Joining Guts’ Party
Daddy Issues Uncovered
From her backstory, we know that Farnese was always looking for positive fatherly attention. She treasured her little bunny her father gifted to her, because it was a reminder of the only time she spent with her father, ever. The bunny shows up as imagery a couple of times when she’d feel helpless and insecure, implying it is some sort of comfort to her.
She would keep the bunny for a very long time, until her father notes how it has gotten old and that it needs replacement. He is completely ignoring the immaterial value Farnese sees in the bunny plush, namely being a reminder of the time she spent with him (Fuck, I hate how relatable this is). If you really look at what he’s saying, it seems like he forgot about the bunny completely, too.
This is also why she burns the bunny later on: somewhere she must have given up hope to ever connect with her father again. This is actually really, really sad.
Resignation in children only happens when parents are not responsive to their child’s needs – a damaged relationship to their parents also carries into adulthood, and adults involved often have higher rates of depression and heart diseases.(sadly I cannot name a source for this as the source I read this is not in English)
When Farnese arrived at Vritannis traveling with Guts, her interaction with her father didn’t change much. Mister Vandimion hasn’t seen his own daughter for a while – she actually went missing too and they probably weren’t even sure she was still alive! – and yet he isn’t even giving her a warm greeting. Not a single word of worry or care in the way he speaks. Instead he mentions how she will face a trial because she went into hiding after her unit, the Iron Chain Knights, got destroyed during the Rebirth Scene. He says how she sullies the name of the Vandimion family and expects her to behave in his mansion.
Farnese is unable to bring out a single word and just nods along, as she has always done.
As her father walks away, she stutters how her friends need a ship. He just looks back at her and ignores whatever she attempted to say, instead of e.g. asking what she wants. It’s of no interest to him.
This behavior right there only perpetuates the major character flaw Farnese still has: a lack of assertiveness, standing up for herself and communicating properly. How do you learn to communicate or stand up for yourself when the other person completely disregards you? In some way, I do not blame her at all.
By going back to her old prison, perhaps she hoped her family would help her friends out, being as rich and influential as they are. Perhaps she hoped that things have changed and that her parents would be warmer towards her after running away. She would be so wrong. Even her mother was being distant towards her when they talked. But at least she did try to connect to her daughter positively by understanding her, so let’s give her some kudos for that.
Guts gave her A family & an opportunity to heal
But in that experience Farnese made, it was Guts and his companions who valued her enough to go after her and show her that she was indeed important. When they finally met during the ball, it was Casca who gave her the warmest greeting. Our favorite potato is really beaming of joy here:
Even Guts asked her warmly whether leaving is truly what she wanted; after all, he noticed someone important was missing – unlike her own father who didn’t seem to care much when she returned. But not only that: he also knows very well that people run away if they feel useless or out of place – just like he did when he left the Hawks. Wanna bet that’s why he’s so reassuring towards her…?
Even when Guts is upset with Farnese – the way he words things doesn’t seem like he is trying to attack her personally or hurt her. The following panels seem like he is more trying to redirect her attention so she could function better. He could have verbally beaten her up for being so useless after all, but he does not.
The worst he ever did was to give her a sharp, disappointed stare for letting Casca run off here in this bit.
But this right here is a type of language both him and her understand well: they are both doers rather than talkers. Actions and facial expressions they understand on a fundamental level.
What is also noteworthy is the fact that Guts noticed that Farnese would be a good caretaker for Casca and frequently reminds Farnese of this task throughout their journey (especially in the beginning). It’s like he helped her discover a “talent” or task of hers she wouldn’t have noticed by herself, simply by managing her focus and redirecting her attention. He also just let her be whoever she wanted to be, instead of forcing anything onto her, like her father did. He did her a good service doing so because it helped her find a purpose and a place she can call home.
And in that, Farnese started to flourish.
Guts is generally approaching her in a soft way, but still remains in what I’d like to call “respectful distance.” He tries not to send off the vibe he is romantically interested in her, but still is being welcoming, nurturing and supportive towards her.
Because Guts tasked Farnese with protecting Casca, and the fact Farnese is taking this task very seriously given she looked upon Guts as much as she does, enabled her to grow immensely.
During their travels, Farnese revealed herself to be innocent, curious, kind and pure, but she is also still very naive and doesn’t seem particularly smart either. Consider for a moment that before she joined Guts in his travels, she was abusive, hot-headed and very stubborn.
Farnese is self-aware enough to realize that it is NOT love what she feels for Guts, but more along the lines of devotion and admiration.
In my opinion, she has all the reason to admire him – Unlike Mozgus, whom she knew as well, Guts is not blindly following his faith or letting his fate be decided by “God”. Rather, he is doing what he thinks and feels is right: namely to protect those he learned to appreciate and love, often at the cost of his own well-being. Farnese understands this very well:
In the above panel it seems like Farnese envies Casca for being the subject of Guts’ selfless devotion. After all, Casca cannot return a thing to him while he gets hurt and almost dies for her sake – Farnese realizes how pure and heart-felt his efforts to keep her safe are. She is possibly gloomy about Guts not returning her feelings for her instead (she can provide in theory, after all).
But even in a platonic way, Guts still shows her again and again that he appreciates her presence and efforts. For Farnese, he does enough for her to see value in the friendship she has with him (still, there was a time when Roderick has to point it out for her).
You cannot necessarily say the same about Griffith and Sonia, for example, the latter being torn, drowning in doubts and even running away as a result.