Episode 362

Been a while since posting. Great episode for sure.

Couple things. I thought it was an interesting call back to when Charlotte was talking about the 5 angels the destroyed the kingdom in a single night but someone else said "wasn't it only 4" This implies a ascension I think and this episode is likely us seeing all 5 at once.

Second, I don't think we see Skull Knight "die" here in the actual sense as much as his reason to live has been taken away so he's no longer the king but an avenging spirit who lusts for nothing but the destruction of the God Hand. He dies seeking revenge and that still doesn't stop him.

Now, thinking about it, Skull Knight has saved at least two women directly and I don't actually think Skull Knight wants to "use" Guts at all. He's warning him that this path isn't worth taking. And so far Guts has taken that advice so far to save Casca. Will he continue to do so? Probably not.

Lastly, I thought it was commonly assumed the God Hand regularly got new members to replace the old/reincarnated/dead ones? The Idea of Evil has to be extremely old, even as old as humanity itself?
 

Aazealh

Administrator
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I thought it was an interesting call back to when Charlotte was talking about the 5 angels the destroyed the kingdom in a single night but someone else said "wasn't it only 4" This implies a ascension I think and this episode is likely us seeing all 5 at once.

I don't think you should rely on those varying accounts of the Gaiseric legend as a means to interpret what's going on in this episode. If the scenes we see in this episode are from the same event, then it's the destruction of the capital city, which correspond to the "once-in-a-thousand-years" event the Skull Knight tells Guts about when he warns him that Femto is about to be incarnated on the earth. That event does not correspond to the rebirth of Void, according to our current understanding of what went down.

Second, I don't think we see Skull Knight "die" here in the actual sense as much as his reason to live has been taken away so he's no longer the king but an avenging spirit who lusts for nothing but the destruction of the God Hand.

Sorry but I think that's wrong. Everything says that's his actual death in the literal sense of the word. That's why he's now a spirit encased in a magical armor.

Now, thinking about it, Skull Knight has saved at least two women directly and I don't actually think Skull Knight wants to "use" Guts at all. He's warning him that this path isn't worth taking. And so far Guts has taken that advice so far to save Casca. Will he continue to do so? Probably not.

The Skull Knight has essentially been mentoring Guts. No doubt he sees an ally in him against the God Hand. So in that sense, I agree that thinking he "just wants to use" Guts like a pawn or something is stupid. However, seeing Gaiseric's lover dead in his hands, as he himself died, is probably going to make him more worried about Casca's safety, not less. That being said, they'll likely be left with no choice but to go after Griffith anyway.

Lastly, I thought it was commonly assumed the God Hand regularly got new members to replace the old/reincarnated/dead ones? The Idea of Evil has to be extremely old, even as old as humanity itself?

No, not really. I mean, why would members of the God Hand die? Who would kill them? We know nothing about this. We still don't really know much, even with this episode. The Idea of Evil is certainly old, but from what we're told, less old than humanity itself. And the God Hand must be even less so. There's no indication of when the God Hand started being created. All we know is that someone had to be first. Personally, I've always thought Void would be a cool candidate for that role, but maybe that wasn't the case.
 

Matteo Metallo

"Your mom goes to college"
My first attempt at a content post, so here goes... I believe I've read this discussion thoroughly but apologize in advance if I am reiterating theories that have already been ironed out.

I am leaning towards the thought that this ceremony is the birth of Void as the first God Hand member and the beginning of the ritual for all other members to come into the fold following the formula of a new member being added every 216 years. My mind is going to this because of the unique setting of the ceremony as compared to what we've seen with the Eclipse and Incarnation ceremonies.

My justification for thinking this is the nature of those who have been sacrificed and the fact that they are not necessarily feasted on, rather it's as if their life force and/or soul is being stripped from their bodies. The remains at the bottom of The Tower of Rebirth were essentially intact and Gaiseric's presumed lover dies in his arms with no visible mortal wounds. There appears to be some physical damage to her in the form of bruising or blood splatter on her face and neck, but it is no where near the carnage that usually comes as a result of being branded.

I am postulating that this particular ceremony perhaps opened up a path to the Vortex of Souls and the Idea of Evil for the first time, which in turn created the need (not sure if that's the best word) for the God Hand to execute the will of the Idea of Evil. I am toying around with this only because of what was already mentioned in terms of the lack of an altar shaped like a hand and the Vortex being a prominent image within this realm.

This of course leads to the real question of who are the other 4 individuals standing alongside Void? Outside of prior God Hand members or those loyal to the human who became Void are they perhaps malevolent deities or the antithesis of the Four Kings of the World?

My brain is getting a little scrambled now... :shrug:This was making more sense to me when I was thinking about it as opposed to writing it out.

Edit - Changed benevolent to malevolent (derp...)
 
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That being said, the Skull Knight does distinctly tell Guts in volume 18 that what's about to happen is a "once-in-a-thousand-years" event. So there is definitely a parallel between the two, and the burning brand on the land is meant to evoke that.

That's one of the big questions: if it was an incarnation, then who was incarnated and what purpose it did serve? And if it wasn't an incarnation, then what was it? That's where the thought that maybe all of them were reborn at once comes from, because it would feel like something of an appropriately massive scale.
I see, taking into account what the Skull Knight says certainly enforces that logic.

In that case, if we go with the idea that the current God Hand came to be in a sort of reformative process, and Void's goal is to reenact what was supposed to happen a thousand years ago under more limiting circumstances, but make it succeed this time, wouldn't that mean the incarnation was part of it back then too?

Here's a thought, what if an incarnation was desirable in order to have a replacement for Gaiseric, essentially to infiltrate a member of the proto-God Hand among men. Void would have been the perfect candidate, well-know and respected by the people, after being locked away and tortured by Gaiseric, the unjust ruler, he makes a divine comeback, assuming his rightful spot once again; not too unlike what went down with Griffith in fact. This farce might even explain how Charlotte's tale from volume 10 and Mozgus' anecdote from volume 18 about divine punishment got passed down.

There are holes in this train of thought, naturally. Why would Void sacrifice the very people he would want to infiltrate. Did he intend to sacrifice all of them, or only the ones who followed Gaiseric. Was the whole capital destroyed as a result of the sacrifice, or in the aftermath of the battle between the two forces.

Since Void is where he is, if something like that were to have happened it clearly failed, but how did it fail, was it interrupted in a similar manner the Skull Knight tried to interrupt Femto's incarnation, or did something else go wrong?

The beauty of fiction is that you can take any element from the real world (a name, a design...) and assign to it a new signification. [...] So we shouldn't limit the possibilities we envision for the story based on that sort of thing.
I feel the same way, believe me. I know there are people who can't enjoy works of fantasy without anchoring everything to the real world and being annoying about it, and I'm not trying to be one of them.

In a more practical sense though, Berserk is still a heavily visual work and not everything it depicts is bound to have a deeper significance, even under the premise of fictional interpretation. I think it's worthwhile to make that distinction when possible and not latch onto false trails. Ultimately, I don't want to limit the extent of anyone's imagination, just to provide some background since this stuff interests me personally, and I absolutely love the fact that Miura incorporates it into his work.

My justification for thinking this is the nature of those who have been sacrificed and the fact that they are not necessarily feasted on, rather it's as if their life force and/or soul is being stripped from their bodies. The remains at the bottom of The Tower of Rebirth were essentially intact and Gaiseric's presumed lover dies in his arms with no visible mortal wounds. There appears to be some physical damage to her in the form of bruising or blood splatter on her face and neck, but it is no where near the carnage that usually comes as a result of being branded.
This is an interesting idea. It crossed my mind as well that due to the original ceremony having a different nature, being "closer to the source" in a way, those who got branded experienced a different kind of death. After the introduction of apostles as we know them, the feasting might have evolved as a method of compensating for that.

This of course leads to the real question of who are the other 4 individuals standing alongside Void? Outside of prior God Hand members or those loyal to the human who became Void are they perhaps malevolent deities or the antithesis of the Four Kings of the World?
The light in which those four got introduced heavily suggests they were previous God Hand members, but in any case, I don't see how your other ideas are dependent on them being something else.
 
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Aazealh

Administrator
Staff member
I am leaning towards the thought that this ceremony is the birth of Void as the first God Hand member and the beginning of the ritual for all other members to come into the fold following the formula of a new member being added every 216 years. My mind is going to this because of the unique setting of the ceremony as compared to what we've seen with the Eclipse and Incarnation ceremonies.

But if he's the first member of the God Hand, what we see in the episode can't possibly be his rebirth ceremony since there's four other people with him. His rebirth as Void would have to have taken place earlier, and then he turned those four, or else he wasn't the first. This ties into what you say below.

This of course leads to the real question of who are the other 4 individuals standing alongside Void? Outside of prior God Hand members or those loyal to the human who became Void are they perhaps malevolent deities or the antithesis of the Four Kings of the World?

I really don't think they were something vastly different from the God Hand. Even if they weren't merely the previous crew, they must have been some sort of early iteration for that group. I'm deeply skeptical that they could have been some natural counterpoint to the four elemental kings.

My justification for thinking this is the nature of those who have been sacrificed and the fact that they are not necessarily feasted on, rather it's as if their life force and/or soul is being stripped from their bodies. The remains at the bottom of The Tower of Rebirth were essentially intact and Gaiseric's presumed lover dies in his arms with no visible mortal wounds. There appears to be some physical damage to her in the form of bruising or blood splatter on her face and neck, but it is no where near the carnage that usually comes as a result of being branded.

I think it's too early to be sure of what happened to the city. Besides, the way people die doesn't really matter. It's the Brand that's important. That's why the fact Guts & Casca survived makes no difference to Femto. They were sacrificed when they were marked with the Brand. But still, you're right that many questions remain. The dead bodies at the bottom of the Tower of Rebirth, the woman's death, the ceremony's outcome...

I am postulating that this particular ceremony perhaps opened up a path to the Vortex of Souls and the Idea of Evil for the first time, which in turn created the need (not sure if that's the best word) for the God Hand to execute the will of the Idea of Evil.

I'm honestly not sure it would even be possible, under any circumstance, to open a portal between the corporeal world and the world of ideas. Also, I can't believe a member of the God Hand (or equivalent) could exist without the Idea of Evil's cooperation. From what we know, hell, from their name itself, and they are its servants. They give the apostles their powers, but they receive their own power from the God of the Abyss.

Here's a thought, what if an incarnation was desirable in order to have a replacement for Gaiseric, essentially to infiltrate a member of the proto-God Hand among men.

Given that they destroyed the capital city during that event, I'm not sure that would make sense as the goal for it. Also, we see Gaiseric fighting the five of them, which goes against the idea that an incarnation was in process. Lastly, if Void was incarnated then, why is he non-incarnated now? Did his corporeal body die, but not his spiritual self? That'd be a bit cheap. Bonus: Femto's incarnation really had very specific circumstances, including a unique apostle. Could those exact same circumstances have happened before? I think it's unlikely, because it would cheapen what we saw in the Conviction arc.

In a more practical sense though, Berserk is still a heavily visual work and not everything it depicts is bound to have a deeper significance, even under the premise of fictional interpretation.

Sure, like I said, nothing's guaranteed on that front. We're just exploring various possibilities.
 
Given that they destroyed the capital city during that event, I'm not sure that would make sense as the goal for it.
Completely destroying the city might not have been the original goal, it could've just been the final outcome of whatever happened.

Also, we see Gaiseric fighting the five of them, which goes against the idea that an incarnation was in process.
Yes, but there is a gap between the first vision and the last. A possibility could be that after their ascension, which is what we see in the first vision, an incarnation was initiated to give Void back his human form and allow him to re-assume a position of direct power in the physical world. Why would that be necessary? Possibly for the same reasons it's necessary in the present, if you follow the logic that certain key steps are being retraced.

Lastly, if Void was incarnated then, why is he non-incarnated now? Did his corporeal body die, but not his spiritual self? That'd be a bit cheap.
I'm thinking the process might have begun and they managed to stop it before it could finalize. Void wasn't killed, but neither did he acquire his new body. The damage had already been done however. Of course none of this has precedence, we have no idea if something like this would even be possible; I'm just putting down thoughts.

Femto's incarnation really had very specific circumstances, including a unique apostle. Could those exact same circumstances have happened before? I think it's unlikely, because it would cheapen what we saw in the Conviction arc.
No, I don't think the circumstances were exactly the same. What I was basically saying in my previous post, in fact, is that this whole reenactment procedure would have to make use of the constraining circumstances following the previous failed attempt and separation of the worlds in order to set up very specific conditions and events that would slowly, over a thousand years rebuild all the pieces of the original chessboard and set them in the right place. Rebuild the God Hand; set the stage for one of the members to infiltrate the human population and enable, through the available means, a special scenario for an incarnation to happen; resurrect the capital city and expand it into an empire under the same unified doctrine. The circumstances and methods of getting there are very different, almost like very time-consuming, elaborate workarounds, but the fundamental objective remains.

The concept that a huge part of Berserk's world has been manipulated by the Idea of Evil and its actors across the ages to achieve some kind of end-goal is not new of course, but maybe what's happening right now has been long overdue.
 

Aazealh

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Completely destroying the city might not have been the original goal, it could've just been the final outcome of whatever happened.

I'd say the brand we see in the background while Gaiseric and the woman die indicates otherwise. By the way, speaking of her, I've been wondering whether she might have lost her right eye...

Yes, but there is a gap between the first vision and the last. A possibility could be that after their ascension, which is what we see in the first vision, an incarnation was initiated to give Void back his human form and allow him to re-assume a position of direct power in the physical world. Why would that be necessary? Possibly for the same reasons it's necessary in the present, if you follow the logic that certain key steps are being retraced.

How long of a gap are you suggesting occurred between those two scenes? We're told Guts experiences Gaiseric's death, which to me implies that not much time passes between them. To both see Void's rebirth and Void's incarnation would imply that a lot more time elapsed inbetween. In Femto's case it was over two years, and that was already pretty fast. For it to happen in the same day feels very unlikely to me. This discrepancy is the reason I'm not convinced we're seeing two different ceremonies. As for why an incarnation was necessary, so far in the present the big thing Griffith has achieved is merging the world, and now he's recreating an empire. If those things were already in place, and the capital city of the empire was destroyed during the big ceremony, then what was the goal?

What I was basically saying in my previous post, in fact, is that this whole reenactment procedure would have to make use of the constraining circumstances following the previous failed attempt and separation of the worlds in order to set up very specific conditions and events that would slowly, over a thousand years rebuild all the pieces of the original chessboard and set them in the right place. Rebuild the God Hand; set the stage for one of the members to infiltrate the human population and enable, through the available means, a special scenario for an incarnation to happen; resurrect the capital city and expand it into an empire under the same unified doctrine. The circumstances and methods of getting there are very different, almost like very time-consuming, elaborate workarounds, but the fundamental objective remains.

I believe I said that first. :iva: Although you're missing the merging of the worlds! That was a big deal that went way beyond just bringing the city back. If the goal was merely to form an empire they didn't need to go that far. Anyway, our disagreement here is that I'm not convinced they had to have an incarnated member as the head of the empire back then. Or at least I can't quite think of why it would be needed. Given that Gaiseric was their enemy/victim, I think they might have been going for a more "direct" approach, without having to do all the maneuvering they're currently doing. Because it failed, they're trying this new tactic where they control every variable.
 
He becomes Void, and Gaiseric and the woman (maybe among others) are sacrificed. They survive, but are shocked and in bad shape. What's more, they're constantly harassed by evil spirits and the like.

I'm sure there is a way to explain it, but if Gaiseric and the woman were sacrificed during an occultation ceremony how would he have escaped prior to donning the Berserk's armor? Maybe with help from some of his magic using ally's. I guess my thought is just that if people are able to escape and survive these occultation ceremonies not once, but twice (Guts and Casca) doesn't that kind of cheapen them?
 

Aazealh

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I guess my thought is just that if people are able to escape and survive these occultation ceremonies not once, but twice (Guts and Casca) doesn't that kind of cheapen them?

It kind of would, I agree! Although if Miura went that route, I'm sure he'd make it cool.
 
I'd say the brand we see in the background while Gaiseric and the woman die indicates otherwise.
Like I said, I'm questioning whether the whole city got decimated into the ground because of the sacrifice. Literally speaking, only the people of the city were sacrificed, and who knows if all of them or only some. I think it's possible a big part of the destruction was caused by some great battle, or whatever managed to stop the proto-God Hand at that time.

By the way, speaking of her, I've been wondering whether she might have lost her right eye...
Hm, is it the suspect trail of blood on her right cheek and neck? I didn't occur to me something like that might have happened. I think she would have lost a lot more blood, but who knows. Would that be some strange parallel to Guts?

How long of a gap are you suggesting occurred between those two scenes? We're told Guts experiences Gaiseric's death, which to me implies that not much time passes between them. To both see Void's rebirth and Void's incarnation would imply that a lot more time elapsed inbetween. In Femto's case it was over two years, and that was already pretty fast. For it to happen in the same day feels very unlikely to me.
We've never seen a rebirth and incarnation happen almost one after the other, so who knows if it's possible. Technically it should be, if it was a thousand years ago and the powers at play were much more potent back then, the whole thing could have been one big multi-stage event which was supposed to bring Void back in a miraculous way and paint Gaiseric as a sinful ruler who had to be punished along with all his adherents.

As for why an incarnation was necessary, so far in the present the big thing Griffith has achieved is merging the world, and now he's recreating an empire. If those things were already in place, and the capital city of the empire was destroyed during the big ceremony, then what was the goal?
Well that certainly wasn't the goal. Whatever the true end-goal is, the one that requires them to have the worlds merged and an empire to rule over couldn't be pushed forward back then. The city got destroyed (a possible unintended result) and Void got pushed back, which is why I'm saying he's been trying to recreate all of these conditions since then.

I believe I said that first. :iva: Although you're missing the merging of the worlds! That was a big deal that went way beyond just bringing the city back. If the goal was merely to form an empire they didn't need to go that far.
We were on the same page then, what I originally said is: "Void's goal is to reenact what was supposed to happen a thousand years ago under more limiting circumstances", and I further expanded on that here. You must have misunderstood me, because what you said is: "Could those exact same circumstances have happened before?". Unless you're talking about a different post.

In any case, you're right that I forgot to mention the merging of the worlds, although that only serves to further enforce the idea that certain key elements are being recreated as they were back then. Once again, I'm no implying their true goal stops at the empire stage, it's something beyond that but which requires all of these other conditions to be met first.

Anyway, our disagreement here is that I'm not convinced they had to have an incarnated member as the head of the empire back then. Or at least I can't quite think of why it would be needed. Given that Gaiseric was their enemy/victim, I think they might have been going for a more "direct" approach, without having to do all the maneuvering they're currently doing. Because it failed, they're trying this new tactic where they control every variable.
I understand, there's no clear answer for why that would be needed, and it's a reasonable doubt to have. The obvious justification for why an infiltration approach would work better than direct control is to trick people into submission. Technically speaking, after the merging happened there's nothing really stopping the God Hand from assuming direct control over Falconia, but they chose to do it in a way that would conform with people's superstitious nature and beliefs, by introducing a false messiah among them. This could be very similar to what Void had originally intended, but it could also be a completely different, more calculate approach than what they did last time; yet again, who knows.
 
It kind of would, I agree! Although if Miura went that route, I'm sure he'd make it cool.
He definitely would. I still think SK breaking into the Eclipse ceremony, striking at Void, blocking the counter strike, picking up Guts and Casca and getting the hell out of dodge before Femto can warp them into a tiny ball is one of the most badass moments in the entire story (and there are many of them).

Glad you asked! That's just its proper name. The kanji for "berserk" in Berserk is associated with the furigana "berserk". :iva: To phrase it another way, it's just like the title of the manga. "Berserk" in this case is meant as a noun, not a verb. Miura likely made that choice because he based himself on the original Nordic term and not the English one. But regardless, "berserk" can be used as a noun in English, "berserker" is merely a variant of it. Here's what the dictionary says about it, if you care.

As for Dark Horse, they probably just figured "berserker" would sound more natural to their American audience. Which is probably true, but given that the manga's title is literally Berserk, and that it's the same word, I find that a bit problematic. But there's a long list of problems with Dark Horse's translation anyway, that's just one among many others.
I forgot to thank you for this thorough explanation! from this day forward I shall call it Berserk's Armor!! :guts:
 

Aazealh

Administrator
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Like I said, I'm questioning whether the whole city got decimated into the ground because of the sacrifice. Literally speaking, only the people of the city were sacrificed, and who knows if all of them or only some. I think it's possible a big part of the destruction was caused by some great battle, or whatever managed to stop the proto-God Hand at that time.

Well the land itself is marked with the Brand of Sacrifice here. And the city disappeared, nothing in Wyndham was part of the former city as far as we know (some of it was deep underground, like the branded corpses in volume 10). That, plus what happened in Saint Albion, makes me think that the city was indeed destroyed (or mostly destroyed) as part of the sacrifice. There might have been a combined factor (e.g. I've speculated in the past that most of the ruins could have stayed on the astral side when the worlds were split), but I don't think the destruction was unrelated to the sacrifice.

Hm, is it the suspect trail of blood on her right cheek and neck? I didn't occur to me something like that might have happened. I think she would have lost a lot more blood, but who knows. Would that be some strange parallel to Guts?

Yeah, the fact her eye is obscured coupled to the traces of blood got me curious, and yeah it'd be a parallel to Guts. Hard to tell at this point; could also be nothing.

We've never seen a rebirth and incarnation happen almost one after the other, so who knows if it's possible. Technically it should be, if it was a thousand years ago and the powers at play were much more potent back then, the whole thing could have been one big multi-stage event which was supposed to bring Void back in a miraculous way and paint Gaiseric as a sinful ruler who had to be punished along with all his adherents.

I don't know, seems unlikely to me. Doesn't feel like good storytelling in that context to have these two ceremonies back to back. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

Well that certainly wasn't the goal. Whatever the true end-goal is, the one that requires them to have the worlds merged and an empire to rule over couldn't be pushed forward back then. The city got destroyed (a possible unintended result) and Void got pushed back

Really I'm going to have to insist on the fact that with the city bearing the Brand, I can't believe its destruction was unintended.

We were on the same page then, what I originally said is: "Void's goal is to reenact what was supposed to happen a thousand years ago under more limiting circumstances", and I further expanded on that here. You must have misunderstood me, because what you said is: "Could those exact same circumstances have happened before?". Unless you're talking about a different post.

I didn't misunderstand you. I was replying specifically to the part I quoted, namely "what if an incarnation was desirable in order to have a replacement for Gaiseric, essentially to infiltrate a member of the proto-God Hand among men". I'm not convinced that was necessary. And even assuming the rules weren't the same at the time, there would have had to be some specific circumstances around a "once-in-a-thousand-years" event. We see a brand on the landscape, for example. We know the city was destroyed. Whoever was incarnated in that scenario would have needed a vessel. These are the kinds of details I'm talking about. Was there also a beherit apostle then? Did that ceremony mirror a previous one, like for Femto's? You speculated they happened back to back, so I'm just not sure what you envision.

In any case, you're right that I forgot to mention the merging of the worlds, although that only serves to further enforce the idea that certain key elements are being recreated as they were back then.

Well that's what I said from the beginning, so sure, I agree. We've known that for a long time now. But my point is that we also know things aren't being recreated exactly as they were. There are differences, with the main one in focus right now being that the emperor was Gaiseric. What I think you're doing here is trying to establish how the God Hand could be aiming for a perfect recreation, whereas I think the differences between how it was then and how it is now are what's important. They failed then, so they're doing it differently this time. And not just by using different methods, but also by creating a different setting (even though it's roughly similar). That's why I'm not convinced they were trying to simply replace the emperor. Rather I think it's what they're doing with Griffith because what they had tried last time didn't work. In my opinion it ties into the idea that causality is a spiral and not a circle.
 
I don't think previous God Hand were killed by Gaiseric specifically. It's hard to say if they were killed at all, maybe. I am curious as to how Skull Knight knew how to use Beherits in order to create the Beherit Sword, and that weapon seems like something he made not only to travel through interdimensional portals, but to also hurt God Hand. That makes me think that he wasn't really powerful enough before. I don't think the previous God Hand members were weaker, they were just different. There could have been some sort of an all-out war which is the reason current God Hand want to weaken the other side and have humans in a more of a hostage/servants situation.

It's the thing I love and hate (at the same time) with Berserk, all the juicy mystery is there because we just don't know enough but at the same time it's almost impossible to speculate because there are too many pieces missing. For example the thing with the Beherit Sword: does Skullknight make research on his own? Does he have a person or a group of people who aid him with knowledge? When did he get to know this piece of trivia? It's impossible to tell at this point.
 

Aazealh

Administrator
Staff member
the Beherit Sword, and that weapon seems like something he made not only to travel through interdimensional portals, but to also hurt God Hand.

Indeed, he actually says so himself when it's first introduced. Of course, that didn't work so well when he tried it on Femto...
 
If we assume Void was the last of the old God Hand, assuming the rules were the same, he had to be special in some way, but why? Miura supposedly said that the ultimate goal for them is related to "void", is it void as Void or just a noun? There's also the detail of him having six fingers but it's hard to tell whether it's heavily related to his human life or it's some sort of a metaphor we can't really understand yet.

And of course the fact that he's the only remaining God Hand member from the old group, which doesn't necessarily mean he is more powerful but it means he has to play a bigger role than other members, even the current ones.

Do God Hand share consciousness? How are they instructed by the Idea of Evil to carry out their plans? If they are completely separate beings (not sharing each other's thoughts), Void could have more knowledge than the rest. Maybe he is the ideal servant of IoE, his dreams and desires aligning directly with his god, that's why others are replacable and he's not as much. He had to be less selfish in his human life than his GH peers. We could assume that he wasn't a bad guy per se but bought into the idea of becoming evil for the sake of changing the world, "it's the only way" rhetoric and Gaiseric could have been the bad guy there. Not necessarily a betrayal, especially if he was imprisoned and tortured, he could have been the cult leader of some sort. It's very likely he was interested in magic or even practising it openly, do we know the stance of practising magic in the Gaiseric empire? I doubt he was against it since he was and is allied with magic users but maybe he wasn't too happy with others doing the same thing (a threat).

It's all speculation on my part, feel free to correct me if I am wrong since I haven't reread Berserk in a long time.
 
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Matteo Metallo

"Your mom goes to college"
The light in which those four got introduced heavily suggests they were previous God Hand members
This is very true. I think I am getting hung up on character designs a little too much and not focusing on the logic behind the scene itself. For the sake of argument if we were to say that the oldest God Hand member in that scene was at the left of the panel and moved down the line (minus Void of course), then I can almost see an evolution of design that is on par with the current God Hand. Regardless, I think I am needlessly getting sidetracked by aesthetics.


I'm deeply skeptical that they could have been some natural counterpoint to the four elemental kings.
Yeah... After my post I almost instantly started finding holes in that line of thinking. I was getting a little carried away with the fairly new concepts of Barytes and Daimon's when trying to make sense of who these powerful entities could be outside of the former God Hand.

By the way, speaking of her, I've been wondering whether she might have lost her right eye...
Whoa, I think you are spot-on after checking it out again.

It's the thing I love and hate (at the same time) with Berserk, all the juicy mystery is there because we just don't know enough but at the same time it's almost impossible to speculate because there are too many pieces missing.
While I agree to a limited extent, I have been blown away by the observations and what has been deduced on this forum, sometimes years in advance of getting an "official" confirmation from the material itself. A testament to stellar story-telling, as well as, a mindful and loyal fan base.
 
I don't know, seems unlikely to me. Doesn't feel like good storytelling in that context to have these two ceremonies back to back. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.
Just to be clear, I'm not trying to make a stance that this is what I believe happened. I still haven't made my mind up about what the most likely scenario would be, just going out of bounds exploring other ideas, and trying to make sure they are properly understood. I would certainly hope Miura has something cooler than this planned out, he's the master storyteller after all.

I didn't misunderstand you. I was replying specifically to the part I quoted, namely "what if an incarnation was desirable in order to have a replacement for Gaiseric, essentially to infiltrate a member of the proto-God Hand among men".
Yeah, but my part about the "more limiting circumstances" that came before the line you were quoting tied right into it. It seems to me like you thought I was making a case for the circumstances being the same, while I was saying the exact opposite. Anyway, let's drop it before it gets too confusing.

And even assuming the rules weren't the same at the time, there would have had to be some specific circumstances around a "once-in-a-thousand-years" event. We see a brand on the landscape, for example. We know the city was destroyed. Whoever was incarnated in that scenario would have needed a vessel. These are the kinds of details I'm talking about.
There might have been other requirements for an incarnation back then as well, all we know is that the time was right for one, so I was trying to think of a possibility for why it could've been attempted, that's all. Femto needing a vessel and all the other successive details could have all been new elaborate methods of achieving a similar thing after the circumstances shifted. I've already gone over it, not gonna stress it any further.

What I think you're doing here is trying to establish how the God Hand could be aiming for a perfect recreation, whereas I think the differences between how it was then and how it is now are what's important. They failed then, so they're doing it differently this time. And not just by using different methods, but also by creating a different setting (even though it's roughly similar). That's why I'm not convinced they were trying to simply replace the emperor. Rather I think it's what they're doing with Griffith because what they had tried last time didn't work. In my opinion it ties into the idea that causality is a spiral and not a circle.
Not a perfect recreation, more of an attempt to hit the same fundamental landmarks. I fully agree with you that things are not just repeating the exact same way, the Moonlight Boy for one, and Guts and Casca's survival are already bound to make a huge difference in the course of events. The idea that the whole scheme with Griffith could be the new, more subtle way of furthering their plans as opposed to how they tried it the first time is also a really cool alternative, I might even prefer it.


Miura supposedly said that the ultimate goal for them is related to "void", is it void as Void or just a noun?
It's "Void" with a capital letter. He was talking about the character, here's the specific part of the interview you're thinking of.

Regardless, I think I am needlessly getting sidetracked by aesthetics.
Their designs might not be totally insignificant in terms of their characterization, if we'll ever get to see more on them, but yeah, they were likely beings on the same level as the current God Hand.
 

Aazealh

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Miura supposedly said that the ultimate goal for them is related to "void"

You're misquoting that line. What he says is: "Hmm, for now the God Hand is supposed to be complete with Femto. I'm sorry but now is not a good time, as expected, to reveal their goal... Instead, I'll give you one hint. The keyword is "Void". You can imagine many things based on it." And here is the source.

Do God Hand share consciousness? How are they instructed by the Idea of Evil to carry out their plans? If they are completely separate beings (not sharing each other's thoughts), Void could have more knowledge than the rest.

They're definitely individual beings, not a hivemind. That said they surely have means to communicate with each other when they need to. And Void has been hinted to have more knowledge than the others, usually through silent, "knowing" looks. Plus he's got a giant brain. :void:

Maybe he is the ideal servant of IoE, his dreams and desires aligning directly with his god, that's why others are replacable and he's not as much.

I think you're probably reaching for a more complex explanation than is necessary. This situation can easily be explained by the fact the four others could have died while he survived.

We could assume that he wasn't a bad guy per se but bought into the idea of becoming evil for the sake of changing the world, "it's the only way" rhetoric and Gaiseric could have been the bad guy there.

I'm going to go ahead and say that's not how it went. Just like Guts isn't the bad guy and Griffith isn't the good guy.

Just to be clear, I'm not trying to make a stance that this is what I believe happened.

Sure, I get it. I just didn't want to drag it out since I'm unconvinced by the idea.

I fully agree with you that things are not just repeating the exact same way, the Moonlight Boy for one, and Guts and Casca's survival are already bound to make a huge difference in the course of events.

To be clear though, I think Guts and Casca's survival and the Moonlight Boy's existence aren't things that were planned by the God Hand, but "wrenches in the gears" that will cause their plans to fail once more (and hopefully once and for all).
 
To be clear though, I think Guts and Casca's survival and the Moonlight Boy's existence aren't things that were planned by the God Hand, but "wrenches in the gears" that will cause their plans to fail once more (and hopefully once and for all).
Of course, that's not what I was implying; just pointing out the existence of external details aligning with the idea of causality being a spiral and not a circle, which I agree with you on.
 
I think you're probably reaching for a more complex explanation than is necessary. This situation can easily be explained by the fact the four others could have died while he survived.

Of course, I am aware of that. It's just I am speculating with the angle of "what if Void is more important than the rest". I don't think he's so important that everything and everyone would be sacrificed just for him to remain alive but I do believe that certain personalities are more suited to the whole agenda of Idea of Evil, even if God Hand members are chosen very specifically. Though we would have to get to know more about current God Hand to truly judge them.


I'm going to go ahead and say that's not how it went. Just like Guts isn't the bad guy and Griffith isn't the good guy.
I don't think it's too farfetched to say that Void could have been a decent human being or at least more decent than Gaiseric back then. Which is not to say he was some altruistic guy sharing the goodness and being thwarted by this ruthless, almost despotic emperor, no. What I mean is that Void could have been a man with a certain vision (which didn't have to be malevolent) but because that vision posed some risks to the stability to the empire, Gaiseric imprisoned him, we can't say for sure if he was the one who wanted to torture him as well. And in the darkest moment of his life he chose to embrace evil forces which could allow him to manifest his vision into reality, and he could have been persuaded in a similar fashion to Griffith (in the end they are all subjects to the same god). I very much doubt it was a backstabbing betrayal, if betrayal at all. We don't know if Gaiseric was branded himself but we do know a lot of other people were branded, that only reinforces the idea that someone had to care about all those people. It's fanfiction, sure but what isn't right now? Void could have been a magician, a messenger with a grandiose vision, a member of a council, it could have been a betrayal (personally I don't think so). I'll rethink the whole thing once we get to know whether Gaiseric was branded or not because the dynamic in this relationship is very different in both cases.
 

Aazealh

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I do believe that certain personalities are more suited to the whole agenda of Idea of Evil, even if God Hand members are chosen very specifically.

I find that somewhat contradictory.

he could have been persuaded in a similar fashion to Griffith (in the end they are all subjects to the same god). I very much doubt it was a backstabbing betrayal, if betrayal at all.

I would say that becoming a member of the God Hand by offering people as sacrifices counts as a betrayal. Griffith betrayed the Band of the Falcon during the Eclipse. I think it's safe to assume a similar betrayal occurred between Void and Gaiseric.

I'll rethink the whole thing once we get to know whether Gaiseric was branded or not because the dynamic in this relationship is very different in both cases.

We don't know for sure, but same as above, I believe it's a pretty safe assumption that he was branded by Void. It would be surprising if everyone got branded except him.
 
Howdy, long time lurker. Hoping someone can clarify something for me that this episode brings up in my mind based on what we can know. Are incarnation ceremonies "one way trips?" Would the death of a God Hand member incarnated in the corporeal likewise be their death in the astral? Would the answer to that change pre vs post world spiral tree?
 

Aazealh

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Staff member
Howdy, long time lurker. Hoping someone can clarify something for me that this episode brings up in my mind based on what we can know. Are incarnation ceremonies "one way trips?" Would the death of a God Hand member incarnated in the corporeal likewise be their death in the astral? Would the answer to that change pre vs post world spiral tree?
Hey Kazm, welcome! That's a simple question to answer: we don't know! :guts:
 
First hypothesis: Neither the God Hand nor beherits existed before Void. As a man, he was an exceptionally gifted magic user. Upon being imprisoned, he reached out in his body of light and went deep into the astral world, deeper than anyone ever had. There he met the Idea of Evil, and was reborn. As Void, he reaches out to his former supporters/disciples within the empire and sets things up for a great sacrificial ceremony. During that massive ceremony, the entire capital city gets branded, including Gaiseric and his woman, and Void's four disciples are reborn as well. They intend to rule the world on a whole other level.
I saw that the woman Gaiseric was holding was in fact branded, but did we see if Gaiseric was? Obviously it's very likely to be the case, but I wasn't sure if I missed that in my several read throughs of this latest episode.

I don't know if it's safe to assume anything in Berserk, but I think it is obvious that we will be seeing more of these flashbacks in the coming episodes. I wonder if they will be shown first hand to Guts by the memories of the Armor or told to the group by Skull Knight. I think it would be more natural to show Guts first hand rather than have Skull Knight give a long exposition.
 

Aazealh

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Staff member
I saw that the woman Gaiseric was holding was in fact branded, but did we see if Gaiseric was? Obviously it's very likely to be the case, but I wasn't sure if I missed that in my several read throughs of this latest episode.

No, because we see those scenes from the perspective of Gaiseric (literally through his eyes), we don't see much of his body. I'm just assuming he was given the context and everything we know.

I don't know if it's safe to assume anything in Berserk, but I think it is obvious that we will be seeing more of these flashbacks in the coming episodes. I wonder if they will be shown first hand to Guts by the memories of the Armor or told to the group by Skull Knight. I think it would be more natural to show Guts first hand rather than have Skull Knight give a long exposition.

I don't know if it makes sense to have other memories be told through the armor, since this was specifically about Gaiseric's death.
 
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