The Band of the Hawk is a mercenary group founded by the "White Hawk" 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. Subsequently, the band's commanders are granted nobility.
However, after Guts departs from the band and Griffith sleeps with Princess Charlotte in a moment of weakness, the mercenary leader is captured and tortured under the orders of the King of Midland, and the Hawks are exiled for treason. Over the course of a year, the band's numbers are thinned drastically, and Casca takes the reigns of leader in Griffith's absence. 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 Behelit, triggering the Eclipse and sacrificing the Band of the Hawk, in exchange for becoming the fifth God Hand angel Femto. While Guts, Casca and Rickert survive, most of the Hawks are devoured by apostles and consequently the Band of the Hawk is informally disbanded. Afterwards, Rickert pays respect to the fallen Hawks by making the Hill of Swords in their memory.
The Band of the Hawk is originally a very meager gathering of thieves all drawn to the charismatic, military genius Griffith. 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 Hawk. Guts is eventually promoted to the Hawks' Raiders Captain, a position he occupies for over three years, by which time the band becomes famed as "Grim Reapers of the Battlefield".
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. For their efforts in the war, the king formally grants the Hawks' commanders nobility; Griffith is elevated to the rank of White Phoenix General and the band is formally knighted as Midland's White Phoenix Knights. 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. 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.
With their leader imprisoned, and their numbers dropped to less than a fifth in a single year, the Hawks find themselves on the verge of collapse despite Casca's near-equally capable leadership. Only when Guts returns is the band's morale restored, spurring the creation of the Griffith Rescue Squad and their infiltration of Windham. 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. 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 Hawks are unable to rejoice.
After escaping from the rest of the band in an unattended horse-drawn carriage, the desperate, tormented Griffith activates his Crimson Behelit and summons the God Hand, instigating the Eclipse. The Hawks are then branded for sacrifice, giving Griffith the means to transcend his humanity and be reborn as the final God Hand angel Femto. 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 Hawk now dead excluding Guts, Casca, and Rickert, who was not present for the Eclipse, the band is informally disbanded. Rickert pays his respects to the fallen by crafting the Hill of Swords in their memory.
- Griffith: Leader of the Band of the Hawk
- Guts: Raiders Commander
- Casca: Unit Commander, acting leader in Griffith's absence
- Judeau †
- Pippin †
- Corkus †
- Gaston: † Raiders Executive Officer
- Dillos †
- Dante †
- Errol †
- Riguel †
- Sam †
- Nikol †
- Kim †
- The Band of the Hawk is intended to be the "Band of the Falcon", owing its name to the Millennium Falcon of Star Wars. However, Band of the Hawk was popularized by translators who transcribed 'Falcon' as 'Hawk', as both mean both mean [鷹] in Japanese.