Guts is Special I  

“Having acquired such an excellent soldier, I didn't want to lose him in such a petty battle.” Griffith, Vol. 5 Ch. 2

This was Griffith’s reply to Guts’ question of “During the battle... Why'd you come back to save me?” Fair enough. But, thinking back, it gets weirder (homoerotic waterfight notwithstanding). Even though it was Guts’ first mission with the Hawks, Griffith assigned to him the most important and most dangerous task of rear guard. It was a lot of responsibility, but Griffith believed in him, and later personally returned with a couple of bodyguards to rescue him from hundreds of pursuing soldiers. Now fast-forward a few years, to the battle with Zodd the Immortal.

Griffith, where are...?!” Caska, Vol. 5 Ch. 6

This time around, Guts was growing impatient that a single mystery warrior was holding back 500 men, and went alone into a dark tunnel to investigate. He soon realized that this wasn’t a human at all, but a giant demon named Zodd the Immortal, and he had no chance against him. And who do you think miraculously showed up at the first hint of Guts in trouble? Griffith! With reinforcements! They did no good, though, and Griffith ordered them to retreat while himself running straight into the monster’s path to help Guts escape. “Griffith, where are you going?” indeed. He got knocked unconscious against a column, and they were both about to get killed, but then Zodd saw Griffith’s Behelit.

“Here's a word of warning... No, a prophecy. If you can be said to be a true friend of this man, then take heed. When his ambition collapses, death will pay you a visit!! A death you can never escape!!” Zodd the Immortal, Vol. 5 Ch. 7

If it wasn’t for Zodd’s penchant for prophecy, both Guts and Griffith would be dead by now. This was the first foreshadowing of things to come. As Guts watched Zodd fly away, he didn’t know what to make of it all. Was he going to die? Was he really Griffith’s friend? What mattered right now was that they survived. He’d worry about the rest later. But something was still bothering him.

“Three years ago you said 'I can't lose such an excellent soldier.' But to put your life on the line for just one soldier. That's a hotheaded thing for a calm, composed guy like you to do.” Guts, Vol. 5 Ch. 8

Guts recognized that Griffith was acting above and beyond any reasonable sense of strategy by knowingly throwing himself into a hopeless situation. The logic of wanting to save an exceptionally powerful soldier broke down when doing so endangered the rest of the army, and especially its precious Commander. When confronted about it, Griffith became increasingly evasive. “You keep bringing up that topic. There’s no reason. No reason at all.” He’d stare off into space and turn the question back on Guts, “Is it necessary? A reason... A reason for me to help you. Do I need a reason for that?”


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.