Invocation of Doom  

“I bid thee welcome to this distant setting, this abstract time. Ye lambs of the ungodly God born of man, enjoy this sacred nocturnal festival to the fullest. Thee, honorable child consecrated by the laws of causality. The Hawk. Thou art the chosen one. At this time, in this place... the one chosen by the hand of the great God. We art kinsmen, O blessed king of longing.” Void, Vol. 12 Ch. 6

A lot of Berserk truths squeezed into a very cryptic paragraph. Void started off by welcoming the humans to this realm, addressing them as beings who have created God – the Idea of Evil spawned from the darkness of humanity’s unconscious. He then turned his attention to Griffith, the chosen one through whom the infallible Law of Causality brought this time and place into being. He was one of them – a mighty Demon King ready to claim his throne. Of course none of this made any sense to the Hawks except for Griffith, who was slowly beginning to connect it to his demonic visions in the dungeon. He’s had a wide-eyed deer-caught-in-headlights look on his face ever since the eclipse. Was it fear, denial, doubt, guilt, or hope? Trembling, he started to ‘say’ something, but was cut off by Guts.

“Enough 'a your stupid crap!! First you drag us into this godforsaken hole, then you say whatever the hell you want?!... Keep your stupid crap to yourself!!! I've even seen this guy naked before!! He ain't got so much as a tail growin'!! Don't lump him together with you freaks!!” Guts, Vol. 12 Ch. 6

Guts would not be intimidated by an army of demons and their Olde Englishe (/Japanese) speaking overlords! He jumped right in to defend his best friend’s innocence, drawing some softer glances from Griffith. Would that mean that he was comforted by Guts’ words? That he was moved by his friend’s faith in him and didn’t intend to become a demon?

“Such beautiful friendship. I am sure you will make for an excellent sacrifice... A precious sacrifice so that he may become a demon.” Slan, Vol. 12 Ch. 6

There it was, the true purpose of the festival, without all the sugarcoating: Sacrifice to become the fifth God Hand. After all, there were currently four God Hand members, and a hand had five fingers. Guts immediately assumed it was these monsters who wanted to change Griffith by killing the rest of them, but Slan assured him this was not the case. “What will do that is his will. He will offer all of you as a sacrifice.” This was news to Griffith, and he was as shocked as anybody, but that didn’t matter. The God Hand spoke with confidence because fate was absolute, determined the moment Griffith first acquired the Behelit.

“All lies within the currents of causality. Everything has been determined. All your lives have been spun into this sacred point in time, 'The Eclipse.' The time is now at hand for us to perform the Invocation of Doom.” Void, Vol. 12 Ch. 7

The ground shook and a huge pillar rose under them. Even now, in the midst of this spectacle, Griffith couldn't bear to be separated from Guts. When Guts slipped, he instinctively reached out to catch him, but had no strength in his mangled arm to support the bulky warrior. The hold broke, and Guts continued his fall, while Griffith was taken to the very top of what grew into the huge Hand altar of the God Hand. This was significant because Griffith was now alone in the grips of the God Hand, isolated from the only humanizing influence in his life. Wasting no time, Guts frantically scaled the side of the altar to rescue the person he saw as his poor, helpless friend. But Griffith was in no danger from the God Hand.

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.