God Hand theories and Berserk's direction

Before I begin I would like to pay respects to Miura and make it clear that I am thankful to be able to take part on this forum and discuss the enthralling story of Berserk, written and illustrated by Kentaro Miura, may he rest in peace. This is human life, so the loss of his life is a much more serious matter than the fictional stories we all love to watch, read and daydream about in our personal time. Whenever the time is appropriate, I hope his assistants will have an opportunity to continue the series based on whatever notes they have, work they have already done and creative energy they shared with the original creator.

Since he has unfortunately passed and the stories direction is unclear, the best place to get answers is on this website with other people who enjoy analyzing fiction.

When the Skull Knight who was recently revealed to be King Gaiseric shared his memories of an Eclipse, the one that destroyed his empire there were four separate entities with void in the center within the abstract place conjured from the depths of the astral realm. Do you think they were Godhand members without a doubt? With the number of them, their placement, the fact that they weren't behaving like the other beings hidden within the tentacles peering from within the darkness, which we can assume are Apostle's, they stand peering off from the distance observing the events like the first eclipse witnessed in the story for Griffiths ceremony. They aren'tr on the branded surface of the city devouring or tearing anyone apart. Perhaps those tentacles are similar to the pillar or altar that Griffith was reborn as Femto on, as Guts climbed it it makes sense.

Also, if Void is the first apostle of this new group of five, his design is different from the Apostles that we see in episode 362. Those Apostles share less characteristics with humanity and have much more unique designs, almost appearing much more like a mythological entities or beast. This makes sense due to the fact that they were Godhand members who originate from a much different world, and the human desire for a reason for their suffering is what created the Idea of Evil whose will or metaphorical hand is exercised through the Godhand, so the mindset of mankind will directly affect their form. I assume Gaiseric to have been a living flesh and blood human being around 400 AD since the 100 years war ends during Gut's life time and in real life that was about 1400 AD. If it were a millennia ago then it would have taken place during a time in which humans were witnessing the fantastic just like in real life, our religions which I do not believe are entirely fiction, were being developed and the events that take place in them happened about one thousand years before the first recorded millennium 1000 AD.

Also, the Roman Empire reigned for hundreds of years. Just like they were one of the earliest Republics that brought multiple people from many continents together their Emperors were powerful and achieved many great things and were admired as much as they were abhorred just like Gaiseric's story with the sage he locked away, the many warring states he conquered and brought together Amicably. Though majestic astral beings were known to mankind. This fits the time. For example, I believe in Jesus and I think its estimated or we think if he was a living breathing person named Yeshua who performed miracles he died around 6 AD. The artwork and the politics during Guts time period with different mercenary bands supporting a centralized army relative to a kingdom in order to work their way into a society built on classism with an oligarchy, aristocracy or monarchy of some sort running it and deciding who becomes Noble and rises through the ranks. Void, Ubik, Slan, Conrad and Femto all are Godhand members whose features mirror humanities ideas during that time.

Perhaps the power of the beings is relative to Ganishka as he was a massive Apostle whose form was probably the most unique in my opinion and he was aware of the elements, astral beings and had access to information on Astral entities and even learned how to create a makeshift Behelit, if he was able to do that with Daiba's help and knowledge perhaps more Apostle's were capable of doing this and those beings were indeed magic users who used their understanding of the separate realms and traveled deep into the astral realm.

Is it possible these are the elemental kings? I forgot where I learned this but in Japan there is a belief system that stems from Chinese Godai which is implemented in a form of Buddhism in which Earth, Wind, Fire, Water and Void are the five elements and Void is represented by the spirit or energy before it manifest. It is free will, creativity, spontaneity the place in which the elements themselves are transferred form energy or matter. This could make a lot of sense with the type of magic Void used as a human and what he became as a Godhand member who could also be an elemental king. That could be why he is the only one who can create the energy to cause the Brand himself, and why he is illustrated as having a massive Brain as Void represents free thinking and the energy of the spirit or ideas themselves. If the Idea of Evil is created from collective consciousness of man then this makes sense.

I just have a hard time seeing a Godhand setting themselves up to relinquish their power. I also don't dislike the idea of their being a previous Godhand but I swear the idea of there only being one set of Godhand members made them even more deified in my mind. It also makes their individuality and the causality resulting in their effect that was not necessarily more unique, spectacular and thought provoking but it was all of those things in its own way.

My final inquiry and the question most important to me, is what do you think happened to the previous members? The vortex of souls? Or do they get to just exist as astral entities.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Hi MetalChimera, I think many topics of your post were discussed in the Episode 362 thread, you might find some opinions from everyone, and probably more in-depth, there.
Do you think they were Godhand members without a doubt?
It seems to be very likely, as you said they're presented very similarly. What we don't know is whether they existed before Void was reborn as one or if they came into existence together with him. I personally am open to both: they could've existed before him and he was their 5th member. When they were defeated/killed/banished he may have been the one to rebuild the GH. But from the look of the panel, it seems he was the leader back then, too. He's depicted bigger and seems to be standing in front of them. Of course, that could also be a "We present you our new member of the team, please step forward" kinda situation but I personally don't think so.
the other beings hidden within the tentacles peering from within the darkness, which we can assume are Apostle's
They could also be astral beings/creatures/monsters. If Void and the other 4 were indeed the first GH members then who would've done the ritual with them? Unless there was a different ritual back then to create apostles, which I think there is no indication of, I'd assume they're not apostles.
if Void is the first apostle of this new group of five
Here you continue to use "apostle" but previously you said you believe them to be GH members so I guess they're some accidental careless mistakes? Void is definitely a GH. There is a definitive difference between GH members and apostles, e.g. the GH gets to be reborn as an astral being while the apostles' souls only get infused with evil power and still have their corporeal body.

The next paragraphs were a bit hard to read for me because sometimes you were jumping from topic to topic a bit so sorry if I don't answer them so thoroughly.
I assume Gaiseric to have been a living flesh and blood human being around 400 AD since the 100 years war ends during Gut's life time and in real life that was about 1400 AD
I'm not sure how you get to that 400 AD year. Because the dark age in our world was around 1400 AD - 1000 years? I checked this forum's timeline to see whether we ever got a year we're in because I don't remember one. It starts with Guts' years as the Black Swordsman during the Conviction arc as year 0 so I assume we didn't get one.
In general, though, I think we shouldn't reference real-world timelines as Miura created his own world and has influences from several time periods.
The artwork and the politics during Guts time period with different mercenary bands supporting a centralized army relative to a kingdom in order to work their way into a society built on classism with an oligarchy, aristocracy or monarchy of some sort running it and deciding who becomes Noble and rises through the ranks. Void, Ubik, Slan, Conrad and Femto all are Godhand members whose features mirror humanities ideas during that time.
I don't really get how Void, Ubik, Slan, Conrad and Femto resemble ideas humans had during times of monarchy and war, could you elaborate? For example, Femto's form resembles Griffith's falcon symbol but I assume that's not what people had in a shared consciousness during that time period of war, poverty and so on. His image of the saviour of the people he shows them in their dreams also looks radically different from his true form.
Is it possible these are the elemental kings? I forgot where I learned this but in Japan there is a belief system that stems from Chinese Godai which is implemented in a form of Buddhism in which Earth, Wind, Fire, Water and Void are the five elements and Void is represented by the spirit or energy before it manifest. It is free will, creativity, spontaneity the place in which the elements themselves are transferred form energy or matter. This could make a lot of sense with the type of magic Void used as a human and what he became as a Godhand member who could also be an elemental king.
The four elemental kings we get to learn through Schierke are part of the astral world. Your theory would indicate that Void, before he was reborn as a GH, never was human to begin with but an elemental being. Also, why would the knowledge of the fifth king be forgotten if there ever was one? At least there would've been some information by Schierke or some other mage or magician regarding that I think.
There might be some interesting Godai concepts Miura took inspiration from but I don't think this is it.
I just have a hard time seeing a Godhand setting themselves up to relinquish their power.
That's indeed hard to answer. Without a GH, who performs the ritual for a new member? If the sage imprisoned in the Tower of Conviction was indeed Void, it could be that he studied magic during his lifetime and hence was able to perform the ceremony on himself. Perhaps knowingly that sacrificing a part of you would give you enough evil power to be reborn as an evil astral being. Maybe connecting the dots after his behelit connected him to the astral world, I'm sure the IoE did its things. That is only speculation by me, though.
 
Hi MetalChimera, I think many topics of your post were discussed in the Episode 362 thread, you might find some opinions from everyone, and probably more in-depth, there.

It seems to be very likely, as you said they're presented very similarly. What we don't know is whether they existed before Void was reborn as one or if they came into existence together with him. I personally am open to both: they could've existed before him and he was their 5th member. When they were defeated/killed/banished he may have been the one to rebuild the GH. But from the look of the panel, it seems he was the leader back then, too. He's depicted bigger and seems to be standing in front of them. Of course, that could also be a "We present you our new member of the team, please step forward" kinda situation but I personally don't think so.

They could also be astral beings/creatures/monsters. If Void and the other 4 were indeed the first GH members then who would've done the ritual with them? Unless there was a different ritual back then to create apostles, which I think there is no indication of, I'd assume they're not apostles.

Here you continue to use "apostle" but previously you said you believe them to be GH members so I guess they're some accidental careless mistakes? Void is definitely a GH. There is a definitive difference between GH members and apostles, e.g. the GH gets to be reborn as an astral being while the apostles' souls only get infused with evil power and still have their corporeal body.

The next paragraphs were a bit hard to read for me because sometimes you were jumping from topic to topic a bit so sorry if I don't answer them so thoroughly.

I'm not sure how you get to that 400 AD year. Because the dark age in our world was around 1400 AD - 1000 years? I checked this forum's timeline to see whether we ever got a year we're in because I don't remember one. It starts with Guts' years as the Black Swordsman during the Conviction arc as year 0 so I assume we didn't get one.
In general, though, I think we shouldn't reference real-world timelines as Miura created his own world and has influences from several time periods.

I don't really get how Void, Ubik, Slan, Conrad and Femto resemble ideas humans had during times of monarchy and war, could you elaborate? For example, Femto's form resembles Griffith's falcon symbol but I assume that's not what people had in a shared consciousness during that time period of war, poverty and so on. His image of the saviour of the people he shows them in their dreams also looks radically different from his true form.

The four elemental kings we get to learn through Schierke are part of the astral world. Your theory would indicate that Void, before he was reborn as a GH, never was human to begin with but an elemental being. Also, why would the knowledge of the fifth king be forgotten if there ever was one? At least there would've been some information by Schierke or some other mage or magician regarding that I think.
There might be some interesting Godai concepts Miura took inspiration from but I don't think this is it.

That's indeed hard to answer. Without a GH, who performs the ritual for a new member? If the sage imprisoned in the Tower of Conviction was indeed Void, it could be that he studied magic during his lifetime and hence was able to perform the ceremony on himself. Perhaps knowingly that sacrificing a part of you would give you enough evil power to be reborn as an evil astral being. Maybe connecting the dots after his behelit connected him to the astral world, I'm sure the IoE did its things. That is only speculation by me, though.
So, I got to 400 AD because the 100 years war ended during the 1400s. Gaiseric was an emperor 1000 years prior to the century that represents present time in Berserk. That is how I drew that conclusion. Also, I definitely see Slan, Ubik, Conrad,Void and Femto as people who represent the time period they come from. They have forms that resemble a human body more than the Godhand members we see in Chapter 362. In the ancient times magic and astral beings were common knowledge to human beings, so it makes sense the human beings who transcended to become Godhand members during that time would take on forms that were more abstract and less human. Since, magic and astral beings during Femto's time period were considered fictional but instead it was medieval and full of war, suffering, classism and fear the Godhand during this time period would take on a shape that looks similar to a human being. Femto looks like a man wearing a helmet essentially with armor on, or a Knight. Slan looks like a women with wings, the stereotypical artistic depiction of an Angel/Demon as a winged human with either feathers like an Angel or without feathers like a demon. Since they are both demons and angels I find it interesting that when she initially manifest her wings have feathers and her hair is fine and straight, as she slowly takes form her wings become like a mammals, without feathers, demonic and her hair takes on the shape of tentacles. Void became a Godhand member not Apostle, that was an accident. Also, I believe Void was the sage in the tower and that he ascended. I shouldn't of said he was an actual elemental king, I just meant that his name being Void probably isn't a coincidence and what the element Void represents is energy, knowledge, creativity and Void's imagery with the enlarged and exposed brain representing his wisdom, the enigma of the brand and how he is the one who creates its mark after the chosen member decides to sacrifice those which they love, or their metaphorical humanity. Conrad also says something about Griffith being surged with evil energy, and the whole process of sacrificing a being to gain power which is the type of magic that empowers the Godhand could be interpreted as the element Void because the spirit is listed in that elements description. All of these astral entities or Godhand members gain their abilities from being imbued with this power from another beings essence. Also, the dark age occurred during the eleventh,twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
 
I got to 400 AD because the 100 years war ended during the 1400s.
Like I said, mixing real-world events with similar ones in Berserk doesn't really work. I think if Miura would've wanted to portrait Berserk in our world he would've done so, that's why you cant take real-world events as a basis of a theory.
Femto looks like a man wearing a helmet essentially with armor on, or a Knight. Slan looks like a women with wings, the stereotypical artistic depiction of an Angel/Demon as a winged human with either feathers like an Angel or without feathers like a demon. Since they are both demons and angels I find it interesting that when she initially manifest her wings have feathers and her hair is fine and straight, as she slowly takes form her wings become like a mammals, without feathers, demonic and her hair takes on the shape of tentacles.
To me Slan looks more humanoid than Femto tbh. I mean she looks like a woman with wings, weird hair and a bodice. The most "normal" looking one from the GH I'd argue. Wouldn't she have to be the last GH if the belief in astral creatures lessened over the years? Femto's chitin like body looks more like an exoskeleton than armor to me, similar to the alien design from HR Giger. I think it's more likely their design is inspired by their personality. If Void is indeed the imprisoned sage, it's more likely he got the big brain design from that and not from humanity believing more in astral creatures or having more knowledge about magic or so.
 
Top Bottom