The Band of the Falcon was a mercenary group founded by the White Falcon Griffith. They were instrumental in several battles during the Hundred-Year War, most prominently in retaking the Tudor-held fortress of Doldrey for Midland and ending the century-long conflict. Subsequently, the band's commanders were granted nobility.
However, after Guts departed from the band and Griffith slept with Princess Charlotte in a moment of weakness, the mercenary leader was captured and tortured under the orders of the king of Midland, and the band members were rounded up to be dealt with by Midland's army and, once they were on the run, pursued afterward. Over the course of a year, the band's numbers decreased drastically, and Casca took the reigns of leader in Griffith's absence. Hearing of his former comrades' plight, Guts returned and helped the band rescue Griffith. However, crippled, maimed and demoralized from his year-long torture, Griffith activated his Crimson Beherit, triggering the Eclipse and sacrificing the Band of the Falcon, in exchange for becoming the fifth God Hand angel Femto. While Guts, Casca and Rickert survived, most of the members were devoured by apostles and consequently the Band of the Falcon was informally disbanded. Afterward, Rickert payed respect to the fallen mercenaries by making the Hill of Swords in their memory.
The Band of the Falcon was originally a very meager gathering of thieves all drawn to the charismatic, military genius Griffith. Its first principal members included the former coal miner Pippin, a gifted circus performer-turned-soldier Judeau, the former thieves gang leader Corkus, and later, a village girl named Casca. During their defense of a fortress, the band witnessed the defeat of Bazuso by a young swordsman named Guts; Griffith, impressed by the swordsman's triumph, decided to challenge him to a duel, defeating Guts and formally inducting him into the Band of the Falcon. Guts was eventually promoted to the Falcon's Raiders Captain, a position he occupied for over three years, by which time the band became famed as "Grim Reapers of the Battlefield".
Their reputed strength catches the king of Midland's notice, who enlists them in Midland's Hundred-Year War against the Tudor Empire, in which the band ultimately succeeds in reclaiming the fortress of Doldrey for Midland and brings an end to the century-long conflict. For their efforts in the war, the king formally grants the Band of the Falcon's commanders nobility; Griffith is elevated to the rank of White Phoenix General and the band is formally knighted as Midland's White Phoenix Knights. Their peerage is short-lived, however; while Griffith's assassination plot allows him to eliminate all of his political enemies, including the queen, his first defeat at Guts' hands, as well as the swordsman's immediate departure thereafter, cause him to sink into depression and impulsively bed Princess Charlotte. This act, deemed treasonous, results in Griffith's capture and subsequent torture under the orders of the king, as well the exiling of the band.
With their leader imprisoned, and their numbers dropped to less than a fifth in a single year, the band members find themselves on the verge of collapse despite Casca's near-equally capable leadership. Only when Guts returns is the band's morale restored, spurring the creation of the Griffith Rescue Squad and their infiltration of Wyndham. However, by the time they rescue Griffith from the Tower of Rebirth, he has been tortured to the point of being inarticulate and completely handicapped. To make matters worse, the apostle Wyald and his Black Dog Knights begin to pursue the band, having been sent by the king of Midland to eliminate them once all other attempts to do so had failed. They manage to repel the forces, but with Griffith now rendered an invalid, the mercenaries are unable to rejoice – forced to come to terms with the clipping of the White Falcon's wings.
After escaping from the rest of the band in an unattended horse-drawn carriage, a desperate, tormented Griffith activates his Crimson Beherit and invokes the Eclipse, thus summoning the God Hand. The band members are soon after branded as sacrifices, providing Griffith the means to transcend his humanity and be reborn as the final God Hand angel Femto. Only Guts and Casca survive the bloodbath, though their suffering is prolonged by Femto's sexual violation of the latter. This results in the regression of Casca's mind to that of an infant and mutation of her and Guts' unborn child by Griffith's seed. Furious over Griffith's act of betrayal, Guts vows revenge on his former leader and declares a solitary war on the God Hand and their apostles. With every Falcon now dead excluding Guts, Casca, and Rickert, who was not present for the Eclipse, the band is informally disbanded.
The legendary exploits of the original Band of the Falcon are still fresh in the minds of many Midlanders. After Femto is incarnated in the form of Griffith and, with his new apostle servants, begins liberating Midland from Kushan occupation, numerous Midlanders ask him to name his growing liberation army after the original band.
- Griffith: Leader of the Band of the Falcon
- Guts: Raiders Commander
- Casca: Unit Commander, acting leader in Griffith's absence
- Judeau †
- Pippin †
- Corkus †
- Gaston: † Raiders Executive Officer
- Dante †
- Errol †
- Riguel †
- Dillos †
- Kim †
- Sam †
- Other band members †
- The band's name is inspired by the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars. However, the name "Band of the Hawk" has been popularized by outlets which translate "Falcon" as "Hawk", both meaning 鷹 in Japanese.
- Furthermore, for the Millennium Falcon Arc (千年帝国の鷹篇), Miura clarified in furigana that by 鷹, he meant ファルコン (Farukon, "Falcon").
- Kentarou Miura based the members of the Band of the Falcon peripheral to Guts, Griffith, and Casca on his high school manga friends.
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 5, "Nosferatu Zodd (1)"
- ^ a b c d Berserk, Volume 8, "Moment of Glory"
- ^ a b Walter Bennet (sender), Puella (translator). "Writing Miura". "'Falcon' or 'Hawk', both mean [鷹] in Japanese. In some dictionaries, 'Falcon' is translated as [隼(はやぶさ)], but there's almost no difference. I used 'Falcon' from the great name of the 'Millennium Falcon' ship in Star Wars." SkullKnight.net.
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 8, "Battle to Capture Doldrey (6)"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 9, "Beginning of the Endless Night"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 9, "Demise of a Dream"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 9, "Fugitives"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 12, "Separation"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 17, "Feeble Flame"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 5, "Golden Age (8)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 6, "Casca (2)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 4, "Golden Age (6)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 10, "Infiltration of Wyndham (1)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 10, "Reunion in the Abyss"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 12, "Requiem of the Wind"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 23, "Flag of the Flying Sword"
- ^ Berserk Official Guidebook