Birth of a Dream  

“There were days when I had not even a slice of bread to eat. But now I can even talk like this to you, the Princess of a whole kingdom.” Griffith, Vol. 6 Ch. 6

Griffith was born into poverty. I can only assume he was an orphan, because unlike other character backstories, no parental figures are mentioned. Even the noonday sun could not reach his eyes past the cramped buildings of this seedy part of town. The brightest thing he knew was light reflecting off the castle that towered overhead atop a steep cliff.

“I made up my mind. The junk* I would get for myself would be that thing.” Griffith, Vol. 10 Ch. 2

Yes, though he humored his friends by playing war on the streets for cheap trinkets, Griffith had much bigger plans. He was too proud to tolerate being looked down upon, and too stubborn to let societal limitations hold him back. He knew he was born different, better, stronger than the masses who submit to the laws of man and are content to simply live another day. He was determined to rise above them and forge a life worthy of him. “I will get my own kingdom.Griffith aimed for the castle.

“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. That's what I want to know!! What is my place in the world? Who am I? What am I capable of? What am I destine for?” Griffith, Vol. 3 Ch. 3

What do you get when you try to squeeze the spirit of a great man into the body of a peasant? Perhaps it was a spirit too great to be contained in any human body, for that matter. Griffith was larger than life. He had the looks, the brains, the charisma, and most importantly the will to get anything he wanted. He was a visionary who saw past his social standing and aspired to rule a nation. And he was right, the universe did have great things in store for him, for he was destined to become the fifth and last member of the God Hand.

* Griffith does not belittle the castle by calling it "junk." This is the first time we see Griffith talking about his dream in his own head, and he still thinks of it in childhood terminology. Since he play fought with other kids over junk treasures, to him, the castle is "the most sacred piece of junk."

Berserk and all the characters, story, and art therein is copyright Kentaro Miura. No copyright infringement is intended, and I hope that this essay inspires more people to read/watch Berserk! Translation in the text is by Dark Horse, translation in the images is by The Band of the Hawk, unless otherwise specified.