The Connection Farnese and Guts have
They have a very interesting relationship that is in essence platonic. Their interactions seem sparse at first, but for the both of them, they are still nurturing and meaningful – and often, wordless. The connection she has to him is a very important factor to Farnese changing.
They seem to understand and read each other so well they only need to look at each other to tell what is going on. It gives them a mutual understanding for each other, which is going to be so important in the episodes to come.
I think in theory, Guts and Farnese are very compatible emotionally and romantically as well (
yes I secretly ship them). If they were to get together, they would possibly face some challenges, since they are both very poor at verbal communication.
Farnese’s mother notes how Farnese could never express herself in words that well. Her actions were always an expression of her suppressed feelings. This makes her somewhat unpredictable and that was something her father secretly feared about her. In fact, you can see her father exercise control over her through words to induce feelings of shame, because that is all he can do. Guts did quite the opposite – he didn’t try to control her, but his influence and advice guided her, helping her to find herself and her purpose.
In volume 25, Guts makes a promise to Serpico to bring back Farnese alive from the troll’s den. When he saves Casca and Farnese, Farnese is more than happy to see him. I like that Guts is being extra reassuring here and asks them whether they are both okay. I also really like the way he looks at her and Casca here. If he looks at someone like this, you can be sure he really means caring for someone.
With Schierke being absent, Farnese is against the idea of Guts using the Berserker Armor at the risk of his own his well-being when they were surrounded by the apostle pirate ship in volume 35. I like that we are shown Guts’ reaction to this – which at most seems to convey surprise – as way to indicate he notices her caring for him. In my opinion, a very appropriate reaction, given that I previously pointed out how Farnese actually has problems standing up for herself or anyone else.
In volume 36, Farnese is being insecure about casting the protection spell on the sea horse and looks up to Guts, who is giving her a reassuring nod.
After casting the protection spell, she, of course, is again looking up to Guts who ends up praising her:
She seems very happy about it. Finally, all the training to become a mage is paying off and she is actually contributing something of substance to the group – at least, beyond of taking care of Casca.
It seems like Farnese is still insecure about trying out new things. By looking to Guts before casting the spell, it’s like she is not sure if she should do it. Him nodding at her gives her a reason to try. It’s a bit like making a dive into cold water: there is always that first hesitation before you finally jump. Guts basically gives her that final little push she needed. After she casts the spell, she is surprised at her own abilities and by looking to Guts again, it’s as if she thought: “look what I just did!”. Guts acknowledges her contribution by calling her their shield. He doesn’t seem to have a problem with giving her some guidance or security at all. This instance also feels a lot like father/daughter interaction.
Isn’t it kinda interesting how Casca became his sword in the Golden Age, and now Farnese is his shield here?
Sometimes I wonder whether Guts started to praise Farnese during this scene (voume 37, after the Sea God fight) because he noticed her crying (because finally, she is able to do something for him directly) and wanted to cheer her up. Here, Guts also says how she is giving him a lot of warmth right now. Farnese giving Guts warmth seems like a development that will only build up over time, considering that:
- in episode 354, Farnese swore herself to be a light to Casca, because Guts was a light for her
- in episode 359, Farnese approached Casca while sparring with Isidro to get her to talk to Guts
For some reason, this reminds me of the death of the King of Midland, who was yearning for the warmth of his daughter (in a sick and twisted way) before he died.
However, the big difference is that here, the platonic relationship between Guts and Farnese is healthy and mutual: she can give something to him directly now (beyond taking care of Casca). In return, she receives Guts’ welcoming and comforting attitude, a meaningful purpose and a place where she belongs.
Guts and Farnese both benefit from their friendship and need each other.