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|~ Griffith's short two words that sealed the fate of the old Band of the Hawk.|
|“||I will never betray my dream. That is all there is to it.||„|
|~ Griffith to an enraged Guts, showing that Griffith doesn't feel anything about the crimes he commits.|
Griffith is the main antagonist of the manga series Berserk and its anime adaptations. He is the founder and leader of the mercenary army known as the Band of the Hawk. As a mercenary, Griffith fought in the Hundred Year War and restored peace to the wartorn kingdom of Midland and was once a close friend and ally of Guts. After being tortured, however, he used the eclipse to sacrifice his entire army and later was reborn as Femto, the fifth, newest and final member of the God Hand. He is the arch-nemesis of Guts and Casca.
He serves as the deuteragonist-turned-final antagonist of the Golden Age arc, the overarching antagonist of the Conviction arc, and a supporting character in both the Millennium Falcon arc and the Fantasia arc.
In the Japanese version, he was voiced by Toshiyuki Morikawa and Takahiro Sakurai as an adult, and Minami Takayama and Junko Takeuchi as a child, the former whom had also voiced Naraku, Yoshikage Kira, Lord Boros, Mard Geer Tartaros and Sephiroth. In the English version, he was voiced by Kevin T. Collins and Steve Staley as an adult, and Veronica Taylor and Barbara Goodson as a child.
|“||In life, unrelated to one's social standing or class as determined by man, there are some people who, by nature, are keys that set the world in motion. They are the true elite, as dictated by the golden rule of the universe.||„|
|~ Griffith to Guts when the two men were still comrade-in-arms.|
Extraordinarily charismatic and handsome, his tactical skill gave him and his army the reputation of invincibility, and the favor of the King of Midland, who was locked in a century-old war with the Empire of Tudor. Due to his many important victories in this war, he is made Lord Protector of Midland by the king, despite his common ancestry.
Griffith was willing to sacrifice everything for the dream of his own kingdom, believing that he is destined for things greater than the average man.
Early in his career, he won Guts' service in a duel and Guts became his sword in both the battlefield and in his political fight with disgruntled Midland nobles. A large part of his success was due to Guts' fighting ability and Griffith grew to be dependent on Guts, although their relationship was not exactly friendly.
After the assassination of General Julius, Guts heard Griffith saying to Princess Charlotte that a friend must be someone he considers his equal. Guts reflected upon this and decided he would live his own dream rather than Griffith's so that one day they could be equal friends.
After winning the war for Midland, Griffith loses to Guts in a duel which stipulates that Guts remain in his service should he lose and freed if he wins. This loss results in Guts' desertion from the Hawks.
|“||I came to know for certain... Whether anything will shake my heart. While I stand before you in this new body of flesh, it seems... I am free.||„|
|~ Reincarnated Griffith declaring to Guts at their reunion that he is totally freed from humanness.|
Stunned and feeling betrayed, Griffith sought comfort in a one-night stand with the king's daughter, and sole heir to the throne, Princess Charlotte. The affair was discovered, after which Griffith was imprisoned and tortured for a year. He was rescued by Guts along with the primary members of the Hawks. Seeing Guts and Casca loving each other finally drove him insane (in his final moments before the Eclipse, he dreamed of a normal life, with children and Casca as his wife). Despairing the loss of his dream at Guts' influence, his state of madness that coincided with both the reappearance of his lost Behelit and a solar eclipse. It was during this event that Griffith gave into his despair and submitted himself to become the fifth member of the God Hand, sacrificing the Band of the Hawk in order to be reborn as Femto. His first act upon his transformation was to rape Casca before Guts' eyes; the two survived the events of the Eclipse, however, due to the intervention of the Skull Knight.
|“||Long silver hair. He was so pretty... I could hardly tell he was a man. More like someone out of a fairy tale...||„|
|~ Erica upon seeing Griffith.|
Griffith is a very handsome man, with flowing white hair and beautiful blue eyes. Many more masculine men often remark on his beauty and how he looks like he stepped from a painting. Some go so far as to lust over him, including a man who he later faces as an enemy, however, some people had resisted his charms such as Rickert, the former member of the Band of the Hawk, whom he slapped Griffith on the face and walked away.
|“||I feel no responsibility to comrades who've lost lives under my command. Because they chose to fight in each battle.. Just as I chose this. But if there is something that... I can do for them. Something I can do for the dead... Then it is to win! I must keep winning to attain my dream. The same one they clung to, and risked their lives for!!! To realize my dream, I will perch on top of their corpses. It is a blood-smeared dream, after all. I don't regret or feel guilty about it.. But to risk thousands of lives while never getting myself dirty. It's not a dream that can be so easily realized!||„|
|~ Griffith when he was still a human.|
Griffith was once a fair, honorable and straightforward man. However, as a mercenary, he is also extremely opportunistic, ambitious and power-hungry. Still, when not on the job, he does have a less serious, more playful and joking side. This side of him is usually reserved for Casca or Guts, especially the latter. However, Griffith is also quite psychopathic, manipulative and obsessive to the point that he was willing to strike Guts down than to let him go when the larger man muses about leaving. After being reborn as Femto, all traces of his morality, emotions, and conscience have been completely erased. Griffith has now become an extremely narcissistic, callous, pitiless, remorseless, uncaring, and sadistic monster, as he sees Guts and the Hawks as nothing but tools and he discards them like garbage when they are no longer useful. He even went so far as to rape Casca purely out of revenge and did not show remorse or feeling ever since.
Powers and Abilities
- Fighting skills: Griffith was an extremely skilled swordsman, beating Guts twice when they first met and managing to cut Nosferatu Zodd's arm off while working together with Guts. Griffith has also shown to be skilled in unarmed combat, managing to easily put Guts in an arm lock and dislocate his shoulder when the latter tried to punch him.
- After joining the God Hand:
- Telekinesis: Griffith is capable of manipulating matter. Right after his rebirth as Femto, he was able to crush a group of apostles into nothingness by just closing his hand, and when Guts tried to attack him after he and the rest of the God Hand were summoned by the Count, he sent Guts flying with just a glance. He also blocked a shot from Guts' canon arm effortlessly.
- Spatial Manipulation: When the Skull Knight tried to attack Griffith with his space-cutting Sword of Actuation, Griffith was able to warp space so that the attack wouldn't hit him.
- Causality Manipulation and Perception: Being a member of the God Hand, Griffith can see the flow of causality and use it to further his goals. Because fate itself is on his side, even after regaining corporeal form, he cannot be harmed by physical means, as any physical attack headed his way is fated not to connect. However, this ability appears not to be absolute, as Rickett was able to slap him in the face and Griffith was clearly surprised by it.
- Flight: As Femto, Griffith has wings that look like a cape when unused. Being wings, they can be used to fly. However, Griffith usually relies on Nosferatu Zodd for air travel, so his ability to fly may be limited.
- Supernatural Charisma: Although he was already highly charismatic when he was human, after joining the God Hand, and after regaining his physical form, Griffith utilizes what is described as "an enormous flow of od that engulfs and charms people", making it very easy for him to charm people and rally them to his cause.
- Teleportation: Griffith also seems to possess either super-speed or teleportation, since he managed to reach Casca in time to shield her from falling boulders, even though he was standing on top of a hill a fair distance away only a moment before, and he was also able to move past Silat and the Tapasa without them even noticing he had moved.
- Reality Warping: As Femto, Griffith can become a reality warper.
- Gravity Manipulation: As Femto, Griffith has the power to control gravity.
- Griffith's appearance as Femto may have been inspired by Winslow Leach's costume in the 1974 film Phantom of the Paradise.
- Femto's color gets varied in each adaptation, the 1997 anime made him crimson red, the Golden Age film series made him a darker shade of purple and the 2016 anime gives him a more bluish shade of black.