Berserk is complex in so many ways, but the way Miura characterized Guts and Griffith is interesting, to say the least. The author himself admitted that he used a lot of inspiration from mythology and historical happenings to develop the world and story of Berserk. Guts and Griffith are part of that conversation, and their relationship drives the series’ main plot. Multiple times we saw one or another have interactions with each other that bordered on something more. This article will discuss whether Griffith is in love with Guts in Berserk.
Griffith is definitely in love with Guts, and even Guts might have some feelings for Griffith, but in a more platonic way. Their relationship is very complex, but what’s really consistent in the series is Griffith’s monologues and acts of sacrifice he did for Guts multiple times during their time in the Band of Falcons. The manga shows their close relationship very vividly, where they are bathing together and taking care of each other, but one manga panel confirms Griffith’s feelings for Guts. Before the Eclipse, there is glaring proof that Griffith truly loves Guts, making their conflict even more interesting.
We will discuss this topic by thoroughly analyzing Griffith’s and Guts’ characters and their relationship that interested Berserk fans. If you want to read about this Berserk topic, stay with us until the end. Warnings for mentions of sexual abuse and violence.
Griffith’s and Guts’ short character study
Before we analyze Griffith and his potential feelings for Guts, let’s establish the characters first.
Berserk loves its characters suffering, and Guts is the best example. Since his birth, Guts couldn’t catch a break and was born from a linched, dead mother, and eventually found by local bandits who took him and decided to take care of him.
Everything was alright until Gambino, the bandit who decided to take care of Guts was heavily injured in the battle and couldn’t fight anymore or conduct fieldwork. Guts was showing signs of being a great future swordsman, which Gambino, in his depressed state, absolutely despised. Unbeknownst to Guts, Gambino arranges a sale of Guts to notorious mercenary Donovan, who wants to sexually abuse the boy. Donovan succeeds, but Guts kills him and realizes his only father figure in life betrayed him.
Gambino admits he sold the boy to a mercenary for merely three coins and accused Guts of being the devil’s child before he died. Guts kills him in self-defense but is deeply hurt and impacted for life, which we will see more of in the later volumes.
On the other hand, Griffith was born in poverty, but even small and insignificant in the eyes of other people, young Griffith had big dreams. At a young age, the boy with an angelic face promised himself he would be the ruler of the world and escape the trenches of the lowest social class. Of course, not being of royal blood, Griffith had to do unspeakable deeds to get to the top, and he did that by selling his body to old, royal men who would use him for one night.
Prostitution, manipulation, and sacrificing his dignity are one of the few things Griffith did to have some kind of significance with higher classes, and that will linger with him for the rest of his life. Before they met, Griffith and Guts were isolated from the rest of the world and tried their best to find their purpose.
Griffith did that by selling his dreams to other suffering souls and eventually founded the Band of Falcons. Guts killed and fought for other groups but never inherently had a goal. Finally, the two men meet; Griffith is immediately stricken by how Guts fights and carries himself, while Guts is shocked at how one person can be so determined to follow his dream.
Guts attacks the Band immediately when he meets them and shows his swordsmanship talent and strength. He almost beats everyone, but Griffith steps in and defeats him at once. Griffith, despite winning, is impressed and asks Guts for a challenge – if the young warrior defeats him, he will let him go, and if the Band leader wins, Guts will have to join his mercenary group.
Griffith defeats Guts, and the warrior joins the Band. Eventually, Guts establishes a bond with other people he never experienced before, particularly Griffith, who starts to unusually take an interest in the warrior.
Is Griffith in love with Guts in Berserk?
Now we get to the article’s main point – is Griffith in love with Guts? Yes, we think he has romantic feelings for Guts. We mentioned that when he met Griffith, Guts was strong, determined, loyal, protective, and love-starved, and when he met members of the Band, he immediately attached to them (maybe except Casca in the beginning).
His relationship with Griffith was full of tension from the start. Griffith started showing signs of interest toward Guts when the warrior joined the Band, and even the strangely close embrace shocked the other members and Guts himself. Griffith continued to show Guts affection through strangely endearing acts – the fans could see them bathing together and trying to protect each other during fights. The relationship grew in mutual respect, and Guts fully embraced Griffith’s dream as his own.
Unfortunately, their relationship broke down when Guts decided to leave the Band. The warrior overheard Griffith’s discussion with Princess Charlotte, where he said that his true friend is his equal and the one who follows his own dreams. Guts is disappointed and sad but decides to become Griffith’s equal and leave the Band to find himself.
Griffith is devastated but eventually lets Guts go, the same way he inducted him into his squad – by battle. The leader of the Band is gutted because his biggest supporter, strong and loyal Guts, left him. Griffith immediately goes to court Princess Charlotte despite knowing he is forbidden from doing it – it seems that Guts leaving prompted Griffith to make a rash decision, which destroyed his life.
Another moment between the two men came a year later when Guts rescues Griffith from torture, bestowed by Princess’s father. Even in his weak state, Griffith wants to punish Guts but immediately holds his hand and forgives him for the past happenings. The relief on his tortured face is visible, and the best friends are again together.
However, that soon changed. Griffith starts dying, but in the last moment, activates his Crimson Beherit, sacrifices his loved ones (the Band), and turns into God Hand member, demon Femto. Before he sacrifices his friends during the Eclipse, a manga panel shows Griffith’s thoughts before the tragedy:
“Among thousands of comrades and tens of thousands of enemies … you’re the only one. You’re the only one, who made me forget my dream.”
The rebirth happens, and Griffith, in the form of Femto, takes from Guts what the warrior wants – Casca and her innocence. The infamous scene of Femto abusing Casca in front of Guts confirms that Guts’ loyalty was never questioned. The warrior gave everything to Griffith, but not what he truly wanted – Guts’ love. This is why Griffith took Casca from Guts because she was the one Guts really wanted. The devastating act only confirms that Griffith did love Guts and got hurt by the warrior’s inaction, but when he became a demon, he couldn’t feel love anymore, which meant he couldn’t feel the pain of heartbreak.
Fans always provide great explanations and interpretations of fictional media, and the Berserk series has countless on the Internet. Reddit user u/Mu-Nition has a much more detailed explanation of Griffith’s and Guts’ relationship, and it is spot on – Griffith is in love with Guts in his twisted way. Guts was loyal and devoted to Griffith but never returned his feelings, while Griffith’s selfishness and heartbreak destroyed everything around him.
Berserk is truly a tragic story where no one wins, but it’s interesting that, once again, the main conflict of the series stems from no other feeling than love. Extraordinary, isn’t it?