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"I've not yet tasted enough! I have not had my fill!!!"
– Zodd[4]

Nosferatu Zodd, or "Zodd the Immortal", is a legendary swordsman and powerful apostle said to have killed thousands of adversaries on the battlefield. After intervals of inactivity and purported death, Zodd resurfaces on the battlefield to continue his slaughter,[5] having done so unmitigated for roughly one hundred years.

He possesses an unrivaled thirst for battle – a craving, for the longest time, only sated by his long-spanning rivalry with the Skull Knight. His search for the "ultimate strong one" leads him to Griffith, who he currently serves as one of the White Falcon's most trusted warriors in the reborn Band of the Falcon.

Personality Edit

E128-Somber Zodd-Manga

In spite of his apostlehood, Zodd only truly desires to battle the strong.

Zodd is a fearless apostle who has devoted his existence to combat. His urge to fight stronger opponents and relish in battle has left myriads dead in his wake. He is ferocious and merciless, even when his opponents are clearly outmatched. Above all, he longs for an adequate challenge – the "ultimate strong one".[2]

Despite his intense hunger for battle and seeming one-track mind, Zodd is an enigmatic individual.[6] Unlike most apostles, he does not eat human flesh, nor is he inherently sadistic and cruel; he takes no pleasure in torturing or killing weaklings. Indeed, Zodd has expressed great melancholy at his own strength, as he is too powerful to find adequate adversaries among man.[2] For those who survive their encounters with him, and thus prove themselves worthy opponents, Zodd has nothing but respect. He holds anyone who can harm or even defend themselves against him in great esteem, such as Guts and his rival the Skull Knight.

Story Edit

Golden Age Arc Edit

"If you can be said to be a true friend of this man, then take heed... When his ambition collapses, death will pay you a visit! A death you can never escape!"
– Zodd's prophecy of the approaching Eclipse[7]
E2-Zodd Slaughter-Manga

Zodd, having single-handedly slaughtered roughly 50 Falcons.

For approximately three centuries, Zodd earns the title of "Nosferatu" – a monstrous, immortal "battlefield god" – disappearing for long-spanning periods of time just to resurface again and continue his slaughter. He eventually offers his services to the Tudor Empire during its century-long war with the Kingdom of Midland. Zodd first meets Guts while protecting the inner citadel of a Tudor stronghold, slaughtering almost fifty of the Band of the Falcon's Raiders that storm its halls, before the swordsman enters alone to confront him. With Guts enraged to find him among the butchered remains of his men, Zodd knocks the charging swordaman back by throwing the corpses of two Raiders at him with a swing of his sword.[5] He then advances towards Guts, complimenting his swordsmanship, before the two begin exchanging blows. After gambling his life on one swing, Guts manages to slice the top half of Zodd's blade clean off, cutting into the apostle's right shoulder in the process. Commending Guts for being the first man to injure him in 300 years, Zodd grabs his opponent's sword and assumes his true form, excited and ready to fight at full strength.[8]

E5-Pincer Strike-Manga

Guts and Griffith carry out a pincer strike on Zodd.

Zodd's immense strength proves to be too much for Guts to contend with, however; disappointed, Zodd decides to finish the swordsman off. Just as he begins crushing Guts in his grip, he is hit by an arrow volley from Falcon reinforcements lead by Griffith. Only angered by their interruption, Zodd decimates the Falcon soldiers, cornering Griffith and the now wounded Guts before they can escape,[1] and insisting that they fight him. Meeting Zodd's advance, Guts and Griffith execute a pincer strike on the apostle, the former cutting deep into his torso and the latter severing his arm; Zodd retaliates by tail-whipping Griffith into a column, knocking the White Falcon unconscious. Delighted to have found two humans capable of so greatly wounding him, Zodd expresses regret in having to kill the two Falcons, before proceeding to finish off Griffith. However, Zodd stays his hand upon seeing Griffith's dangling Crimson Beherit, shocked that one such as Griffith bears the "Egg of the King". Knowing full well the significance of Griffith's destiny, Zodd punches through the keep's roof and prepares to take his leave, cryptically warning Guts of an inescapable death that will befall him when Griffith's dream is shattered before flying off.[7]

During the Battle for Doldrey, while observing Guts and Boscogn's duel from afar, Zodd throws his sword towards Guts for the swordsman to wield after his own breaks mid-battle.[9] He departs soon after Guts defeats Boscogn, knowing that the time of the Eclipse is near.[10]

A year later, Zodd encounters the Falcons for the last time as they are attacked by his fellow apostle Wyald.[11] Zodd takes offense to Wyald acting against the God Hand's will, and kills him for using a crippled Griffith as a hostage. Zodd then relays to Griffith that his lost Crimson Beherit will return to him, but neglects to answer Guts' questions regarding his previous statement, explaining that all will be revealed imminently before flying away.[12]

E80-SK Engages Zodd-Manga

Zodd engaging the Skull Knight outside of the fifth Eclipse.

When Griffith invokes the fifth Eclipse, Zodd remains in the Physical World outside of the temporal junction point, having no interest in partaking in the slaughter of the Falcons alongside his fellow apostles. He awaits the arrival of the Skull Knight, who mistakenly concludes that Zodd was tasked with guarding the gate to the Eclipse.[13] Ultimately, Zodd is overpowered by the knight in battle and forced to let him pass. Not long after, he witnesses his rival emerge from the Eclipse with Guts and Casca. Shocked to see Guts still alive, Zodd accepts the Skull Knight's request to postpone their battle until a more convenient time, and allows him to escape with the surviving sacrifices and Rickert. While watching them leave, Zodd expresses his anticipation to see how a now branded Guts will survive in his darkened reality.[14]

Conviction Arc Edit

E128-FoL and Zodd-Manga

Zodd's vision of the Falcon of Light.

Two years after the fifth Eclipse, having slaughtered three hundred mercenaries, Zodd becomes bored of constantly fighting weaker opponents. While sitting atop a mound of slain mercenaries, he assesses potential worthy opponents, dissatisfied with the opposition provided by his fellow apostles and only appeased by the thought of combating the Skull Knight. He then considers hunting down Guts after acknowledging how many apostles the swordsman has killed in his quest for revenge. Suddenly, Zodd experiences a vision of the Falcon of Light, wherein he assumes his true form and attacks, resulting in his immediate defeat to the apparition. As Zodd regains consciousness, he finds his left horn severed before him and a gash present on his forehead. He stares up at the crow-filled sky before hearing a disembodied voice beckoning him to travel to Albion where "the desired" will come.[2]

E175-Zodd Kneeling-Manga

Zodd kneeling before his desired one.

During the city's destruction caused by the Incarnation Ceremony, Zodd arrives at the outskirts where he comes face to face with the Skull Knight.[15] The two travel together to Albion after daybreak to find the result of the ritual: a reconstituted Griffith.[16] Zodd then bows to his new master, killing the Kushan soldiers advancing towards him before flying off with Griffith in tow.[17][18]

Millennium Empire Arc Edit

E180-HoS Battle Climax-Manga

An excited Zodd battling Guts on the Hill of Swords.

After taking Griffith to the Hill of Swords, where Guts arrives and attacks the White Falcon, Zodd intervenes begins doing battle with the Black Swordsman.[19] Expressing his excitement to fight Guts again and intent to protect Griffith, Zodd then proceeds to do battle with the swordsman.[20] He commends Guts for having honed his abilities since their last fight, and assumes his true form, escalating the battle and resulting in the destruction of the cave near Godot's home. At that point, Griffith orders Zodd to cease fighting and carry him off to begin pursuing his dream.[21]

Zodd later appears in armor when Griffith commences his initial attack on the Kushan invasion force that took over Midland, massacring numerous Kushan soldiers alongside several powerful apostles that have arrived to serve Griffith as his reborn Band of the Falcon.[22][23] Later, Griffith sends Zodd, Grunbeld and other war demons to kill the witch Flora,[24] considering her an obstacle to his goal. While Grunbeld duels a weakened Guts, Zodd once again combats the Skull Knight. When Guts is reinvigorated upon donning the Berserker Armor, Zodd reminisces about previous duels with the Skull Knight, and questions if the knight intends for Guts to walk the same path as him.[25] From then on, Zodd and the Skull Knight cease their battle to observe the inhuman tenacity of a Berserker Guts.

E277-Human Bullet-Manga

Guts and Zodd form an uneasy and temporary alliance to deal with Ganishka.

Zodd again crosses paths with Guts in Vritannis, when he leads apostles against Ganishka and the Kushan emperor's pishacha army. Though he and Guts join forces to defeat Ganishka's mist form[6] – neither capable of defeating their mutual enemy alone – Zodd tells the swordsman that they will have to settle their duel another time. However, when Guts learns that Griffith is outside the city to face Ganishka and his army, Zodd threatens to mince the swordsman if he considers going after the White Falcon. Guts accepts the apostle's terms after Serpico reminds him of his priorities, and Zodd then leaves to lead the apostles out of the city to rejoin Griffith.[26]

Days later, during the Band of the Falcon's final battle with an ascended Ganishka, Zodd flies Griffith up to the towering apostle's head and is present at the ground zero of the Blast of the Astral World.[27]

Abilities Edit

Even among apostles, Zodd's fighting ability is legendary. He is regarded as the most powerful of physically-based apostles.

Master Swordsman/Tactician: Due to his incredible age, even among apostles, Zodd has learned a large variety of fighting styles and tactics throughout his centuries of battle. He is able to fight masterfully with nearly any weapon he finds on the battlefield, but his preferred weaponry are duel-wielding swords and battleaxes. When facing in battle with Guts at the Hill of Swords, he is able to inspect within seconds that his sword is damaged by the Dragon Slayer's massive swings and quickly discards it, adopting a new battle style from new weapons on the spot.

Supernatural Strength: Zodd is able to defeat the average apostle with ease, and is the only apostle capable of fighting on equal footing against the Skull Knight. In his apostle form, he can parry large weapons with his horns and claws, absorb arrow volleys with his thick fur and skin, and break through solid concrete and rock with sheer force. His strength is such that he can send a fully-armored Guts with his Dragon Slayer (a combined approximate 363kg) flying across the battlefield with the swipe of his paw.

Supernatural Durability: His durability is exceptional; he is able to endure several lighting strikes from Ganishka, an attack which kills several of his fellow apostles. In addition, Zodd shows incredible pain tolerance; reacting to his arm being cut off with mere amusement.

Regeneration: A possible cause for his "immortality" on the battlefield, if damaged or grievously injured, Zodd can regenerate and heal his wounds well-nigh instantly. When his arm is severed by Guts during their first encounter, Zodd merely picks it up and reattaches it to the bloody stump before the wound is fused and healed within moments. However, this only applies if Zodd can physically attach the severed limb or piece of himself to the stump; as he couldn't regenerate his horn once it was cut off.

Supersonic Flight: In his aerial form, he can generate membrane wings which allow him to fly at supersonic speeds and to rip apart flesh.

Notes Edit

  • Many mercenaries regard Zodd as a "god of the battlefield".[5][2]
  • Guts and Griffith are the only men in 300 years who have wounded Zodd.[7]
  • "Nosferatu" is a direct reference to the 1922 German film Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror). In the film, "Nosferatu" is a Romanian term synonymous with "vampire", though this is not the case in real life.

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Kentarou Miura (author). "Nosferatu Zodd (3)". Berserk. Volume 5. Episode 4. Hakusensha.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Kentarou Miura (author). "Revelations (3)". Berserk. Volume 17. Episode 128. Hakusensha.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Shikaisha., Nakajima, R., Shimizu, Y., Mochizuki, M., Okada, M., Suzuki, M. (2016). "Berserk Official Guidebook". Hakusensha.
  4. Kentarou Miura (author). "Unchanged". Berserk. Volume 22. Episode 180. Hakusensha.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Kentarou Miura (author). "Nosferatu Zodd (1)". Berserk. Volume 5. Episode 2. Hakusensha.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Kentarou Miura (author). "Human Bullet". Berserk. Volume 32. Episode 277. Hakusensha.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Kentarou Miura (author). "Nosferatu Zodd (4)". Berserk. Volume 5. Episode 5. Hakusensha.
  8. Kentarou Miura (author). "Nosferatu Zodd (2)". Berserk. Volume 5. Episode 3. Hakusensha.
  9. Kentarou Miura (author). "The Battle For Doldrey (5)". Berserk. Volume 8. Episode 27. Hakusensha.
  10. Kentarou Miura (author). "The Battle For Doldrey (6)". Berserk. Volume 8. Episode 28. Hakusensha.
  11. Kentarou Miura (author). "The Flying One". Berserk. Volume 11. Episode 68. Hakusensha.
  12. Kentarou Miura (author). "The Immortal Once Again". Berserk. Volume 11. Episode 69. Hakusensha.
  13. Kentarou Miura (author). "Storm of Death (1)". Berserk. Volume 13. Episode 80. Hakusensha.
  14. Kentarou Miura (author). "Escape". Berserk. Volume 13. Episode 88. Hakusensha.
  15. Kentarou Miura (author). "Shadows of Idea (3)". Berserk. Volume 20. Episode 165. Hakusensha.
  16. Kentarou Miura (author). "Daybreak". Berserk. Volume 21. Episode 174. Hakusensha.
  17. Kentarou Miura (author). "The Arrival". Berserk. Volume 21. Episode 175. Hakusensha.
  18. Kentarou Miura (author). "Determination and Departure". Berserk. Volume 21. Episode 176. Hakusensha.
  19. Kentarou Miura (author). "Reunion on the Hill of Swords". Berserk. Volume 22. Episode 178. Hakusensha.
  20. Kentarou Miura (author). "The Beast Swordsman VS The Black Swordsman". Berserk. Volume 22. Episode 179. Hakusensha.
  21. Kentarou Miura (author). "Prologue to the War". Berserk. Volume 22. Episode 181. Hakusensha.
  22. Kentarou Miura (author). "War Cry of the Wind (1)". Berserk. Volume 22. Episode 183. Hakusensha.
  23. Kentarou Miura (author). "War Cry of the Wind (2)". Berserk. Volume 22. Episode 184. Hakusensha.
  24. Kentarou Miura (author). "The Blaze (1)". Berserk. Volume 26. Episode 223. Hakusensha.
  25. Kentarou Miura (author). "The Berserker Armor (2)". Berserk. Volume 26. Episode 226. Hakusensha.
  26. Kentarou Miura (author). "Setting Sail". Berserk. Volume 32. Episode 278. Hakusensha.
  27. Kentarou Miura (author). "Fissure". Berserk. Volume 34. Episode 304. Hakusensha.

Appendices Edit