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For the new Band of the Falcon, see Band of the Falcon (Reborn).

The Band of the Falcon[3] is a mercenary group founded by the White Falcon Griffith. They are instrumental in several battles during the Hundred Year War, most prominently in retaking the Chuder-held fortress of Doldrey for Midland and ending the century-long conflict.[4] Subsequently, the band's commanders are granted nobility.[2]

However, after Guts departs from the band and Griffith sleeps with Princess Charlotte in a moment of weakness,[5] the mercenary leader is captured and tortured under the orders of the King of Midland, and the Falcons are exiled for treason.[6] Over the course of a year, the band's numbers are thinned drastically, and Casca takes the reigns of leader in Griffith's absence.[7] Hearing of his former comrades' plight, Guts returns and helps the band rescue Griffith. However, crippled, maimed and disheartened from his year-long torture, Griffith activates his Crimson Beherit, triggering the Eclipse and sacrificing the Band of the Falcon, in exchange for becoming the fifth God Hand angel Femto.[8] While Guts, Casca and Rickert survive, most of the Falcons are devoured by apostles and consequently the Band of the Falcon is informally disbanded. Afterwards, Rickert pays respect to the fallen Falcons by making the Hill of Swords in their memory.[9]

History

Early Years

The Band of the Falcon is originally a very meager gathering of thieves all drawn to the charismatic, military genius Griffith.[10] Its first principal members include the former coal miner Pippin, a gifted circus performer-turned-soldier Judeau, the former thieves gang leader Corkus, and later, a village girl named Casca. During their defense of a fortress, the band witnesses the defeat of Bazuso by a young swordsman named Guts; Griffith, impressed by the swordsman's triumph, decides to challenge him to a duel, defeating Guts and formally inducting him into the Band of the Falcon.[11] Guts is eventually promoted to the Falcons' Raiders Captain, a position he occupies for over three years, by which time the band becomes famed as "Grim Reapers of the Battlefield".[1]

Hundred Year War

E350-Victorious Falcons-Manga

With the band's successful recapture of Doldrey, the Hundred Year War is brought to an end.

Their reputed strength catches the King of Midland's notice, who enlists them in Midland's Hundred Year War against the Empire of Chuder, in which the band ultimately succeeds in reclaiming the fortress of Doldrey for Midland and brings an end to the century-long conflict.[4] For their efforts in the war, the king formally grants the Falcons' commanders nobility; Griffith is elevated to the rank of White Phoenix General and the band is formally knighted as Midland's White Phoenix Knights.[2] Their peerage is short-lived, however, as while Griffith's assassination plot allows him to eliminate all of his political enemies, including the queen, his first defeat at Guts' hands, as well as the swordsman's immediate defection thereafter, cause him to sink into depression and impulsively bed Princess Charlotte.[5] This act, deemed treasonous, results in Griffith's capture and subsequent torture under the orders of the king, as well the exiling of the band.[6]

Rescuing Griffith

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Though successful in their rescue of Griffith, the band is forced to accept that the White Falcon will never fly again.

With their leader imprisoned, and their numbers dropped to less than a fifth in a single year, the Falcons find themselves on the verge of collapse despite Casca's near-equally capable leadership.[7] Only when Guts returns is the band's morale restored, spurring the creation of the Griffith Rescue Squad and their infiltration of Wyndham.[12] However, by the time they rescue Griffith from the Tower of Rebirth, he has been tortured to the point of being inarticulate and completely handicapped.[13] To make matters worse, the apostle Wyald and his Black Dog Knights begin to pursue the band, having been sent by the King of Midland to eliminate them once all other attempts to do so had failed. They manage to repel the forces, but with Griffith now rendered an invalid, the Falcons are unable to rejoice – forced to come to terms with the clipping of the White Falcon's wings.[14]

Eclipse

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The sacrificed Falcons are feasted on by ravenous apostles.

After escaping from the rest of the band in an unattended horse-drawn carriage, the desperate, tormented Griffith activates his Crimson Beherit and summons the God Hand, instigating the Eclipse. The Falcons are then branded for sacrifice, giving Griffith the means to transcend his humanity and be reborn as the final God Hand angel Femto.[8] Only Guts and Casca survive the bloodbath, though their suffering is prolonged by Femto's sexual violation of the latter. This results in the regression of Casca's mind to that of an infant and mutation of her and Guts' unborn child by Griffith's seed. Furious over Griffith's act of betrayal, Guts vows revenge on his former leader and declares a solitary war on the God Hand and their apostles. With every Falcon now dead excluding Guts, Casca, and Rickert, who was not present for the Eclipse, the band is informally disbanded.

Legacy

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The Hill of Swords, crafted by Rickert in honor of the fallen Falcons.

Torn by his status as a survivor, Rickert pays his respects to his fallen comrades by crafting the Hill of Swords in their memory.[9]

The legendary exploits of the original Band of the Falcon are still fresh in the minds of many Midlanders. When Griffith is reincarnated into the Physical World and, with his new apostle servants, begins liberating Midland from Kushan occupation, numerous Midlanders ask him to name his growing liberation army after the original band.[15]

Members

Notes

  • The band's name is inspired by the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars. However, the name "Band of the Hawk" has been popularized by outlets which translate 'Falcon' as 'Hawk', both meaning [鷹] in Japanese.[3]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Kentarou Miura (author). "Nosferatu Zodd (1)". Berserk. Volume 5. Episode 2. Hakusensha.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Kentarou Miura (author). "Moment of Glory". Berserk. Volume 8. Episode 30. Hakusensha.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Walter Bennet (sender), Puella (translator). "Writing Miura". "'Falcon' or 'Hawk', both mean [鷹] in Japanese. In some dictionaries, 'Falcon' is translated as [隼(はやぶさ)], but there's almost no difference. I used 'Falcon' from the great name of the 'Millennium Falcon' ship in Star Wars." SkullKnight.net.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Kentarou Miura (author). "The Battle For Doldrey (6)". Berserk. Volume 8. Episode 28. Hakusensha.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Kentarou Miura (author). "Start of the Everlasting Night". Berserk. Volume 9. Episode 38. Hakusensha.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Kentarou Miura (author). "Demise of a Dream". Berserk. Volume 9. Episode 40. Hakusensha.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Kentarou Miura (author). "The Fugitives". Berserk. Volume 9. Episode 42. Hakusensha.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Kentarou Miura (author). "Parting". Berserk. Volume 12. Episode 78. Hakusensha.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Kentarou Miura (author). "A Feeble Flame". Berserk. Volume 17. Episode 130. Hakusensha.
  10. Kentarou Miura (author). "The Golden Age (8)". Berserk. Volume 5. Episode P0. Hakusensha.
  11. Kentarou Miura (author). "The Golden Age (6)". Berserk. Volume 4. Episode N0. Hakusensha.
  12. Kentarou Miura (author). "Infiltrating Wyndham (1)". Berserk. Volume 10. Episode 49. Hakusensha.
  13. Kentarou Miura (author). "Reunion in the Abyss". Berserk. Volume 10. Episode 54. Hakusensha.
  14. Kentarou Miura (author). "Requiem of the Wind". Berserk. Volume 12. Episode 70. Hakusensha.
  15. Kentarou Miura (author). "Banner of the Flying Sword". Berserk. Volume 23. Episode 193. Hakusensha.

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