I see this question being asked on social media rather frequently. Let’s start this post with an analogy:
When a team develops software, it usually has a name. However, while the name, branding or overall function of the software stays the same, it evolves: the scope grows, features and functionality are added to it. As such, software exists in different versions. These versions have the same nature but are not identical. Even as a human being, you are not the the exact same as you were a couple of years ago. You’ve gained new experiences, learned a couple of things and may have accumulated a few scars here and there.
I think the same can be said about Femto and Griffith. Femto is a spiritual evolution of who Griffith was before the Eclipse.
You could say that Griffith’s astral form ascended and in doing so, it also transformed. But: The original “identity” of the spirit that ascended stayed the same. That means Femto is a spiritual evolution of Griffith, but he is also a personification of his dream that exists solely to pursue it. In both cases, they are not exactly the same.
Neo-Griffith, that means the Griffith that returned after the Birth Ceremony, is not the same as he was during the Golden Age because he is actually a “Griffith in disguise”: demigod Femto masquerading as his old self using the Demon Infant’s body. During the Hill of Swords chapter that takes place directly after the Birth Ceremony, Guts tells Rickert this Griffith is not the one he used to know. Not even in spirit they are the identical person, considering his spirit transformed and changed during the Eclipse, assuming the powerful spirit form he has now as Femto.
To proceed with the software analogy, he is a newer version of Griffith. The only thing that stayed the same is his purpose and generally known reputation as the White Hawk. During the Hill of Swords chapter, Griffith did say to Guts that nothing has changed: He is still pursuing his goal to get his own kingdom; but now, he is extending his war to the astral world.
If you have questions about who Neo-Griffith actually is, I’ve written a post here that explains his nature: Demon Infant, Moonboy & Griffith.
Thank you for reading. Let me know what you think about this topic in the comments section below!
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