What if Guts' group were split up into two teams?

Aazealh

Administrator
Staff member
Among the many interrogations one can have about future developments of the story, there is the size of Guts' crew and how it will be handled from now on. The most immediate question would be whether Magnifico and even Roderick will stick with the group after they leave Elfhelm. Will they be in for the long haul, to the very end? I personally don't think so. But what about Isma, who joined fairly recently? Her character arc isn't quite over yet, but her unique characteristic, that of being a merrow, wouldn't be of much use on land.

Beyond this, there's the issue of character development. The more characters are around, the harder it is for everyone to get enough time in the spotlight, and some characters can end up somewhat neglected. With Casca back, we can assume that she will be focused on for the foreseeable future. But other characters are also overdue for some development, be it Serpico, Azan, or even Isidro. And yet Farnese is also continuing on her journey of growth, and Schierke's now learning new techniques from the best magicians around. In short, there's a lot of things to tackle, and not a lot of screen time for it.

One possible way this could be handled is by splitting the group in two. There could be many hypothetical reasons for this, so I'm not going to dwell on it too much, but suffice it to say that some members could leave the island early, in a hurry, while others have to stay behind, or have to go back by another means. For example, some could travel through the branches of the World Spiral Tree while the others get back by sea. Obviously, none of this is guaranteed, it's pure speculation, but I figured it'd be interesting to think on who would be in which team and why.

My two base scenarios are as follow:

A-Team: Guts, Schierke, Isidro, Isma, Ivalera
B-Team: Casca, Farnese, Serpico, Azan, Puck

or

A-Team: Guts, Casca, Farnese, Azan, Puck
B-Team: Serpico, Schierke, Isidro, Isma, Ivalera

These were done assuming that roughly the same number of people would be in each team, but of course this could end up not being the case. For example in my second scenario, Azan could very well end up in the B-Team. Anyway, here's my reasoning for these and more generally for what I think would make sense narratively.

If the teams stay apart for a fairly short time, then I believe Guts and Casca could be in a different group. However if it's a longer term thing, where for example they rejoin in front of Falconia, then there wouldn't be enough time for the two of them to reignite their relationship just before the end, and therefore they would need to be in the same team. That aside, I believe Farnese has to be in the same group as Casca given her dedication to her. I also think it makes sense for Farnese and Schierke to be separated so that Farnese can grow. In the same way, I would like Serpico and Farnese to be split up as it would allow him to more easily pursue his own path. Lastly, I fundamentally believe that Isidro and Schierke should stay together as their chemistry is important. Isma sticking with them follows the same line, assuming their proto-love triangle isn't resolved before then.

Then we have the matter of fighting prowess. Obviously, Guts needs no one else, but separating him from Schierke would make the armor much more dangerous to use. If he were with Casca, it would also mean their relationship and his feelings for her would be the only thing keeping him sane. On the other hand, having Schierke with him but not Casca also presents a serious challenge, since Casca has repeatedly been the one thing that can "wake him up" when his consciousness gets engulfed by the armor's Od. That matter aside, the real problem is B-Team's survivability. I think having Serpico, Casca and Azan battling serious opponents on their own would be very interesting to see and a good avenue for development. Same for Schierke not being able to rely on Guts. Lastly, smaller groups could either provide an opportunity for a closer Guts/Puck or Casca/Puck relationship, which I'd like to see.

Of course there are many other ways the groups could be split up, but I didn't want to fill this post with possible permutations. It could be something as extreme as having Guts alone on one side, or maybe with just one other person (like say, Isidro), and everyone else on the other. He could even be without the armor, which would add some dramatic tension. Anyway, I invite you to share the scenarios that you think would make sense if the idea inspires you.

The last point I want to bring up, given the peculiar flow of time around Skellig, is the possibility of having one group age more than the other. This could provide a way for Schierke, Isidro and possibly Isma to get a bit older if they were to leave the island first and the others couldn't follow right away.
 
I don't think Miura divides the group into two parts. Just for a simple reason, the story would lengthen a bit much to explain how the two groups will reach Falconia differently. Also because there is also to tell the story of Rickert in the land of the Bakiraka and I think Miura takes some time to explain a little about their land and the folk. I think they will all leave together towards Falconia.

But it is a my simple opinion.
 
That's definitely something that I can see happening. But if he actually splits the group, I think he'll have to focus on only one of the two halves, the other will advance towards Falconia (or wherever their next destination will be) off screen and they'll meet with the other group there.

About the way the group will split, I personally prefer the 2nd scenario since both Casca and Guts need to be more on the spotlight right now, so they should be in the same team. Of course, there's still the problem with Casca's sanity but having them apart for a while like you said, won't solve anything. Also, swapping Azan with Schierke would make for better groups, Guts need her in case a fight starts. Although without her the fight would be more dramatic and could lead to some very serious and scary moments for his group, so that works too. (It could also be a great opportunuty for Casca to help Guts snap out of it, which at the same time could help her get a little closer to him... maybe.)

For your last point, I have no idea how I never thought of it, I always wanted a timeskip for the younger members of the group to grow up and that's a great way for it to happen. Although, we still don't know much about the time difference between the island and the rest of the world so... it's still a great idea, but they'll have to explain the whole flow of time thing first.

Oh, also if he splits the group like I said, that'd mean that Schierke will stay young while Isidro grows up... That would make for some funny scenes during their reunion :schierke::isidro:

As a whole the idea of the group splitting is really good, but I still don't know what the perfect two groups are.
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
I feel somewhat responsible for urging you to post this, because I do think it’s a pretty cool idea even as a hypothetical. What’s a good party balance if you split the current group in two? When presented with that puzzle, I have to admit that my mind keeps leaning towards a completely A-team powerhouse party, leaving the kids back on the shore. So that’d be: Guts, Casca, Azan, Schierke, Farnese.... maybe Serpico. Maybe.

There are two big considerations to make if we’re going to split up the group. The first is that Farnese and Casca seem inseparable at this point. The second is of course how the rift between Guts and Casca will be navigated. Is the better medicine for them time apart or time together? As things stand, we’re probably just days away from getting an indication on the direction there.

Despite the complications it introduces, I think I would prefer a group with Guts and Casca forced apart. That would make for a dramatic reunion for them when they reconvene on the border of Falconia towards the end of the series. I admit, that makes the current moment quite bittersweet, because it would be all the time these two have together before the denouement of the series. But I just have my doubts that Miura is going to allow them to fully grapple with Casca’s trauma in the allotted time they have in Elfhelm. And if that’s the case, I’ll always lean toward the more dramatic of possibilities.

As for incorporating the time skip, I don’t think it necessarily means that the two groups would end up with a huge difference in ages. Maybe just enough for someone like Isidro to mature a bit. But there’s not necessarily a narrative imperative that they must leave at dramatically different times. I’m picturing the means for transportation will just be different between the two groups. I’m opening this door, but I’d prefer not to make that the point of this thread, because there are so many possibilities ... but just as an example: SK could use his sword technique to transport a small party straight to the mainland. Meanwhile the remaining group prepares for a more large-scale departure with some of the inhabitants of Elfhelm. A scouting party followed by a major force.

I don't think Miura divides the group into two parts. Just for a simple reason, the story would lengthen a bit much to explain how the two groups will reach Falconia differently. Also because there is also to tell the story of Rickert in the land of the Bakiraka and I think Miura takes some time to explain a little about their land and the folk. I think they will all leave together towards Falconia.

But it is a my simple opinion.
It does appear to be a challenge upfront in how that would be addressed, but as always, it’s not like Miura doesn’t have many options at his disposal. The B team could simply be sidelined and not get treated to the same level of development. It doesn’t mean Miura has nothing in store for them, But it could mean that he has more plans for some and less for others. Thus there would be some compression of priorities for each of the groups.
 

Atocas

I don't remember the last time I didn't eat Pizza
This is actually very similar to an idea I had a few months ago during a discussion on how Serpico's character could get back into the spotlight and find his own path away from Farnese and for the most part I'm still very fond of it. As you've already said, it wouldn't just help Serpico, but a few others as well, while also providing a short term solution to the Guts-Casca dilemma.

Potential group compositions are obviously pure theory crafting, but I'm still gonna give my spin on things here. I might repeat a few things from Aaz here and there because I agree with a lot of the things he thinks about potential match-ups, but my final groups came out a bit different in the end.

First of, Serpico and Farnese would have to be seperated and Guts and Schierke/Ivalera would have to stay together. That's a given for me. I also think Casca and Isidro should be in the same group, because of their past "adventures", the potential training/fighting bond they'd come to share and Isidro being someone who could talk to Casca about Guts in an unintentionally impactful fashion. Isma would obviously stay with Isidro as well. As for Puck I'd put him together with Casca this time as some form of way to get her accustomed to the new world. He would also be able to stay with Isidro that way. As for the more minor characters, Roderick would most likely stay with Farnese while Azan would most likely have the most chemistry (if he ever starts talking plot:shrug:) with Serpico.

So far I'd be at:

Group 1: Casca - Isidro - Puck - Isma
Group 2: Guts - Schierke - Ivalera

The problem arises with the placement of Farnese for me. She is a very important person for Casca even now, so you'd think she'd stay with her. But on the other hand Farnese's current path is the acquisition of healing magic to help out Guts in the future, so it's really hard to place her in my opinion. One thing I'd maybe like to see though is the seperation of Casca and Farnese for the sake of a re-found sense of independence on Casca's side, which would then make my final groups look something like this:

Group 1: Casca - Isidro - Puck - Isma - Serpico - Azan
Group 2: Guts - Schierke - Ivalera - Farnese - Roderick

This composition doesn't address the fact that Farnese and Schierke could be potentially separated , but it's the one I'm most comfortable with.

Whether we actually see a split in the end or not is something that might be still somewhat far in the future, but I've started to like the idea a lot, even though it might bloat the story a bit, as long as it's interesting, I'm up for it.
 

Aazealh

Administrator
Staff member
The problem arises with the placement of Farnese for me. She is a very important person for Casca even now, so you'd think she'd stay with her. But on the other hand Farnese's current path is the acquisition of healing magic to help out Guts in the future
Farnese specifically asked to learn magic that can heal the mind so that she could help Casca.
 

Atocas

I don't remember the last time I didn't eat Pizza
Farnese specifically asked to learn magic that can heal the mind so that she could help Casca.
I actually had to read that again. Silly old me actually thought she was referring to Guts and the mending of his mind, but Danan makes it clear that it's about Casca.

That actually makes the composition harder to figure out, because putting Guts, Serpico and Schierke on the same team during a Guts/Casca separation would create a bit of an imbalance of power, if also more opportunities for Casca to shine as a leader and warrior.
 

Aazealh

Administrator
Staff member
I actually had to read that again. Silly old me actually thought she was referring to Guts and the mending of his mind, but Danan makes it clear that it's about Casca.
Well, like I said in the episode 360 thread at the time, I foresee that Farnese's magic will eventually help Guts as well. It could allow Casca to enter his psyche and confront the Beast of Darkness, soothing his trauma and as a result giving him more control over himself when he's fully using the berserk's armor. But even if that happens, it won't be anytime soon. For now the focus is definitely to help Casca.
 
It does appear to be a challenge upfront in how that would be addressed, but as always, it’s not like Miura doesn’t have many options at his disposal. The B team could simply be sidelined and not get treated to the same level of development. It doesn’t mean Miura has nothing in store for them, But it could mean that he has more plans for some and less for others. Thus there would be some compression of priorities for each of the groups.
Yes, this is a possibility for not to stretch the story too much.
 
I would love for this to happen. As a reader, I'd really like an extended period of time to spend with a smaller group of characters.

I tend to think that Guts and Casca might have to be split up, simply because Casca's trauma is still so severe and it seems so much ground still needs to be traversed in her recovery, that travel together on the mainland seems insanely dangerous without a dramatic change in the situation.

I also see it as opportunity to have it so that when we shift from one group to the other, the primary focus is either going to be on Guts or Casca, which is what I personally want as a reader at this point.
 
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