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The God Hand is a quinquevirate of demonkind sovereigns who act as executors of the Idea of Evil's will,[3] by virtue of their desires being intrinsic to the entity.[4] They reign over apostles as masters, and are responsible for facilitating the demonic reincarnation of beherit bearers during sacrificial ceremonies.[5] They have orchestrated many significant events that have largely affected the course of humanity and the state of the universe.

Each member of the God Hand was once human and is a previous owner of the Crimson Beherit, which distinguished them as individuals destined to be reborn as the demon sovereigns they serve as. In 216 year increments, they each attained their proper forms during the festival known as the Eclipse.[5]

Background[]

Manga E362 Void and Four Beings

Void alongside four inhuman beings at a temporal junction point.

In the distant past, Void manifested at a temporal junction point alongside four inhuman beings distinct from his current kinsmen and was witnessed by an unidentified man clad in the Berserker Armor.[6] While the fate of the other four is unknown, Void continued on over the ages to recruit apostles and future members of the God Hand with opposition from the Skull Knight.[7]

Story[]

Golden Age Arc[]

Manga E86 God Hand Complete

The God Hand is complete with the birth of its fifth member Femto.

During Griffith's year-long imprisonment beneath the Tower of Rebirth, the God Hand appears before their future kinsman in a vision, referring to him as "King of Longing" and informing him of their impending audience with him at the proper place and time.[8] As they foretold, the God Hand formally meets with Griffith during his Eclipse, and more explicitly explain the reason for their audience with him: so that he may join them as the fifth member of the God Hand, for the price of sacrificing the Band of the Falcon, as preordained by causality.[5] After Griffith's ultimate sacrificing of his comrades and rebirth as the fifth angel Femto, he rapes Casca in front of a restrained Guts, inducing shock and ultimately amnesia within the former. Almost immediately after the act, the Skull Knight encroaches on the Eclipse and escapes with Guts and Casca in tow, unscathed by Femto's efforts to stop him. Despite the unforeseen intrusion, the God Hand hails the birth of their fifth and heralds an age of darkness.[9]

Black Swordsman Arc[]

The God Hand is summoned by the cry of the Count's beherit, activated by the lethally wounded apostle in his bout with Guts.[10] They offer to grant the Count new life, so long as he agrees to sacrifice his daughter Theresia to demonkind. Ultimately unable to commit the deed, the Count is dragged into the Vortex of Souls after his death.[11]

Conviction Arc[]

Roughly two years following the birth of Femto, a series of calamities sweep the kingdom of Midland, providing a proper context for a millennial temporal exception known as the Incarnation Ceremony – where someone in the divine domain who signifies "the Falcon" will be incarnated in the Physical World.[12] With the onset of plague, famine, mercenary bands-turned-robbers, natural disasters,[13] and ultimately Kushan invasion[14] in the kingdom, droves of Midlanders seeking refuge flock to the city of Albion.[15] Additionally, a dream is imparted in the masses foretelling the coming of the "Falcon of Light", who will save them from their misery.[13]

At an indeterminate time, the God Hand appears before an ostracized, forlorn man bearing a beherit, just as he is about to lose consciousness while buried alive beneath a pile of corpses deep within a hole. They offer to grant him his wish of hatching a "perfect world" in exchange for something, and then show the outcast a vision of the greater world he has never known, enabling him to perceive himself and understand his incomparable pain and anguish. Upon realizing his pitiable circumstance, he cries out to the five angels and offers the world around him. In exchange, he is branded and granted a beherit-like egg form – the "Egg of the Perfect World" – so that he may in time obtain his ultimate wish of hatching a "perfect world" upon fulfilling his deferred sacrifice.[16]

Manga E175 Femto Incarnate

Through the Incarnation Ceremony, Femto is incarnated in the form of Griffith.

The plan comes to a head when Guts and Casca's branded presence causes a tidal wave of malice to manifest in Albion, made of corpse mounds and the blood of those who died there,[17] devouring droves of refugees in its path. After the Tower of Conviction partially collapses, Void, Slan, Ubik and Conrad manifest rudimentary forms from the present dark spirits atop the resulting hand-like structure.[18] The Egg begins playing his role in hatching the "perfect world", ascending the tower and taking the dying Demon Child he happens upon within himself out of pity.[19] After a majority of the refugees are consumed by the wave of restless dead, forming one large concentration of thought and desire, the dark torrent flows toward the God Hand and the Egg atop the tower. Whereas Void, Slan, Ubik, and Conrad continue spectating, Femto's essence merges with the Demon Child's vessel within the Egg, transforming the misshapen infant into a rapidly maturing human form ridden of its defects.[20] With the large concentration of both the living and dead's ultimate desire – salvation – the Egg fulfills his deferred sacrifice of the world around him and hatches his figurative "perfect world": an incarnated Femto in the form of Griffith.[21]

Millennium Falcon Arc[]

Manga E304 Opening of the Door

Femto triggers the Great Wave of the Astral World, which manifests the global Interstice of Fantasia.

Femto, in the form of Griffith, remains unchallenged in the Physical World and builds upon his established reputation as the champion of the Hundred-Year War. Reeling in the allegiance of multiple apostles and creating a new Band of the Falcon, Griffith begins liberating Midland from Kushan occupation and verifying his status as the "Falcon of Light". In an effort to achieve a status of being surpassing that of the God Hand, to directly oppose Griffith in particular, the rogue apostle Emperor Ganishka lowers himself into a reincarnation vessel, and then from the deepest depths of the Astral World reincarnates a second time and transforms into a sky-scraping eldritch abomination.[22] Griffith and Zodd ascend toward Ganishka's head, where Griffith, in his released form of Femto, is ambushed by the Skull Knight. Having anticipated the would-be-assassin's appearance, Femto uses the space-tearing stroke from the knight's Sword of Beherits to split open Ganishka's twice reincarnated form and trigger the Great Wave of the Astral World – manifesting the World Tree in place of Ganishka and furthermore the global Interstice of Fantasia.[23]

Fantasia Arc[]

Following the Great Wave, Void, Slan, Ubik, and Conrad are within their own unique domains during the advent of Fantasia.[24] Griffith uses the Great Wave as a catalyst for raising Gaiseric's old capital city as the renewed Falconia at the foot of the World Tree[25] – the sole safe haven in Fantasia from the many malign astral creatures now roaming the world of man.

Abilities[]

The God Hand comprises five of demonkind, so dominant that even the strongest of apostles are unquestionably subservient to them. They each possess specific reality-altering abilities, including spatial (Void, Femto), physical (Slan, Conrad), and metaphysical (Ubik) manipulation. Though they are cognizant of causality's flow and have unparalleled foresight for most possibilities, they are not omniscient, and thus cannot anticipate everything.[9]

Having molded their proper forms out of huge swells of collective human negativity,[4] the God Hand exists in essence anywhere large concentrations of negative human thoughts swirl.[12] Though extremely powerful within the divine domain of the Astral World, their powers are seemingly lessened on occasions when they choose to manifest rudimentary forms elsewhere.

Notes[]

  • The actual "hand of the great god" associated with the God Hand is a right hand whose thumb is occupied by Void, index finger by Femto, middle finger by Slan, ring finger by Ubik, and pinky finger by Conrad. The five angels' positions on the hand of God have thus far proven to be consistent.
  • Each of the four God Hand members preceding Femto share their name with an out-of-universe science fiction novel: Destination: Void by Frank Herbert, Slan by A. E. van Vogt, Ubik by Philip K. Dick, and ...And Call Me Conrad (later renamed to This Immortal) by Roger Zelazny.

Gallery[]

References[]

  1. ^ Berserk :: Volume 12, "Promised Time"
  2. ^ Berserk :: Volume 11, "One Who Comes by Flight..."
  3. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 24, "Magic Stone"
  4. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume N/A, "God of the Abyss (2)"
  5. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 12, "All the Inhuman Monsters"
  6. ^ Berserk :: Volume 41, "Vision of Death"
  7. ^ Berserk :: Volume 13, "Storm of Death (1)"
  8. ^ Berserk :: Volume 10, "Infiltration of Wyndham (1)"
  9. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 13, "Escape"
  10. ^ Berserk :: Volume 3, "Guardian Angels of Desire (4)"
  11. ^ Berserk :: Volume 3, "Guardian Angels of Desire (6)"
  12. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 18, "Spirit Road (2)"
  13. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 17, "Revelation (1)"
  14. ^ Berserk :: Volume 17, "Revelation (2)"
  15. ^ Berserk :: Volume 17, "To the Holy Ground (1)"
  16. ^ Berserk :: Volume 20, "Unknown One at the Bottom of the Deep"
  17. ^ Berserk :: Volume 19, "Iron Maiden"
  18. ^ Berserk :: Volume 20, "Shadow of Idea (2)"
  19. ^ Berserk :: Volume 20, "Shadow of Idea (3)"
  20. ^ Berserk :: Volume 21, "Falling Sky"
  21. ^ Berserk :: Volume 21, "Arrival"
  22. ^ Berserk :: Volume 33, "End God"
  23. ^ Berserk :: Volume 34, "Fissure"
  24. ^ Berserk :: Volume 34, "Fantasia"
  25. ^ Berserk :: Volume 35, "Falconia"

Appendices[]

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