|“||You are our prodigy, our newest kingsman, our wing of darkness, arise Femto.||„|
|~ Void on the birth of Femto.|
|“||I'll not... betray my dream. That is all.||„|
|~ Femto upon being confronted from his feelings for his deeds.|
Griffith is the main antagonist of the manga series Berserk and its anime adaptations. He is the founder and leader of the mercenary army known as the Band of the Hawk. As a mercenary, Griffith fought in the Hundred Year War and restored peace to the wartorn kingdom of Midland and was once a close friend and ally of Guts. After being tortured, however, he used the Eclipse to sacrifice his entire army and later was reborn as Femto, the fifth, newest and final member of the God Hand. He is the arch-nemesis of Guts and Casca.
He serves as the deuteragonist-turned-final antagonist of the Golden Age arc, the overarching antagonist of the Black Swordsman arc and Conviction arc, and a pivotal character in both the Millennium Falcon arc and the Fantasia arc.
In the Japanese version, he was voiced by Toshiyuki Morikawa, who had also voiced Naraku as well as Takahiro Sakurai who also voiced Shogo Makishima, as well as In the English version, he was voiced by Kevin T. Collins.
Previous to the eclipse of the birth of fifth god hand member, Griffith was seen as a handsman, charismatic and a major role model figure leader of a man for not only the Band of the Hawk but even Midland as well. Griffith's personality strives from ambition to lead not only his troops but the rest of the world into a great kingdom. He also has a strong sense of keeping what he values in check and not abandoned or tampered with. The deeper level of Griffiths psychological mentality is destructive and self-destructive he can be when things seem off with his efforts being potentially devalued, an example of this is when he was in a state of a somewhat inner turmoil monologue is digging his arms with his fingers, causing himself to bleed over his fear in losing everything he sacrificed so much for. When something in what Griffith grows accustomed to is challenged to be altered or subverted, Griffith's state of panic starts to show, and like a child being a stack of a toy foundation for himself to make, the same can be said for Griffith, who in a metaphorical sense cannot stand the sight of such stack of bricks having of its parts removed, and will retaliate in hateful spite when such changes happen.
The fifth God Hand member is a cruel man with limited or even nonexistent emotions, who not only can but will cause all the most painful forms of revenge in the aftermath of things not going his way. In his God Hand form, he doesn't say nearly as much as he did before. He uses his old personality as a mimic for his faux affably evil monologues intended for political stand points. Underneath his charisma, however, is still a highly heinous and vindictive self who is far more hateful than many realize.
As Corkus intervenes with some members of the Band of the Hawk in trying to kill Guts, their leader, a white-haired man with blue eyes named Griffith, easily outclasses Guts, and causes enough blood loss for him to pass out. As Guts wakes up, he makes a bid with Griffith on who should be the victor, if Guts wins he leaves, if Griffith wins, then he owns Guts. Fortunately for Griffith, but most unfortunate for Guts, Griffith is the winner, placing the individuals to be mercenary comrades for a few years. Continuing on one of their conquests, is the band of the hawk struggling to defeat the hundred man brute Zodd the immortal, when Guts and Griffith faced off against in many battles. They lost and were only spared because of the Beherit Griffith was possessing.
Onwards with aid to the king of Midland is where the Band of the Hawk battle against Tudor, with the ironic part being how the high Nobel of Tudor Gennon, gave Griffith his wealth in building his mercenary with him giving the man homosexual intimacy in return. With the Band of the Hawk gaining the upper hand in killing Samson, Adon and Boscogn out of the picture, all that was left was Gennon who foolishly thought Griffith was going to be head over heel open arms for him, but for warfare and hate filled reasons, Griffith gave him the cold shoulder, mercilessly killing him without a second thought. With the party of Midland being active, Griffith killed the queen of Midland for seeking to backstab him in secret, and as Guts felt the need to depart from the band of the hawks, Griffith made another bet with him on if he loses then Griffith has him again, but if Griffith fails, then Guts is free.
History did not repeat itself here, with Guts defeating Griffith, and as the winner parted his ways, Griffith was left mentally frozen in trauma over the great humility in failing to keep one of his key members to have a valued place for his dream of a kingdom paradise. As nighttime was present, Griffith became desperate for relief over his failure, in committing fornication with the princess Charlotte, this became a very big mistake on his end, due to the severe rule in having sex outside of marriage, especially when being caught doing this. Griffiths disturbingly harsh punishment was having his army attacked and him being tortured non-stop for over a year in ways that can be considered beyond the boundaries in bringing justice to criminals, regardless of their crime. The effects of Griffiths violently graphic torture was him losing the inability to walk, major lack of movement, and a tongue which prevents him to speak verbally.
With Guts returning to help the Band of the Hawk rescue Griffith from his torturous enslavement, and returning him to a safer place, their hopes in keeping a good role model leader are gone over Griffiths physical damages that hold him back from leading the mercenary army. It all seemed hopeless for Griffith to have any chance of obtaining his goals until his Beherit came back to him offering the literal broken individual a chance to regain the ability to walk, move, speak and do many other things that many did not think was even possible to do. When the Beherit became active, it sent Griffith and all his mercenaries except for Rickert to be brought over as a blood sacrifice offering feast for Griffith to be reborn as a God Hand member next to Void, Slan, Conrad and Ubik. It was here the moment of the ultimate betrayal was made with Guts being the death nail in the coffin of being an obscuring of Griffiths obsessive ambitious dream for him to ultimately come to the conclusion that in his mind, this was the path he must partake in, no matter the cost.
After Griffith submitted, Void brands all of the Band of the Hawk members to be massacred, and as only Guts and Casca were the last soldiers standing, Griffith is no more, and is reborn the cruel God Hand member Femto. Ordering his demon followers to pin Guts down, Femto crosses the moral event horizon even further with Casca, a woman who was family to him and helped saved her from being raped, rapes her for Guts to see, in fueling, and inflaming a vengeful hate sink on the man, all because of how the bet of their last fight turned out to be. After Femto was done with his violation on the person that Guts loved the most, Skull Knight intervenes, getting both Guts and Casca out of the God Hand's dimension leaving Femto to plot for his perfect world.
What Makes Him Pure Evil?
- As Griffith, he was rather possessive of Guts, openly saying Guts was his and having him join his mercenary group through a duel. When conversing with Charlotte, he also reveals that he doesn't really see any of the Band of Hawk members as his friends nor does he regard Guts as an equal, but instead as subordinates. This demonstrates a degree of arrogance and desire for control: what's more, when Guts decided to leave the Band of Hawk, Griffith attempted to force Guts to stay for his own desires, even though he's said before that he only viewed people as friends if they didn't follow his dreams, showing his massive hypocrisy. During their duel, Griffith was even prepared to kill him if necessary, believing if he couldn't have Guts, then no one could.
- After being rescued, he forces himself onto Casca after seeing how she started a relationship with Guts and simply because he wanted to feel dominant again.
- Gets hundreds of the Band of the Hawk members on a sacrificial death brand, having them all devoured by Apostles and having their souls sent to the Abyss.
- Rapes Casca out of revenge on Guts for leaving him and obscuring his dream, which horrified Guts and psychologically broke Casca for years, and even when she recovered, she was still horribly traumatized to the point that even seeing Guts caused her to pass out from the horrors of the Eclipse. What's more, while the sacrifice of the Hawks members was necessary for his transformation, there was no reason to rape Casca beyond sheer sadism and spite towards Guts and to assert his dominance.
- What makes this even more horrific is anyone with the marked brand experiences intense pain whenever in the vicinity of the God Hand, meaning Casca was put through horrendous physical pain throughout the entire ordeal.
- Though Femto chooses to let Guts and Casca go after they were rescued by Skull Knight, it's unclear whether it was out of lingering affection for them or if he viewed them as too insignificant to bother killing.
- He makes Guts and Casca's Eclipse survival a fate worse than death due to how their marked brand attracts demons to attack them at night, placing their lives in a cursed danger every night until they die.
- Corrupts Guts and Casca's conceived child, which he makes as a vessel to be reborn into the physical plane.
- Upon reuniting with Guts, he mocks him as beneath the God Hand's notice and callously dismisses his presence, genuinely hurting then enraging the swordsman. He then attempts to convince The Count to sacrifice his daughter to rejuvenate himself after the battle with Guts.
- When Guts confronts him over his feelings for the atrocious crimes and betrayals he committed, he merely replies that he won't ever betray his dream, remarking that he is free from all moral restraints and showing no remorse whatsoever for any of his evil deeds.
- While he did save Casca from falling rocks and has not made any attempts to kill either her or Guts despite the swordsman opposing Femto, it is heavily implied this is due to the influence of the demon child, who holds a strong bond with both of its parents.
- He sends his apostles to kill Flora due to seeing her magic power as a threat to his future plans.
- He triggers the Great Roar of the Astral World, unleashing several astral creatures onto the world which kill countless people and forces all of humanity into Falconia under his rule.
- Despite defeating the Kushans and liberating the people of Midland from the evil Emperor Kanishka, this was done out of pragmatic reasons as his conflict with the apostle was little more than a means to achieve his own kingdom and ensure the loyalty of the human race. Additionally, it is somewhat implied that he, alongside the other members of the God Hand, were responsible for the Kushan invasions to begin with as a means of achieving their evil agenda.
- Though Femto apparently allows Rickert to slap him and let him go peacefully, it's unclear whether it is because he thought Rickert's existence to be too insignificant or if he believed killing Rickert in the open would damage his reputation. If he let Rickert go out of genuine affection for their past bond, then he would stop being Pure Evil.
- Whilst it has been claimed that when someone becomes a God Hand they lose empathy entirely, this does not validate Femto lacking any moral agency as it was his decision to bring this upon himself knowing there would be a dark turn of a payment when going down this path. Furthermore, the behavior of other apostles provide evidence to disprove this: as the Count willingly sacrificed himself to eternal damnation rather than exchange his beloved daughter for being fully healed. Although the God Hand are on a whole other league of evil in comparison to the apostles as their change was more drastic and required more sacrifices than regular apostles.
- While his torture was horrible, he knew the risks in having sex with Princess Charlotte before marriage would get him in serious trouble and went along with it anyways. Furthermore, he himself worsened his punishment by openly mocking the king and exposing his secret lust for his daughter.
- Another inexcusable backstory is when he was shown to be in poverty as a child which fueled his desire to have a kingdom, but the issues with this making him tragic is how he managed to get wealth and be fond of many who idolize him, which takes away the validation of this motivational tragedy by a wide margin. Furthermore, even without all the glorification he was getting, his past on its own doesn't stand out as well as many other characters, with Guts serving as a prime example of going through a much worse childhood than his and so far hasn't gone down the dark path that he took.
- His true feelings for Charlotte is not real love, making her just as expendable as how he views the Band of the Hawk involving Guts, who in some ways was seen on a more personal level of possessive sacrifice than her. By Femto's own words, he would never betray his dream, meaning if he had to get rid of Charlotte in order to pursue his dream he would do it.
- On the last panel of the manga, he is shown to be shedding tears when speaking to Guts showing that he may have some deep emotional value for him. The problem with this is how it's never fully stated if he was crying on his own accord or if the Moonlight Child was causing this, although the latter is most likely, because he is considered as a separate entity sharing a body with Griffith.
- Even though he is considered to be a complex Pure Evil, it doesn't mean he's morally ambiguous, as all of his desires are above even the most personal people in his life, meaning he has no correlation of any admirable values to be mixed with heinous qualities.
- So far, despite his complexity, there hasn't been any prevention for Femto fitting in the criteria. However, it is still possible that he may get one, as the narrative from at least what the author intended to be for the relationship of Guts and him may have been somewhat a tragedy, given how he didn't know Guts heard his speech about a true friend not wanting to be a part of his dream. This means that if he knew Guts was aware of his statement during their second fight, he might have understood why Guts was willing to leave the Band of Hawk in the first place. This could've led to a possible conclusion of sympathy surrounding the ending of the series after learning Guts only left to be his true and only friend. However, the series doesn't seem to give away much of an idea of this event happening due to Femto's descent into evil, meaning that the chances for this sympathetic revelation happening to him is a long shot.
- The reason why he's called by his God Hand name on this wiki instead of his human name is because Femto serves as Griffith's evilest self, being an identity that he chose to become, devoid of any humane respect for even the ones closest to him. Even though during post-eclipse he has mostly been called as Griffith, that is only because many of the people in the story only see who he is on the surface and none of them have any knowledge on who he really is on the inside.
- Some say that Femto never had any redeeming qualities to shed, which disqualifies him as wholly debased. However, he did have redeeming qualities in the past, as he saved Casca from being raped, once felt remorse for the soldiers who died under his command, showing deep dread over what happened to them, showed honor over a young boy's death, had respect for the Band of the Hawk members, openly asked Guts if he viewed him as a bad person, questioning if his decisions were morally right, and tried to save Guts from falling during the Eclipse right before his sacrifice, only to get rid of all these qualities down the drain. It's important to note that both God Hand and Apostles have to be debased in order to obtain their powers, meaning they had to have a redeeming quality at one point.