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|Also known as||
Femto (フェムト Femuto?)
Takahiro Sakurai (2016 Anime/Movies)
White; as Femto: None
Blue; as Femto: Red (Movies)
Ruler of Falconia
Demon Child (host body)
Griffith (グリフィス Gurifisu?) is the main antagonist of Berserk. He is the founder and leader of the mercenary groups Band of the Hawk and Neo Band of the Hawk, the ruler of the city of Falconia and the fifth member of the God Hand; known as Femto.
Griffith is of average height and an athletic muscular build, with a somewhat pale skin tone. He has long curly white hair (often seen straight in the anime) and blue eyes. He is noted to be a very beautiful man, and has feminine features that many have commented surpass that of women's, while some can hardly tell he is a man. After regaining physical form, Griffith appears the same though his eyes now have slit pupils to reflect his true nature as one of the God Hand. In battle, Griffith wears white armor with his iconic hawk-beak helmet.
In his Femto form, a reflection of his soul, Griffith wears a body tight black suit of armour with exposed scale-like muscles and cape-like wings on his back. His hawk-beaked helmet, now blacked and skeletal, is grafted onto his head with his eyes changed from blue to red. In the 90s anime series, Griffith's form as Femto appears dark red.
Griffith has continually focused on his goal of achieving his dream of obtaining his own kingdom, willing to sacrifice anything and everything to achieve it. From birth he had always "known the way up", allowing him to command several soldiers with his charismatic ability. He strongly identifies with his dream, so much so that he built his entire identity around it. His egotism was exacerbated by his own charisma, and the fact that everybody he met was enthralled by him, either as a divine leader or a powerful enemy, made him isolate himself from others and from his own feelings. Griffith was so enthralled by his idealized personality that he could not cope with loss well. In fact, one of Griffith’s greatest burdens was the guilt inflicted on him by the comrades that died for him. In the early days of the Hawk, he encountered the corpse of a child soldier who had served him, and he was so deeply affected by it that he prostituted himself to a perverted Baron for quick funding in order to avoid risking further needless casualties in other battles. The experience deeply traumatized him, so he isolated himself from his comrades.
Though he denied it, having never considered his allies as friends, he considered Guts to be his dear friend rather than a pawn in his goals. These feelings border on passion to the point that Griffith would lay his own life to protect Guts while entrusting him to be his assassin with the option to decline. But when Guts left the Hawks, deeply distressed by Guts's acting on his own dream, it broke Griffith as he fell into a depression and led to a downward spiral. Griffith even became jealous of Guts and Casca's romance, seeing Guts enjoy Casca's touched filled him with anger especially since he was left immobile and changed.
After his transformation into Femto, Griffith completely discarded his moralities while now solely existing to fulfill his dream along with humanity's collective will. Griffith displayed great cruelty once becoming Femto, his first act being that he raped Casca in front of Guts who was forced to watch while being held down by a demon. This also led to the mutation in Gut's and Casca's unborn child. If Femto was aware of this or not is unknown. While now aloof and viewing humanity from a deterministic perspective with neither fear or bewilderment, Griffith's ability to empathize since his God Hand status is debatable; when he sees Guts on the hill of swords, he does so in order to determine whether or not anything will "sway his heart" something that he would not consider doing if he knew for sure that he no longer felt anything for Guts. During Guts' second battle with Zodd, Griffith, his heart racing, shields Casca from a cascade of boulders; he justifies the act by claiming it was the feelings of Guts' demon child infused into his body affecting him, though this could be interpreted as denial.
Griffith's greatest strength is his uncanny charisma to induce submission in others just by being around them. The sight of him and the sound of his voice are enough to bend anyone's will and turn them into loyal servants, ready to die at his command.
After becoming Femto, Griffith becomes one of the strongest entities in the series with his charisma greatly intensified to the point that Ganishka above submitted to him. Upon his transcendence, Griffith learned he possessed the power to manipulate space and gravity to push an opponent back, create a black hole-like vacuum to crush multiple targets into oblivion, or redirect an opponent's attack to another target. While he originally could only manifest through rudimentary vessels or when summoned by one with Behelit, Griffith gained a full-time physical presence through using the Demon Child to hold his spiritual essence. Since his return, Griffith displays the ability to assume his Femto form and back at will.
As a child of humble-birth meant to someday rule a kingdom of his own, having received a crimson Behelit, Griffith formed the Band of Hawks, alongside the miner Pippin, former bandit Corkus, tumbler Judeau, and 12-year old Casca whom he saved from her would-be rapists. Griffith's big break came when he and his group were enlisted into the service of Chuder noble Gennon, who offered extra pay for Griffith to sleep with him.
Golden Age ArcEdit
Years later, while defending a fort, Griffith became interested in the mercenary Guts, who killed the famous grey knight Bazuso. After a failed ambush on Guts, Griffith stabbed him near the heart to incapacitate him. Griffith later challenged Guts to a one-on-one duel and won, winning his servitude among the Band of the Hawk. After the Band of the Hawk defeated the Black Sheep Iron Spear Knight army, they are enlisted by Midland for its war against Chudor. During a siege, the Hawks encountered The Immortal Nosferatu Zodd, who noticed Griffith's Behelit and cryptically warned Guts of its significance in his doom. Griffith's gradual rise in Midland status was ill-received by the noblemen. General Julius sent an assassin equipped with a crossbow and a bolt dipped in expensive poison. The assassination attempt failed, as the bolt was blocked by Griffith's Behelit. Griffith retaliated by sending Guts to assassinate Julius with instructions to leave no witnesses alive. Later on, Griffith discussed his ideals with Princess Charlotte, saying that he considered equals to be friends. Having overheard the discussion, Guts decided to leave the Band of the Hawk, prompting Griffith to challenge him to a critical duel. Having lost the duel, Griffith fell to his knees in despair and was forced to allow Guts to depart. Soon after the ordeal, Griffith slept with Charlotte in a lapse of judgement, resulting in his imprisonment within the Tower of Rebirth. When lectured, Griffith replied by saying if the king lusted after his own daughter. Outraged, the king lashed out at him and ordered his year-long torture.
By the time Guts and the surviving members of the Band of the Hawk rescue him, Griffith had been rendered mute and immobile; his tongue had been cut off along with all his skin and muscles. When Griffith fled by carriage and tried to end his life upon realizing that he can no longer fulfill his dream in his ruined state, he inadvertently triggered his Behelit, which he retrieved in the river where he fell. Griffith, the Band of the Hawk, and the gathered Apostles are transported to an Interstice where the God Hand manifest to welcome Griffith. Griffith is given the choice to be reborn as the last of the God Hand and continue his dream, at the cost of the lives of all his comrades. Griffith accepted the offer and appeared before the power behind the God Hand, as the Band of the Hawk was slaughtered. Having been told that everything he went through had been leading up to this moment, Griffith accepted his fate to become a king and began to create his ideal spiritual body.
By the time restricted Guts and Casca were the last ones alive, Griffith emerged from his metamorphosis, reborn as Femto, and proceeded to rape Casca. Guts, enraged, tore his arm off and attempted to strike at Femto, only to be pinned down and forced to watch. Fortunately, the Skull Knight saved Guts and Casca from their doom. However, they were both severely traumatized; Casca lost her memory and became mentally regressed. In addition to that, Femto's seed mutated Casca and Guts' unborn child into a deformed creature. Guts swore vengeance on Griffith, saying that he would never forgive him for what he had done.
Black Swordsman ArcEdit
Because of Griffith's status as one of the God Hand, he was no longer of the physical realm and originally could only temporarily manifest through mediums such as corpses or when a Behelit was activated. Guts did not know this fact as he spent two years hunting Apostles to find the God Hand. Eventually, after fatally wounding the Count, Guts would cross paths with Griffith when the Count summoned the God Hand to give him new life. After being summoned, Griffith easily defeated Guts since he has learned to master his gravity-manipulating powers along with his very presence causing Guts to lose a large amount of blood from his Brand of Sacrifice. Griffith points out to the Count that he only needs to sacrifice Theresia while warning him to choose before the Abyss claims him. But after the Count's soul is consumed by the Abyss, Griffith looks down at Guts before the swordsman, Puck and Theresia are returned to the physical world.
Soon after siring the Egg-Shaped Apostle to carry out a special task, the God Hand began to orchestrate a series of events from a plague to the Kushan invasion of the Midland by Ganishka while the maddened King of Midland spent his final hours having his army search for Griffith. The God Hand placed a dream inside everyone of the coming of what the Holy See Religious Order deemed their savior: The Hawk of Light. But what no one realized besides the Skull Knight and Nosferatu Zodd, (the latter summoned to the location by Griffith after recruiting him in a dream by cutting off his horn), was that the refugees were all being lead to the city of St. Albion to serve in a mass sacrifice known as the Incarnation Ceremony that would resurrect Griffith into the physical realm. Though Guts was told of the significance of the visions, he was more focused on protecting Casca despite the fact they both played a role in gathering the vast amount of restless spirits that consumed the living before converging towards the Egg-Shaped Apostle as he offered his life to complete the ritual.
Prior to the conclusion, the Egg-Shaped Apostle swallowed the Demon Child while climbing up the crumbling Tower of Conviction to enact the Incarnation Ceremony. As the Egg-Shaped Apostle reached the top and summons the restless spirits of all who have died in St. Albion to him, the demon child's body fully developed into a human-like form before rapidly maturing into a vessel for Griffith to fully regain his physical presence. Griffith then emerges from the Egg Apostle's body, killing him as the tower is completely destroyed. Griffith would make his presence known at daybreak, naked while embracing the warmth of the sun as Guts and Casca see him to the former's shock and mixed feelings. When Silat and his forces were sent to capture him on orders from Ganishka, Griffith flies off on Zodd's back when he arrives.
Falcon of the Millenium Empire ArcEdit
Later explaining that he left St. Albion as he felt it was not an ideal place for a reunion for the surviving members of the Band of Hawks, Griffith meets Guts again on the Hill of Swords while meeting with Rickert to offer the boy in aiding him in his dream once more. While Griffith felt no remorse of seeing the grave markers from those he sacrificed, he realized the Demon Child's influence made him concerned for Casca's wellbeing during Guts's fight with Zodd as he orders the Apostle to cease as they leave to enact his destiny. As Guts begins his journey to Elfhelm with a fellowship, Griffith has begun to orchestrate becoming Midland's sole military leader through a new Band of the Hawk with Zodd and other numerous Apostles along with human members like Sonia and Mule Wolflame. After leading his army to force Ganishka and his forces to fall back to Windham, Griffith cements his right to lead by revealing his betrothal to Charlotte after rescuing her from Ganshika's custody while the Holy See's Pontiff confirms him the Hawk of Light and ordains the union.
When Ganshika transcended his existence as a Apostle by entering the Man-Made Behelit and offering his forces in exchange, Griffith has his forces fight off the emperor's familiars while he rides Zodd to the core of the giant where Ganshika's physical body is. As he draws near to Ganshika, Griffith assumes his Femto form as the Skull Knight attempts to strike him from behind with his Sword of Actuation. But Griffith reveals he was hoping for the Skull Knight's appearance as he uses his power to redirect the dimensional-ripping slash from his would-be assassin's sword at Ganshika's human face. This causes a chain reaction with Ganshika's god form that results in the World Transformation with the entire world now in a global Interstice with Astral creatures now fully manifested in the physical world. Griffith also used the event to create his city of Falconia, an utopian society that curb the Apostles' bloodlust with gladiatorial combat so they can serve as humanity's protectors from the monsters now lurking outside Falconia's walls.
When learning that Rickert had come to Falconia, Griffith welcomes the youth when he comes to his palace and once more makes the offer. But Rickert, having now learned the truth of the Eclipse while conflicted by the good that his former leader have done since Falconia's creation, slapped Griffith for asking him again. While Rickert could not truly hate him, the youth tells Griffith that he is a follower of the man he once was and the original Band of the Hawk. Griffith stead his guards, allowing Rickert to leave the palace while reassuring those present that it was a simple rejection. But weeks later, when the youth resolved to leave Falconia, Rickert finds himself being targeted by Raksas and believes that Griffith send the Apostle to assassinate him out of retaliation.
- Griffith is an Anglicized form of the Welsh name "Gruffudd". A variation of the name is "Griffin", playing in Griffith's avian theme.
- Griffith is the only character with pure white hair
- Griffith is the only human character that has defeated Guts in combat.
- Griffith is the exact opposite of Guts, Griffith is of average height, thin, has long white hair, no physical scars and wields an elegant sabre, Guts is tall muscular warrior with short black hair, a body full of scars who wields a massive sword. Griffith wears white armour and has a much more refined style resembling fencing. Guts wears tattered black clothing and, though incredibly skilled, fights like a barbarian winning by any means necessary. In addition they usually have the exact opposite effect on everyone they meet. Most people are naturally drawn to Griffith upon first meeting him and would die for him without hesitation whereas Guts is usually feared and detested by just about everyone he comes across until they get to know him. Guts unhesitatingly chooses to battle his way through enemies, Griffith refrains from excessive participation in combat, preferring to manipulate anyone in his way. Griffith is graceful and has noble bearing all things associated with a traditional hero despite actually being a cruel savage villain (seen most clearly as Femto), Guts is cold and brutal often associated with an archetypal villain (Guts often mistaken for a demon) but is actually a deeply heroic and kind person.
- Griffith's God Hand name: Femto, is the mathematical prefix for 1/1,000,000,000,000,000. That is one quadrillionth, or one millionth of one billionth of the measurement unit this prefix is used for (a Femtosecond is one quadrillionth of a second, a Femtometer is one quadrilionth of a meter, etc).