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 is the current leader of the reborn Band of the Falcon and supreme commander of the Midland Regular Army. As the "Falcon of Light", he has been at the fore of many battles, having amassed a reputation as a savior across the continent.
As the leader of the original Band of the Falcon, he and his mercenaries are able to end the Hundred-Year War and bring peace to the war-torn kingdom of Midland. Following the desertion of his most trusted confidant Guts, Griffith beds Princess Charlotte on impulse, bringing about his imprisonment, year-long crippling torture, and the seeming demise of his dream. Though he is eventually rescued by the band, his state of extreme invalidity and undying desire to obtain his own kingdom compel him to sacrifice his comrades during the fifth Eclipse, for kinsmanship with the God Hand as their fifth member Femto – a demonic, idealized version of himself stripped of his human inhibitions. In time, he is incarnated into the Physical World, concerned solely with the realization of his dream, which comes to pass with his thwarting of the Kushan invasion of Midland, the Great Roar of the Astral World he prompts, and the rise of his utopian capital city, Falconia.
- 1 Personality and Ideology
- 2 Background
- 3 Story
- 3.1 Golden Age Arc
- 3.2 Black Swordsman Arc
- 3.3 Conviction Arc
- 3.4 Millennium Falcon Arc
- 3.5 Fantasia Arc
- 4 Powers and Abilities
- 5 Weaknesses
- 6 Equipment
- 7 Portrayal
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
Personality and Ideology
I'll not... betray my dream. That is all.
Griffith has always carried himself in a well-mannered, exemplary fashion almost indistinguishable from that of nobility; his mannerisms, coupled with his keen intellect, often leave people astounded at his humble origins. Self-assuredly unique from others, Griffith's presence has always been undeniable; those who meet him end up viewing him with either good will or animosity, with the former growing into trust or fellowship, and the latter into awe or even dread. Those who choose to follow Griffith typically are overcome with emotions upon their first encounter with him, either entranced by the thought of splendor and grandeur at his side, or reeled in by his strong sense of ambition and conviction. Conversely, he is capable of perceiving even the most subtle ill will a person harbors toward him, even upon first meeting them, and acts accordingly from that point on. An understanding of such human emotions and motivations, and an ambition paying heed to nothing but ascension, have enabled Griffith to ascend alone above all.
Even as a child, Griffith's strong sense of self and ambition were apparent. It is in the back alleys of his childhood city where he first sets his sights on acquiring his own kingdom. He has a multi-faceted demeanor during the earlier years of the band, at times appearing carefree, and almost child-like, while other times demonstrating ferocious killing intent and deadliness. This juxtaposition of undeniable distinction and common-born idiosyncrasies is what attracts people of varying walks of life to his mercenary band. In spite of his large following, in his earlier years, Griffith's ego is never noticeably inflated; after one of the Band of the Falcon's earlier skirmishes, he even takes the time to lament the death of a ten-year-old Falcon-in-training, remembering the boy's name and expressing regret over compelling the young soldier to join his cause.
The deaths of those fighting for his dream take a toll on him. In order to cope with the loss of them and ensure their deaths aren't in vain, Griffith begins relying on cold logic and reasoning, placing higher precedence on success than compassion – paradoxically expressing compassion for his comrades by suppressing it. It is not long before he is completely apathetic to his comrades' deaths. Even then, he still possesses his humanity, and questions his immoral schemes, at one point inquiring of Guts if he is a cruel person. The high esteem to which he is held does eventually have an effect on his ego. Despite the affection he displays toward his comrades, Griffith comes to believe they are beneath him nonetheless, considering them nothing more than tools for achieving his dream, with none of them fitting his criteria of a true friend.
Among the tens of thousands of allies and enemies he encounters, Guts is the only one who manages to stifle Griffith's ambition and make him forget about his dream. He explicitly displays care for Guts, on several occasions risking his life to save the swordsman, and even losing his composure upon Guts' endangerment. It is because of this that his ego crumbles after Guts' departure; so accustomed to seizing all of his desires, Griffith forgoes all logical reasoning upon losing his most treasured soldier, throwing away all he has achieved, and endangering the Band of the Falcon after suffering merely one loss. When he invokes the Eclipse and is presented with a reflection of his true self, he comes to terms with who he sees – a martyr to the god named "dream", first and foremost – and accepts the consequences of his ambition.
Griffith's rebirth as Femto brings about the crystallization of his ambition, rendering him undeterred by moral inhibitions and concerned solely with the realization of his dream. However, Femto is essentially the same as Griffith was before his rebirth, devoid particularly of his humanity and fundamental human emotions while still possessing his memories, ambition, and ego. He has stated that, save for the residual feelings of the child that fused into his vessel, he is now "free" – his heart frozen as a member of the God Hand. Furthermore, following his incarnation, Midlanders often remark that Griffith now possesses an untouchable and inhuman presence.
A child of humble birth, in his youth, Griffith was stricken with poverty, to the point where he at times couldn't even afford a slice of bread. In the cobblestone streets of alleyways, he played with his fellow street urchins, procuring junk trinkets and calling them victories. Griffith's ambition proved to be higher than that of the other children, however; in the afternoons, with the sunlight blocked out by towering brothels and pubs, he gazed up at the sun-coated castle of the city he resided in. It was in these streets where Griffith decided that the acquisition of his own kingdom would be his real victory. He eventually received his Crimson Beherit in these same streets from an old, gypsy fortune teller, who foretold his conquest of the world.
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 the clutches of a lustful nobleman. He interrupted the confrontation and sliced the assailant's ear off, displeased with the latter's elitist nobility. Rather than kill the would-be rapist himself, he threw Casca his sword and instructed her to wield it if she had something to protect. With the nobleman's death and Casca's newfound devotion, Griffith told her she was free to do as she pleased, with the girl promptly joining his ranks afterward.
The Band of the Falcon's big break came when they found themselves under the employ of the wealthy Tudor feudal lord Gennon. Realizing the perverted nobleman fancied him, and that Gennon posed a faster, safer route to amassing and funding an army, Griffith sold his body to the man in exchange for a substantial fortune to give his Falcons a better chance of survival.
Golden Age Arc
Years later, the Band of the Falcon finds itself contracted with the defense of a military garrison from a series of mercenary attacks. For three months, the Falcons are able to hold out in the fort, but with the defeat of Bazuso at the hands a young mercenary named Guts, and the subsequent blow to the garrison soldiers' morale, the Falcons relinquish control of the fort to the enemy and abandon their post. A day later, the Falcons catch sight of Guts walking on a trail near their encampment, a few of which decide to pursue him in hopes of taking his recently acquired reward. One after another, they fall victim to Guts' dominance. Eventually, Casca, too, finds herself at the mercy of the mercenary; with his then closest confidant in danger, Griffith finally dons his armor and arrives to the scene, intercepting Guts' attack with a spear. He attempts to reason with Guts, but to no avail, left only with the option of dismantling and incapacitating the swordsman.
With his interest piqued, Griffith has Guts taken to the Falcons' nearby encampment and orders Casca to lie with the injured mercenary to provide him with warmth. When Guts finally awakens, Griffith attempts to enlist him, an offer which Guts firmly refuses. Eager for vengeance, Guts gives Griffith a choice: if he can defeat Guts in sword combat, he can claim ownership of the mercenary; if he loses, however, he'll be granted a wound similar to that which he dealt Guts days before. Not one to avoid the forceful acquisition of things he desires, Griffith agrees to Guts' terms and engages him in combat. Ultimately outmaneuvering his opponent, Griffith dislocates Guts' arm and claims the swordsman for himself as a newly enlisted member of his mercenary band.
Three years later, when 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. As a reward for his valiant defensive efforts, Griffith is knighted by the king of Midland and granted the title of viscount, at long last obtaining a peerage among the Midland nobility and taking one step closer to realizing his dream.
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 Falcons for their interference, Griffith slyly makes his way to Guts to carry him to safety. However, Zodd blocks their path, to which the two 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 goes in for the kill, he spots Griffith's dangling beherit, shocked to see that someone such as 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 which will befall him should Griffith's dream ever collapse.
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 begins to muse 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 on a mere soldier's behalf; amused by the question, Griffith responds with one of his own, asking if he needs a reason every time he risks his life for Guts. Thereafter, they are met by the king of Midland and his brother Julius, leader of the White Dragon Knights. Griffith is soon after introduced to the king's timid daughter, Princess Charlotte, catching her as she trips walking down the terrace steps. Upon breaking her fall, Griffith is slapped by Julius for making contact with the princess, to which Griffith apologizes for his actions with utmost insincerity.
During the Autumn Hunt, in which the Falcons act as the king's guard, Griffith discusses with Charlotte the depravity of men and teaches her how to use a leaf as a reed. A wild boar then springs out from the nearby foliage, startling Charlotte's horse as she and Griffith are separated from the hunting party. Upon saving Charlotte and calming her horse, Griffith is shot with a crossbow from the distant undergrowth. His beherit happens to shield him from what he realizes to be a poisoned arrow. Noticing the lethality and costliness of the employed poison, Griffith deduces that it is the doing of General Julius, who he keenly watches as the knight departs in the distance.
After some intel gathering to confirm Julius as the culprit, Griffith commissions Guts to discretely assassinate his aggressor, before leaving for Primrose Hall to attend Charlotte's dinner party. Outside of 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.
Griffith is later encountered 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 with a male lodestone in hopes of her female counterpart returning him safely from the impending engagement.
Battle for Doldrey
The Band of the Falcon sets out to combat the Blue Whale Knights of Tudor. In the closing moments of the skirmish, Griffith is notified of Guts and Casca's fall from a cliff edge. Noblemen on the field caution him not to send soldiers provided by the king in search of merely two Falcons. In spite of their advice, Griffith sends a party, arguing that Guts and Casca are key members of the Band of the Falcon he does not intend to lose.
In a war council meeting following the Falcons' victory, military officials, including Griffith himself, attempt to formulate a strategy for reclaiming the stronghold of Doldrey, overseen by Gennon in light of Tudor's civil war. One after another, the officials shoot down ideas, until Griffith's opinion is asked for; he succinctly states he would reclaim the stronghold if ordered to by the king, much to the surprise of the other officials. In the midst of their bickering, the king asks Griffith if his claim was sincere, reminding him even Midland's strongest force, the White Tiger Knights, couldn't achieve such a feat. Griffith reassures the king that a large force is unnecessary, as he only requires the Band of the Falcon. Convinced by Griffith's confidence, the king orders the Falcons to recapture Doldrey.
Griffith assembles his Falcons in the dust field of Doldrey, splitting his forces into two: one group accompanying him and Guts to lure the Purple Rhino Knights and various other Tudor armies toward the river, and the other an infiltration force led by Casca to retake Doldrey itself. In the heat of the battle, Griffith catches sight of Guts' duel with Boscogn, slowly filling with trepidation as Guts gradually loses his edge in the fight. Just as Guts' chances of survival dwindle, a replacement sword suddenly lands before him. Griffith immediately instructs Guts to take up the sword and witnesses Guts subsequently behead Boscogn. Shortly after, the Purple Rhino Knights look to their rear to see a recaptured Doldrey, now under the Band of the Falcon's hold.
Having dealt a huge blow to the enemy's morale, Griffith orders his Falcons to slaughter all who provide further opposition. As the battle ends and remnants of Tudor's forces scatter, Griffith approaches a trampled Governor Gennon, who had entered the fray earlier in hopes of seizing Griffith for himself. As Gennon begs for another night of pleasure with the White Falcon, Griffith informs the governor that he bears no feelings whatsoever for him, as he was merely a method of ascension. He then proceeds to pierce Gennon in the skull, so as to not inconvenience himself with the potential spreading of petty rumors.
Tombstone of Flames
Upon their victorious return, the Band of the Falcon receives a profusion of praise from Midland citizens and officials alike, and a victory ball is held in celebration. Before attending the party, Griffith concocts a scheme to do away with his political enemies, abducting Foss' daughter in order to gain the minister's compliance, and sending an order for Foss to gather all court members bearing ill will toward him in one place. Cognizant of the Queen of Midland's plan to poison his drink, he has his goblet spiked with a specific nostrum to temporarily fake his death, so as to give 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 to Griffith. With the initiation of a toast, Griffith sips from his goblet and falls to the ground.
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 has it set alight. The queen approaches the window of the tower room and, to her dismay, sees Griffith standing before the tower as flames engulf it. Griffith reminds his enemies they are still at war and that the battlefield offers no spectator seats, before leaving to rendezvous with Foss nearby. Foss, curious as to how Griffith knew of the ploy, asks why he was chosen to help in the scheme. Griffith reminisces over the first time they met, informing Foss that the fear in his eyes that day gave away his malicious intent. With the issue resolved, Griffith returns Foss' daughter to him, expressing hope for friendlier relations between them in the future. After paying off the girl's abductors, Griffith has Guts tie up the remaining loose ends in his scheme by murdering the criminals. Before returning to his comrades, he begins to question whether he himself is cruel. Guts reminds him that schemes such as his most recent one are merely a part of achieving his dream, to which Griffith agrees.
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
One month later, Griffith is notified of Guts' withdrawal from the band. He intercepts Guts and resolves to duel the swordsman for his freedom, as he did three years prior. As the two ready their stances, Griffith displays an evident lack of composure. He lunges after Guts, having decided if he can't have Guts then no one else will. However, his parry technique is countered and his blade broken into two. Griffith is then left to lament his loss as Guts decisively leaves the Band of the Falcon.
Defeated and distraught, Griffith seeks out Charlotte on the night of Guts' departure. He seduces and beds her, leaving the morning after. Outside of the palace, Griffith is arrested by Midland guards on the grounds of treason. He is taken to a torture chamber within the Tower of Rebirth, where he is whipped repeatedly by the king, who berates him for betraying his trust and defiling the royal house. Griffith worsens the matter by deducing the king's lust for his own daughter, as well as claiming that his reign has been nothing more than a miserable stagnancy. Infuriated, the king orders the year-long torture of Griffith, specifically demanding the White Falcon's prolonged suffering.
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
During his year-long imprisonment, Griffith is subjected to extensive methods of torture, ranging from elinguation and tendon laceration to flaying and scalding. During the brief moments in which he is left alone between torture sessions, Griffith lies in the darkness, with only the thoughts of his dream and Guts keeping him alive. 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 with him at the proper time and place.
A year later, a rescue team consisting of Guts, Casca, Judeau, and Pippin, with the assistance of Charlotte, arrive to break Griffith out of the tower. Griffith wakes to the sight of a grief-stricken Guts. Without hesitation, he feebly attempts to strangle his former comrade before ceasing upon seeing the regret in Guts' eyes. After the jailer divulges the grisly specifics of Griffith's torture and is murdered by Guts, the group fights its way through a wave of Midland soldiers before escaping underground. In the sewers of Wyndham, they are attacked by a group of five Bakiraka assassins sent to kill Griffith; after dispatching four of the assassins and escaping the capital city through the sewers, the Falcons retreat to a nearby farm.
The party soon leaves the farm and sets out for the Midland border, only to realize they are being tailed by the Black Dog Knights. One trap after another, the Dog Knights continue to pursue until the Falcons finally decide to confront them. As the battle ensues and Guts begins to overpower their leader, Wyald, an incapacitated Griffith can only watch from the sidelines, unable to even grasp a sword. When it seems Guts has finally triumphed over Wyald, the beast rises once more and grabs Griffith, unclothing the invalid and exposing the extent of his injuries; he insists the Falcons' hopes of former glory under Griffith's leadership are futile, and then demands Griffith summon the "God Hand". To his dismay, he realizes Griffith is no longer in possession of the Crimson Beherit. As a result, Wyald decides to kill the man, but Zodd intervenes and tears the Dog Knight in two, and tells Griffith his Crimson Beherit will soon return to him before flying off.
Having reached the Midland border, the Band of the Falcon comes to terms with Griffith's injuries, accepting that he will never fight again. When Casca arrives to Griffith's carriage to change his bandages, Griffith forces himself on her, but is met only with her resistance initially, though, she eventually hugs him out of pity. Soon after, Griffith overhears a tender moment between Guts and Casca, from which he learns that the two witnessed his description of a "friend" at Primrose Hall and hears Casca urge Guts to leave once again if he's truly Griffith's friend.
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.
Beckoned by a vision of his former self to continue on, Griffith musters the strength to commandeer the unattended horse carriage in pursuit of the castle from his dream. The cart eventually crashes into a lake, sending him soaring into the air; in this brief moment of flight, he has another vision of a would-be life with Casca before coming to his senses and landing in the water below. Stripped of all most dear to him, he attempts to puncture his throat on a sharp, protruding tree root to little avail, lashing only a minor gash on his neck. As Griffith sits facing the water, unable to commit, his beherit surfaces from the lakebed. The blood leaking from his neck slowly runs down his arm and comes into contact with the beherit, causing it to animate. The Falcons tailing him draw near, just as a solar eclipse begins and demonic figures approach. Unable to voice caution, Griffith and his comrades are then suddenly transported to another dimension.
As Griffith is assisted up by Guts, the demons reveal they are at the site of the Eclipse. From the depths of the dimension manifest the four members of the God Hand, the tallest of which welcomes the Falcons to the "nocturnal festival", and reveals that Griffith's ascension into their ranks has been preordained by causality. It is then disclosed that Griffith's aforementioned rebirth as a demon of the God Hand will require a sacrifice – one ultimately willed by Griffith himself.
He is then taken to the deepest recesses of his conscious self, wherein he is reminded of his dream and the lengths he once went to realize it. Upon viewing the mound of corpses metaphorically responsible for his rise, he concludes that ceasing the piling of them now would only mean the inane demise of his dream. Coming to terms with who he truly is and realizing Guts was the only one who made him forget his dream, Griffith accepts the consequences of his choice and utters, "I sacrifice," bringing about the branding of all his comrades.
A unilateral slaughter is then initiated, with nearly all of the Falcons being gratuitously murdered as sacrifices for Griffith's ascension. Meanwhile, Griffith becomes incorporeal, metaphysically descending into the depths of the Abyss where he comes to better understand human nature and causality, as well as the ultimate role he is to play in the designs of the supreme being the God Hand serve. After all but Guts and Casca are dead, Griffith, now christened "Femto", emerges in his new form as the fifth member of the God Hand. He immediately descends down toward an ensnared Guts and motions a demon to bring Casca to him. Without hesitation, Femto proceeds to rape Casca in front of Guts, intent on forcing the latter to watch. After he finishes with Casca, the Skull Knight encroaches on the Eclipse. Femto uses his newfound powers to form a gravity well of demons around the intruder, but with little success, as the Skull Knight is able to escape the temporal junction unscathed with Guts and Casca in tow. Despite the turn of events, 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."
Black Swordsman Arc
As a profound astral entity, Femto is unable to return to the Physical World, only able to manifest within Interstices. When the Count is fatally wounded by Guts, the God Hand are summoned by the cry of the apostle's beherit. Enraged at the mere sight of his former comrade, Guts attacks Femto, but is immediately repelled by Femto's gravity-manipulating powers. With Guts heavily incapacitated, 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 thus dragged into the Abyss. In a last ditch effort to wound his nemesis, Guts uses his Cannon Arm to once again attack Femto, that attack too being repelled by the demon. With the Count's demise, the temporal junction point is brought to an end and the God Hand consequently disappears.
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 have a shared dream, one prophesying the coming of a savior exalted as the "Falcon of Light". The Midland refugees converge in the Tower of Conviction in the ruined city of Albion where an egg-shaped apostle lives in, acting up as a mass sacrifice in an event similar to the Eclipse known as the Incarnation Ceremony in which Femto incarnates in the Physical World as Griffith. As the Falcon of Light, Griffith appears before Zodd in a vision, metaphysically wounding the apostle into servitude and instructing him to travel to Albion.
Prior to the ceremony's initiation, the egg-shaped apostle swallows a dying demon infant while climbing the crumbling Tower of Conviction, where he enacts the Incarnation Ceremony. Atop the tower, the restless spirits of the Albion dead engulf the tower where the apostle is, the demon infant's fetal form concurrently being ridden of its deformities and merging with the rapidly maturing physical vessel containing Femto's essence. With the completion of his incarnation, Griffith emerges from the egg-shaped apostle's body, subsequently killing the being as the tower is destroyed completely, and making his presence known to all as he bathes in the daybreak sunlight. He is then escorted away by Zodd, to avoid the assault of the Kushan soldiers sent to capture him.
Millennium Falcon Arc
Reunion on the Hill of Swords
Soon after the Incarnation Ceremony, Griffith reunites with Rickert and Guts on the Hill of Swords, where he proclaims that, even in the ocean of his sacrificed comrades' grave markers, he feels nothing. A triggered Guts lunges out at Griffith, but is deflected by Zodd, leading to a fierce battle between the two. Thought to have long been frozen, Griffith experiences the faint throbbing of his heart, deducing the feelings to be those of the infant that fused into his vessel.
Guts and Zodd's clash results in the destruction of Godot's mine, just as Casca comes running to the scene. As the airborne boulders from Zodd's destructive resurgence come flying Casca's way, Griffith without hesitation clothes her in his cape, protecting her from the falling debris. Immediately afterward, Griffith orders Zodd to cease his battle and sets off with the beast to bring his dream to fruition. Before leaving, Griffith informs Rickert and Guts nothing has changed, telling the former he is welcome to once again pursue the aforementioned dream, and the latter that he of all people should know the kind of person Griffith has always been.
Griffith sets out for the western city of Shet, one of many Midland cities under siege by the Kushan. Appearing in the compound 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 are fired by the Kushan soldiers in Griffith's direction, but are done so in vain, as they all happen to miss their mark. Before a second volley can be fired, Zodd arrives and devastates the unit with a head-on trail of slaughter. The thrust of a stray lance mows down another group of Kushan soldiers, wielded by the Moonlight Knight Locus. The knight reveals he was sent by the guidance of an oracle and asks to join Griffith's ranks, to which Griffith accedes. As the full-scale devastation of the Kushan unit proceeds, Griffith is lunged at from behind by two brawny Kushans. His attackers are repelled by an exiled Bakiraka assassin named Rakshas. The exile offers his assistance to Griffith, claiming he will let no harm befall Griffith, only so he may decapitate the White Falcon himself some day. Suddenly, a naga-armored knight barges through the fortress's gate, and with his scale-covered flamethrower and great 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.
Defense of Vritannis
Griffith and his reborn Band of the Falcon continue liberating areas in Midland under Kushan occupation and manage rescue Princess Charlotte from the capture of Emperor Ganishka. At some point following the rescue of the princess, Griffith sends Sonia and Mule Wolflame 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."
The Kushan Imperial Army eventually mounts an attack on the holy port city of Vritannis, drastically overwhelming the Holy See Alliance forces. The Band of the Falcon joins the fray just as all seems lost, handily stifling the siege and downsizing the Kushan army. Griffith makes his way into Ganishka's mobile palace, where he brings the emperor to heel and agrees to have their final showdown in Wyndham, thus forcing the emperor to withdraw his forces.
Meeting with prominent Holy See Alliance officials after the successful defense, Charlotte formally announces her and Griffith's engagement, and confers to her fiancé the position of Supreme Commander of the Midland Regular Army. Federico de Vandimion refutes Midland's claim of hegemony over Holy See forces that should step foot on its kingdom's soil, positing that an alliance between Midland and other Holy See nations in the pontiff's name would be of greater good. The pontiff himself thereupon arrives, verifying Griffith's role as the prophesied Falcon of Light, and pledging allegiance to him.
End of Worldly Reason
Forced to withdraw from Vritannis after being overwhelmed by Griffith, a vexed Ganishka lowers himself into a Man-Made Beherit in order to transcend apostlehood. In his mist form, he sacrifices all monsters and Kushan present in his demon city of Wyndham. Consequently, Ganishka is twice reincarnated as an immense, eldritch abomination. Griffith has his forces fight off the emperor's familiars as he rides Zodd to Ganishka's head to confront the turbulent apostle-emperor.
In his released form, Femto nears Ganishka, but is ambushed by the Skull Knight, who attempts to strike him down from behind with the Sword of Beherits. Femto reveals he anticipated the Skull Knight's intervention, and distorts space to redirect the space-cleaving sword stroke toward Ganishka. This causes a chain reaction with Ganishka's twice reincarnated form, triggering the Great Roar of the Astral World, and bringing about the merging of the physical and astral realms into one global Interstice – Fantasia. Flying down back in human form atop Zodd, Griffith ushers his followers toward his newly risen capital city, Falconia.
Upon learning of Rickert's arrival to Falconia, Griffith welcomes the youth to his palace, where he asks if Rickert still shares his dream. Rickert – torn between the miracles and atrocities brought forth by his former commander – in turn slaps Griffith. While Rickert admits he can never truly bear hate for his former commander, he tells Griffith he is a follower of the White Falcon he once knew, and of the original Band of the Falcon, and that the Falcon of Light before him is not his leader. Griffith prevents his guards from attacking his former comrade, allowing Rickert to leave the palace while reassuring those present that the altercation was a simple rejection.
Griffith and the Band of the Falcon go about reclaiming Midland lands lost to the influx of astral beings in Fantasia. Around the same time, Griffith reveals to council members of Falconia his intentions for Midland and humanity: To give rise to an expansive territory for humanity – a "second empire" succeeding Gaiseric's empire of yore. During a following full moon night, Griffith notices that some strands in a tress of his hair seemingly bear a darker hue. Anticipating the recurrence of some phenomenon particular to this night, he vanishes into the night sky shortly afterward.
Powers and Abilities
Griffith has always been an exceptional swordsman. With his precise piercing, he has dispatched many enemies with merely one stab from his sword, capable of easily puncturing vitals if he so chooses. To combat denser, larger swords, he uses a skillful parrying technique, which involves using the opponent's sword weight against them, deflecting the larger blade down the side of his narrow sabre to create openings for offensive strikes. During the Defense of Vritannis, he single-handedly eliminates Emperor Ganishka's imperial guard – numbering at least 12 – in rapid succession with his sabre alone. Griffith's cutting power is also considerable; as a human, he is able to completely sever Zodd's arm in a pincer movement alongside Guts, making him the second man in 300 years to wound the apostle.
In his first duel with Guts, Griffith displays hand-to-hand combat prowess sufficient to pin Guts in a submissive position and dislocate the swordsman's arm.
... 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.
Even prior to his rebirth, Griffith is a magnetic figure who easily reels in admiration and devotion. His vaunted physical appearance in conjunction with his allure and persuasiveness make his presence undeniable and his ambitious dream ever so captivating. The range of his charm is only enhanced by his legendary successes, with people of all walks of life admiring his high climb from nothing. Among even the Midland nobility, Griffith operates as efficiently as he does in battle, his illustriousness winning over the affection of nobles and commoners alike.
Griffith's incarnation brings about the tenfold increase in his already staggering charisma. With his return to the Physical World, the idolization he once garnered warps into exaltation, his presence now rightly described as inhuman by affected devotees. Inducing submission into others is an effortless task for him; even highly revered individuals such as His Holiness the pontiff collapse to their knees upon their first encounter with him. 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 of the Holy See's scriptures.
After his incarnation, Griffith's beauty is so profound as to garner the admiration of a group of onlooking Holy See Alliance soldiers. On several occasions, those bearing witness to him have described him as picturesque and like a painting. Even apostles such as Rakshas and Ganishka have acknowledged Griffith as beautiful, the former wanting to take Griffith's face for himself and the latter wanting to sully Griffith's beauty. His beauty, in conjunction with his charisma, plays a pivotal role in his beguiling of 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.. Following his incarnation, Griffith commands many of the most formidable known apostles, who are at his beck and call as his "beak and talons". 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 keen 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 a panic and disarray; Griffith has used the tactic of striking the heart of an enemy force in many of his most significant military engagements following his incarnation.
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.
After his transcendence into Femto, Griffith no longer exists within the reasons of the Physical World, and as such, is invulnerable to nearly all mortal opposition – an existence no single man alone can rival. His absoluteness is akin to that of a story's author; those partaking in his fable have no chance of ever challenging him. Fate and fortune are therefore on his side, which alongside his now overwhelming charisma and enormous od, make his dominance effectively guaranteed.
As a member of the God Hand, Femto is able to perceive the flow of causality to an extent unrivaled by all but his fellow demon sovereigns. With such perception and the ability to exert his will upon the world, he is able to precisely use cause and effect to realize any result he so desires. He is not omniscient, however, and cannot predict absolutely everything.
More glaringly astral is Femto's ability to manipulate gravity and space. He has manipulated repulsive force to repel physical attacks, as well as created gravity wells to catch enemies with an invisible attractive force capable of crushing the afflicted into oblivion. Most notable is his ability to warp and distort space, which he has used to easily grab a space-cleaving tear from the Sword of Beherits and redirect it entirely.
As a natural consequence of the form he assumes upon being reborn, Femto is capable of flight, by way of "raven black wings upon which [he] shall soar [...] higher than any summit".
Full Moon Phenomenon
On one particular full moon night, Griffith is shown to be powerless to prevent the occurrence of a phenomenon resulting in the noticeable darkening of his hair and eventually his sudden disappearance.
Those Outside His "Story"
Griffith's absoluteness only extends to mortals who are unable to ever truly reach his astral self. The Skull Knight suggests that someone existing outside of Griffith's "story" – someone who, like Griffith, also exists beyond mortal confines – is sufficient to at minimum confront Griffith.
White Falcon Armor (I-III)
As a human, Griffith wore four significant iterations of body armor as the leader of the original Band of the Falcon. His first iteration was simplistic in design, worn by him during the band's nascent years. His second iteration was not a significant departure from his first, the most noticeable differences being the armor's increased pauldrons, more detailed breastplate and plackart piece, and added tassets. His third iteration featured more protective pauldrons, a more typical breastplate and plackart piece, additional cuisses, and most noticeably the addition of a visored sallet bearing avian motifs; it was worn by him in his earliest encounters with Guts.
White Falcon Armor IV
Griffith's fourth notable armor iteration was a significant upgrade from his third, worn by him from the time the Band of the Falcon joins the Midland war effort to the Battle for Doldrey. It was a highly detailed full plate silver-white armor, further setting him apart as a leader. He wore the same avian-themed sallet from his third iteration with this armor. Furthermore, the armor's durability was considerable, able to withstand an attack from Zodd in his released form and being subsequently flung into a column pillar.
Fallen Falcon Armor
After being rescued from the Tower of Rebirth, a crippled Griffith was 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 not being as ornate overall, it did feature greaves unlike his previous armors.
- Torture mask: As a means of mocking the iconic leader Griffith once was, his torturer places upon him a mask resembling his previous avian-themed sallet. Griffith wore the helmet from the time of his rescue to the point of his rebirth during the Eclipse.
Falcon of Light Armor
The full plate silver-white armor Griffith wears following his incarnation is the most ornate of all the armors he has worn. The armor is considerably embellished with avian motifs, with nearly all of the plate components bearing some degree of feathered patterning and the right pauldron extending into a striking wing. It features both greaves and spauldrons, unlike Griffith's previous armors. Furthermore, the sallet is more refined and possesses more pronounced avian motifs, featuring more streamlined eye holes on the visor, as well as a more feather patterned visor rim and nape.
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.
Griffith has nearly always opted for a sabre as his weapon of choice.
Japanese Voice Actor(s)
- Toshiyuki Morikawa: Berserk (1997 Anime)/Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Shō
- Takahiro Sakurai: Berserk: The Golden Age Arc/Berserk (2016 Anime)/Berserk Musou
English Voice Actor(s)
- Kevin T. Collins: Berserk (1997 Anime)/Berserk: The Golden Age Arc
- Steve Cannon: Berserk (2016 Anime)
Japanese Voice Actor(s)
English Voice Actor(s)
- 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.)
- Griffith's God Hand name "Femto" is a mathematical prefix for 1/1,000,000,000,000,000. That is one quadrillionth, or one millionth of one billionth of the measurement unit this prefix is used for (a femtosecond is one quadrillionth of a second, a femtometer is one quadrillionth of a meter, etc).
- 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 care taker. Together, they have a son named Guts and a dog named Pippin.
- 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."
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 5, "Sword Wind"
- ^ a b c d Berserk, Volume 22, "War Cry of the Wind (1)"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 14, "Black Swordsman, Again"
- ^ a b c d Berserk, Volume 10, "Infiltration of Wyndham (1)"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 24, "Magic Stone"
- ^ a b c Berserk, Volume 4, "Golden Age (4)"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 5, "Golden Age (7)"
- ^ a b c d Berserk, Volume 22, "Beast Swordsman vs Black Swordsman"
- ^ a b c Berserk, Volume TBA, "Dawn of an Empire"
- ^ a b c d e f Berserk, Volume 8, "Battle to Capture Doldrey (6)"
- ^ a b c d e Berserk, Volume 12, "Separation"
- ^ a b c d Berserk, Volume 34, "Fissure"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 3, "Guardian Angels of Desire (6)"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 8, "Morning of Departure (3)"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 9, "Beginning of the Endless Night"
- ^ a b c d Berserk, Volume 10, "Reunion in the Abyss"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 21, "Arrival"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 35, "Falconia"
- ^ a b c d e Berserk, Volume 22, "Reunion on the Hill of Swords"
- ^ a b c Berserk, Volume 6, "Sword Master (2)"
- ^ a b c d e Berserk, Volume 6, "Precious Thing"
- ^ a b c d e f Berserk, Volume 5, "Golden Age (8)"
- ^ a b c d e Berserk, Volume 8, "Tombstone of Flames (2)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 10, "Infiltration of Wyndham (2)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 39, "Great Gurus"
- ^ a b c Berserk, Volume 7, "Casca (3)"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 5, "Nosferatu Zodd (3)"
- ^ a b c d Berserk, Volume 22, "Prologue to the War Chronicle"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 13, "God of the Abyss (1)"
- ^ a b c Berserk, Volume 23, "Night of Falling Stars"
- ^ a b c Berserk, Volume 29, "Homing"
- ^ a b c d e Berserk, Volume 32, "Midland Regular Army"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 6, "Casca (2)"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 4, "Golden Age (6)"
- ^ a b c Berserk, Volume 5, "Nosferatu Zodd (4)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 5, "Sword Master (1)"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 6, "Assassin (2)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 6, "Departure for the Front"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 6, "Casca (1)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 7, "Returning Alive"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 7, "Battle to Capture Doldrey (1)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 7, "Battle to Capture Doldrey (3)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 8, "Moment of Glory"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 8, "Tombstone of Flames (1)"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 9, "Fallen Falcon"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 8, "Snowy Evening..."
- ^ Berserk, Volume 10, "A Way Through"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 11, "Demon Dog (1)"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 11, "One Who Comes Flying..."
- ^ Berserk, Volume 11, "Immortal One, Again"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 12, "Warriors of Twilight"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 12, "The Castle"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 12, "Boy in the Back Alley"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 12, "Eclipse"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 12, "Advent"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 12, "All the Inhuman Monsters"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 13, "God of the Abyss (2)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 13, "Afterglow of the Right Eye"
- ^ a b c Berserk, Volume 13, "Escape"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 17, "Revelation (1)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 18, "Spirit Road (2)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 17, "Revelation (3)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 20, "Shadow of Idea (3)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 21, "Resonance"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 21, "Falling Sky"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 21, "Starting a Journey With Resolve"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 22, "Unchanged"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 22, "War Cry of the Wind (2)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 23, "War Demons"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 27, "Sleeping Princess Awakens"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 30, "Divine Revelation"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 32, "Gust of Wind"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 32, "Hero"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 38, "Bridge of Parting"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 40, "Jötunn"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 32, "Torn Battlefield"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 28, "Garrison"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 38, "Pandemonium"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 28, "Proclaimed Omen"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 3, "Guardian Angels of Desire (5)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 13, "Birth"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 38, "Divine Right of Kings"
|Four Kings of the World|