Berserk: 10 Things Fans Never Knew About The Godhand
The God Hand is the band of villains plaguing the world of Berserk. This group of reality-bending entities is made up of a select team of angels and demons that are nothing short of pure evil.
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While this team of evil may be the main focus for Guts' rage and is the main force of evil and destruction in the Berserk series, there isn't much truly outright stated about them. From their past and their newest member, Griffith, there is a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to the God Hand.
10 THEY USED TO BE HUMAN
No, the God Hand members weren't always the demonic and otherworldly beings that they appear as throughout the series. Each of them were actually, much like their new member Griffith, originally human.
These humans were given power by the Idea of Evil to be the heralds of humanity's suffering. These humans were given a behelit much like Griffith (who was given the special crimson behelit: The Egg of the King). These behelits allowed them to transcend humanity and gave them the forms that they possess now.
9 THEIR NAMES COME FROM NOVELS
None of the God Hand's names are originals coming from the series creator, Kentaro Miura. In fact, most of the group's names have been inspired by various science-fiction novels.
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Slan's name comes from the novel of the same name by A. E. van Vogt. Ubik's comes from the novel of the same name by writer, Phillip K. Dick. As one could guess, the other two members' names share similar origins from older writers.
8 VOID'S BODY UNDER THE CLOAK HAS BEEN REVEALED
For those curious about what is under Void's cloak, look no further than the figure released of this grotesque devil. It was shown by the official Figma action figure of Void that under his cloak was simply two long arms and his vertebrae.
This design may not be finalized and could completely change when it is revealed in the manga but it is an awesomely horrific one.
7 VOID MAY BE THE KEY TO THE GOD HAND'S GOAL
The actual goal of the God Hand actually has yet to be revealed besides bringing eternal suffering to all of humanity. However, series creator, Kentaro Miura, was asked about the goal behind the actions of this band.
While Miura didn't go into details he did give fans a hint. He said that it was much too early to reveal their true goal but said, "The keyword is Void." Whether this is still the case or not, no one knows, but it does give fans something to look forward to.
6 CONRAD'S APPEARANCE IS BASED ON A PRE-EXISTING PAINTING
Conrad has one of the oddest appearances of all the God Hand. His eery appearance isn't 100 percent original either, taking large inspiration from a painting from artist HR Giger, the Swiss artist behind the visual design of Ridley Scott's film, Alien.
The painting in particular that Conrad came from is Giger's piece, "Landscape XVIII". This painting was meant to represent the human lifecycle and the babies were made grotesque-looking to represent the beginning of all evil.
5 THE GOD HAND AREN'T GODS
Despite their name and immense power, the God Hands aren't anything close to being godly besides their abilities. It was shown in the series that they aren't able to predict the future and aren't invisible beings, meaning that they can in fact die.
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In the series, a member of the band of evil, Slan herself, said that they weren't gods.
4 THEY ONLY TAKE SKULL KNIGHT SERIOUSLY
No other being has the God Hand's attention like Skull Knight. This relationship may be a tease to the fact that Skull Knight is able to injure and maybe even kill them.
Unlike with other beings, it is shown that the God Hand actively defends against Skull Knight's attacks instead of taking them. He is their eternal enemy and is treated as such.
3 THEY ARE SIMILAR TO A CERTAIN GROUP FROM HELLRAISER
The designs, alongside the fact that Kentaro Miura is believed to be a fan of the Hellraiser series, seems to point towards the God Hand and the Cenobites taking inspiration from the same source.
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Hellraiser is heavily based on the novella, The Hellbound Heart, which is where the Cenobites come from. The same influence is most likely shared by the God Hand.
2 THEY ARE SERVANTS OF GOD
Their name isn't God Hand for nothing. This group of evil was quite literally brought together to become the hand of God, putting his bidding forward through any means necessary.
However, this God isn't the usual one most think of, even in the context of manga or anime. This God is similar to the dark entity present in the Fullmetal Alchemist series. It is known as the Idea of Evil and is the main villain of the series.
1 THEIR LEADER WASN'T ALWAYS THERE LIKE A TYPICAL GOD
The God Hand's boss, The Idea of Evil, wasn't always present as Gods usually are. This being was actually created by those that would wish it vanished. Humanity's want for the destruction of this unstoppable force, in turn, made it more powerful-- more capable of action.
The creators are actually all of humanity, as The Idea of Evil was created by the negative emotions present in human hearts.
NEXT: 5 Ways Berserk Is The Best Manga (& 5 Manga That Are Better)
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Berserk Introduces A New God Hand
The latest chapter of Berserk's manga has arrived and with it, we are given a new look into the origins of Skull Knight, the Berserker armor, as well as a brand new version of the main antagonists known as the God Hand! Since the arrival of the Eclipse that saw Griffith sacrificing the lives of his friends and comrades in arms within the Band of the Hawk, the god-like demonic figures have proved themselves to be so powerful that it seems impossible to ultimately defeat them. With Guts learning more about the origin of Skull Knight and the armor he now wears, it will be interesting to see where the series goes!
Warning! If you have yet to read the latest chapter ofBerserk's manga, Chapter 362, you might want to steer clear of the rest of this article as we'll be diving into some serious spoiler territory!
Following the return of Casca's mind within the land of the elves, Guts and his crew are making good use of the resources that are currently within their grasp. Coming into contact with Skull Knight, the current black swordsman is led to the blacksmith who was responsible for the creation of the Berserker Armor, the set of armor that Guts now wears that gives him insane levels of strength but also has the drawback of having him lose control of his psyche and fall deep into a state of rage.
As the blacksmith tells Guts, the armor gives the current protagonist of Berserk a look into a "bloody memory" that was held by the first person to wear the Berserker armor, which is clearly Skull Knight. As Guts recalls the creation of the armor, he sees a different version of the God Hand, with the only remaining member of Void still being the leader of the team.
The God Hand has been steeped in mystery outside of their insane levels of power that we've seen them exude so far, but the fact that there was an entirely different corps of members that made up this demonic ruling class has us interested to learn more about the demons that assisted Griffith in becoming the demon known as Femto.0comments
What do you think of this new roster for the God Hand? Do you think we're nearing the end of Berserk's story? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and the world of the Band of the Hawk!
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1,080+ years ago
Powers / Skills
Encourage those who possess Behelit to become Apostles and demand 'equivalent' sacrifices from them.
Maintain and enforce the Law of Causality.
Spreading chaos and terror
Type of Villains
The God Hand are the main antagonistic faction of the manga and anime Berserk and are a powerful quintet of reality-warping angels (or demons), each corresponding to a finger or thumb, directly below the Idea of Evil in power and authority. All of them were originally humans who were chosen by the Idea of Evil to serve its purpose of giving reason for humanity's suffering. They each possessed and used a crimson behelit (known as the Egg of the King) in order to transcend their humanity. It is unknown whether there are five crimson behelits or whether the same one came to each of them in turn.
The origins of the God Hand are mysterious and unknown, but its members are known to have once been human before using a crimson behelit during a solar eclipse that occurs once every 216 years. Once they do this, they transcend their current status and are reborn as demonic angels and emissaries of the Idea of Evil. In order to do this however, they must offer a sacrifice of their loved ones, with the power in the abyss where their souls will go to fashion a new form.
Since then, the God Hand has served as overseers of humanity and have shaped many events of human history while also recruiting new members into the organization and gaining servants in humans who become apostles, having an absolute ruling over them. Guts, the main protagonist of the series, first saw the God Hand when they allowed Griffith to join them and had him reborn as Femto in exchange for all of the Band of the Hawk members to be sacrificed for his rebirth.
Silhouettes of the God Hand.
A crimson behelit.
Members of the God Hand.
- Most of the God Hand's names seem to be inspired by science-fiction novels. It is also worth noting that the design of the God Hand characters show similarity to Cenobites from Hellraiser movie series, based on Clive Barker's "The Hellbound Heart" novella.
- Despite their power, the God Hand cannot completely predict the flow of causality. Slan herself has admitted "[they] are not God himself".
- The Skull Knight is the only being thus far who actively threats the God Hand, as both Void and Feemto, when attacked by the Skull Knight, defend themselves from the Skull Knight's attack instead of just taking the attack head-on.
- As the name implies they are servants of a god (also known as the Idea of Evil).
- It is strongly implied that there's at least one cult devoted to Slan, whom the cultists know as the "Goddess of Flame".
- Similarly, there are two stories that might have to do with them, those of the fall of the legendary warlord-turned-emperor named Gaiseric (who lost his entire kingdom to "four or five angels" in a single night) and that of an imprisoned sage whose laments summoned an angel to punish Gaiseric for his sins.
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 Falcon. 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, to Griffith.
The Eclipse (’蝕’, translates to 'occultation') is a rare event in the world of Berserk, occurring once every 216 years to welcome a new member for the God Hand.
While the process is similar to the creation of apostles, the ritual occurs during a solar eclipse once every 216 years and requires a crimson beherit, also called the 'Egg of the King', to trigger it. When the ritual begins, the invoker, the offerings, and the apostles that have gathered are taken to the Interstice known as a temporal junction point where the incorporeal God Hand manifest.
Once the offerings are consecrated by Void (if Griffith's induction is anything to go by) feeling the pain of their deaths, the chosen person descends through the levels of the Astral World into the realm of the Idea of Evil as their heart freezes where they take the evil power within the place to complete their transcendence. It is rare for a consecrated sacrifice to escape the Eclipse alive, the event resulting with them being forever in the Interstice, hunted by those of darkness.
The Fifth Eclipse
"On that day, the dead sun hung over all nations. [...] The Revelations say that when the sun dies five times, a red lake will appear to the west of the city with a name both new and old. It is proof that the fifth angel will alight... The angel is the Falcon of Darkness. The master of the sinful black sheep, the king of the blind white sheep. The one who shall call upon the world an age of darkness."
– Black Swordsman, Again
The fifth Eclipse is an alluded in a prophecy among the Holy See stating that an appearance of the red lake when the sun "dies five times" heralds the birth of an angel whose appearance marks the beginning of the upcoming "age of darkness".Zodd recognizes the importance of Griffith after noticing he was sporting the crimson beherit after a fight, sparing him. The Eclipse begins a year after Griffith was imprisoned in the Tower of Rebirth, freed by his allies yet maimed and crippled from grueling torture. At that time, the apostles started to reach the location where the event is to take place while killing part of the Band of the Falcon on the way. It was only when Griffith's shoulder was touched by Guts after the former's suicide attempt at a lake where his crimson beherit ended up with and the Band of the Falcon members following him that the beherit is activated.
The beherit brings everyone into the temporal junction point where the God Hand manifest, Zodd seemingly being the only apostle to remain outside the tornado-like portal. Though the Skull Knight believes he is to be held off by Zodd as he intended to interfere, the apostle explains he has no interest "in their indulgent spree". After the God Hand separate Griffith from the rest of the band, they subject the youth to the reality within his conscious realm, relying on his mental state and desires to make his offering. This results in the band members branded with the apostles assuming their true forms as they proceed to slaughter and devour all but Guts and Casca, who witness Griffith's transcendence into Femto, the final member of the God Hand.
Though the Skull Knight had fought his way through Zodd and saved Guts and Casca, the former lost his left arm and right eye while attempting to stop Griffith from violating Casca. While the Holy Iron Chain Knights find the "red lake" that remains of the fallen mercenaries, its leader seeing it as the fulfillment of a revelation, the witch Flora also sensed the event and sent her pupil Schierke to confirm said fulfillment.
Days later, Guts awakens and learns that Casca's mind was destroyed by what she went through. This event began Guts' rage-fueled revenge journey to kill the monsters that slaughtered the Band of the Falcon and Griffith for betraying them all. As he lost his human body to join the God Hand, Griffith became an incorporeal being before he regained physical form.
The fifth Eclipse is revisited in the Fantasia Arc when the Flower Storm Monarch, Schierke and Farnese delve into Casca's mind.
- It is implied that an Eclipse took place centuries ago in the ancient Midland kingdom ruled by Gaiseric, legend telling that the disaster that destroyed the city was caused by four or five angels. Only traces of the kingdom claimed by the event now buried under the land which Wyndham was built on remain. The ruins of the city and its littered dead, all bearing the Brand of Sacrifice on their foreheads, are seen in the bottom levels of the Tower of Rebirth. 
- 216 is a lunar number. The 216-year time gap between every Eclipse may be a reference to the Number of the Beast in the Bible, 666, an allusion to the demonic nature of the event. The triple occurrence of 666 translates into 6 cubed, or 216, or double the number 108, a significant number in Buddhism.
- ^Berserk, Volume 12, "Advent"
- ^ abBerserk, Volume 12, "Promised Time"
- ^ abBerserk, Volume 12, "All the Inhuman Monsters"
- ^ abcBerserk, Volume 12, "Eclipse"
- ^Berserk, Volume 13, "God of the Abyss (1)"
- ^Berserk, Volume 13, "God of the Abyss (2)"
- ^Berserk, Volume 13, "Vow of Retaliation"
- ^ abBerserk, Volume 14, "Black Swordsman, Again"
- ^Berserk, Volume 5, "Nosferatu Zodd (4)"
- ^Berserk, Volume 9, "Fugitives"
- ^Berserk, Volume 11, "Armor Goes on the Chest"
- ^Berserk, Volume 10, "The Eve (2)"
- ^Berserk, Volume 13, "Storm of Death (1)"
- ^Berserk, Volume 12, "The Castle"
- ^Berserk, Volume 12, "Separation"
- ^Berserk, Volume 13, "Quickening"
- ^Berserk, Volume 13, "Birth"
- ^Berserk, Volume 13, "Escape"
- ^Berserk, Volume 13, "Afterglow of the Right Eye"
- ^Berserk, Volume 24, "Magic Stone"
- ^Berserk, Volume 13, "Awakening to a Nightmare"
- ^Berserk, Volume 14, "One Who Hunts Dragons"
- ^Berserk, Volume 18, "Spirit Road (2)"
- ^Berserk, Volume 40, "Awakening"
- ^Berserk, Volume 10, "Thousand-Year Fiefdom"
- ^Berserk, Volume TBA, "Leaping Monkey"
Characters / Berserk: Godhand and Apostles
Guts | Griffith / Femto | Casca | Guts's Companions | Band of the Hawk | Kingdom of Midland | Antagonists (Godhand and Apostles) | Other Characters | Video Games
BEWARE OF UNMARKED SPOILERS!While we make an effort to cover some of the most important spoilers, we cannot guarantee that every potential spoiler will be hidden, or that those that are will be hidden consistently. Character bios in particular are likely to discuss late events in the manga. Lastly, some tropes are going to be spoilers because of their mere presence. You Have Been Warned!
This page is for the Godhand, their Apostles, and beings who have been created through the Apostles' powers. For other antagonists in Berserk, see the general antagonists page.
The Idea of Evil is a Walking Spoilerwho originally appeared in chapter 83. This chapter and the Idea itself have both been omitted from collected printings of volume 13 at the request of the author, because he felt that introducing it at that point put constraints on the scope of the story and gave away too much of the plot too soon. All spoilers are unmarkedin that folder to prevent a wall of white. Read at your own risk.
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"'Everything is within the flow of causality."Pictured Clockwise from top:Void, Slan, Griffith/ Femto, Ubik, Conrad
The Big Bad Duumvirate—or rather, Quintumvirate—of the story.
All of them used to be humans before becoming members of the Godhand and have been around for a long time, with the exception of their fifth and newest member Femto who is born in the Eclipse at the end of the Golden Age Arc. Their powers are of course god-like, and though they are not completely omniscient they are very close to it. All Apostles refer to them as their masters.
Each one stands for a negative aspect of reality, but none of them can actually appear in the mortal realm as they are. To do that they have to use the best material at hand, whether it happens to be rats or troll intestines, to create a temporary physical body. Femto is able to appear on Earth in the form of Griffith since he has reincarnated in a permanent physical body through the mock eclipse at the Tower of Conviction.
Since the mangaka, Kentaro Miura, was a huge sci-fi fan, the original four are named after classic sci-fi books, and even Femto is named after a scientific concept.
- Achilles' Heel: The Skull Knight and Schierke find Guts' Dragonslayer to be one of the very few weapons capable of causing actual harm to the Godhand. Because Guts had gone off on his own to wage his own personal war against the Apostles for two whole years, the Dragonslayer has been soaked in so much demonic gore that it can directly hurt the Godhand's physical bodies—as proven when Guts impales Slan's avatar while in Qliphoth.
- Angelic Abomination: While the Godhand functions as Demon Lords and Archdevils, they are also considered angels in-universe, and serve what amounts to God. They are vastly powerful and almost omniscient humanoid abominationswith control over causality, and serve as the Big Bad Duumvirate of the setting. And like the lesser Apostles, they were humans who become demons through a Deal with the Devil.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: They offer you the chance to become a demonic creature and live out the rest of your days in accordance to your desire, but when your life comes to an end you will be sent to Hell for sacrificing someone you loved for your own selfish need for pleasure and salvation.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: The five members of the Godhand are the sovereigns of demonkind and the main villains of the story. While they are in service to the Idea of Evil, the Idea is a Greater-Scope Villain, while the Godhand are directly responsible for the state the world of Berserk is in.
- Card-Carrying Villain: They freely use the word "evil" to describe themselves, and appreciate evil for its own sake.
- Celestial Paragons and Archangels: An exceptionally twisted take on this concept. Despite by all appearances being the opposite trope, they are referred to as angels, and are powerful beyond any other Apostle. The reason why they can be both is that they are "angels" of the Idea of Evil, which appears to be the most powerful being in the setting.
- The Corrupter: All of them exist solely to corrupt people by offering them a "better life" through evildoing and selfishness.
- Corrupt the Cutie: Rosine, a little girl who was abused and believed becoming an elf would make her life better. She ends up realizing too late that not only it was a mistake but the Godhand didn't even make her a real elf.
- Dark Is Evil: They wear black, identify themselves as demonic entities, and are more or less the cause of all the horrible stuff that occur within the series.
- Deal with the Devil: Much like Apostles, every member of Godhand is born by making one of these with the previous members and the Idea of Evil itself.
- Deity of Human Origin: Going by the information from the Lost Episode, their power as gods ultimately derives from the collective unconscious of humanity.
- Demon Lords and Archdevils: The Godhand are the five most powerful demons in the Berserk universe, and are the masters of all the Apostles as well as the rulers of the Astral Realm.
- Didn't See That Coming: In the third film, Advent, Guts manages to actually break his blade through Griffith's Deflector Shield. This simple act of defiance and sheer will absolutely stuns all the members of the Godhand, and Griffith himself is left utterly dumbfounded.
- Devil, but No God: Although it is shown that there are other powerful beings in the Astral Plane, the Godhand and their master, the Idea of Evil, still have no counterpart in their role as malevolent supreme deities. If anything, it is made apparent that the Idea of Evil is the only god around, turning the situation downright into God Is Evil.
- Eldritch Abomination: They are entities that play around with reality at will, possess things to affect the human realm, have Blue-and-Orange Morality (if they even have a morality) and are incomprehensibly powerful. To the degree that, if the Idea of Evil wasn't around, they would be the most powerful entities to exist.
- Evil Wears Black: All of them wear black, although their "clothing" might actually be part of their bodies. Naturally, they're card carrying villains.
- Expy: The Godhand has much in common with the Cenobites of Hellraiser fame. Extradimensional godlike beings who were once human, and are interested in turning humans into monsters. Like the Cenobites, they reside in a hellish otherworld until summoned by an Artifact of Doom. They are described as both Angels and Demons, and serves and worship an abstract entity beyond mortal comprehension. To a limited degree, their designs and personalities evoke memories of the original four Cenobites as well; it's hard not to look at Ubik and see a little of the Butterball Cenobite, while Void is very much like Pinhead in personality and Chatterer in looks.
- Faux Affably Evil: Slan and Ubik sometimes mock their victims with insincere pleasantries. Slan, for instance, praises Guts while torturing him and sarcastically addresses the Skull Knight as "your majesty". The other members just skip the pretense and act with naked hostility.
- Fisher Kingdom: When Griffith crosses over the astral and physical layers of the world, the Godhand are made manifest in separate corners of the Earth, their mere presence altering the landscapes and converting them into their own Eldritch Locations, each a reflection of their respective domains (i.e., Slan's domain is made of masses of headless female forms wrapped in each other in an almost orgiastic gathering).
- Four Is Death: Before Griffith's induction, there were only four Godhand members and they were referred to as the "Four Guardian Angels."
- From Bad to Worse: Their whole existence is spent invoking this trope for all of humanity. They are literally designed to make life for humans as miserable as possible. Taken to new heights as of Griffith's defeat of Ganishka, as they have all manifested themselves within the material plane, and will almost certainly cause more, more and more havoc amongst the populace.
- Humanoid Abomination: The forms of their souls in the Astral Realm, while monstrous and demonic, still broadly resemble humans in face and body silhouette. When they manifest in the physical realm from the Incarnation Ceremony, they seem to take human form (as Griffith/Femto demonstrates) but they retain their demonic eyes and god-like powers.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: They may be demon-gods now, but they were once human and their current state as Eldritch Abominations is due to them literally giving up someone they truly cared about to the vortex of Hell. And that's not even getting into the Idea of Evil, which was created directly by the collective subconscious of humanity demanding an answer for mankind's suffering. Also unlike Apostles, it's not just one or two but a hundred of loved ones.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: They don't make much of a secret of why they exist—to make human life miserable—but it is rather in the dark why they manipulate events in order to make very specific instances occur at extremely convenient points in time. The most obvious example of this is how they've welcomed Griffith into their brood only to have him reincarnate himself into the mortal world just two years later. Eventually, it is revealed that they needed Griffith to rend the different layers of reality together so that they can manifest themselves into the mortal world and cause more chaos and discord.
- Invincible Villain: Because they can casually manipulate the flow of causality itself, they are practically untouchable and cannot be killed through conventional means. However, Guts' Dragonslayer has directly managed to harm Slan's physical manifestation, and several characters such as the Skull Knight and Schierke have speculated that the Dragonslayer has bathed itself in so much demonic blood that it is capable of harming any supernatural creature.
- The fact that the previous Godhand as seen in chapter 362 don't seem to be present in the current age implies that they can be defeated or die through some means.
- It's All About Me: They exploit the inner selfish desires of human beings in order to further drive them down the Despair Event Horizon and ultimately have them give into the temptation of sacrificing their loved ones and their humanity.
- Meaningful Name: Behelits take their namesake from Beherit, which is the Syriac name for Satan in the Satanic Bible. Also the term "Godhand" makes sense, especially if you consider the Idea of Evil canon. The Godhand aren't gods unto themselves, but in serving the Idea, collectively act as a metaphorical hand of God.
- The Omniscient: Downplayed a bit in that they acknowledge themselves not to literally know everything. What they do have is the ability to observe the world and sense the currents of destiny to a degree where they can predict just about anything, so it's a big surprise when something happens that they didn't see coming.
- Our Angels Are Different: Despite looking demonic they are referred to as Five Angels. And this isn't inaccurate, as they can be seen as the angels to the Idea of Evil's God.
- Our Demons Are Different: Quite different from the Apostles and much more powerful, even if they're created in much the same way.
- Physical God: There's nothing better to describe a Godhand who has fully incarnated to the physical realm than this trope. Femto is even able to empower Midland with magic upon reincarnating. Eventually, once Griffith crosses the astral and physical layers of reality together, they play this trope straight—they are now currently residing in the mortal world, their respective Eldritch Locations having fully manifested into Midland from their awakening.
- Pitiful Worms: They see all efforts in opposition to their own as utterly hopeless, and outright laugh at Guts' refusal to just lay down and die.
- Power of the God Hand: It's even in their name. However, turns out they play this trope straight, as they represent the power of an evil God.
- Powers That Be: They are the ones who are responsible for pulling the strings of causality upon the world, and thus the cause of so much of the utter misery that happens in that world.
- Self-Constructed Being: Since they are not part of the physical plane, the Godhand do not have physical bodies, and must manifest themselves by possessing some material (e.g. Slan possessing troll guts in order to manifest in Qliphoth). Otherwise, they have the opportunity to gain a new physical body every 1,000 years during the Incarnation Ceremony (e.g. how Griffith re-entered the human world via his reincarnation during the mock Eclipse). It is implied that through Griffith's merging of the astral and physical layers of existence they now have physical bodies and are now fully capable of interacting with the mortal world.
- Transhuman Abomination: Each of them was once a human being, save the Idea of Evil, which was spawned from the collective subconscious of all humanity.
- Vicious Cycle: The Eclipse, which happens once every 216 years, marks the birth of a new Godhand. In Chapter 362, we see a flashback to the Skull Knight's last moments, during which a previous generation of the Godhand is seen, completely different from the current one with the exception of Void, who was present. Also, every 1,000 years, a member of the Godhand can reincarnate themselves into the mortal realm.
- Villain of Another Story: Each member of the Godhand is implied to have gone through a Trauma Conga Line, similar to Griffith's, which led them down to where they are now. Void in particular is implied to have had past relations with the Skull Knight—the two of them are vicious rivals for an unknown reason.
- Was Once a Man: Just like Apostles, all members of the Godhand were once human before they ascended to demonhood.
- Winds of Destiny, Change!: Their main powers over reality.
- The Worf Effect: When we first see Guts as the Black Swordsman, he is clearly characterized as an inhumanly powerful and skilled warrior, one who can stand toe-to-toe against the demonic Apostles and win. When he's put up against the Godhand in any way, however, he's easily tossed aside like a ragdoll. It's to the point where none of the Godhand even bother trying to kill him. To them, he's so insignificant that they barely need to lift a finger to end his life.
- You Can't Fight Fate: They have control over the fates and destinies of all men, allowing the currents of causality to flow in ways they deem acceptable in order to fulfill their agendas.
Void (ボイド, Boido)
Voiced by:Unshō Ishizuka (Japanese, Berserk (1997), Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Shō, and Berserk (2016)), Shinji Ogawa (Japanese, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc), John Avner (English, Berserk (1997) & Berserk: The Golden Age Arc), Jake Eberle (English, Berserk (2016)), César Lechiguero (Spanish, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc)
The First of the Godhand.
"If fate is a principle beyond human comprehension which capriciously torments man, then it is karma that man confront fate by embracing sorcery."
The leader of the group, Void also seems to be the Skull Knight's Arch-Nemesis. Able to control dimensions and void (as his name implies), he presides over every ritual involving the birth of a new Apostle, and is the one who places the cursed Brand on those slated to be sacrificed.
The most philosophical of the Godhand members, he's also the most cynical and scornful. He resembles a nightmarish version of the aliens from Mars Attacks! with his exposed, grotesquely oversized brain, his eyes sewn shut and his lips peeled back, displaying teeth and gums.
- All-Encompassing Mantle: His floor-length black mantle completely envelops his body (or lack thereof), making him look powerful, mysterious, and in-charge.
- Arch-Enemy: The Skull Knight has the greatest personal hatred for him, and has made it the mission of his existence to foil his plans.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He is the Godhand's leader, and barring maybe Femto he is also the most powerful.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: As the first Godhand and their leader, he ties with Griffith for overall villain of the series given the Idea of Evil's lack of involvement in the main story.
- Body Horror: Aside from his head and his face, an officially licensed Figma action figure of him finally revealed that his body consists of onlyone single large spine◊ that leads to pelvis-like structure his head and arms are mounted on.
- Cape Wings: His mantle is webbed like the wings of a bat. Unlike in Femto's case, it's unclear whether Void can or even needs to use them for propulsion.
- Creepily Long Arms: Normally you can't see them due to his cloak, but his arms are long enough to stick out the bottom of his full-body coat and look creepily inhuman.
- The Dragon: Turns out that even the first Godhand is just The Dragon to The Idea of Evil.
- Evil Former Friend: Implied to have once been close to the Skull Knight before he turned into a Godhand and earned the former's enmity.
- Evil Sounds Deep: In all live media and especially in Berserk (1997) he speaks in a deep, sinister voice.
- Extra Digits: Has six fingers per hand.
- Eye Scream: His eyes are stitched shut. Not that he seems to care.
- Generation Xerox: The Skull Knight is to Void what Guts is to Griffith, essentially.
- High Collar of Doom: His mantle includes a high, sinister collar.
- Homage: Like all Godhand members, his name is a homage to sci-fi book: in his case, Frank Herbert's Destination: Void.
- It's Personal: The Skull Knight has a personal grudge against him, probably because of something from their past.
- The Leader: Is the oldest of the Godhand and first among equals.
- Meaningful Name: As his name suggests, he's the most cynical and dispassionate of the five.
- My Brain Is Big: Has a giant, nightmarish exposed brain coming out of his head. It's not just for show, since he is the oldest, wisest, and most philosophical member of the Godhand as well as their leader.
- Mysterious Past: While Femto's birth provides some basic clues as to how Slan, Ubik and Conrad ascended. Void's status as the first member makes it unclear how his version of the Eclipse went down.
- Narrator All Along: In Berserk (1997) he turns out to have been the owner of the voice delivering the "In this world" opening narration and the Next Episode Preview voiceovers.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: It is almost impossible to hurt him since he can send any physical aggression right back at the opponent using his power over space.
- Nightmare Face: Eeep! And the more you look at his face, the more you notice that, in addition to all his other "pleasant" features, he also got his nose cut off.
- The Older Immortal: Eldest member of the Godhand, and alongside the Skull Knight also the oldest being yet encountered in the manga. He is also the only member of current Godhand who was also present in its previous incarnation.
- The Philosopher: As you can tell from his opening and closing narrations, he loves to reflect upon abstract philosophical mysteries such as whether human nature is fundamentally evil, or to what extent a single man can defy his fate.
- The Power of the Void: Controls dimensions and nothingness.
- Skull for a Head: His head is basically just a skull, albeit with the top removed and the brain exposed.
- The Stoic: Unlike the rest of his cohorts, Void is unflappable and never displays sadistic amusement of any sort. His mutilated face doesn't give him much room for expression either.
- Villain of Another Story: The Skull Knight and he appear to have some unfinished business that is merely hinted at and never fully explored.
- You Can't Fight Fate: He states that he can't bring himself to believe that humans control their own fates, even with his time spent pondering on human nature.
Slan (スラン, Suran)
Voiced by:Atsuko Tanaka (Japanese, Berserk (1997) and Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Shō), Miyuki Sawashiro (Japanese, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc and Berserk and the Band of the Hawk), C.L. Jones (English, Berserk (1997) & Berserk: The Golden Age Arc), Allegra Clark (English, Berserk (2016)), Pilar Morales (Spanish, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc)
The Whore Princess.
"Love, hate, pleasure, pain, life, death. Everything is here! The true nature of Man. The true nature of Evil."
A Vamp, Slan is lascivious and Too Kinky to Torture. Similar to a succubus demon and a sado-masochist, she is the most frequently seen of the Godhand after Griffith and takes particular pleasure in tormenting Guts personally. She also owns a splinter cult of worshippers under the moniker "The Goddess of Blazes."
She appears as a practically nude woman with snake-like ropy green hair, a corset with an attached choker, a pair of large bat-like wings and the mandatory Femme Fatalons.
- Abhorrent Admirer: She makes it quite clear that she finds Guts attractive every time they meet, mostly for his strength as a warrior. Needless to say, he doesn't reciprocate.
- Bloody Bowels of Hell: When she manifests in the real world (not the Eclipse or weird dimensions) while in Qliphoth using troll intestines.
- Boobs of Steel: One of five demonic beings who warps reality by their mere presence, so she is probably the strongest female character of The 'Verse.
- Combat Sadomasochist: Loves experiencing pain during battle as much as she does inflicting it.
- Combat Tentacles: Uses her prehensile hair and giant tentacles made of troll intestines to attack Guts during her boss battle in Seima Senki no Sho.
- Contralto of Danger: Has the deepest voice of all female characters, especially in Berserk: The Golden Age Arc where her voice is sexy but also quite dismissive, and she's the most dangerous one as well.
- The Corrupter: She tries to be this to Guts, suggesting he sacrifice his comrades and use his Behelit to obtain the power to kill Femto, and torturing him when he refuses in an attempt to break him.
- Dark Action Girl: One of the few women who engages in battle. And the most evil.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Comes with being practically nude all over except for that armor/scale like corset she is wearing. Also crosses with Magical Barefooter.
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Averted. The way she molests and forces herself on Guts in the Qliphoth isn't depicted as sexy, normal or acceptable in any way, but rather as another testimony of how utterly twisted and horrible she is.
- Fan Disservice: When she manifests in Qlippoth, she is shaped like an extremely attractive woman but she used troll intestines to do so...
- Femme Fatalons: Has them, but doesn't really need them as she is one of five Physical GodBig Bads.
- Forceful Kiss: She kisses Guts during their fight at Qliphoth.
- Gorgeous Gorgon: With the shape of a beautiful woman, she's a lot more attractive than the more grotesque-looking three original male members of the God Hand. For bonus points she resembles a Gorgon with her snake-like hair.
- Homage: Her name comes from A. E. van Vogt's Slan.
- Horny Devils: An arch demon who personifies Lust, among other things.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: The rare Gender Flipped version. She took intense sexual pleasure in molesting, dominating and torturing Guts while he stood helpless in her clutches during their encounter in the Qliphoth and made it all seem like they were having sex.
- The Immodest Orgasm: When sufficiently wounded, she lets out a loud moan as if she is experiencing an orgasm.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Guts impales her with his sword during their fight at Qliphoth. She however is overjoyed by the pain he is causing her, and grabs Guts while he has her impaled and kisses him, calling him wonderful.
- In Love with Your Carnage: Of all the Godhand, she is the one with the most personal interest in Guts, being quite enamored with the violence he is singularly capable of inflicting. Slan even suggests to Void while observing Guts fighting off the Apostles during the Eclipse that Guts would make for an ideal sixth member of the God Hand, but Void puts down this idea as it goes against the laws of causality.
- Nigh-Invulnerable: Anyone able to withstand a point blank thrust from Guts's BFSand a blast from his cannon arm owns the title.
- Nightmare Fetishist: She loves receiving and inflicting pain, and sees rape as a beautiful act.
- Of Corsets Sexy: Not only an underbust corset does she wear, but a NECK corset too. Amp the sadomasochist look to eleven!
- Orgasmic Combat: When Guts impales her, this is the only effect it has.
- Red Baron: The Skull Knight calls her "Whore Princess of the Uterine Sea", though it is unclear if it is an official nickname or just an elaborate insult.
- Sex Is Violence: A firm believer and enforcer of this. Her fascination with cruelty, her being a Combat Sadomasochist and her cult which mixes orgies and debased sexuality with human sacrifices and cannibalism all attest to this.
- Shameless Fanservice Girl: She's literally almost naked except for an armor/scale like corset and doesn't mind one bit. Unlike most examples, however, this one's definitely not a fun person to be around.
- Showing Off the New Body: Seems to enjoy fondling her own breasts every time she is incarnated into a body.
- Smurfette Principle: The only known female Godhand.
- Stationary Boss: Stays put in one part of the arena during her Boss Battle in Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Shō, preferring to let her wings and Combat Tentacles do all the work.
- Statuesque Stunner: A goddess of Lust who stands at Guts' height (6+ feet) in her human form.
- "Take That!" Kiss: When it seems like Guts has finally defeated her after impaling her, she just laughs and takes great pleasure in the pain he causes her before grabbing him and kissing him, calling him wonderful.
- Tender Tears: In a very twisted way, she found beauty in the brutal rape of Casca at Femto's hands while Guts was forced to watch helplessly, describing the scene as "magnificent", so much so it brought her to tears.
- Too Kinky to Torture: You can cut her to pieces, blow off half her torso or impale her with a giant steel slab, but the only thing you'll succeed in doing is giving her an orgasm.
- The Vamp: She may appear beautiful and enticing but her only purpose is to doom any man she ensnares.
- Villainesses Want Heroes: Subverted. She desires Guts as her personal sex-toy but she has absolutely NO romantic interest in him.
- We Will Meet Again: After Guts destroys her physical manifestation in the Qliphoth, her parting words are that he will see her again.
Ubik (ユービック, Yūbikku)
Voiced by:Chafurin (Japanese, Berserk (1997), Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Shō, & Berserk: The Golden Age Arc), Christian Collingwood (English, Berserk (1997) & Berserk: The Golden Age Arc), Gabriel Pareja (Spanish, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc)
The one who speaks truth.
"When you sacrifice, you must cut yourself from Humanity..."
Ubik looks like a floating bluish face with atrophied tentacles. He is smaller than Conrad but pretty similar in appearance and stance.
Ubik's main role among the Godhand is to play Mr. Exposition in order to convince the applicant to accept their deal by delivering a breaking speech that puts them face-to-face with their past, their desires and their darkest deeds. Since he never lies, his speeches are often all the applicant needs to be pushed over the edge and accept to sell his soul and offer their loved ones as a sacrifice.
- Bald of Evil: An evil bald guy, but that's easily the least scary-looking thing about him.
- Break Them by Talking: He is a master at giving speeches that make his subject lose all hope, self-respect, and belief in their loved ones.
- Cheshire Cat Grin: His constant expression is a frightening evil grin, except when he sees that Guts is breaking through Femto's telekinetic powers in Berserk: The Golden Age Arc III, which was something he did not foresee.
- Evil Brit: He has a British accent in the English versions of the 1997 anime adaptation and the Golden Age Arc film trilogy respectively.
- Evil Genius: Relies more on his intelligence and cunning than on his strength or powers in contributing to the God Hand's designs.
- Finger-Tenting: Not so much as Conrad, but often clasps his hands while floating. Subverted in its meaning, as while his intentions are deceptive, just like all the others of his kind, he only uses the truth to get to that end.
- Manipulative Bastard: Ubik doesn't lie outright, but he manipulates the truth by presenting the darkest moments of someone's life in order to make his victim despair, and come to the conclusion that they have no choice but to make the sacrifice.
- Mind Rape: Invades his victims' memories and forces them to see the truth about themselves that they cannot bear to look at.
- Mister Exposition: As a result of his role, he often ends up explaining the backstory of whoever he's in the process of breaking.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He doles them out to prospective Apostles. To paraphrase what he says to Griffith: 'You condemned people to die and stained your hands with blood the moment you, a child in the streets, decided you wanted to get your own kingdom. Don't pretend you didn't know this was going to happen: you knew all along, and you're to blame. You climb to victory on top of the corpses of your followers. That's the way you've been all along. There's no saying sorry now, no turning back. You started this, and now you've got to see it through no matter what.'
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Compared to Conrad, who is even more of a Large Ham than he is, Ubik is more cerebral and ever-so-slightly more restrained.
- Sinister Shades: His round, black eyes look like scary sunglasses.
- Villains Never Lie: His breaking speeches are all the more devastating when the victim can't deny what he's saying, because they know it's true. That being said, however, he's not above cleverly manipulating the truth to present a distorted picture.
- What You Are in the Dark: Invokes this during his breaking speeches, often exposing a person to some secret crime from their past. He'll tell them that even if they want to seem like a good person to other people and themselves, they have always been corrupt on the inside.
Conrad (コンラッド, Konraddo)
Voiced by: Toku Nishio (Japanese, Berserk (1997)), Rikiya Koyama (Japanese, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc), Sean Schemmel (English, Berserk (1997) & Berserk: The Golden Age Arc), Alfonso Vallés (Spanish, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc)
The source of all pestilence.
"... so Causality can ruin your heart and possess your mind."
Conrad looks like a giant fat woodlouse with a puckered human face. He and Ubik are pretty similar in appearance and stance, but Conrad rarely speaks.
The least frequently seen of the Godhand, Conrad's concerns are spreading diseases, outbreaks, and pestilence in the mortal realm by using his plague-carrying rats and other vermin, which he can use to take a physical form in the real world.
- Aerith and Bob: Compared to the exotic and alien-sounding names of the rest of the Godhand, his is pretty mundane.
- Animal Motifs: Associated with rats, which are the medium he uses to spread the plague.
- Bald of Evil: Another evil bald guy.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: Conrad is content to stand in the background most of the time, but when he does speak he really makes it count. He's no less a monster than his brethren, and as a being with the power over plague and disease he could potentially be the most deadly.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: His lower body is never clearly seen, but his general body shape, particularly his shell-like tunic, makes him look like a human/woodlouse hybrid. Some images suggest he has multiple insectoid legs.
- Body Horror: His face is hideously swollen in a way that almost resembles an allergic reaction or disease. Appropriate since his specialty is disease and plague, but one wonders why he'd be content looking like that for all eternity.
- Dishing Out Dirt: He seems to be the one who creates the hand tower during the Eclipse.
- Eyes Always Shut: His keeps his eyes shut most of the time, and opens them only when he speaks, which can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
- Fat Bastard: His rotund character design evokes morbid obesity.
- Finger-Tenting: Very much like Ubik, although more noticeably than him, Conrad has the Character Tic of keeping his hands in a Prayer Pose all the time. Averted in the gesture's connotations, as Conrad talks or emotes very little.
- Four-Fingered Hands: A rare example that is neither cartoony nor comical, but for one who spreads death on a wide scale via pestilence, it's very fitting.
- His name comes from ... And Call Me Conrad by Roger Zelazny.
- His appearance is also very similar to several H. R. Giger works, a trait the rest of the Godhand share much less obviously.
- Large Ham: When Conrad finally does speak, he makes it count by being extremely loud and dramatic.
- No Indoor Voice: The few lines he does speak are delivered quite loudly.
- Perpetual Expression: His face has a constant closed-eyed pout. He doesn't even move his mouth when talking.
- Plague Master: Conrad's concern includes spreading diseases using his plague rats.
- The Quiet One: Of all the Godhand Members, he speaks the least.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Despite his more conservative looks, Conrad is an even bigger ham that Ubik and more passionate.
- Satellite Character: He doesn't have a very developed personality, and revolves around the other four Godhand members.
See Griffith's entry.
The Idea of Evil (All Spoilers Unmarked)
"Do as you will, chosen one..."
The Idea of Evil is a character only glimpsed at the very end of episode 82. Its nature was originally revealed in episode 83, "God of the Abyss (2)", but Miura subsequently asked for this episode to be omitted from the publication of volume 13, effectively removing the exposition therein from the canon. It is the Greater-Scope Villain of Berserk and a Monster Progenitor that manipulates reality itself. It controls the world through Causality but no one, save for the Godhand themselves, is aware of its existence. The only possible exceptions are the witches Flora and Schierke, the former having vaguely alluded to something beyond the Godhand existing in the deepest part of the Astral Plane in volume 24. Kentaro Miura stated in 2009 that the reason the episode was left out of volume 13 was because he "wanted Berserk's world to be revealed just that far, not any more than that. The appearance of God in the manga conclusively determines its range. [He] thought that might limit the freedom of the story development. [Miura himself doesn't] know if the Idea of Evil will show up again in the manga or not."
It is a huge monster created out of humanity's need for a reason for all their suffering. Its purpose is being responsible for the Berserk universe's awfulness and, to that end, it knows exactly what it has to do, which is offering the world what it desires in the person of a Dark Messiah: Griffith. It is the creator of all the five Godhand and they obey its orders. It appears as a giant human heart living in a faraway realm in the Astral Plane.
- As Long as There is Evil: As its name implies, its existence is intrinsically linked to the existence of Evil in humanity's consciousness.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Of humanity's desire for there to be a point to their suffering.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Especially now that the Astral Realm and the material realm have merged. The Idea isn't about making people happy; it's about being responsible for their suffering and thus giving them exactly what they wish for, regardless if it benefits the querent or not.
- Because Destiny Says So: Because the Idea of Evil says so.
- Card-Carrying Villain: The reason we know its name is because that's what it calls itself.
- A Chat with Satan: It gives a pep-talk to all of those who will become members of the Godhand before they swear allegiance to it.
- Cosmic Horror Story: It can do whatever it wants out of Reality. Although one could argue that the fact people live in a universe that runs on Clap Your Hands If You Believe is enough of one itself.
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: The whole reason why it exists. In fact, it's implied that the reason the Idea of Evil is as evil as it is because the Berserk world sucks so much that if people didn't believe there was a reason for their suffering then they wouldn't be able to go on. So they claim that it is evil which is the cause of suffering and since everyone believed that to be true, The Idea of Evil was created.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype: Many works of fiction posit on rather negative interpretations of God—such as God Is Evil, God and Satan Are Both Jerks, and God Is Flawed. The Idea of Evil is essentially both an examination and a brutal evisceration of those tropes. Of course God Is Flawed—in this world, humans are what spawned it. If God and Satan Are Both Jerks, then they might as well be the same thing. If God Is Evil, then what else can it be, if people need it to be evil in order for there to be a reason for their own suffering? And ultimately—most important of all—the Idea of Evil is a deconstruction of the notion that God is meant to be an extension of the will of man; that God is meant to cater to man's needs and wants in order to truly be considered good, and that if God doesn't adhere to men's needs, then He must be evil, and contemptuous of humanity as a whole. But the Idea of Evil exists because humans need an answer for all their suffering, and it does ultimately serve humanity in that sense. By driving humans to the pits of despair, it in turn forces them to cast aside their own humanity in the pursuit of their own selfish desires.
- Deal with the Devil: The Godhand were all instated by the Idea of Evil upon the Eclipse that happens every 216 years. If they accept the deal of the previous Godhands, the applicant gets to meet the story's Greater-Scope Villain and to hear its goals.
- Deity of Human Origin: It even calls itself "the ungodly God born from Man".
- Eldritch Abomination: Played Straight and Subverted. Despite its gruesome appearance and its otherworldly goals that even the Godhand don't completely fathom it's not an alien being older than man. Rather it is humanity's desire for there to be such a creature that made it appear.
- Evil Is Visceral: It presents itself as a horribly deformed human heart, studded with eyes.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: There is no better way to describe this being's nature than its very name.
- Foreshadowing: Although none of his nature is foreshadowed anywhere, the existence of a god-like being that rules over the Godhand has been foreshadowed several times. The very fact that the Godhand members came from humans, Slan's statement that the Godhand are not gods, and the fact that the Godhand are referred to as Five Angels, all point out to the existence of a God who created and rules over them.
- God Is Evil: Inverted. It's more Evil Is God.
- God of Evil: Not literally. People unwittingly worship it simply by wanting a cause for their suffering, but it has no formal cult.
- Gone Horribly Right: People wanted there to be a rhyme and reason to their suffering. They got it, even though they don't know that the Idea even exists, nor that it's making their lives even more miserable.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Higher than the whole of the Godhand, but has no direct interaction with Guts. In fact, it exists specifically to provide an ultimate reason for human suffering.
- The Heartless: It was born from the human beings' desire for a cause for their suffering. As long as humanity exists and believes that all pain has a reason, it will live on.
- Humans Are Flawed: Indirectly proven as a result of the Idea's mere existence. One could argue that Humans Are Bastards as a result of their desires literally spawning an entity that's Made of Evil, but that would ignore the fact that the Idea is merely a manifestation of humanity's simple wish to have an answer for all their suffering. The Idea of Evil wasn't born out of malice; it was born because the horror of the series' setting (what with the constant wars, rape, starvation, wanton murder, and bloodshed even without the presence of the Apostles) led humans to believe that the only answer to their suffering was that evil, as a concept, existed. They believed that such suffering couldn't be unless there was something causing it and by doing that, wished that something into existence.
- Loose Canon: As explained above, the Idea's sole appearance* Barring the very last page of chapter 82, where it could simply be part of the scenery without the context of the excised chapter. was excised from the volume it would have appeared in because it gave a lot away, but at the same time, it is still alluded to vaguely, suggesting that the Idea itself has not become an extracanonical character.
- Made of Evil: It is the incarnation of the human concept of evil.
- Monster Progenitor: It is the creator of the Godhand and, through them, the creator of Apostles as well. It is hinted throughout the story that it also has a connection to Behelits. Whether or not it has a role in their creation and attribution is still unknown.
- Orcus on His Throne: Doesn't act directly to stop Guts and his group, nor does it seem to really care about them at all. At least at the moment.
- Satanic Archetype: Played with. The Idea of Evil, despite its name, doesn't want to bring humanity to its doom by actively plotting against humans. It only gives people what they desire the most, especially if there's a chance for said desire to completely blow up in the person's face.
- Tulpa: A God created by humanity subconsciously wanting there to be a reason for their suffering.
- Ultimate Evil: We only catch a brief, unclear glimpse of it in the main work.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Not the Idea itself; humanity as a whole wanted an answer for all the suffering present in their world, and in doing so unintentionally birthed a creature that would make the world even worse than it already had been.
- Walking Spoiler: You can't know about it without purposely looking for the episode it happened in. And indeed, said episode explains just how the Berserk-verse works.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Possibly one of the most ridiculous examples of this trope in all of fiction. It simply wants to give people what they want, an explanation for their suffering, and intends to accomplish this by being the cause of their suffering by initiating countless atrocities.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Invoked and Subverted. On one hand, the Idea's will seems to always take form sooner or later through the laws of Causality. On the other hand, free will does seem to exist for the Idea... but it will just rearrange the events in order for the individual to take a route that will serve the Idea's goals no matter what.
Powerful demonic monsters who (mostly) obey the orders of the Godhand, Apostles are all former human beings who each once possessed one of the Artifacts of Doom known as Beherits. Upon reaching a Despair Event Horizon that activated their Beherit and summoned the Godhand to them, they made a Deal with the Devil to get an immortal body and the freedom to follow their depraved urges as long as they obey their masters. In exchange they sacrificed the person dearest to them as an offering to be devoured, and are damned to eternity in the vortex of souls when they die. Every Apostle has two forms: a humanoid one that would let them pass as human if not for some clear deformity or Red Right Hand, and a completely monstrous One-Winged Angel form that they usually unleash when a fight gets serious.
Apostles come in many shapes, sizes, and strengths, and demonstrate a wide variety of supernatural abilities. What they have in common is that they are much tougher and stronger than normal humans, and seem to have indefinite lifespans unless they are killed. Most are sadistic predators who massacre and eat humans, and many are hideously ugly or even types of Eldritch Abomination. However, not all Apostles necessarily eat humans and the leaders of the new Band of the Hawk covered in Berserk: Band of the Hawk are scary but less ugly in their Apostle forms.
When they die their bodies revert to their original human form from before they became Apostles, and their souls are Dragged Off to Hell by the vengeful spirits of their victims.
A great legion of Apostles, including those listed here, participated in the massacre of the original Band of the Hawk during the Eclipse, as part of a ceremony inducting Griffith into the Godhand as their fifth member. This is what forms the impetus of Guts' unyielding rage towards the Godhand and all those who act in accordance to their will.
- All for Nothing: Probably the worst part of becoming an Apostle: It doesn't fix anything. Rosine and the Count still want to be loved, Wyald is crippled by his fear of death, the Egg regrets not having met someone like Mozgus while he was alive to help him and even Ganishka for all his power is still on the verge of a breakdown due to fear and paranoia. Being turned into a monster is just a quick way to change the subject after hitting rock bottom but it doesn't mean the Apostles won't hit it again (and given the Godhand's relation with causality they already know it will happen).
- Always Chaotic Evil: Played with. A key requirement to even becoming an Apostle involves throwing away your humanity to make gut-wrenching sacrifices of the ones you love all for a second-chance at overcoming one's own nadir moment. Because more often than not the would-be Apostle would have to have lost their hopes, futures and just about any chance of truly being anything but miserable ever again, it's bound that nearly anyone would make the decision to sacrifice their loved ones for an easy fix to the problem. That said, despite the inherently-human conundrum that causes humans to become Apostles, the ones we've seen have all been - barringsomeexceptions - vile, repugnant and unrepentantly evil while using their powers to prey on other humans. Even if it's doubtless that becoming an Apostle attracts a certain breed of individual who fell to despair rather than any moral disposition to good or evil, given the portrayal of most Apostles that Guts fights over the course of the story, it's not hard to see why he was once - and to an extent, still is - so single-minded about the extermination of all Apostles, good or bad.
- Animorphism: Many Apostle forms are monstrous versions of existing animals. Wyald becomes a Gorilla, Rosine a Moth, the Count a slug, the Baron a Cobra, etc.
- Arc Villain: Most of the major apostles feature as the main antagonist of a chapter or arc in the first half of the series. The Snake Baron was the main villain of the first episode The Black Swordsman, The Count of The Guardians of Desire, Rosine of Lost Children, and the Egg of the Perfect World of Birth Ceremony.
- Attack Its Weak Point: Apostles are superhumanly durable regardless of where you hit them, but if you want to put them down and keep them down, going for their still-human bits is generally your best move. As a result, most Apostle battles involve finding this vulnerable area and inflicting the most serious damage you can on it.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Their deals with demons will lead them straight down to Hell, regardless of whatever goodness may remain deep in their hearts.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: The nobler Apostles — particularly the more knightly members of the Neo Band of the Hawk — are notably much easier on the eyes than the more despicable ones. Contrast Locus and Irvine with the Count and Wyald.
- The Cameo: Several Apostles that Guts has encountered in his time as the Black Swordsman can be seen during the events leading up to the Eclipse.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: Apostles were a major threat early in the series, with Guts needing to fight with everything he had to kill one, and there were points during his fights with the Snake Baron, the Snail Count, and Rosine where they could have killed him if not for outside interference or Evil Gloating. Now that all the Apostles in the world are serving Griffith, they've been demoted to Elite Mooks. Justified, since Guts has the Berserker Armor, which makes him much stronger and brings out his Superpowered Evil Side. A good downplaying of this is the events of the Eclipse, where hundreds of Apostles gather and absolutely massacre the Band of the Hawk, including most of its named members. Although Casca at least survives and Guts does put up a pretty admirable fight against the massive horde and kills several with broken or even improvised weapons, they still overwhelm him and give him probably the worst beating he's ever taken in the series, including taking one of his eyes and one of his hands.
- Deal with the Devil: Every Apostle is born by making one of these with the Godhand.
- Despair Event Horizon: In order to become an Apostle, you have to have reached the lowest point of your life in order to activate that neato Beherit.
- Dragged Off to Hell: This is what happens to any Apostle who dies in the series. It's the price you pay for dealing with demons.
- Evil Makes You Monstrous: Part of the package: take the Sacrifice, and be reborn as a demon. How monstrous their base form is varies from Apostle to Apostle, but even the more humanoid ones embody this after going One-Winged Angel.
- Full-Frontal Assault: Their Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing, so they destroy their clothing when taking their demon form. Some of them, like Rosine or the Unnamed Female Apostle, go naked anyways in their human forms.
- The Hedonist: The Apostles are given only one instruction by the Godhand: do as one pleases. Which bodes poorly for anyone in their wake.
- Humanoid Abomination: Each one has a form that's generally more human-like in appearance, but there's often something very off about it.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: You become an Apostle by sacrificing someone you truly care about to the Godhand in your greatest moment of despair, in an effort to Never Be Hurt Again. Despite events playing out largely according to the Godhand's will in the grand scheme of things, you're ultimately the one to make the choice in the end. The fact that so many Apostles are seen throughout the series just hammers home how easy it is for human beings to cast aside their loved ones for their own selfish desires.
- On the flipside, there are a few things about the Apostles which posit that Humans Are Flawed, but ultimately are good by nature. To elaborate, living in the Berserk world sucks. It's a Dark Fantasy world that runs on Clap Your Hands If You Believe and Your Mind Makes It Real, so while not rampant until the Fantasia Arc, there are still horrible supernatural creatures around that prey on humanity, compounded by the general ignorance of the populace and the influence of a corrupt, zealous church. In spite of all this, as it's more or less stated that all the Apostles barring a few exceptions are gathered under Griffith, it is shown that there aren't that many Apostles when compared to the Earth's population. This in turn implies most people don't give into despair despite how hard their lives may be. The Apostles that are explored in depth are clearly outliers and not a typical sample of humanity as a whole, and even after their transformation are still capable of possessing conscience, honor, and nobility. Lastly, even the existence of the Idea of Evil proves humanity as a whole has an ingrained sense of right and wrong, because if people didn't believe in good or evil or that there was no purpose to anything, then everybody would have either committed suicide or humanity as a race would be a bunch of amoral entities.
- If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten!: A horrifyingly twisted example; if you want to become an Apostle, prove your mettle by sacrificing someone you love to demons.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Many Apostles are not above chowing down on their former species.
- Immortality: Largely implied to be The Ageless, but even then it's a bit blurry, such as the case of Zodd who is in From a Single Cell territory.
- Implacable Man: Almost every Apostle, natural or pseudo, is a nigh-indestructible powerhouse who won't give up until the Black Swordsman is dead, which makes it twice as chilling that Griffith now commands a whole army of them.
- Ironic Name: Western culture usually associates the word apostle with the followers of Jesus in the Bible. These Apostles follow inverted principles, however—serving a Satanic Archetype in Griffith as opposed to a Messianic Archetype, unless you're willing to count Griffith's status as a Dark Messiah.
- It's All About Me: The Godhand visit recipients of Beherits in their greatest moment of despair, giving them an easy out by way of transforming them into demons, in turn hardening their hearts away from pain. A great many choose to become demons because it's quite easy to want a painless life in the face of torment and despair—even at the cost of your loved ones.
- It's Personal: Guts bears a huge grudge against all of the Apostles for the events during the Eclipse.
- The Juggernaut: Every Apostle is many times tougher than your average human, meaning that they are all quite hard to kill or even slow down.
- Karma Houdini Warranty: It is certain that anyone who makes the deal to become an Apostle will be sent to Hell upon death, and be trapped forever in a vortex of souls where the very essence of their being gets stripped away. Thing is, Apostles are virtually immortal, and though they can be killed, doing so basically requires an army. And, if we're looking at specific cases, like Nosferatu Zodd, then perhaps not even that will be enough.
- Kill the Ones You Love: You are required to sacrifice the soul of someone you truly care for to the Godhand in order to complete your transformation into an Apostle.
- Moment of Weakness: When details about the Deal with the Devil are shown, not only was the future Apostle desperate to remove the pain but the loved one to be used as sacrifice was likely the cause of this pain as well.
- Morphic Resonance: Most Apostles have a few parts of them that are still clearly their human parts, usually their face, somewhere on their body. In many cases, this effectively results in an Apostle having two heads. Additionally, Apostles tend to show signs of their demonic form even when assuming a mostly human body.
- Never Be Hurt Again: Invoked. Since the Beherits will appear to chosen people in their most desperate hour, it's only natural that most willingly sacrifice their loved ones in order to never succumb to physical and/or emotional vulnerability.
- One-Winged Angel: When an Apostle wants to eat someone, horrify someone before eating them, or take the gloves off when their regular form isn't enough, they'll take on their true monstrous demonic form.
- Our Demons Are Different: Every Apostle is different, owing to the fact that every one of them was once human and the circumstances surrounding their Despair Event Horizon are all different. They are not in the business of punishing sinners like many demons, but in doing whatever they please at the behest of the Godhand, their master. It is possible to kill them with physical weapons, but we wish you the best of luck on that.
- Personality Powers: It's suggested that an Apostle's abilities are somewhat dependent on why they made the pact in the first place. This is noticeable with the Slug Count, who wanted to rid himself of the pain of loss and so became monstrously durable, and Rosine, who wanted to become an elf and assumed a highly elflike form, and especially the Egg of the Perfect World, who is little more than a receptacle for what he wanted.
- Power Perversion Potential: Since the Apostles are given unimaginable demonic power, many lack moral scruples or inhibitions because they are largely unbound by societal consequences. After all, they are told to do as they wish, and it would be difficult to do whatever they wish if they had not the abilities to say, escape prison or evade the authorities.
- Red Right Hand: Even in human form, they're clearly not entirely human; the Baron has fangs, Wyald looks like an ape, Rosine still has wings and long ears, Zodd is a ten foot tall demon thing that disguises himself as an eight foot tall ogre thing... the Count gets off easiest since he just gets fatter.
- See You in Hell: Likely a literal case! Anyone who has "dealings with demons" is said to be trapped within the Vortex of Souls, AKA Hell. This includes those the Apostles sacrificed to become their demonic selves. And since Apostles also go to Hell when they die, they're basically having a reunion with old friends. A very, very horrifying reunion where your identity is stripped away and your soul's trapped in an undulating tornado of souls, forever and ever and ever...
- Super Strength: While the extent varies, and there are a few particularly notorious powerhouses, all Apostles are superhumanly strong, and get even stronger in their full demonic forms. In fact, being able to even approach Apostles in strength is part of what makes Guts so abnormal.
- Super Toughness: Another automatic Apostle superpower. There's a reason Guts lugs around the Dragonslayer - there aren't many smaller weapons that can significantly hurt an Apostle, let alone kill them.
- Tragic Villain: Played with. As a requirement for getting the job, all apostles went through events horrible enough to make them sacrifice that which they loved most in order to attain power, but most of them are so horrible that they lose any possibility of sympathy from the audience. Payed straight with a couple of them, however, such as Rosine and the Egg of the Perfect World.
- This Was His True Form: Whenever an Apostle dies, in addition to their soul being Dragged Off to Hell, the body reverts to what he or she looked like when he or she was still human. This also applies to any Apostle spawns that they create, which has gotten Guts into trouble in the past.
- Tin Man: The process to become an Apostle requires you to consign the soul of someone you genuinely care for to the gates of Hell—in turn hardening your heart to the suffering of others and utterly removing your humanity. At least, that's what the Godhand tells you. However, some Apostles such as The Count and Rosine have shown the ability to love specific people and feel regret for sacrificing their loved ones despite having supposedly gotten rid of all those feelings, making it seem like their capacity for mercy and compassion is not so much completely removed as it is forgotten or repressed.
- Unishment: Zigzagged. It's made perfectly clear that any who willingly become an Apostle will be sentenced to Hell upon death. A grim fate, surely, but since Apostles are pretty much impervious to natural causes of death, and most conventional weapons barely even damage them, it's not hard to see why many of them aren't so worried about dying. Then they meet Guts, and suddenly things go very, very poorly for them.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Most Apostles as well as their Spawn have the power to swap between humanoid and monstrous forms. Oddly, the Godhand themselves never show this ability.
- Was Once a Man: Every single Apostle was once human.
Unnamed Female Apostle
"You fell into my trap, fool! This is your last taste of heaven before I send you to hell!"
The very first Apostle that Guts kills in the manga, the unnamed female Apostle appears as a beautiful naked blonde human woman who entices men to enter into her embrace before assuming her monstrous Apostle form and devouring them alive. During the Eclipse, she is the Apostle responsible for eating Corkus. When she tries the same thing with Guts in the very first scene of the manga when he's having sex with her, Guts sticks his Arm Cannon into her mouth before unceremoniously blowing her brains out the back of her head with one blast.
- Boom, Headshot!: Guts kills her by blowing her brains out the back of her head with his Arm Cannon.
- Death by Irony: Hilariously enough, she dies in the same circumstances as her victims: she gets her head blasted off when having sex with Guts.
- Death by Sex: Most of her victims get eaten while having sex with her, but Guts manages to kill her instead.
- Demoted to Extra: Berserk (2016) removes her appearance at the beginning of the Black Swordsman Arc, where she had spoken lines and more importance in the manga, but she gets a non-speaking appearance in Episode 4's Eclipse flashback.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Many fans feel that Guts' having sex with her is out-of-character, since he is otherwise incredibly faithful to Casca. In a Watsonian versus Doylist analysis, the Doylist explanation is that Miura had very little of Guts' backstory planned out in advance when he started writing and didn't come up with Casca and the Band of the Hawk until later on. At the same time, fans have tried to come up with various Watsonian explanations: Some suggest that he might have been influenced by the beginnings of his Beast of Darkness, while others say he pretended to fall into her trap in order to lower her guard. This may be why she was Demoted to Extra in adaptations.
- Fan Disservice: Her true form is as hideous as her human form is alluring.
- Horny Devils: She is a demon who uses sex to lure men into her clutches.
- Literal Maneater: A female monster who uses the sexual attractiveness of her humanoid form to lure in and eat male humans.
- Peek-a-Bangs: The bangs that cover one eye in her human form make her look sultry and sexy, but also hint that she is deceitful.
- Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Even lower than the Baron on the demonic totem-pole. She's practically a mook to Guts.
- The Vamp: She looks like a beautiful woman and lures men into her clutches so she can eat them alive.
- Xenomorph Xerox: Her One-Winged Angel form that eats men is basically a xenomorph with boobs.
The Snake Baron
Voiced by: Kan Tokumaru (Japanese, Berserk (1997)), Lex Wutas (English, Berserk (1997)), Joaquín Gómez (Spanish, Berserk (1997)), Hiroo Sasaki (Japanese, Berserk and the Band of the Hawk)
"Gold... prisoners... I don't care about such things. All I wish to see are humans within a fiery apocalypse. Trying to escape. All I wish to hear is the sound of snapping bones crushed under the hooves of horses. I don't even need an excuse. None at all..."
The first Apostle introduced in Berserk (1997) and the second to be introduced in the manga, The Baron leads a wicked band of soldiers headquartered in Koka castle who oppress the population of the outlying city. The mayor pays him tribute in gold and sacrificial prisoners—including women and children—in exchange for restraining his men from attacking.
He makes no attempt to justify his actions, saying that he simply revels in death and destruction, and his backstory is never revealed. He wears snake-themed full plate armor when he goes rampaging, and his true Apostle form is that of a huge humanoid cobra with a human face inside its mouth.
He's the very first Apostle to mention that Guts is indeed a common foe to all Apostles.
- Adapted Out: He was cut out of Berserk (2016) in the process of compressing the Black Swordsman Arc. Also, while in the manga he was seen by some lumberjacks in the woods before the Eclipse, the third Golden Age Arc movie replaces him in said scene by a gigantic version of the Unnamed Female Apostle.
- Ax-Crazy: His rampages reveal him as nothing more than a violent sadist that gets a kick out of wanton massacres.
- Battle Amongst the Flames: The Baron's evil rampage through the village turns into this when Guts shows up.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Receives it at Guts' hands after he gets cut in half. Guts questions him about the Godhand, but the Baron claims he doesn't know. In any case, Guts wanted to show him how his victims felt: helpless and in unbearable pain, but still afraid of death and desperately wanting to survive.
- Dirty Coward: As long as he was convinced he was invulnerable, he killed and terrorized without fearing any consequences. When Guts proves to him that he can be killed after all, he pleads for the mercy that he would never have granted to his victims. Guts doesn't give him any.
- Eats Babies: Drinks the blood of a child impaled on his halberd during his rampage through the town, as if to show just how much of a monster he is.
- Evil Gloating: Before eating Guts, he simply cannot resist rubbing his superiority in Guts' face. This gives Guts exactly the chance he needed to unload his shiny Arm Cannon right in the Baron's face.
- Fangs Are Evil: Obligatory for a snake villain.
- Flat Character: His whole personality is that he is unapologetically sadistic and evil. As the very first real enemy Guts has in the manga, he sets the tone for demons to come in this series.
- For the Evulz: He enjoys the suffering of humans and does not pretend to have any other reason for his actions.
- I'm a Humanitarian: As a monster who dines on human flesh, he demands tribute from the lord mayor including cartloads of women and children to serve at his table.
- Karmic Death: Guts blows him to pieces, tortures him, and leaves him to burn to death in the flames of his own evil rampage. The Apostle who loved the sound of his victims' screaming gives the same satisfaction to his own killer, and dies shrieking in agony.
- Lean and Mean: Tall, thin, and deeply malevolent.
- Looks Like Orlok: Resembles the silent film vampire of yore, only he has more snake traits than vampire or rat traits.
- Loves the Sound of Screaming: His quote tells you all you need to know about him.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: Falls victim to this at the hands of Guts. Guts intentionally made his death as drawn out and painful as possible, but if anyone ever deserved to die in such a way it was the Baron.
- Pointy Ears: His pointy ears make him look inhuman and villainous.
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Leads his men on a rampage through the town where they set the buildings on fire and slaughter people in the streets. He doesn't really care about loot, however; he just delights in the carnage.
- Scaled Up: His One-Winged Angel form is that of a gigantic humanoid snake. In this shape he comes close to killing the Black Swordsman, up until Guts unloads his cannon-arm right in his face at point blank range.
- Smug Snake: Quite literally, as his true form is also a giant snake. He did not consider Guts to be a real threat even though he was rumored to have killed multiple Apostles, and this overconfidence causes his downfall.
- Sorting Algorithm of Evil: As demons go, he's one of the weaker ones compared to some of Guts's other enemies.
- Snakes Are Sinister: He's a snake apostle who is definitely evil and sinister.
- Spikes of Villainy: His armor's gauntlets, knees, and elbows end in spikes, as if he wasn't Obviously Evil enough already.
- Starter Villain: The first major Apostle that Guts fights in the manga.
- Tin Tyrant: Wears extravagantly evil full armor when he rides out, complete with villainous spikes and a cobra-shaped helmet that puts his face in shadow except for his terrifying eyes and fanged mouth.
- Tail Slap: In snake form, he wrecks Guts with his powerful tail. His mistake was not finishing him right then.
- Villainous Breakdown: Once Guts fells him to the ground and begins to torture him with his crossbow, he wretchedly wails in pain and begs for mercy.
- Weapon of Choice: Favors a large halberd when he's in human form.
The Slug Count
Voiced by: Kouzou Douzaka (Japanese, Berserk and the Band of the Hawk)
The Count's human Form.
"Well, you're a formidable opponent. But you're still just a human."
The ruler of a county centered around a castle town and the father of Theresia, the Count (伯爵 Hakushaku) is the third Apostle to appear in the manga. In contrast to the barely introduced Female Apostle and the flatly depicted Baron of Koka Castle, he is a complex villain with a developed Backstory.
Once the benevolent ruler of his fief and a strong opponent to paganism, discovering his beloved wife wallowing in a pagan orgy made him completely lose it. As a result, he sold his soul to the Godhand and tore his wife apart in his first act as an Apostle. As a result of having becoming indebted to the Godhand, he has turned into an utter tyrant. Despite everything, he still cares for his daughter and keeps her sheltered in her room, bringing her gifts and trinkets as twisted expressions of his fatherly love.
He appears as a morbidly obese man as a human, and then as a giant slug as an Apostle. Chronologically, he first appears, along with Rosine, at the onset of the Eclipse and is responsible for the slaughter of the wounded camp of the original Hawks. His fight with Guts also introduces the Godhand for the first time in the manga and explains a lot about the way Apostles and the Godhand are interconnected.
- Adipose Rex: A severely obese noble and Villainous Glutton. This one's mostly down to his transformation, though; before that point, he was still overweight, but at a pretty reasonable level.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Possibly before becoming an Apostle—depending on who you ask, but definitely after.
- Bald of Evil: One of his attributes, although he was totally bald even before he became an Apostle.
- Church Militant: When he was a human he led crusades against pagans and heretics, which is why the discovery that his wife engaged in pagan orgies hit him so hard. He keeps up the pretense of piety
- Combat Compliment: When Guts first approaches the Count on his throne, he senses the Count's appendage about to burst up from beneath the stairs and stabs it with the Dragon Slayer. The Count says, "Nicely Countered." In their fight, Guts manages to hit the Count's only weak point—his face—but it turns out to only be a graze, and he gets struck down in response. The Count tells Guts that his loss was inevitable because of the difference in their power, but that he's a first-rate warrior, and ought to die proudly knowing that at least he managed to inflict one blow.
- Demoted to Extra: Gets his villain arc passed over in the part of Berserk (2016) where it would have happened, in the interest of spending as little screen time on the Black Swordsman Arc as possible. He still appears in a non-speaking role in flashbacks of the Eclipse.
- Despair Event Horizon: The exact moment that he despaired was when he tried to kill his wife for betraying him but found he could not bring himself to do it, and saw her smile knowingly in triumph. His despair, however, activated his Behelit and summoned the Godhand. Thinking he had nothing to lose, he sold his soul to become an Apostle and messily devoured his wife.
- Dragged Off to Hell: With the help off the victims whose lives he destroyed, including the vengeful spirit of Vargas himself.
- Early-Bird Cameo: He and Rosine were responsible for the slaughter of the Band of the Hawks' wounded camp that Rickert witnessed and barely escaped.
- Establishing Character Moment: We first see him presiding over the execution of a young woman who tearfully protests her innocence, sitting on his throne enjoying the spectacle with a cup of wine. When asked by Dahl whether the number of executions might be excessive, he replies that he wants anyone suspicious arrested as a heretic and punished. This establishes him as a corrupt and greedy Evil Overlord who oppresses his subjects under the hypocritical excuse of religion and justice, and whose own minions are afraid of him.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He genuinely loves his daughter, Theresia, which is his only saving grace.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": His subjects call him "the Count" and his daughter calls him "Father". We never do learn his name.
- Evil Makes You Ugly: As a human, he looked plain, as he wasn't pretty or ugly, but getting turned into an Apostle made it looked like he died and now a demon is wearing his skin.
- Evil Overlord: He becomes one after accepting the Godhand's offer.
- Evil Parents Want Good Kids: He takes extreme measures to guard Theresia from the evils of the world, keeping her inside so that she won't be exposed to heretics or find out the truth about him and her mother.
- Fat Bastard: His morbid obesity is a sign of his greed and depravity after his transformation. Before that he was still fat but less so, and also more sympathetic.
- Feudal Overlord: Since he pretty much rules the place, and neither the Pope or any other authority has much jurisdiction there, he oppresses his subjects with impunity.
- Fool for Love: Sometimes, you really can't help but feel sorry for this poor, sadistic asshole. He was a militant Knight Templar, but he truly did love his wife, and when he found out about her little "secret" his world understandably came crashing down. It even makes you wonder if she ever really loved him back.
- A Glass of Chianti: He enjoys a cup of wine while watching a young woman's execution.
- Hidden Depths: Your first impression of the Count gets an unexpected twist when he visits Theresia, showing that for all his monstrousness there is someone he cares about.
- I'm a Humanitarian: He eats those unable to withstand his "experiments".
- Hydra Problem: When Guts slices off one of his appendages, it immediately grows back; like Zondark, the only way to kill him is to cut off his human face.
"It's futile. No matter how many times you chop off my arms and legs! Each time you cut them off, my body becomes stronger! It grows bigger and bigger! A mere sword can't possibly destroy me!"
- Hypocrite: During his reign of terror as an Apostle, he publicly claims to be conducting his executions for the sake of his people's safety and religious purity. While he once believed in this motivation a long time ago, he has since stopped caring about anything except his own pleasure in torture and cannibalism, and is just as religiously deviant as the heretics since he sold his soul to the closest thing the Berserk verse has to the Devil.
- Interrupted Suicide: He was about to fatally thrust his own sword into his throat when the Godhand appeared and offered to take away his despair.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Heavily downplayed; he was still fairly fat and unattractive as a human, but he looked a lot better than he did after becoming an Apostle.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Messily killing his wife to secure his transformation into an Apostle would have been a horrendous thing to do, but her enjoyment in betraying him, crushing him to the point where he almost killed himself as well as ensuring that he would make the deal in the first place certainly dampens the pity felt for her demise.
- Karma Houdini: In both anime adaptations, due to the "Guardians of Desire" storyline being removed, he goes unpunished for having feasted on the Hawks before and during the Eclipse.
- Knight Templar: He is implied to have been this before becoming an Apostle, as he often led hunts for pagans and heretics and believed he was doing the right thing. After his transformation though he he started torturing and killing for kicks, not even caring whether his victims were heretics or innocent.
- Knight Templar Parent: And he becomes this after becoming an Apostle, partially to protect Theresia from the evils of the world, and partially to protect her from the Awful Truth.
- Losing Your Head: Although he would have eventually died if left to his own devices, he manages to cling to life for quite a long time after Guts decapitates him, even retaining the ability to speak.
- Mad Scientist: He used his subjects as guinea pigs for "experimentation".
- Pet the Dog: Even as he continues to kill and devour his people, he earnestly wants to protect the safety and innocence of his daughter, and brings her Puck as a present to ease her loneliness. He eventually refuses to sacrifice his daughter in order to escape death, even though this means his eternal damnation.
- Redemption Equals Death: Pretty literally, in his case. His decision to not sacrifice his daughter, his most selfless act since becoming an Apostle, was what caused him to be dragged off to Hell.
- Super Toughness: He's one of the most durable Apostles, and takes a lot of punishment before going down, even remaining conscious as a mangled head for a while. He suggests that he can both regenerate and Feel No Pain, as well. This makes sense, as his reason for becoming an Apostle was to rid himself of the pain of losing his wife.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Before his transformation he was overweight and unattractive, but had a famously beautiful wife. At least he was a lot less ugly and obese than after he became as an Apostle, as Ubrik mentioned.
Voiced by: Kunihiro Kawamoto (Japanese, Berserk and the Band of the Hawk)
"Stand against me! We're gonna have FUN!!!"
Sent by the King of Midland after the Hawks after the Bakiraka fail to prevent Griffith's escape, the bestial Apostle Wyald (ワイアルド Waiarudo) looks like a cross between human and ape. Nothing is known of his past before he became the leader of the Black Dog Knights, the most savage and brutal force in Midland. They consist of murderers and rapists who have been banished from the land but spared on the condition that they fight for Midland's King.
Perverted, hedonistic, evil to the point of stupidity and a bit of a Leeroy Jenkins, his motto is "Make it fun, make it stimulating!" He rules over his troops through terror, threatening to kill anyone who doesn't charge blindly into the battle just like he does, regardless of the danger. Believing himself invincible, he is extremely surprised to find his match in Guts and the Band of the Hawk.
His Apostle form is that of an enormous three-eyed ape monster with a second large mouth at the level of his shoulders. Ironically, his human form is that of a frail old man, as shown after Zodd comes personally to rip him in half in order to stop him from interfering with the imminence of the Eclipse.
- Adaptation Personality Change: Berserk and the Band of the Hawk removes his Serial Rapist trait (for what should be fairly obvious reasons) and plays up his hammy showboating and irreverent attitude, turning him into a Bloody HilariousFighting Clown.
- Adapted Out: Was taken out and replaced with a generic human knight in Berserk (1997) who was given some of his lines about how Griffith was beyond crippled. The studio considered including him in Berserk: The Golden Age Arc III, but ultimately they had to economize by leaving him out. He finally makes his big adaptation debut in Berserk and the Band of the Hawk, as a playable character no less!
- Animal Motifs: Wyald's negative characteristics are symbolized by his resemblance to an ape. He is inhumanly strong, sexually incontinent, and resembles a human enough to be seen as distinctly sub-human in behavior and morality.
- Army of Thieves and Whores: He leads the Black Dog Knights, a unit that exclusively recruits convicts who would otherwise be exiled, imprisoned or executed.
- Asshole Victim: His utterly contemptible behaviour and personality don't elicit much pity from anyone when Zodd unceremoniously dispatches him.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Successfully Invoked when he persuaded the King of Midland to make whichever convict proved himself the toughest the leader of the Black Dog Knights, winning the position by giving his opponent such a Cruel and Unusual Death that nobody else dared to challenge him. Also Deconstructed in that he has no qualification to lead besides being the strongest fighter, causing his men to die by using Leeroy Jenkins tactics and killing anyone who annoys him.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: His One-Winged Angel form is a giant ape.
- Ax-Crazy: He's a friggin' hedonist who kills and rapes 24/7 For the Evulz.
- Bad Boss: Kills his own underlings on a regular basis to remind them who's boss, because he was in a bad mood, or just for the hell of it. He takes this trope to self-defeating extremes, and it's the reason why the Black Dog Knights are so evil. Wyald's minions fear their boss so much they prefer to throw themselves head first on Guts' sword, and it's clear that they would desert him if not for how he'd punish them if they tried.
- Bare-Handed Blade Block: Gives Guts an Oh, Crap! moment by stopping his sword hand in mid-swing and almost crushing it with his grip. Downplayed in that he did this instead of grabbing the blade itself, but he makes up for it by using his teeth next. The last time he tries this doesn't go so well: When Guts ambushes him from the trees, Wyald stops the sword by taking it through his open palm, but the sword breaks in the middle so that Guts reaches his head and stabs him in the neck with what's left on the hilt.
- Belly Mouth: His Apostle form has a giant second mouth at chest level, which he uses to devour a horse and rider at the same time. It also houses his hideous 'tongue'.
- The Brute: A huge, dimwitted, and incredibly strong henchman for the King of Midland who gets sent after the Hawks after the Bakiraka fail.
- Calling Your Attacks: Shouts the names of his 'techniques' as he attacks, such as "WYAAAAALLD JUMP! WYAAAAALD BACKFIST!"
- Card-Carrying Villain: He's evil and he LOOOOVES it.
- Carry a Big Stick: Favours a crude club in both his forms - and by 'crude', we mean that he'll happily use uprooted trees as weapons.
- Catchphrase: His motto as The Hedonist is "Excitement! Enjoyment!" He makes his men repeat it to indoctrinate them.
- I Control My Minions Through...: Wyald controls his mooks through a combination of fear, sadism, and power. He became leader of the Black Dog Knights in the first place by killing the other guy who fought him for it in a gruesome and inexplicable manner, such that no one dared to challenge him afterwards. This overlaps with Authority, since the King of Midland appointed him as their leader upon seeing that he was the strongest. Since then, Wyald's minions have obeyed even his most unreasonable orders for fear that he will kill them at the slightest excuse. He also appeals to their sadism by letting them rape and kill as much as they want, but they undoubtedly follow him mainly because he would kill them if they hesitated.
- Dead Guy on Display: Not only does he rape and murder a young woman who helped the Hawks, but he also kills every one of the innocents with her, and then carries their naked dismembered bodies on poles into battle with the Hawks.
- Dirty Coward: Despite unjustly killing countless people, and forcing his own subordinates to ride into battle without any concern for their own survival, he becomes terrified when faced with his own mortality and contemptibly grovels for his life before Zodd kills him.
- Dragged Off to Hell: After Zodd rips his body apart, the ghastly arms of tormented spirits come out of the wound and drag him to his damnation in the vortex of souls.
- Due to the Dead: The disgraceful way that Wyald and his men treat their victims' corpses is yet another sign of their villainy.
- Dumb Muscle: Though super-strong and not a force to be taken lightly, Wyald certainly is one of the dumbest apostles on the scale. He substitutes brute force for skill, and never plans or thinks ahead.
- Establishing Character Moment: Wyald is introduced having an orgy with dozens of women when a the messenger brings the king of Midland's orders. As he gets to the end with the woman he's with, he chokes her until she's about to pass out and discards her when he's finished. This establishes him as a hedonist Psycho for Hire and sets the tone for the rest of his appearance.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: While Wyald is beyond redemption by the time of his story, in order for him to have even become an apostle, he had to have sacrificed a loved one to the god hand. Although, given how bad he is in his story appearance, he was probably never a nice person.
- Evil Old Folks: Before becoming an apostle, Wyald was an old man. After Zodd kills him, he turns back to his original form, much to everyone's surprise.
- Eyes Do Not Belong There: In Apostle form, his ape body has three extra large eyes in unnatural places: One above his giant mouth and one on each of his giant shoulders.
- Eye Scream: Guts cuts Wyald's ape body's middle eye with his sword, and then one of his real eyes with his dagger.
- Faux Affably Evil: Has a tendency to sometimes talk friendly with certain people such as the Midland King, when it's clearly obvious he's nothing more then a depraved psychopath who's enjoying every moment of it. He even "apologizes" for roughing up Casca while preparing to rape her to death, and to Guts while attempting to hunt down and kill him.
Wyald: Bad. Bad. It's been 100 years since I've had to suffer such misery. I'm sorry I got so mad. Hey... Why don't you come out... I will kill you painlessly...
- Fighting Clown: He's got a tendency to treat violence as a fun game in the manga, but it's generally played more for horror than comedy. Berserk and the Band of the Hawk, on the other hand, plays him entirely for dark comedy - it gives him a ridiculously squeaky voice, amusing combat dialogue, and a devastating but absurd-looking arsenal of attacks, from smacking away enemies like baseballs to Crowd Surfing through the enemy army like a gigantic, gore-coated rockstar.
- For the Evulz: His delight in wickedness just for the thrill of it is so Exaggerated that he qualifies for Stupid Evil. See that entry as well.
- General Failure: Despite an excellent combat record in the war, it's made fairly clear that his only real tactic is "charge in, kill everything on the enemy side, kill anything on my side that tries to retreat." He's so stupidly powerful that he can basically win most battles solo, meaning that he actively exults in anything that makes the fight harder. His Black Dog Knights don't seem to do much besides "charge in to test the enemy" and "mop up whatever survived Wyald"; whenever he's not backing them up, the Band of the Hawk pretty much goes through them like a hot knife through butter, despite being severely understrength.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: Throws his spear at Guts with the young woman he killed earlier still impaled on it.
- Groin Attack: The deserving victim of a groin attack, both in the size of the organ attacked and the size of the weapon. Guts "takes his weapon away from him" in order to stop him from having his way with Casca and put an end to Wyald's raping days for good. It is satisfying to see him punished in a fashion appropriate to his crimes.
Guts: Don't go swinging that filthy thing over my head!
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Before he can harm Griffith any further, Zodd rips Wyald's body in half on his horns. It's quite a gory mess.
- Hate Sink: Wyald seems determined to be as big a repulsive monster as he can in his relatively small screen-time. He leads a band of mercenaries in raping, torturing, and murdering any unfortunate man, woman or child who crosses their paths For the Evulz. He also casually kills his men, either for questioning his orders, fleeing from battle, or simply to amuse himself. In addition, he's also a massive misogynist, raping any woman he comes across, and even claims that women "look best with nothing on" during his Attempted Rape of Casca.
- The Hedonist: As evil and short-sighted as a hedonist can get. Not only does he pursue instant gratification for himself with no respect for the lives or happiness of others, but he even endangers his own survival with his reckless debauchery. His motto is "Make it fun, make it stimulating!"
- Hidden Depths: Despite his stupidity and shortsightedness, Wyald does display a degree of dark wisdom lacking in other criminals in how he understands that one not only needs to be strong to lead an Army of Thieves and Whores, but charismatic. So he cultivates a charisma of terror to rally his men and keep them in line, starting by calculatingly killing the only other person to challenge him in a spectacularly inhuman way.
- Horny Devils: When he's not fighting, he is having sex with women at random. Willing or not.
- Hypocrite: Criticizes his own men for not wanting to ride blindly into danger like him (despite how this is obviously a bad idea), but panics at the prospect of his own death. He also insults Griffith's Torturer by calling him a pervert. Rather funny seeing that coming from a depraved Serial Rapist.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Captures Casca as a hostage while she's trying to defend an unconscious Guts, strips her clothes off, and gloats that he's going to have his way with her while the the other Hawks watch helplessly. He's about to rape her with his horrifying penis-tongue, when Guts wakes up just in time and pulls the most righteous cock-block in the series.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Killed Barbo, the only convict who was cocky enough to fight him for the leadership of the Black Dogs, by throwing him so hard that he ends up impaled on a church steeple when he comes back down. Ironically he himself meets a similar fate when Zodd gores him with his horns before ripping him in half.
- Killer Gorilla: He looks rather like an ape even in his human form, and transforms into a giant, King Kong sized gorilla in his Apostle form.
- Kick the Dog: All the time and enjoys it immensely.
God HandThe God Handis a quintumvirate of demon sovereigns who act as executors of the Idea of Evil's will,by virtue of their desires being intrinsic to the entity.As the most powerful of demonkind, they reign over apostlesas their masters, and are responsible for granting normal beheritbearers their reincarnated status of being, in exchange for a sacrifice.They have orchestrated many significant events that have largely affected the course of humanity, as well as the state of the macrocosm.
Each member of the God Hand was once human and is a previous owner of the Crimson Beherit, which distinguished them as individuals destined to be reborn as the demon sovereigns they currently serve as. In 216 year increments, they each attained their proper forms during the festival known as the Eclipse.
In the distant past, Void manifested at a temporal junction point alongside four inhuman beings distinct from his current kinsmen and was witnessed by an unidentified man clad in the Berserker Armor. While the fate of the other four is unknown, Void continued on over the ages to recruit apostles and future members of the God Hand with opposition from the Skull Knight.
Golden Age Arc
During Griffith's year-long imprisonment beneath the Tower of Rebirth, the God Hand appears before their future kinsman in a vision, referring to him as "King of Longing" and informing him of their impending audience with him at the proper place and time. As they foretold, the God Hand formally meets with Griffith during his Eclipse, and more explicitly explain the reason for their audience with him: so that he may join their ranks as the fifth Guardian Angel of the God Hand, for the price of sacrificing the Band of the Falcon, as preordained by causality. After Griffith's inexorable sacrificing of his comrades and rebirth as the fifth angel Femto, he rapes Casca to spite a restrained Guts, inducing shock and ultimately amnesia within the former. Almost immediately after the act, the Skull Knight encroaches on the Eclipse and escapes with Guts and Casca in tow, unscathed by Femto's efforts to stop him. Despite the unforeseen intrusion, the God Hand hails the birth of their fifth and heralds an age of darkness.
Black Swordsman Arc
The God Hand is summoned by the cry of the Count's beherit, activated by the lethally wounded apostle in his bout with Guts. They offer to grant the Count new life, so long as he agrees to sacrifice his daughter Theresia to demonkind. Ultimately unable to commit the deed, the Count is dragged into the Vortex of Souls.
Roughly two years following the birth of Femto, a series of calamities sweep the kingdom of Midland, providing a proper context for a millennial temporal exception known as the Incarnation Ceremony – where someone in the divine domain who signifies "the Falcon" will be incarnated in the Physical World. With the onset of plague, famine, mercenary bands-turned-robbers, natural disasters, and ultimately Kushan invasion in the kingdom, droves of Midlanders seeking refuge flock to the city of Albion. Additionally, a dream is imparted in the masses foretelling the coming of the "Falcon of Light", who will save them from their misery.
At an indeterminate time, the God Hand appears before an ostracized, forlorn man bearing a beherit, just as he is about to lose consciousness while buried alive beneath a pile of corpses deep within a hole. They offer to grant him his wish in exchange for something, and then show the outcast a vision of the greater world he has never known, enabling him to perceive himself and understand his incomparable pain and anguish. Upon realizing his pitiable circumstance, he cries out to the five angels and, with nothing else to give, offers himself and the world around him as an initial and deferred sacrifice, respectively. In exchange for his initial sacrifice of himself, he is branded and granted a beherit-shaped egg form, so that he may in time obtain his ultimate wish of hatching his "perfect world" upon fulfilling his deferred sacrifice.
The God Hand's plan comes to a head when Guts and Casca's branded presence causes a tidal wave of malice to manifest in Albion, made of corpse mounds and the blood of those who died there, devouring droves of refugees in its path. After the Tower of Conviction partially collapses, Void, Slan, Ubik and Conrad manifest rudimentary forms from the dark spirits atop the resulting hand-like structure. The Egg begins playing its role in fulfilling its wish and hatching the "perfect world", ascending the tower and taking a dying Demon Child within himself. After a majority of the refugees are consumed by the torrent, forming one large concentration of thought and desire, the tower begins to overflow with the dark torrent as it flows toward the God Hand and hatching Egg. Whereas Void, Slan, Ubik and Conrad continue spectating, Femto's essence begins overtaking the Demon Child's vessel within the Egg, transforming it into a rapidly maturing human fetus. With the large concentration of both the living and dead's ultimate desire – salvation – the Egg sacrifices the mass of dark souls, thus fulfilling his delayed sacrifice of the world around him and subsequently hatching his figurative "perfect world" – an incarnated Femto in the form of Griffith.
Millennium Falcon Arc
Femto, as Griffith, becomes the spearhead of the God Hand's schemes, unchallenged in the Physical World and an ideal executor of their agenda due to his established reputation as the savior of the Hundred-Year War. Reeling in the allegiance of multiple apostles and creating a new Band of the Falcon, Griffith begins liberating Midland from Kushan occupation and verifying his status as the masses' desired Falcon of Light. In an effort to reach a status of being surpassing that of the God Hand, as a means of opposing Griffith in particular, the rogue apostle Emperor Ganishka lowers himself into a reincarnation vessel, from the deepest depths of the Astral World reincarnating a second time and transforming into a sky-scraping eldritch abomination. Griffith and Zodd ascend toward Ganishka's head, where Griffith, in his God Hand form Femto, is ambushed by the Skull Knight. Having anticipated the would-be-assassin's appearance, however, Femto uses the space-tearing stroke from the knight's Sword of Beherits to split open Ganishka's twice reincarnated form and trigger the Great Roar of the Astral World – giving birth to the global Interstice of Fantasia and manifesting the World Spiral Tree in Ganishka's place.
Following the Great Roar of the Astral World, Void, Slan, Ubik and Conrad are present in Fantasia. Griffith uses the Great Roar as a catalyst for raising Gaiseric's old capital city as the renewed Falconia at the foot of the World Spiral Tree – the sole safe haven in Fantasia from the many malign astral creatures now roaming the world of man.
The God Hand comprises the most powerful five of demonkind, so dominant that even the strongest of apostles are unquestionably subservient to them. They each possess specific reality-altering abilities, including spatial (Void, Femto), physical (Slan, Conrad), and metaphysical (Ubik) manipulation. Though they are cognizant of causality's flow and have unparalleled foresight for most possibilities, they themselves are not full-fledged gods and cannot anticipate everything.
Having molded their proper forms out of huge swells of collective human negativity, the God Hand exists in essence anywhere large concentrations of negative human thoughts swirl. Though extremely powerful within the divine domain of the Astral World, their powers are seemingly lessened on occasions when they choose to manifest rudimentary forms elsewhere. Following the Great Roar of the Astral World, however, they are able to manifest proper forms in Fantasia.
- The actual "hand of the Great God" associated with the God Hand is a right hand whose thumb is occupied by Void, index finger by Femto, middle finger by Slan, ring finger by Ubik, and pinky finger by Conrad. The five angels' positions on the hand of God have thus far proven to be consistent.
Void manifested following the Great Roar of the Astral World.
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A boy. she apparently thought it was not a question. -I know who to bring.