Author Topic: My piece on Griffith  (Read 2027 times)

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Offline DasBouf

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My piece on Griffith
« on: April 20, 2016, 04:25:48 AM »
Hello SK.net!
I have some feelings on Griffith I'd like to get out there, so I decided to write this up. I know Griffith is one of the most widely discussed characters in Berserk, but I have some things I'd like to say, so I figure this is the best place to do it!

Griffith is one of the most complex characters in a world of incredibly complex characters. His determination for his dream defines his character, but what makes his character dynamic, is the fact that someone was able to break that determination and get truly close to him (Not 100% broken, but as he says, Guts made him forget his dream)
I unfortunately came into Berserk spoiled, so I never at any point watching the anime believed he was genuine at all, until the moment when Guts left the Band of the Hawk. (Or is it Falcon? I've seen both) When I saw how crushed Griffith was at Guts departure, I had to reevaluate the way I saw the character entirely. When I first read the manga, I had this mindset of Griffith's care for Guts as being genuine their relationship, and it's inevitable downfall felt considerably more tragic. Believe it or not though, I am certainly not a part of the "Griffith dindu nuffin!" crowd. I believe in personal responsibility, and I believe it's okay to put faith in a person, but if that person lets you down, you must take at least part of the blame for misplacing your trust. Griffith breaking down and sleeping with Charlotte because of Guts leaving, was a sad and effective scene, but it was ultimately still his fault. Griffith was a man of ambition, but ultimately he was also weak. At least in comparison to Guts. He gave up his dream and then his men and only true friend to get his dream back. He messed up and everyone else was forced to pay the price. Griffith had received a year of torture, and was in a position of complete helplessness. Due to this I will admit, if I were in his shoes I would make the same decision, if only to get my ability to move back  :ganishka:

In all seriousness, what Griffith did is completely unforgivable in my eyes. Especially the rape of Casca. That was done completely out of spite for Guts leaving. I don't hate Griffith supporters or anything, but I've yet to hear one good defense of that horrific action, and I doubt I ever will. I mean sleeping with someones girlfriend is messed up on it's own, doing so forcefully is completely indefensible. Despite the fact that I think Griffith is a horrible person, he's one of the best characters ever written in my opinion. Flawed and complex, horrible yet understandable, one of the best examples to showing how amazing the writing of this manga is.

This is my first real post on Skull Knight, so all replies are appreciated! Thanks for taking the time to read this. There's a lot to say about this character, and a lot of opinions and I'd love to hear yours.
"I feel the top of the room come off
Kill everybody in there
And I'm watching all the stars burn out
Trying to pretend that I care"

Offline JMP

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Re: My piece on Griffith
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2016, 01:26:42 AM »
Hi DasBouf!  :serpico:

Griffith is a complex character for sure, very ruthless in his ambition. That gets him what he wants most of the time, but when he sleeps with the princess it's his downfall. Aazealh and I had a discussion about Griffith if you care to check it out. http://www.skullknight.net/forum/index.php?topic=14705.msg236899#msg236899 I kinda got schooled, but hey, the points he made were good ones that I ended up agreeing with and I thought they were very interesting. Sorry I didn't say so sooner, Aazealh.

His determination for his dream defines his character, but what makes his character dynamic, is the fact that someone was able to break that determination and get truly close to him (Not 100% broken, but as he says, Guts made him forget his dream)
I'm not sure this is what you're saying, but I don't think getting close to Guts broke Griffith's determination. After he formed a bond with Guts Griffith still wanted and actively pursued his dream, he just got to do it with Guts at his side. See that discussion I linked earlier, in it Aazealh brings up that Griffith didn't lose sight of his dream until it was out of his reach, after he was imprisoned and all jacked up.

When I saw how crushed Griffith was at Guts departure, I had to reevaluate the way I saw the character entirely. When I first read the manga, I had this mindset of Griffith's care for Guts as being genuine their relationship, and it's inevitable downfall felt considerably more tragic.
I think Griffith cared about Guts in a very selfish way. This stood out to me most in the battle they had when Guts was leaving and Griffith coldly thinks about how it's a possibility that he might seriously injure or kill Guts in the fight, but then decides he doesn't care if that happens because what matters most to him is keeping possession of Guts, not Guts himself. It's a pretty sad situation. Here Guts is fighting for his freedom from Griffith (at Griffith's insistence) because he wants to go find his own dream and prove he's an equal and worthy of Griffith's definition of a friend and in my opinion Griffith is not even deserving of that much regard from Guts.

I believe in personal responsibility, and I believe it's okay to put faith in a person, but if that person lets you down, you must take at least part of the blame for misplacing your trust.
Guts never let Griffith down, though. He never betrayed Griffith's trust. He even stayed on in the Band of the Falcon after he had already made the decision to leave so he could help to make sure Griffith won the war and got rid of his dangerous opponents in the court. Guts didn't leave until Griffith was in a position where Guts thought he would be OK without him. Griffith's trust in Guts was well founded. He was wrong to think of Guts as a possession and then to implode and do something rash when he was beaten and Guts left.

In all seriousness, what Griffith did is completely unforgivable in my eyes. Especially the rape of Casca. That was done completely out of spite for Guts leaving. I don't hate Griffith supporters or anything, but I've yet to hear one good defense of that horrific action, and I doubt I ever will. I mean sleeping with someones girlfriend is messed up on it's own, doing so forcefully is completely indefensible.
I agree and that's just from the perspective of his betrayal to Guts in this act. It was a terrible thing he did to Guts to rape Casca, but what about Casca herself? Griffith was the person she idolized and looked up to the most. He gave her a sword to defend herself from a rapist when she was a girl and she decided to become a warrior because of that encounter. The very person who had helped empower her became the person who victimized her.  It's even more horrifying because the rape isn't even about Casca, she's just being used as a tool to hurt Guts.
A good sword, even if it rusts and dulls, has good steel that never rusts left over in the wick. That steel's the ultimate steel. Even if it cracks, if you return it to the fire, it's sure to be reborn. - Godot

Offline DasBouf

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Re: My piece on Griffith
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2016, 07:58:18 PM »
Since I'm new to the site and don't use forums often, I don't really know how to quote your points one by one like you did for mine, I'll just respond like this lol

Thanks for the reply! It was a lot better thought out than my ramblings. Especially my first point you addressed, I didn't mean to say that Guts broke Griffiths determination, but rather distracted him from it, as illustrated in the line in Volume 12 "You're the only one who made me forget my dream." I do think there was a genuine care for Guts as a friend and not simply a pawn in his master plan. I believe there was substance to their relationship outside of Guts being a good soldier.

On the subject of personal responsibility, I was trying to explain my moral standing on personal responsibility rather than making a point about Griffith If he felt betrayed by Guts, that was his fault I agree, I also don't think Griffith should have put so much behind one soldier, which is why I clarified where I stood. I'm pretty sure I meant to type that, but I was tired when I made the OP so I must have forgotten.

Again thanks for the reply, these were good points, and I enjoyed reading the conversation you linked!
« Last Edit: April 23, 2016, 10:01:52 PM by DasBouf »
"I feel the top of the room come off
Kill everybody in there
And I'm watching all the stars burn out
Trying to pretend that I care"

Offline JMP

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Re: My piece on Griffith
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2016, 01:56:47 PM »
Since I'm new to the site and don't use forums often, I don't really know how to quote your points one by one like you did for mine, I'll just respond like this lol
Yeah, I had never belonged to a forum till I joined this one. If you'd like to quote stuff in the future: After you hit "reply" scroll down to the post you want to quote from and hit "insert quote" that's in the right hand corner of the post. The quoted post will appear in your reply window. Then you can delete whatever text you don't need from that and put your reply under it. If you want to quote more than once from the same post I found it was easiest to copy and paste the script that's above and below the quote for any separate lines you want to respond to. That's how I've been doing it, anyway. Hope this made sense.
If you just experiment around with stuff you'll get the hang of it in no time I'm sure! :slan: The nice thing is when you're working on your response you can click the "preview" button that's at the bottom of your reply section (in between "post" and "spell check" and then you can view what your post will look like before actually posting it on the forum. That way you can mess with stuff and see how it looks.

I haven't figured out the Guts/Griffith relationship by any means. It is complicated.  :???: I'm reading through the Golden Age for the second time now, so maybe that will help me make more sense of it.

Anyway, happy posting!  :guts:



A good sword, even if it rusts and dulls, has good steel that never rusts left over in the wick. That steel's the ultimate steel. Even if it cracks, if you return it to the fire, it's sure to be reborn. - Godot

Offline MrFlibble

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Re: My piece on Griffith
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2016, 08:52:36 PM »
One thing Berserk does staggeringly well it the actions of the characters speak volumes about the true personalities of those characters, rather than how the characters describe and perceive themselves, it certainly threw me off the first time I read the series. Guts seemed like a brutal psychopath interested only in vengeance without any care for those who suffer around him, but he is burdened by unbearable guilt, he feels horrible for what happened to Griffith, to the Hawks, how he left Theresa and Jill, for what happened to the girl and her father who were killed by specters. He despises Vargas because he's a reminder of his own weakness, like him he's broken in body and spirit, he's lost everything and is fighting a seemingly unwinnable war against the demons who ruined his life.


Griffith sees himself as an absolute unshakable indomitable force who's sole purpose is to pursue his dream of ruling a Kingdom, his environment and the people that surrounded him reinforced this self image so much so that companionship was of little value compared to his dream. Unlike Guts who had to bare the brunt of his fragility and fight in spite of it, Griffith never had to deal with rejection and loneliness because he could never bring himself to admit that Guts was of equal or more value to his dream. Griffith is fundamentally weak, I think all of the apostles are in some way, because they faced an unbearable fate and chose the cowards way out, ironic since they see themselves as above human. Whether Griffith has shed that "weakness" for good is yet to be seen.


Hi DasBouf!  :serpico:
I'm not sure this is what you're saying, but I don't think getting close to Guts broke Griffith's determination. After he formed a bond with Guts Griffith still wanted and actively pursued his dream, he just got to do it with Guts at his side. See that discussion I linked earlier, in it Aazealh brings up that Griffith didn't lose sight of his dream until it was out of his reach, after he was imprisoned and all jacked up.

I disagree, Griffith was ruined the moment Guts broke his sword, everything that happened afterwards was a result of that catalyzing moment where Griffiths sense of self broke down. Having sex with Charlotte was an attempt to reinforce what he wanted to take priority, his dream. But it failed, resulting in Griffith lamenting in his post sex stews about Guts. It's true, Griffiths friendship with Guts wasn't in conflict with his dream when he recruited him, or throughout his Midland campaign, but that all changed when Guts decided to leave and Griffith was forced to acknowledge the effect Guts had on him.


I think Griffith cared about Guts in a very selfish way. This stood out to me most in the battle they had when Guts was leaving and Griffith coldly thinks about how it's a possibility that he might seriously injure or kill Guts in the fight, but then decides he doesn't care if that happens because what matters most to him is keeping possession of Guts, not Guts himself. It's a pretty sad situation.

Guts was an indispensable asset to Griffith but I don't think Griffith saw Guts merely as a possession, that internal conflict I think was a demonstration of Griffiths mental faculties breaking down, notice that Griffith does not and cannot rationalize why he doesn't want Guts to leave, he doesn't say for example "I wont lose my strongest soldier", he just repeats "YOU CAN'T, YOU CAN'T, I WONT LET YOU". Griffith is losing it at this point, he's throwing an internal tantrum because he can't admit to himself that he cares for Guts as a friend, in short he's in complete denial. I don't think disregarding the fact that he might die is an act of callousness, it's an act of desperation.

« Last Edit: April 25, 2016, 05:09:35 PM by Wenliinvictus »

Offline Feeblecursedone

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Re: My piece on Griffith
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2016, 08:50:17 PM »
Quote
Guts was an indispensable asset to Griffith but I don't think Griffith saw Guts merely as a possession, that internal conflict I think was a demonstration of Griffiths mental faculties breaking down, notice that Griffith does not and cannot rationalize why he doesn't want Guts to leave, he doesn't say for example "I wont lose my strongest soldier", he just repeats "YOU CAN'T, YOU CAN'T, I WONT LET YOU". Griffith is losing it at this point, he's throwing an internal tantrum because he can't admit to himself that he cares for Guts as a friend, in short he's in complete denial. I don't think disregarding the fact that he might die is an act of callousness, it's an act of desperation.

Definitely not a posession. Guts is the only person ever to whom Griffith fully opened himself, admitting his personal worries, even caring whether Guts will think he's a disgusting person ( when he ordered Guts to kill those bandits even though they completed their job )

Even though he valued Casca and others, Guts was incomparable. Ever since the first meeting on those hills, Griffith is completely mesmerised by a man who fights with his whole life on the line and who's willing to sacrifice everything to win a battle. That attitude alone made cemented Guts in Griffith's mind as somebody who is equal to him, or someone who has strenght of will to seek his own path, instead of quickly surrendering and submitting himself to Griffith's rule like the others did. Griffith said himself that he dislikes people with no path or dream. Most of the mercenaries were just tagging along, using him as a catalyst to fulfill their own desires.

Ultimately, the divide came from mutual misunderstanding and lack of communication. Guts overheard Griffith and didn't want to be a dead weight to him, as clearly he came to like Griffith enough to decide to forge his own path and stand shoulder to shoulder with him. Griffith... I think he counted Guts will stay, because of the relationship that Guts has forged with band of the hawk, how he came to care about his men and what not. And the fact Guts was crucial to his dream, leadership/fighting and bond wise.

As for whether he ever actually had feelings for Guts... wel that's open for interpretation.