............. Griffith, Vol. 10+

It is fascinating that Griffith is robbed of his power to speak just when his input would be the most telling about his mental state. Frankly, for someone who just survived a year of unspeakable torture, he seemed... normal. That’s kind of creepy in itself. What’s more, he seemed softer and genuinely grateful at being rescued. He was nice to the Princess, who helped rescue him, and took a poison dart hit for him. Though she still wanted to stay by him afterwards, he convinced her to leave for safety by mouthing the words “I will come back for you.” True, he could’ve simply realized that she was slowing them down, but it was nevertheless a sweet gesture. He was also vigilant as ever. Even while being carried on Pippin’s back, he was very perceptive of his surroundings, and managed to alert the team of an exit they have overlooked. He quickly picked up on the chemistry between Guts and Caska, and was concerned that Guts appeared to be enjoying her touch. A lot had happened while he was gone. It would take him a bit to figure out how he fit into this new world, but for now he was happy to be among friends.

“I know you're in a rush, but you're not ready yet. I mean, it's been a year since you've even worn armor. Soon you'll be able to swing that [sword] all you want. Soon...” Guts, Vol. 11 Ch. 10

After Griffith was thrown in prison the Hawks were hunted like criminals and their numbers dwindled. Some were killed, some left on their own. The ones who were left were loyal followers, but they were followers of a dream. They believed their troubles were temporary, and once they had Griffith back, they would be reborn like a phoenix from its ashes. Nobody yet realized the true damage done to their flawless leader in that dungeon. They thought it was only a matter of time before he returned to his former glory, and encouraged him by saying he would soon get better. Griffith was even inclined to believe them. Being crippled certainly didn’t diminish his warrior instincts. When Guts or Caska were fighting Wyald, he did everything in his power to help them. He tried grasping his sword, but all he managed to do was knock it over. He tried breaking free of his human crutches, but only fell down. It made him so aggravated to watch helplessly from the sidelines that he clenched his teeth to blood.

“I bet you planned to carry him up and make something of yourselves again. Too bad, it'll never happen. He can't do battle anymore. Or ride a horse. Or wield a sword. Hell, he can't even stand up on his own. You're lucky if he can crawl around like a bug. He can't live on his own the rest of his life.” Wyald, Vol. 11 Ch. 10

Judeau and Caska knew the dark truth of Griffith’s injuries, but they wanted to break the news gently to Griffith and the rest of the Hawks. Now all hope for that was gone. Wyald tore off Griffith’s bandages and revealed to his troops everything Judeau and Caska were trying to hide. This stripped away any illusions Griffith had about his condition, and the gravity of the situation finally sank in. Furthermore, he was humiliated in front of his entire army in the worst possible way.

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.