Supporting each other: Griffith’s Rescue at the Tower
Griffith’s rescue and the events that follow up to the eclipse is where the relationship between Guts and Casca truly peaked — even if there is some tension between them still. It shows that both Guts and Casca are emotional, sensitive and jealous people.
- Guts allows Casca to take the lead and is concerned for her safety.
- Casca tells Guts to keep personal feelings out of it, but lets her feelings get the best of her later on. Guts notices this and is annoyed by it.
- Both Guts and Casca are still obsessed with Griffith. Guts cannot stand seeing Casca being jealous of the Princess and wasting precious time to save Griffith in the process. Casca does not like Guts carrying Charlotte in her own tricky situation, dealing with her feelings of jealousy in regards to Griffith.
 When they arrive in Wyndham at the cemetery, we see their new dynamic unfold. Pippin removes the gravestone and they are about to enter the secret passage. Guts is against the idea that Casca goes together with them; he argues it’s a bad idea to leave their leader exposed to danger like this. However, it doesn’t escape Casca that he is hiding the fact he is worried about her and bumps into him with her chest plate.
Uuuuh! Just kiss him already, jeez.
She tells Guts to keep personal feelings out of this and scolds him a little. She ends her talk stating she can watch Guts’ back after all, as well. Pippin and Judeau watch the spectacle in the background, giggling.
This interaction is very interesting because Casca first speaks from a close, lover perspective (“You’re worried, aren’t you?”), and as she proceeds to tell Guts how she is a better fighter than Pippin or Judeau, her tone switches back to her position as commander. She seems very aware of what her social role and position is and masters interaction from both of these roles. We see this later as well when she deals with the Princess. We see clearly that Casca’s decision-making is both grounded in both personal level (motherly care) and professional level (commander skills).
 Guts and the others later meet up in the catacombs, where they meet the Princess and her maid. Instantly, Charlotte notices that Casca in fact is a woman. The last time the Princess met her right before the Battle of Doldrey, she did not notice, even though her appearance didn’t change. That means, something about her vibe or presence must have changed. We as readers are also shown the reason: “I wonder why” can be read in the panel where Judeau looks at Guts, with Casca being flustered. It’s almost like Casca changed after the waterfall scene when she slept with Guts, right? In fact, she even mentions so herself: “I will change. Maybe my place is within this man’s heart”. To have one character point out changes another character is going or has been going through is a sign of good writing.
After Guts got hit with a lantern by Casca for making the worst joke ever (
I like Miura’s humor, I’m not complaining), they walk along the walls of Wyndham. Casca wonders whether Griffith still has any use for the Princess. I think this is an interesting thing to do in her position: It’s like Casca knows already Griffith would only evaluate people by their usefulness to reaching his dream — or perhaps she saw Charlotte as rival, given that Casca wanted to be Griffith’s sword (= be useful to him).
Casca’s thoughts then drift off how infatuated she still is with the White Hawk. Now, being confronted with Charlotte, her jealousy is coming out: she ponders about how much she hates feeling that way. With this in mind, she takes hold onto Guts’ hand, as if she is trying to comfort herself doing so. Remember how Guts usually was there to comfort her…? She’s relying on him.
So as Casca has grabbed Guts’ hand, the Princess interrupts them and she is taking away her hand from him — as if no one is not supposed to see them holding hands. Isn’t that strange? Why hide the fact you’re vulnerable, close or in love?
The Princess apologizes to Casca and the Hawks for what happened to them a year ago. Casca insists there is no need to apologize for Charlotte (and she has a point, because Charlotte had absolutely no say in the decision of her father, the King of Midland, to pursue the Hawks). Then, Judeau — not Casca! — asks the Princess what happened that day for the Hawks to be persecuted so suddenly, to which she revealed that Griffith was in her chambers that day. I think Casca could already fill in the blanks herself just knowing this. She actually looks pretty shook, too, finding out.
Then, the discussion is interrupted by royal guards. Princess Charlotte deals with the situation. After the guards take off again, Guts notes how he didn’t expect a timid princess like Charlotte to handle this so expertly. But then she is fainting and says how it is Griffith who is giving her the strength to deal with this situation. Of course, this does not escape Casca, who appears to be looking down, thoughtful and stirred up inside hearing that, as the others keep on going.
Guts notices that something is up with Casca and offers her to take her hand instead. He wraps his arm clumsily around her, getting quite touchy doing so (this is the same guy who repeatedly yells at others to stop touching him). She is turning that offer down, but once he turned around, we see her grabbing onto his cape instead. It’s as if she does not want his sympathy, but still needs his support somewhere. Guts doesn’t miss this either and even mentions it a page later: “You’re not some lost kid”. Guts is observant and sensitive enough to know something is up with her and I think he possibly roughly knows what it is, as well.
Perhaps Casca is trying to keep owning up to her own words “leave your personal feelings out of this”, with the result that she is pushing him away, when he is trying to be attentive towards her. He doesn’t like being shut out by her, considering he looks away with a pout.
What are they both expecting honestly? Just to be completely unaffected saving someone they both care for? Of course there will be feelings involved. This is very interesting because before this, there was formality, i.e. dry mercenary work serving in battles. Here, the situation has become very, very personal for both of them: Guts, who is dealing with feelings of guilt for abandoning Griffith a year ago, and Casca, who has spent the last year trying to keep Griffith’s dream alive by keeping the Hawks alive.
 They finally arrive at the tower where Griffith is being held captive.
I get a lot of questions regarding the interaction between Princess Charlotte and Casca here, so I will explain this in detail in a different article. Here, I would like to focus on Guts and Casca only.
Before entering the tower, a big discussion is triggered. Judeau says they should consider taking Princess Charlotte as hostage. From what I understood he also implies there is no reason to trust the Princess given she only wishes to be together with Griffith. Also remember the Hawks were already ambushed by the Royal Family of Midland and then chased down as fugitives a year ago, so his distrust is justified.
Then the Princess insists on being taken hostage.
However, Casca is against this suggestion and argues that if word gets out of this, it would irreparably damage the Hawks’ reputation. Their reputation would not only suffer in Midland, but in the bordering nations as well. Her last (and strongest) argument is that Griffith would not want that to happen. She is thinking way, way ahead and takes social and cultural effects into account. Very strategic and smart of her.
After the Princess’ tantrum, Casca lets her come with them voluntarily. For this, she is setting one condition though: in case Griffith does not want her to, the Princess of Midland needs to give up trying to get close to him.
Afterwards, Casca is actually torn about her decision. She believes her bias and jealousy that both work against the princess made her take the wrong decision. This is why she is calling herself a horrible woman here:
It also shows us that Casca has very high moral standards: her main concern is being as objective as possible, making decisions that benefits all and disadvantages none. The downside of that: realistically, she will never please everyone and struggling with feelings of inferiority in this situation is a given.
Now on hearing that, Guts is getting angry. Casca notices that she said something wrong, low-key admitting on her own jealousy for another in front of the man she slept with just a day before. He states that she’s being upset over nothing and making a huge deal out of it. Wasn’t it Casca who told him just a few hours ago to keep personal feelings out of this?
Note how sensitive and vulnerable Casca is here showing her emotions, too. It looks like she does not want Guts to be mad at her, so she eventually apologizes, but Guts is turning her down by drawing his arm away from her. Guts reveals the reason for being mad in a monologue, too: he does not like Casca to brood over Griffith that way. It sounds a bit like Guts is jealous of Griffith. He’s still pretty obsessed with him, too.
However, at the same time, we will see clearly that Casca, too, gets jealous.
 Once inside the tower, when Princess Charlotte is scared by one of the prisoners inside of the cells, she feels faint and cannot stand up. Guts facepalms at the sheltered Princess, but still offers to carry her.
Now, now, what do we have here? Judging by Casca’s reaction, she doesn’t seem to like that at all. In one hand, with Charlotte Guts reluctantly agrees on babysitting her; on the other hand, when he helped Casca after the Battle of Doldrey, it was because she was weakened from the poison dart. It was necessary for them to continue their journey, as well. His actions also show that he is very impatient: when the possibility to take the Princess as hostage was discussed, he too said how they were just wasting time. Again, Guts’ obsession with Griffith and saving him shows.
 Now with the legend of Emperor Gaiseric that follows, Casca is being quiet most of the time. Honestly, she has been rather quiet ever since Guts told her off for taking so long, as if she is offended or sore. In fact, she seems absent-minded during the Gaiseric Myth, and shortly afterwards drops the torch into the pit of the tower because she clumsily bumped her head into the wall of rocks.
 Afterwards, they finally reach the bottom of the tower. Suddenly, the Princess can walk again. She is storming towards the door, banging her fists against it. But, despite calling out Griffith’s name multiple times, there was no response from the inside at all.
Casca’s starting to shake in anxiety. Remember that Casca always does that when Griffith (later: Guts) was in danger? Guts places his palm on Casca’s shoulder and gives her an reassuring look. Nice little detail: Griffith has done something like this to Casca before Guts joined the Hawks. Now Guts is taking on the role of easing her anxiety.
After they finally found poor Griffith in his cell, everyone is shocked to see him lying on the floor. Guts is spurting towards Griffith, examining his critical physical state, then demands the keys for his mask from Casca. She is so frozen at the sight and incapable of doing anything. Judeau has to take the keys away from her instead.
What is also noteworthy is that it’s Guts driving the interaction forward here, as if he is the one guilty in this situation, leaving his friend and commander behind when he needed him the most.
When Guts opens up Griffith’s mask to see his face, he refuses to believe it is him. When Casca and Charlotte also wish to take a look, he tells them to stay away. He is quite mad and affected here. I want to believe mad at those who harmed Griffith and also in part mad at himself.
The reason why I think that can be found in the following pages: How remorse Guts actually feels we get to see when Griffith wakes up and the Raider Captain embraces him with teary eyes. How could he let that happen to his friend just because he wasn’t there?
So what about Casca? Her reaction is quite different. Instead of feeling angry or mad at whoever harmed Griffith, she seems to feels anxious and paralyzed. While Casca is drowning in anxiety, Guts is boiling from the inside.
Then, the torturer appears, locking the group up in the dungeon. In his grand speech, he goes into graphic detail how he tortured Griffith and points out what an effort it was. His “relationship” to the poor Griffith he compared to that of a husband and his wife. Guts could definitely not hear those atrocities that were done to his friend and commander, knowing the offender even enjoyed it thoroughly. Reading this, I can’t help but think of Donovan for some reason.
Guts eventually snaps completely, bashing through the thick dungeon door. Naturally, he makes sure the little gremlin dies a horrible death: impaled by his huge sword, Guts cuts off his tongue before throwing him into the dark abyss, taunting him as he does so. But not only that: he is now going full rampage mode on the arriving soldiers as well. I think this is one of the first times where Guts truly goes berserk as reaction of someone he values being harmed or tortured, as it would later be the case before (protecting Griffith, Casca and the Hawks from Wyald), during (trying to save Griffith) and after the Eclipse (saving Jill from the bandits).
Now what does this entire segment have anything to do with Guts and Casca? This entire display was to show how Guts was capable of atrocities if given a good reason and how Casca’s trust is still there despite of it.
 Charlotte is so intimated by this gory display that she is clinging to Griffith, stating how scared she is of the former Raider Captain.
However, who is not scared of Guts?
That’s right. Casca.
In a gesture of care, she is wiping the blood off his face. She tells him that he is scaring the princess, as if that is her reason to do so, but I think there is much more to read between the lines. It shows that Casca knows Guts is no threat to her, even if he can be extremely brutal and merciless. She trusts him.
But, it also shows that Guts is still not accustomed to any kind of touch because of his rough childhood: you can tell that by his first, intuitive reaction to it. But, the moment he notices it was Casca touching him, he doesn’t seem to mind it. No, we see him relax and enjoying it. He also knows that Casca is no threat to him. He trusts her, too.
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