Guts and Griffith: Similarities and Differences

The burden of carrying a dream


“If I apologize, if I repent… everything will come to an end. I’ll never get to reach that place.”
  • Griffith build up an army from nothing in order to get to the castle in the sky: e.g. he raided noble men’s carriages to provide sufficient funding (and happened to have rescued Casca doing so).
  • At some point he even sacrificed his own pride by sleeping with Gennon for money, rather than have more of his men die in raids, as revealed by Casca in Volume 7. That was his attempt to reduce casualties among the hawks. He did try to protect them. Sadly, his actions were followed by self-harm and shame which Griffith attempted to wash off in the lake. These unhealthy experiences he made in connection to sex is something he shares with Guts, too.
  • After Guts left the Hawks, Griffith slept with the princess as way to compensate with the loss of his best man. This was an attempt to regain control over his own life. Griffith realized that Guts was crucial to his plans, even though he was doing fine without him before he joined up. However, Griffith’s real mistake was that he developed a dependency on him, while they were not equals or even friends. At least, from the outside, their relationship was mostly that of ordinate and subordinate. This is how both Guts and Griffith acted, while on the inside, friends is what they truly were (just consider the waterbucket scene). Because of this, gradually, Griffith would lose power over his life and actions and eventually succumbs to his own fate.

    Tortured Griffith does something very similar after overhearing Guts and Casca’s conversation in the chapter “Requiem of the Wind” in volume 12, where he rides off in the carriage, only later to trigger the eclipse.

  • In short, because Griffith is burdened with his own dream and facing the pressure of failure, he is kept prisoner by it and resorts to desperate actions as a result.

“I remember him well – He’d gaze at me as if I were the hero of some story”


“Have I ever before… wielded a sword so heavy?”
  • After the eclipse, Guts did everything to get the apostles he meets killed. E.g. setting himself on fire, or taking Jill as hostage as last resort and even hurt Jill.

    Later on in the Conviction Arc his main goal changed to make sure that Casca is safe. And in order to get her safe, he would do everything to eliminate all possible threats – including himself.
Guts setting himself on fire to escape the attacks of the insect apostle children
  • Guts’ winter journey (from the chapter of the same name) was a very critical part of the story, because for the first time Guts experiences the pressure of being responsible for someone else first hand. He may have had only one person on his shoulders (Griffith: being responsible for an entire army), but given Casca’s mental state and incapacity to take care of herself, and the fact that Guts as well is handicapped due to missing an arm and eye, and still has to fight demons every night, the burden is very much comparable to Griffith’s.
  • Just like Griffith hitting a low in his life pursuing his dream and getting jailed and tortured, Guts also hit a low during those difficult times that peaked when he was sexually assaulting Casca. It was an instant regret for him, because Casca means the world to him (to put it into Rickert’s words). You cannot say this about Griffith, who only used her as pawn right from the start.
  • Unlike Griffith, Guts does not view people as below him or less worthy.

Leading capabilities


  • Griffith tends to be authoritarian, expecting obedience and loyalty from his underlings, as seen by his interactions with Casca in the early Golden Age. For Casca, however, it was something different entirely: namely show loyalty to the one she considered a savior.
  • What is also noteworthy is that Griffith also is shown to be the manipulator in the back, never getting his hands dirty just once: especially when he plotted against Minister Foss, or paid a maid to spy on General Julius.
  • During battles, Griffith is usually shown riding ahead, leaving everyone behind him dying (Guts being an exception).


  • During Golden Age Guts that has been reckless with his position. This is further shown by Casca’s reaction to his recklessness (though part of it may be caused by jealousy as well).
  • He keeps getting himself in trouble like riding off to fight a group of mounted Tudor forces all by himself. Or during a castle siege, going into the castle’s interiors to fight Zodd alone, while he threatens Gaston and the others to stay outside.
  • From Conviction Arc and onward, with Isidro, Farnese and Serpico gathered around him, Guts shows a more cooperative leadership style here. He’s more like a guiding hand hovering above his protégés, making sure everyone is safe and ensures their morale stays up. And mind you: he does that even if you’re technically enemies.  
  • Under Guts, you are free to do as you please as long as you contribute something. He does not see himself better than everyone else and even encourages you to break apart from authority if you don’t like it.
  • Last but not least while Griffith is stepping over the corpses of his own men and enemies alike in order to make his dream come true, Guts’ party managed to get to Elfhelm to unharmed, because Guts made sure they were safe and sound by sacrificing part of his humanity in the berserker armor.
Guts encouraging Schierke to do her own thing in volume 24 – in his own special and unique way, I guess…

Shady practices to achieve their goals


Guts riding out by himself to attack the Tudor forces was all calculated by Griffith. What else was part of his plans…?
  • Because he considered General Julius a threat, he ordered Guts to kill him. The fact that Adonis, his son, was also killed due to Guts’ brutish nature, likely was part of his plan. That is possibly one reason why he chose him for the job in the first place. On that note, similarly, Griffith also calculated Guts running off on horseback all by himself while fighting Tudor’s forces.
“Next time, I’m not stoppin’ my sword.” – Guts
  • He also plotted to kill his antagonists by playing Minister Foss, effectively killing the Queen of Midland (!) and other nobles in a fire
  • Needless to say he didn’t seem to mind having his way with Gennon or Charlotte, either. Well – he did mind, but the ends justifies the means, right?


  • Guts killed Julius without questioning Griffith’s actions; Adonis was also unintentionally killed – unintentionally at least from Guts’ side.
  • During Golden Age, he used a couple of dirty tricks in order to win: E.g. Using his teeth to capture Griffith’s sword, or using his own sword to whirl up dust fighting Silat.
  • In the Lost Children arc, Guts almost gets himself killed fighting the bug apostles and was so obsessing over taking out Rosine, that he had no intention to spare Jill the same fate should she interfere.
  • He did lie his way out at Enoch village when confronted with the village priest. To be honest he was stating something I’d consider a half-truth, being pilgrims trying to recover the mind of Casca (the pilgrim part was the only lie here)

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