There are a couple of theories floating around trying to reconstruct the events surrounding King Gaiseric/Skull Knight and his ancient rivalry with Void. Here is how I think it may have happened.
Claim #1: Skull Knight sacrificed himself in the Berserker Armor to protect his kingdom from the God Hand.
If you look at Skull Knight ‘s sword and shield they all have roses and thorns on them and the rose is a symbol of self sacrifice in heraldry (Protip: ctrl + f and look for “rose”).
Skull Knight’s sword has thorns as hilt and a rose-like shape worked into the grip where it connects to the hilt. His shield also possesses an engraving of a rose surrounded by thorns.
Miura did his research: the symbols he uses in his flag designs are very fitting for the group or faction they represent. There is all the reason to think the symbolism applies to this specific character as well. (An article about more examples of heraldry in Berserk is yet to be written…).
Skull Knight’s current form:
Puck notes before the Tower of Conviction that Skull Knight gives him elf-vibes. This implies that while he is some kind of powerful astral creature, there is an important distinction to be made compared to Apostles. Given how Guts currently resists the Berserker Armor and succeeds maintaining part of his consciousness while going berserk, it is possible something similar happened to King Gaiseric. Flora in volume 24 comments that she wants to believe that Skull Knight still has his human heart:
A possible reconstruction of events:
After Void sacrificed, an event similar to the Eclipse must have happened. Perhaps even King Gaiseric was offered as sacrifice and thus branded. Perhaps he attempted to resist the God Hand and kill as many apostles as possible and perhaps to also rescue those who were being sacrificed somehow. As this happened, he must have used the Berserker Armor along the way.
As Gaiseric approached the limit of his sanity, he was still resisting the Berserker Armor as it attempted to completely take over him, transforming him not into an Apostle, but rather into a elf-like astral being. It appears for what reason you sacrifice and whether you sacrifice yourself or not determines the outcome: Maybe Skull Knight sacrificed himself for someone else’s sake (his kingdom and his people), realizing the mistakes he has done while he was leading it as King. He became the astral being he is, rather than sacrifice someone for his own selfish goals and become either an Apostle or a God hand member as a result.
Claim #2: Void was the Sage Mozgus describes during the Rebirth scene and it was also him who did the sacrifice.
Void was tortured like Griffith was because he criticized King Gaiseric for letting his kingdom sink into corruption and poverty (more of this in this article). This implies Void cared for that kingdom enough to make it suitable as sacrifice. By the sound of it, Void might have been a royal advisor trying to prevent the kingdom going towards its certain doom and was incarcerated. He perhaps spoke up against certain policies or even was involved in an intrigue to overthrow the King.
Interestingly enough, if we attempt to detect parallels in the current line of events, the one advisor who is suspicious of his (future) King Griffith and known to craft intrigues is Minister Foss.
Claim #3: Void being the first God Hand member makes sense if we do the math and there is one unknown entity responsible for picking the first member.
If we do the math and assume every 216 years a God Hand members ascends to their ranks, Void must have been the very first one given that 5 God Hand members X 216 years is 1080 years, which is around the time Gaiseric’s empire existed. If Void was the first God Hand member, who was Void sacrificing to?
Correction: The above calculation is not correct. If we go back 216 years for every God Hand member Void’s date of birth was actually 864 years ago, not 1000. Still, the question who Void sacrificed to still stands. Was there some kind of “prototype” God Hand member? And what if Void wasn’t the first, but the second…? Was Skull Knight supposed to be the first God Hand member, but it didn’t work out for some reason? Something seems definitely off here and we might be in for a surprise (e.g. an additional character who is yet to be revealed).
Void was tortured just like Griffith was and according to Mozgus, called one angel for help, presumably in a moment of despair. Was it an actual angel (as in, a being similar to the Lords of the Four Directions), an actual demon, or perhaps even a manifestation of the Idea of Evil? I believe Miura wanted to keep his options open here, which is why the chapter of Griffith talking to the Idea of Evil was removed (with this it is technically non-canon).
Because the information about this topic is really sparse, we cannot derive much from it. I really hope we get a bit of additional information on this topic, sparse enough to keep the mystery of the characters involved intact – but enough to make a more solid hypothesis.
4 thoughts on “An Alternative Theory to Skull Knight’s and Void’s origins”
Hello, I came with an alternative but solid hypothesis. First of all, Skullknight and Gaiseric were different persons, were rivals instead. King Gaiseric was the emperor who conquer the world, probably being also an apostle or proto-apostle and the previous human who later become the Skullknight, let’s say SK for the sake of simplicity was the leader of a mercenary band, like Griffith, he carried the crimson behelit and in his band also were Flora and Void, I mean, the previous human who later became Void. For the fight against the Apostle Gaiseric aka the demon king, Flora created for the SK the berserker armour and assisted him in battle in order to keep control of his mind. They win some battles but never really defeated completely Gaiseric. Flora eventually leaves the band, searching sanctuary in the elf world, SK prayed her to stay but it was in the curse of causality that SK will eventually lose control of the berserker armour and be in the verge of dead, to activate the crimson behelit, in a fight against the demon king. Gaiseric, seeing the ceremony of the eclipse takes Void as an hostage, so SK could only sacrified all his band except Flora and Void. That should have occurred 1,080 years ago, the ceremony of the eclipse for the very first God Hand member where it was just the idea of evil asking the SK to do a sacrifice, and the SK, in despair, does it. So in this first encounter, the score was, the SK ascended to the astral world as the first God Hand member, all of his band got sacrified except Void who was taken prisoner and convicted in the tower of conviction, where he will be tortured for 80 years approximately. That’s when his prays will succeed and the SK will be reincarnated, in the ceremony of reincarnation that occurred every 1000 years. SK will be that angel that mozgus talk about and the other four will be the elemental Kings wich Flora would be capable to control for that time. There and then, SK and Flora put an end to the Gaiseric tyranny, destroying his capital city just like the fairy tale says. Then SK and Flora confronts the idea of evil not willing to follow its agenda. SK like you say will sacrifice his reincarnated body and became the SK that we all know today. But Void who has been tortured for 80 years has more than enough hate and malicious inside him and refuse to give up the idea of evil, he takes the crimson behelit and scapes, waiting for the next eclipse to happen. What will sacrifice then? I really don’t know by that time he didn’t have much humanity left so it’s an enigma. At least with this hipothesis all the dates connect well and I really like the idea of SK, Void and Flora being like Guts, Griffith and Casca in an older mercenary band. Cheers.
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Now that’s a version I haven’t heard before. I really like the general idea that 1000 years ago, someone must have ascended to Godhand status and returned 216 years later. What’s also interesting is that you bring up the Lords of the Four Directions. If you really think about it for whatever reason we have FIVE Godhand members, but just FOUR lords. Isn’t there going to be a fifth “Lordhand” ascending for the “good side” as well? I mean… Yin and yang, ya know? Or is Griffith somehow BOTH? (There is a theory that Femto = Hawk of Darkness and Moonlight Boy = Hawk of Light, which is in line with other theories about Griffith and the Moonboy I have written so far, but I yet have to write about this theory itself)
Now there’s a couple of things that seem incoherent in this theory e.g. why does Slan refer to SK as majesty in Qliphot (at the very least, this hints that SK is of noble origin)? Void being tortured for 80 full years also seems like… one hell of a time, does a tortured person even survive for that long!? Consider undernourishment and horrible living conditions, etc etc…
But even with those little inconsistencies, I really like the general direction of this theory and got a couple of interesting ideas just reading it as well. I can tell a lot of work went into this, so thank you a lot for sharing!
For the 80 years of torture yeah, that’s inconsistent, even more that he survives to the full 216 years to be the second first God Hand. But his the awesome Void!! Hehe. For her majestic SK I find it normal since SK was meant to be the perfect King of the whole world just like Griffith now. Interestingly enough, he stepped down or at least that’s my theory, become foe of the God Hand/Idea of Evil for a Milenia.
Nice job with this blog, I enjoyed it so much!!
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I want to complete some diferents points to make that theory more plausible and connected to the manga.
SK goal, was to rule the world, even thought he was just a punk, he have done all the efforts to do that. Maybe not in the same fashion as Griffith, maybe SK was willing to be a good ruler, changing the injustice of Gaiseric tyranny.
That confronted with Flora, she didn’t like that goal, maybe she accepted humanity couldn’t do much better or the price to defeat the demon king was to high and that’s why she decided to leave SK’s band. This could be the reason of the concern SK has around Guts and Casca not having the same will. He loved Flora but they didn’t want the same thing.
In his caption Void was turn into a pseudo apostle, like the count did with one of his men to confront Guts in the first manga volume, Gaiseric as an Apostle could have done similar things. Gaiseric should have felt betrayed by the idea of evil since they opted for SK to be the first God Hand member, it’s a kind of the same fight between Griffith and Ganinska. But in fact by taking Void as an hostage and torturing him for so long his helping the IoE, preparing Void mentally to be the second God Hand.
When SK, Flora and Void defeated Gaiseric, SK made the decision to step down from being the perfect King, probably hoping to regain Flora but stepping down from the IoE have a price and SK couldn’t stay in the physical world, so their love was imposible at that point after all. He turned in the SK we all know today and began his fight against the IoE forming the God Hand.
Concerning Void, now I’m more keen on thinking he didn’t keep the behelit. It’s more likely that he try to rebuild his live as a pseudomonster, maybe he had found a lover o some sort of reason to live. Someone should feed him that years to keep him alive, maybe it was a good girl, for example.
It was 136 years later that something happened to Void and his regained humanity. The behelit came back to him, he made the sacrifice and became the second, I mean new first, God Hand member.
The last reason to think Skull Knight is not Gaiseric is another quote of SK (well, it’s Nietzsche if I’m not wrong) Fighting a monster will eventually turn you into a monster, so that it’s, fighting the Skull demon King has turn him into the Skull Knight, he was saying that to Guts for a good reason.
Now it comes to my mind that Flora could have said that to Skull Knight before she leaves his band, and her prophecy somehow was accomplished to the point now almost everybody thinks Skull Knight and Gaiseric are the same thing.
I think that would be all. I never liked the idea of SK being Gaiseric because Gaiseric was an evil King and Skull Knight so far has only did good things, he’s one of the better beings in the berserk universe.
PS: I keep saying Skullknight or SK to the human that formerly was the Skullknight, I feel that wrong, as well for Void, they should have had proper names and should have been normal humans.