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In life, unrelated to one's social standing or class as determined by man, there are some people who, by nature, are keys that set the world in motion. They are the true elite, as dictated by the golden rule of the universe.
– Griffith[13]

Griffith, renowned as the "White Falcon", is the leader of the reborn Band of the Falcon and Supreme Commander of the Midland Regular Army. Famed for his leadership in numerous battles, he is celebrated as a savior across the continent and revered as the "Falcon of Light".

As the leader of the original Band of the Falcon, he and his mercenaries end the Hundred-Year War, bringing peace to the war-torn kingdom of Midland.[10] Following the departure of his trusted confidant Guts,[14] Griffith impulsively seduces Princess Charlotte,[15] leading to his imprisonment, year-long torture and the apparent collapse of his dream. Though eventually rescued by the band,[16] his extreme physical ruin and unyielding desire to obtain his own kingdom drive him to sacrifice his comrades during the Eclipse.[11] In return, he is reborn as the fifth member of the God Hand, Femto — a demonic evolution of himself free from human inhibitions. Eventually, he incarnates in the Physical World,[17] focusing solely on realizing his dream. That dream materializes with his defeat of the Kushan invasion of Midland, the Great Wave of the Astral World he triggers,[12] and the rise of his utopian capital city, Falconia.[18]

Personality

I'll not... betray my dream. That is all.
– Griffith[19]

Griffith almost always carries himself in a well-mannered, exemplary fashion akin to nobility; his mannerisms and keen intellect often leave people astounded by his humble origins.[20][21] Self-assuredly unique, Griffith's presence is undeniable. Those who meet him view him with either goodwill or animosity, with the former growing into trust or fellowship, and the latter into awe or dread.[4] Those who follow Griffith are often overcome with emotions upon their first encounter, either entranced by the thought of splendor and grandeur at his side or drawn in by his strong ambition and conviction.[22] Conversely, he can perceive subtle ill will from others and acts accordingly,[23] not averse to using force.[24] An understanding of human drives and unbridled ambition have enabled Griffith to ascend ever higher.[25][26]

Manga E17 Somber Griffith

"Maybe my dream... is what killed this boy."

Even as a child, Griffith's ambition was apparent. In the back alleys of his childhood city, he first sets his sights on acquiring his own kingdom. During the early years of the Band of the Falcon, he has a multi-faceted demeanor, sometimes appearing carefree and child-like, while other times showing ferocious killing intent. This juxtaposition attracts people from various walks of life to his mercenary band.[22] As the Band of the Falcon's leader, Griffith shows noticeable compassion for his comrades, expressing regret over their deaths and even selling his body to ensure their survival.[27]

The deaths of those fighting for his dream take a toll on Griffith. To cope and ensure their deaths are not in vain, he employs callous logic, prioritizing success over compassion — paradoxically showing compassion by suppressing it.[27] He still questions his own immoral acts, at one point asking Guts if he is a cruel person.[23] Despite his affection for his comrades, Griffith believes they are beneath him, considering them tools for achieving his dream, with none fitting his criteria of a friend.[21]

Manga E78 Camaraderie

The once strong sense of camaraderie between Griffith and Guts.

Among the tens of thousands of allies and enemies Griffith encounters, Guts is the only one who stifles his ambition.[11] Griffith explicitly cares for Guts, risking his life on several occasions to save him[7][28] and losing his composure when Guts is endangered.[10] After Guts' departure, Griffith is deeply shocked[14] and abandons logical reasoning,[15] bringing ruin to himself and the Band of the Falcon.[29] During his year-long torture, the many emotions he harbors for Guts sustain him in the darkness of his solitary confinement.[4] When he invokes the Eclipse and is presented with a reflection of his true self, he accepts the consequences of his ambition, in his last moments of humanity acknowledging Guts as the only person who ever made him forget his dream.[11]

Manga E178 Griffith Unmoved

Even while among grave markers for those he sacrificed, Griffith remains unmoved.

Femto is a demonic evolution of Griffith, devoid of humanity[19] yet retaining his memories, ambition, and ego.[30] He claims to be "free"[19] — his heart frozen after confronting the suffering of the comrades he sacrificed.[31] Despite this, the residual feelings of the child fused into his vessel occasionally compel him to act outside his interests[32] and to shed a tear from the child's lingering sense of longing.[33] These sensations are fleeting, and Griffith asserts that any emotions from the child vanish immediately after the child's appropriation of his vessel ends.[33]

Background

Manga E77 Castle

The castle of Griffith's childhood and primary inspiration for his dream.

A common-born child, Griffith was poverty-stricken, often unable to obtain even a slice of bread.[21] In the cobblestone streets of alleyways, he played with other children, procuring junk trinkets and regarding them as small victories. However, Griffith's ambition was greater than that of the other children; in the afternoons, with the sunlight blocked by towering brothels and pubs, he would gaze up at a sun-coated castle. It was in these streets where Griffith set his mind on acquiring "that thing".[4] He eventually received his Crimson Beherit from an old fortune teller, who foretold his conquest of the world.[22]

In his adolescence, he formed the Band of the Falcon, including the miner Pippin, former bandit Corkus, and tumbler Judeau. While still collecting war funds for his nascent group, Griffith came across a distressed 12-year-old Casca struggling to free herself from a lustful nobleman. He interrupted the confrontation and sliced the assailant's ear off, displeased with the nobleman's elitist entitlement. Rather than kill the attacker, he threw Casca his sword and instructed her to wield it if she had something to protect. After the nobleman dies by falling on the sword held by Casca, Griffith told Casca she was free to do as she pleased, and she promptly joined his ranks.[34]

The Band of the Falcon's big break came when they were employed by the wealthy Tudor feudal lord Gennon. Realizing the perverted nobleman fancied him and posed a faster, safer route to funding an army, Griffith sold his body to Gennon in exchange for a substantial fortune to give his band members a better chance of survival.[27]

Story

Golden Age Arc

Meeting Guts

Years later, the Band of the Falcon is contracted to defend a military garrison from a series of mercenary attacks. For three months, the mercenaries hold out in the fort, but with the defeat of Bazuso at the hands of a young mercenary named Guts and the subsequent blow to the garrison soldiers' morale, they relinquish control of the fort and abandon their post.[6]

A day later, some band members spot Guts walking near their encampment and decide to pursue him in hopes of taking his reward. One after another, they fall victim to Guts' dominance. Eventually, Casca finds herself at the mercy of the mercenary. With his closest confidant in danger, Griffith arrives and intercepts Guts' attack with a spear. He attempts to reason with Guts, but to no avail, and so dismantles and incapacites the swordsman.[6]

Manga E0-14 Griffith Claims Guts

Griffith defeats and lays claim to Guts.

With his interest piqued, Griffith has Guts taken to the mercenaries' encampment and orders Casca to lie with the injured mercenary to provide warmth. When Guts awakens, Griffith attempts to enlist him, an offer which Guts refuses. Guts proposes a duel: if Griffith can defeat him, he can claim ownership of the mercenary; if Griffith loses, he'll receive a wound similar to the one he dealt Guts days before. Griffith agrees and engages Guts in combat.[24] Eventually, Griffith dislocates Guts' arm and claims him as a member of his mercenary band.[35]

Later, during a night raid, Griffith orders Guts to lead the rear guard. Griffith raids the enemy forces, destroying their tents before reinforcements arrive. After regrouping, he learns Guts is still engaged with the enemy. Riding off to find him, Griffith, Judeau, and Pippin rescue Guts, driving the enemy into retreat. During their victory celebration, Griffith notices Guts sitting alone and smiles when Pippin drags Guts to join the festivities.[7]

The next day, Griffith calls for Guts while he is showering, and they engage in a water fight. Guts notices Griffith's necklace, and Griffith explains it is a beherit given to him by an old fortune teller. During their chat, Griffith reveals his intention to one day attain his own kingdom and declares that Guts "belongs to him" and he alone will decide where he dies.[22]

At some unspecified point later, Griffith finds Guts under a pile of enemy corpses. The White Falcon is impressed by Guts' luck of surviving as he pulls him up. Griffith speaks about what his role in the world may be and what it means to be of the "true elite" as he muses on how Guts is the first person he talked to about such things.[13]

Ascension

Manga E1 Viscount Griffith

Griffith is knighted and made a viscount.

Three years later, after the Band of the Falcon successfully defends the Midland army against the Black Ram Iron Lance heavy cavalry's attack, they are enlisted by the kingdom full-time in its century-spanning war against Tudor. For his efforts, Griffith is knighted by the king of Midland and granted the title of viscount, earning a peerage among the Midland nobility and moving one step closer to realizing his dream.[1]

Manga E5 Pincer Movement

Griffith and Guts executing a pincer movement on Zodd.

Amid seizing a Tudor stronghold, Griffith is informed of a powerful enemy leader holding back the final push into the inner citadel. He and his forces venture toward the fortress to inspect the situation, narrowly arriving in time to free Guts from the clutches of the apostle Zodd. Ordering his men to fall back as Zodd slaughters the Band of the Falcon for their interference, Griffith slyly makes his way to Guts to carry him to safety.[28] However, Zodd blocks their path, prompting the two to execute a pincer movement on him, with Griffith successfully severing the beast's arm. An enraged Zodd retaliates by tail-whipping Griffith into a nearby pillar, knocking the White Falcon unconscious. As the demon moves in for the kill, he spots Griffith's dangling beherit, shocked to see that someone like Griffith possesses the fabled "Egg of the King". Consequently, Zodd stays his hand and departs, leaving Guts with a cryptic prophecy warning of an inescapable doom should Griffith's dream ever collapse.[36]

Taken back to Wyndham to have his wounds tended to, Griffith recuperates and visits Guts on a castle terrace where the latter is training. He muses over their encounter with Zodd, using it as evidence of things beyond human understanding. Following Griffith's reflection, Guts asks why he would risk his life for a mere soldier; amused, Griffith responds by asking if he needs a reason every time he risks his life for Guts.[37] Soon after, they are met by the king of Midland and his brother Julius, leader of the White Dragon Knights. Griffith is introduced to the king's timid daughter, Princess Charlotte, catching her as she trips on the terrace steps. Upon breaking her fall, Griffith is slapped by Julius for making contact with the princess, to which Griffith insincerely apologizes.[20]

During the Autumn Hunt, where the Band of the Falcon acts as the king's guard, Griffith discusses the depravity of men with Charlotte and teaches her how to use a leaf as a reed. A wild boar springs out from the nearby foliage, startling Charlotte's horse and separating them from the hunting party. After saving Charlotte and calming her horse, Griffith is shot with a crossbow from the distant undergrowth. His beherit shields him from what he realizes is a poisoned arrow. Noticing the lethality and costliness of the poison, Griffith deduces it is the work of General Julius, whom he keenly watches as the knight departs in the distance.[38]

Manga E12 Friend

"What I think a friend is... is one who is my 'equal'."

After gathering intel to confirm Julius as the culprit, Griffith commissions Guts to discreetly assassinate him before leaving for Primrose Hall to attend Charlotte's dinner party. Outside the party, he discusses his ideals and interpretation of what a true friend is with the princess. Their conversation is cut short by the alert of Julius and Adonis' assassination, which is assumed to have been committed by Tudor spies, much to Griffith's delight.[21]

Griffith is later met by Minister Foss, who, in an attempt to ascertain what Griffith knows, insinuates a ploy to assassinate the White Falcon. The minister's intel gathering ends in vain, with Griffith ultimately seeing through the ruse and showing no malice toward the allusion. Before Griffith's deployment to battle, Charlotte gifts him a male lodestone, hoping its female counterpart will return him safely from the impending engagement.[39]

Battle for Doldrey

The Band of the Falcon engages the Blue Whale Knights of Tudor. As the skirmish concludes, Griffith learns of Guts and Casca's fall from a cliff edge. Noblemen caution him against using the king's soldiers to search for two mercenaries.[40] Ignoring their advice, Griffith sends a party, asserting that Guts and Casca are vital members of the Band of the Falcon whom he refuses to lose.[41]

In a war council meeting after the band's victory, military officials, including Griffith, attempt to devise a strategy for reclaiming the stronghold of Doldrey, overseen by Gennon amid Tudor's civil war. As the officials dismiss ideas one by one, Griffith is asked for his opinion. He confidently states he would reclaim the stronghold if ordered by the king, surprising the officials. Amid their arguments, the king asks Griffith if his claim is sincere, reminding him that even Midland's strongest force, the White Tiger Knights, couldn't achieve this. Griffith reassures the king that he only needs the Band of the Falcon. Convinced by Griffith's confidence, the king orders the Band of the Falcon to recapture Doldrey.[42]

Griffith assembles his mercenaries in the dust field of Doldrey, splitting his forces into two groups: one accompanying him and Guts to lure the Purple Rhino Knights and other Tudor armies toward the river, and the other led by Casca to infiltrate and retake Doldrey.[43] During the battle, Griffith sees Guts dueling Boscogn, growing increasingly anxious as Guts starts losing. Just as Guts' chances of survival fade, a replacement sword lands before him. Griffith instructs Guts to take the sword, and Guts beheads Boscogn. Soon after, the Purple Rhino Knights see that Doldrey has been recaptured by the Band of the Falcon.[10]

After dealing a significant blow to the enemy's morale, Griffith orders his mercenaries to eliminate any remaining opposition. As the battle concludes and the remnants of Tudor's forces scatter, Griffith approaches a trampled Governor Gennon, who had entered the fray earlier hoping to capture Griffith. Begging for another night with the White Falcon, Gennon is coldly informed by Griffith that he was merely a means to an end. To prevent rumors, Griffith pierces Gennon's skull.[10] [10]

Tombstone of Flames

Upon their victorious return, the Band of the Falcon receives abundant praise from Midland citizens and officials alike, and a victory ball is held in celebration. Before attending the party, Griffith devises a scheme to eliminate his political enemies. He abducts Foss' daughter to gain the minister's compliance and orders Foss to gather all court members bearing ill will toward him in one place.[23] Aware of the Queen of Midland's plan to poison his drink, he spikes his goblet with a specific nostrum to temporarily fake his death, giving his enemies a false sense of success. At the ball, the king proclaims the Hundred-Year War's end, rewarding the Band of the Falcon with the title of White Phoenix Knights and bestowing the title of White Phoenix General on Griffith.[44] During the toast, Griffith sips from his goblet and falls to the ground.[45]

Manga E32

Griffith looking on as his political enemies are engulfed in flames.

Once the nostrum's effects wear off, Griffith locks his political enemies in the tower they have gathered in to celebrate his apparent demise and sets it alight. The queen approaches the window and, to her dismay, sees Griffith standing before the burning tower. Griffith reminds his enemies that the battlefield offers no spectator seats, before leaving to rendezvous with Foss nearby. Foss, curious about how Griffith knew of the plot, asks why he was chosen to help. Griffith reminisces about their first meeting, informing Foss that the fear in his eyes revealed his malicious intent. With the issue resolved, Griffith returns Foss' daughter, expressing hope for friendlier relations in the future.[23]

After paying off the girl's abductors, Griffith has Guts tie up the loose ends by murdering the criminals. Before returning to his comrades, Griffith questions whether he is cruel. Guts reminds him that schemes like the recent one are part of achieving his dream, to which Griffith agrees.[23]

Demise of a Dream

This is the end of your dreams... your ambition... everything. The Falcon has fallen to earth. It will never take flight again.
– The king of Midland[46]

Manga E35 Morning Duel

Griffith dueling Guts for the latter's freedom.

One month later, Griffith learns of Guts' withdrawal from the band.[47] He intercepts Guts and resolves to duel him for his freedom, as he did three years prior. As they ready their stances, Griffith shows a clear lack of composure. He lunges at Guts, determined that if he cannot have Guts, no one else will. However, his parry is countered and his blade is broken in two. Griffith laments his loss as Guts leaves the Band of the Falcon.[14]

Manga E38 Seduction

Griffith seducing Princess Charlotte.

Defeated and distraught, Griffith seeks out Charlotte on the night of Guts' departure. He seduces and beds her, leaving the next morning. Outside the palace, Griffith is arrested by Midland guards for treason.[15] He is taken to a torture chamber, where he is repeatedly whipped by the king, who berates him for betraying his trust and defiling Charlotte. Griffith worsens the situation by deducing the king's lust for his own daughter and claiming his reign has been a worthless stagnation. Infuriated, the king orders Griffith's year-long torture, specifically demanding the White Falcon's prolonged suffering.[46]

Fallen Falcon

When I opened up that beautiful fasche, the pink mushcle that peeked out at me from the wound... His shkin and flesh are one in a hundred... No, one in a thoushand.
– Griffith's torturer to the rescue party[16]

During his year-long imprisonment, Griffith is subjected to extensive torture, including elinguation, tendon laceration, flaying, and scalding.[16] In the moments between torture sessions, Griffith lies in darkness, sustained only by thoughts of his dream and Guts. He experiences a vision of demonic figures, who refer to him as "Blessed King of Longing" and claim to be his kinsmen, seeking an audience at the proper time and place.[4]

A year later, a rescue team consisting of Guts, Casca, Judeau, and Pippin, with the assistance of Princess Charlotte, arrives to break Griffith out of the Tower of Rebirth. Griffith wakes to the sight of a grief-stricken Guts and feebly attempts to strangle him, stopping only upon seeing the regret in Guts' eyes.[16] After the jailer divulges the specifics of Griffith's torture and is killed by Guts, the group fights through Midland soldiers before escaping underground.[48] In Wyndham's sewers, they are attacked by five Bakiraka assassins sent to kill Griffith. After eliminating four of them and escaping the city, the rescue team retreats to a nearby farm.[49]

Manga E68 Ravaged Griffith

Wyald holding a ravaged, broken Griffith.

After leaving the farm for the Midland border, the party realizes they are being tailed by the Black Dog Knights. Despite numerous traps, the Black Dog Knights continue their pursuit until the Band of the Falcon engages them. As Guts overpowers their leader, Wyald, a crippled Griffith can only watch, unable to grasp a sword. When it seems Guts has triumphed over Wyald, the beast resurges and grabs Griffith, exposing the extent of his injuries. Wyald insists the mercenaries' hopes of former glory under Griffith's leadership are futile and demands Griffith summon the "God Hand", only to realize Griffith no longer has the Crimson Beherit.[50] Wyald decides to kill Griffith, but Zodd intervenes, tearing Wyald in two. Zodd tells Griffith his Crimson Beherit will soon return to him before flying off.[51]

At the Midland border, the Band of the Falcon comes to terms with Griffith's injuries, accepting that he will never again lead them. When Casca goes to Griffith's carriage to change his bandages, Griffith forces himself on her but is met with resistance. Eventually, she hugs him out of pity as he relents. Soon after, Griffith overhears a conversation between Guts and Casca, learning that they witnessed his description of a "friend" at Primrose Hall. He also hears Casca urge Guts to leave again if he is truly Griffith's friend.[52]

Eclipse

Manga E73 Eclipse Invoked

Griffith, having invoked the Eclipse.

What good is regretting it now? [...] This is the path I have traveled. To get what I wanted... If I apologize, if I repent... everything will come to an end. I'll never get to reach that place.
– Griffith[53]

Beckoned by a vision of his former self, Griffith musters the strength to commandeer his unattended horse carriage, pursuing an illusion of the castle from his dream. The cart crashes into a lake, sending him soaring into the air. While in flight, he briefly envisions a life with Casca before landing in the water below. Maniacally laughing at his own patheticness, Griffith attempts to puncture his throat on a sharp tree root, but only inflicts a minor gash. As he sits facing the water, unable to commit, his Crimson Beherit surfaces from the lakebed.[54] Blood from his neck runs down his arm and contacts the beherit, causing it to animate. The band members tailing him draw near as a solar eclipse begins and demonic figures approach. Unable to voice caution, Griffith and his comrades are suddenly transported to another dimension.[55]

Assisted up by Guts, Griffith sees demons revealing they are within "the Eclipse". From the depths of the dimension, the four members of the God Hand manifest, with the tallest welcoming the Band of the Falcon to the "nocturnal festival" and revealing that Griffith's ascension into their ranks has been preordained by causality. It is disclosed that Griffith's rebirth as a member of the God Hand requires a sacrifice[56] — one willed by Griffith.[57]

He is taken to the deepest recesses of his conscious self, reminded of his dream and the lengths he has gone to realize it. Viewing the mound of corpses of those who fought for his dream of their own volition, Griffith realizes that pursuing his dream always necessitated such sacrifices. He reasons that stopping now would mean their deaths were in vain and his dream unfulfilled. In deciding whether to make a sacrifice to renew his pursuit, Griffith concludes that he has effectively made this sacrifice many times before.[53] Coming to terms with who he truly is and acknowledging Guts as the only one who made him forget his dream, Griffith accepts the consequences of his ambition and utters, "I sacrifice," bringing about the branding of his comrades.[11]

Manga E86 Femto Kisses Casca

Femto forcing himself on Casca.

A unilateral slaughter is initiated, with nearly all of the band members being murdered by the horde of demons present as sacrifices for Griffith's ascension. Griffith metaphysically descends into the Abyss, where he learns much of human nature, causality, and his ultimate role in the designs of the supreme being the God Hand serve.[58] After all but Guts and Casca are dead, the reborn Griffith, now christened "Femto", emerges. He descends toward an ensnared Guts and motions a demon to bring Casca to him. Femto proceeds to rape Casca, forcing Guts to watch.[59][60] After Femto finishes with Casca, the Skull Knight invades the Eclipse.[61] Femto uses his newfound powers to form a gravity well of demons around the knight, but the Skull Knight escapes the Eclipse unscathed with Guts and Casca. Despite this, the God Hand hail Femto's birth and conclude the Eclipse by ushering in an age of darkness"An age when every darkness shall eclipse light."[62]


Black Swordsman Arc

Manga E0-7 Guts Repelled

Femto repels Guts' attack.

As a profound astral being, Femto cannot manifest in the Physical World, only able to attain form within interdimensional spaces. Two years after the Eclipse, when the Count is fatally wounded by Guts, the God Hand are summoned by the apostle's beherit. Enraged upon seeing his betrayer, Guts attacks Femto, but is repelled by Femto's spatial manipulation. Femto informs the Count that he need only sacrifice his daughter, Theresia, to attain new life. The Count is unwilling to perform the sacrifice and is dragged into the Abyss. In a last-ditch effort to wound his nemesis, Guts fires his Cannon Arm at Femto, but the attack is repelled. With the Count's demise, the interdimensional space ceases and the God Hand disappears.[13]

Conviction Arc

A series of events unfolds, ranging from a plague to the Kushan invasion of Midland by Emperor Ganishka, all while Midland's maddened king spends his final hours ceaselessly searching for Griffith. The masses of Midland share a dream prophesying the coming of a savior known as the "Falcon of Light".[63] Refugees of Midland flock to the ruined city of Albion, where an egg-shaped apostle resides, unknowingly positioning themselves as a mass sacrifice in an event similar to the Eclipse, known as the Incarnation Ceremony, in which Femto will incarnate in the Physical World.[64] As the Falcon of Light, Femto appears before Zodd in a vision, metaphysically wounding the apostle into servitude and instructing him to travel to Albion.[65]

Manga E175 Femto Incarnate

Femto incarnated in the form of Griffith.

Prior to the ceremony's initiation, the egg-shaped apostle swallows a dying demon infant while climbing the crumbling Tower of Conviction, atop which he enacts the Incarnation Ceremony.[66] The restless spirits of the Albion dead engulf the tower, flowing toward the egg-shaped apostle,[67] as the ingested demon infant's fetal form is rid of its deformities and merges with Femto's essence in a rapidly maturing physical vessel.[68] With the hatching of the egg-shaped apostle and the completion of the sacrificial ceremony, an incarnated Femto emerges at daybreak in the form of Griffith.[17] He is taken away by Zodd, avoiding an assault by Kushan soldiers sent to capture him.[69]

Millennium Falcon Arc

Reunion on the Hill of Swords

Manga E180 Griffith Protects Casca

Spurred on by the demon infant's emotions, Griffith protects Casca.

Soon after the Incarnation Ceremony, Griffith reunites with Rickert and Guts on the Hill of Swords, where he proclaims that, even among his sacrificed comrades' grave markers, he feels nothing.[19] Enraged, Guts lunges at Griffith, but is deflected by Zodd, leading to a fierce battle between the two. Thought to have long been frozen, Griffith experiences a faint throbbing in his heart, deducing the feelings to be those of the infant that fused into his vessel.[8]

Guts and Zodd's clash results in the destruction of Godot's mine, just as Casca arrives. As airborne boulders from Zodd's resurgence fly toward Casca, Griffith protects her from certain death.[32] Immediately afterward, Griffith orders Zodd to cease his battle and sets off to bring his dream to fruition. Before leaving, Griffith tells Rickert and Guts that nothing has changed, inviting Rickert to join in pursuing the dream and reminding Guts that he, of all people, should know the kind of person Griffith has always been.[30]

Liberation of Midland

Manga E184 Pledge of Allegiance

Griffith's new troops pledge allegiance to him.

Griffith travels to the western city of Shet, one of many Midland cities under siege by the Kushan. Appearing in the city atop a horse, as if from thin air, Griffith approaches the unit's general and kills him with a pierce to his eye. A retaliatory volley of arrows fired by the Kushan soldiers misses Griffith. Before a second volley can be fired, Zodd arrives and devastates the unit with a trail of slaughter. A thrust from a stray lance, wielded by the Moonlight Knight Locus, mows down another group of Kushan soldiers. Locus reveals he was guided by an oracle and asks to join Griffith's ranks, to which Griffith agrees.[2]

As the devastation of the Kushan unit continues, Griffith is lunged at from behind by two brawny Kushans. His attackers are repelled by an exiled Bakiraka assassin named Rakshas, who offers his assistance to Griffith, claiming he will let no harm befall the White Falcon so he may decapitate him himself someday. Suddenly, a naga-armored knight barges through the fortress's gate and, with his scale-covered flamethrower and war hammer, single-handedly decimates a division of Kushan soldiers. The four apostles soon dispatch the entire Kushan unit and afterward kneel before Griffith in a pledge of allegiance.[70]

Defense of Vritannis

Griffith and his reborn Band of the Falcon continue liberating areas in Midland under Kushan occupation[71] and manage rescue Princess Charlotte from the capture of Emperor Ganishka.[72] At some point following the rescue of the princess, Griffith sends Sonia and Mule to retrieve His Holiness the pontiff and pass on a message: "If you would grasp destiny in your hand, follow the guidance of the feathers of light."[73]

Manga E283 Ganishka Kneels

Griffith brings Ganishka to heel.

The Kushan Imperial Army mounts an attack on the holy port city of Vritannis, overwhelming the Holy See Alliance forces. Just as all seems lost, the Band of the Falcon joins the battle, stifling the siege and reducing the Kushan army. Griffith enters Ganishka's mobile palace, subdues the emperor, and agrees to have their final showdown in Wyndham, forcing the emperor to withdraw his forces.[74]

After the successful defense, Charlotte announces her engagement to Griffith and appoints him as Supreme Commander of the Midland Regular Army.[75] Federico de Vandimion refutes Midland's hegemony over Holy See forces on its soil, suggesting instead an alliance between Midland and other Holy See nations in the pontiff's name. The pontiff arrives, verifies Griffith's role as the prophesied Falcon of Light, and pledges allegiance to him.[76]

Advent of Fantasia

Manga E304 Opening of the Door

Femto triggers the Great Wave of the Astral World.

Forced to withdraw from Vritannis after being overwhelmed by Griffith, a vexed Ganishka lowers himself into the Man-Made Beherit to transcend apostlehood. In his mist form, he sacrifices all monsters and Kushans in Wyndham. As a result, he reincarnates a second time as an immense eldritch abomination. Griffith's forces fend off the emperor's familiars as he rides Zodd to confront Ganishka head-on.

In his released form, Femto nears Ganishka, but is ambushed by the Skull Knight, who attempts to strike him with the Sword of Beherits. Femto reveals he anticipated the Skull Knight's intervention, and redirects the space-cleaving sword stroke toward Ganishka. This causes Ganishka's twice reincarnated form to split open, triggering the Great Wave of the Astral World and bringing about the merging of the physical and astral realms, manifesting Fantasia. Descending in human form atop Zodd, Griffith leads his followers toward his newly risen capital city, Falconia.[18]

Fantasia Arc

Manga E337 Rickert Slaps Griffith

Griffith is slapped and rejected by Rickert.

Upon learning of Rickert's arrival in Falconia, Griffith welcomes the youth to his palace, the Falcon's Castle, where he asks if Rickert still shares his dream. Rickert, torn between the miracles and atrocities brought forth by his former leader, slaps Griffith. While Rickert admits he can never truly hate Griffith, he tells Griffith he follows the White Falcon he once knew and the original Band of the Falcon, not the Falcon of Light before him. Griffith prevents his guards from attacking Rickert, allowing him to leave while reassuring those present that the altercation was a simple rejection.[77]

Griffith and the Band of the Falcon reclaim Midland lands lost to astral beings in Fantasia.[78] Around the same time, Griffith reveals to the council members of Falconia his vision for Midland: to create an expansive territory for humanity — a "second empire" succeeding Gaiseric's empire of yore. During a subsequent full moon night, Griffith notices some strands of his hair have a darker hue. Anticipating the recurrence of a phenomenon particular to this night, he vanishes shortly afterward.[9]

Manga E364 Teardrop of Morning Dew

As morning dawns, the Moonlight Boy transforms into Griffith.

The Moonlight Boy later appears before Guts on Elfhelm, with its ruler Danan surmising that the child has an Od of innocence similar to elves and can enter the domain because he bears no ill intent. When the boy is with Casca, she senses familiarity with the child, remembering him being by her side in Albion. After spending the night with the child asleep in her arms, Casca awakens to find him gone. Outside, Guts approaches the child, whose black hair begins to turn white. Guts looks on in shock as the boy matures into the form of Griffith.[33]

Continuation-specific information begins.

Upon seeing Griffith's face, Casca's memories flood in and her Brand of Sacrifice bleeds profusely, sending her into shock.[79] Guts attacks Griffith, only for Griffith to phase through the swordsman's strikes and approach Casca as Zodd momentarily impedes Guts.[80] Griffith reaches for an unconscious Casca, and an incensed Guts lunges to strike him down. However, Guts halts his sword just above Griffith's shoulder upon seeing Griffith holding Casca in his embrace. As the earth of Skellig begins collapsing, Guts is separated from Griffith and Casca. Griffith picks up Casca and stands while cradling her.[81] When a dark substance similar to that present during the Incarnation Ceremony surrounds everything and everyone, Griffith mounts Zodd and departs with Casca in his capture.[82]

Flying down from a sky path, Zodd descends to the port of Falconia, where several awaiting band members welcome his and Griffith's return. Upon stepping down from Zodd with Casca still in his arms, Griffith bears an evident smirk.[83] Sometime after returning to Falconia, Irvine informs Griffith that Casca has been put back to sleep following her attempted escape, describing her as a bird resting within a cage. Griffith merely states "the East" while gazing at the World Tree.[84]

Continuation-specific information ends.

Abilities

Swordsmanship

Manga E0-13 Griffith Swordsmanship

Griffith's swordsmanship on display.

Griffith has always been an exceptional swordsman. With his precise piercing, he has dispatched many enemies with a single stab,[10][2][78] easily puncturing vitals if he chooses. To combat denser, larger swords, he uses a skillful parrying technique, leveraging the opponent's sword weight against them, deflecting the larger blade down the side of his narrow sabre to create openings for strikes. During the defense of Vritannis, he single-handedly eliminates Emperor Ganishka's imperial guard — at least 12 soldiers — in rapid succession with his sabre.[85] Griffith's cutting power is also considerable; as a human, he is able to sever Zodd's arm in a pincer movement alongside Guts,[36] making him the second man in 300 years to wound the apostle.

Hand-to-Hand Combat

In his first duel with Guts, Griffith displays hand-to-hand combat prowess sufficient to pin Guts in a submissive position and dislocate his arm.[35]

Charisma

Manga E28 Griffith Victorious

Griffith enchants those under his command.

... Those who've been completely charmed by Griffith... those who figure as long as they stick with Griffith... they'll get to see great things. Anyway, all of us are here because of his charisma.
– Judeau[22]

Even before his rebirth, Griffith is a magnetic figure who easily attracts admiration and devotion.[22] His striking physical appearance, combined with his allure and persuasiveness, makes his presence undeniable and his ambitious dream captivating. His charm is further amplified by his legendary successes, with people from all walks of life admiring his rise from nothing. Among the Midland nobility, Griffith operates as efficiently as he does in battle, winning the affection of nobles and commoners alike.

Griffith's incarnation brings a tenfold increase in his already great charisma. He possesses an enormous Od that engulfs and charms,[5] transforming the idolization he once garnered into exaltation, with his presence now described as inhuman by affected devotees.[86][87][75] Inducing submission in others is effortless for him; even highly revered individuals like His Holiness the pontiff collapse to their knees upon their first encounter.[76] Most telling of his newfound influence is the alliance he has formed between demonkind and humanity, leading both the "sinful black sheep" and "blind white sheep" in accordance with the prophecy in the Holy See's scriptures.[3]

Beauty

After his incarnation, Griffith's beauty is so profound it garners the admiration of onlooking Holy See Alliance soldiers.[75] Witnesses often describe him as picturesque[75] and like a painting.[87] Even apostles such as Rakshas and Ganishka acknowledge Griffith's beauty, the former wanting to take Griffith's face for himself[2] and the latter wanting to sully it.[74] His beauty, combined with his charisma, plays a pivotal role in beguiling others.

Leadership and Tactics

As the leader of the original Band of the Falcon, Griffith lead his band of mercenaries to many storied victories during the Hundred-Year War, and is renowned across the continent for having never lost to his Tudor opponents.[88] Following his incarnation, Griffith commands many of the most formidable known apostles, who are at his beck and call as his "beak and talons".[89] Furthermore, Griffith is the supreme commander of the Midland Regular Army, and as such, commands all of the human soldiers serving in the military of Midland.

His natural tactical genius is only enhanced by his perception of causality as a member of the God Hand. Furthermore, with Sonia's assistance, Griffith is able to discern the heart of enemy forces and fell enemy leaders in a single attack, sending his enemies into panic and disarray. Griffith has used the tactic of striking the heart of an enemy force in several of his most prominent military engagements following his incarnation.[74][90]

Morality Transcendence

All human inhibitions that compelled Griffith to ever question the moral implications of the pursuit of his dream are no longer a part of him following his rebirth as Femto. He is now concerned solely with realizing his dream, and is completely apathetic about the morality of such as he strives toward his goals.[19][30]

Nigh-Absoluteness

After Griffith's incarnation, fortune favors him and no blade of the Physical World can harm him — "An existence no one in the Physical World can rival alone."[5] According to the Skull Knight, Griffith exists beyond physical reasoning, "where no one in the mortal realm can threaten him". His absoluteness is akin to that of a story's author; those partaking in his fable have no chance of challenging him. One must exist "outside" of his story to confront him.[91]

Causal Awareness

As a member of the God Hand, Femto is able to perceive the flow of causality to an extent unrivaled by presumably all but his fellow God Hand members. He is not omniscient, however, and cannot predict everything.[62]

Spatial Manipulation

Femto's most prominent ability is his control over space, particularly gravity. He can manipulate repulsive forces to repel attacks[92] and create gravity wells to trap enemies with an invisible force capable of crushing them into oblivion.[62] He can also warp and distort space, using this power to grab and redirect a space-cleaving tear from the Sword of Beherits.[12]

Intangibility

In the form of Griffith, Femto has displayed the ability to make himself effectively completely intangible, rendering all physical attacks against him useless. However, the Dragon Slayer has managed to sever a strand of his hair.[80][?]

Though unconfirmed as an instance of using his intangibility, in Shet, when Griffith atop his war horse is showered with a massive volley of arrows from a large group of Kushan archers to his left side, none of the arrows hit him or his horse. Instead, they apparently pass through him and land in the ground to his right side, the seeming impossibility of this stunning all witnesses.[2]

Flight

As a natural consequence of the form he assumes upon being reborn, Femto is capable of flight,[60][12] by way of "raven black wings upon which [he] shall soar [...] higher than any summit".

Communing

Griffith has displayed the ability to commune with the souls of the dead, and is able to manifest their lost consciousnesses to provide them one last opportunity to bid farewell to the world.[86][93]

Weaknesses

Vessel Fusee

If spurred on enough, the child fused into Griffith's new vessel is able to momentarily seize control of his body.[8]

Transformation on Full Moon Nights

For the duration of nights of a full moon, Griffith is shown to be subject to a phenomenon resulting in his vessel transforming into and being fully appropriated by the Moonlight Boy.[9]

Those Outside His "Story"

Griffith's absoluteness only extends to mortals who are unable to reach his astral self. The Skull Knight suggests that someone existing outside of Griffith's "story" — someone who, like Griffith, exists beyond mortal confines — is sufficient to at least confront Griffith.[91]

Equipment

These armor names are conjectural. Griffith's armors have no established names.

White Falcon Armor (I-III)

As a human, Griffith wears four significant iterations of body armor as the leader of the original Band of the Falcon. His first iteration is simplistic in design, worn during the band's nascent years.[34] His second iteration is not a significant departure, with increased pauldrons, a more detailed breastplate and plackart piece, and added tassets.[27] His third iteration features more protective pauldrons, a more typical breastplate and plackart piece, additional cuisses, and notably a visored sallet bearing avian motifs; it is worn during his earliest encounters with Guts.[6]

White Falcon Armor IV

Griffith's fourth notable armor iteration is a significant upgrade from his third, worn from the time the Band of the Falcon joins the Midland war effort up until his fall from grace. It is a highly detailed full plate silver-white armor, further distinguishing him as a leader. He wears the same avian-themed sallet from his third iteration. The armor's durability is considerable, able to withstand an attack from Zodd in his released form and being subsequently flung into a column pillar.[36]

Fallen Falcon Armor

After being rescued from the Tower of Rebirth, a crippled Griffith is placed in full plate armor by Guts in reminiscence of the victorious leader he once was. Though not as full-featured as his fourth armor, lacking plated gauntlets and overall ornateness, it does feature greaves unlike his previous armors.[50]

  • Torture helmet: His torturer places upon him a helmet resembling his previous avian-themed sallet. Griffith wears the helmet from the time of his rescue to the point of his rebirth during the Eclipse.

Falcon of Light Armor

Manga E302 Griffith

Griffith clad in his Falcon of Light armor.

The full plate silver-white armor Griffith wears after his incarnation is the most ornate of all his armors. It is richly embellished with avian motifs, with nearly all plate components bearing feathered patterns and the right pauldron extending into a striking wing. This armor features both greaves and spauldrons, unlike Griffith's previous armors. Additionally, the sallet is more refined, with pronounced avian motifs, streamlined eye holes on the visor, and a more feather-patterned visor rim and nape.

War Horse

Griffith always enters the battlefield atop a white war horse. Ever since donning the third iteration of his White Falcon Armor, Griffith's war horse has been clad in silver-white face armor and adorned with a pinked white sheet. As the Falcon of Light, Griffith's war horse bears even more pronounced avian motifs, including more angular silver-white face armor and an additional winged breastplate. Despite being clad in such armor, the horse's mobility is unimpeded; on the contrary, Griffith's war horse is capable of reaching exceptional speeds and making incredible leaps over groups of enemies. The reins on the horse are covered in deeply pinked white fabric and the sheet adorning the horse is also deeply pinked, resulting in both resembling flowing feathers.

Sabre

Griffith almost always opts for a sabre as his primary weapon of choice.

Portrayal

Adult
Child

Notes

  • The Berserk Official Guidebook states that circa the Fantasia Arc, Griffith is 24 years old, 178 cm, and 66 kg. (NOTE: The Berserk Official Guidebook is highly questionable in its veracity.)
  • In his speech about what a "friend" means to him, Griffith qualifies a true "friend" as someone who has a dream of their own, making them his "equal" in this way. He gives two examples of dreams: world domination and devoting one's life to perfecting a single sword.[21] By this point, Guts already has a reputation within the Band of the Falcon for being preoccupied with the sword.[20] Additionally, Griffith, initially desiring just a kingdom, desires an empire.[9]
  • In a vision Griffith has after commandeering a horse-drawn carriage, he sees his crippled self living a quiet life, with Casca as his lover and caretaker. Together, they have a son named Guts and a dog named Pippin.[54]
  • In the original Band of the Falcon's gilded years, Griffith reads up on various fields of study in his downtime, including history, religion, philosophy, chemistry, tactics, cosmetics, cooking, et cetera; his reason for doing so being that, "To become great, one has to be able to do more than fight."[38]

Trivia

  • "Griffith" is the standard Anglicized form of the Welsh name "Gruffudd" (or "Gruffydd"). In Welsh, the name means "strong lord", combining elements of "gruff", meaning "strong" or "firm grip", and "iudd", meaning "lord" or "chief".
  • "Femto" is a mathematical prefix for 1/1,000,000,000,000,000, which is one quadrillionth, or one millionth of one billionth, of the measurement unit it is used for (a femtosecond is one quadrillionth of a second, a femtometer is one quadrillionth of a meter, etc.).

References

  1. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 5, "Sword Wind"
  2. ^ a b c d e Berserk :: Volume 22, "War Cry of the Wind (1)"
  3. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 14, "Black Swordsman, Again"
  4. ^ a b c d e Berserk :: Volume 10, "Infiltration of Wyndham (1)"
  5. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 24, "Magic Stone"
  6. ^ a b c d Berserk :: Volume 4, "Golden Age (4)"
  7. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 5, "Golden Age (7)"
  8. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 22, "Beast Swordsman vs Black Swordsman"
  9. ^ a b c d Berserk :: Volume 41, "Dawn of an Empire"
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Berserk :: Volume 8, "Battle to Capture Doldrey (6)"
  11. ^ a b c d e Berserk :: Volume 12, "Parting"
  12. ^ a b c d Berserk :: Volume 34, "Fissure"
  13. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 3, "Guardian Angels of Desire (6)"
  14. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 8, "Morning of Departure (3)"
  15. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 9, "Beginning of the Endless Night"
  16. ^ a b c d Berserk :: Volume 10, "Reunion in the Abyss"
  17. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 21, "Arrival"
  18. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 35, "Falconia"
  19. ^ a b c d e Berserk :: Volume 22, "Reunion on the Hill of Swords"
  20. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 6, "Sword Master (2)"
  21. ^ a b c d e Berserk :: Volume 6, "Precious Thing"
  22. ^ a b c d e f Berserk :: Volume 5, "Golden Age (8)"
  23. ^ a b c d e Berserk :: Volume 8, "Tombstone of Flames (2)"
  24. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 4, "Golden Age (5)"
  25. ^ Berserk :: Volume 10, "Infiltration of Wyndham (2)"
  26. ^ Berserk :: Volume 39, "Great Gurus"
  27. ^ a b c d Berserk :: Volume 7, "Casca (3)"
  28. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 5, "Nosferatu Zodd (3)"
  29. ^ Berserk :: Volume 9, "Comrades in Arms"
  30. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 22, "Prologue to the War Chronicle"
  31. ^ Berserk :: Volume 13, "God of the Abyss (1)"
  32. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 22, "Unchanged"
  33. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 41, "Teardrop of Morning Dew"
  34. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 6, "Casca (2)"
  35. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 4, "Golden Age (6)"
  36. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 5, "Nosferatu Zodd (4)"
  37. ^ Berserk :: Volume 5, "Sword Master (1)"
  38. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 6, "Assassin (2)"
  39. ^ Berserk :: Volume 6, "Departure for the Front"
  40. ^ Berserk :: Volume 6, "Casca (1)"
  41. ^ Berserk :: Volume 7, "Returning Alive"
  42. ^ Berserk :: Volume 7, "Battle to Capture Doldrey (1)"
  43. ^ Berserk :: Volume 7, "Battle to Capture Doldrey (3)"
  44. ^ Berserk :: Volume 8, "Moment of Glory"
  45. ^ Berserk :: Volume 8, "Tombstone of Flames (1)"
  46. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 9, "Fallen Falcon"
  47. ^ Berserk :: Volume 8, "Snowy Evening..."
  48. ^ Berserk :: Volume 10, "A Way Through"
  49. ^ Berserk :: Volume 11, "Demon Dog (1)"
  50. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 11, "One Who Comes by Flight..."
  51. ^ Berserk :: Volume 11, "The Immortal, Again"
  52. ^ Berserk :: Volume 12, "Warriors of Twilight"
  53. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 12, "The Castle"
  54. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 12, "Boy in the Back Alley"
  55. ^ Berserk :: Volume 12, "Eclipse"
  56. ^ Berserk :: Volume 12, "Advent"
  57. ^ Berserk :: Volume 12, "All the Inhuman Monsters"
  58. ^ Berserk :: Volume N/A, "God of the Abyss (2)"
  59. ^ Berserk :: Volume 13, "Quickening"
  60. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 13, "Birth"
  61. ^ Berserk :: Volume 13, "Afterglow of the Right Eye"
  62. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 13, "Escape"
  63. ^ Berserk :: Volume 17, "Revelation (1)"
  64. ^ Berserk :: Volume 18, "Spirit Road (2)"
  65. ^ Berserk :: Volume 17, "Revelation (3)"
  66. ^ Berserk :: Volume 20, "Shadow of Idea (3)"
  67. ^ Berserk :: Volume 21, "Resonance"
  68. ^ Berserk :: Volume 21, "Falling Sky"
  69. ^ Berserk :: Volume 21, "Determination and Departure"
  70. ^ Berserk :: Volume 22, "War Cry of the Wind (2)"
  71. ^ Berserk :: Volume 23, "War Demons"
  72. ^ Berserk :: Volume 27, "Sleeping Princess Awakens"
  73. ^ Berserk :: Volume 30, "Divine Revelation"
  74. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 32, "Gust of Wind"
  75. ^ a b c d Berserk :: Volume 32, "Midland Regular Army"
  76. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 32, "Hero"
  77. ^ Berserk :: Volume 38, "Bridge of Parting"
  78. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 40, "Jötunn"
  79. ^ Berserk :: Volume 42, "Lull of the Waning Moon"
  80. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 42, "Eye of the Maelstrom"
  81. ^ Berserk :: Volume 42, "Vanishing Cherry Blossoms"
  82. ^ Berserk :: Volume 42, "Devourers"
  83. ^ Berserk :: Volume 42, "A Dying Light in the Pitch Black Night"
  84. ^ Berserk :: Volume 42, "The Red Raven Sleeps in the Birdcage"
  85. ^ Berserk :: Volume 32, "Torn Battlefield"
  86. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 23, "Night of Falling Stars"
  87. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 29, "Homing"
  88. ^ Berserk :: Volume 28, "Garrison"
  89. ^ Berserk :: Volume 38, "Pandemonium"
  90. ^ Berserk :: Volume 40, "Triumphant Return at Dawn"
  91. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 28, "Proclaimed Omen"
  92. ^ Berserk :: Volume 3, "Guardian Angels of Desire (5)"
  93. ^ Berserk :: Volume 38, "Divine Right of Kings"

Appendices

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