Enter Guts

“You will fight for my cause. Because you belong to me. I will decide the place where you die.” Griffith, Vol. 5 Ch. 2

Just when Griffith believed he had all his thoughts in order, enter Guts. The moment Griffith saw Guts, he instinctively knew that he found someone who approached his ideal of an equal. He would never admit this, of course, and insist he was only interested in gaining a powerful addition to his army, but his actions spoke louder than words. On the first day, he ordered Caska to keep Guts (who was unconscious from bloodloss) warm with her own naked body. Judging by Caska’s indignation, this could not have been standard procedure.

“I don’t dislike doing things by foce.” Griffith, Vol. 4 Ch. 4

Griffith also felt that it was worth his while to convince Guts to join the Hawks by force. Guts’ initial refusal intrigued him almost as much as Guts’ peculiar immunity to his charm, but what really endeared him to Griffith was his innovative fighting tactics and ability to catch him off-guard. Griffith strove to be the best and did not tolerate defeat, so while he made sure to drive his superiority home, he was also thrilled at the prospect of sharpening his skills against a worthy opponent. Moreover, it convinced him that Guts was someone who would not go down easily. In a career with such a high turnover rate, here was someone he could depend on to stick around... someone who was safe to get close to without fear of abandonment through death. 

“I've taken a liking to you. I want you, Guts.” Griffith, Vol. 4 Ch. 4

Griffith has never said that to anyone before. A fact that Caska didn’t stop whining about for the entire series!

“Do you remember? That day... what Griffith said to you on top of that hill. Those words... he never says anything like that. Griffith had never said such a thing to anyone. Nor has he since then. You know, I couldn't stand it. You got Griffith to say that to you so easily... I envied you. But, even so, I tried to convince myself that Griffith wanted you just for your strength. But Griffith, so calm and composed, always gets impulsive when it comes to you!! It's as if... as if...” Caska, Vol. 7 Ch. 2

Some would say that introducing an unrequited romantic element between Griffith and Guts is wishful thinking, but I say it is real, and a very important piece of the puzzle. 

Yes, Griffith’s relationship with Guts was different from any he ever felt before. It changed him and made him act irrationally. But let’s see what the man himself has to say about this.
DISCLAIMER: 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.