Author Topic: Casca & The Idea of Evil  (Read 2275 times)

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Offline Lord Leith

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Casca & The Idea of Evil
« on: February 21, 2018, 11:59:34 PM »
So with Episode 354 out, I'm sure plenty of you have noticed the similarity between Casca's heart covered in thorns and The Idea of Evil from the lost chapter, what connection (if any) do you suppose the two have? I recall Miura saying that the reason said chapter was redacted is because it revealed too much too soon, I would say the average assumption is that it revealed too much about Griffith and causality but what if there's actually a relation to Casca?

I doubt the connection was initially planned by Miura at the time of the lost chapter's release but it could certainly be possible that Miura is retroactively adding another layer to The Idea of Evil's scheme and that this added layer concerns Casca and/or her child with Guts. It seems really ominous to me, almost as if The Idea of Evil will have a creeping influence on her but a part of me does figure it could simply be a case of reused/similar designs much like the thorns around Skull Knight's sword or those early illustrations of a cracked skull with a Beherit inside and a rose.

A heart covered in thorns isn't that uncommon of a design so maybe Im overthinking it? It could after all simply be a symbol of her trauma but something tells me Miura wouldn't let the passing similarity in design be just a coincidence.

Offline Walter

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Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2018, 01:31:26 AM »
Hey man, welcome to the forum!

You've got quite a speculative title here. I don't think there's going to be any connection between these two things. Miura has used valve/heart like imagery in the past (The most notable being the sea god and the artificial beherit chamber; extra points for Rochine's apostle form), and it's only signified that he finds it to be a striking visual. The only added layer this time is the inclusion of the double helix as the method for the heart to absorb the scene of the Eclipse. And it is indeed a cool, evocative visual, but I don't see anything here that suggests an actual connection to the Idea of Evil.

Furthermore, I think it's a mistake to limit our perception of the Idea of Evil to the heart. For one, that depiction was striken from the canon. Another, the Idea of Evil describes that region as only a part of its being (its "core"). So if Miura wanted to allude to a higher being at work here, he'd have to go the extra mile of re-establishing that kind of imagery again, which he hasn't done.

So with Episode 354 out, I'm sure plenty of you have noticed the similarity between Casca's heart covered in thorns and The Idea of Evil from the lost chapter

The individual releases are actually called episodes. Chapters are larger sections of the story (Chapter of Lost Children), and arcs are the largest (Conviction Arc, Millennium Falcon Arc, etc.). The full list for the series can be viewed here: http://www.skullknight.net/manga

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I recall Miura saying that the reason said chapter was redacted is because it revealed too much too soon, I would say the average assumption is that it revealed too much about Griffith and causality but what if there's actually a relation to Casca?

That would be part of the interview that he granted our community back in 2009. You can check that out here: http://www.skullknight.net/forum/index.php?topic=9513.msg166308#msg166308

And it doesn't relate to spoilers, but scoping the Berserk universe. What he says is: "I wanted Berserk's world to be revealed just that far, not any more than that. The appearance of god in the manga conclusively determines its range. I thought that might limit the freedom of the story development."

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but a part of me does figure it could simply be a case of reused/similar designs much like the thorns around Skull Knight's sword or those early illustrations of a cracked skull with a Beherit inside and a rose.

Yep, he's definitely used thorns in the past (remember the Serpent of Thorns weapon Farnese has used?). But this time it actually had me immediately thinking of this: but I don't have a theory for what the connection is at all. For Casca, this episode makes it pretty easy for us to unravel the symbology: The thorns represent a defense that Casca erected around that painful memory, and it's a crucial enough part of her experience that it represents the heart of her entire being. Whereas SK is a complete mystery, so it's hard to posit any kind of connection.
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Offline Lord Leith

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Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2018, 03:06:56 AM »
Hey Walter, completely unrelated but before I reply to the actual substance of your reply I just want to say good work of you, Aazealh, Griffith and the others on the podcast, when I first signed up here you had just started it and since then the quality has only improved, yall are my go to Berserk content besides the manga, 90s anime and music.   :ubik:

You're right to bring up the Sea God, in all honesty my memory of latter Berserk chapters is a lil faulty due to a break I took over the slow releases, just started rereading and I'm making an effort to pick up on the subtleties, as of now though Im probably gonna make some mistakes. On that note, Im actually aware that the immediate releases are episodes, I've just always heard of the episode in question referred to as "the lost chapter" so I assumed thats what it was commonly known as, it is inconsistent so I should've guessed that its a mistake; when I say my memory of later chapters are faulty Im specifically referring to post Millennium Falcon arc around the time the ship got involved.

I had no idea though that the visual design of The Idea of Evil was no longer canon, so the concept itself is canon but nothing visually of the episode is? Sorry if its a redundant question, I'm just genuinely confused now as to what is and isn't canon regarding the lost episode. Ultimately you're probably right, Im just overthinking it. Still, I wonder if Miura knows how evocative this design of Casca's heart is to most fans considering the similarities between it and whats commonly interpreted as The Idea of Evil, even if there is no relation I feel like the lost episode is notable enough that he'd surely remember it and know the speculative reaction he'd get out of it.

I realize that speculation goes quite far over what is ultimately a minor detail in the scope of things so it is most likely just overthinking, at the very least there's still something unsettling about it.

Offline Walter

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Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2018, 03:21:00 AM »
I had no idea though that the visual design of The Idea of Evil was no longer canon, so the concept itself is canon but nothing visually of the episode is? Sorry if its a redundant question, I'm just genuinely confused now as to what is and isn't canon regarding the lost episode.

The part of the IoE that we can see in Episode 82 indeed appears heart-like, but it is shrouded in darkness. It certainly has organic valves, but I can tell you that before Ep 83 became widely distributed (around 2001), no one was calling it a giant heart. It didn't even have a name (other than God of the Abyss). Episode 83 shows us that being in full view, and it dispels any doubt about what it is shaped like — :idea: a form that's ingrained in our brains, even though that's the depiction that isn't canon. So we shouldn't be limiting our perception of the IoE to that very distinct heart like shape any more.

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even if there is no relation I feel like the lost episode is notable enough that he'd surely remember it and know the speculative reaction he'd get out of it.

That doesn't really sound like a technique Miura is known for pulling. And again, it wouldn't be a reference that would make any sense at all for Berserk's less avid readers, and I'm sure that Miura is cognizant of that. Finally, what would it signify in this scene? I don't know what the connection would establish here, and I think it would make things quite convoluted to explain if this already quite complicated scenario is further layered by direct intervention by the Idea of Evil.
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Offline Lord Leith

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Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2018, 03:36:04 AM »
So in canon, the design of the Idea of Evil is more or less ambiguous (Ep 82) and the lost episode's depiction should be viewed with a grain of salt since its not canon, what is espoused by The God of the Abyss is still more or less canon despite the non canon design though right? I figured that while the episode was removed for revealing too much, what was revealed still held standing in universe. I'll keep in mind that The Idea of Evil can ultimately look like anything or nothing at all, sorta Lovecraftian in the sense that its beyond human understanding, not just a god resembling a heart.

Offline Walter

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Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2018, 03:52:20 AM »
So in canon, the design of the Idea of Evil is more or less ambiguous (Ep 82) and the lost episode's depiction should be viewed with a grain of salt since its not canon,

It could still be a heart-like thing. But the removal of Ep 83 means that it doesn't have to be one. Furthermore, Miura has kind of already recycled the heart with eyes design via the Sea God, which leads us to believe that he's probably scrapped that notion for IoE.

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what is espoused by The God of the Abyss is still more or less canon despite the non canon design though right?

There are different schools of thought. I believe that so far, nothing it's said regarding causality and the nature of its existence has been contradicted in the story, so I tend to believe it. It's not incontrovertible, but it can be a useful lens for understanding what happens behind the scenes with Berserk's evil overlords.

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I figured that while the episode was removed for revealing too much, what was revealed still held standing in universe.

That isn't why it was removed though. Like I said earlier, Ep 83 is not a spoiler as in, "you aren't supposed to know this yet"; but it limited how he presents the Berserk universe. Should high concepts such as determinism and causation be broached directly in conversation and grounded concretely, or be left ambiguous? A conversation with the god of Berserk detailing the methods of its manipulation arranges the scale and stakes for the story differently than when left a bit open. Miura took the flexible approach. And as others have said in the past, he could probably pull that off better if given more time for those ideas to stew a bit (STEW!)

Finally, if knowing about Ep 83 ruined the story, Miura would have probably re-engineered things so that it wasn't as damaging. Instead, things have (thus far) run along the same course. Flora's brief words alluding to it in Vol 24 are consistent with what we knew of it from Ep 83.

If you're still up for even more IoE talk, here's our podcast on it: http://www.skullknight.net/forum/index.php?topic=13528  I haven't reviewed this thing in 5 years though, so like Miura I reserve the right to reject this ep from the SkullKast canon  :ganishka:

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not just a god resembling a heart.


And the heart was always just a facet of its full existence.
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Offline Lord Leith

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Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2018, 03:57:33 AM »
Gotcha, thanks for the clarification :)

Offline Aazealh

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Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2018, 06:31:28 AM »
I smell a stew reference in here which compels me to speak.

I don't think the visuals we see are meant to suggest a direct connection between Casca's traumatic memories and the Idea of Evil. However there is a thematic connection here, a symbolical one, that is hard to ignore. I'm certain it is at least meant to evoke the Brand, which shares a common design with the Idea of Evil (not a coincidence). And it's only fitting for memories of the Eclipse.

The last thing I want to add is a quote from the Idea of Evil in episode 83: "I am the darkness that dwells in every human heart". How very apt. :idea:

Offline Lord Leith

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Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2018, 08:06:41 AM »
The last thing I want to add is a quote from the Idea of Evil in episode 83: "I am the darkness that dwells in every human heart". How very apt. :idea:

Oh wow :isidro:, thats beyond fitting! Its details like that which make rereading Berserk so enjoyable, there's so many minute things like that to pick up on. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Offline Walter

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Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2018, 11:37:04 AM »
However there is a thematic connection here, a symbolical one, that is hard to ignore. I'm certain it is at least meant to evoke the Brand, which shares a common design with the Idea of Evil (not a coincidence). And it's only fitting for memories of the Eclipse.

Sure, I can get behind that. I can't imagine the double-helix spiral was included by accident, and it does evoke the brand, which in turn evokes the Idea of Evil. Overall, I think that moment in 354 and the thorns surrounding the heart are meant to be a visual cue that the trauma of the Eclipse is related to the brand, and it can't be erased by magical intervention.

So to tie it all back to this thread title, it's the Idea of Evil's way of saying from the abyss: Fuuuuuuuuuck you, you meddling kiiiiiiiiids!
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Offline Archer1215

Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2018, 08:50:03 PM »
It could still be a heart-like thing. But the removal of Ep 83 means that it doesn't have to be one. Furthermore, Miura has kind of already recycled the heart with eyes design via the Sea God, which leads us to believe that he's probably scrapped that notion for IoE.

That isn't why it was removed though. Like I said earlier, Ep 83 is not a spoiler as in, "you aren't supposed to know this yet"; but it limited how he presents the Berserk universe. Should high concepts such as determinism and causation be broached directly in conversation and grounded concretely, or be left ambiguous? A conversation with the god of Berserk detailing the methods of its manipulation arranges the scale and stakes for the story differently than when left a bit open. Miura took the flexible approach. And as others have said in the past, he could probably pull that off better if given more time for those ideas to stew a bit (STEW!)

It would be great if Miura were to eventually have another "big reveal" for the Idea of Evil or whatever form "God" takes in the series at that point. Then when the series is finally completed, newer readers can read the entire story from beginning to end and be gobsmacked by the reveal of the Idea of Evil before going back and noticing all the "hints and foreshadowing" of its existence.

 "Oh right, in Episode 82. I remember now!"
 "So this was what Flora was talking about then."
"It has the same helix shape as the World Spiral Tree!"
 "Oh wow, the Sea God looks similar as well!"
 "And Casca's heart as well? Wow, he really planned this out..."

So kind of like the inverse of what we do now, finding cool stuff that alludes or looks similar to content from Episode 83. :ganishka:

Offline Walter

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Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2018, 09:04:52 PM »
It would be great if Miura were to eventually have another "big reveal" for the Idea of Evil or whatever form "God" takes in the series at that point. Then when the series is finally completed, newer readers can read the entire story from beginning to end and be gobsmacked by the reveal of the Idea of Evil before going back and noticing all the "hints and foreshadowing" of its existence.

 "Oh right, in Episode 82. I remember now!"
 "So this was what Flora was talking about then."
"It has the same helix shape as the World Spiral Tree!"
 "Oh wow, the Sea God looks similar as well!"
 "And Casca's heart as well? Wow, he really planned this out..."

So kind of like the inverse of what we do now, finding cool stuff that alludes or looks similar to content from Episode 83. :ganishka:

I can't imagine most fans have trouble realizing the significance of Ep 82's appearance, and not connecting it to what Flora said, and not noticing the world spiral tree's design with the brand, etc.
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Offline Archer1215

Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2018, 09:47:54 PM »
I can't imagine most fans have trouble realizing the significance of Ep 82's appearance, and not connecting it to what Flora said, and not noticing the world spiral tree's design with the brand, etc.

Yeah, of course not. I was just being goofy.

But I do think it would be really cool if Miura were building up to a new grand reveal for “God” in Berserk. Starting with its initial appearance in Episode 82, all of the bits about causality, the spiral imagery, etc. Basically the culmination of all those things. Then a new reveal for how the Idea of Evil was born, what it’s purpose is, and the specifics for how causality functions. Perhaps accompanied with the reveal of what the IoE’s real plan for humanity is.

Sure, we already have all that information from Episode 83, but a new reveal that came after everything that has happened so far and ties into all of these other things (both big and small) would be more “epic” I guess.

Do you agree?

Offline Walter

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Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2018, 10:15:01 PM »
Sure.
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Offline Griffith

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Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2018, 10:45:53 PM »
Didn't Guts already slay the Idea of Evil inside the Sea God's belly? :guts:

I'm joking of course, but the point is just because things look similar doesn't mean they are connected, and as Wally said we've seen more design elements of the Idea elsewhere, such as the organic jets on Rosine's fully transformed state, or even Ganishka's armor. So, while I agree with the obvious, though loose (it's not insinuating something deeply connected), thematic visual associations Aaz mentioned, I think Casca's heart looks like a heart because she's literally, to paraphrase, "regaining her heart." If Miura wants to make more of it someday or connect it, and likely many things given Idea's influence in that episode, as a kernal to some reintroduction of the Idea of Evil, that's fine, but I certainly don't think that was the return he wanted us to takeaway from this moment, from an episode he removed no less, "Hey readers, biggest moment yet, and I'd like to take this opportunity to make it about the scene I cut from the story you probably don't even know about!"

Sometimes I think that scene being removed has actually given it more import via a sort of outsized, legendary status. It helps that it's essentially about "god," but on that note, given it was cut, I don't think we should see it everywhere. Idea's canon presence in the story amounts to a two page spread and some cryptic references, hardly some pervasive element that should be at the forefront of our minds, whether episode 83's apocryphal revelations offer us an incredible "behind the scenes" preview into its importance or is in fact misleading at this point.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2018, 08:31:57 AM by Griffith »

Offline SleepersWake

Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2018, 10:25:25 PM »
Hello all! Some thoughts from a new kid on the block:

I was also struck by the visual similarity between the Idea and Casca's heart-fragment (and it sent a chill down my veins). Looking again, though, there are some interesting differences. The most important one, I think, is that the helix and heart aren't shown together. The helix looks as though it's spiraling down from the vortex around them, and solidifying into the heart and the thorns. Once the heart is whole, the helix is gone - so as others have said, I don't think the IoE is directly involved per se.

That being said, I can't ignore the way the helix itself is depicted: as a spiraling stream of vague, screaming faces. That imagery has been used in relation to the Abyss a few too many times to dismiss. That could just be to convey the hellish nature of Casca's memories, and nothing more cosmic - but there *could* be more to it, especially since Berserk's lore makes little to no distinction between the psyche and the spirit.

I've always interpreted that the progressively deeper layers of the astral realms are related to progressively deeper layers of the human psyche. Given the sheer depth of Casca's trauma, could she somehow be connected to deeper astral layers? Thanks to her brand, she is tied to the interstice, the shallowest astral layer. I think it's possible that the equally indelible marks on her soul (the "hex/curse" on her "heart") connect her even more profoundly. I don't necessarily think she's going to awaken with magical Abyss-powers - Berserk's metaphysics rarely work in such direct, linear ways - but it could still be significant. I dunno. Trying to articulate this feels a bit like grasping at smoke, but I feel like there might be something to this concept. Thoughts?

Offline Walter

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Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2018, 10:34:35 PM »
That being said, I can't ignore the way the helix itself is depicted: as a spiraling stream of vague, screaming faces. That imagery has been used in relation to the Abyss a few too many times to dismiss. That could just be to convey the hellish nature of Casca's memories, and nothing more cosmic - but there *could* be more to it, especially since Berserk's lore makes little to no distinction between the psyche and the spirit.

It's up to interpretation at this point. But the double helix design isn't exclusive to the abyss. It's been shown in a few different ways throughout the series (the brand, the IoE's appendages, the World Spiral Tree, the Falcon of Light insignia, etc.). So adding all of these up, I think the purpose of the double-helix being featured in this episode draws a line of connection between the nature of the curse on Casca's heart — the Eclipse — and the brand itself.
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Offline Lord Leith

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Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2018, 12:09:00 AM »
Welcome to the forum SleepersWake  :ubik:

I agree that articulating the feeling such imagery and connotations give off is pretty hard and as you say grasping at smoke but in all honesty I think you've said what I was thinking better than I could say it myself.

Offline SleepersWake

Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2018, 05:57:32 PM »
It's up to interpretation at this point. But the double helix design isn't exclusive to the abyss. It's been shown in a few different ways throughout the series (the brand, the IoE's appendages, the World Spiral Tree, the Falcon of Light insignia, etc.). [...]

Definitely, the spiral motif is in a lot of important places in Berserk, and absolutely this is all open to interpretation - this is the speculation nation after all :) But just to clarify, I was referring more specifically to the fact that the helix is composed of blurred-together, screaming faces. That's the aspect of it that evokes the abyss to me, and less the fact that it's a spiral. (although the prevalence of the spiral motif is interesting... foreshadowing a Gurren Lagann crossover? :troll: )

Welcome to the forum SleepersWake  :ubik:

I agree that articulating the feeling such imagery and connotations give off is pretty hard and as you say grasping at smoke but in all honesty I think you've said what I was thinking better than I could say it myself.
Thanks for the warm welcome, Lord Leith! I love the irony that I, going by "SleepersWake" should be welcomed by you, who go by a homophone for the soporific River Lethe (at least in an anglicized pronunciation, which I have just learned is completely wrong. Oh well.)

Offline ChinoXL

Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2018, 02:01:15 AM »
This might be nothing at all but when i see thorns around her heart it just reminds me of skull knights ..thorns around a rose.

Offline Walter

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Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2018, 03:38:43 PM »
This might be nothing at all but when i see thorns around her heart it just reminds me of skull knights ..thorns around a rose.

Yep, we talked about it on the latest podcast (ep 93). I don't have it all sketched out yet, but I do think there's something there. Instead of a heart, it's a rose. But aside from the rose/thorns looking more like an icon than the heart, the overall design of them looks very similar. Perhaps it's meant to represent his soul.

It might not be prudent to dive too deeply into the details here, but the theory I tend to gravitate to for SK is that his body "died," possibly resulting from continued use of the Berserk's Armor, and his soul was somehow transferred and bound to the armor that he resides in. Not to be diminutive, but in a sense, he may be like an empowered form of a specter that refuses to move on. Anyway, during that soul transference process, which may have been similar to the Corridor of Dreams, perhaps his soul retained thorns around it, just like Casca's heart, representing the trauma from 1,000 years ago that he can't escape, even in "death" (Don't ask me why he'd proudly wear such a thing into battle though). :badbone:

If it went down as prescribed, it likely occurred in Elfhelm, which could explain his connection to Flora (unless they met prior to that, and she led him there as he was dying), the Elf-like aura Puck senses in vol 18, and SK's knowledge of the Sovereign's power to restore someone's mind.
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline ChinoXL

Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2018, 05:03:20 PM »
Yep, we talked about it on the latest podcast (ep 93). I don't have it all sketched out yet, but I do think there's something there. Instead of a heart, it's a rose. But aside from the rose/thorns looking more like an icon than the heart, the overall design of them looks very similar. Perhaps it's meant to represent his soul.

It might not be prudent to dive too deeply into the details here, but the theory I tend to gravitate to for SK is that his body "died," possibly resulting from continued use of the Berserk's Armor, and his soul was somehow transferred and bound to the armor that he resides in. Not to be diminutive, but in a sense, he may be like an empowered form of a specter that refuses to move on. Anyway, during that soul transference process, which may have been similar to the Corridor of Dreams, perhaps his soul retained thorns around it, just like Casca's heart, representing the trauma from 1,000 years ago that he can't escape, even in "death" (Don't ask me why he'd proudly wear such a thing into battle though). :badbone:

If it went down as prescribed, it likely occurred in Elfhelm, which could explain his connection to Flora (unless they met prior to that, and she led him there as he was dying), the Elf-like aura Puck senses in vol 18, and SK's knowledge of the Sovereign's power to restore someone's mind.

hmm, that is a pretty interesting theory.
I was looking up meanings of "Rose wrapped in thorns" and i got a pretty interesting one according to greek mythology, this is just in terms of the rose color red. According to Greek mythology, the rose was originally white but turned red when it grew in a pool of blood spilled by Aphrodite's slain lover, Adonis. The color red, therefore, represents immortal love that can withstand time and even death. A red rose also symbolizes passion, romance, and memorial.

but i haven't found any mythological reasoning for red rose wrapped in thorns yet..

Did Skull knight have a wife who betrayed him..maybe she got jealous of how much he loved his kingdom compared to her. I don't know lol.

Offline Archer1215

Re: Casca & The Idea of Evil
« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2018, 06:12:03 PM »
Did Skull knight have a wife who betrayed him..maybe she got jealous of how much he loved his kingdom compared to her. I don't know lol.

Well, we know that Gaiseric didn’t have any children of his own, so I’m not sure about him having a wife (although this doesn’t mean he was never married). But it is said that the Midland Royal Family is related to Gaiseric by blood, so it’s possible he had a sibling(s) or cousin(s). Or it could just be hogwash that the Royal Family came up with to give credence to their legitimacy. But then I would find it a strange detail for Miura to mention in the first place if there was no significance to it at all.