I'm a bit late to reply, didn't have time to log in lately.
I was wondering where you were lol.
This is a turning point for the Berserk story. We still don't know how their visit to Elfhelm will affect them, and what they will learn from Danan. For all we know, Danan, who is a powerful astral being and probably very very ancient, could know not only the identity and nature of the moonlight boy but also some precious informations about the God Hand and their god. Maybe she knows a way to free the boy without opposing Griffith (i'm just making an example).
The boy could also, very probably, show up himself at Elfhelm if they stay long enough for a full moon to occur, Schierke too will have to mention eventually to Danan about the mysterious boy they met. The story must move forward, and there has to be a strong motivation for the party to undertake another travel, which has not to be necessarly revenge on Griffith.
Pretty much, I can't add to that. Miura just kind of introduces things on the magical side as he goes along and kind of strings everything together loosely to make it seem like it makes sense. It's mainly the characters and themes persistent throughout the story that are consistent and what we mainly need to rely on for predicting future events in the story.
Uh…..no. Casca won't have any shreds of compassion or admiration for Griffith, and not even a slightest doubt about his "accountability" for what happened at the eclipse, after she'll be healed. The reason she went insane is probably because she still cannot accept the fact that the man she admired and dedicated so much for, killed all her companions and did all those horrible things to her. It's an analogy to Guts's past, when he was a kid he tried his best to be aknwlodged by Gambino, who always scorned him, only to discover he was the one who sold him to Donovan, his abuser. Guts every now and then thought about Gambino during the Golden age arc, because he still didn't come to terms with what happened back then. But after he confessed everything to Casca he went over it and didn't think about it anymore. Casca's healing now represent the same thing.
And how can we be that sure that even once her mind is fully healed up, that she's going to have the exact same conviction as Guts does with wanting to carve up Griffith for vengeance? All we've seen is Guts' perspective and feelings on the whole thing, and his need to protect Casca keeping him going. I'm not literally saying that Casca's going to say "Oh, it's okay that Griffith killed all of our comrades in raped me. In fact, I actually enjoyed the latter!". Or that she'll be loyal to Griffith just because she's always been the most loyal before, as if nothing has changed. Nothing that asinine. I mean in terms of if she still thinks it's right and justifiable to hold Griffith accountable to the point that he has to die. To risk the presence of a sanctuary like Falconia (which I talk about more in the next quote response), to risk the life of her own child if it indeed bonded to Griffith. To truly believe that, despite the depraved acts that Griffith partook in to get there, that you can truly blame Griffith accepting the God Hand's offer in such a pitifully broken, permanent state for the rest of his life. Especially since they were all "technically" willing to give their lives to fulfill Griffith's dream of wanting a kingdom (at least, that's how Griffith tried to justify it in his head). It's all part of the complex philosophical conflict throughout this series of whether it's worth it to sacrifice your loved ones to achieve your dream, and the answer is always that it's just an irrational way of trying to bury the pain in your heart and that when your present world shatters all around you, you'll be nostalgic for the fondness of the merits of the life you had before. It's probably what's going to happen to Griffith at the end of the manga with his inevitable downfall (no way that a city protected by Apostles with that huge visual dichotomy and impulsiveness to chase Rickert after slapping Griffith is seriously going to hold up in a million years), but now I'm getting off-point.
It's a bit funny that you mention Guts' troubles with coming to terms with Gambino after trusting him and enduring the trauma of being a rape survivor. Because even when/if Casca gets her mind back again, who is to say that she's going to easily accept Griffith being responsible, especially to the point of thinking that he deserves to be murdered like Guts thinks? Especially if this is an analogy, which I could agree with, then we should expect some parallel of Guts being unwilling to confront Gambino about the rape after hearing about how Gambino accepted the offer and only got a confirmation once Gambino decided to irrationally blame Guts for his life going to hell as a bad luck child. Not that it has to happen exactly or anything, but Casca is at least going to be a bit conflicted for a while that the man she admired for her whole life and was willing to stay with in a decrepit state by sacrificing her love with Guts was the same person who sacrificed the Band of the Hawk and raped her in front of the man she loved. Expecting her to immediately be grateful to Guts and be fully on board with his objective at first, even without anything about the son being involved, is a bit unrealistic. Especially when Guts still had trouble believing what Gambino did to him and, and feel free to correct me on this since I could easily be getting confused with similar stories in other series, even slightly wondering if it was his fault.
The degree of how much Casca will be at odds with Guts is still pure speculation though. But it's only going to get more complex when Guts and Casca hear more about Falconia and actually see it for themselves once they return to the mainland and see all of the creatures about. And also when the rest of the party finally learns about Guts' past, and how they're going to feel if Guts tells them "Yeah, we have to axe off the guy in charge of the one remaining kingdom, which is basically a perfect utopia, in a land full of anarchy from fairy tale/mythical creatures and basically wage war with an army of Apostles because the White Hawk slaughtered my own kin back in the day and made Casca insane from rape". I can't see Schierke wavering from Guts considering her knowledge on the White Hawk and being attached to Guts, but how Isidro (due to unknowingly worshipping Guts for so long and needing character development on being willing to kill), Serpico (wanting to protect Farnese), and Farnese (whose relationship with Casca has definitely been built-up for something when Casca regains her memories) is going to be eventful, no matter how much bonding they've done so far. Just because the amnesia fits into the analogy of Guts not wanting to accept what Gambino did to him doesn't mean that it's going to automatically end when Casca regains her memories. Especially when she remembers everything about her journey with Guts, including being left alone for two years and getting assaulted by him (you could brush off the latter as a minute instance, maybe, but the former is something that shouldn't be ignored just because Guts changed his mind and saved her a bunch of times to cure her. She can be grateful, but she doesn't have to be comfortable with him or agree with his standards). Casca getting cured does not necessarily have to be equivalent to the catharsis that Guts had in confessing his past.
And I mentioned the persistent separation between Guts and Casca at the end of my quote there, not because I legitimately think Casca is still going to have that amount of devout loyalty towards Griffith, but because the fact that they constantly separate due to Griffith as the crux of their relationship is a recurring theme that can be expected to be upheld once Casca gains her memories and has to process how reality has progressed since the Eclipse. In fact, we're kind of agreeing on mostly the same thing now that I'm looking back on how much we agree on in hindsight in terms of them having a divide. The only main difference is that I don't think it's going to JUST be the fact that Griffith has a connection to the child, but not being willing to accept that Griffith, for everything that he has accomplished thus far and the state of world affairs now (and a strained relationship with guts playing a bit of a factor emotionally), should be held accountable to the point of vengeance. I feel like we're kind of misunderstanding each other and are debating very minute, but reasonable points for both sides. I apologize if you literally think I was saying that Casca is going to still feel devout loyalty towards Griffith without any dynamic change. I was just speaking in relation to how that plays a role thematically and in terms of what trauma and internal conflict she can still have in the present. I should have reworded my previous thoughts in that reply better.
And Griffith's accountability was never a "big theme" during that Falconia section, it was not even a theme at all. Rickert just wondered what someone as small as him could do to punish Griffith, a demigod being, for what he did to his companions, but he never questioned Griffith's accountability. All he could do was to give him that humiliating slap, completely uncaring about the consequences.
Actually, it was a big theme. It's why Guts told Rickert that nobody how much he tried, that "you could truly never hate Griffith". Not to mention that after fighting the new creatures around the land and having the responsibility of protecting his sister, we see him going around town and showing the readers panel after panel of how beautiful and prosperous Falconia looks like, like a utopia. Rickert gets an invitation to what's basically heaven, and we're made to wonder if he's actually going to go through with rejecting all of this by still holding Griffith responsible for sacrificing the Band of the Hawk, no matter how much good was accomplished by what this place brings. And there's also that juicy quote that Luca mentioned to Rickert. She didn't know about what happened to the Band of the Hawk or anything that specific, but when learning about how Rickert was willing to leave due to holding some type of grudge against Griffith, she even questioned him about if it was worth sacrificing his present safety his SISTER's present safety, to still hold someone like Griffith accountable for such a grudge. And it's important to note that Luca, out of every character that could have been there, said this because she was the one consistent moral compass during the Conviction arc that Miura emphasized to be an admirable role-model. She was probably the only character in that arc who didn't have a single instance of ethical doubt or flaws in that story. Which made it all the more complex to wait and see what choice Rickert would make.
The question wasn't really just about how Rickert would punish Griffith for being such a small individual (which he did mention during that chapter), but if he would be willing to judge him enough to the point of refusing the invitation in the first place after everything that was seen there since they had that jolly talk on the hill. Hence why Guts' quote of "you could never truly hate Griffith" kept ringing about in Rickert's head at least a few times throughout that arc until it was finally showtime to see what he would do when he saw Griffith face-to-face. Even if his mind was already made up from the get-go about refusing the invitation, there was still a consistent about if he was actually willing to hang on to that sentiment in spite of witnessing Falconia. It's why he also says in his thoughts besides being small that he never thought he would see a flourishing city again, and recognizing how Griffith, like a god, like an angel, can perform miracles. I could understand why you might have had issues with the rest of my comment, but I thought all of this was pretty obvious. I would have thought that all of the returning characters readers got to know and get attached to returning and constantly praising Griffith, someone we the readers are meant to hate from seeing his atrocities first-hand through the perspective of Guts, would have gotten the point across to the theme was mainly about if Griffith can still be held accountable despite using those sacrifices to make a utopia. And Rickert answered that with a slap, called Griffith out, and left. It's pretty simple, but I'd be more than happy to debate this more.
Being groomed to despise an antagonist and then being conflicted upon seeing that he has actually committed some forms of good and has people who admire and care for him, especially when a main character is witnessing all of this and is treated courteously, is something I've actually seen a few times in fiction. To have the viewer themselves question if the main characters we're supposed to root for are still able to carry on with their resolve to reject and/or even fight/kill an antagonist after witnessing these things, making the situation all the more philosophically complex. Especially when it comes to a character like Rickert who was previously seen having an enjoyable talk with Griffith after seeing that he's back, but before learning of his atrocities from Guts. You're underestimating how Miura was portraying this mini-arc to viewers in order to confuse them on whether or not Rickert would refuse Griffith's invitation and do something akin to a slap or spit on the face for his consequentialist actions at the Eclipse in exchange for the chance to make Falconia.
Yes. That's what i sayed in my post. Guts, on the Sea Horse, after the battle with the Sea God, wondered the possibility and his desire to continue his quest for vengeance, and there will be likely a dialogue about this matter between him and Casca. But in the end he will choose nevertheless to stick with whatever Casca will desire to do, he promised it back then in vol 17, he said "I'll never lose her again". As for Guts reconsidering his motivation for revenge, if that happens, and very probably it will, it won't happen now, Guts's hatred for Griffith is like, one of the pillars theme of Berserk, if he can get over it, i can't see him doing it now, but at the very end of the manga when he'll conquer his Beast of Darkness.
Of course, of course. And I know that's what you mostly said, I was just reiterating it to connect my own thoughts into it. And I wasn't seriously saying this conflict has to happen right after Casca gets healed or even during the Fantasia arc itself lol. This is all probably even endgame stuff for all we know.
Even though i'm unsure about her initial reaction to Guts after the ritual, there is no way that a serious and stoic character as Casca will feel anything but an immense gratitude and love for what Guts did for her, and the fact that he leaved her alone won't change anything for her, because Guts, just as Casca, went through very traumatic events. That is even more supported by the fact that in the Dreamcast game of 1999, Sword of Berserk, which was written by Miura, there is scene where Casca momentarily regain her sanity, and she calls Guts "my dear".
To be fair, they had that awkward period of Casca being bitter of Guts in the first half or so of the Golden Age, along with Casca (in her insane state, given) having a phobia of Guts since the Golden Age ended and that scene where Guts was tempted by the Beast of Darkness to kill/maybe rape Casca. So forgive me if Casca and Guts having some sort of divide between each other is such recurring element that it's hard to imagine it won't happen again in some way lol. It is indeed very possible that she'll be cool with Guts, I'm just mentioning a curveball that Miura might be tempted to throw for such a hyped up event in the manga as well as following through with what the Skull Knight may have been hinting at.
I didn't know that game was written by Miura though! Very fascinating to know. But that still doesn't mean that's the route he'll go with the story though. In fact, plenty of writers who get signed on for video game adaptations and the like give expected, red herring endings (when used to predict what might happen in the original source) or moments when it treads non-canon territory. No writer is going to seriously want to leak what they're planning for a story in an adaptation, especially when that will happen arcs and literal years later. So pardon me if I'm a bit apprehensive about using an adaptation as an indication of what might happen in the future events of a story. But props to you for bringing that up though, it's still quite interesting to note.