Author Topic: Berserk and Major Arcana  (Read 1053 times)

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Offline Squiddot

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Berserk and Major Arcana
« on: September 16, 2016, 11:15:34 AM »
First of all, this is not a post claiming that Miura used any Major Arcana inspiration in creating his characters. I just though that considering the flexibility and broadness of the cards as well as the large cast of characters, it would be possible to run the cast of Berserk through the Major Arcana, the 22 most recognisable cards in a tarot deck, and create a series. This topic was discussed once before on this site back in 2003, but in the years since, Miura has introduced and expanded on so many characters I thought it might be worth revisiting.

This is actually one half of a task, with the second being potentially creating artworks of these cards. Drawing is a passion of mine, but being a busy university student, I canít promise Iíll be getting onto this as soon as the comparisons get nailed down. Of course if any arty people here (and there are a lot of you) think these would make a fun exercise theyíre welcome to try it out as well.

A few notes before we start!

1:   Itís important to note that tarot cards generally carry a wide range of interpretations. Differences sources will tell you different traits. However there is a key universal theme underlying every source that Iíve tried to extract. If anybody more experienced in Major Arcana notices Iíve misinterpreted a card, please let me know!

2:   Tarot Cards have both an Ďuprightí and a Ďreversedí orientation, each with different interpretations (reversed is typically more negative). Iíve chosen to purely rely on the more default, upright positions for my comparisons.

3:    The structure Iíll be using for this post is listing the number and name of the card, and then including a few keywords that summarise the card. Iíll then describe any justification I have for assigning a character into that specific slot.

4:    Some of these may be empty. Itís not my intention to force any characters into roles I donít think they fit well enough. If you guys have any suggestions on these (or a better replacement for one I did fill), post it! Otherwise, I guess we can sit around and wait for Miura to introduce a more fitting character.

5:    There are 22 cards in the Major Arcana! This is a lot of info to dump in front of everyone in one go. So Iíll limit this OP to the first 5 in the sequence, and we'll work from there.

Right thatís about it, letís get started!

0. The Fool
Innocence, New beginnings, Potential

Our very first introduction to the world of Berserk (besides some hot demon action) is the chance meeting between Guts and Puck. Meeting Puck can very well be described as a new beginning for Guts, as it starts him on the road to redemption by introducing a conscience and voice of reason that had been lacking in his life since the Eclipse. This also ties into the innocence and optimism of Puckís character. Chestnut jokes aside, Iíve chosen to delegate The Fool to him.

1. The Magician
Skill, Logic, Intellect

As well as the keywords I mentioned, the Magician is said to be ďthe bridge between the world of the spirit and the world of humanity." The magician hosts innocence and purity just like The Fool, but this is backed up by worldly experience and knowledge. There is also a link to the four primordial elements and their relationship to the mind, body, heart and soul. I feel that Schierke fits this description well enough.

2. The High Priestess
Intuition, Higher powers, Mystery

The High Priestess is often described as ďThe guardian of the unconsciousĒ, and is used to represent wisdom, serenity, knowledge and understanding. Flora is a strong contender for this card, being a prominent provider of understanding and knowledge to the main characters as well as invoking a great deal of serenity and mystery in her appearance.

3. The Empress
Fertility, Nature, Femininity, Abundance

Originally, I had Danan rolling in my head for the High Priestess, but once I read deeper into this card how could I possibly resist? Deeply associated with the mystical realm of angels and faeries, the empress depicts a connection to Mother Earth and life. This card also shows a deep connection to femininity, and the beauty, creativity, sensuality and fertility that comes with it. I guess weíll need to wait for those new episodes to see how well that all aligns with her too. 

4. The Emperorv2
Authority, Structure, Foundation
(I had this card formerly as Godot. Cyrus Jong and HearTes have proposed a better fit. Thanks for your suggestions guys!)

The Emperor is the male counterpart to the Empress, focused on structural stability and wisdom learned from life experience, a much harsher and more authoritative teacher than the Empress, but with the same compassion hidden beneath. The Skull Knight is one of the most influential mentors in the story, one of the only characters who can aid Guts as a fellow struggler. Opposing the God hand for millennia. He takes what he has learned of his enemies and causality (a rigid structure he holds in high regard), and passes it on to the next generation.



Right, thatís all for now. I canít wait to get started on the rest when Iím next free. Some of these cards fit characters/events to a T (The Devil, The Tower, Justice), while others might prove to be real head scratchers. Hopefully his turns out to be a fun little activity. Let me know if you agree/disagree with what Iíve posted so far and thanks for reading :)
« Last Edit: September 16, 2016, 01:32:49 PM by Squiddot »

Offline hearTes

Re: Berserk and Major Arcana
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2016, 12:11:41 PM »
Awesome! Tarot Cards have always interested me and this sounds like a lot of fun.


0. The Fool
Innocence, New beginnings, Potential

Our very first introduction to the world of Berserk (besides some hot demon action) is the chance meeting between Guts and Puck. Meeting Puck can very well be described as a new beginning for Guts, as it starts him on the road to redemption by introducing a conscience and voice of reason that had been lacking in his life since the Eclipse. This also ties into the innocence and optimism of Puckís character. Chestnut jokes aside, Iíve chosen to delegate The Fool to him.


Another character who fits this aspect (besides the "Innocent" part I guess) is Isidro.


4. The Emperor
Authority, Structure, Foundation

Lastly, the compliment to the Empress. The Emperor represents power and authority with a strong masculine leaning. But there is a sensitive element to this card as well, with the Emperor being described as offering guidance, advice and wisdom to others. Oftentimes this wisdom is obtained through worldly, life experience. Berserk has a few contenders for this wise old role model. At the moment Iím inclined to hand it to Godot. Who offers worldly wisdom to Guts at his lowest, and lays the foundations to stabilise the Gutís chaotic life in preparation for the Tower of Conviction.


I think Skull Knight is another candidate for this spot and not just because of the title of the card but because he has offered guidance, advice and wisdom to other people (mainly Guts).

Offline Squiddot

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Re: Berserk and Major Arcana
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2016, 01:01:50 PM »

Another character who fits this aspect (besides the "Innocent" part I guess) is Isidro.

Isidro also has a lot of comparison to The Sun, which is similarly vibrant and optimistic. But the whole "beginning of the journey" theme of The Fool really tipped me in the direction of Puck.

I think Skull Knight is another candidate for this spot and not just because of the title of the card but because he has offered guidance, advice and wisdom to other people (mainly Guts).

I agree, I had skimmed a bit and The Hermit, Justice and Wheel of Fortune were all giving me some Skull Knight vibes, but looking back I might wind up giving this one to him and saving Hermit for Godot. I guess there's pros and cons to this "do it as I go" method  :ganishka:

Offline Cyrus Jong

Re: Berserk and Major Arcana
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2016, 01:07:16 PM »
Concerning the Fool, I think young Griffith would be the best fit. While we don't know what Griffith was like as a child, what glimpses we catch of him in all his dreams indicate that he wasn't unlike most kids his age. Fresh-faced, all smiles, and with big dreams. He was a commoner, a nobody with nothing to his name. And yet one day, he left his home and everything he knew behind to reach an insurmountable goal for reasons that only made sense to him. And from nothing, he slowly built himself up until...well, we know where his story has gone.

As for the Emperor, I can see where you're coming from using Godot, but I think he's a more thematic fit for the Hermit. Taken from this site here...

Quote
The Hermit has attained his spiritual pinnacle and is ready to share his knowledge with others. He is also continuing the path he has chosen, committed to his goal of ultimate awareness.

Sounds like a pretty apt description for the old man. He learned the blacksmithing trade from a young age, and ever since then, set about perfecting his craft. Forging better swords, suits of armor, and other assorted items. He doesn't know if hammering iron is truly something he likes, but even when he grew old, even as he took up residence in the outskirts of civilization with only a young orphan he took in, he still remained devoted to it. While outwardly, he may not seem too eager to share his wisdom with a certain freeloader, he still has much guidance to offer Guts that, as you say, always gives direction to our hero.

EDIT: Aaannnd looks like you already beat me to seeing that. :iva:

Offline Squiddot

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Re: Berserk and Major Arcana
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2016, 01:13:22 PM »
Hahaha, well we're all in agreement on Godot:hermit then. And you've done all the justifying we need for that segment, thanks :ganishka: I better start making some additions now.