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That girl... was with child. That shapeless fetus, which was only just conceived... was possessed by evil. And so it has taken on the nature of a demon. It is a cursed child.
– Skull Knight[5]

The Demon Child was the offspring of Guts and Casca, brought into the physical world as a small misshapen child after being tainted by Femto's rape of the pregnant Casca.[5]

The Demon Child appeared almost exclusively at night, but during the day manifested in a shadowy area to avoid the sun.[3][4] Despite it rarely speaking, its actions revealed that its intelligence may have been of a higher grade than that of a two year-old, its chronological age.[4][1][2]

Appearance

The Demon Child appeared as a misshapen fetus with a reddened left eye. It was born as a minuscule creature but, only moments later, grew exponentially until it rivaled a several month-old infant in size. It was hairless and had an infantile face with a tumorous bump on its forehead that covered its right eye. Each of its limbs ended in fingerless tendrils, necessitating that it crawled on its stomach when it manifested, and it had a small tail.[5]

Personality

Not much is known of the Demon Child's personality since it barely spoke, but its behavior hinted that it was capable of cognition beyond what is normal for the average two-year-old.[4][1][2] After the Child's birth, it is explained by the Skull Knight that Guts and Casca's child accepted an evil nature, but would nevertheless maintain a kindred bond with its parents.[5] This statement appeared to be valid - the Demon Child appeared to Guts numerous times during his two-year stint as the Black Swordsman and showed no obvious malicious intent,[7][4] and even motivated Guts to avenge Vargas' death.[3]

The Demon Child also appeared several times while she was in Albion explicitly to protect its mother, who was thought to be a witch by the religious locals and refugees.[1][2][6] Its love for its mother was made obvious in that its power was completely spent by the end of the Incarnation Ceremony night, allowing the Egg of the Perfect World to manipulate and swallow it without any struggle.[9]

Abilities

The Demon Child appeared to possess some form of control over the spirits that lingered around Albion, being able to drive them away in order to protect Casca.[1][2] The Demon Child was also able to induce hallucinations in the people around it; Guts had twice witnessed the event wherein the Child morphed its face into that of someone else.[3][1]

Story

Golden Age Arc

The child was conceived when a newly returned Guts had sex with Casca, impregnating her. During the Eclipse, Griffith offered the Band of the Falcon to be reborn as the God Hand member Femto. Upon his transformation, Femto flew down to Casca and raped her in front of a trapped Guts. Sometime after the Skull Knight saved her and Guts, Casca prematurely gave birth to a malformed fetus that increased in size until it was no bigger than an infant. Upon first seeing the child being born and realizing Griffith's corruption, Guts attempted to kill it with Casca stopping him. The Skull Knight informed Guts that child was his and that Griffith had tainted it. Guts tried to kill the child again while Casca bit his arm before the infant faded before their eyes as the sun rose.[5]

Black Swordsman Arc

After Guts embarks on his quest for revenge, the Demon Child proceeds to follow its father.[10][3] As a result, with Guts loathing it further, it even appears in one of his moments of rest.[11]

Conviction Arc

DemonChildElfShrine

The Demon Child warning Guts of Casca's endangerment.

Due to weariness, Guts begins to doze off before reaching the Misty Valley, but the Demon Child, which is laying directly on his campfire, appears in front of him. Guts then asks him if he has brought with it the spirits of the deceased village children, all of which are ablaze.[12] He then raises the Dragon Slayer high into the air and brings it down on his campfire, but the Child avoids harm by floating into the air.[7]

As the Incarnation Ceremony in Albion comes closer, the Child appears before Guts and alerts him of Casca being in imminent danger, first via an hallucination and, later on, assuming Casca's face and uttering words of danger as a warning.[4] The Child eventually appears in Albion to protect its mother from the restless spirits of the holy city's dead. Whenever Casca was about to harmed by the spirits when they took over a physical body, the Demon manifested, and the spirits left the bodies.[1][2] But when the Incarnation Ceremony is close to begin, the Demon Child exhausted most of its life force to shield Casca from both spiritually possessed blood of the wrathful dead and the flames of a recently transformed Mozgus.[6]

ESADemonChildSwallow

The Egg swallowing the exhausted Demon Child.

On the verge of death, the Child was found by the apostle known as the Egg of the Perfect World. The apostle, also on the verge of death as he is about to fulfill his role in the ceremony, swallows the Demon Child so that neither would have to die alone.[9] But within the apostle's stomach before he shatters,[13] as the Incarnation Ceremony runs its course, the Demon Child gradually developed into a human infant before gradually maturing into part of the vessel for Griffith's essence to take residence in.[8] Though now existing as part of Griffith's new corporeal form, faint traces of the Demon Child's need to protect Casca appear to have some influence on Griffith as he found out while at the Hill of Swords.[14][15]

Fantasia Arc

During the Corridor of Dreams ritual, the dream fragment that houses Casca's memories of the Eclipse is shaped after the Child.[16] Neither Farnese nor Schierke know why it has that form.[17] As the women leave the ritual chamber and make their way back to the others, Casca begins remembering her treasured days as a Band of the Falcon member and the time as Elaine with increasing clarity, with the Demon Child as a faint memory.[17]

Gallery

Notes

  • The Demon Child shares a voice actor (Toa Yukinari) with its mother, Casca, in the 2016 anime.
  • Watching Casca and the young boy sleep together reminds Guts of the night that Casca gave birth to their child two years prior. He wonders where the Demon Child is now, having last seen it at the Tower of Conviction. Guts does not know that it was used in the Incarnation Ceremony.[18]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Berserk :: Volume 18, "Children of the Shadows"
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Berserk :: Volume 18, "Witch"
  3. ^ a b c d e f Berserk :: Volume 2, "Guardian Angels of Desire (2)"
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Berserk :: Volume 17, "Revelation (3)"
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Berserk :: Volume 14, "Demon Child"
  6. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 20, "Spider's Thread"
  7. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 15, "Red-Eyed Peekaf"
  8. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 21, "Falling Sky"
  9. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 20, "Shadow of Idea (3)"
  10. ^ Berserk :: Volume 1, "Black Swordsman"
  11. ^ Berserk :: Volume 1, "The Brand"
  12. ^ Berserk :: Volume 15, "Will-o'-the-Wisp"
  13. ^ Berserk :: Volume 21, "Tsunami of Darkness (2)"
  14. ^ Berserk :: Volume 22, "Beast Swordsman vs Black Swordsman"
  15. ^ Berserk :: Volume 22, "Prologue to the War Chronicle"
  16. ^ Berserk :: Volume 40, "Final Fragment"
  17. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 40, "Awakening"
  18. ^ Berserk :: Volume 28, "Boy in the Moonlight"

Appendices

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