Theory about how the world of Berserk works

Half way through I realized that I had a lot I wanted to write about so this is going to be a long one.

First off, I’m just going to say that this theory has flaws, and I’ll try to point them out when I get to it, but I still think the theory is quite interesting and I would like to hear others opinion of it.

The theory
is that everything in the astral world is crated by something that has been done or thought in the physical world. The reason for the existence of trolls, elves and dragons in the astral world, is because humans has told stories about them in the physical world. This explains why there are different versions of all the astral creatures, it is simply because they are described a little differently in every story, and every human has their own imagination of what they are like. The more people believe that something that can’t exist in the physical world actually exists, the more powerful that thing becomes in the astral world.

The "proof"
For this theory to work we must establish that the astral world is affected by the physical world. A simple example of this is in volume 14 episode 95: “Lost Children: Return of Black Swordsman” where Jill has been captured by bandits. One of the bandits shares a story about heretics doing a ritual involving nailing peoples’ intestines to trees and making them walk around the tree. The bandit has probably heard the story from someone else, so there must be a lot of people that believe there to be something special about those trees. This makes the tree have a powerful existence in the astral world and can bridge over to the physical world when Guts comes along and weakens the barrier between the worlds. The obvious flaw with this theory relates to cause and effect, did the stories start because there was an astral being from the beginning, or did the astral being come to life because of the stories.

When the team gets their magic fetishes in volume 24 episode 203: “Elementals” Schierke also mentions that the stronger their faith in the elementals, the better the fetish will work. Later in the same episode Schierke literally confirms the theory by saying that the tree exists eternally in the astral world because it had been worshiped when it was in the physical world, and not the other way around. She also points out that it could also have taken on a monstrous form, maybe Miura wants the reader to be reminded of the tree from volume 14 episode 95, possibly also confirming that it as well did not start out by having a presence in the astral world.

The only astral beings of in the world of Berserk that we don’t have stories about in our world is all the different kinds of apostles. There is only one person that believes an apostle should exist, namely the person it is born from. One person’s belief is not enough for a powerful being as an apostle to be born, even if the person sacrifices everything. I believe that the sacrifice is made to ensure that the person that becomes an apostle is evil, and the power ultimately comes from the “Idea of Evil”. This is supported in “Desire’s Guardian Angels” where the apostle is actually not completely evil because he didn’t sacrifice his daughter, but he still has the power of an apostle. It is going to be important later that the “Idea of Evil” can only give power, and therefore tries to only give power to people that supports the will of the “Idea of Evil”. It even trusts its selection of its god hand so much that they have absolutely no orders.

The lost chapter also supports this theory a lot since the “Idea of Evil” talks about a collective consciousness for all humans and it being its dark side. The “Idea of Evil” confirms that its power/existence comes from the dark/evil part of every human mind. The more people believe/think about evil stuff the more powerful the “Idea of Evil” becomes.

How the theory explains things in the world of Berserk
The reason for the “Idea of Evil” having so much power is because almost everyone in the world of Berserk believe that evil exists in this world, because so much evil is happening in the world of Berserk.

The reason for humanity seemingly being stuck in the middle ages for at least 1000 years, is because it was around this time that enough people believed that evil existed in the world. The “Idea of Evil” got enough power to start sending behelit out in the physical world, which gave birth to the first apostles that brought chaos with them, and more people started believing the world was evil, so more behelit could be sent out in the physical world. This started an exponential growth of belief/power to the “Idea of Evil”, and eventually the first crimson behelit came to the physical world. Humanity can’t move forward from this point because the “Idea of Evil” controls causality more and more and bends it into a constant loop of depravity, that makes more and more people believe the world is evil.

When the story of Guts starts there is evil everywhere in the world and the “Idea of Evil” is practically a god of this world. The “Idea of Evil” continuously want more power/belief, so it plots to merge the physical and astral world, so every physical being can believe that the “Idea of Evil” is real.

The juicy stuff (theories within theories)
Not everything in this world is hopeless and there are of course also people that believe that there is something that can defeat evil. I am going to call this counterpart to the “Idea of Evil” the “Idea of Good”. The “Idea of Good” wants more power just like the “Idea of Evil”, and it does that by trying to convince people that there is something that can defeat evil i.e. there being the “Idea of Good”. This implies that it would make a lot of sense that Skull Knight is a servant of the “Idea of Good”, just as the god hand is servants of the “Idea of Evil”. The major flaw in this is that there is nothing to confirm this, other than Skull Knights existence, and why would not even Skull Knight talk about it if it was true.

Even though there might not be an “Idea of Good” it would make a lot of sense if Skull Knight is a servant of something like the "Idea of Good" since he is the foe of the inhuman, and repeatedly save people that support the “Idea of Good”. Guts is obviously saved because he is the biggest counterpart to the apostles that we know of, he literally shows people that it is possible to kill evil. Luca is saved because she believes in the good of all people even sympathizing with The Egg of the Perfect World, she is probably one of the last persons that would believe the world was evil. Rickert doesn’t directly have a very good reason to be saved, but the combined effect of him being a good person and someone that is going to help Guts later, makes him very valuable to the “Idea of Good”.

A theory as to why we don’t know of the “Idea of Good” and Skull Knight only occasionally visiting the physical world could be because the “Idea of Good” knows that it is inferior to the “Idea of Evil” at least for now. Nobody can know of its existence since the “Idea of Evil” would probably just find a way to destroy it if it knew it existed. The “Idea of Good” also has very limited power so it only sends in Skull Knight in emergencies. Since nobody can know the existence of the “Idea of Good” Skull Knight could be controlled by controlling his prophecies. You might think that the “Idea of Good” can’t get belief/power if nobody knows of its existence, but people do not need to know of the Ideas existence for them to gain power. Simply people thinking and doing evil things empowers the “Idea of Evil”, just as people thinking and doing things that counters evil empowers the “Idea of Good”.

The “Idea of Evil” might have messed up when it chose Griffith to be the most powerful being in the physical world. The “Idea of Evil’s” plan to merge the physical and astral world might have gone a bit too smoothly for the “Idea of Evil”. What Griffith/Femto is doing right now is creating stability, at least within Falconia, the apostles are kept in check and humans seem better of than before. The “Idea of Evil” is weakened by what Griffith/Femto is doing, and people think of him as a savior from all evil strengthening the “Idea of Good”. If the theory is correct Griffith/Femto might be the hero of the story after all, but the “Idea of Evil” will probably try to stop that from happening, so something horrible might soon happen in Falconia, to convince people that the world is still evil.

I hope some found this an interesting read, I would love to hear your comments on my theory.
 
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Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
Hi Tukkel! Below are my comments on your theory. Please don't take it personally, even if they're sometimes a bit terse.

The theory is that everything in the astral world is crated by something that has been done or thought in the physical world.
That's not what the story tells us. For example, a concept like the great ocean of souls at the bottom of the astral realm only makes sense if it is part of how the world works from the beginning. I don't see how it could be created retroactively through people's imagination. Beyond that, you have beings like the four elemental kings of the world that are presented as immutable, core constituents of the world.

The reason for the existence of trolls, elves and dragons in the astral world, is because humans has told stories about them in the physical world. This explains why there are different versions of all the astral creatures, it is simply because they are described a little differently in every story, and every human has their own imagination of what they are like. The more people believe that something that can’t exist in the physical world actually exists, the more powerful that thing becomes in the astral world.
The gaping flaw of this idea is that when we're introduced to the world of Berserk, most people are indifferent to magic and astral creatures. We're shown this a few times with how people in big cities react to Puck. They don't believe he can exist, and so, as he explains it, their brains just "tune him out". And yet he can still interact with them, as is also shown to us. He still exists. This fact is reinforced by Farnese's encounter with the specters, an event which completely destroys her worldview and marks the start of the crumbling of her faith.

That's why the advent of Fantasia directly contradicts your core assumption. When Femto caused the corporeal and astral realms to merge, astral beings immediately appeared in the world and changed it dramatically. But nothing in the story implies that people fervently believed dragons actually existed. Quite the opposite in fact (see Godot's story about the Dragon Slayer, for example). And yet dragons still appeared and destroyed cities. In the same way, the villagers of Enoch were dutiful followers of the Holy See doctrine, and yet that did not prevent trolls from ravaging their village.

This all points to the opposite of what you're saying: these creatures coexisted with humans a long time ago, but as the corporeal and astral realms grew apart, they became faint memories, only remembered through tales and imagination. Now, because the astral realm exists independently of the corporeal realm doesn't mean humans can't affect it at all. They definitely can. Weird creatures dreamed up by children can indeed take form in the astral realm, as shown by the being colloquially referred to as "The Schnoz" in the Qliphoth (whose real denomination is actually "魑魅魍魎"). The incarnation of Femto in the corporeal realm is made possible in part by a similar process. People's desire for a savior facilitated his coming. It's desire though, not belief.

Anyway, to sum it up: it's not all or nothing, both realms can interact with each other in a variety of ways.

For this theory to work we must establish that the astral world is affected by the physical world.
There's no real need to establish that, it's stated more than once in the story. But in itself that doesn't prove that your theory is correct.

The bandit has probably heard the story from someone else, so there must be a lot of people that believe there to be something special about those trees. This makes the tree have a powerful existence in the astral world and can bridge over to the physical world when Guts comes along and weakens the barrier between the worlds.
No, that's not how this works. When they share the story, we see shots of the tree. It actually has nails in it, and its trunk has the shape of human faces. This hints that the story is true: That specific tree was indeed used for human sacrifices in old times, and that is how it acquired its evil power. Not through belief, but through practice. And indeed, with Guts' presence, the evil power of the tree manifests itself in the corporeal realm. What this shows us is that ritualistic or massive murders can affect the astral realm. We see another example of that in the Tower of Conviction, when the torture room reacts to Casca and "comes alive", creating a giant mass of specters. No particular belief or imagination led to that, it's merely the result of the countless souls who were ignominiously killed in that room.

Interestingly, it also works in reverse. The Dragon Slayer, by slashing through an endless amount of astral beings, has become imbued with their essence. That is how it could affect Slan in the Qliphoth, and Ganishka's fog form in Vritannis.

When the team gets their magic fetishes in volume 24 episode 203: “Elementals” Schierke also mentions that the stronger their faith in the elementals, the better the fetish will work.
Yes, but that does not mean believing in them leads to their existence, or that not believing in them makes them disappear. The wielder has to be attuned to his weapon to maximize its effects, that's all. This is shown for example during Serpico's first attempt with the Sylph Sword.

Schierke literally confirms the theory by saying that the tree exists eternally in the astral world because it had been worshiped when it was in the physical world
Schierke does not say the tree will exist forever in the astral realm. This also does not confirm your theory, it just shows certain formidable corporeal objects or beings can acquire astral properties.

maybe Miura wants the reader to be reminded of the tree from volume 14 episode 95, possibly also confirming that it as well did not start out by having a presence in the astral world.
This is absolutely a reference to the evil tree from volume 14, yes.

The only astral beings of in the world of Berserk that we don’t have stories about in our world is all the different kinds of apostles.
Really? What about the Sea God? You can argue there are "Sea Gods" in our world, but not like the one shown in Berserk. It's quite unique. As is Miura's take on most common fantasy monsters.

There is only one person that believes an apostle should exist, namely the person it is born from. One person’s belief is not enough for a powerful being as an apostle to be born, even if the person sacrifices everything. I believe that the sacrifice is made to ensure that the person that becomes an apostle is evil, and the power ultimately comes from the “Idea of Evil”. This is supported in “Desire’s Guardian Angels” where the apostle is actually not completely evil because he didn’t sacrifice his daughter, but he still has the power of an apostle.
You're twisting the way Berserk's world works beyond reason in order to make your ideas work. Becoming an apostle has nothing to do with belief. It's a magic ritual in which a person chosen by a higher entity (The Idea of Evil) is taken to the depths of the astral realm by a beherit and is offered to sacrifice what they hold most dear in exchange for evil magical power. This evil power transforms their spiritual self, which in turn has an impact on their physical appearance and abilities. It's all about desire, as the title of these episodes make clear, not belief.

The evil power comes from the Vortex of Souls and is bestowed by the God Hand. You say that "the sacrifice is made to ensure that the person that becomes an apostle is evil", but that doesn't make sense, since the power they receive is evil in nature to begin with. You say the Count was "not completely evil because he didn’t sacrifice his daughter, but he still has the power of an apostle". First off, he doesn't "have the power of" an apostle, he is one. He's an apostle of the God Hand. Second, he was pretty much evil, and he had certainly received evil power from the God Hand. What this part of the story is meant to show us is that even so, he still had a sliver of humanity left in him. It's meant to bring nuance to what it means to be an apostle.

The lost chapter also supports this theory a lot since the “Idea of Evil” talks about a collective consciousness for all humans and it being its dark side. The “Idea of Evil” confirms that its power/existence comes from the dark/evil part of every human mind. The more people believe/think about evil stuff the more powerful the “Idea of Evil” becomes.

The reason for the “Idea of Evil” having so much power is because almost everyone in the world of Berserk believe that evil exists in this world, because so much evil is happening in the world of Berserk.
To begin with I should say that since episode 83 is not canon, no theory should rest on it. But moving beyond that, this is absolutely not how it's explained in the story. I think your wording here denotes a confusion as to what exactly the Idea of Evil is. In short it's a consciousness, a sentience that was developed by a preexisting part of the world. Here is what it tells Griffith in episode 83: Look around you. An ocean of feelings all humans have deep in their souls. A common consciousness that transcends individuality. Their collective consciousness. Its dark side is this swelling ocean. I was born from these swells as the ego of this world. This world itself is I. The darkness that dwells in every human heart.

Later on it further explains why it was born: out of an overwhelming desire by mankind to have reasons for their misery. Humans desired reasons. Reasons for pain. Reasons for sadness. Reasons for life. Reasons for death. Reasons why their lives were filled with suffering. Reasons why their deaths were absurd. They wanted reasons for the destiny that kept transcending their knowledge. You'll notice again here that the key word is "desire" and not "belief".

Nothing in the story ever hints that people need to "think about evil stuff" or "believe that evil exists" to give power to the Idea of Evil (to be honest that sounds beyond simplistic). People already had dark feelings before the Idea of Evil came to be. In fact it was created from those dark feelings. It's the ego, the consciousness of those dark feelings. And these feelings include everything from hatred and jealously to sadness, despair and anguish.

The reason for humanity seemingly being stuck in the middle ages for at least 1000 years, is because it was around this time that enough people believed that evil existed in the world.
I'm not sure what your point is exactly here, but just so you know, in the real world, the historical period known as the Middle Ages is generally considered to have lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. So such a period lasting 1000 years in Berserk's world isn't particularly shocking. It should also be noted that the one glimpse we get of Berserk's world a thousand years before the current era (when Charlotte tells the tale of Gaiseric) shows a clearly Greco-Roman inspired setting. Lastly, I must again remark that the idea of people "believing in evil" strikes me as extremely simplistic and even unrealistic. Whereas the truth is more simple and yet so much more nuanced: bad things happen.

The “Idea of Evil” got enough power to start sending behelit out in the physical world, which gave birth to the first apostles that brought chaos with them, and more people started believing the world was evil, so more behelit could be sent out in the physical world. This started an exponential growth of belief/power to the “Idea of Evil”, and eventually the first crimson behelit came to the physical world.
How do you explain the cataclysm that befell Gaiseric's empire a thousand years before the current era? You know, with angels descending from the skies and destroying his capital city in one night? Certainly that suggests things didn't start out with a trickle of apostles. Secondly, how did these apostles acquire their power if there were no members of the God Hand? The only way they can receive power that we know of is by meeting with the God Hand. That suggests you have things backwards: a member of the God Hand was created first and apostles came later. This is supported by the fact a member of the God Hand can only be born every 216 years. Speaking of which, we don't necessarily have a reason to think there was ever more than one crimson beherit.

When the story of Guts starts there is evil everywhere in the world and the “Idea of Evil” is practically a god of this world.
The Idea of Evil is called a god, no reason to add "practically" here.

The “Idea of Evil” continuously want more power/belief, so it plots to merge the physical and astral world, so every physical being can believe that the “Idea of Evil” is real.
We don't know what the Idea of Evil wants. More important though, I fail to see how merging back the astral and corporeal realm would help make sure people believe in it. I mean the entire religion of the Holy See seems like a scheme of the God Hand, but it "only" helped establish Griffith's position. If it was all about "belief", you'd think that would have been used to spread the word about the Idea of Evil instead. What you posit here seems completely illogical in that regard. If the Idea of Evil wanted people to believe in its existence, said existence would not be a secret, not even known to the apostles. Only the members of the God Hand know of it, with top-level magic users like Flora suspecting something but without proof.

“Idea of Good”
Ahhh, how many years had it been since I had heard about this wonderful concept? :iva:

The “Idea of Good” wants more power just like the “Idea of Evil”, and it does that by trying to convince people that there is something that can defeat evil i.e. there being the “Idea of Good”.
It's not doing a very good job.

This implies that it would make a lot of sense that Skull Knight is a servant of the “Idea of Good”, just as the god hand is servants of the “Idea of Evil”. The major flaw in this is that there is nothing to confirm this
:ganishka: Indeed.

other than Skull Knights existence, and why would not even Skull Knight talk about it if it was true.
SK's existence does not, in any way whatsoever, confirm that there is an "Idea of Good".

Even though there might not be an “Idea of Good” it would make a lot of sense if Skull Knight is a servant of something like the "Idea of Good" since he is the foe of the inhuman, and repeatedly save people that support the “Idea of Good”.
This is a really convoluted way to say something very simple: the Skull Knight opposes the God Hand. Speaking of which, the fact the Skull Knight has been gathering beherits to create a unique weapon (his beherit sword) to destroy the God Hand shows there's no other opposite power he can use. Rather he tries to fight fire with fire. And that backfired when he attempted to strike Femto with it, only to have that be part of Femto's plan (and by extension the Idea of Evil's plan) to begin with.

Guts is obviously saved because he is the biggest counterpart to the apostles that we know of, he literally shows people that it is possible to kill evil. Luca is saved because she believes in the good of all people even sympathizing with The Egg of the Perfect World, she is probably one of the last persons that would believe the world was evil. Rickert doesn’t directly have a very good reason to be saved, but the combined effect of him being a good person and someone that is going to help Guts later, makes him very valuable to the “Idea of Good”.
This is quite far-fetched. Luka "believes in the good of all people"? Really? Rickert is saved "because he's a good person"? You're grasping at straws here and it shows.

A theory as to why we don’t know of the “Idea of Good” and Skull Knight only occasionally visiting the physical world could be because the “Idea of Good” knows that it is inferior to the “Idea of Evil” at least for now. Nobody can know of its existence since the “Idea of Evil” would probably just find a way to destroy it if it knew it existed.
You'd think two beings serving opposite roles would be aware of each other's existence. More specifically, that the more powerful one of the two would be aware the weaker one exists given than the weaker one knows of the dominant one. This has no legs to stand on.

The “Idea of Good” also has very limited power so it only sends in Skull Knight in emergencies.
Like to chat with Guts? As he does a number of times? Or to visit Flora?

The “Idea of Evil” might have messed up when it chose Griffith to be the most powerful apostle in the physical world.
Uhhh, Griffith isn't an apostle. Femto is a member of the God Hand. He was incarnated in the corporeal realm.

The “Idea of Evil’s” plan to merge the physical and astral world might have gone a bit too smoothly for the “Idea of Evil”. What Griffith/Femto is doing right now is creating stability, at least within Falconia, the apostles are kept in check and humans seem better of than before. The “Idea of Evil” is weakened by what Griffith/Femto is doing, and people think of him as a savior from all evil strengthening the “Idea of Good”.
Wait, so you believe the Idea of Evil messed up and that by furthering its plans, it is actually weakening itself?

If the theory is correct Griffith/Femto might be the hero of the story after all, but the “Idea of Evil” will probably try to stop that from happening, so something horrible might soon happen in Falconia, to convince people that the world is still evil.
Oh, so you actually think Femto is the real hero of the story and that he'll end up fighting the Idea of Evil? Wow. If anything should convince you that your theory is incorrect, this should be it.

I haven’t touched on the world of ideas, but I believe it to be part of the astral world
That's not what Schierke says about it. You're directly contradicting what's told to us in the manga.
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
Hey man, quite a post! I've talked about this a few times in the past, so I'll paraphrase my thoughts from the last time it came up (back in ep 356):

I don't think the manga has explicitly answered the question of astral creatures' origins. The basic argument over the years has been between whether human dreams and imaginations are (were?) the authors of these creatures, or merely a window to the world they inhabit. I'm in the latter camp. The basis for much of these talks is in Vol 24 over dinner at Flora's. There is quite a bit of talk about how humans can or cannot perceive astral creatures due to circumstances, but nothing about their origins. Schierke talks a lot about how our perception of them is thanks to a tether in our collective subconscious minds to their existence (the kind of tether that can't simply be undone by an individual's "disbelief."). And that tether is reinforced by legends and stories, but is not the source.

Regarding your theory, I find a number of problems with the proposition that the astral world is merely the receptacle of the human imagination, apart from the obvious exceptions that need to be made for such a rule. First and foremost, Ged has already said: "We're going back to the chaos of the ancient times where this world was mixed with the astral world..." So what we have now is the natural state of the world, not a new dynamic that has been littered by human dreams run amok. But also, I don't think painting it all with one brush is going to work. The astral world as we know it so far is a dense stew swimming with a wide variety of beings, not all of which jive with the concept that human whims created them. There are specters for example, which are very clearly not created by the human mind, but are the lingering will of humans after their bodies have perished. And of course, elves are tied to the elements, just like the individual elementals, down to the 4 Kings which govern the elements.

Speaking more broadly about the direction of the story, the God Hand and their ilk are completely related to humans, and that's portrayed negatively. So I don't anticipate a human-centric creation story on the horizon. It seems more like a human-centric worldview is what created the problem, and during this interim period the God Hand have tipped the balance of power in favor of humans artificially, in a world that would otherwise have creatures on even footing.
 
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Okay so I'm going to try to defend my theory, I might change some stuff in the theory since it is a theory in development. First of i deleted the part about the world of ideas since it has nothing to do with the theory.

Something really important I didn't really get across, is the fact that I believe that one's beliefs is best shown through action, so the tree volume 14 got most of its power when the heretics did their sacrifices, and only got a little power from people continuing to tell stories about it. The tree in volume 24 got its power through people worshiping it, not just thinking it had power.

Another thing is that astral beings have a finite power and can only gain more through the physical world. This does not mean that astral beings can only exist if people believe in them, it just means that they don't gain any more power and will eventually fade away if they use the power they have.

That's not what the story tells us. For example, a concept like the great ocean of souls at the bottom of the astral realm only makes sense if it is part of how the world works from the beginning. I don't see how it could be created retroactively through people's imagination.
Nothing prevents a soul being created through the action of giving birth, and therefore everyone has a soul in the astral realm. Souls are probably empowered by the belief in individuality, and things that happen in the physical world determines where the soul ends up after death.

Beyond that, you have beings like the four elemental kings of the world that are presented as immutable, core constituents of the world.
The elemental kings were probably the "gods" before the "Idea of Evil", because that was what people believed in before the world became evil. Just because we know nothing about what was there before the elemental kings, does not mean there was nothing before them.

But what really fatally contradicts your core assumption here is Fantasia. When Femto caused the corporeal and astral realms to merge, astral beings immediately appeared in the world and changed it dramatically. Nothing in the story implies that random people fervently believed dragons actually existed. Quite the opposite in fact (see Godot's story about the Dragon Slayer, for example). And yet dragons still appeared and destroyed cities. In the same way, the villagers of Enoch were dutiful followers of the Holy See doctrine, and yet that did not prevent trolls from ravaging their village.
Well from Godot's story we know that there are stories about dragons, people just don't believe in them anymore. When people believed in the stories the dragons could have gotten their power, and then they have just been idle in the astral world until the worlds merge. The same goes for the trolls just that they get into the physical world through the Qliphoth opened by Slan. One problem with this is that it is unlikely that there is so many dragons if they are all powerful. If my theory is correct people would need to have been really into stories about dragons, for them to be so plentiful in the astral world.

No, that's not how this works. When they share the story, we see shots of the tree. It actually has nails in it, and its trunk has the shape of human faces. This hints that the story is true: That specific tree was indeed used for human sacrifices in old times, and that is how it acquired its evil power. Not through belief, but through practice.
My mistake for making it seem like all the tree's power comes from the stories, I totally agree that the tree became an astral being because of what the heretics did. However, when stories are told about the tree, its power further increases just not at the same rate is if the sacrifices continued.

The wielder has to be attuned to his weapon to maximize its effects, that's all. This is shown for example during Serpico's first attempt with the Sylph Sword.
Serpico also strongly believe in the wind elements in his first fight, and Schierke says that he has gotten really good at it, but he has not maximized its effect. When Schierke describes the magic fetishes, it does not sound like there is any limit to how powerful they can be.

Really? What about the Sea God? You can argue there are "Sea Gods" in our world, but not like the one shown in Berserk. It's quite unique. As is Miura's take on most common fantasy monsters.
I agree that Miura has his own take on fantasy monsters, but you can clearly see that he is inspired by already existing fantasy creatures. It would be only natural that the world of Berserk has its own twist on fantasy monsters. As for where he got the inspiration for the Sea God I think it resembles "Yogg-Saron" from World of Warcraft a lot, and believe it or not "Yogg-Saron" was before the Sea God. I'm not saying he was inspired by "Yogg-Saron" from World of Warcraft, I think he was just inspired by the same things as the developers of "Yogg-Saron", which is mostly H.P. Lovecraft. Wowpedia has a page about "Yogg-Saron", including its inspiration if anyone is more interested.

You're twisting the way Berserk's world works beyond reason in order to make your ideas work. Becoming an apostle has nothing to do with belief. It's a magic ritual in which a person chosen by a higher entity (The Idea of Evil) is taken to the depths of the astral realm by a beherit and is offered to sacrifice what they hold most dear in exchange for evil magical power. This evil power transforms their spiritual self, which in turn has an impact on their physical appearance and abilities. It's all about desire, as the title of these episodes make clear, not belief.
I don't think that a person's desire for power, and a person's belief that they should be powerful are much different. Why should a person desire power if they don't believe they should have that power? I think the physical appearance of apostles is how they see themselves, i.e. most people see themselves as monsters after what they have done. Only the God Hand don't see themselves as monsters but as powerful evil being of themselves.

The evil power comes from the Vortex of Souls and is bestowed by the God Hand. You say that "the sacrifice is made to ensure that the person that becomes an apostle is evil", but that doesn't make sense, since the power they receive is evil in nature to begin with. You say the Count was "not completely evil because he didn’t sacrifice his daughter, but he still has the power of an apostle". First off, he doesn't "have the power of" an apostle, he is one. He's an apostle of the God Hand. Second, he was pretty much evil, and he had certainly received evil power from the God Hand. What this part of the story is meant to show us is that even so, he still had a sliver of humanity left in him. It's meant to bring nuance to what it means to be an apostle.
I don't believe having evil power makes you evil, I think that Zodd is an example of this. Sure Zodd kills a lot of people after becoming an apostle, but he probably also did that before becoming an apostle. Zodd becoming an apostle just gave him the power to envision his dream of fighting more and did not necessarily become more evil. I think the story more specifically shows that it is not necessary sacrifice what is most important to gain the power of evil, and an apostle is not much different from what they would have been if they stayed human. He still only cared about his daughter, and the daughter would be disgusted by the Count even if he wasn't an apostle because he killed his wife.

Nothing in the story ever hints that people need to "think about evil stuff" or "believe that evil exists" to give power to the Idea of Evil (to be honest that sounds beyond simplistic). People already had dark feelings before the Idea of Evil came to be. In fact it was created from those dark feelings. It's the ego, the consciousness of those dark feelings. And these feelings include everything from hatred and jealously to sadness, despair and anguish.
You are absolutely right that it is simplistic to say that astral beings only get power from belief, I just did not want to talk about more than one way the physical world can influence the astral world, so I tried to choose a thing that every astral being is influenced by.

Lastly, I must again remark that the idea of people "believing in evil" strikes me as extremely simplistic and even unrealistic. Whereas the truth is more simple and yet so much more nuanced: bad things happen.
When I mean that people "believe in evil" I mean that they have seen so much that they would classify as evil, that they believe there to be something inhuman influencing the world to become evil.

How do you explain the cataclysm that befell Gaiseric's empire a thousand years before the current era? You know, with angels descending from the skies and destroying his capital city in one night? Certainly that suggests things didn't start out with a trickle of apostles.
Yea that one is certainly hard to explain, and like i said the theory has flaws, but I'm gonna try anyway. One way is that apostles and the God Hand started way before Gaiseric's empire, and it is first around this time that the "Idea of Evil" got enough power to control causality. Another way is that the elemental kings or magi did not like Gaiseric, so they plotted to destroy his empire, which turned the world into chaos and the "Idea of Evil" flourished as a result. My last idea is that the "Idea of Evil" had comparable strength to each of the elemental kings and tricked them into destroying Gaiseric's empire.

Secondly, how did these apostles acquire their power if there were no members of the God Hand? The only way they can receive power that we know of is by meeting with the God Hand. That suggests you have things backwards: a member of the God Hand was created first and apostles came later. This is supported by the fact a member of the God Hand can only be born every 216 years. Speaking of which, we don't necessarily have a reason to think there was ever more than one crimson beherit.
I don't believe the God Hand is necessary for an apostle transformation, I believe that the God Hand is a middle man that makes the process a lot easier. The first apostles had to come in direct contact with the "Idea of Evil", so it must have been a lot harder to activate the behelit since it had to establish a much deeper connection with the astral world. After the first God Hand member was created, the process becomes a lot easier, and form that point on only the God Hand has a direct connection with the "Idea of Evil". I think it makes a lot of sense that the less powerful servants come before the more powerful servants. A middle ground could be that the first servant of the "Idea of Evil" was a Good Hand but had a lot less power than the Good Hand now, but that its power grew with the "Idea of Evil" and eventually apostles was born as lower servants than the God Hand.

We don't know what the Idea of Evil wants. More important though, I fail to see how merging back the astral and corporeal realm would help make sure people believe in it. I mean the entire religion of the Holy See seems like a scheme of the God Hand, but it "only" helped establish Griffith position. If it was all about "belief", you'd think that would have been used to spread the word about the Idea of Evil instead. What you posit here seems completely illogical in that regard. If the Idea of Evil wanted people to believe in its existence, said existence would not be a secret, not even known to the apostles. Only the members of the God Hand know of it, with top-level magic users like Flora suspecting something but without proof.
By merging the astral and physical world the "Idea of Evil" has a much bigger impact on the world, and it is easier for people to believe there is something evil in the world when it is visible to them. I don't think people would believe in a religion where the god is evil and wants everyone to suffer, the believers of the Holy See don't see the god as evil quite the opposite. However what the Holy See does is evil and empowers the "Idea of Evil" but the religion in itself does not support the "Idea of Evil". The "Idea of Evil" does not need people to believe that it exists as an astral being, it just needs people to believe that evil exists, which every apostle believe.

his is quite far-fetched. Luka "believes in the good of all people"? Really?
Luka keeps believing in Nina no matter what she does. Luka has her own ways of opposing evil, first off she tries to eliminate jealousy by sharing all their "loot". Secondly she tries to save people from evil, she tries to prevent Casca from being raped by making her seem like she has syphilis, and she tries to defend Pepe when she is accused of being a heretic.

Rickert is saved "because he's a good person"? You're grasping at straws here and it shows.
Yea this is a bad explanation, but he might play an important role later on.

You'd think two beings serving opposite roles would be aware of each other's existence. More specifically, that the more powerful one of the two would be aware the weaker one exists given than the weaker one knows of the dominant one. This has no legs to stand on.
The only thing that confirms that "Ideas" existence is that there is something powerful affecting the world. So if the "Idea of Good" never influences the physical world or causality to a noticeable extent, nothing would hint at its existence.

Like to chat with Guts? As he does a number of times? Or to visit Flora?
Yea this supports that Skull Knight is his own thing that does whatever he likes. The "Idea of Good" might just support Skull Knight because they have a common enemy, this could be done through power directly but more interestingly the "Idea of Good" could be the source of some of Skull Knights predictions, and in turn have some control over Skull Knight.

Wait, so you believe the Idea of Evil messed up and that by furthering its plans, it is actually weakening itself?
Well it is hard to say when we haven't really seen what Femto plans to do, but I definitely don't think that the "Idea of Evil" planed that Falconia would be a safe haven for a long time.

Oh, so you actually think Femto is the real hero of the story and that he'll end up fighting the Idea of Evil? Wow. If anything should convince you that your theory is incorrect, this should be it.
Well i don't think that Femto will oppose the "Idea of Evil", he will just weaken the "Idea of Evil" without knowing it. It would be quite interesting to see what Femto would do if the "Idea of Evil" told Femto to destroy Falconia.
 
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Walter

Administrator
Staff member
Nothing prevents a soul being created through the action of giving birth, and therefore everyone has a soul in the astral realm.
I don't think you understood Aaz's meaning. I believe he was saying the Ocean of Souls is abstract enough (and perhaps integral enough) that its creation did not hinge on being dreamed up by humans. It demonstrates what I think is a fundamental problem with your line of reasoning: You're trying to capture everything shown in the Berserk universe within the same bucket of human imagination, even when as readers we are privy to things that stand good reason to be foundational aspects of the universe, not just a whim of human imagination.

And in good faith, I'll reiterate that Miura has not made his creation mythos 100% crystal clear, and he has not laser-targeted what the original gulf looked like between human imagination and co-existing magical beings. So there's room to argue, certainly. But there is one pretty reliable guidepost -- the direction of the story. Making a human-centric universe really doesn't seem like the direction Miura has been taking the story, given that the human-centric, nothing-else-exists-la-la-la Holy See have been exemplified several times as morons with their heads in the sand, and the Falconian "wipe everything non-human out, it's a threat! Bring me the witch's head!" force is a bunch of "blind sheep" led by a demon king. On the other side of the ocean, we have humans coexisting with magical creatures in harmony, and there is no human dominion over them or established hierarchy of rule because of some human imagination engine. Instead it's actually quite reversed in terms of who is in "charge" of Elfhelm.

Just because we know nothing about what was there before the elemental kings, does not mean there was nothing before them.
But the burden of proof still rests on you when you attempt to open the door to the unknown. You can't simply argue on the grounds of "there was probably other stuff too" when Miura has not drawn that into question for us.

When people believed in the stories the dragons could have gotten their power, and then they have just been idle in the astral world until the worlds merge
, its power further increases just not at the same rate is if the sacrifices continued.
I've gotta say man, this whole "got their power" thing is pretty flimsy, particularly when there's no clear example of it in the manga. Could you maybe define what you mean here more clearly? By "gotten their power" do you mean manifesting in the astral world as a defined being through the process of imagination?

One problem with this is that it is unlikely that there is so many dragons if they are all powerful. If my theory is correct people would need to have been really into stories about dragons, for them to be so plentiful in the astral world.
Why are you even introducing the wrinkle of quantification when you're already arguing on an ephemeral foundation? Why are there even limits to the numbers on these things if it's purely imagination as the creation engine?

As for where he got the inspiration for the Sea God I think it resembles "Yogg-Saron" from World of Warcraft a lot, and believe it or not "Yogg-Saron" was before the Sea God. I'm not saying he was inspired by "Yogg-Saron" from World of Warcraft, I think he was just inspired by the same things as the developers of "Yogg-Saron"
If you didn't mean to say he was inspired by World of Warcraft, then why even mention it? We already know through numerous examples that Miura has framed his fantasy creatures around their original, folklore descriptions and sketches, not MMORPGs.

I don't think that a person's desire for power, and a person's belief that they should be powerful are much different. Why should a person desire power if they don't believe they should have that power?
Why should belief have anything to do with it? Just pay attention to the process in the sacrificial ritual. The answers are all there for why apostles become what they are. By making a valid sacrifice they are giving up a part of themselves, exposing a part of their souls that is then filled with evil ("A fissure in your heart will open, into which evil is poured." - Conrad, Vol 3). The integration of evil power in their essence is what transforms them into the monstrous bodies. And that's the part the Vortex snatches away (leaving the empty human husk) when they expire. It's all there on the pages.

I don't believe having evil power makes you evil, I think that Zodd is an example of this. Sure Zodd kills a lot of people after becoming an apostle, but he probably also did that before becoming an apostle. Zodd becoming an apostle just gave him the power to envision his dream of fighting more and did not necessarily become more evil. I think the story more specifically shows that it is not necessary sacrifice what is most important to gain the power of evil
You don't believe sacrificing a loved one in a death ritual that grants them superhuman strength and turns them into literal monsters makes them evil? Alright, I'll bite. But it's not called "cool power." It's called "evil power." The key phrase used in all the different forms here is , and that doesn't leave a lot of room for semantics. Layer that on top of what apostles represent, how they have an innate appetite for human flesh (which some suppress), and what I've already said about how selfishly selling off their loved ones to an eternally spiraling chain of evil souls, and well... what do you believe?

an apostle is not much different from what they would have been if they stayed human.
Guts should just go ahead and do it, right? Just fucking sacrifice somebody -- anybody! Being "evil" is not so bad. Look at Zodd, he's totally cool. And Irvine, he put his coat on Sonia that one time. It might not be so bad working for the God Hand. I mean, why not at least give it a shot? What does he have to lose?

He still only cared about his daughter, and the daughter would be disgusted by the Count even if he wasn't an apostle because he killed his wife.
This is really out of left field, but Theresia's reaction to her father's death, even after learning the truth, wasn't numbness or a feeling of vindication after what he did to her mother. It was anger, sadness, that he'd been taken from her. She cared about him, despite everything. If she hated him, or was disgusted, it wasn't shown in the aftermath of the ceremony.

When I mean that people "believe in evil" I mean that they have seen so much that they would classify as evil, that they believe there to be something inhuman influencing the world to become evil.
This is 100% conjecture. To use a silly example though, when humans are faced with something inhuman in the series, it's not a look of "I KNEW IT!" It's "HOLY SHIT IT'S A FUCKING MONSTER WHAT IN THE HELL?!" Their worldviews have been narrowed by the Holy See. They don't appear to be directing their feelings of existential malaise at the feet of an abstract supernatural entity.

Nor is such a thing prerequisite under the circumstances described by the Idea of Evil of its own creation. Once its engine started, it put itself at the helm as the answer to the lingering, collective feelings of mankind's despair. And that's all she wrote. Nothing in the manga hints that it requires faith fuel to continue its existence, or to amass power.

Another way is that the elemental kings or magi did not like Gaiseric
This is ridiculous. In their one grand scene, did they appear to be beings who micromanage human affairs down to the level of chosen governmental officials? Why haven't they appeared now that Trump has taken power in the U.S.? We could really use someone like them.

I don't believe the God Hand is necessary for an apostle transformation
And yet, that is exactly how it is shown in the manga. The burden of proof is on you to explain not only how it is otherwise possible, but why it is necessary to go beyond the means of the story.

it is easier for people to believe there is something evil in the world when it is visible to them
Are you saying the Idea of Evil is in the world currently, hanging out in some moist cave?

So if the "Idea of Good" never influences the physical world or causality to a noticeable extent, nothing would hint at its existence.
Occam's Razor: Nothing hints at its existence because it doesn't exist.

The "Idea of Good" might just support Skull Knight because they have a common enemy, this could be done through power directly but more interestingly the "Idea of Good" could be the source of some of Skull Knights predictions, and in turn have some control over Skull Knight.
Instead of reaching out into the beyond, the answer for SK's predictions are likely already right in front of us -- the Sovereign of the Flower Storm.
 
Don't want this to sound silly, but your theory of the astral creatures being created by people's dreams or desires sound suspiciously like Imagination Land from South Park. :carcus:

On more serious note, there are few core things that don't seat right with me about you theory.

For one, I think you've confusing the cause and effect regarding the astral world. Now, it is true that not everything has been fully explained regarding how the Berserk world works, but to base an extensive theory like yours on something so loosely defined, just invites massive problems. You say that, basically, dragons exist in the astral world because people dreamed and told stories of them, and started to believe that they might exist. The problem is that it puts way too much power and significance on people and what they want to believe. It's much more accurate to think that dragons existed in the astral world, sometimes people would wind up in the interstice, see or fight with the dragons, then tell people about them. This being perhaps before the Holy Sea's influence on the people that was stated to have benumbed them from seeing elves and such. Then these stories could have spread and become fairy tales and such.


Another one is the "Idea of Good." This is an easier one to dispute. I could use two examples: one from the manga, other from Miura himself.

In the Golden Age arc, after the fight with Zodd, Guts and Griffith talked about their encounter with the monster. They where both surprised that such a creature could exist and Griffith said that maybe even Gods could exist, to which Guts replied as "Dontcha mean Devils?" And, most importantly, Griffith said: "Who knows? Aren't they the same thing?" This is not simply Griffith's words. This establishes something essential in the world of Berserk. There is no clear distinction between good and evil. I would argue that this is one of the core themes in Berserk.

To strengthen my argument further I'll use Miura's words from the interview with the french Glénat that came out couple weeks ago. To a question about symbolisms of shadow vs light Miura said, and I'm paraphrasing, that this clear distinction between shadow and light is more common in Christian influenced cultures. In these stories you have the forces of good who only do good for the sake of good vs forces of evil who only do evil for the sake of evil. In Japanese culture this is not so clear. You have mythical creatures who have certain characteristics, good or bad, but they are not simply divided into angels vs devils. Some is obvious in Berserk. It's hard to call Guts a force of absolute good. The man has no problem letting a town be massacred just to kill an apostle for his revenge. He used children as bait among other terrible things. I'm not even talking about the number people, and horses, he's killed. But at the same time you can write a lot about how he is a good person and his actions are for the good of others too. And I'd be surprised if anyone would call Guts evil.

So, in summation, the existence of "Idea of Good" would directly contradict with one of the core concepts of both the world of Berserk and the story of Berserk, hence I don't agree with this theory.
 
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Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
Okay so I'm going to try to defend my theory, I might change some stuff in the theory since it is a theory in development.
Alright. But the problem with theories that change as they're being argued about is that they usually end up as a bunch of disparate points that someone refuses to admit are incorrect as opposed to a cohesive set of ideas and evidence meant to explain something. I don't say that specifically for you, it's just been my experience when dealing with such scenarios over the years.

First of i deleted the part about the world of ideas since it has nothing to do with the theory.
Ok, although you're proposing an explanation for the way the world works that's based entirely around the corporeal realm, which means the realm of ideas might as well not exist. And yet it does. That is a hole in your theory.

Something really important I didn't really get across, is the fact that I believe that one's beliefs is best shown through action, so the tree volume 14 got most of its power when the heretics did their sacrifices, and only got a little power from people continuing to tell stories about it. The tree in volume 24 got its power through people worshiping it, not just thinking it had power.
Belief and practice are two different things though. I mean that's a really very significant change here. You were talking about people "believing in evil", but now it means "people being evil". That's really completely different. But more than that, what about elves, trolls and dragons? You were explaining those away as created through belief, but there's no altar for dragon worshipping or anything like that. None of these creatures can be explained by "practice" like you just did. That's a gaping hole.

Another thing is that astral beings have a finite power and can only gain more through the physical world. This does not mean that astral beings can only exist if people believe in them, it just means that they don't gain any more power and will eventually fade away if they use the power they have.
Why would that be the case? Nothing in the manga supports this idea, and you're not providing any reason that could explain why that would make sense. Furthermore, with Fantasia we saw creatures reappear all over the world and they seemed to have plenty of power despite not having had any interaction with the corporeal realm for a very long time. That goes against what you're saying. I'm also curious about how this gaining of power would work exactly. How does an elf gain power? How is power expanded? How does the Elemental King of Earth gain power? How can he run out of power and fade away? This is just all very unconvincing in addition to feeling needlessly complicated.

Nothing prevents a soul being created through the action of giving birth, and therefore everyone has a soul in the astral realm. Souls are probably empowered by the belief in individuality, and things that happen in the physical world determines where the soul ends up after death.
You didn't get what I meant. Like Walter said, I was referring to the fact they are elements in the astral realm that are fundamental building blocks for the world of Berserk as a whole and couldn't possibly have simply been retroactively wished into existence because someone "dreamed them up". That aside, the idea that "souls are probably empowered by the belief in individuality" sounds laughable to me. How does a newborn "believe in individuality" exactly? I'm sorry but this stuff just sounds like you haven't put much thought into it and are just making it up as you go.

The elemental kings were probably the "gods" before the "Idea of Evil", because that was what people believed in before the world became evil. Just because we know nothing about what was there before the elemental kings, does not mean there was nothing before them.
Haha, yeah it also doesn't mean you can make up whatever explanation you want. A theory only has value if it's believable based on what we know is true. In this case, as far as we know, the Elemental Kings are an immutable part of the world. If you say otherwise, you need to convince me with either evidence or flawless logic, because I'm not going to just take you at your word. Same thing goes for "when the world became evil". Nothing in the story says "the world is evil", nor that it underwent a specific change like that.

Well from Godot's story we know that there are stories about dragons, people just don't believe in them anymore. When people believed in the stories the dragons could have gotten their power, and then they have just been idle in the astral world until the worlds merge. The same goes for the trolls just that they get into the physical world through the Qliphoth opened by Slan. One problem with this is that it is unlikely that there is so many dragons if they are all powerful. If my theory is correct people would need to have been really into stories about dragons, for them to be so plentiful in the astral world.
The problem isn't the ratio of power per dragon. It's that this whole idea of astral beings have power that's only expanded when they're in contact with the corporeal realm (because apparently they didn't "lose power" in the interim) is extremely far-fetched. Why would there be few dragons with a lot of power and many trolls with little power? Why not the opposite? Who decides that? What about strong trolls or weak dragons? How are these explained?

My mistake for making it seem like all the tree's power comes from the stories, I totally agree that the tree became an astral being because of what the heretics did. However, when stories are told about the tree, its power further increases just not at the same rate is if the sacrifices continued.
There is no evidence of that being the case. It's unnecessary to the story and there is no mention or hint that it exists.

Serpico also strongly believe in the wind elements in his first fight, and Schierke says that he has gotten really good at it, but he has not maximized its effect. When Schierke describes the magic fetishes, it does not sound like there is any limit to how powerful they can be.
The first time Serpico uses his sword is in Flora's mansion. Then during the battle in Enoch, his first attack fizzles because he isn't concentrating. That aside, these weapons clearly have a limit to the damage they can deal, and said damage is pretty consistent. We even know that the full moon can reinforce their power and have seen to what extent it does so.

I agree that Miura has his own take on fantasy monsters, but you can clearly see that he is inspired by already existing fantasy creatures. It would be only natural that the world of Berserk has its own twist on fantasy monsters.
Miura, like all artists, has a lot of inspirations. And that extends to apostles, too. I guess I just don't understand your line of reasoning here.

As for where he got the inspiration for the Sea God I think it resembles "Yogg-Saron" from World of Warcraft a lot, and believe it or not "Yogg-Saron" was before the Sea God. I'm not saying he was inspired by "Yogg-Saron" from World of Warcraft, I think he was just inspired by the same things as the developers of "Yogg-Saron", which is mostly H.P. Lovecraft. Wowpedia has a page about "Yogg-Saron", including its inspiration if anyone is more interested.
I actually don't think the Sea God resembles Yogg-Saron very much, aside from the fact both are inspired by the Cthulhu mythos (which is definitely the case for both of them). I also find it amusing you're telling me about World of Warcraft as if it were a little known topic. Mostly though I must reiterate that I don't understand your point here. Are you trying to argue that Miura's monster design is unoriginal? If so, how does that serve your theory exactly?

I don't think that a person's desire for power, and a person's belief that they should be powerful are much different. Why should a person desire power if they don't believe they should have that power?
This is such a stretch it almost got me laughing.

I think the physical appearance of apostles is how they see themselves, i.e. most people see themselves as monsters after what they have done. Only the God Hand don't see themselves as monsters but as powerful evil being of themselves.
This is absolutely not how it's presented to us in the story. I understand that you're making this up, but you have to at least respect the elements the story establish, otherwise there's no point to this at all.

I don't believe having evil power makes you evil
So becoming a monster who literally hungers for human flesh does not make you evil? Even though their soul is bound to "hell" because of the evil transformation they undergo?

I think that Zodd is an example of this. Sure Zodd kills a lot of people after becoming an apostle, but he probably also did that before becoming an apostle.
I'm sure you realize that this just isn't very convincing. :ganishka:

I think the story more specifically shows that it is not necessary sacrifice what is most important to gain the power of evil
The story does very clearly state and show that you actually do need to sacrifice what's most precious to you to become an apostle, and that doing so makes you evil. Really, you should probably make sure you understand the core concepts of the series before you start a theory next time...

an apostle is not much different from what they would have been if they stayed human. He still only cared about his daughter, and the daughter would be disgusted by the Count even if he wasn't an apostle because he killed his wife.
Really? Wow. The Count is shown eating people whole. He became a monster who spent his time torturing his citizens. He cared for his daughter... but he struggled to. And Theresia is shown actually still loving him despite knowing what he did. It's made very clear in the story. However she was disgusted by his touch and refused it... because he had become... wait for it... a slug monster. The actual story literally proves you wrong. And honestly, again, this shows a lack of understanding of the core mechanics of the series that makes me think I'm wasting my time by engaging with your post at all.

You are absolutely right that it is simplistic to say that astral beings only get power from belief, I just did not want to talk about more than one way the physical world can influence the astral world, so I tried to choose a thing that every astral being is influenced by.
Uh huh. I'm doubtful.

When I mean that people "believe in evil" I mean that they have seen so much that they would classify as evil, that they believe there to be something inhuman influencing the world to become evil.
No one that we've seen in the series seems to believe that, though. That's kind of a problem for your theory.

Yea that one is certainly hard to explain, and like i said the theory has flaws, but I'm gonna try anyway. [...]
I appreciate that you've put some effort into this, but I think it's important to assert that "trying to make up some ideas to explain things" has almost no value. The point of crafting a theory should be for it to actually be proven true, to manage to explain how the world works beyond what we know, in a way consistent with the story, so that we can anticipate future developments or at least better understand them when they're revealed. Otherwise, if it's just making stuff up, then there's no point to it.

I don't believe the God Hand is necessary for an apostle transformation
Then once again, your theory goes directly against the way the world works in the story. And that is disqualifying.

The first apostles had to come in direct contact with the "Idea of Evil"
This is groundless conjecture. It's just something you think makes sense, but that has no basis in the story. And interestingly, I think it's the first time I ever see someone argue that apostles came before the God Hand.

By merging the astral and physical world the "Idea of Evil" has a much bigger impact on the world, and it is easier for people to believe there is something evil in the world when it is visible to them.
Your starting point was that everything in the astral realm comes from the corporeal realm. Why then would there be a need to merge these realms to have more impact on the corporeal realm? It makes no sense. And that's because your theory is wrong. Furthermore, what's visible to people right now? Nothing except astral beings and the astral realm in general. There's no big "the world is evil" placard in the sky. And while the world has become more hostile, Falconia is prospering.

Luka keeps believing in Nina no matter what she does. Luka has her own ways of opposing evil, first off she tries to eliminate jealousy by sharing all their "loot". Secondly she tries to save people from evil, she tries to prevent Casca from being raped by making her seem like she has syphilis, and she tries to defend Pepe when she is accused of being a heretic.
Yeah I don't need you to tell me about Luka's character, it's just that your explanation of why she was saved by the Skull Knight is super far-fetched.

Yea this is a bad explanation, but he might play an important role later on.
Haha dude, Rickert already plays an important role in the story. Again here, the problem is just your explanation.

The only thing that confirms that "Ideas" existence is that there is something powerful affecting the world. So if the "Idea of Good" never influences the physical world or causality to a noticeable extent, nothing would hint at its existence.
We know the Idea of Evil exists because we see it at the end of episode 82 and because Flora alludes to it in volume 24. The ways in which it influences the world are understood. Meanwhile you're arguing that a being who has no visible effect on the world and is inexistent in the manga does secretly exist... the question is why? If it's to support your theory, well you can't reinforce a theory by inventing things that are not in the story. And if it's because your theory dictates that it should exist, then you should probably first focus on finding a rock-solid theory before you launch into this.

Yea this supports that Skull Knight is his own thing that does whatever he likes. The "Idea of Good" might just support Skull Knight because they have a common enemy, this could be done through power directly but more interestingly the "Idea of Good" could be the source of some of Skull Knights predictions, and in turn have some control over Skull Knight.
Or maybe there's no Idea of Good. As Walter showed above, everything about the Skull Knight can be explained without the need for a counterpart to the Idea of Evil.

Well it is hard to say when we haven't really seen what Femto plans to do, but I definitely don't think that the "Idea of Evil" planed that Falconia would be a safe haven for a long time.
It's actually not hard at all. We know that Femto is evil. We also know the God Hand has been working towards achieving a goal for centuries. We know Femto deliberately created Fantasia and Falconia (with the help of previously set up elements). It is therefore a matter of logical deduction to say that whatever the end goal is with Falconia, it isn't benevolent. It's honestly pretty funny to me that some people think maybe Griffith is just a nice guy after all.

Well i don't think that Femto will oppose the "Idea of Evil", he will just weaken the "Idea of Evil" without knowing it. It would be quite interesting to see what Femto would do if the "Idea of Evil" told Femto to destroy Falconia.
You were saying Femto might be the hero of the story by strengthening the Idea of Good and that the Idea of Evil would try to destroy Falconia, so that sounds like opposition to me. I'll be honest, I just find this idea really dumb. Femto was created by the Idea of Evil and works under its mandate.

In the Golden Age arc, after the fight with Zodd, Guts and Griffith talked about their encounter with the monster. They where both surprised that such a creature could exist and Griffith said that maybe even Gods could exist, to which Guts replied as "Dontcha mean Devils?" And, most importantly, Griffith said: "Who knows? Aren't they the same thing?" This is not simply Griffith's words. This establishes something essential in the world of Berserk. There is no clear distinction between good and evil. I would argue that this is one of the core themes in Berserk.
This just isn't true. Berserk makes it very clear from the beginning that there is good and evil. Puck is good, apostles are evil. The God Hand is evil. It's extremely clear who are the bad guys. Guts, as the Black Swordsman, is portrayed ambiguously: he fights the monsters, but he's not a kind man. He does it for revenge, not justice. He's a dark hero. And yet it's always clear, even to him, what's good and what's bad. For example, in the Black Swordsman arc, he knows he's been unfair to Vargas, and that's why he avenges him. So good and evil are clearly defined in Berserk, despite the fact its world is harsh and few people are unequivocally good or bad.

I think that last part is what you meant to say. Berserk' world is complex and its characters (whether they're the good guys or bad guys) have a lot of nuance to them. But saying there is no distinction between good and evil in Berserk is just plain false.
 
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I just have to say that i have pretty much the exact same theory. I did not have the time to read every replies, but I think this theory has a lot going for it. I was writing about this myself some years ago and never finished it, alongside other more dubious ones. I think this theory is very strong actually and makes a lot of sense, I'll see how fast I can finish writing about it in english for you, after I read all the posts.

I don't subscribe to the "Idea of Good" for the same reason as berserkPrime just stated.

The world started purely physical with no consciousness in it, it was "flat", in three dimensions but one plane of existence. When the first conscious creatures arrived (humans), it added the world of consciousness which led to the apparition of the different layers: astral, shallow layers, then more profond to slowly becoming the world of Idea. I think the Idea of Evil is one of the last creation of the human collective consciousness as the worlds are spiralling downward. It's clearly stated in the manga that humans collective consciousness birthed planes of existence and populated them with their dreams, aspirations, fears and the like. Human emotions can alter the physical world by crossing from their abstract planes. I think that the "Word" that God made first in John 1:1 comes obviously "after" the first humans from a material point of view, but from an archetypal point of view it predates even humans because "the Word" is the true first component of counsciousness and reality, it means that consciousness made the world, noone would experience the world without it. By the same token the consciousness in Berserk is acting within the story on a metaphysical level to make all stories true. What you dream is true, what collective consciousness fears is true. The search for meaning and especially the meaning for evil made the Idea of Evil, we know that much, but it actually comes from a hope, the hope that humans suffering is not their own doing. This twisted and infantile hope, nourished also by the dead lost in the abyss, stripped humans from their own will. This hope that the meaning for suffering is an evil deity, rejects human responsibility and thus puts humans into a pit of despair as the Idea of Evil takes on their destiny as they forfeit it along with their responsibilities.
 
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