Speculating on Skull Knights upcoming conversation with Guts and Gaiserics tale

We have speculated for a long time now that we finally would get to see the legendary backstory of Skull Knight during his time as King Gaiseric and now we finally got to see Skull Knight after a long period of time in the most recent episode.

Prior to seeing him Miura spent a lot of time planting the seeds for the future of the story, but also building up to this moment of finally revealing us what happened around 1000 years ago.

Considering the last panel of episode 359 i think its fair to assume that this will eventually lead up to Skull Knight conversing with Guts over various topics, eventually leading to him maybe revealing some information on his past. How long it will take to get to that point is yet to be seen, and if it will be a 1vs1 discussion is also arguable, but for this post i will just assume that we will get the typical talk between Sk and Guts that we got several times like in Volumes 28,18 etc.

Given the current story line of Cascas trauma, a topic to begin with would be obviously this situation as Skull Knight already warned Guts about what was to come., but i think the biggest topic for their dialogue will be the blast of the astral world and the appearance of Falconia.

It is already established in the Manga that Falconia is Gaiserics former city which makes this certain topic a perfect gateway for Skull Knight to finally talk about his past.

Now for the speculation part. I think that Miura planted several seeds on Elfhelm and Falconia that will find their place in this epic tale.

Lets start

1. The headless statue in Falconia



This statue most likely was a statue of Gaiseric. The placement of Rakshas makes it very reminiscent of Gaiserics dark hair. Obviously there being a statue is not surprising as its his former city altered for Griffith, but it's still a neat detail that we might see in the flashback.

2. The Wicker Man



A fetish brought to life by the life force of sacrifices, basically blood magic. In my opinion this was a potential tool used by Gaiserics army time to fight off astral creatures which brings me to my next point.

3. The worlds were merged already at a certain point



The magis of Elfhelm mention how the worlds were already intermingled in antique times. This most likely was also the case for Gaiserics time. It also obviously fits the thematic of surviving in Fantasia. How did humans fight back then? Did they use tools like the wicker man? What did they do to balance the worlds (aka spirit trees%magic) ?


4. Griffith wanting to obtain an Empire



In episode 358 Griffith mentions his goal of creating an empire for humans. This ties down to how Guts was speaking about him in Episode 345. What went from wanting to obtain a Kingdom became a bigger goal of wanting to build an empire, and as we know Griffith will only want to go higher and higher.

In that exact episode we get the first time where a character mentions Gaiseric since Volume 17 and Griffith talks about wanting to imitate that feat by the former King which has a very ironic twist to it.

How was Gaiserics approach with astral creatures? Did he wipe out giants like Griffiths demon army did or did he find other ways to deal with these issues?

The placement of this backstory is not only key to explain what happened 1000 years ago, it will also shine more light on what Griffith is doing with Falconia and how that contrasts with Gaiserics ways.



5. Vikings, Cascas new sword

In episode 359 Casca obtains a new sword which carries the symbol of Gaiserics old symbol. This was a detail that Walter pointed out in the original episode thread

Oh yeah, and there's a symbol on the sword Casca uses that caught my eye:

Not only that but when you look back at episode 53 where they talk about Gaiseric you find similar viking imagery in the mention of his citys downfall.



We could speculate a lot about this, but i assume an alright approach would be to think that Gaiseric might have been a Viking himself who then went on to conquer the mainland. It would add more to his ties with Skellig, explain how he was someone who rose to power out of nowhere.

Now to my question to you guys.

How long do you think this Gaiseric flashback will be? Do you think Skull Knight will talk about himself in a one on one conversation with Guts or will this be something revealed to a larger crowd by Sk or someone else?

All i can say is, even though its a dry period in terms of releases for Berserk, when the story returns we will enter the greatest stretch of the series!
 
It is already established in the Manga that Falconia is Gaiserics former city
This is not accurate. In episode 307 Foss states: "Is that the legendary city said to have sunk deep beneath Windham so long ago? No, it's too huge to be that. Majestic, it doesn't appear man made at all..."
So, it's the opposite of your statement. It is established to not be Gaiseric's former city, but something not man made.

1. The headless statue in Falconia
This point doesn't make too much sense, due to my point made above.

2. The Wicker Man
Your point could be possible, but my opinion on the wicker man was a bit different. I see 2 main reasons for including it:
  1. Showing that Elfhelm might seem like a harmless paradise where elves and other magical creatures live in peaceful life, it's also capable of fighting back and doing some morally questionable thing. Such as using the souls of people to create a weapon.
  2. Connecting to Skull Knight, showing that they indeed have the ability to bind a human's soul to an armor or something along that line.

3. The worlds were merged already at a certain point
This most likely was also the case for Gaiserics time
I disagree with this statement. The elders use the words "ancient chaos." You have remember that time moves differently in Skellig. Time moves slower there, which means that about 1000 years ago in Midland isn't 1000 years in Skellig. If the elders use the word "ancient," I assume it means much earlier than that.
Also, if 1000 years ago, during the time of Gaiseric, there really was chaos with monsters and mythical creatures roaming the world, then what "fixed" this chaos? Was it someone in Skellig today? If so, don't you think that lowers the weight of what's going on right now? To me, what's happening now has never happened before, and everyone (including all of the magi in Skellig) are unsure if the God Hand could be stopped.

4. Griffith wanting to obtain an Empire
I believe the reason Gaiseric was mentioned by Griffith was just a reminder for the reader, since, most likely, Skull Knight's backstory is coming up soon. To me, it's more a storytelling device than anything deeper.
As for your point, I think you're forgetting the God Hand here. What's happening isn't simply for Griffith to fulfill his dream. Everything that's happened and being planned by Griffith is part of the plan that started around a 1000 years ago.

How long do you think this Gaiseric flashback will be?
I think it's gonna be substantial. I could see it going over 10 episodes, if it goes the direction I suspect it would.
I anticipate that Gaiseric's backstory will also include that of Void's. I believe that their lives are as interconnected as Guts' and Griffith's. I also believe that it's gonna include how Void became the first God Hand, the Idea of Evil, and their final goal.

I do want to add this: please don't take my criticism too close to heart. It's all in good fun.
 
This is not accurate. In episode 307 Foss states: "Is that the legendary city said to have sunk deep beneath Windham so long ago? No, it's too huge to be that. Majestic, it doesn't appear man made at all..."
So, it's the opposite of your statement. It is established to not be Gaiseric's former city, but something not man made.
I guess using the word ''established'' was too definitive, but it is quite clear that Falconia is Gaiserics city reborn. It obviously is not the the identical image of the city as it was altered with several falcon motiffs, but there are several signs showing that it is the ancient city. The architecture, the technology and the fact the characters compare it to Gaiserics old empire is enough to believe so. Raban makes a statement similar to Foss in epsiode 334 aswell. This also only adds more weight to the fact that Skull Knights own sword stroke played a big part in it reappearing.

To me, what's happening now has never happened before
But it did as they state, thats the point. If the worlds were intermingled during Gaiserics time is yet to be seen, but something happened that caused the separation of the worlds and it will be an important topic to confront.

As for your point, I think you're forgetting the God Hand here. What's happening isn't simply for Griffith to fulfill his dream. Everything that's happened and being planned by Griffith is part of the plan that started around a 1000 years ago.
I don't see how im forgetting the God Hand here. Its quite obvious that Griffith goal of creating an empire for humans and the extermination of astral creatures goes along with the plans of what the God Hand have been trying to achieve. They go hand in hand
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
This statue most likely was a statue of Gaiseric. The placement of Rakshas makes it very reminiscent of Gaiserics dark hair.
Listen man, I want this to be true too, but it's just not really substantial. I was excited when we first saw that in the ep, thinking it would be a great opportunity for someone to comment on it, and maybe drop a bit of background knowledge on Gaiseric and the capital city at the time. But it didn't happen. It was just scenery, in the end. I was also super excited when we saw the destroyed statue just outside his sealed room, depicted as a human back in vol 37, but nothing was ever elaborated on that, either.

Then again, maybe the flashback will kick off with a shot of the statue WITH head!



How long do you think this Gaiseric flashback will be? Do you think Skull Knight will talk about himself in a one on one conversation with Guts or will this be something revealed to a larger crowd by Sk or someone else?
I'll be thrilled if we get a full, dedicated episode in a true flashback sense. But that's not something we've seen a lot of in the series. So I feel it'll be more like a very condensed narrative retelling of his past that spans several years/centuries, all contained within the framework of his current conversation with Guts.

In episode 359 Casca obtains a new sword which carries the symbol of Gaiserics old symbol. This was a detail that Walter pointed out in the original episode thread ... We could speculate a lot about this, but i assume an alright approach would be to think that Gaiseric might have been a Viking himself who then went on to conquer the mainland. It would add more to his ties with Skellig, explain how he was someone who rose to power out of nowhere.
I don't think the sword should push us in the direction of Gaiseric being a viking though. After all, Gaiseric's whole campaign was focused on the continent. And the armor you reference in the images doesn't appear to line up to me, either (Also, in your theory, Gaiseric was the sole viking force striking the armies of the continentals, so they wouldn't be present in that little pre-Gaiseric scene).

However, I will entertain it because you do pull at the thread that provides an opening: the fact that Gaiseric's force appeared from nowhere. That has always been a somewhat enigmatic part of his origin. Certainly there are MANY explanations, but if he had assembled his force independent of the continental wars, and his men were foreigners, that outclassed and outmatched the natives, that would add up.

But to be perfectly honest, I think the "Vikins" were just there as convenient automatons for Danan to throw at the group inep 359. Viking-like people are afterall a natural fit for foreigners who washed up on Skellig's shores looking for plunder, and unknowingly walking right in to a land of magical juggernauts. That a sword seemingly bearing Gaiseric's emblem was in Danan's treasure trove doesn't cross those lines, for me.

This is not accurate. In episode 307 Foss states: "Is that the legendary city said to have sunk deep beneath Windham so long ago? No, it's too huge to be that. Majestic, it doesn't appear man made at all..."
So, it's the opposite of your statement. It is established to not be Gaiseric's former city, but something not man made.
Well it's certainly not like Falconia existed back in Gaiseric's time. Instead, aspects of the ancient city were resurrected and made fantastical. As Will already said, the characters alluded to it, and the architecture told us this even before Rickert noticed the ancient-yet-advanced technology in the city. Here is just a small comparison shot I dug up back then:


 
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I guess using the word ''established'' was too definitive, but it is quite clear that Falconia is Gaiserics city reborn.
I agree with this, absolutely. It does have similar architectural feel to the ruins found underneath the Tower of Rebirth. It's just that since it's not the exact city, I don't think that it's a solid enough foundation to build concert theories on top of it.

But it did as they state, thats the point.
My bad. When I wrote "To me, what's happening now has never happened before," I meant the stuff with Griffith and God Hand, not the planes of existence being merged. You're right, the "ancient chaos" regards the state of the planes of existence.

something happened that caused the separation of the worlds and it will be an important topic to confront.
Won't disagree with you there. I'm very much looking forward to learning this.

I don't see how im forgetting the God Hand here. Its quite obvious that Griffith goal of creating an empire for humans and the extermination of astral creatures goes along with the plans of what the God Hand have been trying to achieve. They go hand in hand
The reason I said it was because your post gave the impression that Griffith is just trying to create a paradise for people. And that that's his ultimate goal. Could be that I just misunderstood what you meant.
BTW, about the comment Guts made about Griffith ambitions. I think, and I assume most people do as well, this will come to be a lot more important and significant letter on in the story. I would be surprised if Griffith simply follower God Hands plan. At the end of day, Griffith is the ultimate antagonist for Guts, and not the God Hand.
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
It's just that since it's not the exact city, I don't think that it's a solid enough foundation to build concert theories on top of it.
I don't think it's a stretch of any kind to compare Gaiseric's conquest to Griffith's, or Gaiseric's capital city to Griffith's. Miura's already done the heavy lifting for us:

Griffith: They say that emperor Gaiseric established a great empire, spanning all of the territories on the continent, from the heart of this land.
Griffith: Then let us build it. A territory for humans. The second empire.
Also, I missed this earlier, but wanted to reply:

Also, if 1000 years ago, during the time of Gaiseric, there really was chaos with monsters and mythical creatures roaming the world, then what "fixed" this chaos? Was it someone in Skellig today?
This "fix" has already been explained. It was in the same episode that introduced the concept of the "ancient chaos", ep 345. The spiritual trees, like Flora's, sapped the world spiral tree's power. Those were likely planted and fostered during Gaiseric's time, to ensure a peaceful existence for humans.
 
I don't think it's a stretch of any kind to compare Gaiseric's conquest to Griffith's, or Gaiseric's capital city to Griffith's
Oh, I don't disagree with this. There is an obvious parallel between the two. My comment regarded the origin theory of the headless status. My though is that since it's not the exact same city, it's hard to build concrete theories on it. Especially simple ones like this. I guess, at the end of day, it's just a small detail in either case, so I don't think it matters much in the grand scheme of things.

The spiritual trees, like Flora's, sapped the world spiral tree's power.
This did slip my mind. But I don't think it changes much what my comment's core idea was.

Those were likely planted and fostered during Gaiseric's time, to ensure a peaceful existence for humans.
This is what I'm not sure about. It's the timeline of the "ancient chaos" that I'm not sure about. I do agree that it's very much possible that during the Gaiseric's time existed some astral creature (even to the same level as things are now), but it doesn't really seem to seat right with me, to be hones.

From Charlotte's tale (which I agree isn't the most reliable source) it seems that the battle was between people. It was just that the world was not yet civilized enough to form kingdoms, but had small city-states. And what Gaiseric did was join them by conquering the world (this has lots of similarities to the real history too). To me, if Gaiseric's time had dragons, jotün and such, his tale would have been more like: "Gaiseric, the great unknown knight, who slain the dragon that had enslaved humanity, became king to rule the world with an iron fist until he was stuck down by God."

It's just a hunch, since there ins't enough concrete information to be too sure. I do want to add thought, that if the story follows your theory (with the planes being merged during Gaiseric's time) I would be completely ok with that. This is since, at least to me, both theories could work with the established story and world buildind.
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
Damn, I don't mean to offend, @TheWillOfT, but this thread is a mess. It really just needed to be a single line:

How long do you think this Gaiseric flashback will be? Do you think Skull Knight will talk about himself in a one on one conversation with Guts or will this be something revealed to a larger crowd by Sk or someone else?
I think it'll be at least half an episode, at most maybe two and a half or so. Personally I'd be glad if we got 20 pages split between 2 episodes. Whether it's a one to one conversation or not doesn't matter. What's more interesting is to wonder whether other characters who were around back then will also share their knowledge of the past, like Danan or maybe the Great Gurus. There is much more to learn about than simply Gaiseric's take.

The rest of the thread seems to basically be a crude amalgamation of previous speculation, but it's not all of equal value.

This statue most likely was a statue of Gaiseric.
Most likely according to whom? It's just a broken down statue. It's missing head and arms, like a lot of ancient Greek statues in the real world (because those are the most fragile parts). It could have been a statue of Gaiseric, sure. But it also could have not been. It's not like there were only statues of him around the city. What matters though is that this doesn't matter. It's not something worth dwelling on. We already know Falconia was built from Gaiseric's old city, regardless of this.

In episode 358 Griffith mentions his goal of creating an empire for humans. This ties down to how Guts was speaking about him in Episode 345. What went from wanting to obtain a Kingdom became a bigger goal of wanting to build an empire, and as we know Griffith will only want to go higher and higher.
You're still misunderstanding Griffith. It's not like his ambition just got upscaled to an empire. He told the others in that room that a second empire is what their goal should be, but his personal objectives go beyond that, and they have since he was reborn as Femto. Griffith dreamed of having his own kingdom, but Femto is an overlord for mankind as a whole. People really ought to understand that.

How was Gaiserics approach with astral creatures? Did he wipe out giants like Griffiths demon army did or did he find other ways to deal with these issues?
The placement of this backstory is not only key to explain what happened 1000 years ago, it will also shine more light on what Griffith is doing with Falconia and how that contrasts with Gaiserics ways.
This is actually an interesting question to consider and a good point to raise. I have of course raised that point myself in the past, and as you'll no doubt know from having read my posts, I believe things differed because magic users were more common at the time. Without getting into deep speculation, there's an easy thing to consider: the God Hand has been deliberately undoing what magic users had taken great pains to do: separate the astral world from the corporeal world. Different methods for different goals.

In episode 359 Casca obtains a new sword which carries the symbol of Gaiserics old symbol. This was a detail that Walter pointed out in the original episode thread
Not only that but when you look back at episode 53 where they talk about Gaiseric you find similar viking imagery in the mention of his citys downfall.

We could speculate a lot about this, but i assume an alright approach would be to think that Gaiseric might have been a Viking himself who then went on to conquer the mainland. It would add more to his ties with Skellig, explain how he was someone who rose to power out of nowhere.
There is no guarantee that sword was once Gaiseric's. They are in Elfhelm, so receiving an ancient sword with symbols of the moon and sun on it feels like par for the course. Let's say it is though, for the sake of argument. Nothing says that sword is related to the three suits of armor Danan has made puppets out of. People make that assumption because both are introduced in short succession, but there's no actual tie in the story. Casca is given an outfit from Elfhelm and a sword of unknown origins. Then, because she wants to train, Danan pulls out some puppets from storage, puppets she had made from stolen equipment.

As for Gaiseric himself, have you looked at how he is depicted? He looks absolutely nothing like a Viking. His inspiration is clearly Roman-like, as is his capital city. And just to be clear, horned-helmets were pretty common in old times. The Celts had some, for example.

It is established to not be Gaiseric's former city, but something not man made.
Falconia was clearly created from the basis of Gaiseric's ancient capital city, there's no doubt about that.

Your point could be possible, but my opinion on the wicker man was a bit different. I see 2 main reasons for including it:
  1. Showing that Elfhelm might seem like a harmless paradise where elves and other magical creatures live in peaceful life, it's also capable of fighting back and doing some morally questionable thing. Such as using the souls of people to create a weapon.
  2. Connecting to Skull Knight, showing that they indeed have the ability to bind a human's soul to an armor or something along that line.
I think it's unlikely the Wicker Man was created by the magic users of Elfhelm. It's described as being taboo for a reason, and I don't think it's meant to show Elfhelm's "dark side". Also I really don't believe the process used to create that thing is similar at all to what transformed Gaiseric into the Skull Knight.

Also, if 1000 years ago, during the time of Gaiseric, there really was chaos with monsters and mythical creatures roaming the world, then what "fixed" this chaos? Was it someone in Skellig today? If so, don't you think that lowers the weight of what's going on right now?
Walter already answered this, but to go further: it's almost certain to me that the Great Gurus were around back when all that stuff took place. And no, I don't think it lessens what's happening today. The Great Gurus knew Flora, who was one of the magic users in charge of one of the trees that sapped the World Spiral Tree's power. And Flora knew the Skull Knight when he was still human. It's all connected. But what they are facing now is still unlike anything that's ever happened before.

I believe the reason Gaiseric was mentioned by Griffith was just a reminder for the reader, since, most likely, Skull Knight's backstory is coming up soon. To me, it's more a storytelling device than anything deeper.
No, I think TheWillofT has got the right idea. It is absolutely pertinent to compare Gaiseric and Griffith. This is really basic stuff: Guts and Griffith both embody different aspects of Gaiseric. The unstoppable conqueror who built an empire, and the lone warrior, cursed and yet fighting on against the God Hand and its apostles.

I would be surprised if Griffith simply follower God Hands plan. At the end of day, Griffith is the ultimate antagonist for Guts, and not the God Hand.
You seem to be confused about how this works. Femto is a member of the God Hand, and so far the God Hand's plan aligns with his own perfectly. That's not a coincidence. He is indeed the ultimate antagonist of the series, but that doesn't mean he'll have to oppose the rest of the God Hand. They are all working towards a shared goal because it aligns with their own personal interests. As planned by the God of the Abyss.

From Charlotte's tale (which I agree isn't the most reliable source) it seems that the battle was between people. It was just that the world was not yet civilized enough to form kingdoms, but had small city-states. And what Gaiseric did was join them by conquering the world (this has lots of similarities to the real history too). To me, if Gaiseric's time had dragons, jotün and such, his tale would have been more like: "Gaiseric, the great unknown knight, who slain the dragon that had enslaved humanity, became king to rule the world with an iron fist until he was stuck down by God."
You're right that Charlotte's story doesn't mention magical creatures and that it makes it seem that Gaiseric simply united warring tribes, not unlike how Julius Caesar conquered Gaul. But you also correctly point out that it's an unreliable story. Being from a thousand years ago, it has a lot of holes, starting with Gaiseric's origins, the details of his conquests or even the exact account of his downfall. It's frankly just a tale indeed, and not some authoritative knowledge. And while it doesn't mention astral creatures, it does contain a major mystical element, namely the angels that destroyed the capital city in one night.

Now, you've got to keep in mind that when Charlotte tells this story, the Holy See dominates Midland culture. Astral creatures aren't supposed to exist and anything spiritual should be related to God. Schierke comments on this in volume 25, after she saves Enoch. She says the four Elemental Kings of the World are mentioned in the Holy See's scriptures as four archangels that guard the cardinal directions. This can also explain why the tale is the way it is aside from the fact it was passed down over many generations. It was likely purged of elements deemed unbelievable or better left out over time.
 
No, I think TheWillofT has got the right idea. It is absolutely pertinent to compare Gaiseric and Griffith. This is really basic stuff: Guts and Griffith both embody different aspects of Gaiseric. The unstoppable conqueror who built an empire, and the lone warrior, cursed and yet fighting on against the God Hand and their apostles.
I don't disagree with the parallels found between Skull Knight/Gaiseric and Guts and Griffith. It might just be me, but I don't really see much in-story significance in these parallels, though there are some. To me they are more like storytelling caveats like in the case of Guts/Schierke and Skull Knight/Flora relationships. It's definitely there and not just the readers, but the characters themselves know about it. But again, I don't see it going much deeper than that.

I do agree that I could be proven wrong in the future about this assumption. I can think of a couple of scenarios where these parallels become much more significant than they seems to me right now.

You seem to be confused about how this works. Femto is a member of the God Hand, and so far the God Hand's plan aligns with his own perfectly. That's not a coincidence. He is indeed the ultimate antagonist of the series, but that doesn't mean he'll have to oppose the rest of the God Hand. They are all working towards a shared goal because it aligns with their own personal interests. As planned by the God of the Abyss.
I don't think I'm confused about it at all. I do agree with you on all counts. And my remark regarding "Griffith simply follower God Hands plan," I didn't mean that he's gonna betray the God Hand, or backstab them for his personal gain, or something along those lines. I have seen people mention concepts like that, and to me that just doesn't sound much like Berserk.

P.S. I just spent time writing a longwinded explanation of my thoughts on Guts' and Griffith's roles in the story and how all that ties back into my comment, but got rid of it for the sake of brevity and not to take the thread too far from its original post (which I believe I accidentally did :farnese:).
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
I don't disagree with the parallels found between Skull Knight/Gaiseric and Guts and Griffith. It might just be me, but I don't really see much in-story significance in these parallels, though there are some.
Well it all depends on what you attribute significance to. These are background elements, but when put together they form the foundation on which the actual story is being told. They serve to inform the reader's understanding of the world in which Berserk takes place, giving it more depth and meaning. They also participate in explaining why current events occur the way they do in many little ways. It's not nothing that Griffith invokes Gaiseric's name when laying out his plan to conquer the astral world. It has enormous weight, and that's precisely because it's not something that was made up on the spot, but actually ties into the greater narrative. The same goes for the fact Guts is currently using the Skull Knight's old armor. Stuff like this is part of what makes Berserk such a unique and powerful story. It's not simply a loose collection of cool ideas and characters, it has a very strong internal logic.

I don't think I'm confused about it at all. I do agree with you on all counts. And my remark regarding "Griffith simply follower God Hands plan," I didn't mean that he's gonna betray the God Hand, or backstab them for his personal gain, or something along those lines. I have seen people mention concepts like that, and to me that just doesn't sound much like Berserk.
Ok, then I'm not sure what you meant, but nevermind if we agree.

P.S. I just spent time writing a longwinded explanation of my thoughts on Guts' and Griffith's roles in the story and how all that ties back into my comment, but got rid of it for the sake of brevity and not to take the thread too far from its original post (which I believe I accidentally did :farnese:).
Good move, that saved us all some time. I'm off to play Doom Eternal! :guts:
 
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