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Griffith is the main antagonist of Berserk alongside the God Hand. In the beginning, however, he was the secret antagonist. He is the founder and leader of the mercenary army Band of the Hawk.
He is voiced by Toshiyuki Morikawa who played Lord Boros, Naraku and Sepoith in 1997 series and Takahiro Sakurai in movies and 2016 reboot.
Extraordinarily charismatic and handsome, his tactical skill gave him and his army the reputation of invincibility, and the favor of the King of Midland, who was locked in a century-old war with the Empire of Tudor. Due to his many important victories in this war, he is made Lord Protector of Midland by the king, despite his common ancestry. Griffith was willing to sacrifice everything for the dream of his own kingdom, believing that he is destined for things greater than the average man.
Early in his career, he won Guts' service in a duel and Guts became his sword in both the battlefield and in his political fight with disgruntled Midland nobles. A large part of his success was due to Guts' fighting ability and Griffith grew to be dependent on Guts, although their relationship was not exactly friendship. After the assassination of General Julius, Guts heard Griffith saying to Princess Charlotte that a friend must be someone he considers his equal. Guts reflected upon this and decided he would live his own dream rather than Griffith's, so that one day they could be equal friends. After winning the war for Midland, Griffith loses to Guts in a duel which stipulates that Guts remain in his service should he lose and freed if he wins. This loss results in Guts' desertion from the Hawks.
Stunned and feeling betrayed, Griffith sought comfort in a one-night stand with the king's daughter, and sole heir to the throne, Princess Charlotte. The affair was discovered, after which Griffith was imprisoned and tortured for a year. He was rescued by Guts along with the primary members of the Hawks, but was already physically crippled with the tendons in his wrists and ankles severed, his tongue cut out, and mentally broken. Seeing Guts and Casca loving each other finally drove him insane (in his final moments before the Eclipse, he dreamed of a normal life, with children and Casca as his wife). Despairing the loss of his dream at Guts' influence, his state of madness that coincided with both the reappearance of his lost Behelit and a solar eclipse.
Joining the God Hand
The God Hand appeared, and he sacrificed the Band of the Hawk to them to become the fifth and final God Hand: Femto. His first act upon becoming a God Hand was to brutally rape Casca in front of Guts, preventing all measures of Guts' attempts to save her; the horror of the event led to Casca becoming amnesiac, mute, and regressing into a child-like state, while Guts lost his left forearm and right eye. Only Casca, Guts and Rickert, who was outside the area influenced by the Eclipse, survived, all having been rescued by the Skull Knight. Two years later, Griffith was reincarnated in a corporeal body in the city of Albion, where he now leads a newly formed Band of the Hawk, still in pursuit of his dream to obtain a kingdom, only now he has sanction from 'God'. The body used for his incarnation was that of an Apostle, which was combined with that of Guts' and Casca's tainted Child. This resulted in Griffith protecting Casca, as the Child has always been watching over her, from the flying debris caused by Zodd fighting with Guts at the Hill of Swords.
Because the general public was unaware of the Eclipse, no one knows about Femto or Griffith's allegiance with the God Hand: instead, Griffith, as the entire Band of the Hawks, was hailed as a long lost legendary hero, supposedly dead or lost in the period of unrest between the King's betrayal and the Kushan invasion. Now able to capitalize on his past fame, Griffith returned with a new Band of the Hawk, this time personally handpicking Apostles, like Zodd, Locus, Irvine and Grunbeld and people attuned to magic, like Sonia. Now combining his freshly regained charisma with his tactical abilities, Griffith is able to successfully employ the superior might of the Apostles and the Apostles Spawns to create a bigger and more organized Band of the Hawk, now open to nobles, like Mule and even Kushans, like the elusive Rakshas and several, unnamed war prisoners and defectors allowed to serve as infantry units.
Upon his reinstatement as the leader of the reformed Band of the Hawk, Griffith saves Princess Charlotte from Ganishka's captivity with the help of Zodd and the new Band of the Hawk's Apostle lancer division: despite earning some jealousy from Sonia, herself smitten with him, Griffith ensured the absolute loyalty of the still alive Midlands nobles. He then gained the support of the Holy See, due to the Pope having had several prophetic visions depicting Griffith as a mystical hawk of light fighting the darkness spread by Emperor Ganishka on the behalf of humanity: with virtually all Midland, save for Guts and his companions, at his side, Griffith has his Band of the Hawk turned into the new regular army of Midland, the Army of the White Phoenix (as it came to be known after the war against Tudor). As the last act before fulfilling his life-long dream of having a castle of his own, he defeated once and for all (with some unwanted help from Skull Knight) the Emperor, weakening the barriers between the spiritual and the physical worlds in the process.
Griffith is a very feminine man, with flowing white hair and beautiful blue eyes; many more masculine men often remarking on his beauty and how he looks like he stepped from a painting. Some go so far as to lust over him, including a man who he later faces as an enemy, however some people had resisted his charms such as Rickert, the former member of the Band of hawk, he slapped Griffith on the face and walked away.
Griffith was once a fair and honorable man. However, as a mercenary, he is also an opportunist. Still, when not on the job, he does have a less serious, more playful and joking side. This side of him is usually reserved for Casca or Guts, especially the latter. Griffith is a bit obsessive, however, to the point he was willing to strike Guts down than to let him go when the larger man muses about leaving.
Powers and Abilities
- Fighting skills: Griffith was an extremely skilled swordsman, beating Guts twice when they first met, and managing to cut Nosferatu Zodd's arm off while working together with Guts. Griffith has also shown to be skilled in unarmed combat, managing to easily put Guts in an arm lock and dislocate his shoulder when the latter tried to punch him.
After joining the God Hand:
- Telekinesis: Griffith is capable of manipulating matter. Right after his rebirth as Femto, he was able to crush a group of apostles into nothingness by just closing his hand, and when Guts tried to attack him after he and the rest of the God Hand were summoned by the Count, he sent Guts flying with just a glance. He also blocked a shot from Guts' canon arm effortlessly.
- Space manipulation: When the Skull Knight tried to attack Griffith with his space-cutting Sword of Actuation, Griffith was able to warp space so that the attack wouldn't hit him.
- Causality manipulation & perception: Being a member of the God Hand, Griffith can see the flow of Causality and use it to further his goals. Because fate itself is on his side, even after regaining corporeal form, he cannot be harmed by physical means, as any physical attack headed his way is fated not to connect.
- Flight: In his Femto form, Griffith has wings that look like a cape when unused. Being wings, they can be used to fly. However, Griffith usually relies on Nosferatu Zodd for air travel, so his ability to fly may be limited.
- Supernatural charisma: Although he was already highly charismatic when he was human, after joining the God Hand, and after regaining physical form, Griffith's utilizes what is described as "an enormous flow of od that engulfs and charms people", making it very easy for him to charm people and rally them to his cause.
- Teleportation: Griffith also seems to possess either super-speed or teleportation, since he managed to reach Casca in time to shield her from falling boulders, even though he was standing on top of a hill a fair distance away only a moment before, and he was also able to move past Silat and the Tapasa without them even noticing he had moved.
- The armor worn by Griffith during the Golden Arc can be attained in the game Dragons Dogma as well as Guts' attire.
- In the Berserk Film Trilogy he is voiced by Takahiro Sakurai. Griffith as a child is voiced by Minami Takayama in the Japanese, and by Veronica Taylor in English.
- Femto's name is possibly inspired by the mathematical prefix PHEMT.
- The Appearance of his helmet bears resemblance to Winslow Leach from the 1974 film Phantom of the Paradise.
- Both of Griffith 's voice actors, Toshiyuki Morikawa; (1997 anime) and Takahiro Sakurai (triglory of movies) started Final Fantasy when Morikawa as Sephiroth and Sakurai as main protagonist Cloud Strife.
- Griffith's story arc and personality is similar to King Richard III from the Shakespeare play:
- They strongly desire their own kingdoms and will sacrifice anyone to get it.
- They both seduce a woman for their own social advancement and pretend to be heroic.
- They betray loyal allies and loved ones in order to achieve their goals.
- They are driven to utterly reprehensible acts due to extreme jealousy and hatred.
- They are portrayed completely unsympathetically.