have become, Griffith tries to rape Casca in a fit of jealousy and despair when she comes to check on his wounds. Being in a crippled state he isn't capable of doing much more than flopping ineffectually on top of her, and rather than being disgusted Casca just feels sorry for him. Doubles as foreshadowing for what happens in the Eclipse.
- Badass: Just as Badass as Guts in his own way. Hell, he fought him and BEAT him easily in their first encounter.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Unlike Guts, Griffith is shown as a Ken doll. Femto, however...
- Beauty Equals Goodness: Heavily implied to be a huge factor in how he wins people over.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Rare Male Example. Well, except for that one time where he was HORRIBLY TORTURED FOR A YEAR.
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil: A marginal example. The torture just got the ball rolling; it was the aftereffects that sent him over the edge.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Griffith is very courteous and mannerly. But stand in his way and you shall see hell. Now literally.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: With the other four members of The God Hand.
- Big Good: To the original Band of the Hawk, he was seen as this. He is still seen as this by Midland. Keyword being SEEN.
- Big Red Devil: When he's his Godhand ego Femto. Bonus fact is that instead of cloven hooves, he has hawk talons.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Had little compunctions about disposing of his companions yet acted as a caring and well-intentioned leader.
- Break the Haughty: Taken to level 11.
- Broken Ace: Brilliant, charismatic...and completely fucked up.
- Broken Pedestal: To all the Hawks because of his betrayal, but especially to Guts who considered him his best friend and Casca who was one of his most devoted worshippers.
- Bungled Suicide: With his dream in tatters and his body mutilated, Griffith couldn't even end his misery.
- Cape Wings: As Femto, he sports a pair of dark, menacing ones.
- The Champion: He was this to Casca for the longest time, since he saved her from a life of sexual slavery and prostitution and gave her a new one, and she was indebted to him to the point that it was practically hero worship. According to Judeau, she took his word as gospel and was prepared to sacrifice her life for his dream.
- Char Clone: Handsome, has pretty hair, a powerful warrior, possibly abandoned by his parents, treats everyone around him as pawns, wore a mask.
- The Chessmaster
- The Chosen One: A villainous example. He was chosen by the Crimson Behelit to become the fifth member of the Godhand during the Eclipse.
- Control Freak: Griffith obviously believes that he can use his comrades to his disposal whenever and however he feels like. But when Guts and Casca have plans outside of his control? NO - that will NOT be permitted!
- Conveniently an Orphan: The details of his back story are a bit blurry, but Griffith's parents are never mentioned and he never talked about up and leaving them like Isidro did his, so we can only assume that he lived with the street children and decided that one day, he was going to become king - and it wasn't like he had parents to stop him.
- The Corruptible: And the process completed.
- Courtly Love: Griffith toyed with this concept concerning his relationship with Princess Charlotte, who was the quickest way to the throne of Midland if he were to succeed in wooing and earning her hand in marriage. The guy was doing a damn good job at it too, until he messed it all up in a moment of despair.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Towards Guts and Casca.
- Dark Is Evil: As Femto. Though it's more appearance wise than anything, as his powers so far follow the light motif.
- Dark Messiah: What he becomes after his reincarnation.
- Deal with the Devil: Like all the other Godhands before him, Griffith met the Idea of Evil and accepted its offer.
- Defeat Means Friendship: His recruiting M.O. Besides famously winning Guts' allegiance in a duel, it's mentioned in passing that Corkus was the leader of a group of bandits before Griffith defeated him and earned his loyalty. It's never spelled out, but considering that Judeau has a shady past and is known to have run with thieves and bandits, it's likely he was recruited in a similar fashion. Post-Eclipse, this is how Zodd joins the new Band of the Hawk.
- Deflector Shields: Personal kind. One of powers that Griffith's Godhand form of Femto reveals to have during the movie, in which he puts one up between he and Guts to prevent the latter from stabbing him in order to save Casca from his clutches.
- Despair Event Horizon: It is Griffith's crossing of this that activates his Crimson Behelit.
- Probably the visit at Charlotte's bedroom as well. Given, that he'd guessed the king's obsession with his own daughter (and thus could see how it'd probably turn out) and delivering an I Shall Taunt You speech to the man, who was keeping him in his dungeons, we can assume that Griffith gave up on everything... or it would be QUITE a Too Dumb to Live moment for a Magnificent Bastard.
- Determinator: No matter how many people have to die and no matter what sacrifices he has to make, he will achieve his dream.
- Devil in Plain Sight: Even at the best of times, Griffith casually uttered lines like " You belong to me. And I will decide when and how you die." The only reason Guts didn't just pack up and leave right there is because he was used to being treated FAR WORSE and Grifith still managed to look idealistic.
- Also Griffith never said anything about making the world better for the little guy. He was always after power for the sake of power.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady
- Emotionless Boy: After his reincarnation. He conveys little to no emotion, and it goes hand in hand with the fact that he has no empathy. Shows signs of it before the Eclipse as well, especially Casca's flashback of him after his "encounter" with Governor Gennon. That calm, compassionate smile starts to look more like a Stepford Smile after you know what it's hiding.
- Et Tu, Brute?: Seeing Guts leaving him and then Casca choosing Guts over him made Griffith completely lose it.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Even males in the series tend to find him attractive, or at least handsome.
- Evil Costume Switch: As Femto, Griffith's outfit is a darker, more sinister (and skin-tight) version of his warrior armor that he wears as Griffith.
- Evil Former Friend: To Guts.
- Expy: Similar in many ways to Ryo from Devilman, being the tough protagonist's Bishounen best friend who has strong feelings for him and turns out to be a villain. In an interesting sort of cyclical example, in the spinoff manga AMON, the character mentioned ends up looking and acting a lot like Griffith.
- Face-Heel Turn
- Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon
- Facial Horror: Implied to have happened to his face after his torture... but we're never allowed to see it. Given how grotesque the series usually is, this stands out a lot.
- Faking the Dead: Once he learns that the Queen of Midland and her nobles want him dead, Griffith blackmails Foss, the head of the conspiracy, into helping him set up a Batman Gambit that involved faking his own death. It ultimately leads to the Queen and her nobles being locked into a burning castle to die.
- Fallen Hero
- Fatal Flaw —> Pride: Face it: this is Griffith's major fatal flaw and it's pretty hard to edge around (it's even implied in his namesake). Most of his actions revolve around the fact that he believes that he's destined to become a ruler and that no one can quite reach his standards. Everybody he encounters loves him, and he's fine with that, especially if it gets him closer to his goal. Griffith is a hard worker, but failure isn't an option for him and he rarely does, which sets himself higher on his own pedestal. But when he loses one battle against Guts, just ONE... Everything comes crashing down for him, and he just goes on a downward spiral of self-destruction (you can also interpret his reaction in that Guts was his emotional crutch or that he had feelings for him). Again, we see this from a more sympathetic light, since Griffith genuinely wasn't a bad person to begin with. But again, this all changes when the Eclipse happens. Other flaws that can be associated with Griffith can be his ambition, his selfishness, and quite possibly his hypocrisy.
- A Father to His Men: Deconstructed in the Golden Age. Yes, he did legitimately care about the people in his army, but in order to cope with the inevitable death that would happen, he had to distance himself emotionally from them to the point where he had to see them more as tools than as people.
- Faux Affably Evil: Post-resurrection into the physical realm, it's unclear whether he actually cares for the people he's saving or if it's just for PR as he grabs power.
- Foil: To Guts.
- For the Evulz: He is possibly the most despised character in the series for what he has done (at least as Femto).
- From Nobody to Nightmare: He started out as a normal commoner. Over time, he formed a gang of highwaymen, built them up into an army, became a successful general...and after the Eclipse, took his place in the Godhand as one of five demon kings.
- Goal in Life: ... To get a castle (i.e. his own kingdom). At any means necessary.
- A God Am I: Griffith was dying to be worshipped and got what he wanted.
- God-Mode Sue / Invincible Villain: A deliberate in-universe example. Since his reincarnation, Griffith is nigh untouchable and his charisma is gravitational. It's described that opposing him "would be akin to someone in a story challenging the one who wrote it." He might as well just be called "Godhand Sue."
- Gold Digger: He's only interested in Charlotte because he'll gain a kingdom by marrying her.
- The Heavy: Griffith is not the only Big Bad in Berserk, nor is he the biggest one, but he has the most direct involvement with the plot and is the source for Guts' motivation.
- Hellish Pupils: Clearly seen having this type of eyes after his reincarnation.
- Occult Blue Eyes: Certainly crosses into this terrain since he originally had blue eyes.
- Heroic BSOD: In the past, he suffered one upon seeing a young boy in his army die in battle.
- He suffered another one after being tortured that sent him past the Despair Event Horizon, and was "rebooted" in the most horrific way possible.
- Humanoid Abomination: Since being reincarnated into a corporeal body, Griffith looks mostly human, but he is most assuredly not.
- Hypocrite: He said that a true friend to him was somebody who went after their own dreams no matter what. And what does he go and do when Guts tries to go after his own dream???
- I Did What I Had to Do: His reasoning behind his Face-Heel Turn, not that the audience has much sympathy.
- If I Can't Have You: When Guts tries to leave, Griffith is willing to kill him rather than not have the man wrapped around his finger.
- It's Personal: Sacrificing the Hawks was just a part of the bargain with the God Hand, same as anyone else destined with a behelit. Raping Casca to insanity, on the other hand, was something Griffith did specifically to hurt Guts. Guts is returning the favor.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Casca... will never be the same after what he did to her.
- I Have Your Wife: Griffith gets some hired goons to kidnap Minister Foss's daughter in order to get him to thwart the Queen of Midland who was planning to poison him during a ceremony honoring him and the Hawks.
- Implied Death Threat: Griffith hands these out a la his Death Glare.
- It's All About Me: Oh Griffith, you selfish bastard. Although he did seem to care at least a bit about his group of mercenaries, particularly Casca and Guts, achieving his dream is ultimately more important to him.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: His rescue of Princess Charlotte from Ganishka's captivity could just be seen as him returning to a modified Plan A. Become a hero to the country, marry the princess, be king and rule. He's been playing Princess Charlotte's fairytale prince from the begining and it's pretty clear that he was just manipulating her in order to get the crown.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Griffith's goal seemed harmless and noble enough in the beginning, even making other characters look at their own lives in perspective, but most of his choices in order to achieve his goal are clearly in the morally gray territory (ya know, plotting assassinations, kidnapping kids, and making his second-to-the-right hand man do most of it so that he wouldn't smear his good image. Ya know, that sort of stuff.). And then Griffith's very personality begins to unravel like a sweater caught on a nail, just to add. After all of the hideous things that happened to him over the course of the one year time-skip, we still look at him from a sympathetic light, and feel badly for him that he was unable to achieve a dream that seems so simple and pure. Until the Eclipse happened, and then - uh oh.
- Kaleidoscope Eyes: They vary in look depending on Griffith's temperament and motive:
- Kick the Dog: This trope isn't enough to explain the magnitude of what Griffith did during the Eclipse.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Does this to the Midland nobles who cross his path. Although he does it for selfish reasons, he comes off as something of a hero simply because said nobles were... not the nicest people.
- Knighting: After an important battle in the Golden Age arc, Griffith is knighted by the King of Midland. Shortly after that, his knighthood is stripped from him for deflowering the princess.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Fits this perfectly during the Golden Age arc, making for a nice, juicy Deconstruction.
- Knight of Cerebus: We knew this bastard was playing for keeps after what he did at the Eclipse.
- Kubrick Stare: Not only was he brutally raping Casca during the climax of the Eclipse, he was staring directly into Guts' eyes the entire time.
- Lack of Empathy: Highly suggested that he feels no remorse upon becoming a Godhand. Actually, it's not even suggested. Griffith himself confirmed this when he went to the Hill of Swords after his reincarnation, telling Guts that he came just to see if he could "feel" anything after what he did to the Hawks. And do you know what he said?
Griffith: "It appears that I am free."
- Lady and Knight: He invokes this in his relationship with Charlotte. Charlotte is the bright lady character type and he's the knight who looks bright, but has dark intentions.
- Light Is Good: Before his Face-Heel Turn.
- Light Is Not Good: He oozes this after his reincarnation in the mortal world as Griffith again.
- Like a God to Me: The typical first impression that people get upon seeing Griffith for the first time. Played straight pre-Eclipse. Horribly subverted after the fact.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy
- Love Makes You Evil: While he was ostensibly sociopathic before, his perceived rejection from Guts started his spiralling descent.
- Magnetic Villain: See Defeat Means Friendship above.
- Makeup Is Evil: He as his Femto persona and Slan are the only God Hand member to wear make-up.
- Man Child: Before the Eclipse, many characters comment that he has an almost childlike innocence about him (though since he would sometimes display this at inappropriate times certain people would find it creepy rather than endearing). Indeed, one could interpret his dream as a boyish fantasy he never did quite let go.
- Man in the Iron Mask: Turned into this during his year of being put to the torture.
- Man in White: Griffith may look benevolent in his ever-so-shining white armor, but is he really?
- Manipulative Bastard: A very good example, at least before the Eclipse. Probably even more so afterwards (just look at how he treats Charlotte).
- Meaningful Name: See Animal Motifs.
- The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: After he was reincarnated into a humanoid body, Griffith arranged for an encounter with Guts just to see if this trope was in effect and if he would feel anything from the meeting. He didn't.
- Mind Rape: Psychic assault scenario. What Ubik does to Griffith, which results in him carrying out the sacrifices for the Eclipse and turning into the demonic Femto.
- Mr. Fanservice: Much like Guts, he also has a large female fandom, but for completely different reasons.
- My God, What Have I Done?: When Griffith is being transformed into Femto, he has a moment of this...only to realize that he can no longer feel remorse. In the anime his inner voice suddenly becomes colder after the "last tear you ever shed" moment making it sound like Femto is breaking down Griffith. No more going back from here.
- Naked on Revival: When Griffith is reincarnated into the physical world as an almost-human, he's understandably naked, since he used the body of the Child to do so.
- Noble Male, Roguish Male: The Noble Male to Guts' Roguish Male.
- Nominal Hero: In the past. Now he's a straight up villain.
- Not Good with Rejection: He didn't respond very well to Guts leaving him and the discovery of Guts and Casca's relationship.
- The Omniscient: Widely speculated that as Femto, he found out about Guts' traumatic backstory and used this knowledge to torture him during the Eclipse, and/or that he knew that raping Casca would allow him to one day manifest in the physical realm again.
- Omniscient Morality License: Related to the above, if he DID know, it's the only possible justification for why raping Casca could still be For The Greater Good. Still doesn't explain why he made Guts watch, though.
- The Paragon: Subverted. He starts out like this, as he gave Casca the sword and the courage to defeat her would-be rapist, he transformed Guts from a wandering brute-for-hire into a soldier who cares about his comrades, and the entire Band of the Hawk is made up of rehabilitated social outcasts. However, Griffith only sees his comrades as a means to an end, and although he does care for them, that was all that was needed in order for them to be made sacrifices.
- Pet the Dog:
- His conversation with Casca after prostituting himself for funds, where he talks about how the only thing he can do for those who have died is to make sure their deaths weren't in vain, suggests some level of genuine care for his troops. It has been suggested that his reincarnation as the demonic Femto has actually removed his ability to feel remorse (and maybe some other emotions), and thus regardless of what he may be now, his affection in the past was probably genuine.
- Saves insane Casca from some falling rocks, though it is debatable on whether or not he truly did this out of remorse for the horrific things he had done to her in the past, or because he was being manipulated by the Child, whose body he used in order to reincarnate himself back into the physical world. Speculations highly suggest that it was more due to the latter reason, so this would be a subversion.
- There's also the time he hesitates to destroy Guts. Perhaps this was to preserve Casca's unborn child; or was there another motive?
- He also saved Princess Charlotte from Ganishka's captivity in a very romantic, fairytale-esque way that almost makes up for his past actions... But, again, "Eclipse! Eclipse! Eclipse!"
- For such a proud being, he didn't seem to mind Rickert angrily slapping him. However, no one knows if he just kept his calm for purposes of decorum, is shocked for this affront (it's just been one chapter !), or genuinely considers him as a friend.
- Physical God: Following his incarnation into a physical body, Griffith has established himself in the minds of people as a divine being and has the power to back it up.
- Pitiful Worms:
As Femto: "Still squirming around in your pitiful existence, I see."
- Power Perversion Potential: Taken to the MOST extreme level of Squick when he's Femto. He garners the extraordinary powers of a demon lord, and is able to bend reality at his very will. The first thing he does is once he gets this power is to use for rape.
- Prince Charmless: He's a strikingly beautiful man... but is willing to do whatever it takes to attain his goals.
- Protagonist Journey to Villain: He went from a Wide-Eyed Idealist to a demon lord all in the name of pursuing his dream.
- Psychopathic Manchild: The events of the Eclipse and his actions afterwards definitely solidify his status as this.
- Psychotic Smirk: It's seen in episode 10 when he hears of Lord Yurius's death. It's as disturbing as Guts' smile is heartwarming.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: The very first thing he does upon becoming Femto is rape a restrained Casca so brutally that the experience drives her completely insane.
- Reality Warper: As Femto.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: As Femto he is black with red eyes.
- Red Baron: The Hawk Of Light.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Femto in the movie adaptation has these.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue Oni to Guts' Red Oni.
- Red Right Hand: Even though he is the most human-looking of the apostles when in his human form, Griffith still retains the terrifying eyes of his Godhand form. Now it looks as if he's always giving you the Kubrick Stare. *shudder*
- Sanity Slippage: One can definitely argue that the moment Guts decided to leave the Hawks, Griffith slowly began to lose it, bit by bit, over the course of a year. And he was already a yanderic Broken Ace to begin with.
- Satanic Archetype: Especially post-Eclipse.
- Sex for Solace: With Charlotte. And he pays for this dearly.
- Shameless Fanservice Guy: He displays little shame in being nude before others.
- Shower of Angst: Complete with a wonderfully disturbing scene of him angsting while clawing at his arms until they bleed when washing himself after he becomes a prostitute to make money.
- Single Mom Stripper: No, this is not funny. But actually, he portrays sleeping with Gennon to Casca exactly this way.
- Smug Super: Although we haven't heard Griffith speak as Femto many times, every time he does he is a snide and egotistical prick who loves nothing more than to laugh at the pain that he has caused Guts and how much more powerful he is than Guts or anyone around him. If he weren't already a vile, evil villain, Femto would be straight up in Jerkass Avenue.
- Social Climber: His goal is to become the king of Midland despite being a commoner. He starts out the leader of a band of mercenaries and rises to fame through military victories. He plans to marry Princess Charlotte to secure the throne. In the end, the fact how close to succeeding Griffith gets only serves to make his fate that much more tragic. Griffith loses all that he has gained and sacrifices his men in a desperate attempt to salvage what has been lost.
- The Sociopath: Even before the events of the Eclipse. He is shown to be manipulative to his troops, having Guts doing his dirty work and keeping it secret from the others so he stays perfect in their eyes. Several characters note how his expressions are off, smiling childishly one second and giving the evil eye the next. And when Guts tries to leave, once Griffith is within a couple of easy steps to achieving his dream, he is willing to kill Guts rather than not have the man wrapped around his finger.
- More likely subverted (before he became Femto, that is). He *is* shown to be capable of feeling for others - the scenes with the dead boy, and the scene where he self-harms while talking to Casca confirm this. He then figures that the only way he can deal with this is to completely suppress any emotions he feels for others. This conflict is only resolved after he accepts his Deal with the Devil.
- Spell My Name with an "S": While he is widely known as Femto, it is highly probable that the actual spelling of his name is "Phemt", the technical concept after which he is named.
- Start of Darkness: Related to Protagonist Journey to Villain, the Golden Age arc, being Guts' back story, serves as this for Griffith.
- Stepford Smiler: ... Oh no. Not that smile. With the eyes. And the stare. Is there any feeling behind reborn Griffith's smile? I think not.
- Street Urchin: While having an inner monologue to himself while imprisoned, Griffith mentioned that he spent his early years on the streets with other kids. His parents are still never mentioned.
- Stupid Sexy Flanders: Even Guts experiences this upon seeing him naked.
- Take Our Word for It: Whatever happened to his face in his year of horrible torture was so horrific that even in this series, the viewer isn't allowed to see it and Guts is disturbed.
- This Is Something She's Got to Do Herself: Instead of saving Casca from rape himself, he threw her a weapon and told her to defend herself, then just watched to see what the outcome would be.
- Threshold Guardian: From the Joseph Campbell perspective. When Guts decided to leave the Hawks at the end of volume 8, Griffith was ultimately the one thing keeping Guts from pursuing his dream, and when Guts decided to go through with his decision - he had to fight for his freedom. Unfortunately, this particular encounter was not as fruitful for the participants as the trope often implies.
- Tongue Trauma: Not only was Griffith's tongue removed, but that son-of-a-bitch torturer turned it into a necklace. But at least the torturer got what was coming to him.
- Transhuman Treachery: Upon the Eclipse the Idea of Evil reveals to Griffith that it is responsible for all the unfortunate events that turned him into a helpless cripple. Instead of being mad at it, Griffith decides to ally himself to the Idea and the Godhand.
- Trauma Conga Line: Life was pretty good for Griffith, until Guts decided to leave. Then he goes and sleeps with Princess Charlotte. Then he gets caught by the king and is tortured for over a year, during which time his tongue is cut out of his mouth and the tendons in his hands and feet are cut, rendering him unable to stand or wield a sword. Then he's rescued by Guts, only to realize his dreams are now beyond his grasp. Then to top it all of, he overhears Casca trying to convince Guts to leave again.
- ‹bermensch: He believes no one is able to understand his views and dreams.
- The Unfettered: He'll doing anything to achieve his dreams, even sacrificing the lives of his True Companions to demons to do it.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Seriously, dude: After everything Guts, Casca and all your comrades did for you, you treat them like THAT?
- Villain Protagonist: After returning to the human world. Occasionally, events are shown from Griffith's point of view when he's fighting other Apostles.
- Villain with Good Publicity
- Weapon of Choice: Since at least his first encounter with Guts, Griffith has always wielded an elegant basket-hilted saber. However, in Caska's first memory of him he was using a curved hand-and-a-half sword.
- We Used to Be Friends: With Guts.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Fits the physical description. Even when he was officially a "hero", he was manipulative and out for his own purposes.
- White Magic: After return as the Falcon of Light, he can perform miracles, like summoning the souls of the recently departed to say goodbye to their loved ones. This doesn't make him morally decent in the least...
- Wicked Cultured
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity
- World's Most Beautiful... Man?
- Would Hurt a Child: Griffith saw no qualms about raping a pregnant woman, tainting her child in the process, and then using it in order to reincarnate himself in the real world later on. Low.
- Yandere: Griffith seems to have some kind of obsession in regards to Guts, judging by how he acts when he tries to leave the Hawks, though whether or not it's romantic in nature depends on your perspective. He also started harboring this toward Casca as well, and the discovery that both of them were in a relationship would cause him to snap, leading to everything going to hell.