How did Farnese’s life take a 180° turn?

First encounter with Guts (Lost CHildren)

On the search for the Falcon of Darkness, Farnese hunts down the Black Swordsman, which she believed to be him.

Farnese’s Holy Iron Chain Knights hunt Guts down in his fairly battered up state (remember, before this he almost died fighting Rosine) and surround him. Guts ends up being captured by them and is led to Farnese’s tent.

A couple of things to note about this scene:

  • What Guts notices as he is being led into the tent is that Farnese as commander has problems commanding her own men. If she has problems being assertive towards her subordinates, why should he give in to her as prisoner?
  • What is also happening is that the reporting soldier insists telling the vice commander about her tent being left unguarded. That seems a lot like the vice-commander (= Azan) has put his men to watch over Farnese’s decisions so he can interfere if necessary, as if Farnese is a problem child incapable leading her men. Well, Farnese points it out already, too.

    What I found weird is that she insisted her guards would leave her tent (no one shall ever find out about her BDSM kink).

  • Guts probably picks up on that hint as well, given he later comments on how Azan already ruined his reputation.

Farnese ask Guts about his intentions: does he intend to take on an entire army with this equipment of his? But he does not answer. Instead, he is commenting on her “presence” (or the way she presents herself), noting how her and God are apparently not in good terms. He knows Farnese has no power over him.

He also demonstrates this to us: she would not know what he – who has seen some shit, surviving being sacrificed to god-like beings – was talking about anyway. Sure she is a leader on paper, but she has little to no life-experience. Or any experience with supernatural beings, for that matter. As a reaction to his taunting, Farnese is threatening him to burn him at the stake. But he stays silent. Instead he steers the conversation to whether she ever has seen a God herself.

God does not display his miracles on this earth lightly. He dwells always within our faith… in our hearts… as well as in heaven.

You can tell Farnese has no idea what she is talking about given she appears to take so much solace in her faith. But that solace is only a facade.

Guts is making fun of her inexperience and childishness of beliefs by implying how she studied her sermons in a convent.

I ain’t talking about some god like a hollow statue that ain’t worth a damn. Confessin’ is a waste of my time. I don’t care about repentin’. You wouldn’t understand a single thing I had to say. Just go and say a chant for me in some musty temple.

His continuous taunting angers her so much she whip lashes him – which can be seen as an attempt to get a reaction out of him. But he doesn’t even twitch once, asserting dominance like a pro.

Guts just can’t shut up his cheeky mouth and ends up making her so mad she whips him quite severely. Farnese is being interrupted by Azan and his men because they hear the tumult in her tent and rushed to check what is going on. Then Guts is being thrown into a cell, outside in the cold.

With the help of Puck, Guts manages to escape his cell before the sun started setting. He makes his way to Farnese’s tent to get back his equipment. He intends to take Farnese hostage and escape.

Also interesting are these couple of panels: she asks God to guide her – then Guts shows up and would end up changing her life for the better. TFW your prayers have been heard!

When Guts takes her hostage their roles are reversed. Now, Guts is the one in power. Note how somewhere, he is treating her better than she treated him: He isn’t harming her with a whip. He isn’t letting her rot outside in the cold either.

”Don’t struggle! If you fall on these rocks with your hands and feet bound, you’re dead.” 

Guts tells her to shut up and that if she keeps complaining that he’ll have to knock her out again. He apologizes and tells her that she’s going to stick around with him for a while, as if he’s apologizing for his own edginess because he has a couple of questions for her.

How the hell can Guts tell Farnese to shut up and then apologize in almost the same breath??? I think what he is trying to do here is to “tame” her or “show her place” given Farnese is acting a lot like a spoiled brat (in sociology terms, he’s establishing hierarchy). He is trying to show her that he’s not gonna take any shit from her in any way, but at the same time he’s concerned for her safety and thus no threat to her.

The worst thing he really does is to be generally rude to her and almost dropping her off the horse to make her shut up.

He catches her when she fell from the horse, and later protects her from the possessed dogs and the infamous rape horse. Now that’s not to say he’s her flawless savior – he’s still an asshole to her, but even in that asshole-ness, you can tell he does not mean to harm her or get her killed.

When Farnese asks him why he is saving her from falling off the horse, he claims he does it because he has questions. He asks her why her unit is pursuing him. She refuses to answer him now, as well.

Somehow, even an edgelord Guts managed to be a bigger person than edgelady Farnese. Even at his worst Guts somehow still had his good side showing through.

During that night Farnese’s world and belief system come crumbling down. She is helpless, naked and vulnerable, while a man she is absolutely terrified of is protecting her. Her world is shook to the core.

In the same sequence, she was possessed by a spirit and gave in to her dark, masochist desires, and eventually sits on Guts’ Dragon Slayer (god I wish that were me). The shame she feels is so overwhelming she commands Serpico to kill Guts after he arrived at the scene. Guts however, didn’t care that much – he knows she was possessed and has no interest damaging her further.

Farnese will be still absolutely terrified of Guts after this. I think because she could tell that he is protecting her despite of being technically enemies, may be one reason why she decides to follow him later on.

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