| Hey! This here is the 3rd Featured Article.
"Eclipse" has been featured, meaning it was chosen as an article of interest.
|“||I bid thee welcome to this distant setting, this abstract time. Ye lambs of the ungodly God born of Man, enjoy this sacred nocturnal festive to the fullest. Thee honorable child, concentrated by the laws of causality, The Hawk, now of the Chosen One at this time, at this place. The one choose by the hand of the Great God, we are kinsmen, oh blessed King of Longing.||”|
—Void, to Griffith
The Eclipse (’蝕’, translates to 'feast') is a rare event in the world of Berserk, occurring once every 216 years to welcome a new member for the God Hand.
While the process is similar to the creation of Apostles, the ritual occurs during a solar eclipse once every 216 years and requires a crimson behelit, also called the 'Egg of the King' or 'Egg of the Conqueror', to trigger it. Furthermore, while an Apostle-to-be needs to sacrifice a loved one or two, a future God Hand member offers a large number of people for the Apostles to feast on. When the ritual begins, the invoker, the offerings, and the Apostles that have gathered are taken to the Interstice known as the Nexus where the incorporeal God Hand manifest.
Once the offerings are consecrated by Void, feeling the pain of their deaths, the chosen-person descends through the levels of the Astral Plane into the realm of the Idea of Evil where they use the souls of the sacrificed to complete their transcendence. It is rare for a consecrated sacrifice to escape the Eclipse alive, the event resulting with them being forever hunted by restless spirits of the dead.
It is heavily implied that the first Eclipse took place centuries ago in the ancient Midland kingdom ruled by Gaiseric, legend telling that the disaster that destroyed the city was caused by angels summoned by a holy man that Gaiseric imprisoned in the Tower of Conviction. It is assumed that two figures were the Skull Knight and Void, though who they exactly were is still unknown, with only traces of the kingdom claimed by the First Eclipse now buried under the land which Windham was built on. The ruins of the city and its littered dead, all branded as sacrifices, are seen in the bottom levels of the Tower of Rebirth. The next three Eclipses each created Slan, Conrad, and Ubik.
The Fifth Eclipse
|“||"On that day, a dying sun rose above the multitude of nations. As written in the Book of Revelations, when the sun has died five times, a red lake will emerge to the west of a city with a name both new and old. It will be a sign that the fifth angel has descended upon this world. The angel is the Hawk of Darkness. He is the master of the sinful black sheep and the king of the blind white sheep. He will usher in an age of darkness to cover the world.".||”|
—Berserk Episode 1 (2016 Anime)
The fifth Eclipse is an instrumental plot device in the Golden Age storyline, a prophecy among the Holy See Religious Order stating that an appearance of the red lake when the sun "dies a fifth time" heralds the birth of an angel whose appearance marks the beginning of the upcoming apocalypse. Nosferatu Zodd recognizes that angel to be Griffith, his life and lineage having been orchestrated for his ultimate destiny, sparing the Band of the Hawk so they would fulfill their role as sacrificial offerings. The Eclipse begins a year after Griffith was imprisoned in the Tower of Rebirth, freed from his allies yet maimed and crippled from grueling torture. At that time, the Apostles answered the call of the God Hand to reach the location where the event is to take place while killing some people on the way. It was only when Griffith arrives to a lake where his crimson Behelit ended up with the Hawks following him that the preparations are complete.
The Behelit brings everyone into the Nexus where the God Hand manifest, Zodd being the only Apostle to remain outside the tornado-like portal to hold off the Skull Knight as he intended to interfere. After the God Hand separate Griffith from the Hawks, they subject the youth to visions of his past and played on his mental state and desires to make his offering without a second thought. This results in the Hawks branded with the Apostles assuming their true forms as they proceed to slaughter and devour all but Guts and Casca, who witness Griffith's transcendence into Femto, the final member of the God Hand.
Though the Skull Knight had fought his way through Zodd and saved Guts and Casca, the former lost his left arm and right eye while attempting to stop Griffith from violating Casca. While the Holy Iron Chain Knights find the "red lake" that remains of the fallen Hawks, its leader seeing it as an omen of a rising darkness, the witch Flora also sensed the event and expressed concern for the world. Days later, Guts awakens and learns that Casca's mind was destroyed by the hell she went through and that the rest of the Hawks save Rickert were massacred by the Apostles a day before the Eclipse. This event began Guts's journey of revenge on the monsters that slaughtered his friends and Griffith for betraying them all. But because he discarded his humanity to join the God Hand, Griffith become an incorporeal being before he regained physical form.
The fifth Eclipse is revisited much later in the Fantasia Arc when King Hanafubuku, Schierke and Farnese delve into Casca's mind as it serves as pupil of a eye that resembles the Beast of Darkness's eye. Signifying the darkness that lies within the young branded woman's mind due to the hellish events similar to her former lover Guts.
- 216 is a lunar number. The 216-year time gap between every Eclipse may be a reference to the Number of the Beast in the Bible, 666, an allusion to the demonic nature of the event. The triple occurrence of 666 translates into 6 cubed, or 216, or double the number 108, a significant number in Buddhism.
- While officially Eclipses can be seen as transcendence for God Hand members, it can be a form of rebirth for surviving sacrifices: Guts have been submerged in a pool of blood like in birth and becoming an Apostle hunter while Casca was reduced to an infantile mental state.