The leader of the band of the Hawks and main villain of Berserk. After being Guts closest friend, he has betrayed him and joined the God Hand - the most powerful servants of evil in the setting.
Griffith is a commoner with extraordinary charisma and skill who managed to pull off the perhaps impossible feat of forming the greatest mercenary force in the world of Berserk - the Band of the Hawk. At the time Guts meets him for the first time, the Band of the Hawk has already achieved great success for the King of Midland. At some point in his earlier life, he obtained the Crimson Behelit.
Griffith was created by Kentaro Miura as a direct contrast to the character of Guts. Where Guts is large and muscular, Griffith is small and feminine. Where Guts wears black armor and carries a massive sword, Griffith wears write armor and carries a saber.
Griffith is, at first, a second mentor character for Guts, giving meaning and direction to his life. After Guts leaves the Band of the Hawk, Griffith becomes a much more sinister figure – especially after he joins the God Hand. While this makes him a good villain, he has not had the same degree of memetic popularity that characters like Dio Brando and Char Aznable have had.
Griffith makes his debut in the Golden Age arc, which makes up the majority of the Berserk anime series. Guts is taken under Griffith's wing, becoming one of Griffith's two lieutenants alongside Casca. Griffith's repeated successes also lead to him attaining knighthood from the king of Midland, along with a landed title, and the affection of the King's daughter, Charlotte.
This also leads Griffith to earning the enmity of various members of the court, who plot against him. Griffith manages to evade these plots and turn them against their creators, leading to, essentially, all of their deaths – including the death of the Queen. Everything changes when Guts leaves the Band of the Hawk. Griffith beds Charlotte and is arrested, and then tortured over the course of a year, breaking both body and mind. After the Band frees Griffith, he flees their camp and uses his Behelit to summon the Godhand. Unfortunately for the Band, they pursued Griffith and were drawn into an alternate universe. Griffith became the demonically empowered Femto, and the Band of the Hawk were wiped out entire, save for two – Guts and Casca. However, before their escape, Femto raped Casca, the child she was carrying by Guts.
After two years of terror, Griffith reincarnated himself into a form like his original self, and formed a new Band of the Hawk using other Apostles – humans who used Behilits to become part demon, at the cost of the lives of their loved ones – as his new generals. These included Zodd, a swordsman who fought both Griffith and Guts in their earlier lives, and defeated both. This new Band of the Hawk liberated Midland from the control of the Kushan Empire, and defeated their Emperor, Ganishka, claiming the castle of Falconia, which formed from his body, as his own.
An homage to Berserk, and the character of Griffith is made in the Ah! My Goddess spin-off series Adventures of the Mini-Goddess.
In the non-canonical “Lost Chapter” of Berserk, where Murita explains the cosmology of the universe, the Idea of Evil, the ultimate power of the universe and the force which the people of that universe consider “God”, explains that it manipulated the events of Griffith's life to make certain that he would become the fifth member of the God Hand to fulfill its reason for existing – to give reason and explanation for the existence of evil and suffering.
Berserk Golden Age Arc I: Egg of the Supreme Ruler
The first in a series of movies adapted from Kentarou Miura's manga Berserk. The movie will be animated by Studio 4°C, at the moment is ...
Berserk Golden Age Arc II: The Battle for Doldrey
2nd movie of the golden age trilogy
Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Descent