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Midland Royal Family
Full name: Charlotte Beatrix Marie Rhody Wyndham
Voiced by: Yuri Shiratori (Japanese, Berserk (1997)), Aki Toyosaki (Japanese, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc, Berserk (2016), and Berserk and the Band of the Hawk), Rachael Lillis (English, Berserk (1997), and Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I - The Egg of the King), Gina Bowes (English, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc II - The Battle of Doldrey and Berserk: The Golden Age Arc III - Advent)
Guidebook Stats:note Height: 162 cm (5 ft, 4 in); Weight: 50 kg (110 lb, 4 oz); Age: 20
"Today is the first time I have come to the hunting grounds. My father invited me, so I felt I must accompany him. But I do not think I will grow to like hunting. It is cruel. War is the same way...why is it that men enjoy little more than shedding blood?"The King of Midland's only child with his late first wife, Charlotte (シャルロット Sharurotto) is nothing if not a Princess Classic. Meek, cute and rather capricious, she immediately falls in love with Griffith upon meeting him. Despite the disapproval of her stepmother, she continues to see Griffith which culminates in Griffith taking her virginity, bringing down the King's wrath upon him. Wishing to free Griffith and escape with him from her father, she helps the Hawks to enter Midland's castle and rescue him but is prevented by the circumstances from leaving herself. As a result of the Kushan invasion of Midland that followed her father's death, she is held captive and almost raped by Emperor Ganishka. She spends her imprisonment embroidering images of Griffith, wishing for him to come back and rescue her.After being incarnated, one of Griffith's first acts is freeing her from Ganishka's grasp. Since she is the last pure royal of Midland, Griffith's plan is to marry her so that he can access the throne legally.
- Action Dress Rip: A variation. As it says above, she's no Action Girl, but when she tagged along Guts and Co in the Griffith retrieval arc, she ripped off her dress so as to run and move more easily.
- Action Survivor: Subverted. Even though she did shield Griffith from a poison dart and easily could have died during the encounter with the Bakirakas, she didn't survive because of any ability or luck she could have had back then. She was spared (along with Anna) only because she's the king's daughter.
- Attempted Rape: Her father and Emperor Ganishka tried to rape her on separate occasions. The first one she fought off by herself, while the second changed his mind when he found out that she was Griffith's lover.
- Badass Princess: Downplayed. During the Griffith rescue operation, as she had no problem with ripping her dress and getting a little dirty and was even prepared to give up a life of luxury in order to be with Griffith on the lam. Then she took a poison dart for him. Even if that doesn't qualify her as an action girl, it makes you respect her guts.
- Beware the Nice Ones: You know, for as much as some people complain she's a doormat, it's worth pointing out that she's one of the very few female characters who've unequivocally fought off someone who tried to attack them sexually, to the point where she completely wrecked her father's face with nothing but her bare hands and feet. Granted the king isn't quite of the same caliber as some of the other perverted monsters which populate this story, but that's still impressive.
- Daddy's Girl: Zig-zagged. The king dotes upon his daughter though it's debatable if his affection toward her was always a platonic father-daughter relationship, but Charlotte's feelings about the king prior to Griffith's downfall are not really examined. She never forgave him after he tried to rape her and put Griffith through hell, and she refused to come to him on his death bed, but she still cried when he died.
- Dark Mistress: Loves the villain, Griffith, who in turn is pursuing her so that he can marry into royalty. She has no clue about Griffith's evil nature because she's naive and a Horrible Judge of Character.
- Establishing Character Moment: When her father introduces her to Guts and Griffith, she hides behind a pillar out of shyness. Then, as she follows her father down the stairs, she trips and gets caught by Griffith, causing her to blush. She meets Griffith's gaze for a significant moment before she turns to go. Thus, we know our princess to be a Shrinking Violet, Fragile Flower, The Ingenue, and a Naïve Everygirl who is susceptible to being charmed off her feet by someone who fits her idea of a Knight in Shining Armor.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: For the setting and for the purposes of the plot, having a princess is as good as it gets. For the purposes of the happiness and welfare of her kingdom, on the other hand? Even though she's a Princess Classic, the fact that she falls for a Manipulative Bastard and eventual Dark Messiah means her impact on the story is unlikely to be positive in the long run.
- Feminine Women Can Cook: She's quite girly and feminine, and despite lacking many practical skills she is apparently good at baking sweets. In contrast the more tomboyish Sonia is jealous of her ability to get to Griffith Through His Stomach, and Farnese who is both aristocratic and a tomboy is a disaster at cooking.
- Fragile Flower: Has a very sensitive personality that makes her dislike soldiers and war. She is even upset by cruelty to animals, and cries easily.
- Friendless Background: It's implied that Charlotte never really had any friends. Anna, her handmaid, is likely her Only Friend.
- Gilded Cage: During her captivity by Ganishka, she is allowed to keep her maid, maintain a luxurious room and is allowed to spend her days doing as she pleases.....but is still confined to said room and under guard.
- Girl in the Tower: Where Ganishka held Charlotte captive after he took over Wyndam.
- Hand Gagging: Played for laughs during her uncharacteristic temper tantrum during the Griffith rescue. Everyone present excluding Pippin partake in this. Guts suggested that they gag her.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Even if we admit that Griffith is most charming and subtle, Charlotte deserves some blame for never once questioning the motives of a suitor with obvious political incentive to seduce her, and who unbeknownst to her even assassinated several of her family members (though two out of three deserved it). And she has no idea that now he's practically The Antichrist. Oh, if only she knew!
- Jail Bait: Depicted in a very explicit sex scene with Griffith despite her being seventeen at the time, which in some present day states or countries is under legal age of consent. Of course, since noble girls were often married off in their teens during the Middle Ages and Renaissance there could be some Values Dissonance. Griffith actually ends up in jail more for the treasonous nature of his act and because of the King's jealousy.
- Lady and Knight: She and Griffith are a zigzagged example. Charlotte fits the bright lady character type and Griffith acts as the knight who (literally) looks bright, but has dark intentions.
- The Lady's Favour: She gives Griffith a magnetic doll that belongs in a set with a lady and a knight that once belonged to her mother, hoping that Griffith would take it with him into battle. Griffith said that he couldn't take such a valuable item... so he swears to return it to her.
- Last of Her Kind: By the time she reenters the story after the Eclipse she is the last of Midland's royal line.
- Leitmotif: Her introduction in The Egg of the King is accompanied by the track, "L'Amour Impitoyable", which first comes in as a sweet, delicate piano solo that reflects her Fragile Flower personality and the sense of Love at First Sight between her and Griffith when they meet on the staircase. It comes back again during the hunt when Griffith teaches her how to play the leaf, signifying their growing connection. The title is an ominous bit of foreshadowing about how this ill-fated romance is going to turn out, since it means "Pitiless" or "Ruthless Love".
- Living Emotional Crutch: Charlotte's father coped with the death of her mother partly by burying himself in work, and partly by treasuring Charlotte as a reminder of her. After their relationship is destroyed beyond repair, the King loses his sanity.
- Lonely Rich Kid: She lives in luxury, but apart from Anna she has no friends and rarely goes outside.
- Lord Country: Has the name of her country's capital city, Windham, as part of her Overly Long Name.
- Love at First Sight: Started falling for Griffith upon their first meeting when he caught her to keep her from falling down the stairs.
- Meal Ticket: Griffith is only courting Charlotte because marrying her is his means to obtaining his own kingdom. Lampshaded in Berserk Abridged.
- Naïve Everygirl: As far as princesses go, she's not that different from your typical naive and insecure teenage girl. She lacks self-confidence, gets victimized because of her trusting nature, and sometimes ends up taking her friends for granted despite her heart being in the right place. We'll have to wait and see if things will turn out well for her in the end.
- Never a Self-Made Woman: Take away her birthright and Griffith and she's nothing.
- Overly Long Name: Charlotte Beatrix Marie Rhody Wyndham. Yeahhhhh. We're going to just keep calling her "Princess Charlotte".
- Parental Neglect: Her father is probably too busy running the Kingdom to spend much time with her, and her stepmother the Queen mostly ignores her apart from occasionally scolding her for being too friendly with commoners like Griffith.
- Princess Classic: As beautiful, kind, and innocent as any fairy tale princess.
- Satellite Love Interest: Her only actual role in the series is being Griffith's Love Interest / Meal Ticket. She pretty much thinks about nothing but Griffith and how happy she is when she is around him.
- Shrinking Violet: We were first introduced to Charlotte when - hey, where is she? Oh, there she is: hiding behind that pillar. Anyway, this princess might have all of the riches in the world, but one thing that she doesn't appear to have is a lot of social experience. Squickily justified in that her father kept her close to home, commenting that big men and soldiers frighten her and even she said that she didn't like going to balls and other aristocratic gatherings much. Charlotte did seem to be coming out of her shell when she started interacting with Griffith, however.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Deconstructed with her relationship with Griffith. She sees him as a perfect gentleman, but his true self is far from that.
- Smitten Teenage Girl: Falls quickly and intensely in love with Griffith, to the point where she constantly can't wait to see him and thinks of him as the only man for her.
- Spoiled Sweet: Being the princess and sole heir of an entire kingdom, Charlotte has the finer luxuries in life. Though she might be naive about the world due to her sheltered life of royalty, she is one of the few genuinely nice aristocrats presented in the series and has a sweet and kind personality. Casca even admitted to herself that she felt bad for getting jealous over Charlotte because of her relationship with Griffith since Charlotte treated her with kindness despite her being a commoner AND a warrioress.
- Strong Family Resemblance: To her late mother, which is the source of her father's lust.
- Taking the Bullet: During Griffith's rescue one of the Bakiraka shoots a poisoned dart aimed at Griffith, but Charlotte takes the dart for him. Luckily, since the King told them to bring her back unharmed under pain of death, the Bakiraka pause the fight so that Anna can take her away to receive the antidote.
- The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: While the King's unattractiveness is more from his age than being particularly ugly, Charlotte looks nothing like him. Instead she's the spitting image of her beautiful mother.
- I Will Wait for You: Spurns all courtship and marriage offers after Griffith's flight from Midland, and spends her imprisonment by Ganishka sewing embroideries of Griffith until he comes to rescue her.
The King of Midland
Voiced by: Tamio Oki (Japanese, Berserk (1997)), Nobuyuki Katsube (Japanese, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc and Berserk (2016)), Jeff Swarthout (English, Berserk (1997)), Christopher Corey Smith (English, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc and Berserk (2016))
Guidebook Stats:note Height: 173 cm (5 ft, 8 in); Weight: 70 kg (154 lb, 5 oz); Age: 53
"I anticipate that rather than noble generals who are bound to old customs, it is common soldiers such as yourself, not taken in by status, who will help form the cornerstone of this kingdom."The King of Midland (ミッドランド王 Mīdorando Ō) and Charlotte's father. His entire rule has taken place during the Hundred Year War, and he fully realizes the suffering this places upon his people. Therefore, he wishes to win an honorable peace as soon as possible. Unlike his elitist brother, Julius, the King is willing to let commoners lead the war effort as long as it gets results.He was famously devoted to his first wife, Charlotte's mother, who tragically died young. He remarried for political reasons but never stopped loving his first wife, and utterly devoted himself to running the Kingdom's affairs in order to escape his sadness. This alienated him from his second queen, who secretly sought comfort in the arms of Julius. He adores Charlotte because she is all that he has left of her mother, and despite the possible advantage to be gained in marrying her off he prefers to keep her close. Admiring Griffith ever since the Band of the Hawk routed the Black Ram Iron Lance Heavy Cavalry, he bestows knighthood and a noble title upon him and begins to favor the Hawks even over Julius' White Dragon Knights. When Griffith finally succeeds in capturing the castle of Doldrey, thus enabling a negotiated end to the war, the King is so grateful that he grants the Hawks the supreme title of "White Phoenix Knights" and confers nobility upon all their leaders. When the King imprisons and tortures Griffith for deflowering Charlotte, the extent of the King's mental issues are revealed. Because he never got over the death of his first wife, he has projected his love for her onto Charlotte even to the point of subconsciously lusting for his daughter. In order to cope with the stress of running the kingdom, he has clung to Charlotte as his only joy in life, and cannot forgive Griffith for taking her from him. When Griffith forces him to realize that he would have rather taken Charlotte's virginity himself, the King begins to lose his sanity and attempts to rape Charlotte, unsuccessfully. Meanwhile, the army carries out his orders to ambush the Band of the Hawk, leading to the death and desertion of most and forcing the rest into hiding. One year later, Griffith is broken out of imprisonment by the remaining Hawks and the King goes so far as to send Bakiraka professional killers and the Black Dog Knights led by Wyald in pursuit of him. Two years later, with the kingdom in ruins because of his mad pursuit of Griffith, he dies in loneliness with the realization that he supported Griffith because he did not want to be king.
- Abusive Parent: He eventually tries to rape Charlotte.
- Being Good Sucks: All he ever got from sacrificing his personal happiness and devoting his life to the smooth running of the kingdom was disappointment and ungrateful people trying to mess up his plans. Finally he decides that he's fed up with being the good king, and descends into tyranny.
- Beware the Nice Ones: He's a pleasant guy when you stay on his good side, but you do not want to make him angry. After Griffith pushes him too far he permanently snaps.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Of the 'wise old man' variety, although he is implied to have been kind of a badass when he was young.
- The Caligula: After his mind cracks, he devotes all of the kingdom's resources into searching for Griffith to the expense of everything else, ultimately leaving Midland vulnerable to the Kushan Empire.
- Disproportionate Retribution: As punishment for having sex with his daughter, the king had Griffith imprisoned in the lowest dungeon in Midland, sentenced to three years of torture, and commanded that the entire Band of the Hawk be exterminated.
- Dying Alone: Even on his deathbed, Charlotte refuses to see him.
- Dying Dream: On his deathbed, he dreams that he is sitting on a throne being protected by armored guards and impenetrable castle walls, but freezing to death from the cold. His guards ignore his pleas for someone to bring fire, and when he sees Charlotte and tries to go to her they block his path. Griffith appears in the form of a white hawk and covers Charlotte with his wings, and the King dies with the realization that all along he wanted Griffith to rescue him from the responsibility of being king.
- Ermine Cape Effect: His clothing is always rich and formal, even on more casual occasions. Heck, he dresses in furs and jewels even when he goes to the dungeon to torture Griffith!
- Establishing Character Moment: The King is first shown on a hilltop command post watching his troops being swept by the Black Ram Heavy Cavalry, and out of despair and frustration he says anyone will do if they can "stop these black devils of Chuder." Griffith and the Band of the Hawk swoop in to say the day, and immediately afterwards the King rewards Griffith with knighthood and ranking in court despite the grumbling of the entrenched nobles. Thus, we learn that in a story where Aristocrats Are Evil more often then not, he is a rare Reasonable Authority Figure who is personally invested in protecting his subjects and rewards ability regardless of birth or social status.
- Et Tu, Brute?: He reminds Griffith that he rewarded him well for his battlefield victories, and rebukes him for his 'betrayal'.
- Face–Heel Turn: He starts as a benign Reasonable Authority Figure, but becomes a villain after Griffith deflowers Charlotte.
- Feeling Their Age: The King often comments on how he is no longer able to do the things he enjoyed when he was young, such as fighting in battle or taking part in the hunt. He wisely decided to acknowledge his age and let the next generation have their turn.
- Fisher King: While the Kingdom of Midland wasn't perfect, Wyndham was a pretty nice place to be, and the king was a reasonable and benevolent ruler. By the time the King is on his death bed, being driven to madness, pestilence, plague, and death has taken over the kingdom, and the Kushan Army is right at Wyndham's doorstep.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: He gets angry when he learns of Griffith's night with Charlotte, but he descends into outright madness when Griffith tells him that he's lusting after his own daughter, and he realizes that it's true.
- The Good King: Deconstructed. He is initially portrayed as a very capable ruler who places little stock in tradition and ceremony, and values competence over birth. However his devotion to good rule has alienated him from his wife, and he lusts after Charlotte due to him having never gotten over the death of his beloved first wife and the stress of being a king. Eventually the rigors of rule cause him to snap and become The Caligula, and as he dies he realizes that he supported Griffith because he no longer wanted to be king.
- How the Mighty Have Fallen: He shoves this into Griffith's face at the beginning of his imprisonment.... and then the same begins to happen to him at the same instance, thanks to Griffith.
- Ill Guy: After his mental breakdown, he suffers from rapid aging and a general decline in his health.
- King On His Death Bed: As he lies dying in his bed, the rest of the Midland court is in turmoil about who will be appointed as Charlotte's regent, and the matter of an invasion looming due to Midland's collapsed state.
- Knight Templar Parent: Pretty much threw the efforts of a century long war away and ruined his own kingdom just to get revenge on Griffith for deflowering Charlotte.
- Lonely at the Top: Described how being the king of a nation was a lonely existence.
- Married to the Job: After his first wife's death, he hid from his sorrows by immersing himself in the work of governing. As such he had no time for his family, which led to his second wife's infidelity with Julius.
- The Mourning After: He didn't get over the death of his forest wife, and while he remarried for politics he couldn't love his second queen. [[Over time he became infatuated with his own daughter, in no small part because she was so like her mother]].
- My God, What Have I Done?: After his attempted rape of Charlotte, he admits that what he did was despicable and wishes he could take it back since it drove her further away from him. However, he still holds Griffith to blame and refuses to abandon his revenge.
- No Name Given: To Charlotte he is simply "father", and to everybody else he is "The King of Midland".
- Nothing Can Save Us Now: The King's first appearance in volume 5 has him saying, "Is there no one in Midland who can stop the black devils of Tudor?!" Cue in Band of the Hawk.
- Papa Wolf: Likes to think of himself as this, but he has ulterior motives and eventually takes it to insane extremes.
- Parents Walk In at the Worst Time: Or, near to the worst time. After Griffith is captured on the palace grounds, the king storms into Charlotte's room to confront her on the accusations. Charlotte tries her best to tell her father to go away, but when the king sees a trail of evidence left over by Griffith, it prompts him to lift up the bedsheets and - boom. Blood stains of virginity.
- Parental Incest: Poor Charlotte barely escaped her father's lewd intentions after Griffith's arrest.
- Pervert Dad: Not at first, but eventually his repressed lust comes to the surface and he tries to rape his daughter.
- The Promise: To Charlotte, of not chasing Griffith anymore. He didn't keep it.
- Rapid Aging: Though he already acknowledged his age at the beginning and commented how he was no longer able to do the things he enjoyed when he was younger, after his breakdown, his body deteriorates as fast as his mind and he becomes geriatric and decrepit within just two years.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He was able to acknowledge Griffith and the Band Of The Hawk's achievements for his country and willing to grant them titles for it despite the corrupt aristocracy criticizing him for doing so. Unfortunately, he became anything but reasonable after Griffith caused him to snap.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: What that relationship changed into when Griffith went too far.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: He is pragmatic and hardworking, and before his break with Griffith he is considered an effective ruler. He recognizes talent whether common or noble, doesn't stand on ceremony, and keeps Midland as a pretty good place to live. In his younger days he led from the front of the army, and now continues to command in the field although he is too old to take part in the fighting.
- Sanity Slippage: After Griffith forces him to acknowledge his dark desires and he attempts to rape Charlotte, he becomes obsessed with destroying Griffith and acts increasingly paranoid and violent.
- A Taste of the Lash: Personally wields the whip to torture Griffith when he first visits him in prison.
- This Is Unforgivable!: He tells Griffith that what he did was unforgivable, and spends the rest of his life pursuing him to the ends of the Earth in retaliation.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His Disproportionate Retribution against Griffith and the Hawks eventually kick-starts the Eclipse and Femto's Rise into the Godhand.
- Wife Husbandry: He remarked about how much Charlotte began looking like his beloved deceased wife, and then Griffith clued in that he probably kept Charlotte at home and didn't arrange her to be married to a principality of the Tudor Empire for a reason.
- Yandere: For his daughter. Oh God. Beats even Griffith effortlessly.
- You Have Failed Me: Kills the Bakiraka woman, after the squad almost killed Charlotte by accident and failed to capture Griffith. He also tells the guards who know that Griffith deflowered Charlotte that he will kill them and their families if that information becomes public.
- Younger Than They Look: The king is probably in his 50s or early 60s judging by his first appearance, as he has a wrinkled face and a receding hairline but has kept his black hair and is otherwise in good health, in addition to being a skilled ruler. Two years after his breakdown he looks as if he is at least 90 years old, having become so decrepit and infirm that he needs page boys to help him walk.
The Queen of Midland
Voiced by: Toshiko Sawada (Japanese, Berserk (1997)), Suzanne Gilad (English, Berserk (1997))
"I will never forgive you, Griffith. Not as the Queen of Midland, but as a woman will I take my revenge!"The queen of Midland (ミッドランド王妃) and Charlotte's stepmother. Some ten years ago she came from another country to be married to the King of Midland, whose first wife had died young. Finding that the King buried himself in work to escape his sadness and was unable to love or satisfy her, she entered into an affair with Count Julius. Being of like mind with Julius regarding the place of commoners, she disapproves of Charlotte's interest in Griffith and plots against him. Helped by Minister Foss and spurred to vengeance after the assassination of Julius, she assembles a noble conspiracy to have Griffith poisoned during his own triumph party. Her victory is short-lived, since Griffith only pretended to be dead and took advantage of all conspirators being together at the same place to have them die in a massive fire, including the queen herself.
- Arranged Marriage: Her marriage to the King of Midland was entirely political, and she did not have any say in the matter.
- Avenging the Villain: She wanted to avenge Julius, her lover and Griffith main contender for the crown, who was assassinated on Griffith's orders.
- Belated Love Epiphany: Doesn't realize her love for Julius until after he's gone.
- Blue Blood: She is very conscious of her royal pedigree and looks down on commoners.
- Demoted to Extra: She does briefly appear beside the King in Berserk: The Golden Age Arc II when he bestows the title of White Phoenix Knights on the Hawks at the victory ball, but gets no lines and has her whole subplot dropped.
- Ermine Cape Effect: Her usual attire is a Pimped-Out Dress and some kind of crown or fancy headdress.
- Establishing Character Moment: From her first appearance, she gives off icy elegance and reserved poise. She warns her stepdaughter Charlotte against being too familiar with a lowborn man like Griffith and reminds her to act appropriately for her royal blood, establishing her a strict and detatched parent in contrast to Charlotte's doting father, as well as a pure elitist. Charlotte doesn't take it well and goes off in a huff, establishing that they have a poor relationship and don't see eye to eye. Lastly, the way she holds her fan over her mouth after Charlotte turns her back, with a Visible Silence speech bubble and a Kubrick Stare, implies she's calculating and scheming.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: For all her faults, she truly did love Julius, a fact that surprised even her.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: A typical example of how Queens in fiction are evil more often than not, for some reason. She is actually a queen consort rather than a queen regnant, but still has enough of her own influence with the nobles to engage in some nasty plotting under her husband's nose.
- Hoist By Her Own Petard: Thanks to her conspiracy, Griffith was able to kill her and all of the nobles opposed to him in one stroke, and by pretending to fall unconscious after drinking their poison he made it seem like he couldn't have been the one responsible for the fire.
- Kill It with Fire: Griffith kills her by setting fire to the building where the conspirators gather.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: At the conspirators' first meeting she wears a black veil, which does nothing to conceal her enormous headdress.
- Parental Neglect: Other than when she's chastising her for conversing with commoners, she completely ignores Charlotte.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Each of the dresses she wears looks expensive enough to feed a small country.
- Rich Bitch: Her wealth and status have made her pretty mean, although it might have something to do with her lousy marriage.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Since her subplot is cut out of the film adaptation, she doesn't try to assassinate Griffith and therefore doesn't get killed by him either.
- Unwitting Pawn: Foss manipulates the Queen into doing his dirty work for him, and ends up betraying her to save himself and his daughter.
- Wicked Stepmother: She's a real jerk to Charlotte, besides being wicked in general.
- Your Cheating Heart: Secretly turned to Count Julius for warmth because her marriage to the King was loveless. Although their relationship was purely physical, she realizes after his death that she was in love with him.
Voiced by: Ryuji Mizuno (Japanese, Berserk (1997)), Rikiya Koyama (Japanese, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc), Dick Bunting (English, Berserk (1997)), Jesse Corti (English, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc)
"A stray arrow, eh? Interesting...A fitting way for a commoner to die!"Julius (ユリウス Yuriusu) is the Brother of the king of Midland, uncle of Princess Charlotte, and general of Midland's most prominent army, the White Dragon Knights. He secretly had an adulterous affair with the current Queen of Midland, and his own wife recently died, leaving him in sole care of their teenage son Adonis. Himself the product of a hard upbringing, he treats his son coldly and tries to harshly prepare him for the responsibility of taking his place as head of the White Dragon Knights. According to the gossip of courtiers in Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I, he was recently captured in battle against the Tudor Kingdom and ransomed for a large sum, which may account for his being out of favor with the King.Believing adamantly in the superiority of nobles over commoners, he is outraged by Griffith’s rising prominence. Seeing Julius' anger, Minister Foss goads him into attempting to assassinate Griffith during the royal hunt. The plan would have been successful, had not Griffith's Crimson Behelit miraculously prevented the poisoned crossbow bolt from even scratching him. Griffith traces the poison back to Julius and orders Guts to infiltrate his castle. During the mission, Guts sees Julius sparring with young Adonis and is reminded of his own childhood with Gambino. Guts succeeds in killing Julius, who recognizes Guts' face as he dies, and mistakenly kills Adonis who discovers his father's corpse. Julius' councilor Hassan weeps at the sight of father and son both dead, lamenting that Adonis never had a chance to make his father smile.
- Abusive Parent: Downplayed. He does subject his thirteen-year-old son Adonis to brutal training from hell in order to prepare him to take his place as general of the White Dragons, in which he cuts him pretty seriously on the arm and calls him weak. His methods remind Guts of his own abusive parent. Unlike Gambino, however, he seems to genuinely want what he thinks is best for his son. Outside of sparring he doesn't act particularly abusive to Adonis and even expresses some Saturnine love for him.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: He has reddish-brown hair in the anime and manga supposedly, but has blonde hair in the movie.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: He refuses to allow a filthy commoner like Griffith to become the most powerful general in Midland, and will stoop to murder to prevent it.
- Bling of War: He has a shiny suit of Maximilian-style three-quarter plate armor complete with a cape, jewelry, and ruff. It seems like he sometimes wears it even off the battlefield.
- Establishing Character Moment:
- In the manga his first line is to express outrage that Guts did not immediately kneel before the King; he objects to the King's permissive manner with them, and scoffs when Griffith introduces himself. Then when Griffith catches Charlotte as she trips, he ignores the fact that Griffith protected her and instead strikes his face for daring to lay a hand on the Princess. Thus, we learn that he is a reactionary noble who believes commoners should learn their place, and that he won't take a threat to aristocratic privelege lying down.
- The movie gives him a head start by introducing him in the Black Ram battle. While the King is impressed by the Hawks' performance, Julius dismisses the idea that a small group of common mercenaries could have turned the tide.
- Evil Uncle: He's Princess Charlotte's Jerkass, scheming uncle. He actually wants to prepare his son for the possibility of marriage to Charlotte and therefore the Kingship of Midland, which is the cause for his great strictness with the boy.
- Hunting "Accident": He tries to orchestrate one for Griffith at the royal hunt as suggested by Minister Foss, but the Crimson Behelit stops his assassin's crossbow bolt.
- Jerkass: Between berating commoners for not knowing their place, chewing out his assassin for failing, and giving his son training from hell, he seems not to have any time for being nice.
- Jerkass Realization: After Hassan tells him not to be so hard on Adonis, Julius admits that he was taking out his anger about other matters on his son and went too far.
- Spell My Name with an "S": The anime gave his name as "Yurius." Also, nobody seems to be able to decide whether he is he a duke, an earl, a count, or a lord.
- Unwitting Pawn: To Minister Foss, who goads Julius into trying to kill Griffith by staging a hunting accident. All to ensure there will be no evidence implicating himself.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: The disciplinarian father for whom Adonis' best is never good enough. While the manga shows Adonis' resentment about this and only implies his desire to impress his father, the movie makes it more clear that Adonis wants his father's praise and approval.
- Your Cheating Heart: He slept with his brother's second wife, possibly while his own wife was still alive.
Voiced by: Mayumi Asano (Japanese, Berserk (1997)), Maki Mizuma (Japanese, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc), Kathryn Kapinski (English, Berserk (1997)), Colin DePaula (English, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc)
"Father! I can continue!"The son of Count Julius, nephew of the King of Midland, and a cousin to Princess Charlotte, Adonis (アドニス Adonisu) is a delicate and sensitive boy who struggles to measure up to his father's harsh standards. His mother the Countess recently died, and his father is determined to train him into a proper knight so that he can lead the White Dragon Knights when he grows up, and possibly marry Charlotte and become king of Midland. When Guts sneaks into Julius' castle he sees Adonis sparring with his father, reminding him of his own brutal sword practices with Gambino. Hassan, Julius' councilor who seems to have a role in raising Adonis, tries to comfort him and reassure him that his father means well, but Adonis looks hurt and resentful. After Guts kills Julius, Adonis sees his father's corpse and gives himself away by making a sound. Attacking on reflex before he can see who it is, Guts is shocked and horrified to find that he has run through Adonis with his sword. Guts holds Adonis' hand as he cries and gasps out his life, and escapes in Heroic Safe Mode. Hassan finds the bodies of both Julius and Adonis, and regrets that Adonis was never able to make his father smile.
- Adaptation Expansion: In Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I he is introduced earlier than in the manga, in the scene where Guts and Griffith meet the King after the fight with Zodd, and is shown as one of two page boys accompanying the King. There's a moment where he and the other boy look at each other and giggle at Guts' lack of manners, expanding his characterization a little. Additionally during the sparring scene he says I Can Still Fight!, making it more like he's trying to impress his father.
- Bishōnen: Has angelic, feminine features and would have been future bishonen material if not for his untimely death.
- Blood from the Mouth: Coughs up blood after his stabbing.
- Dies Wide Open: His eyes still wet with tears remain open after death, and Hassan sorrowfully closes them for him when he is discovered.
- Establishing Character Moment:
- The sparring session shows that he is physically weak and tempermentally unsuited for fighting, and his expression while Hassan is trying to comfort him implies he resents his father's harshness, especially at a time when he's just lost his mother.
- In his earlier movie appearance he and a fellow page boy giggle at Guts' lack of manners, emphasizing his innocence.
- Fragile Flower: Adonis is both physically and emotionally delicate, much to his father's dissatisfaction.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: While usually a bladed weapon wouldn't qualify, being stabbed with Guts' BFS takes it into this territory. Even in the film where a normal sword is used, the wound is quite large.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: In the film he has blue eyes, which fits his naive and innocent characterization. However, the 1997 anime depicted him with brown eyes.
- Kill the Cutie: The fact that he was just a child who missed his mother and wanted his father's love makes his death that much sadder.
- Lonely Rich Kid: Implied. He was probably close to his mother, and there is no evidence in the manga that he has any friends his age.
- I Miss Mom: His mother's death has been hard on the poor boy.
Voiced by: Mahito Tsujimura (Japanese, Berserk (1997)), Greg Miller (English, Berserk (1997)), Tomomichi Nishimura (Berserk (2016))
"Hunting is an inherently dangerous thing. One never knows what kinds of beasts may be concealed in the forests and thickets."A Midland noble, Foss (フォス Fosu) is a diminutive old man whose obsequious and oily manner belies his devious mind. Recognizing that Griffith's success will only continue and therefore threaten the established order in which the nobility controls affairs, he suggests the idea of assassinating Griffith during the royal hunt to the disgruntled Count Julius. When Julius fails, Foss is confident that there is no evidence that can implicate him but gets a disturbing premonition that Griffith sees right through him. After Griffith returns victorious from Doldrey, Foss allows the Queen to discover Griffith's responsibility for the death of Julius, knowing that she and Julius had secretly been lovers. He assists the Queen in assembling a conspiracy of nobles discontented by Griffith's royal favor, which schemes to assassinate Griffith by poison at the victory ball.At the conspirators' meeting, Foss receives a message whose contents make him lose his composure and subsequently act suspiciously ill-at-ease at the ball, despite Griffith's apparent death. This message informed him that Griffith had taken his daughter Elise as a hostage to ensure his cooperation in gathering the conspirators in one place. Once Foss had done this and excused himself, Griffith burned the structure to the ground, killing those inside. Foss was left with nothing to do but submit himself to Griffith and agree not to reveal that night's events, and Griffith allowed him a tearful reunion with Elise. After the assassination of the Queen Foss retired from the court's factional politics and was rumored to have lost his influence, as he was not considered a candidate to be Charlotte's regent in anticipation of her father's death. After the Kushan invasion of Midland during which Windham is occupied by Emperor Ganishka, Minister Foss is seen leading a small group of survivors who have not yet been caught, and he informs Laban and Owen of what has transpired in their absence.
- Adapted Out: Foss is absent from Berserk: The Golden Age Arc, along with the assassination conspiracy subplot. You are missed, you Varys-looking Manipulative Bastard you. Although, he does appear at the end of episode 3 of the 2016 anime.
- Affably Evil: A scheming politician willing to murder or manipulate others to get what he wants, who is nonetheless very cordial and polite in all of his dealings.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: How aristocratic he is is ambiguous, as discussed under Deliberate Values Dissonance, but his underhanded plotting is for the sake of maintaining aristocratic control over the kingdom's politics.
- Bald of Evil: His head is as smooth as an egg, and he is one Manipulative Bastard.
- Defeat Equals Friendship: Griffith invokes this after outgambitting him. When they see each other again for the first time after the Eclipse, Foss kneels down before him in reverence.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: Foss appears to honestly believe that it would be bad for the country if commoners were allowed to rule. He himself appears to be of no more than low nobility and possibly completely common (he is always referred to as "minister," never "lord" or any other title), and he never attempts to climb the social ladder, merely to keep Griffith from doing so. And when Midland is invaded by the Kushan Empire, he puts himself at considerable personal risk to resist them rather than fleeing or collaborating. He may be loyal to what a democratically-minded modern audience would consider a corrupt system, but he's a true patriot, not a hypocrite.
- Doting Parent: He is a loving father and showers Elise with affection.
- Establishing Character Moment: He appears just as Count Julius is fuming over Griffith's advancement. He seems like a smarmy, harmless little man, but right off the bat he gives a little winking Kubrick Stare that shows his Obfuscating Stupidity is a mask. He speaks about Griffith's achievments in a matter-of-fact manner, carefully provoking Julius' anger bit by bit. Then when he's got Julius where he wants him, he gives him the idea for killing Griffith with a Hunting "Accident", implying rather than saying it outright but giving a devious look so Julius can't escape his meaning. He smiles as Julius leaves, pleased that he's used his manipulation abilities to target an opponent without directly involving himself.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: When Griffith reveals he has taken his daughter Elise hostage, Foss immediately switches sides to protect her, and after her release he is deeply grateful to see her safe and sound.
- Even Evil Has Standards: In his view assassinating other generals or politicians can be justified and necessary, but he Wouldn't Hurt a Child.
- Friend to All Children: You really wouldn't expect it from such a sneaky politician, but during the Kushan occupation he is seen going out of his way to reassure and protect the children in his care. If he's good with kids he can't be that bad, right?
- Heel–Face Turn: Kind of. Since getting beaten at his own game by Griffith, Foss more or less retired from politics. When the Kushan Empire invaded the country, he led a small group of survivors.
- Hunting "Accident": The plan to assassinate Griffith during the hunt was attempted by Julius, but it was Foss' idea.
- La Résistance: He became the leader of a resistance group when the Kushan Empire overran Windham. However, it is a resistance in name only, since all he’s really capable of doing is keeping the few survivors he’s gathered hidden and alive.
- Manipulative Bastard: He manipulates Julius into assassinating Griffith to ensure no evidence can be pinned on him, and does the same thing with the Queen of Midland when his first plan fails.
- Morality Pet: Despite his machinations he cares about his daughter Elise more than any political ambitions, and seems to be a kind and doting father.
- Outgambitted: Griffith suspected Foss was plotting against him, and pulled off his own plan to get him under control. Indeed, Foss is made to realize that he was dancing to Griffith's tune from the moment their eyes met before the battle of Doldrey.
- Smug Snake: He twice attempted to kill Griffith, confident that even a battlefield hero wouldn't be able to outsmart his plans. Not only do both attempts fail, but the aftermath of both worked in Griffith’s favor.
- Villain Has a Point: Even back then Griffith would have been a terrifying noble.
- Villainous Breakdown: He barely manages to contain himself when he finds out that Griffith kidnapped his daughter, and his breakdown becomes complete when Griffith explains that he had no evidence connecting Foss to the plot, but figured out his intentions merely from the look of fear in his eyes. He starts to tremble not because he fears for his life, but because Griffith is just that scary!
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: After the assassination of Julius and his son, he remarks to Griffith that you would have to be a monster to kill a child. It would be easy to dismiss this as a hypocritical statement meant to get under Griffith's skin, except that his later interactions with children imply that to some degree he really meant it.
Sir Laban and Sir Owen
Laban Voiced by: Toru Okawa (Japanese, Berserk (1997)), Hochu Otsuka (Japanese, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc and Berserk (2016)), Sean Elias-Reyes (English, Berserk (1997)), Marc Thompson (English, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc)
Owen Voiced by: Naoki Bando (Japanese, Berserk (1997)), Jason O'Connell (English, Berserk (1997))
"The mist veils him, like some momentary passing glimpse of the sun. No, I want to believe that it's not just the past, or some illusion. That, as in that revelation, one day those wings of light will sweep away the darkness covering our kingdom" -OwenLaban (ラバン Raban) and Owen (オーウェン Ōwen) are two Midland nobles who are close friends and confidants. Unlike most of midland's aristocrats, they are willing to put aside the interests of their class for the good of the kingdom and are early supporters and admirers of Griffith. Laban speaks up before the King and noble generals in favor of Griffith's plan to recapture Doldrey, and between themselves they agree that Griffith is Midland's best hope. At the victory ball afterwards, they discuss whether Griffith will be able to continue his rise in conditions of peace. When the kingdom begins collapsing because of the King's pursuit of Griffith, Laban and Owen do their best to alleviate the people's suffering. Owen concentrates on rescue missions, while Owen tries to wake up the Kingdom's corrupt and foolish politicians to the urgency of the situation.The Kushan Empire's sudden conquest of Midland forces Laban and Owen into exile along with many of Midland's nobles. The two temporarily split up, with Laban going to visit Minister Foss' resistance cell in occupied Windham, while Owen ends up in Vritannis trying to rally Midland's bickering exiled nobles and prevent the alliance from dividing up what's left of Midland among themselves. There he recognizes Guts and asks him of Griffith's whereabouts, but is told that Griffith is closer than he thinks. The next day he bears witness to Griffith's return along with Charlotte and the Pope, and convinces his peers to accept Griffith as their leader. Shortly afterward, Laban infiltrates Windham and rescues the city's women and children with Owen's support. Following the defeat of Emperor Ganishka and the founding of Falconia, Laban leads a patrol that rescues Rickert and Erica's refugee group and brings them inside Griffith's shining city. There Rickert also meets Owen, who has been made captain of the Falconian palace guard.
- Adapted Out: While Laban still appears in Berserk: The Golden Age Arc and Berserk (2016), Owen appears to have been left out of both.
- Big Damn Heroes: Laban tries to save commoners from natural disasters and other perils, although often he arrives too late. Eventually he pulls off a huge rescue by leading his Arklow Knights into Kushan-controlled Windham, and evacuating the entire population imprisoned there in one night.
- Divided We Fall: Owen's main concern is trying to unite the nobles and politicians whose bickering is preventing the Kingdom from getting back on its feet.
- Greek Chorus: Their role during the Golden Age arc is mostly to comment on Griffith's progress and discuss current events with each other from a relatively neutral perspective. Later in the story they continue to do this while taking a more active role in the action.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Laban takes off his foreign helmet as soon as he's finished using it as a disguise and doesn't wear it during the battle against Ganishka's ultimate form, but in the same scene Owen averts this by wearing a full helmet with his visor closed.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: The two are lifelong friends who trust each other enough to speak their minds about sensitive political matters. You can feel their joy when they are reunited after a long separation.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Both of them are paragons of courage and chivalry, who place protecting the innocent above all other priorities.
- Only Sane Man: Among the Midland nobles, Owen and Laban seem to be the only ones actively trying to find solution to the kingdom's various crises (e.g. The Plague, floods, worsening economy), especially after The King loses his mind. The rest all do nothing but concern themselves with self-preservation and other selfish desires.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Laban and Owen wholeheartedly support Griffith, regardless of his common status. Furthermore, they staunchly support him despite the doubts of Midland's exiled nobility when he returns to lead the Midland Regular Army.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: In the days leading up to the King's death and the Kushan invasion of Midland, they are among the only leaders trying to deal with the kingdom's humanitarian crises such as refugees and plague. Both participate in the resistance to the Kushan occupation, and help to smuggle out the entire population of occupied Windham from under the Kushan army's nose.
- Stupid Sexy Flanders: As Griffith departs from the Midland war council on Doldrey, Owen admits to admiring his beauty and Laban agrees that they are probably looking at the greatest hero of their time.
- Surrounded by Idiots: How they feel regarding most of their noblemen peers. Can't blame them...
- Those Two Guys: During the Golden Age arc they are always seen together and have little direct influence on the plot. Afterwards, however, they grow out of this role both by splitting up and by taking a far more active role in the story's events.
- Token Good Teammates: Pretty much the only members of Midland’s aristocracy who aren’t corrupt backstabbers, and whom clearly care about their people.
Lisa Ortiz (English, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc), Takeuchi Ayako (Berserk (2016))
"Whatever happens, I, at least, will never leave your side."Anna (アンナ Anna) is Princess Charlotte's dutiful maidservant and companion. She had been serving in the palace for five years while sending money back to her parents, and finally earned the honor of attending to the princess, when her safe life was turned upside down by Charlotte roping her into helping Griffith break out of prison. She's really just an ordinary girl who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Rule-abiding, high-strung, and easily scared, adventure is the last thing she wants. Nevertheless, she devotes herself to taking care of Charlotte no matter what happens.
- Art Evolution: The author subtly changed how he was drawing her over the course of voulme 10. At first she looks rather more haughty and strict, but he changed her lines to make her look more plain and humble.
- Cowardly Lion: Despite being scared out of her mind most of the time, she faithfully stays by Charlotte's side instead of running away, even risking the King's wrath in the process.
- Lovable Coward: Nobody can really blame her for being a scaredy-cat, since she's just a regular girl who didn't sign up for the level of excitement and danger that Charlotte attracts. In fact, it's kind of endearing.
- Meido: As you might imagine, she takes being a maid very seriously. Always obedient, and plain in a sort of cute way, she appeals to the Japanese idea of a housemaid even though she's in a Western setting.
- Nervous Wreck: Jittery, easily frightened, and a bit pessimistic, she'll always be the first one to freak out when something scary happens.
- Only Friend: Since Charlotte's painfully shy and a tad over sheltered, Anna is the only girl her age that Charlotte regularly interacts with. She may not like her mistress' insistence on getting into trouble, but she really loves and cares about Charlotte, and Charlotte loves her back.
- Prim and Proper Bun: Always wears her hair tied back in a neat little bun with a cloth, which represents her neat and orderly personality. The only time we see her without her hair undone is when she's roused from her bed in the middle of the night, and almost the first thing she does is tie it back.
- Resigned to the Call: As much as she hates being part of a dangerous adventure, she won't abandon her duty to Princess Charlotte and figures it can't be helped.
- Shipper on Deck: As of chapter 250, following their dramatic rescue, Anna has started encouraging Charlotte's efforts to win Griffith's heart Through His Stomach. This is a pretty big reversal from before, where she was trying to convince Charlotte not to give up her future for him, but Anna's opinion of Griffith has improved and she is glad that Charlotte is happier now than she's ever seen her.
- Weirdness Censor: When Nosferatu Zodd transports her and Charlotte out of Windham on a flying bed, first she completely panics, then she decides to go back to sleep because it's much easier to pretend it's just a dream.
The Unnamed Torturer
Voiced by: Yutaka Aoyama (Japanese, Berserk (1997)), Chafurin (Japanese, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc), Liam O'Brien (English, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc)
"Hee-hee. Y-you're amazhin'. Th-thish much torture, and you haven't made a peep. I-I've never sheen shuch...Th-that'sh the leader of the Hawksh for ya. I-I'm sho moved. L-lettin me do whatever I want with shuch a beautiful, splendid one like you...Th-the King'sh sho gracious."The deformed torturer employed by the King of Midland who mutilates Griffith in the dungeons below the tower of Rebirth. Having been permitted by the King to mutilate Griffith to his heart's content as long as he kept him alive, he treats Griffith as the most valuable specimen he's ever been given. He admires both Griffith's perfect body and the stoic dignity that enables him to endure any torture without crying out even once. During one of these sessions he notices Griffith's Crimson Behelit and tries to take it for himself, but when it stares back at him he becomes alarmed and accidentally drops it down a floor grate, where the drainage current sweeps it away. When the remaining Hawks come to break Griffith out of jail, he locks them inside Griffith's cell and gloats to them about how he tortured Griffith for a year. This backfires on him by enraging Guts, who breaks down the door and brutally ends his life.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: He's a deformed Depraved Dwarf in the manga, but in Berserk (1997), he's depicted as a normal Lean and Mean man. Berserk: The Golden Age Arc sets him back to his manga character design.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: His occupation, and his greatest joy.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Dies by having a BFS thrust through his body, getting his tongue cut out, and being dropped down a presipice. Not that we feel very sorry for him.
- Depraved Dwarf: Stunted, hunchbacked and extremely depraved.
- Evil Laugh: A nasty little "ee-hee-hee" that lets you know he's enjoying himself.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Describes himself and Griffith as a twisted version of this, saying that having spent so much time together they were almost like a husband and wife. He even nursed him and treated his wounds to prevent him from dying so that the torture could continue. It is disturbingly ambiguous whether he did anything sexual with his prized captive.
- Karmic Death: As soon as he's finished gloating about his torture of Griffith, Guts smashes through the cell door, runs him through, cuts out his tongue, then kicks him down a pit.
- Reminiscing About Your Victims: He giddily recounts everything he did to Griffith to Guts and Casca, even proudly revealing that he cut out Griffith's tongue and turned it into a necklace.
- Speech Impediment: In the Dark Horse translation, his speech is rendered as a cross between Fang Thpeak and Porky Pig Pronunciation.
- Tempting Fate: By repeating to Guts that there was no way he could break the door down, he pretty much sealed his fate.
- Tongue Trauma: He cut out Griffith's tongue and wears it around his neck as a trophy. Guts cuts his tongue out in turn.
- Torture Technician: He considers himself an artist who truly appreciates the beauty of the human body beneath the skin.
- To the Pain: Implied. While we don't actually see him describing his torture techniques to Griffith while he's doing it, the fact that he enjoyed talking to Griffith suggests he probably did it at some point.
- Unsexy Sadist: As ugly as he is sadistic.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Appears in all of three scenes in the manga before getting killed off.