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Griffith invoking the Eclipse

I bid thee welcome to this distant setting, this abstract time. Ye lambs of the ungodly God born of Man, enjoy this sacred nocturnal festival to the fullest. Thee, honorable child consecrated by the laws of causality. The Falcon. Thou art the Chosen One. At this time, in this place... The one chosen by the hand of the Great God. We art kinsmen... o blessed King of Longing.
– Void, to Griffith.[1]

The Eclipse (’蝕’, translates to 'occultation') is a rare event in the world of Berserk, occurring once every 216 years[2] to welcome a new member for the God Hand.[3]

Background[]

Griffith and God Hand

While the process is similar to the creation of apostles, the ritual occurs during a solar eclipse once every 216 years[2] and requires a crimson beherit, also called the 'Egg of the King', to trigger it.[3] When the ritual begins, the invoker, the offerings, and the apostles that have gathered are taken to the Interstice known as a temporal junction point where the incorporeal God Hand manifest.[4]

Griffith and the Idea of Evil.

Once the offerings are consecrated by Void (if Griffith's induction is anything to go by) feeling the pain of their deaths, the chosen person descends through the levels of the Astral World into the realm of the Idea of Evil as their heart freezes[5] where they take the evil power within the place to complete their transcendence.[6] It is rare for a consecrated sacrifice to escape the Eclipse alive, the event resulting with them being forever in the Interstice, hunted by those of darkness.[7]

The Fifth Eclipse[]

"On that day, the dead sun hung over all nations. [...] The Revelations say that when the sun dies five times, a red lake will appear to the west of the city with a name both new and old. It is proof that the fifth angel will alight... The angel is the Falcon of Darkness. The master of the sinful black sheep, the king of the blind white sheep. The one who shall call upon the world an age of darkness."
Black Swordsman, Again

The apostles gathered for Griffith's Eclipse.

The fifth Eclipse is an alluded in a prophecy among the Holy See stating that an appearance of the red lake when the sun "dies five times" heralds the birth of an angel whose appearance marks the beginning of the upcoming "age of darkness".[8] Zodd recognizes the importance of Griffith after noticing he was sporting the crimson beherit after a fight, sparing him.[9] The Eclipse begins a year after Griffith was imprisoned in the Tower of Rebirth,[10] freed by his allies yet maimed and crippled from grueling torture.[11] At that time, the apostles started to reach the location where the event is to take place while killing part of the Band of the Falcon on the way.[12] It was only when Griffith's shoulder was touched by Guts after the former's suicide attempt at a lake where his crimson beherit ended up with and the Band of the Falcon members following him that the beherit is activated.[4]

Apostles preparing for their feast.

The beherit brings everyone into the temporal junction point where the God Hand manifest,[4] Zodd seemingly being the only apostle to remain outside the tornado-like portal. Though the Skull Knight believes he is to be held off by Zodd as he intended to interfere, the apostle explains he has no interest "in their indulgent spree".[13] After the God Hand separate Griffith from the rest of the band, they subject the youth to the reality within his conscious realm, relying on his mental state and desires to make his offering.[14][15] This results in the band members branded with the apostles assuming their true forms as they proceed to slaughter and devour all but Guts and Casca[16], who witness Griffith's transcendence into Femto, the final member of the God Hand.[17]

The Holy Iron Chain Knights finding the "red lake" that is what remains of the Band of the Falcon.

Though the Skull Knight had fought his way through Zodd and saved Guts and Casca,[18] the former lost his left arm and right eye while attempting to stop Griffith from violating Casca.[19] While the Holy Iron Chain Knights find the "red lake" that remains of the fallen mercenaries, its leader seeing it as the fulfillment of a revelation,[8] the witch Flora also sensed the event and sent her pupil Schierke to confirm said fulfillment.[20]

Eclipse Eye.png

Days later, Guts awakens and learns that Casca's mind was destroyed by what she went through.[21] This event began Guts' rage-fueled revenge journey to kill the monsters that slaughtered the Band of the Falcon and Griffith for betraying them all.[22] As he lost his human body to join the God Hand, Griffith became an incorporeal being before he regained physical form.[23]

The fifth Eclipse is revisited in the Fantasia Arc when the Flower Storm Monarch, Schierke and Farnese delve into Casca's mind.[24]

Notes[]

Branded people.

  • It is implied that an Eclipse took place centuries ago in the ancient Midland kingdom ruled by Gaiseric, legend telling that the disaster that destroyed the city was caused by four or five angels. Only traces of the kingdom claimed by the event now buried under the land which Wyndham was built on remain. The ruins of the city and its littered dead, all bearing the Brand of Sacrifice on their foreheads, are seen in the bottom levels of the Tower of Rebirth. [25]
  • 216 is a lunar number. The 216-year time gap between every Eclipse may be a reference to the Number of the Beast in the Bible, 666, an allusion to the demonic nature of the event. The triple occurrence of 666 translates into 6 cubed, or 216, or double the number 108, a significant number in Buddhism.

References[]

  1. ^ Berserk, Volume 12, "Advent"
  2. ^ a b Berserk, Volume 12, "Promised Time"
  3. ^ a b Berserk, Volume 12, "All the Inhuman Monsters"
  4. ^ a b c Berserk, Volume 12, "Eclipse"
  5. ^ Berserk, Volume 13, "God of the Abyss (1)"
  6. ^ Berserk, Volume 13, "God of the Abyss (2)"
  7. ^ Berserk, Volume 13, "Vow of Retaliation"
  8. ^ a b Berserk, Volume 14, "Black Swordsman, Again"
  9. ^ Berserk, Volume 5, "Nosferatu Zodd (4)"
  10. ^ Berserk, Volume 9, "Fugitives"
  11. ^ Berserk, Volume 11, "Armor Goes on the Chest"
  12. ^ Berserk, Volume 10, "The Eve (2)"
  13. ^ Berserk, Volume 13, "Storm of Death (1)"
  14. ^ Berserk, Volume 12, "The Castle"
  15. ^ Berserk, Volume 12, "Separation"
  16. ^ Berserk, Volume 13, "Quickening"
  17. ^ Berserk, Volume 13, "Birth"
  18. ^ Berserk, Volume 13, "Escape"
  19. ^ Berserk, Volume 13, "Afterglow of the Right Eye"
  20. ^ Berserk, Volume 24, "Magic Stone"
  21. ^ Berserk, Volume 13, "Awakening to a Nightmare"
  22. ^ Berserk, Volume 14, "One Who Hunts Dragons"
  23. ^ Berserk, Volume 18, "Spirit Road (2)"
  24. ^ Berserk, Volume 40, "Awakening"
  25. ^ Berserk, Volume 10, "Thousand-Year Fiefdom"
  26. ^ Berserk, Volume TBA, "Leaping Monkey"
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