Golden Age Arc I
Donovan was a large, muscular man with dark skin and a bald head, with a scar running through his right eye. He had a very stout build and broad shoulders, with large hands and short legs.
Donovan was a cruel, arrogant, manipulative, and traitorous mercenary who did not hesitate to kill enemies fleeing from the battlefield. He was shown to be a pedophile when he raped a nine years old Guts. He showed no remorse for any of his cruel actions.
He was incredibly strong, being able to easily take down enemy soldiers. One in particular was to have the strength of 10 men to overpower Guts to have his way with him.
Golden Age Arc
A subordinate of Gambino, Donovan pays his boss three silver pieces to have his way with Guts. Gambino, motivated by a growing grudge against Guts because of his blame of the boy for Shisu's death, agrees. That night, Donovan makes his move, and although Guts tries to fight the big brute off, he cannot reach his sword and when Donovan reveals his transaction with Gambino, Guts is swiftly pinned down and overpowered.
Some time later, during a mission with Gambino and his men, Guts observes Donovan killing stragglers from the opposing force before deciding to take revenge upon him, shooting him in the back with a crossbow. Guts then launches another bolt into Donovan's open mouth before ramming his sword down Donovan's throat, killing him.
The horror of Donovan's assault would leave its mark on Guts, fostering in him both an aversion to being touched by other men that would continue into adulthood, as well as an inner conflict over Gambino selling him out. It also leads to a flashback years later as Guts is making love to Casca for the first time, resulting in her almost getting strangled to death.
- Donovan did not appear in the anime series, but he did briefly appear in the Golden Age Arc I: Egg of the Supreme Ruler as part of a traumatic flashback when Guts was unconscious due to his first encounter with Griffith, in which his childhood rape was briefly referenced. The scene was very censored, only showing a black screen with audio alluding to the rape in the background.