Guts and Griffith: Similarities and Differences


The intuitive Risktaker vs The calculating Tactician


  • We know that Griffith read a lot during Golden Age, quite possibly to enhance the effectiveness of his tactics (knowledge is power).
  • Griffith has carefully plotted against opposing forces to win his battles; on both battlefield and inside the influence of nobles. His games during that time seems like he’s playing 4D chess.


  • Guts will engage in fights or confrontations even if the odds are stacked against him. He has proven this throughout his life, e.g. his first encounter with Zodd, which encouraged him to become stronger in order to be able to defend himself (which is a coping mechanism he developed after being assaulted by Donovan: it gave him back control over his own life).
  • While Guts is capable of making rational and tactical decisions, he also acts a lot out of gut feeling and intuition. Good example of that is the fact he went after Farnese, when she was about to arrange a ship for Guts’ journey. Guts rationally came to the conclusion that he cannot do without her, but he did not know what to say or do once he met her, as revealed by the dialog he had with Serpico after he challenged Guts. He intuitively or subconsciously knew what Farnese was going through, because he himself left the ones he considered family in the snow, causing a faithful chain of events to unfold that eventually would lead to the eclipse. He possibly prevented quite the chaos going after her. Needless to say there was also a certain risk of him or one of his comrades getting in trouble while they were in the noble’s rooms (e.g. Schierke for her witchy dress-up).
Guts asking Farnese whether she truly wanted to depart, as he – knowingly or unknowingly – deeply relates to what Farnese was going through.

Gratitude vs Entitlement


  • Griffith does not seem to mind to be the center of attention.
  • Griffith takes the things people do for him (or his dream) for granted. You never see him thank anyone just once, despite of sacrificing the lives of his comrades even before the eclipse.
  • After Griffith was reborn, removing all human doubt, regret and shame from his personality, his actions indicate that he thinks he is justified in taking people’s energy, efforts and lives for his dream, because he truly believes the throne is his to take.


Guts’ grateful smiles are the best ones. (Volume 36)
  • Guts on the other hand is a very humble person: He dislikes attention and prefers to keep to himself, not knowing how to handle positive feedback.
  • Due to his humble and thoughtful nature you see him acknowledging or thanking his companions for their deeds on multiple occasions.
  • Unlike Golden Age Griffith, current Guts does not take anything or anyone for granted. He has experienced losing the irreplaceable first hand, from which he developed an attitude of gratitude. This will make a huge difference when Berserk hits its finale.
“That sure is warm. It makes it easy to forget how cold I just felt, like I was still underwater. You’re great at this, Farnese.” – Guts after the Sea God fight (Volume 27)

Truth vs Deception


“You knew… How could you?! You knew and you lied to me…!!” – a Griffith detached from reality, finally realizing the real extent of his actions. (Volume 12)
  • For Griffith, there was never a place for doubt or regret. This prevented him from reflecting on his own actions and perhaps also forming healthy relationships.
  • Griffith seems misled and detached from reality, not realizing he went over bodies of his comrades during the eclipse. He only truly realized the extent of his actions after the Godhand showed him the mirror, manipulating him into thinking that this is truly what he were.
  • Never once is Griffith up-front about his intentions or feelings, acting as shady and hazy as possible. During the Golden Age his encounter with Minister Foss he sneakily avoided his questions (which were formulated in a way to figure out whether Griffith had to do with the General Julius’ murder) in order to subvert suspicion. Similar tactics are being used when Guts was asking why Griffith is risking his life to save him: keep the doubter in the haze without actually reaffirming anything, so the doubter can create their own affirmations, effectively preventing (for Griffith) uncomfortable questions in the future. When someone uses these kind of tactics, it is a hint they are not sure what they truly want, but still want all benefits from others (that being said, it’s also a tactic narcissistic people use). It must have been easy for the Godhand to manipulate an empty vessel like Griffith, whose only goal and hope was his dream. Someone like this will crumble under enough pressure and make horrible decisions – at least, decisions that will horrible for everyone except the one who makes them.


  • His survival strategy is pretty much taking the world as it is and adapting to it.
  • The first impression most characters have from Guts is that he is scary, rude and blunt – a man of an unforgiving and dark world.
  • If someone points out his flaws or fuck ups (Casca did this a lot in Golden Age), he tries hard to please them as an attempt to form a healthy relationship.
  • Guts in general seems direct, honest and genuine. He is low-key guiding others by subtly influencing them, even those he does not know, which is strongly rooted in empathy and the experiences he made in his own life.
Isidro has been following Guts in volume 18, and as Isidro refuses to be anyone’s pawn…
…it draws some similarities to Guts’ own past, like here where he turns down Griffith’s offer to join the hawks…
…which leads to this iconic smile of Guts. He truly understands. Can a single fictional character get deeper than that…?

Comradeship vs Power


  • During Golden Age, Griffith did all he could to eliminate threats to his way to the throne (General Julius, Minister Foss)
  • Griffith caved in to the god hand’s manipulation by his own will to become the ultimate being. He could have chosen a life together with the hawks and Casca, but this was absolutely no option for him and preferred to take ultimate power instead. Thus he views people as disposable tools for his goals.


  • Guts has proven in many instances that he has a tendency to save others instead of fighting his enemies until he drops. In the beginning, especially in Golden Age and Lost Children, he fights for the sake of fighting and getting his revenge against Griffith, but his fighting capacity more and more becomes a tool to keep his loved ones safe (e.g. the heretic’s cave saving Casca, the Sea God fight making sure everyone on the sea horse stays unharmed).
  • Despite of the powerful od residing in the Berserker armor, with the help of Schierke, he is attempting to tame the beast of darkness, as it poses a threat to the ones he loves and appreciates.
  • He is empathetic and seems genuinely interested in his companions: he let Isidro follow him and taught him a couple of things about fighting and provided emotional support to Schierke after Flora’s passing.
  • Guts views people as people, and while he sometimes comes off as brash and rude, he still cares enough about them to help them avoid making the mistakes he has made in his life.

Progression vs. Repetition


  • Griffith was a fully fleshed out and multi-layered character in GA with faceted motivations and complex emotions, struggling with self-hate and doubt as he pushed on. He lost this human part – the thing that in my opinion made him most interesting – after becoming Femto, who is a pure manifestation of his desires.
  • That being said, Griffith/Femto has not seen much character development ever since he was reborn.


  • When he was young, Guts went from lonely and edgy mercenary to a raid leader who was generally respected and looked up on.
  • After the eclipse, he went from desperate and raging asshole who lost everything he had, to a father figure that attempts to tame his inner demons in order to stay human and keep his companions.
  • The main reason he fights gradually changes as well: from sheer blood lust and the will to survive, to keep Casca and his companions safe from both himself and powerful apostles or astral beings like the sea god.
  • This is also seen by his battle expression, which changes over time. In Golden Age, it was mostly was bloodlust and the thrill of fighting. Post-eclipse, his battle expression changes a little mostly conveying rage and despair; post-berserker armor there is also strain in his expression, as if he is trying to keep composure, not letting the beast of darkness take over.


Oh boy! This post ended up being longer than expected. As I wrote this I came to the conclusion that even now, this article is just a very small insight into the complex relationship and similarities between Guts and Griffith. There is more to come for sure!

2 thoughts on “Guts and Griffith: Similarities and Differences

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