The Idea of Evil’s grand plan

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
The God Hand’s end goal is one of the great mysteries still unsolved in Berserk. Maybe the greatest one left? The discussions that followed episode 358 made it clear people had an appetite for it, so I decided to make a thread to lay out what I think about it. And then I left it half-finished for several months... But hey, at least now it’s done!

Order vs Chaos

As some of my posts here and there can attest, my belief has been for years that Berserk would culminate in a struggle opposing humans and human-based magic to the elemental, primeval world. This can be summed up as a very classical theme in the fantasy genre: order versus chaos. The ancient world was chaotic, as the Great Gurus have taught us. It was humans who brought order to the world, led by the great emperor Gaiseric. But something went wrong, and Gaiseric’s empire crumbled. Now the world is in chaos again, and a second empire is being born… but things are different. Dark forces are behind it. I’m talking about the God Hand of course, and about its master, the Idea of Evil.

Again, for years now I’ve been talking about their great scheme, their ultimate goal. I believe that goal is control. Total control over the world and over mankind. The principle of causality would be absolute. Humans would be governed by a finite amount of urges (over which individual members of the God Hand have dominion) and would act according to them in expected, predictable ways. That is a world of perfect order. A world where everything follows a specific reason and chance plays no role. Where the suffering of men is rational, logical, explainable. And where there is no free will.

Magic, the art of knowing the world and exerting power over it

But why would this be at odds with the astral world? How are trolls a problem for the God Hand? Well, it’s not just trolls. There’s a myriad of astral creatures like them, of all sorts and full of quirks, and then there’s elves, and elemental spirits like those Schierke summon, and the four elemental kings of the world. And magic users. Because from this great chaos, at some point in time, humans learned how to use elemental magic. It was likely a slow, iterative process. It allowed humans to better understand the world and therefore to find ways to make their lives better (including by defending themselves against hostile astral creatures). And I believe this is completely at odds with what the Idea of Evil and its minions want to achieve.

The perfect example of what that process of understanding can do was offered to us through Farnese’s journey. She was a scared and scarred young woman, driven down a dark path by her life and surroundings. But her encounter with Guts, a free spirit if there ever was one, threw her completely off course. She abandoned the façade she’d created over the years and started a painful journey of real personal growth. And eventually, she started learning magic, as she states herself: so that the light of reason would illuminate the darkness of the unknown.

Now, there are practical reasons we can invoke for why the God Hand wouldn’t want magic users around. For one thing because they could harm them or counter their plans. But if you think a little deeper, you’ll find that they also pose a threat because of their knowledge. They know how the world works, and that is very dangerous to the God Hand. But it goes deeper still. That knowledge and the power gained from the pursuit of magic give humans agency over their lives and over the world. It means any person can make a difference. And that is the opposite of what the Idea of Evil wants.

The eradication of astral creatures

Now, after episode 358 I think we can all agree on how the God Hand plans on achieving its goal. It’s again something I’ve been rambling about for years now: the eradication of astral beings. There’s a clear vision that was established with Falconia of humans having to stick together to survive against the natural world. Griffith is creating a purely human world, with a reformed society closer to a military dictatorship than to the feudal society they had before. That shot of the highway being built felt pretty dreadful to me. You can feel they’re really remaking the world. Making it orderly. Straight roads, well delineated fields and other regions, etc.

And of course, the reason for destroying astral beings is because they are agents of chaos, of unknown to the human world. Even beyond the practice of magic. I mean think for example of every time Guts’ life was changed by Puck. Or even Chich. They are outside the scope of what the God Hand and the Idea of Evil can control. They can provoke people’s minds and give them ideas or even inspire them in ways that the bad guys do not desire. Remember the chaos at Elfhelm when they all started dancing. These creatures are tied to human imagination and creativity, and their disappearance would impoverish mankind as a whole. Beyond just that, we can't forget how Puck basically saved Guts from perdition in the Black Swordsman arc. That is the power of elves.

One thing I need to mention is that there are obvious parallels between what I’m describing and what’s happening in the real world. On one hand, climate change and the way humans have ruined the Earth, on the other, the wave of fascism that’s washed over the world in the last few years and has left almost no country untouched.

Human-based magic vs Elemental magic

All right, with all that being said, I believe there are only two topics left to be addressed: how it all started, and what will happen going forward. Let’s do it chronologically. I’ve mentioned several times in the past how Griffith could be seen as a copycat of Gaiseric created by the Idea of Evil. It was always pretty clear, but Falconia’s design cemented it (since it's basically a revamp of Gaiseric's old city), and now his will to form a second empire further underlines it. I believe this is a hint that Gaiseric’s era was a pivotal moment for the God Hand (duh).

That Void was the first member of the God Hand and the one who caused Gaiseric’s fall is everybody’s basic assumption and I would tend to agree. My belief is that during that time, two schools of thought were at odds in the magical world: the practitioners of elemental, natural magic, and those who delved into “blood magic”. I don’t particularly like the term "blood magic" because it’s a misnomer for what I mean, which is a form of magic based on the power of the human soul. We’ve seen what it can do. The God Hand and the apostles are the result of that particular kind of "evil" magic. It's quite different from elemental magic, both thematically and practically. The specters that haunt Guts at night are a natural manifestation of it. And more recently, we also had the example of the Wicker Man that was filled with dead souls. That contraption, a forbidden device kept in storage by the last surviving magician community in the world, is a pretty big hint about what the ancient world was like, as I said at the time.

A short digression, but I believe Barytes (introduced in episode 346) may be the cosmological element behind the human-based power that the God Hand and the apostles use. It's described as being the element of weight, much tinier than the other four (too small to be seen with the naked eye) and being a sort of binding element for them. It make things heavy, but also darken the skies, causes gloominess or leads to obsessions. This is probably the most speculative part of this post, but I think it's possible that when people are filled with obsessive or negative emotions, Barytes become trapped and concentrated within the human soul. That would be a rational explanation for the "evil power" the bad guys use. And it may also have led to the Vortex's specific shape. Lastly, it's something that is antithetical to elves. Everything checks out.

What happened a thousand years ago

I think Void was a brilliant man and a powerful magic user. Someone who was probably a great ally to Gaiseric at some point. But someone who grew more and more obsessed with his research into the human soul. Was he desperate to find out what lurked deep down at the bottom of the Abyss? I would like to think so. And I believe it was also not too long before that time that the Idea of Evil developed its consciousness. In any case, I think Void was experimenting on people. I believe it’s even possible that he might have created the ceremony of sacrifice and the brand while he was still human, although it would have worked differently. Either way, Gaiseric, counseled by other magic users, banished him. And maybe, deep down in his cell, Void then left his corporeal body and journeyed spiritually deeper than any magician ever had before. Deep, deep… And there he met the God of the Abyss, and was reborn.

But how did Gaiseric’s capital city get annihilated in a single night, you might ask. Well, there are still a number of different possibilities there. For one thing I don’t think Void necessarily just sacrificed everyone there. To lay out some possible scenarios, I believe he might have had a cult of disciples following his ways and who either did sacrifices in his name or sacrificed themselves.

I also believe the capital city might not have been destroyed per se. The tale says it was "wiped off the face of the earth in a single night". Well, Falconia did appear out of nowhere in an instant… Maybe what happened to the capital city was simply the reverse of that. Maybe when the magic users implemented their decision to split the corporeal world and the astral world, to sap the power of the World Spiral Tree, well the world was torn apart. Some things stayed, some disappeared. Maybe the city, being so close to the tree, disappeared into the Astral World along with it. As for the angels, well did they invoke the four elemental kings of the world to help them seal the tree away? Who knows. And yes, I do remember what is at the bottom of the Tower of Rebirth (volume 10, episode 53). But that might not give us the full picture of what happened during that night. The tower itself is certainly a key to those events, however.

Separating the worlds facilitated the rise of the God Hand

Anyway, in the millennia that elapsed between then and now, a new force grew in strength. It’s interesting to think that splitting the world was in part responsible for the God Hand’s ascension to power. Because during that time, the GH all but destroyed the knowledge people had of the old world. The practice of magic all but disappeared. Memories of the astral world faded away and became perceived as mere myths. The doctrine of the Holy See played a key role in that regard in the part of the Berserk world we’re familiar with, and it’s clearly something that was orchestrated by the God Hand. It’s littered with its imagery (falcon, brand, spiral) and has prepared the world for the arrival of its final member.

So now people are powerless against the astral world because they have no knowledge of it and no natural means to deal with it. Their only recourse is the God Hand and its apostles. So what’s next? Well, I think we already have a pretty good idea. Griffith wants to expand. Falconia has moved on beyond artisans and into industry. It’s going to get militarized to the extreme, and I think eventually we’ll see a program where pseudo-apostle soldiers will be manufactured massively to boost the army. It’s only a matter of time. It might be kids from the orphanages or foreigners or criminals. It doesn’t matter. It’ll happen. A fascistic, dehumanized society is being formed. And it's bent on reshaping the world.

Living in the God Hand's world

I’ve said so before, but I think when Guts and the group get to go back, they’ll be treated to a shocking landscape, that of a dramatically transformed world. I picture that glaring disparity between Fantasia and the Falcon Empire as somewhat similar in spirit to how Frodo and Sam found the Shire when they returned from Mordor in The Lord of the Rings. And the “blind white sheep” concept will be stressed as well, with a Falconian society that will likely seem alien to our protagonists. It will be interesting to see in that context whether the people Guts has met in the past will be immune from that “sheepification”. I believe so.

Of course, the bad guys aren’t going to succeed, so we’ll never see their plan fully realized. But I do believe we’ll get some concrete details about it soon enough, while the group is in Elfhelm. All the ingredients are gathered: The Skull Knight, Danan, the Great Gurus, and the Moonlight Boy. The boy, of course, will be the key to defeating the God Hand. I've already talked about this at length elsewhere. Because of his attachment to his parents, and the fact he and Femto inhabit the same corporeal body, he represents a unique weakness that makes Guts & Casca pretty much the only ones who can stop the Falcon of Darkness. How that will go, however, is another story. And there is one last big unknown: what are the other members of the God Hand doing? I think that is also something we might learn about soon enough.
 

jackson_hurley

even the horses are cut in half!
Very interesting and enlighting post. Thank you very much for sharing it. I've always enjoy your take and knowledge on the series and it helped me a lot in my understanding today.
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks for putting everything in one place. We've talked a lot about these ideas on podcasts and in private chats, but usually they were isolated conversations. Stringing it all together, topic by topic, puts everything in context, and it probably wasn't that easy to do, either. I'm just going to fill in my thoughts on a few of the ideas here:

One thing I need to mention is that there are obvious parallels between what I’m describing and what’s happening in the real world. On one hand, climate change and the way humans have ruined the Earth, on the other, the wave of fascism that’s washed over the world in the last few years and has left almost no country untouched.
Wow, yeah this is something you hinted at during 358, but climate change, I hadn't considered.

Lastly, it's something that is antithetical to elves. Everything checks out.
Indeed, of all the ways Barytes have been described, and all the theories we could craft, the fact that the elements themselves aren't suitable to Elfhelm makes it pretty clear that it's an opposition force of some kind, which fits in well with the God Hand.

I think Void was a brilliant man and a powerful magic user
I always knew you thought highly of me :void:

Was he desperate to find out what lurked deep down at the bottom of the Abyss? I would like to think so. And I believe it was also not too long before that time that the Idea of Evil developed its consciousness
I think it's possible that the Idea of Evil was down there for a while, but Void was the first to make contact and become one of its disciples. He subsequently created ceremonies to confer evil power.

To lay out some possible scenarios, I believe he might have had a cult of disciples following his ways and who either did sacrifices in his name or sacrificed themselves.
Yeah indeed that would explain at the very least the bodies at the bottom of the Tower of Rebirth, with the brand carved into their skulls. Perhaps that was how they marked themselves as followers.

The tale says it was "wiped off the face of the earth in a single night". Well, Falconia did appear out of nowhere in an instant… Maybe what happened to the capital city was simply the reverse of that. Maybe when the magic users implemented their decision to split the corporeal world and the astral world, to sap the power of the World Spiral Tree, well the world was torn apart. Some things stayed, some disappeared. Maybe the city, being so close to the tree, disappeared into the Astral World along with it.
The hole at the bottom could have been created by the World Tree's sudden disappearance.

It will be interesting to see in that context whether the people Guts has met in the past will be immune from that “sheepification”. I believe so.
If we see Nina again, she'll be a psuedo.
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
I think it's possible that the Idea of Evil was down there for a while, but Void was the first to make contact and become one of its disciples. He subsequently created ceremonies to confer evil power.
I actually envision it as being the other way around. Void was a world-class magician and a pioneer who developed human-based magic. He was also obsessed with learning more about the world, with going deeper into the astral world to see what lay beyond the point of no return. He might have had inklings of the Idea of Evil's existence, but I think it makes sense thematically and narratively if his final action as a man was to reach the abyss in his body of light. He had no one to help him, no God Hand, no ceremony. He did it by himself and in that process was the first one to be reborn.

Another thing that's worth addressing is the timing of the worlds being split apart and whether that was related to Void or had an influence on him. Did he oppose that idea? Was its first step implemented in a hurry to "seal him off" after he was reborn? Interesting possibilities.

The hole at the bottom could have been created by the World Tree's sudden disappearance.
Yeah, it could have been the result of a collapse, and I've thought that maybe the cavity below the tower itself might have been the result of a root or something, or maybe was build to get down to one. The temples we see down there were don't seem to have been subterranean, but it's hard to be sure exactly how they ended up there or how much of the city is/was down there with them.

If we see Nina again, she'll be a pseudo.
Aww man, the story left her on such a hopeful note! That'd be a real bummer.
 
I think it's possible that the Idea of Evil was down there for a while, but Void was the first to make contact and become one of its disciples. He subsequently created ceremonies to confer evil power.
Since there was retcon of Griffith talking to the Idea of evil, how do you think that first contact would go down? I wonder if there's an extended verbal/mental communication between the two or if as soon as contact is made void just gets this deep understanding of things that he hasn't fathomed and infers himself what this being wants and he himself wants the exact same thing, setting things in motion that I'm too dumb to speculate
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
Since there was retcon of Griffith talking to the Idea of evil
There was no retcon. A part of the story was taken out between prepublication and publication. Not the same thing.

I wonder if there's an extended verbal/mental communication between the two or if as soon as contact is made void just gets this deep understanding of things that he hasn't fathomed and infers himself what this being wants
I imagine that there would be a form of communication between the two.
 
I love how clean this theory is on how everything could come together. Thanks Aaz for putting this all in one place

I actually envision it as being the other way around. Void was a world-class magician and a pioneer who developed human-based magic. He was also obsessed with learning more about the world, with going deeper into the astral world to see what lay beyond the point of no return. He might have had inklings of the Idea of Evil's existence, but I think it makes sense thematically and narratively if his final action as a man was to reach the abyss in his body of light. He had no one to help him, no God Hand, no ceremony. He did it by himself and in that process was the first one to be reborn.
I think this is my favorite part of the theory. It gets rid of the need for a previous God Hand, a problematic issue if ever there was one. It also makes Skull Knight and Void instrumental in the creation of the God Hand and the 'blood magic' that follows, as well as the sealing off of the astral world.

Both become even more pivotal characters to the world we see in Berserk. Void becomes the pioneer who managed to harness the dark magic of the Idea of Evil and create apostles, perhaps in a long game to bring back an astral world he could have dominion over. And Gaeseric becomes the Hero who cleaved the worlds apart with the aid of mages, only one of his most trusted allies went rogue in his search for a more powerful magic.

In some ways it parallels Griffiths use of Ganishka as an evil enemy he can defeat in order to look like a hero. The God Hand unleash the chaotic astral world once they have a large enough army to counter them without the mages. And then they can have a fascistic society ruled by predictive causality.
 
Not the same thing.
yeah i suppose retcon would imply that there's not a chance that it could still be canon. my oopsie.

I imagine that there would be a form of communication between the two.
Do you think that contact lies within the current of causality already set into motion or could it be a fish breaching the surface moment at some junction, only with void being the fish this time, working out in the favor of IOE
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
Do you think that contact lies within the current of causality already set into motion or could it be a fish breaching the surface moment at some junction, only with void being the fish this time, working out in the favor of IOE
When we talk about the principle of causality, it's implicitly understood that it's being manipulated by the Idea of Evil. The way I envision it, when those events occurred, the Idea of Evil's influence wasn't nearly as strong as it is today, so there was no need for these considerations.
 
Very nice theory Aaz, in particular the part about the Four Elemental Kings. I'm speculating too but you could think that if we expanded the idea that Void had his large scale cult that marked themselves with the brand then I would have expected that it Gaeseric and his allies that called upon the Four Elemental Kings to stop Void and essentially his army a millenia ago.

Perhaps we'll get some variation of a repeat in history where Falconia's populace will defend Femto and Falconia against Guts and his group. That'd have a cruel twist of irony because the populace may not mark themselves with the brand but the attachment to a god hand representative is still there.

Then again I could be thinking way too far into this, nonetheless great theory to read on my journey into work.

EDIT: Also forgot to add the whole institute of control makes his seemingly charitable education system more suspect than it already was. If he controls education through the land particularly history then that is once again another form of control the godhand can manipulate
 
This is a really cool theory. I agree with ApostleBob, the degree of agency Void had over his own transformation (as well as his design of the ceremony of sacrifice) is the most striking part of the theory.

This is probably the most speculative part of this post, but I think it's possible that when people are filled with obsessive or negative emotions, Barytes become trapped and concentrated within the human soul. That would be a rational explanation for the "evil power" the bad guys use.
This also succinctly explains how beherits work in a magical context. They're basically just Barytes-sensors. When the environment around them reaches a sufficient amount of despair, and thus a sufficient amount of Barytes, they activate and open a gate to the Abyss. Or, perhaps, beherits can be better described as weaknesses or holes in reality that allow Barytes to flow to and from the Abyss, and which widen to allow other things to drop through when enough Barytes are being pushed through. I suppose this also implies that following the merging of worlds, there is now a heightened background level of Barytes throughout the world, since Becchi is stuck in a half-activated state.

Come to think of it, Barytes darkening the skies also explains the storms that form in the sky during sacrificial ceremonies. (Or are those storms pieces of the Abyss poking through into the physical world?)


The practice of magic all but disappeared. Memories of the astral world faded away and became perceived as mere myths.
As an aside, what if that whole thing about 4 or 5 angels is a result of two different groups of people passing down the story of the fall of Gaiseric's kingdom? One group, who were more magically trained at the time, correctly saw Gaiseric and the mages summon the Four Elemental Kings to battle the newly-ascended Void. The other group, who may have been less knowledgeable about the inner workings of magic or whose stories were later corrupted by the Holy See, assumed that the Four Kings and Void were all part of the same group.
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
This also succinctly explains how beherits work in a magical context. They're basically just Barytes-sensors. When the environment around them reaches a sufficient amount of despair, and thus a sufficient amount of Barytes, they activate and open a gate to the Abyss. Or, perhaps, beherits can be better described as weaknesses or holes in reality that allow Barytes to flow to and from the Abyss, and which widen to allow other things to drop through when enough Barytes are being pushed through. I suppose this also implies that following the merging of worlds, there is now a heightened background level of Barytes throughout the world, since Becchi is stuck in a half-activated state.

Come to think of it, Barytes darkening the skies also explains the storms that form in the sky during sacrificial ceremonies. (Or are those storms pieces of the Abyss poking through into the physical world?)
I doubt the beherits abilities will ever be explained in that level of detail. Miura tends to keep a mystique around things like that. But it would make sense that in general, beherits at the very least detect or interact with barytes in some way, sure.

When barytes were first introduced, we talked about all the possibilities of them on the podcast, including:

Aaz explains it on the podcast, but basically if Barytes are indeed the tiny particles that compose evil power, exhibit weight when gathered, and the Idea of Evil is the source of evil power (something we already knew), then suddenly the Vortex of Souls' conical shape is perfectly explicable, and comparable to a gravity well forming around an object exhibiting great mass.

As an aside, what if that whole thing about 4 or 5 angels is a result of two different groups of people passing down the story of the fall of Gaiseric's kingdom?
Maybe, but it also might not be so formalized. It could be there were many witnesses to what happened, and varying accounts of it exist. In any case, I'm fairly sure the discrepancies are meant to be a clue to readers that the legend itself isn't authoritative. Like, maybe whoever started the legend merely saw 4-5 beings of great power of ANY variety and called them angels. Like in Enoch when Schierke was momentarily possessed by the Lady of the Depths. Isidro looks up, sees a being composed of water, and thinks it's an angel.
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
This is a really cool theory. I agree with ApostleBob
Thanks!

This also succinctly explains how beherits work in a magical context. They're basically just Barytes-sensors. When the environment around them reaches a sufficient amount of despair, and thus a sufficient amount of Barytes, they activate and open a gate to the Abyss. Or, perhaps, beherits can be better described as weaknesses or holes in reality that allow Barytes to flow to and from the Abyss, and which widen to allow other things to drop through when enough Barytes are being pushed through.
No, that would go against our understanding of how beherits function. They can't be activated through some trick, because as Flora says they are tied to the will of their master (the Idea of Evil). They do react to evil power, as has been shown to us a few times throughout the story, but they are only activated and take someone to the edge of the Abyss when they are supposed to. That process is irremediably tied to the Idea of Evil.

I suppose this also implies that following the merging of worlds, there is now a heightened background level of Barytes throughout the world, since Becchi is stuck in a half-activated state.
The beherit Guts carries isn't stuck in a half-activated state.

Come to think of it, Barytes darkening the skies also explains the storms that form in the sky during sacrificial ceremonies.
Yes, I believe this to be the case.

(Or are those storms pieces of the Abyss poking through into the physical world?)
I don't think so, but the same process that gives the Vortex its peculiar shape might apply here as well.

As an aside, what if that whole thing about 4 or 5 angels is a result of two different groups of people passing down the story of the fall of Gaiseric's kingdom?
I don't think that's necessary. It's simply that these events were passed down from a generation to the next by oral tradition, and therefore lost accuracy over time.
 
Hey guys this is my first post- so I'm diving right into the deep end. Thanks for all your fantastic work I've been listening to the podcast non-stop over the past few weeks!

My view is very similar to Aazealh's with a few tweaks. I think the Godhand's ultimate goal is bring the Idea of Evil into the material world and for it rule as an incarnate god completley eclpising the influence of all other Astral beings. Yet like how the Idea of Evil was born from man's desire, the conditions have to be right in the material world for such a thing to happen. Step one was merging the Astral and material world. Step 2 is inducing mankind to accept and "wish" for such a thing to happen (similar to how Griffith had to voluntarily choose to become Femtoh). Their engineering of events in the material world was not just to prop up Griffith, but to create conditions so monstrous that it would normalize the demonic presence of Apostles in the minds of mankind and present it as the only means of protection against the monsters that threaten them. After that normalization process is complete, they would be receptive to a nightmarish god like the Idea of Evil, so long as it offered them protection against the Astral beings- which the Idea of Evil/Godhand were responsible for unleashing in the first place.

I believe the separation of the Astral and material world was originally to prevent the Idea of Evil from manifesting in the material world, either during the time of King Gaeseric or possibly long before. In my view it was done by the benevolent astral beings and magic users simply for the protection of mankind against the Idea of Evil. I believe that the Godhand and their Apostles operated for a long time in secrecy quietly eliminating anybody with a connection to the benevolent forces within the Astral realm so that when they made their move no one in the human world would know they had potential allies in the Astral realm. This was probably aided by the fact that knowledge of the Astral world was probably carefully guarded against falling into the wrong hands (like the man who became Void) so the number of magic users was probably small.

So long story short, I believe the Godhand are acclimatizing mankind to co-existance with an inhuman ruling caste, grooming them to bring the Idea of Evil into the material world and accept the Idea of Evil as their only god thus empowering it over all other Astral beings. To do this they have to make sure mankind has no connection to the benevolent beings in the Astral World (hence killing Flora).

Anyway great post Aazealh! So pumped to be chatting with you guys!
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
Hi Cavalier, welcome to the community!

My view is very similar to Aazealh's with a few tweaks. I think the Godhand's ultimate goal is bring the Idea of Evil into the material world and for it rule as an incarnate god completley eclpising the influence of all other Astral beings.
That's not really close to what I'm saying. :ganishka: It's also very implausible. I mean think about it. The Idea of Evil is not something that could ever be a corporeal being, it's just too alien. What would it look like? A giant pile of flesh? Even putting this aside, what purpose would be served by bringing it into the corporeal world? What difference would it make? It already acts as a god, and can do so because of its nature and where it resides. That's another element that goes against your idea: the Idea of Evil isn't just that big heart, it's basically the consciousness of the Abyss. It's not a self-contained entity.

Also, for info, "God Hand" is written as two separate words.
 
I think desire (creation of the Idea of Evil) and belief (Elves and supernatural beings invisible to unbelievers) have a lot of spiritual currency in the Berserk world and that people's belief would be strengthened by a materially present god, further empowering the Idea of Evil far beyond other Astral beings which I think is one of the main goals of the God Hand and/or the Idea of Evil. If it were to manifest materially, I could see it existing as almost a Lovecraftian cosmological force hovering above the world maybe "eclipsing" the sun, ever present for all to see, dominating mankind mentally, spiritually and physically.

However, like you said that might not be necessary. If I were to scale back my idea, perhaps simply acclimatizing mankind to coexist with Apostles, gradually indoctrinating them to accept them as a demonic ruling caste and once they've normalized that it would allow Griffith to eventually unveil his true form, paving the way for humanity to accept the God Hand to rule them undisguised and directly. Humanity would then live as basically a slave race, almost a kind of cattle, whose purpose is to serve all the gross apetites of the Apostles and God Hand. From there I could see them waging a war to exterminate the benevolent Astral beings.

Just a question... do humans serve as a food/energy source for Apostles and/or the God Hand? I'm thinking back to Slan's trollcave/Qliphoth. Did all that suffering and horror make its material existence possible?
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
belief (Elves and supernatural beings invisible to unbelievers)
There's no such thing as "belief" in the way you're describing it. "Unbelievers" as you say are still impacted by elves or specters, as shown with Farnese or the people of Vritannis. It's not some mystical force or anything like that.

I could see it existing as almost a Lovecraftian cosmological force hovering above the world maybe "eclipsing" the sun, ever present for all to see, dominating mankind mentally, spiritually and physically.
I see. It's not against you, but I really don't believe that will happen. I think the Idea of Evil can dominate mankind well enough without having to exist in the corporeal world.

paving the way for humanity to accept the God Hand to rule them undisguised and directly. Humanity would then live as basically a slave race, almost a kind of cattle, whose purpose is to serve all the gross apetites of the Apostles and God Hand.
That's kind of a strange idea. The God Hand and its apostles are former humans, and the Idea of Evil is inexorably tied to humanity. I think people will be miserable under their rule, but not in the way you're describing, which sounds more like if humans were ruled by another species altogether.

From there I could see them waging a war to exterminate the benevolent Astral beings.
Falconia's army is already in the process of exterminating astral creatures.

Just a question... do humans serve as a food/energy source for Apostles and/or the God Hand?
No, of course not. Well I mean apostles do eat people but that's just because they're monsters. It doesn't give them more power or anything.

I'm thinking back to Slan's trollcave/Qliphoth. Did all that suffering and horror make its material existence possible?
The Qliphoth became accessible from the corporeal world because of Femto's incarnation. This is all explained in the manga so I encourage you to re-read these volumes carefully.
 
@ Aazealh Haha! Sorry my ideas are a bit scattered. I'm a new reader and just finished the manga not long ago. I'm just busting with excitement and wild speculation. As per your advice I'm re-reading the whole manga and I'm gonna take some notes so I can really dive into the speculation properly, as I can see I'm a bit fuzzy on the details lol
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
@ Aazealh Haha! Sorry my ideas are a bit scattered. I'm a new reader and just finished the manga not long ago. I'm just busting with excitement and wild speculation. As per your advice I'm re-reading the whole manga and I'm gonna take some notes so I can really dive into the speculation properly, as I can see I'm a bit fuzzy on the details lol
It's no problem, don't worry about it. It's normal to be enthusiastic! But yeah, there are a lot of subtleties in Berserk that can be hard to catch on a first read through. Poor translations don't help either.

Just keep in mind my own speculation is informed by a deep understanding of the series (not that this guarantees it will be correct).
 
Thanks Aazealh I appreciate it. There are a LOT of subtleties in Berserk and the details, truly, truly matter. The way the world works is fascinating but beyond the wonder of it all, the "rules" of the Berserk world convey truly powerful messages. I'm hoping to make a post in the future about Miura's use of esoteric concepts and their possible parallels to pagan and occult beliefs. Its something I've studied for a long time and hopefully you guys will find useful. Its something I really wanted to ask you guys about, especially at the end of reading the published volumes when I read the guide book published by Dark Horse and Miura mentioning studying the western magical concepts.I really need to re-read the series and make some careful notes because just from this exchange with you it really made me realize that even forgetting details can really confuse the discussion, especially when delving into esoteric symbolism. Anyway great stuff Aazealh!
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
I'm hoping to make a post in the future about Miura's use of esoteric concepts and their possible parallels to pagan and occult beliefs. Its something I've studied for a long time and hopefully you guys will find useful. Its something I really wanted to ask you guys about, especially at the end of reading the published volumes when I read the guide book published by Dark Horse and Miura mentioning studying the western magical concepts.
Sure! It's unlikely that there's anything we don't know already about though, just so you know. :iva:
 
Hahah! Honestly nothing would surprise me in regards to you, Walter and Griffith's depth of knowledge after listening to the podcast as much as I have in the past couple of weeks. But once I put everything together I'd love to see what you guys think in regards to Miura's take on certain concepts because I think there are some pretty profound statements being made on a metaphysical/cosmological level.
 
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One thing I need to mention is that there are obvious parallels between what I’m describing and what’s happening in the real world.
Typical Miura style.

I don’t particularly like the term "blood magic" because it’s a misnomer for what I mean, which is a form of magic based on the power of the human soul. We’ve seen what it can do. The God Hand and the apostles are the result of that particular kind of "evil" magic.
I prefer to call it "black magic" or "ceremonial magic".

And there is one last big unknown: what are the other members of the God Hand doing?
I'm interested in Void's business.
 
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