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"Within this cage of stone, I finally realized this isn't the place to which I wish to return. It's simply where my journey began long ago."
– Farnese de Vandimion

Farnese de Vandimion is a noblewoman from the Vandimion family who led the Holy See's ceremonial guard, the Holy Iron Chain Knights. She later becomes a member of Guts' traveling party.

Personality Edit

Due to her upbringing and subsequent events, Farnese has a very complex but developing personality. As a child, Farnese was neglected by her parents and overwhelmed with fear. She cowered in her bed when she heard a roaring fire outside of her bedroom in the town square one night when they were burning a heretic. Afterwards, she went outside and threw a burning stick into the fire. She then felt a marvelous warmth in her groin and discovered that she was a pyrophiliac. She also developed a habit of maniacally burning things that she did not like. She burned the clothes of a girl while the girl was still wearing them and also threatened to burn Serpico. The only thing she burned that she was very attached to was a stuffed bunny that her father bought her during their last family trip together which he orders her to burn.

Whenever she pleased, she would whip, bite, and otherwise abuse Serpico and even drink his blood. She does not know that he is her half-brother. As a child, she treated him as a possession, and she reminded him frequently of this status. Her lack of empathy due to her poor upbringing along with the praise she received in joining in a witch burning provoked her to hunt down and burn supposed witches and pagans at the stake. This fueled a secret sadistic pleasure that she constantly tried to deny.

While pursuing Guts, whom she had been hunting for two years and believed to be the Falcon of Darkness, to the Misty Valley, she loathed the mere mention of the name "Falcon of Darkness," stating she believed it was profane and should not be mentioned lightly. She fixated on capturing him for the sake of the faith.[8] When confronting the black swordsman, she tried to maintain and show that she was calm and strong willed in front of Guts while interrogating him, but she grew enraged and whipped him when he would not respond as she wanted. For his part, Guts freely taunts her, and she experiences sadistic pleasure after having whipped Guts.[2] When Guts escapes he observes that Farnese also has a masochistic side: alone and stripped to her waist, she flogs herself.[9]

Kidnapped by Guts, she experiences the terrors of his night.[10] The evil spirits terrify her, but when she tries to flee on a horse, she finds the horse possessed. The possessed horse attempts to rape her; Guts cleaves it in two with his sword stopping right at her neck.[11] Near the end of the night, a single spirit confronts her with her secret sadistic and masochistic pleasures and fantasies. Possessed, Farnese tries to violently seduce Guts. She licks his wounded hand, then places his sword between her legs and demands that he very slowly raise it and slice her in half as she strangles him with the cord he used to bind her hands.[12]

Regarding her sexuality and fetishes, it should be remembered that Farnese commands the Holy Iron Knights because she is a virgin and has had no experience of relationships with others. She consistently treated Serpico and previous attendants as objects as she, herself, was treated by her family. Her first sexual feelings, which she did not understand, appear to come from joining in the burning of heretics and receiving praise for it from adults. Years later, after burning heretics, she stares into her fireplace and notes that when she stares into flames she recalls the incident from her childhood. She masturbates, just like she did when the spirit possessed her, to the recollection. When finished, she curls in tearful shame, telling herself she is not in the wrong,[13] which recalls the earlier proclamation of Mozgus that what they do is all for their faith.[14] She treated Serpico as a possession and initially showed no sexual or love interest in him. Her pleasure appears to come solely from sadism as well as masochism. While she enjoys whipping and otherwise abusing Serpico, she does not appear to love him specifically. There is no indication she ever felt attraction to a boy, or girl for that matter. When she finally does try to seduce Serpico, even proposing to him to run away with her in order to avoid the marriage her father arranged for her, he declines her advances since he knows she is his half-sister. She does not know that he is her half-brother. Because of Serpico's refusal, in a fit of madness and despair, Farnese sets her house on fire, obtaining the cancellation of the marriage and then becoming the commander of the Holy Iron Knights. Throughout this period save for her brief approach to Serpico, she shows little, if any, affection to anyone other than herself. Indeed, she has contempt for her mother's constant affairs and her father's complete disinterest in her and the rest of his family. In other words, she has never had an affectionate relationship with anyone. The spirit that possesses her while she is kidnapped by Guts details for her and forces her to confront her sexual urges and fetishes. After being freed from the spirit, she becomes mortified with what she has learned about herself and demands Serpico, who had just arrived, to kill Guts even though their mission was to capture and deliver him to the Holy See. She continually repeats "Kill him!" to herself. Farnese is unwilling and unable at this stage to accept what her possession revealed; yet, as noted, she later fantasizes about it. Far later in her development, as a part of Guts' New Party where she has risked her life for Casca, became a disciple of Schierke, and even gained some respect from Guts, she no longer abuses Serpico nor appears to engage in sadomasochistic practices. However, she currently does not show any romantic interest in Serpico or anyone else other than perhaps a crush on Guts. Any romantic thoughts or fantasies she may have have not been depicted.

After meeting Mozgus, Farnese proved that despite having a sadistic side[15] she was not cruel like Mozgus[16] and does have some sympathy[17], though she tried to follow the teachings of Mozgus that said their cruel actions was because of their faith in God.[14] She also tried to convince herself that she was not wrong.[13]

Farnese is shown to have developed fear from Guts and tried to avoid going after him with the excuse that it wasn't their responsibility anymore.[18] After seeing what happened in Albion, what she used to know and believed in has shattered and seeing Guts fight on, even when it seemed to be hopeless, Farnese decided to leave her position and former life behind her and follow Guts to learn from him more about the world and how to live in a world without hope.

After joining Guts' New Party, Farnese has shown great development in her personality. The most striking change is her progressive willingness to think about and act for the welfare of others. She willingly apologizes to Guts and begs to follow him as atonement. Regret and contrition were unknown to the child-to-commander Farnese. She becomes very frustrated, self-conscious, and hurt when she realizes she cannot actually do anything, such as protect herself and others during the night attacks. However it becomes apparent that Farnese can calm Casca when she becomes agitated. In this fashion, she becomes a much more sympathetic human being as well as responsible and dependable. While taking care of Casca appears her "role" in Guts' group, Farnese appears to develop a genuine concern and affection for Casca. As an example, when she and Casca were surrounded by trolls, Farnese fought to protect Casca rather than simply falling into a panic. Serpico notices this change.

Having previously devoted herself militantly and intolerantly to her faith, only to have it broken, she becomes fascinated by the positive powers of magic. She asks Schierke to teach her magic. This signals another development in that she subordinates herself not just to the powerful Guts, but to a girl much younger than her. Serpico notices this change in her as well. She also appears to enjoy Ivalera's playful claims to be her teacher as well. Such is a very significant change from the spoiled violent and sadistic child and commander of the Holy Iron Knights.

Farnese seems to have developed a hero worship and crush towards Guts. Farnese cannot help but notice over her time with him as commander of the Holy Iron Knights that Guts never actually harms nor takes advantage her. He even acts to save her. Her hero worship is evident whenever he thanks her or gives her his approval for something she did she would feel happy and encouraged. This was visible during the fight against the Sea God when she was asked by Schierke to do the protection spell: she hesitated at first but after been encouraged by Guts she decided to do it.

Farnese's crush on Guts appears evident in a number of scenes. For example, when she was asked by her mother if she had someone she loved her thought was of Guts,[19] and while training with Schierke in the Astral Plane she heard Roderick ask Guts if Casca was his woman. Right before Guts completed his answer Farnese unconsciously returned to her body not knowing why she did not want to know. Also it seems that her reason for learning magic comes from her crush on Guts and desire to be more helpful to him and the group, as she especially enjoyed healing Guts through magic. Despite Farnese being caring and motherly to Casca, Guts' undying love for her caused Farnese to harbor a strong jealously towards Casca.

This jealously was shown when she yelled at Casca when washing her, complaining that Guts has received scars over his entire body by protecting Casca while she remains oblivious. However, different from the way she acted in the past, Farnese regretted yelling at her, and she willingly continued her duty of protecting Casca. Farnese's jealously still remained though as when a heavily bandaged Guts got out of bed when Casca was troubled, Farnese would not let Guts near her by making the excuse that Guts' presence would agitate her. Farnese is the only member of the party to dislike the Moonlight Boy, as the boy seemed to draw Guts and Casca closer together (even Serpico noticed her discomfort). When landing on Elfhelm one of the witches did confirm it was possible for Sovereign  Hanafubuku to heal Casca's mind. Upon hearing this good news Guts smiled deeply to himself, but Farnese noticed his happiness and looked anxious. Despite her jealousy, Farnese willingly becomes part of Hanafubuku's dive into Casca's mind.

While traveling Casca's mind, Farnese experiences the whole breadth of memories and emotions Casca has felt in her life. And expresses affection to the tiny child-like Casca she had grown to care for. Farnese alikens Casca's worship of Griffith to her own awe of Guts, she expressed disgust at the dark creatures that appeared in her mind and Farnese sees that Casca was a leader to Falcons like she was to Holy Iron Chain Knights.

However Farnese also witnesses Casca evolving relationship with Guts, seeing that Casca has known a younger Guts she's never met to Farnese's dismay. Upon seeing Guts make love to Casca by the waterfall, she finally understands their relationship but admits to herself she's known all along causing her jealousy and sadness to deepen which Schierke notices.

When the child-like Mini-Casca speaks and asks to see someone, Farnese guesses who that might be and swears to Casca she will get her wish.

History Edit

Early Years Edit

Farnese meets Serpico

Farnese as a child.

From a young age, Farnese was a spoiled girl due to being neglected by her parents: her father Federico de Vandimion III focusing on his work while her mother spent her days at the balls and parties. At the time, Farnese found comfort in the burning of things that she did not like which appeared to stem from seeing accused pagans being burned at the stake from her window. She also took Serpico in from the streets, unaware that he was actual her half-brother as he promised their biological father to conceal his full heritage. When Farnese was to forced into an arranged marriage by her father, she voiced her refusal by setting a fire to the family estate that resulted with her sent to a convent where she earned a place in the Holy Iron Chain Knights as the order's current leader.

HICKS

The Holy Iron Chain Knights arriving to the "red lake".

A year after the end of the One Hundred Year War, Farnese is sent by the Holy See to investigate a prophecy along the border of Midland that tells the birth of an angel when the sun dies a fifth time and that a "red lake" will be the site of his birth. After the solar eclipse, Farnese and her forces find the "red lake": A shallow stream dyed red with the blood spilled from the remains countless bodies of men and horses. Upon seeing this, Farnese deems such an angel to be a "Falcon of Darkness" that would only bring an age of darkness down upon the world. Soon after, Farnese is given the task to investigate the black swordsman who the Holy See believe to have some connection to the "Falcon of Darkness".

Conviction Arc Edit

Chapter 119

Farnese and the Iron Chain Knights.

Two years after beginning her search for Guts, Farnese and her knights eventually find the swordsman during his hunt for Rosine, believing that he had slaughtered normal village children and men that were actual the apostle's transformed agents before reverting to their natural forms in death. When Farnese finds Guts as he was about to kill Rosine, she believed he was killing a normal girl alongside Jill with her men driving him off before they later surround him the following day. Still exhausted from his fighting against Rosine and then the spirits that constantly hunt him, Guts attempted to go after a frightened Farnese before he was subdued by Serpico in a manner that made it seem that Farnese, who never drew blood before, intentionally ran Guts through with her blade.

After having Guts brought to her party's camp, Farnese then attempts to interrogate Guts about the remains of the deceased members of the Band of the Falcon and his connections to the Falcon of Darkness. But Guts refuses to answer her questions while unnerving her when he spoke against her faith along with high pain threshold when she whipped him for his insolence, ordering Guts to be taken from her sight while she prays to reaffirm her faith. But after sunset, as his elf companion Puck could not be seen by Farnese and her men, Guts breaks free and takes the half-naked Farnese as a hostage so he can focus on escaping the restless spirits attracted by his Brand of Sacrifice.

Guts kills the horse

A horrified Farnese saved by Guts.

After Guts manages to lost Serpico, saving her when horse he stole for his escape lost its balance and tumbled down a cliff, Farnese gets her first glimpse of the supernatural when the pursuing spirits possess the bodies of hounds that Guts fights off. She attempts to reach the horse to flee, only to find it possessed while it attempts to mount her before Guts kills it too before the beast could violate her. But a surviving spirit enters Farnese's body minutes before dawn, using the woman's weaknesses to force her into giving into her lust and force herself on Guts until the sun rises. Farnese breaks down in shame as Serpico arrives and orders him to kill Guts to preserve what little honor she has left. But Serpico reminds his commander that their mission is only to apprehend Guts, deciding to give Guts a reprieve to Farnese's dismay as he takes her back to camp while Puck senses a profound sadness from her.

Mozgus tells Farnese to watch

Mozgus urges Farnese to observe what happens those who defy the will of the Holy See.

Returning to Vritannis, after being scolded by her superiors while pretending her ordeal with the supernatural never occurred, Farnese learns that hundreds of refugees from the plague taking Midland have all gathered in the city of Albion and that the city has been suffering an increase in pagan activity. Farnese is given the task to escort Mozgus to Albion to restore order to the holy city, taking delight in the execution of rebel heretics who attempted to kill Mozgus for his actions against them. But on her first day at Albion, Farnese witnesses a group of starved refugees stealing the food that the church is stocking for rations. Though she expected Mozgus to show mercy when he guided the beggars into the Tower of Conviction, including a mother and her sickly child, she was instead forced to bare witness to the inquisitor subjecting them to horrific acts of torture for being sinners in the eyes of their faith. Soon after, Farnese ends up assisting Mozgus' atrocities by taking those who are charged of heresy, regardless of their innocence or not, to the Tower of Conviction. Despite the impression Mozgus gave her from being forced the mother's brutal torture after her child was tended to, Farnese learns that the inquisitor is not entirely cruel from one of his disfigured diciples.

Farnese abandons her faith to follow Guts

Farnese leaving the Holy See to follow Guts.

After been told the location of the pagan cult, Farnese planned her men to storm the cave and capture the cult members. But Farnese finds herself crossing paths with Guts again when he comes to the city to save Casca, once more facing supernatural creatures from the transformed pagans with her men thinking they are on drugs. Farnese later learns of her father request for her return to Vritannis before finding herself attacked by restless spirits of the city's unjust victims. At that time, with Guts encouraging her to fight for her life, Farnese realizes that she used the Holy See as a means to escape her personal issues. Once the night of ordeals ended, forced to part ways with Guts and Casca when the Kushan enter the ruins of the city, Farnese renounces her leadership of the destroyed Iron Chain Knights and resolves to find Guts with Serpico following her.

Falcon of the Millennium Empire Arc Edit

Farnese submits to Guts

Farnese requesting Guts to allow her to accompany him.

Farnese would eventually find Guts again in the wilderness and asked him to allow her to accompany him, explaining that she has left the Holy See and sees him as the only way to truly understand the world. With Isdro questioning her, Farnese then cuts off her twintails as proof of her new conviction and intent to make up for the wrongs she committed against him. Guts, fearing he needs additional help to ensure Casca's protection from himself should the Beast of Darkness take over his body again, allows Farnese to accompany him. Since then, despite her inexperience, Farnese would serve as Casca's caretaker. When Farnese learns Guts' destination is Elfheim, she is concerned that her presence in Vritannis to acquire a ship might have consequences for her.

When the party were close from Enoch Village on the way to Vritannis, Farnese and Casca were nearly abducted by a Troll before Isidro intercepted the beast and saved them. But when more trolls appear, Farnese is shocked to encounter an actual witch who saved them. When the group arrived to Flora's home, Farnese was wary due to her role in witch burning though Flora assured her she bore her no ill will. The following morning after spending the night at the Mansion of the Spirit Tree, her group have agreed to help Schierke dispatch the trolls attacking Enoch Village, Farnese receives a silver chainmail shirt and short sword to defend herself against supernatural creatures.

FarneseFlailingDagger

Farnese fending off the trolls.

When Schierke managed to purge the village of the trolls with a flood, Casca and Farnese ended up being separated from the others and taken by the trolls to their cave. Coming to while seeing horrible things, Farnese musters the will to protect Casca from the trolls until Guts and the others arrive to save them. As the group are nearing Flora's' mansion, Farnese is instructed by Guts to keep herself and Casca save as he senses the apostles of Griffith's reborn Band of the Falcon who are setting the Spirit Tree on fire. A few days later, while nearing Vritannis, to Serpico's dismay, Farnese asked Schierke to teach her to use magic so she can better help Guts in ways besides protecting Casca.

FarneseSavesRoderick

Farnese saving Roderick from a Pisacha.

Upon arriving to Vritannis, Farnese attempted to request her father for a ship, but ended up being confined to the estate instead. But Farnese's older brother Magnifico offered to provide her a ship for her friends on the condition that she becomes the fiance to Roderick of Schtauffen. Farnese accepts in offer, having Serpico return their effects to the others while she gradually begins to wonder if she is alright with this. However, during the banquet Magnifico held to announce the bethroval, the Kushan attack the festivities with tiger pishaca with Farnese joining the fray before Schierke provided her with Serpent of Thorns to fight with the others. Realizing she almost returned to noble life out of nostalgia, Farnese returns to the group with Rodrick offering his aid in getting the group to Elfheim via his ship.

Farnese+SchierkeLB

Farnese and Schierke traveling around the Seahorse via astral projection.

A day after leaving aboard the Seahorse, Farnese is trained by Schierke to astral project herself as the two travel around the ship unseen before seeing Guts and overhearing him explain his relationship with Casca to Roderick. Farnese suddenly finds herself back in her body to her astonishment, later tending to Casca when she is in need for a hot bath after she nearly drowned in the sea. When Casca pour a bucket of water on her after she accidentally got soap in the woman's eye, Farnese snaps at Casca for being ungrateful to the man who has constantly risked his own life to save hers many times. Farnese breaks down in tears before Casca cheers her up by dumping another pail of water on herself. Sometime after Roderick and his men drove off Bonebeard and his crew, Farnese is given some peace of mind when told that she has a vital role in her group despite what she believes.

Fantasia Arc Edit

When landing at Elfhelm it was learned through one of the witches that King Hanafubuku can look into peoples' hearts and restore memory, meaning it is indeed possible to heal Casca. Upon hearing this news Guts smiled more deeply than he has in years, causing Farnese to look on jealously, the party discover the Flowerstorm king is in fact actually one of the witches who welcomed them: Danann

After sentencing Puck and Magnifico to a day of community service when the two's collaborative plot to overthrow her is brought into light, Danann asks Guts to remain while requesting Schierke, Ivalera, and Farnese to accompany her and Casca. Once in a mushroom filled chamber, Danann explains to Farnese and Schierke that the Passage of Dreams ritual requires them to astral project themselves into the mind of Casca and travel through its recesses. But Danann warns them that the world of a person's mind is a more difficult place to move about in compared to the Astral Plane, Schierke and Farnese entering into Casca's dreamscape after being put to rest. The two women initially find Casca's dreamscape to be a series of childish scribbles with a shadowed silhouette meant to represent Guts, guided by Danann's petals to their destination: A mental recreation of the Eclipse.

Abilities Edit

Farnese appears as a young woman who always depended upon others to do things. Thus, she initially appears to have little remarkable abilities. When she was the leader of the Holy Iron Chain Knights, Farnese wore armor and carried a sword with her; however, she was inexperienced in battle and was unskilled with her sword. When Guts charges her, all she can do is point her sword at him with her eyes closed. After joining Guts, Farnese discovered that she did not know how to cook or clean clothing.

By default she becomes the minder of Casca, and this relationship ultimately helps Farnese grow as a person and develop some actual skills. Farnese becomes an excellent caregiver, and she develops the patience and skills to properly take care of the traumatized Casca. After studying magic under Schierke's tutelage, Farnese gains the ability to project her astral body and perform the protection spell. After the battle with the Sea God, Farnese demonstrates the power to heal Guts using magic just like Schierke.

Equipment Edit

Notes Edit

  • Farnese has a habit of putting her hands on her mouth when horrified.
  • While everyone saw the dream about the Falcon of Light coming to save them, Farnese did not.[20]

References Edit

  1. Kentarou Miura (author). "The Holy Iron Chain Knights (1)". Berserk. Volume 16. Episode 119. Hakusensha.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Kentarou Miura (author). "The Hollow Idol". Berserk. Volume 16. Episode 121. Hakusensha.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Kentarou Miura (author). "The Sound of the Sea". Berserk. Volume 27. Episode 236. Hakusensha.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Kentarou Miura (author). "The White Lily of the Field". Berserk. Volume 29. Episode 253. Hakusensha.
  5. Kentarou Miura (author). "Sea God (3)". Berserk. Volume 36. Episode 321. Hakusensha.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Shikaisha., Nakajima, R., Shimizu, Y., Mochizuki, M., Okada, M., Suzuki, M. (2016). "Berserk Official Guide Book". Hakusensha.
  7. Kentarou Miura (author). "Wilderness Reunion". Berserk. Volume 23. Episode 191. Hakusensha.
  8. Kentarou Miura (author). "Monster". Berserk. Volume 16. Episode 111. Hakusensha.
  9. Kentarou Miura (author). "The Unseen". Berserk. Volume 17. Episode 122. Hakusensha.
  10. Kentarou Miura (author). "Night of Miracles". Berserk. Volume 17. Episode 123. Hakusensha.
  11. Kentarou Miura (author). "Past and Future". Berserk. Volume 17. Episode 124. Hakusensha.
  12. Kentarou Miura (author). "Morning of Truth". Berserk. Volume 17. Episode 125. Hakusensha.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Kentarou Miura (author). "Pillar of Flame". Berserk. Volume 18. Episode 143. Hakusensha.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Kentarou Miura (author). "Fierce Believer". Berserk. Volume 18. Episode 138. Hakusensha.
  15. Kentarou Miura (author). "To Holy Ground (2)". Berserk. Volume 17. Episode 132. Hakusensha.
  16. Kentarou Miura (author). "Tower of Shadow (1)". Berserk. Volume 18. Episode 135. Hakusensha.
  17. Kentarou Miura (author). "Children of Shadow". Berserk. Volume 18. Episode 137. Hakusensha.
  18. Kentarou Miura (author). "Ambition Boy". Berserk. Volume 19. Episode 146. Hakusensha.
  19. Kentarou Miura (author). "Mother". Berserk. Volume 29. Episode 254. Hakusensha.
  20. Kentarou Miura (author). "To Holy Ground (1)". Berserk. Volume 17. Episode 131. Hakusensha.

Appendices Edit

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