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Super Rad
Feb 15, 2003
Sir Loin of Beef

There's really only one angle that you could argue paints Griffith in a not-so-evil light which is that his fate was inescapable and it's spelled out as such during the eclipse. Additionally the God Hand showing Griffith all of the Hawks that were sacrificed up to that point to egg him on is a surprisingly convincing argument considering that people fall victim to sunk cost fallacy over much more trivial poo poo all the time. All of this flies out the window though when his first order of business post sacrifice is to rape Casca in front of Guts. If there was any decency in him he would have acknowledged that his lifelong goal had been met and just spared them but instead he got to show what a punk rear end bitch he his.

Also the "Griffith would have been fine if Guts had stuck around" argument has no merit. It's explicitly shown that the king of Midland would have never ever allowed him to marry into the royal family - for all his conniving schemes there really isn't a plausible way for Griffith to have reached his goals the "right" way.

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Shinjobi
Jul 10, 2008






Gravy Boat 2k

I think Griffith may yet again regret where his ambition leads him to; it is entirely possible he'll face consequences for his actions up to this point and he'll once again be in a vulnerable position. And I think again his colleagues will be there for him. But I don't think he's going to get a rescue. At best, a tearful farewell as he's put down.


Griffith sucks bad on a cosmic level. There ain't no iron mask punishment for that.

Sydin
Oct 29, 2011

Another rainy day commute





When Griffith and Guts reunite briefly at the graveyard of swords, Griffith claims that "[his] heart is free" and that he no longer feels any attachment to Guts. Despite that though he feels his heart rushing when Guts and Zodd get into a serious battle, and goes out of his way to save Casca from being hurt. So clearly he's lying to himself a bit there. There's also the narrative irony that after sacrificing Guts and Casca, Griffith reincarnated into the body of their child, binding himself to them even more so than he was pre-eclipse. I agree that redemption is not in the cards for him, but I'd be surprised if he just goes out in a completely unsympathetic manner.

temple
Jul 29, 2006



Super Rad posted:

Also the "Griffith would have been fine if Guts had stuck around" argument has no merit. It's explicitly shown that the king of Midland would have never ever allowed him to marry into the royal family - for all his conniving schemes there really isn't a plausible way for Griffith to have reached his goals the "right" way.
By the time the war was over, griffith was a nobleman and granted peerage. The whole dinner when he was poisoned about that. Besides, that's not what the king said at all. True, the king never married her off because of his own desire for her. But the king told griffith that he went about it the wrong way. The king was griffith's supporter throughout the war. Its not hard to believe he would have sanctioned their union. More over, he did sanction it eventually. Griffith didn't immediately rule midland and you can say he isn't officially married now. Its a pretty interesting part of the story how he won over the nobles but it wasn't immediate and without process.

Regardless, the minute guts returned, griffith was rescued. There's clearly a message there. If guts stayed, griffith wouldn't been tortured for 3 years.

GhostofJohnMuir
Aug 14, 2014

anime is not good


temple posted:

Guts knew what would happen if he accept the ride from the old man and his daughter the night they were killed. He even warned them. His intent was pretty selfish and literally the whole blackswordsman arc is about Guts being the hugest rear end in a top hat humanly possible.

man, i know i made a very sarcastic post earlier, but i don't want to turn this into a pile-on. it's just that this framing of guts is bananas to me

so the whole point of that scene is to show guts putting up this rear end in a top hat gruff facade to try to keep other people at arms length, but actually wanting to just sit and indulge in a happy family atmosphere. in retrospect we know he puts on this act for a lot of reasons. he fears that other peoples emotions might put a damper on his burning need for revenge. he fears connecting with others lest they betray him, either by directly abusing his trust or by dying and leaving him alone. he fears watching innocent people being torn apart in front of him again and being helpless to save them. but his need for human connection undermines his resolve and he gives in to their advances, much in the same way he let's puck get close to hit, despite outwardly saying he despises him. his intent is "selfish" in the same way that shinji ikari's desperate cry of "love me" is selfish

and that's why when he's staring at the undead corpse of the daughter carrying the head of her father, he's paralyzed in regret and horror up until she stabs him the loving stomach. as oppose to easily dispatching her as a meaningless passerby that he used to get a selfish free ride

sure guts is an not a very nice person in the blackswordsman arc, but the whole undertone to that arc is that he is not some heartless murdering revengeful badass. it's that he's a deeply broken man who obviously has some insane trauma in his past

temple posted:

Regardless, the minute guts returned, griffith was rescued. There's clearly a message there. If guts stayed, griffith wouldn't been tortured for 3 years.

if griffith hadn't thrown a tantrum and hosed a naive girl to re-establish his feeling of power and control, he wouldn't have been tortured for 3 years

GhostofJohnMuir fucked around with this message at 07:54 on Feb 12, 2021

temple
Jul 29, 2006



GhostofJohnMuir posted:

man, i know i made a very sarcastic post earlier, but i don't want to turn this into a pile-on. it's just that this framing of guts is bananas to me

so the whole point of that scene is to show guts putting up this rear end in a top hat gruff facade to try to keep other people at arms length, but actually wanting to just sit and indulge in a happy family atmosphere. in retrospect we know he puts on this act for a lot of reasons. he fears that other peoples emotions might put a damper on his burning need for revenge. he fears connecting with others lest they betray him, either by directly abusing his trust or by dying and leaving him alone. he fears watching innocent people being torn apart in front of him again and being helpless to save them. but his need for human connection undermines his resolve and he gives in to their advances, much in the same way he let's puck get close to hit, despite outwardly saying he despises him. his intent is "selfish" in the same way that shinji ikari's desperate cry of "love me" is selfish

and that's why when he's staring at the undead corpse of the daughter carrying the head of her father, he's paralyzed in regret and horror up until she stabs him the loving stomach. as oppose to easily dispatching her as a meaningless passerby that he used to get a selfish free ride

sure guts is an not a very nice person in the blackswordsman arc, but the whole undertone to that arc is that he is not some heartless murdering revengeful badass. it's that he's a deeply broken man who obviously has some insane trauma in his past


if griffith hadn't thrown a tantrum and hosed a naive girl to re-establish his feeling of power and control, he wouldn't have been tortured for 3 years
I was treating Guts the same way people treat Griffith. If you reduce everything down to cause and effect, then Guts is responsible for deaths too. Its dumb I agree.

That scene parallels to the blacksmith and his granddaughter who Guts wisely left for their safety. His sadness is existential, the curse not only will kill him but literally take his life while living. He's alienated. Which is why now his "party" is other abandoned people. Farnese, Isidoro, and Schierke are abandoned children that carry a similar curse metaphorically.

Darko
Dec 23, 2004



I'm so far removed from the Golden Age at this point just due to all the years we've been with this fiction that I dont emotionally care what happens to Griffith at this point, I just want it to make sense narratively.

Thematically, though, its important that Griffith and Guts are both similarly abused people, with one being a slave to fate and one breaking free from it. I mean, there's a big deal about them both being raped as children, and their thematic reaction to it (Guts kills his father who facilitates his rapist, Griffith uses his rape for enablement of power...and then kills his rapist at the end of a long plan/game). Part of their bond is their similarity; they even both have similar ambition - its just that Griffith was at heart more broken - even if he came off more charismatic - and thus ended up being a tool used by fate while Guts could break free from it.

Sydin
Oct 29, 2011

Another rainy day commute





The ultimate dramatic irony between Guts and Griffith is that each actually had what they wanted in one another but couldn't see it because of their respective traumas. What Griffith really wanted was an equal who would treat him as a human being rather than an idol to worship or a commodity to be used, but because of his warped perception could only see Guts through the lens of somebody he wanted to own. What Guts ultimately wanted was the sense of genuine love and belonging he felt he had with Gambino's group before being horribly betrayed, but when he found that with the Hawks he ran away from them because he felt like he needed to foster a dream equal to Griffith's for those desires to be reciprocated.

If anything I suspect a sort of Heaven's Feel Shirou vs Kotomine battle where each acknowledges that deep down they actually do still like the other despite everything that's happened, but it won't stop either one from trying to kill the other to finish their business.

GorfZaplen
Jan 20, 2012



I'm not gonna read the last 100000 words of these arguments but saying that Griffith is being manipulated and that early Berserk is about Guts finding his humanity again after being betrayed don't seem like unreasonable takes to me?

Josuke Higashikata
Mar 7, 2013




the guts humanity thing is 100% true

griffith being king pawn is definitely possible too, especially if the removed chapter is still ultimately relevant overall

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




To use an overused word, Griffith was a bit gaslit into actually sacrificing the Band of the Hawk. He's suicidal, can't tell Guts and co to stay away because his tongue is cut out, is then given the best powerpoint presentation ever by a supernatural entity who tells him that sacrificing is the logical thing to do and a natural part of his character, and that to not do so would be to betray all the others who have died for him. But in the end he still makes the choice, so he's got to deal with the consequences of that.

Harlock
Jan 15, 2006

Tap "A" to drink!!!



As Berserk evolves, so have the Griffith Did Nothing Wrong arguments

The Notorious ZSB
Apr 19, 2004

I SAID WE'RE NOT GONNA BE FUCKING SUCK THIS YEAR!!!


Yes of course it is valuable to the story that Guts and Griffith are connected in lots of ways beyond their actual on screen relationship. It's what makes them good foils for each other, but it doesn't mean that they are in anyway morally or ethically equivalent actors in the story.

The "you lost what you didn't know you already had" theme is a long running on in Berserk, and I have to assume will play a role in the finale.

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.




Rickert slapping Griffith.

perc2
May 16, 2020



Ccs posted:

To use an overused word, Griffith was a bit gaslit into actually sacrificing the Band of the Hawk. He's suicidal, can't tell Guts and co to stay away because his tongue is cut out, is then given the best powerpoint presentation ever by a supernatural entity who tells him that sacrificing is the logical thing to do and a natural part of his character, and that to not do so would be to betray all the others who have died for him. But in the end he still makes the choice, so he's got to deal with the consequences of that.


Harlock posted:

As Berserk evolves, so have the Griffith Did Nothing Wrong arguments

Honestly it's comedic at this point

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




What he does after sacrificing them and emerging as Femto is what really makes him completely unsympathetic. Up until that point you can try to rationalize his decision as the addled desperation of a nearly dead man. But when he emerges with an even better body and then decides to rub salt in the wounds in front of the survivors, then he becomes reprehensible.

GorfZaplen
Jan 20, 2012






Like, it's pretty inarguable that the god hand manipulated Griffith into doing what he did? That doesn't excuse his actions or make him in any way a moral equivalent to Guts, but it's still pretty important I think!

Funky Valentine
Feb 26, 2014

Dojyaa~an



Griffith got an incredibly good deal compared to how it usually goes with characters being manipulated by dark gods.

They made him an eldritch Hellraiser god, gave him his kingdom where everyone loves and looks at him in return for just a little unleashing the legions of hell, and gave him a sick Batman costume.

Relin
Oct 6, 2002

You have been a most worthy adversary, but in every game, there are winners and there are losers. And as you know, in this game, losers get robotizicized!

if endevor gets a redemption arc so can griffith

prob helps guts kill the god hand at the last moment

Neo_Crimson
Aug 15, 2011

"Is that your final dandy?"

Relin posted:

if endevor gets a redemption arc so can griffith

prob helps guts kill the god hand at the last moment

Endeavor's arc isn't really a redemption arc and he never did anything on Griffith's level.

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




GorfZaplen posted:

Like, it's pretty inarguable that the god hand manipulated Griffith into doing what he did? That doesn't excuse his actions or make him in any way a moral equivalent to Guts, but it's still pretty important I think!

Yep. If the Eclipse had ended after Griffith sacrificed everyone and then Skull Knight busted in and just saved Guts and Caska before Griffith violates her I think people would be a lot angrier at the Godhand than at Griffith. But its what he does after he gets his Batman costume that really makes the audience go Oh gently caress this guy, hes gotta die.

reitetsu
Sep 27, 2009

Should you find yourself here one day... In accordance with your crimes, you can rest assured I will give you the treatment you deserve.



lmao I either never noticed or forgot that Ubik and Conrad dressed up like two kids in a trenchcoat

Funky Valentine
Feb 26, 2014

Dojyaa~an



Conrad's just happy Ubik is letting him help.

Josuke Higashikata
Mar 7, 2013




even if griffith turns out to be the king of the cosmic playthings, he still undeniably and fully did everything wrong

PhantomOfTheCopier
Aug 13, 2008

Pikabooze!


Something is being forgotten. Wyald strips Griffith bare, making it clear to the hawks that he's broken and powerless. Guts though, his sole equal, sits with him and laughs about wearing the armor. Once Casca and Guts talk, however, Griffith flees.

Why? A simple act of revenge could be achieved in a different way, so is he merely hoping to "pull a Guts" in order to become self sufficient and powerful on his own? Is it a mistaken idea that "he doesn't need the hawks"?


His identity was based on absolute rule, not so much as monarch, but as leader and commander and ideal. At the tree his ideas of control and personal strength were shattered, so he directed that elsewhere. When imprisoned he focused much of his gaze on Guts and started to question his path (where was the Casca as homemaker scene?).

When Guts appears he tries to strangle him (tendonless), later realizes the bond with him, but then flees the next impending betrayal from Casca; even though she's staying, he doesn't have her heart, and he lost the hawks when laid bare by wyald.

His decision during the eclipse seems to follow the model of detachment a la Guts, but it's coupled to revenge. His new goal is to strangle Guts and destroying Casca in the process is meant to increase that pain. He had the hawks chomped up as disposable because who among them is his 'friend'.

Griffith fled because he realized his path was broken and in error, but in the eclipse he finds an opportunity to get back on it. Simply killing Guts wouldn't be sufficient. Griffith wanted to show his path as superior, that Guts would again "lose the sword fight for personal control" and become his slave, his pawn.

His subsequent attempt at detachment from Guts may echo the tree, the fleeing in the wagon... but Griffith still hasn't figured out how to grow on his own. Guts, on his own path, became independently powerful and subsequently has been learning how to grow with others. The paths seem to be "steamroll everyone into your dream" versus "invite everyone into your dream".

Darko
Dec 23, 2004



Funky Valentine posted:

Griffith got an incredibly good deal compared to how it usually goes with characters being manipulated by dark gods.

They made him an eldritch Hellraiser god, gave him his kingdom where everyone loves and looks at him in return for just a little unleashing the legions of hell, and gave him a sick Batman costume.

He still got fate-manipulated into the whole years of torture thing to get to that point though.

It was still doing the Hellraiser thing. To become a Cenobite, he did have to do his torture penance thing like Pinhead and the rest.

Burkion
May 10, 2012

Changeman! And Not A Moment Too Soon!


Darko posted:

He still got fate-manipulated into the whole years of torture thing to get to that point though.

It was still doing the Hellraiser thing. To become a Cenobite, he did have to do his torture penance thing like Pinhead and the rest.

How many times do you think he had to have his dick peeled before he decided that this wasn't worth it

Hilario Baldness
Feb 10, 2005







Grimey Drawer

Flora, who I would consider to be maybe the most in tune human as pertaining to causality and fate in the series, says to Schierke that while the Gods prescribe fate humans choose that fate. She illustrates this by pointing to Guts, who defies the fate prescribed to him by the same entities.

Darko
Dec 23, 2004



Hilario Baldness posted:

Flora, who I would consider to be maybe the most in tune human as pertaining to causality and fate in the series, says to Schierke that while the Gods prescribe fate humans choose that fate. She illustrates this by pointing to Guts, who defies the fate prescribed to him by the same entities.

This is getting into a whole philosophical discussion, but once gods exist, nobody actually chooses anything because the God creates what the person is for their long term plans and makes the person that makes the decision they want ahead of time. Thats the point of Guts - you can't plan around him.

The issue becomes what happens with Femto. If Godhand are timeless than he essentially created himself which makes him far worse than imagined before.

Burkion
May 10, 2012

Changeman! And Not A Moment Too Soon!


Darko posted:

This is getting into a whole philosophical discussion, but once gods exist, nobody actually chooses anything because the God creates what the person is for their long term plans and makes the person that makes the decision they want ahead of time. Thats the point of Guts - you can't plan around him.

The issue becomes what happens with Femto. If Godhand are timeless than he essentially created himself which makes him far worse than imagined before.

Guts is not a reflection on the water

unknown butthole
Jan 2, 2020

The old customs remain
and the ancient gods live on


thats exactly it. Once guts and casca became branded they started to exist in the interstice, which means they are no longer bound by the laws of causality. it's why when the skull knight rescued them even the godhand was surprised and proclaimed that even they couldn't predict everything. Guts is free. His destiny is no longer bound by transcendental law. Just like the skull knight. It's ultimately his biggest strength, as even griffith is bound by the laws of causality, otherwise I doubt he would of raped casca knowing that tainting the fetus inside of her would lead to him becoming the moon child. Thats just a theory though.

Tosk
Feb 22, 2013

I am sorry. I have no vices for you to exploit.


A post a couple pages back someone mentioned that humans were being herded towards Falconia for a mass sacrifice. That's an interesting thought. I personally think they're systematically exterminating all the other magical creatures of the land because the Idea of Evil behind the God Hand specifically has power over humanity, and wants to solidify its rule by making humans the only beings on Earth. I feel like we'll progress into magic slowly dying and the world becoming "mundane" towards the end of the manga (this is just me feeling like it's relatively foreshadowed as some kind of fantasy Earth, but I could be totally off my rocker there). I read this theory as presented by someone on a Berserk fansite who definitely thinks way more about the manga than I ever will and utterly convinced me with his argument.

There was some good stuff in there too about Puck's behelit not being foreshadowed to trigger a sacrifice, but to somehow cut it off from the form of "causality" that the God Hand control (because of this idea that the IoE is a mainly human phenomenon and elves seem to dwell outside its influence).

I just hope whatever Miura has planned is satisfying, or hell, that at least he finishes it before he dies.

Rigged Death Trap
Feb 13, 2012

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP



Darko posted:

This is getting into a whole philosophical discussion, but once gods exist, nobody actually chooses anything because the God creates what the person is for their long term plans and makes the person that makes the decision they want ahead of time. Thats the point of Guts - you can't plan around him.

The issue becomes what happens with Femto. If Godhand are timeless than he essentially created himself which makes him far worse than imagined before.

Only for omnipotent, omniscient big-G gods.
While the idea of evil and by extension the Godhand may be omniscient theyre definitely not omnipotent. Just very powerful. For example in greek and norse myth even the gods are subject to the whims of their fates (the fates and the norns, respectively).

And we know the godhand arent timeless and are either eventually replaced or can be killed, judging by Skull Knights memories.

Chas McGill
Oct 29, 2010


Ccs posted:

If anyone is chafing between chapters, I highly recommend the book "Between Two Fires" by Christopher Buehlman. It's possibly the most Berserk-esque book I've ever read, to the point that I was sure some sections were direct homages. It's historical fantasy, and the author has done a poo poo ton of research into medieval France, so it doesn't seem derivative at all. I read a ton of fantasy and this is one of the best in a long time.

It's also self contained so you get the whole story, conflict, backstory, arcs, everything, in one volume. Some great economy of storytelling.

This was probably lost in the discussion, but I picked up the book and it is very good so far.

Hilario Baldness
Feb 10, 2005







Grimey Drawer

A theory I've been kicking around for awhile now is that the Skull Knight was a member of the Godhand who was the Griffith of his time, contrary to the idea that he was the Guts of his time. He was made a member of the Godhand (the woman in his arms with the brand was his sacrifice), and was then granted incarnation. He united the world under one banner similar to how the world seems united by Griffith under the banner of Falconia. In time the sage who decried Gaiseric (Void) ascended to the Godhand at the nexus of their world (the tower of conviction) sparking a massive culling of humans and fracturing the world (and Gaiseric's kingdom). The amount of people sacrificed was substantially large and traumatic to the existing human world, and is directly correlated with Void's prominent role/power within the Godhand (because it served as a greater tribute to the Idea of Evil as a much more evil act). It then follows that Griffith can't go back to the Godhand as Femto and reside there like Void/Slan/Conrad/Ubik, and that the interacting flow between material/astral generally trends out as opposed to in (many behelits kicked out to material world > humans allowed in). He may, in time, have the same fate as the Skull Knight. Have his toybox taken away, forced to wander the land until the end of days.

Edit: there are details my sleep deprived brain is likely forgetting that would directly contradict this, but I feel alright about this theory.

Hilario Baldness fucked around with this message at 17:09 on Feb 14, 2021

Darko
Dec 23, 2004



Rigged Death Trap posted:

Only for omnipotent, omniscient big-G gods.
While the idea of evil and by extension the Godhand may be omniscient theyre definitely not omnipotent. Just very powerful. For example in greek and norse myth even the gods are subject to the whims of their fates (the fates and the norns, respectively).

And we know the godhand arent timeless and are either eventually replaced or can be killed, judging by Skull Knights memories.

The last chapter kind of shifted it a bit by showing "old" Godhand because it was stated before, somewhere (can't quite remember where) that they weren't seeing time linearly. That omniscience is where the lack of control comes from since they constantly manipulate reality to make what they want happen.

A lot also has to do with the deleted chapter and how canon that is.

Darko
Dec 23, 2004



unknown butthole posted:

thats exactly it. Once guts and casca became branded they started to exist in the interstice, which means they are no longer bound by the laws of causality. it's why when the skull knight rescued them even the godhand was surprised and proclaimed that even they couldn't predict everything. Guts is free. His destiny is no longer bound by transcendental law. Just like the skull knight. It's ultimately his biggest strength, as even griffith is bound by the laws of causality, otherwise I doubt he would of raped casca knowing that tainting the fetus inside of her would lead to him becoming the moon child. Thats just a theory though.

I think Guts was free from the beginning since he technically wasn't supposed to be born but "beat" fate by being born.

Burkion
May 10, 2012

Changeman! And Not A Moment Too Soon!


I'm still not sure the previous four were God Hand

We always conflated the Angels with the God Hand despite the internal problems that presented- Void IS the first of the God Hand, we knew that, but also he was turned into Void by the 'Four Angels'

I think the Angels are something else. They seem even more removed from humanity than the God Hand are.

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




Chas McGill posted:

This was probably lost in the discussion, but I picked up the book and it is very good so far.

Hooray! Glad youre enjoying it. I finished it and really enjoyed it and read another of his books which was also good, called The Necromancers House. He has his first secondary world fantasy book coming out in May which Im really looking forward to, called The Blacktongue Thief.

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Funky Valentine
Feb 26, 2014

Dojyaa~an



Burkion posted:

Void IS the first of the God Hand

He's the first of the Godhand roster we meet during the Eclipse.

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