Episode 358

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
Sounds like Femto is crafting his own Tower of Babel.
First off, I strongly disagree with Wenliinvictus' take that Griffith's intentions are benevolent and that the big deal will just be whether people would care if they learned that he sacrificed his troops.

Second, I don't think it's pertinent to compare Falconia to the myth of the Tower of Babel. Language doesn't come into play here and there's no adversarial relationship to God. If anything Griffith is an envoy of God. Also they're not building a tower or even the city itself but expanding on the land around them.
 
First off, I strongly disagree with Wenliinvictus' take that Griffith's intentions are benevolent and that the big deal will just be whether people care when they learned he sacrificed his troops.

Second, I don't think it's pertinent to compare Falconia to the myth of the Tower of Babel. Language doesn't come into play here and there's no adversarial relationship to God. If anything Griffith is an envoy of God...
I know that language wasn't specifically brought up yet but Griffith has signaled his desire to unite various ethnic/racial groups together under the banner of his empire and historically speaking, language has been one of the strongest cultural markers of a nation's identity. Along with a state religion - one already long prepared, whose savior's boots Griffith has comfortably slid into - language has been effectively used to unite disparate groups within multinational empires and forge a common identity. A perfect example is America's global empire; just look at how many different peoples speak English - not just merchants or aristocrats - I mean , a common Frenchman like yourself casually converses in the language of a nation who was at war with yours for several centuries and I successfully work together with people from diverse places as Vietnam and Mexico.

To elucidate further on the biblical reference, the construction of Babel is seen as a sign of Man's growing wickedness and belief that God can be challenged. While Griffith may be an envoy of Berserk's God, that God in question is also the Idea of Evil; we don't have enough info to determine it's exact plans but I don't think it odd to believe that such an entity might wish to fan the flames of mankind's sinful behaviors. I'm not too familiar with Jewish scripture but I've heard mention the Babel story as well as others in the Torah are used as warnings against the dangers of absolute monarchy; if united together, it'd be easy for humans to fall under the sway of one ruler, and that man being fallen will naturally abuse such magnificent powers: which I imagine holds doubly true in the case of a Demon King.

My apologies for not explaining my thoughts out properly the first time; I hope I was able to contribute something to the conversation.:shrug:
 

Wenliinvictus

Without a fairy, you're not even a real man.
First off, I strongly disagree with Wenliinvictus' take that Griffith's intentions are benevolent and that the big deal will just be whether people would care if they learned that he sacrificed his troops.
I specifically meant current events, such as Griffith sending the spirits of his fallen soldiers to "where they will become one", or him actually causing the blast of the astral world. He may be able to win his people over despite that, he nearly lost face when the war demons all revealed their true forms, but thanks to Sonia, the people of Falconia now accept hideous monsters as their comrades.

I don't expect Midlanders to care about the Eclipse, or even the Tower of Conviction ceremony considering there are barely any survivors connected to those events.
I know that language wasn't specifically brought up yet but Griffith has signaled his desire to unite various ethnic/racial groups together under the banner of his empire and historically speaking, language has been one of the strongest cultural markers of a nation's identity. Along with a state religion - one already long prepared, whose savior's boots Griffith has comfortably slid into - language has been effectively used to unite disparate groups within multinational empires and forge a common identity.
It raises some interesting questions, cultural assimilation was a problem for many empires and imperialist powers of today, How far can Griffith go with his empire building? is it just the continent he wants to rule, or will his empire extend to the whole of Eurasia, perhaps even the New World? Will Zodd and friends have to fight off Wendigos and Rainbow serpents?
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
To elucidate further on the biblical reference, the construction of Babel is seen as a sign of Man's growing wickedness and belief that God can be challenged. While Griffith may be an envoy of Berserk's God, that God in question is also the Idea of Evil; we don't have enough info to determine it's exact plans but I don't think it odd to believe that such an entity might wish to fan the flames of mankind's sinful behaviors. I'm not too familiar with Jewish scripture but I've heard mention the Babel story as well as others in the Torah are used as warnings against the dangers of absolute monarchy; if united together, it'd be easy for humans to fall under the sway of one ruler, and that man being fallen will naturally abuse such magnificent powers: which I imagine holds doubly true in the case of a Demon King.
The parable of Babel is about a unified humanity threatening God's dominion. Aspects of that might bear a similarity in Falconia, but the notion falls apart because we know all about Griffith's true master. So language isn't a factor here, nor is the tower aspect in challenging of God's dominion — unless you believe Falconia could end up as a challenge to the Idea of Evil. If so, then at what point would that switch have occurred? Because everything that Griffith has been doing so far is an extension of the plan the God Hand set in motion centuries ago.

He may be able to win his people over despite that, he nearly lost face when the war demons all revealed their true forms, but thanks to Sonia, the people of Falconia now accept hideous monsters as their comrades. I don't expect Midlanders to care about the Eclipse, or even the Tower of Conviction ceremony considering there are barely any survivors connected to those events.
You just sort of solved the puzzle you presented. Sonia could mentally broadcast the events of the Eclipse just as she broadcast the defense of Griffith and the apostles. It's more of a question of if Miura wants to go that route, not if he could.

It raises some interesting questions, cultural assimilation was a problem for many empires and imperialist powers of today, How far can Griffith go with his empire building? is it just the continent he wants to rule, or will his empire extend to the whole of Eurasia, perhaps even the New World? Will Zodd and friends have to fight off Wendigos and Rainbow serpents?
Our world's empires were limited by human deficiencies. But this is a fantasy empire ruled over by a demon king with supernatural powers. As for continental expansion, the only reason I think they won't go that route is because the distance of the continents opens a whole new can of worms. It would break the "unifying" aspect of Falconia if they go off-continent.
 
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Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
I specifically meant current events, such as Griffith sending the spirits of his fallen soldiers to "where they will become one", or him actually causing the blast of the astral world.
Ok, that makes more sense. However I can guarantee you that there's more to it than that. The God Hand's endgoal isn't the establishment of a utopian society.

How far can Griffith go with his empire building? is it just the continent he wants to rule, or will his empire extend to the whole of Eurasia, perhaps even the New World?
Griffith would likely conquer the entire world, but I believe his plans will be foiled before that happens.

To elucidate further on the biblical reference, the construction of Babel is seen as a sign of Man's growing wickedness and belief that God can be challenged. While Griffith may be an envoy of Berserk's God, that God in question is also the Idea of Evil; we don't have enough info to determine it's exact plans but I don't think it odd to believe that such an entity might wish to fan the flames of mankind's sinful behaviors. I'm not too familiar with Jewish scripture but I've heard mention the Babel story as well as others in the Torah are used as warnings against the dangers of absolute monarchy; if united together, it'd be easy for humans to fall under the sway of one ruler, and that man being fallen will naturally abuse such magnificent powers: which I imagine holds doubly true in the case of a Demon King.
I think you're over-interpreting the story quite a bit. It's about mankind working together to reach the heavens and God intervening to prevent it. However in the case of Falconia, God's agents are working on uniting mankind to accomplish some dark goal that follows God's plans. So I just don't think it's a good comparison.

Take a day off, for once in your life.
Hey "doc", remember how your previous post, from a year and a half ago, was a just picture calling me "wrong" about something, but then I ended up being right about it? Yeah that was fun. :ganishka: Oh and I see that the one from a year before was passive-aggressive grumbling about them mean admins.

So yeah I hope you take days off from raging over my posts, being this salty all the time will ruin your health. :casca:
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
As we consider how the empire will spread and change the world to be one that supports exclusively humans, I was reminded of Schierke's reaction to being immersed in a human city like Vritannis. It was so foreign and vulgar to her, with fauna and trees displaced to make a place occupied exclusively for humans — not to mention, a place filled with humans focused on war.

When the group returns and finds how things have changed on the continent, they'll all be in a similar situation to the small little encounters Schierke had. She took a stand against something that was unnatural and offensive to her (slave trading, bodies not being properly taken care of) that was the norm under the garrison state of the Holy See's occupation. And when she sees the changes wrought by Falconia, it'll be the same for her and the group — only writ large. Whatever norms will exist about the extermination of astral creatures, they'll be firmly established by the time they arrive.
 
Do you guys think we will see other cultures/kingdoms in future episodes? Seems like Griffith is hell-bent (pun intended) on conquering the whole world.

Also, I hope we are not reaching the end here, I know about the upcoming duel between Griffith and Guts, but I would love to see plenty of new stuff before it ends, like new characters/creatures/locations. The story is progressing nicely, though.
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
When the group returns and finds how things have changed on the continent, they'll all be in a similar situation to the small little encounters Schierke had. She took a stand against something that was unnatural and offensive to her (slave trading, bodies not being properly taken care of) that was the norm under the garrison state of the Holy See's occupation. And when she sees the changes wrought by Falconia, it'll be the same for her and the group — only writ large. Whatever norms will exist about the extermination of astral creatures, they'll be firmly established by the time they arrive.
Yeah this is one of the cool things about the group being isolated from the rest of the world by their journey to Falconia: it has preserved them from seeing the changes the world they knew has undergone. That will allow them to discover it anew when they return, first when they see the Astral Wilderness (a continuation of what happened on the solitary island), then when they'll encounter the edge of the empire and see what's being done to the world.

They'll be like relics from a bygone era, unaccustomed to – and viscerally alienated by – the new normal. Both figurative and literal time travellers. Great stuff awaits.:ubik:

Do you guys think we will see other cultures/kingdoms in future episodes? Seems like Griffith is hell-bent (pun intended) on conquering the whole world.
We'll get to see the Bakiraka's stronghold, but other than that I'm not holding my breath. Maybe we'll get a few panels, or will see the group traveling through ruined places, but I think that's about it.

Also, I hope we are not reaching the end here, I know about the upcoming duel between Griffith and Guts, but I would love to see plenty of new stuff before it ends, like new characters/creatures/locations.
Don't worry, the story is not ending any time soon. We are getting closer to the end with each passing episode of course, but it's not going to happen within three volumes or anything.
 
Don't worry, the story is not ending any time soon. We are getting closer to the end with each passing episode of course, but it's not going to happen within three volumes or anything.
That´s a relief, I wonder what Miura has in store for us...

I´ll check the podcast, seems interesting, thanks for the link.
 

Wenliinvictus

Without a fairy, you're not even a real man.
You just sort of solved the puzzle you presented. Sonia could mentally broadcast the events of the Eclipse just as she broadcast the defense of Griffith and the apostles. It's more of a question of if Miura wants to go that route, not if he could.
It's still an event detached from the average Midlander, it's a horrific event for us because we experience it from the Falcons point of view, but from the perspective of the world of Berserk the former Band of the Falcon aren't that important.

Associating grotesque images of the Eclipse and the Tower of Conviction with Griffith would be pretty difficult, not only because of Griffith's popular kid status, but because the significance of the events aren't really something a laymen would understand. In the unlikely event that Sonia would broadcast the event in shocking details from either Guts or Casca's memories, Griffith could conjure up many explanations for it that don't end in "Yes that's me in the purple exoskeleton".
 
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Walter

Administrator
Staff member
It's still an event detached from the average Midlander, it's a horrific event for us because we experience it from the Falcons point of view, but from the perspective of the world of Berserk the former band of the Falcon aren't that important.
That seems to presume Miura couldn't portray it in a dramatic way that would have an impact on people. Apostles chewing on soldiers hungrily might not be a great look. What if that mental burst happens just as Femto's true form is forced to appear? Case closed. Like I said before, it's more of a question of if Miura wants to go that route, not if he could. The means are almost arbitrary. One could dream up a dozen different ways to convey Griffith's evil origins to the people in a way that would be significant. But in question is whether they're all destined to remain blind sheep, or maybe just a select few will learn the truth (Mule, Raban, Sonia, etc. Seem poised.)

Griffith could conjure up many explanations for it that don't end in "Yes that's me in the purple exoskeleton".
Are you proposing the scenario would play out like that? The exposing moment happens, and Griffith attempts to say "not me!" ? Because that sounds pretty unlikely.
 
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Wenliinvictus

Without a fairy, you're not even a real man.
That seems to presume Miura couldn't portray it in a dramatic way that would have an impact on people. Apostles chewing on soldiers hungrily might not be a great look.
People already know they're man eaters, seeing apostles out of context eating randos in armour isn't anything new.

What if that mental burst happens just as Femto's true form is forced to appear? Case closed. Like I said before, it's more of a question of if Miura wants to go that route, not if he could.
Well he could theoretically write anything, I just don't think he should go down the route of using the Eclipse as a smoking gun to prove to the world how evil Griffith is.

The means are almost arbitrary. One could dream up a dozen different ways to convey Griffith's evil origins to the people in a way that would be significant. But in question is whether they're all destined to remain blind sheep, or maybe just a select few will learn the truth (Mule, Raban, Sonia, etc. Seem poised.)
Definitely, Laban is taken back when Silat implies the Falcons are gullible for pledging themselves to something beyond their understanding, and I don't beleive that Mule and Sonia will be in direct opposition with Guts' party, given the strong bonds they've formed with Isidro and Shierke.

Are you proposing the scenario would play out like that? The exposing moment happens, and Griffith attempts to say "not me!" ? Because that sounds pretty unlikely.
Yeah you're right that would be dumb, it's out of character for Griffith to outright lie to people.
 
Wasn't the continent already dominated by humans? So humans re-taking the continent is a return to the natural order of things. These aren't happy fairy rainbow unicorns Griffith is fighting, they're evil nightmare hellspawn literally out of a Bosch painting. I don't see Griffith's conquest plans as being a greater evil. Of course Griffith was the one who caused the Astral World to manifest by tricking the Skull Knight but I don't think the humans will find that out. I think the greatest evil he's schemed this time is public schools, we all know how that will turn out.

Isn't the ideal form of government suppose to be a benevolent tyrant? At least to Greeks and medieval type peoples. Griffith is giving them what they want. Socialism. And building a nation, on a national level. I don't see how the Griffith Youth could go wrong. The reason Griffith's bound to fall was his arrogance in not recognizing the sacrifice of the Band of the Hawk. That's what makes him a Bad Guy and I'd guess he may find the opportunity to sell his current sycophants for a larger victory in the future.
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
Wasn't the continent already dominated by humans? So humans re-taking the continent is a return to the natural order of things.
You're missing the point of the astral world and the corporeal world having merged as one. Exterminating astral creatures isn't "the natural order of things", and given that Femto deliberately provoked the merger, this is all being done for a specific reason, to achieve a particular goal.

These aren't happy fairy rainbow unicorns Griffith is fighting, they're evil nightmare hellspawn literally out of a Bosch painting.
:ganishka: What are you talking about? He's fighting trolls, giants, goblins and the like. Not "hellspawn". The closest thing to "hellspawn" in Berserk would be the God Hand and the apostles.
And we literally first saw unicorns appear when the worlds merged. Do you think these are being kindly taken care of by Falconia's armies? What about elves? Do you think they're best friends with apostles?

I don't see Griffith's conquest plans as being a greater evil.
Then you should prepare yourself for a huge surprise the day you'll find out... Griffith is actually evil! :isidro:
Oh man, what an incredible twist that'll be! I can't wait to hear people say "who could have seen it coming?!" as I exhale the longest, weariest sigh.
 
Amazing episode, I really like the "political" logistic insight we get on the inner workings of Falconia, it might be short but we haven't seen a lot of that in a long time. For me moments like those add a lot to the realism/suspension of disbelief.

It's possible that the Moonlight Boy will appear before Guts even get a chance to reunite with Casca. There could be some circumstances where the Moonlight Boy turns back into Griffith. If the duel between Guts and Griffith will happen soon it could be that we get the "Battle by the Great Cherry Tree" but I dont see how Guts has a chance unless the mages intervene but even then I would expect Elfhelm to not come out unscathed. Probably wont happen like that at all though :troll:.
 
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Wenliinvictus

Without a fairy, you're not even a real man.
Wasn't the continent already dominated by humans? So humans re-taking the continent is a return to the natural order of things. These aren't happy fairy rainbow unicorns Griffith is fighting, they're evil nightmare hellspawn literally out of a Bosch painting.
There's no guarantee that exterminating astral creatures whether they're malevolent or not will have lasting effects on the world, undermining the astral world is what probably caused an over abundance of Barytes in the first place, humans can't see elves, there are few places that can ward off evil spirits, the ones that do are ancient abandoned relics. Who knows what will happen if Griffith nukes their imaginations, bear in mind the God Hand's next objective is likely corporeal bodies for the remaining four members, and they can only manifest in dominions of pure malevolence, the pure opposite of environments like Elfhelm.

Not only that, mankind, at least the western world of Berserk is completely ignorant in the ways of magic, which would normally make easy work against pure astral creatures and evil spirits, forcing them to rely on the power of war demons whether they want to or not.
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
There's no guarantee that exterminating astral creatures whether they're malevolent or not will have lasting effects on the world
This episode makes it really quite clear Griffith plans on radically transforming the world. Through the extermination of astral creatures, but also by reshaping the land and reforming human society.

undermining the astral world is what probably caused an over abundance of Barytes in the first place
Where does it say there is an overabundance of Barytes in the world?

humans can't see elves
Some humans can't because of indoctrination (and because elves have become rare), it's not a general rule.

there are few places that can ward off evil spirits, the ones that do are ancient abandoned relics.
That's because the ancient rituals and practices were forgotten over the ages, in large part because they weren't needed anymore.

Who knows what will happen if Griffith nukes their imaginations
Not sure what that has to do with anything.

bear in mind the God Hand's next objective is likely corporeal bodies for the remaining four members, and they can only manifest in dominions of pure malevolence, the pure opposite of environments like Elfhelm.
I'm not sure the plan is for all of them to receive corporeal bodies. Also not sure how that would work. Femto's incarnation was described as a "once in a thousand years" event. Even though the rules of the world have changed, I don't imagine it'd be easy for four more of them to reproduce that. I think it's more likely that their reach into the world has now been increased without the need for an incarnation (as foreshadowed in episode 306).

Not only that, mankind, at least the western world of Berserk is completely ignorant in the ways of magic, which would normally make easy work against pure astral creatures and evil spirits, forcing them to rely on the power of war demons whether they want to or not.
This is true. In old times, humans presumably knew the ways of the world and had the means to ward off astral pests like trolls. They could survive in that chaotic world, even though it was probably not easy. But the current situation has mankind as a whole relying on Griffith and the apostles, and that's by design. It's exactly what the God Hand intended.
 
What are you talking about? He's fighting trolls, giants, goblins and the like. Not "hellspawn".
We saw the armies of hell led by the other God Hand members marching against humanity in Episode 307. Aren't the evil creatures literally the manifestation of mankind's wicked thoughts? I thought the trolls, giants, rat plagues, etc. are allied with the God Hand? Ubik was having a dinner party in that guy's ass! This is why humanity had to abandon the world, farms and homes. Move into Griffith's little piece of heaven. Organizing themselves and fighting back isn't evil. Hell Guts would probably help them.

Except as you point out Griffith is a member of the God Hand himself. But if Guts killed Griffith now I doubt humanity would cease it's war against the evil creatures. At this point we don't know if Griffith (the author) even has a plan and it's amusing how everyone is seeing a little Touch of Evil in everything he does. Because he's The Bad Guy. No shades of grey in Berserk..

Exterminating astral creatures isn't "the natural order of things", and given that Femto deliberately provoked the merger, this is all being done for a specific reason, to achieve a particular goal.
You're saying that allowing the other God Hand to lay waste to everything, leading armies of evil beings to fillet humans alive is good. Of course Femto provoked the merger, we know what his goal was. To gain a corporeal body and become the messiah fulfilling something something.

And we literally first saw unicorns appear when the worlds merged. Do you think these are being kindly taken care of by Falconia's armies? What about elves? Do you think they're best friends with apostles?
We don't know. All the creatures we've seen so far are evil. Is it pro-Griffith propaganda? I doubt the elves and unicorns have organized armies and are carrying around banners made of people. I think Puck may be the only elf who left the island. It'd be nice if Griffith made them put on some pants. And I'd think man's dominion over all things would apply to unicorns, in the Biblical sense. Griffith would looks quite smashing and gay getting pulled around by unicorns. (I don't mean gay the bad way internet douches mean when they talk about Griffith. I mean it the good way it's meant to be defined, festive and fancy free. You know, his body is his, you go girl! Whoo!)

There's obviously a point here about messiahs and followers but we're still reading Dune, we haven't reached Dune Messiah yet. It'll be up to the author to decide if the betrayal turns out to be an oppressive form of government (I'd consider this weak-they asked for it, and when you're crawling in shit you follow the shiny guy) or a betrayal to achieve greater glory. (Conquering the world? Overthrowing the other God Hand? There's better answers and less likely answers) It seems with the implementation of socialism we're on our way to a conclusion, the first time I've seen the possibility of this finishing in my lifetime.
 
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Does anyone (mainly Aazealh since he has a pretty good track record of foresight) think that looking at Griffith's dialogue in a meta way sort of makes it seem that this is the foreshadowing of what we'll see in the inevitable timeskip? I'm looking at it in a western storytelling way since that's all I know so I could be wrong but, it just seems like all this future planning that would take years to happen is being told for the sake of letting us know exactly what has went on when we get back to falconia in guts and co's perspective. I'm having a rough time trying to think of how to explain this so excuse me if it doesn't make sense but, This info dump of the plans we get that would take multiple years to come to fruition seems like something we're getting told about as if we're gonna see them sooner than later
 
One other note as far as hellspawn, not relevant but interesting. The Jotunn will be fighting the Gods when Ragnarok happens. Sutr, a Jotunn, will fight Freya wielding a flaming sword, afterwards flames will engulf the earth. Sutr guards guards the realm of fire, Muspellheim. The gates of Muspelheim will break and the sons of Muspell will burst forth at the start of the apocalypse. Worth pointing out how much Christian hell symbolism comes from paganism.

Speaking of hell, I'm wondering if the souls of the dead that are communing with the living are going to join Wyald, the Count, and our other friends in the Abyss. I'm thinking if we're going to have a flashback to the Skullknight's and Void's story it's going to be in the near future. At this point I wouldn't be surprised if we skipped it.. Hopefully we'll get to know what really happened.

Does anyone (mainly Aazealh since he has a pretty good track record of foresight) think that looking at Griffith's dialogue in a meta way sort of makes it seem that this is the foreshadowing of what we'll see in the inevitable timeskip? I'm looking at it in a western storytelling way since that's all I know so I could be wrong but, it just seems like all this future planning that would take years to happen is being told for the sake of letting us know exactly what has went on when we get back to falconia in guts and co's perspective. I'm having a rough time trying to think of how to explain this so excuse me if it doesn't make sense but, This info dump of the plans we get that would take multiple years to come to fruition seems like something we're getting told about as if we're gonna see them sooner than later
You've got my vote.
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
We saw the armies of hell led by the other God Hand members marching against humanity in Episode 307. Aren't the evil creatures literally the manifestation of mankind's wicked thoughts? I thought the trolls, giants, rat plagues, etc. are allied with the God Hand? Ubik was having a dinner party in that guy's ass!
Oh wow, no, not at all. You've completely misinterpreted that scene. When the worlds merge, we see the four other members of the God Hand at the end, but they're not "leading" random astral creatures against humanity. They're just each shown amongst their favored domain: a tunnel of carnal pleasure for Slan, a sea of plague-ridden rats for Conrad, a chaotic, mad world for Ubik (which is an homage to a part of the Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch), and a giant brain for Void.

The God Hand is not at all "allied" with trolls, giants and the like. I mean, just as a reminder, all five members of the God Hand, including Femto, work towards a common goal. They're independant from each other, but they're still a team. So while we haven't seen them take action yet, you can be 100% sure they're not going to be waging war on Femto — or on humanity, which is what they have dominion over.

Organizing themselves and fighting back isn't evil. Hell Guts would probably help them.
:ganishka: You think Guts would help Falconia? Absolutely not. And what's evil is the fact Griffith deliberately provoked this situation so that he would instantly gain rulership over the entirety of mankind while simultaneously creating a situation where it's humanity vs the rest of the world. The God Hand (and the apostles) are all about humans. So what this is achieving is that it effectively removes any potential hindrance from their schemes. It goes hand in hand with the disappearance of magic users, who are a threat to the God Hand's plans.

At this point we don't know if Griffith (the author) even has a plan and it's amusing how everyone is seeing a little Touch of Evil in everything he does. Because he's The Bad Guy. No shades of grey in Berserk.
You'd have to be pretty obtuse to think Griffith doesn't have a plan. And what he's setting in motion is definitely sinister. If you can't see it (even just in this episode), it just means you're not looking hard enough. And I mean, I'm all for shades of grey, but yeah, at the end of the day, Griffith is the bad guy. That's not going to change.

You're saying that allowing the other God Hand to lay waste to everything, leading armies of evil beings
Like I said, this is not at all what is going on.

Of course Femto provoked the merger, we know what his goal was. To gain a corporeal body and become the messiah fulfilling something something.
Doesn't look like you know what his goal was at all, actually. He already had a corporeal body when he provoked the merger. Also, it's not like he did it just by himself. He literally couldn't have. How did Ganishka come to be? How did everything fit into place perfectly? Griffith is a key part of what's going on, but he's not the mastermind behind things.

We don't know. All the creatures we've seen so far are evil. Is it pro-Griffith propaganda? I doubt the elves and unicorns have organized armies and are carrying around banners made of people. I think Puck may be the only elf who left the island.
When Fantasia is (re)created, we see unicorns and elves. We also see other benign astral beings. More generally, how do we define evil for creatures like these? The giants were bellicose, yes. Were they like this originally or did they turn so? We don't know. What about trolls? They're more like pests than consciously evil. Same for hydras or cockatrices. I think there may come a time when another light will be shined on that situation, but it's too early to tell. What's sure is none of these actually attacked Falconia. The giants were lined up for battle, but it's Falconia's armies that were attacking their position. I'm not saying they were nice guys, but it's something to keep in mind.

And I'd think man's dominion over all things would apply to unicorns, in the Biblical sense.
I don't see what the Bible has to do with anything. The Holy See as presented in Berserk follows an imaginary religion, not the Christian faith.

Griffith would looks quite smashing and gay getting pulled around by unicorns. (I don't mean gay the bad way internet douches mean when they talk about Griffith. I mean it the good way it's meant to be defined, festive and fancy free. You know, his body is his, you go girl! Whoo!)
Yeah, sure. No homophobia allowed on this forum. First and last warning.

There's obviously a point here about messiahs and followers but we're still reading Dune, we haven't reached Dune Messiah yet. It'll be up to the author to decide if the betrayal turns out to be an oppressive form of government (I'd consider this weak-they asked for it, and when you're crawling in shit you follow the shiny guy) or a betrayal to achieve greater glory. (Conquering the world? Overthrowing the other God Hand? There's better answers and less likely answers) It seems with the implementation of socialism we're on our way to a conclusion, the first time I've seen the possibility of this finishing in my lifetime.
That comparison to Dune really misses the point, I have to say I'm impressed by how unfitting it is. Here are things I'm sure of: Griffith is absolutely setting up an oppressive regime. He absolutely has ulterior motives beyond that. The eradication of astral beings isn't merely for self-defense. He will not be fighting his kindred, but rather be working with them.

One other note as far as hellspawn, not relevant but interesting. The Jotunn will be fighting the Gods when Ragnarok happens. Sutr, a Jotunn, will fight Freya wielding a flaming sword, afterwards flames will engulf the earth. Sutr guards guards the realm of fire, Muspellheim. The gates of Muspelheim will break and the sons of Muspell will burst forth at the start of the apocalypse.
This is irrelevant to what's happening in Berserk. Miura used the name Jötunn because it's cool, but there's no relation to the associated mythology. It's his usual modus operandi for names (Qliphoth, Enoch, etc.).

Speaking of hell, I'm wondering if the souls of the dead that are communing with the living are going to join Wyald, the Count, and our other friends in the Abyss.
Griffith very clearly alludes to that fact when we first see him do it in volume 23. He says they're going to a place where "they will become one". This is a reference to the Vortex of Souls that they are presumably joining. It's pretty devious too, given the difference between what people see and what awaits the souls in the afterlife.

I'm thinking if we're going to have a flashback to the Skullknight's and Void's story it's going to be in the near future. At this point I wouldn't be surprised if we skipped it.
Don't worry, we won't skip it.

Does anyone (mainly Aazealh since he has a pretty good track record of foresight) think that looking at Griffith's dialogue in a meta way sort of makes it seem that this is the foreshadowing of what we'll see in the inevitable timeskip? I'm looking at it in a western storytelling way since that's all I know so I could be wrong but, it just seems like all this future planning that would take years to happen is being told for the sake of letting us know exactly what has went on when we get back to falconia in guts and co's perspective. I'm having a rough time trying to think of how to explain this so excuse me if it doesn't make sense but, This info dump of the plans we get that would take multiple years to come to fruition seems like something we're getting told about as if we're gonna see them sooner than later
Most of us have been expecting a time skip ever since we learned about the strange way time behaves on Skellig. What's sure is we're not going to see the implementation of Griffith's plans in great detail (building schools, outposts, etc.). We might get another look at it mid-process from the perspective of the little people (Luka's group or Jarif for example) but that's about it. Then we'll see the final result of it through the transformed land and society.
 
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