The King renames the Band of the Hawk "The White Phoenix Knights." Later, Griffith dies and is reborn as Femto, while the Band of the Hawk is slaughtered and recreated.
The name of the Purple Rhino Knights might seem incredibly narmy at first glance. But remember: during medieval times, purple was the rarest and most expensive dye, and was hence associated with royalty. Therefor, associating the Tudor Empire's most esteemed and powerful army with it (and coloring the armor appropriately) seems pretty fitting.
It's been established that Guts' Animal Motif is a dog, but most characters portray it in a negative way (especially since his Enemy Within is a scary black dog). But just look at all of the good characteristic that Guts has in relation to his dog motif (and it should be noted that these are traits more in association with wild canines, not domesticated): he's brave, he tries to be a loner, but most canines are social by nature, and because of that, he's loyal and very protective of his "pack" (and he has shades of the Papa Wolf, since male wolves are very protective of their young), and for the romantic twist, most breeding pairs mate for life so his devotion to Casca is very much understandable.
A god-hand is made every 216 years. What's so special about 216? It is 6*6*6 or 666. Fridge brilliance indeed.
This is something that I learned from a birds of prey show at our local Renaissance faire (convenient, ay?). In the middle ages, both hawks (Accipitriformes) and falcons (Falconiformes) were trained for the hunt. You wouldn't think that there was much difference in the use of the two birds aside from general phylogenetic differences, but did you know that social class had a lot to do with the ownership of hawks and falcons? Hawks were usually owned by those of the peasantry because they were larger (therefore, considered more "bulky") and caught and killed their prey more "sloppily", tearing into the flesh more severely. Falcons, on the other hand, were only allowed to be owned by the aristocracy and royalty, because they were smaller, swifter, and killed their prey with more precision, making the kill/trophy a lot more presentable. When I was watching the display, I just couldn't help but think back to good 'ol Berserk and our favorite Badass Crew. There has been some translation debate (correct me if I'm wrong since I read both the Dark Horse translations and The Hawks' online scanlations) because the crew was first known as the Band of the Hawk, but after Griffith's reincarnation, they are referred to as the Falcons. If the name change is official, I wouldn't be surprised, since Griffith started out as a guy leading a group of misfit mercenaries, but when he came back, his battle actions are more strategic, he's as regal as can be, and has even been dubbed the Messiah all this while being a humungous Bitch in Sheep's Clothing!, surely befitting of the new title of a falcon.
Meshes with a bit of horror, but it makes sense as to why Rickert was afraid of Puck for awhile, since his first encounter with "elves" was with Rosine and her minions when the Hawk that stayed behind during the Griffith rescue operation were slaughtered by the apostles.
Let us look at two of our main characters from a psychological perspective for a bit. I've been learning a lot about antisocial behavior from both my mother and Morgan Freeman (Through the Wormhole), and it's pretty obvious that both Guts and Griffith suffer from antisocial personality disorder.But there is a difference. How? Well, Guts has the signs of being a psychopath, in that he has erratic violent behavior and has trouble maintaining normal relationships. Griffith, on the other hand, also shows violent tendencies... though they're far more reserved and planned, and he looks perfectly normal in the face of the public. So technically, Griffith would have been considered a Sociopathic Hero back in his glory days as well, and Guts would be best described as a psychopathic hero. Now, it's important to acknowledge that, as scary as it sounds, 3-4% of the population are sociopathic or psychopathic; however, not every person with this antisocial behavior is a sadistic serial killer. So where are they? Well, psychopaths have it rougher in life, since they can't hold steady jobs because they can't hold steady relationships, but sociopaths are often very successful, since they're manipulative and get people to trust them, but lack the empathy in tough decision making (so, you can guess why some CEOs are so damn powerful). But one, very important factor comes into play, regarding if these individuals will take their disorder to the next level: Love and family. That's right, you can still have the mind of a killer without actually being a killer - if you grow up in the right environment. Studies have shown that growing up with loving and supportive friends and family can halt more violent tendencies, so at the very least, sociopaths and psychopaths will be giant douchebags, but not murderers. Looking back at Guts and Griffith, Guts had a really, reallyrough backstory which included physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. He is signed into a profession that just breeds this type of behavior, but it's a big outlet for him and it satisfies his psychopathic tendencies, so he enjoys it on some level. But Guts' only saving grace is that he truly cares about the friends he managed to make and the love that he has for Casca, so he is still able to retain some level of empathy and is the reason why he doesn't go around killing anything that moves. But as we saw, when the eclipse happened, and all of those who Guts cared for were either killed or violated - well, it's understandable why he almost became a Villain Protagonist. Our man Griffith has a similar predicament: his self-assured, organized, and morally gray behavior clearly puts him in sociopathic territory, but he still cares about his comrades enough to not be too crazy. And tragically, as with Guts, a life eventjust made him snapand lose what empathy he had. For more info, take a look at this vid.
The Golden Age arc more or less covers the height of the Band of the Hawks and how Guts, Griffith, and Casca, despite their flaws, were all regarded as heroes of an entire kingdom. But when the Hawks were destroyed, their golden age ended.
Berserk has been called a "re-imagining of MacBeth" and, at first, this is depressing because it is often teased Guts using the Behelit for the power to destroy Griffith (related to Macbeth's willingness to kill those near him for power). Except Griffith is much more related to MacBeth than Guts could be, killing his wife's father and his best friends. What does that make Guts? Macduff, the man who kills MacBeth for killing Macduff's family.
What's more is that Macbeth cannot be killed by anyone of natural birth ("Of woman born") and Guts' birth is far from natural seeing as he was born from a hanged woman on gallows ground. Macduff becomes obsessed with killing Macbeth and ending his evil and having the vengeance he needs
While Casca's pregnancy is largely hinged on Law of Inverse Fertility, it's still not surprising since Guts' BFSs represent his virility, up to and including his sexual prowess and ability to procreate.
Something truly horrific? The Daka. Not so much the Daka themselves, as how they are made. It is revealed that Daka are made by dipping a pregnant woman into several apostles fused together. The unborn child absorbs the demonic essence and rips it's way out of the mother's belly, killing her. Not horrific enough? It is revealed that the Kushan take women of captured cities to make the Daka, the already pregnant ones will obviously be put in right away, as for the women not already pregnant... To top it all off? The Kushan have HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of Daka. Think about that for a moment...
What happens to Casca is already unimaginably horrific, there is no question. In fact, one would be hard pressed to figure out a way to make it worse, though I'm sure Miura could do it if he put his mind to it. Which is why, when imaging Guts' feelings of agony, guilt, and hopelessness, it becomes an order of magnitude more horrifying when we consider how he must feel when he failed to prevent happening the exact same thing that happened to him as a child. Then he is almost coerced by his evil half to do the exact same thing. Excuse me, but I have some sand in my eyes.
The sheer thought of the Eclipse and what had happened during the event is horrible enough, but we at least think that the suffering of those who eventually succumbed to the sacrifice (usually by being eaten alive) has ended. WRONG. Di you forget that once a Behelit user sells their soul to Hell in order to gain the right to sacrifice those closest to them - that will in turn give them unholy powers - the sacrifices are condemned to Hell as well? Meaning that all of the characters that we loved and/or appreciated in the course of the Golden Age arc, Pippin, Corkus, Gaston, Judeau, ARE ALL IN HELL. And unless Guts and pals do some major mojo that will undo causality itself (or unless Miura decides to give them a bone so at least one of these poor bastards will have a Bittersweet Ending in the VERY least), he and Casca are going to share the same fate eventually. Dear Lord, this series...
For bonus horror. Remember Count and Vargas. Vargas was only tortured and eaten a bit by the Count and was later executed. When Hell vortex came for Count, Vargas was in it. Let it sink for a minute. Try counting how many people Apostles eat and/or rape (maybe even just interact with) over the duration of manga. Now think what those Apostles did before manga began. Now, realize - ALL OF THEM ARE IN HELL!!
The Idea of Evil explains that hell came into being by people needing a justification for life being so scrappy. Since "god" came into being to CREATE more misery, it means there's no GOOD deity watching over these people, no heaven awaiting the righteous who SOMEHOW avoid a horrifying death sending them to hell... Midland is a Crapsack World for a very good reason.
Actually, the afterlife shown in Berserk isnt Hell per se, its more similar to The Land Of the Dead seen in, say, Greek Mythology, or Norse Mythology. Its not Heaven, but it isnt Fire and Brimstone Hell either. Its a land of shadows, no more, no less.
In volume 6, when Griffith calls Guts to his study and hands him that pornographic book, take a look at the illustrations in the book. The illustration on the right shows two people in a position that is similar to how Guts made love to Casca, which can make you think that Guts actually learned something from a book. On the other hand, and the other page, we see two people in a position that is almost a mirror image of how Griffith raped Casca as Femto. So what's also freaky is that Griffith might have also learned a thing or two from that book...
When you think about it, Griffith's rape of Casca is pretty much a twisted foil to Guts and Casca's love scene. In fact, this might not only be a visual literary device, but Griffith might have purposely done certain "things" to Casca to taunt and torture she and Guts even more, since he might possibly be omniscient.
Even though Rosine and Jill were best friends, and Rosine wanted to take Jill with her to her next Crap Saccharine World, she most likely did it so that she may sacrifice Jill to the Godhand to renew her life since she was losing badly against Guts.
On Casca's backstory, when she was given to the nobleman as a "servant", and she only later realized what he was intending on doing with her, since she said later that no noble was ever kind enough to take in a dirt poor girl as a servant in order to help out her family's situation. But did you ever think that Casca's parents might not have been so oblivious to this? Think about it: it happens in third world countries all the time. Being very traditional, parents set such high moral standards on their daughters' virginity (sometimes, a bittoo far), but when push comes to shove, they know how high their virginity will catch on the market if they sell them to some wealthy sleaze bag - a lot more than a servant girl's wage (not that the status of being a servant would stop rape from happening). So, Casca's parents most likely had the full intention of selling their youngest, virgin daughter as a prostitute.
It's weird that the Torture Techniciannever mentioned it in his graphic description of what he did to him over a year, but Griffith was probably castrated during his torture. It was probably the first thing to go, in fact, since his crime was having sex with Charlotte, so it would make sense that the instrument used to commit the crime would be the first to be destroyed. Eek.
He probably didn't got there because Guts rammed hissword through him, and the door. However, by the completely depraved tone the guy spoke... He might have also done... other things to Griffith.
Femto, now being a member of the Godhand and having insight in causality may actually have gained a form of omniscience revealing to him the fact that Guts was ruined by his childhood rape experience and Casca was the one who cured his trauma. It makes sence because Femto seems impossible to catch off guard unless it's needed in the grander scheme of things. This would also make what he did to Casca EVEN WORSE then it would have been by itself.
It may also be possible that Femto also knew Casca was pregnant and that the resulting Fetus Terrible would serve as a vessel for him to reincarnate in this physical world as Griffith. This would also make what Femto did a Gambit Roulette, for how utterly convoluted it would've been to have all the pieces needed (Namely the aforementioned Fetus Terrible and the Behelit Apostle) in place at the exact time of the ceremony to begin, which happen exactly each 1000 years! It seems that by turning into a demon, Femto took his Chess Master skills to a whole new level.
Judging from Wyalds true form it is easy to deduce that he sacrificed the family members who where taking care of him on his deathbed. Even his Freudian Excuse doesn't make him look any more likable.
Anna, Charlottes handmaiden and best friend, is still around, being just a bystander. She may look like a pointless character, but then you realize what good friends are all to often used for in this series and you start to worry about what our cute little princess is going to do once she finds out the truth about her lover...
This is actually on the ley lines of fridge horror and fridge brilliance, but concerning Griffith's imprisonment and torture, Griffith's became crippled on account of his tendons beings severed (not to mention that he most likely suffered massive muscular damage), but the actions that led up to his imprisonment was on account of his haughty and prideful nature. What's the supposed punishment for pride in Hell? The breaking wheel, which breaks the victim's limbs, deeming them horribly crippled (if not just flat out dead). For the actual horror part, who is the patron demon of pride? Lucifer, in which Femto, Griffith's Godhand ego, is essentially.
Whenever i see a glorious picture of the Power Trio in the good old days, commanding an army, being unbeatable and wearing their shiny armor and wind blown capes i somehow get hit by the realization that all three of them are taken up the rear by some disgusting creature at one point. That's one tought you can only have about this series!
The Child, obviously, is composed of both Guts' and Casca's genetic material... but he's also got some of Griffith's genetic material after what he did to Casca... meaning that Griffith is technically the Child's parent as well. I do NOT want to see how this custody battle from hell is going to end.
Remember that beautiful scene where Griffith preforms sending off of every man that had died during the battle? Since we have learned that everyone who associate with apostles goes straight to hell it is safe to assume that Griffith is intentionally feeding hell with every one of his followers who is unfortunate enough to die.
The Behelits are powered by love and friendship. The same way a car is powered by gasoline. Horrifyingly inspirational.
Guts performs CPR on Casca when they fell into a river and successfully revives her. Although the act is pretty realistic compared to other anime examples, and though it is a medieval fantasy series, CPR was only innovated in what we would know as the modern era (1950-60s roughly).
Another one and it concerns the book six assassination plot. You think Miura should have drawn Guts with a normal sword instead of his typical BFS? A lot of people saw a clocked man hacking away guards with a very particular sword that also happens to be wielded by a very particular man very close to Griffith. Perhaps everyone was so terrified of Guts by then that they said nothing?
Either Midland is a very large country, and Guts has the amazing ability to walk incredible distances in mere days or weeks at best, or a lot more time has passed by than we know of, or nobody is very vulnerable to weather conditions, or Midland is the American Midwest (or was inspired by Great Britain), because they have some pretty funkyweather patterns.
Wile at it: Guts needs to do everything on foot because any horse he used would quickly become posessed by demons whenever night falls. It's more trouble then it's worth.
So, Guts and Casca did the duty, and Guts succeeded in knocking Casca up. Congrats. They're expecting... a demon baby! But seriously, Guts and Casca conceive, they go to Wyndam to rescue Griffith, which took about four days, and then they had to get back to wherever they were going in the first place, which we'll say took about the same amount of time. So Casca has been pregnant for a week at this point. Then the Eclipse happens, and horrible, horrible things happen that result in Guts and Casca being Asleep for Days - four, actually. And then, no more than a few hours after have a grande mal Freak Out, Guts witnesses Casca miscarrying their child, which is in its embryonic form. Overall, Casca has only been pregnant for not even an entire two weeks. Now, human embryogenesis is a lot more complicated than how we would comprehend it (sperm and egg meet up, hook up, and start dividing away all in about twenty minutes), and I'm not sure how much time must elapse for fertilization to be successful and how long cleaving of the zygote takes, but I'm pretty sure that you don't get a six week old embyro in under two weeks. ... Unless of course Femto's demonic semen induces super fast gestation and development which just brings in more Nausea Fuel on our part.
The last point gains favour when you see the embryo quickly morphing into a, very deformed but still reconizable as a, fetus right after Casca miscarries it.
Not only that, but there are some hints that a lot more time had passed from the time Guts rejoined the Hawks and the Eclipse. If you watched the third movie, contrary to the Weather Dissonance mentioned above, you notice that Guts and Casca's love scene takes place during a seasonably warm time of the year. But in the later stages of the Griffith rescue arc, the leaves on the trees have changed color, so the child might have been conceived during late summer/early fall, with Casca having a miscarriage around mid fall, and Guts leaving Casca around late fall. Or, depending on what translation you read, Skull Knight outrights says that Casca's child was conceived a month before the Eclipse, which would match the child's development during the first trimester.
In the beginning of the manga, the dead rise from the fields nearby to kill Guts as as well as the chariot driver and his daughter. If they're all executed prisoners whose corpses were dumped in the forest, why do they all have weapons?
It's not confirmed that they were executed prisoners. Guts claims that they were bandits or people who died violently.
Aparently, that was an old battlefield.
I had initially put this as a candidate for Contrived Coincidence, but the lingering motif of fate and destiny prevented me from making it official. Still, it is still worth mentioning: there really isn't any excuse that Guts couldn't have heard about the Hawks becoming outlaws sooner. Guts attempts to justify that the reason why he hadn't heard of the Hawks' trouble until a year later was because he was sequestered in the mountains training. That's all well and good... except that there really isn't a reason why he wouldn't have been able to pick up on it sooner, like, the twenty-four hours since he'd left sooner. The fame of the Hawks and the accusations of the supposed crimes they had committed would have sent the capital and the nearby countryside into firestorm of commotion, and Guts couldn't have been too far out of the vicinity to have not caught wind in order to help (hell, since the Hawks were on the run in the countryside, Guts should have come across them first before any rumor about them!). And he just happened to pick up on it a year later, either from a tournament, or even more conveniently, a messenger who went out of his way to get to Godo's house in the TV series. Alas, it did give the plot enough time to totally ruin Griffithand edge him closer to despairin preparation of horrid events to come, which is all that matters, I guess.
It's more complicated than that. Considering how the Berserk World is realistic, relatively speaking, information travels slowly. Even big news end up traveling with messengers, who might not be that concerned in informing some random mercenary on the road. Civilization is more sparse, too. Any village or town is very far away from each other. Also, Guts is the type to Walk the Earth, without plans or routes.
Here's the thing about the whole merging of the worlds so that dragins, merpeople and other creatures exist in the world of Berserk. Initially, I thought that it was very unlike Miura to include such cliched concepts in the unique world of Berserk which contained such a different mythos than other western works of fiction with the Apostles and God-hand etc... but then somebody told me that it was SUPPOSED to be cliche because since the Idea of evil was brought about by the collective consciousness of humanity wanting a reason for their suffering, it made sense that tthe creatures of the astral realm should also be conjured by humanity's consciousness and made physical by Femto's actions. So it's best not to think of Berserk becoming a generic fantasy story but just being invaded by the dreams of the people living in Berserk's world.