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The Dark Philosophy of Griffith in Berserk

Berserk, the magnum opus crafted by Kentaro Miura, delves into the depths of the human psyche, exploring themes of ambition, sacrifice, and the consequences of unchecked desire. At the heart of this dark narrative stands Griffith, a complex and enigmatic character whose philosophy becomes a driving force in the unfolding tragedy. In this article, we dissect the dark philosophy of Griffith in Berserk, examining the layers of his character and the profound impact he has on the series.

The Hawk of Light and the Dream of Ambition:

Griffith begins his journey in Berserk as the charismatic and ambitious leader of the Band of the Hawk. Charmed by his vision and driven by an unyielding ambition, Griffith seeks to attain his dream—to rule over his own kingdom and achieve greatness. His vision is one of a utopian realm where individuals are free from the constraints of birth and class, and where personal will and skill determine one’s fate.

Griffith’s dream is not inherently malevolent; rather, it is his relentless pursuit of it that lays the groundwork for the darker aspects of his philosophy. His unwavering commitment to his dream becomes a double-edged sword, one that shapes the destiny of both the Band of the Hawk and the world of Berserk.

The Eclipse and the Descent into Darkness:

The pivotal turning point in Griffith’s philosophy and the Berserk narrative occurs during the Eclipse—a nightmarish event where Griffith sacrifices his comrades and humanity in exchange for transcendent power. The Eclipse marks Griffith’s descent into darkness and his rebirth as Femto, the fifth member of the God Hand.

The Eclipse serves as a crucible that transforms Griffith’s dream into a twisted reality. His ambition, unchecked and fueled by desperation, leads to the betrayal of his closest companions, including Guts and Casca. The sacrifice becomes the cornerstone of Griffith’s new existence, paving the way for his dark philosophy to unfold.

Femto’s Cold and Calculated Worldview:

As Femto, Griffith embraces a cold and calculated worldview that reflects the twisted nature of his transformation. His interactions with Guts during the Eclipse and the subsequent arcs highlight a profound shift in his perception of individual agency and the value of personal connections.

Femto’s philosophy rejects conventional morality, viewing personal bonds and emotions as inconsequential in the pursuit of ambition. This callous disregard for human sentiment is a stark departure from Griffith’s initial charisma and charm. The once noble leader is replaced by a being who sees humanity as a means to an end, a disposable tool in the relentless pursuit of his ambition.

Causality and the Idea of Predestination:

Griffith’s dark philosophy is intertwined with the concept of causality—a recurring theme in Berserk that explores the idea of a predetermined fate. As Femto, Griffith comes to embody the notion that events are predetermined, with individuals merely playing their roles in a cosmic plan orchestrated by higher powers.

This fatalistic worldview strips away the agency of individuals, reducing them to mere pawns in the grand scheme of causality. Griffith, now aligned with the God Hand, becomes an agent of this cosmic design, perpetuating a philosophy that denies free will and personal autonomy.

The Eclipse and the Birth of New Apostles:

The Eclipse not only transforms Griffith but also introduces the concept of Apostles—monstrous beings who were once human but sacrificed their humanity for power. The Birth Ceremony during the Eclipse results in the creation of new Apostles, further emphasizing the dark philosophy that underlies Griffith’s transformation.

These new Apostles serve as a reflection of Griffith’s ethos, embodying the willingness to forsake humanity for the promise of power and purpose. The grotesque nature of these transformed beings mirrors the moral decay inherent in Griffith’s philosophy, highlighting the consequences of his unrestrained pursuit of ambition.

Manipulation of Personal Bonds:

One of the most chilling aspects of Griffith’s philosophy is his manipulation of personal bonds for strategic gain. His relationship with Guts and Casca is emblematic of this manipulation, as he exploits their loyalty and affection to further his ambitions. The Eclipse, marked by the violation of Casca and the emotional torment inflicted upon Guts, illustrates the depths to which Griffith is willing to descend in pursuit of his goals.

Griffith’s betrayal of personal connections underscores a Machiavellian approach to power, where emotions and relationships are perceived as tools to be wielded and discarded. This aspect of his philosophy adds layers of moral ambiguity to his character, making him a complex and morally grey figure within the narrative.

Atonement and Griffith’s Redemption Arc:

In the later arcs of Berserk, Griffith’s character undergoes a subtle shift as he grapples with the consequences of his actions. The notion of atonement and the possibility of redemption become central themes, challenging Griffith’s dark philosophy.

Griffith’s internal conflict and moments of vulnerability hint at a deeper complexity within his character. The possibility of redemption adds a layer of nuance to Griffith’s philosophy, prompting readers to question the nature of morality and whether a character consumed by darkness can find redemption.

Legacy and Impact on the Berserk Narrative:

Griffith’s dark philosophy leaves an indelible mark on the Berserk narrative, shaping the trajectory of the series and influencing the moral dilemmas faced by its characters. The consequences of Griffith’s actions reverberate throughout the arcs that follow the Eclipse, leaving characters and readers alike grappling with the ramifications of his choices.

As Berserk unfolds, Griffith stands as a testament to the series’ exploration of the human condition and the corrupting influence of unchecked ambition. His dark philosophy, forged in the crucible of the Eclipse, becomes a lens through which the series examines the fragility of morality, the consequences of power, and the potential for redemption in a world steeped in darkness.


Griffith’s dark philosophy in Berserk is a masterful exploration of the complexities inherent in the pursuit of ambition and the consequences of unrestrained desire. From the heights of charismatic leadership to the depths of cosmic transformation, Griffith’s character undergoes a profound evolution that challenges readers to confront the darker aspects of the human psyche. As Berserk continues to captivate audiences, Griffith’s philosophy stands as a haunting reminder of the series’ ability to navigate the moral nuances of its characters and the philosophical depths it explores within the context of a dark and immersive narrative.

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