31 December 2022
Predicted Ending of Berserk
by Rylan Schaeffer
Warning: Chapter 371 spoilers below.
/u/sbrockLee ‘s comment
in the 371 Megathread made me start thinking more about how the series will end:
All the despair is clearly a set up for Guts to
face the choice of using “his” Behelit.
They’re really hammering home the fact that he’s
deeply distraught over this, on an existential level - everything
he did on his revenge trip, all the pain and sleepless nights
he endured, was hoping to get a shot at Griffith and now
he realizes he never will.
And this level of despair, linked to an impossible ambition,
is a prerequisite for using a Behelit, as is having someone
beloved to sacrifice - which could be Caska herself, or even the
other party members (it’s been established that Guts feels
affection towards all of them, unlike his solitary Black
The authors are indeed hammering home the despair and helplessness of Guts. I agree with the argument
that the Behelit qualifies as Chekov’s gun and so must be used, but I think that previous discussions of
who will use the Behelit (Guts? Puck? Serpico? Someone else?) or what the sacrifice will be (Casca? Guts’s
new comrades? Something else?) have missed the mark. My prediction is:
Guts will sacrifice himself to manifest the Beast of Darkness on the corporeal plane to be able to fight the Hawk of Light.
- We know the people/entities can sacrifice themselves. This was shown to us by the Egg of the Perfect World
- The Egg also showed us that sacrificing oneself was the mechanism needed to allow Femto to enter the corporeal plane as the Hawk of Light. By sacrificing himself, Guts can analogously allow the Beast of Darkness to enter the corporeal plane.
- For much of the series, Guts had only Casca to live for. Losing her feels like losing everything. Moreover, he himself is literally unable to harm the Hawk of Light, meaning he correctly feels his abilities to (i) defend her and (ii) exact revenge are non-existent. If the only way to kill the Hawk of Light and save Casca is by sacrificing himself, that is a worthy trade to Guts.
- The entire series is tightly woven around the mirrored relationship between Guts and Griffith, and is, in many ways, a dance between the two. In order for this dance to continue, Guts needs to transcend his human form.
- We know of no other way to gain sufficient power to fight the newly formed Band of the Hawk or attack Falconia. Guts at peak form can’t beat Zodd alone, let alone the Hawk’s commanders, let alone the legions of apostles. The elves are gone, and we know of no other agents or source of power in the world that the heroes can tap.
- If Guts uses the Behelit, won’t he be under Griffiths control? I don’t think so. Ganishka was able to oppose Griffiths (although not harm him). Combine that with Guts’s ability to “leap above the stream of causality” as Skeleton Knight puts it, and I think you have a winning combination.
- Isn’t it impossible to sacrifice a sacrifice i.e. Guts was already sacrificed, and we know that a person can’t be sacrificed twice, right?
I think “sacrifice” might be an overloaded term. By sacrifice, I don’t mean the brand. I mean whatever the Egg did.
How do I think the series will end? The Beast of Darkness will rampage through Falconia, killing everyone (humans and apostles alike), before turning on the world. Lacking any way to stop the Beast, Guts’ crew will team up with the Hawk to kill the Beast, but will be unsuccessful, and in a last act of desperation, the Hawk will sacrifice himself to (somehow?) transform the Beast back to Guts, thereby partially redeeming Griffiths.
tags: berserk - manga - 2022