Existence

For a secondary character neither part of the main cast nor the main villain of the story, Gabranth has more than his fair share of the spotlight. Although Gabranth has limited interactions with the heroes until nearing the end of their journey, he still plays an integral role in the story of Final Fantasy XII.

Final Fantasy XII centers itself on the theme of (seeking) freedom. From the major plotline of Dalmasca seeking liberation from the clutches of the Empire, to the minor details, such as Vaan’s dream of becoming a sky pirate (and that there was even such a thing as a sky pirate in the first place) or Fran’s decision to leave the forest and dwell in the cities (and the skies), the theme of freedom seemed to be a noticeable trademark within the world of Final Fantasy XII. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Archadian Empire is the oppressor of freedom as the antagonist of the story, by invading neighboring nations and enforcing Archadian rules upon the conquered.

As a Judge under the Archadian Empire, Gabranth is also a character that contradicts with the theme of freedom. The very idea of the Judge is to strip away the freedom of others, and the creation of the Archadian Judge System allows the Judges power to enforce the laws of Archadia and pass judgement on alleged criminals on the spot.

Peeling back his identity as an Archadian Judge, Gabranth himself is also a stark contrast to the theme of freedom until the very end. Gabranth is a character bound by his guilty conscience and his own past, which caused him to hold on to resentment and hatred for Basch until nearing the end of the game. He felt guilty for working for his enemies, but perhaps also felt that it was Basch’s fault that he had to do what he did because Basch fled to Dalmasca and left Gabranth and his mother behind as Landis was being invaded by the Empire.

This discrepancy was also apparent in Gabranth's interactions with the party at Pharos and on the Sky Fortress Bahamut. Gabranth clearly could not understand how Ashe could leave the past behind and abandon revenge after he taunted and confessed his crimes to the group at Pharos. He also could not understand how Basch could move on from shaming both Landis and Dalmasca and hold on to his honor as a knight. It was not until after one last fight with Basch and company, where Basch questioned if Gabranth has also found someone else to protect that gave him the ability to live on after Landis and all that has happened in the past, in addition to telling Gabranth to live on and reclaim the name he has abandoned that Gabranth finally chose to let go and be freed of his past and his guilt by defending Larsa and fighting alongside the party against Vayne.