Pip seems to be of French origin, having a French surname; Bernadotte. However, this is also the name of the current Swedish royal family. Hirano has mentioned in interviews that Pip is of Swedish/French origin. Seras states that Pip only hates Germans because he's French. Pip's family were mercenaries since his "grandpa's grandpa's grandpa's grandpa," thus effectively making it ten generations of mercenary work within the Bernadotte family. His grandfather, for example, was a mercenary while Pip's father was killed in combat, while gathering money for Pip's delivery. It's unknown what rank Pip's other family members had in the mercenary group before they died or retired.
Pip was raised by his mother and paternal grandfather. At a point in his childhood, he was teased for being 'a murderer's son' and confronted his grandfather. Upon learning Pip wasn't aware, Pip's grandfather gives Pip a speech on being a mercenary before (correctly) stating that while Pip is upset by it now, he will continue the legacy, because it wasn't about the money, but fighting for fun. Starting in 1992, Pip became a professional mercenary and fought on numerous battlefields.
Pip is a man of average height with reddish-brown hair and green eyes. Although he speaks with a French accent for the entirety of the series, Pip was only confirmed as French by Kouta Hirano in the back of volume 6's tankobon, where it is stated that he is "French and loves boobs".
Perhaps his most notable features are his eye patch and long braid. He usually wears an Australian slouch hat; it has what appears to be an emblem of a Griffin on the front. Pip is also a compulsive smoker, and, even in death, is shown with a cigarette hanging in his mouth. Seras even comments on this in the anime by saying "I'd really prefer it if you didn't smoke inside of me." Pip also sports a bandage on the bridge of his nose.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Pip (along with the rest of the Wild Geese) primarily uses an AK-74 assault rifle as well as a Colt Single Action Army Revolver. Although having no supernatural powers, he does have experience from warfare and skills with firearms and military tactics. It also seems that his cigarette lighter doubles as a detonator, for C4 charges.
The Wild Geese were hired by Walter Dornez at the end of Volume 2 as replacements for the soldiers killed during the Valentine Brothers' invasion of Hellsing Manor. When Integra introduced Seras Victoria as an example of a vampire, Pip laughed her off, mockingly claiming that if she was a vampire then he was "Frankenstein's Monster" as he advanced on the former policewoman.
He quickly regretted his skepticism when Seras nearly broke his neck by flicking him in the face with her index finger, also demonstrating supernatural speed while delivering several follow-up flicks. The demonstration was further enhanced when Seras' master, Alucard, entered the room by phasing through the wall. Now fully convinced of the existence of vampires, Pip and the rest of the Wild Geese began training with Seras at the shooting range outside Hellsing Manor.
Shortly after the Wild Geese began working at Hellsing Manor, Pip joined Alucard and Seras in traveling to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in order to find leads on the mysterious Millennium organization. Alucard and Seras are later attacked by BOPE units of the Brazilian military police after being declared in public as international terrorists, a ruse perpetrated by Brazilian officials in exchange for immortality promised by Millennium. While Alucard slaughtered the BOPE unit invading his hotel, Pip snuck into the Brazilian officials' camp and killed them with a bomb. While Alucard fought and killed Tubalcain Alhambra, the local Millennium officer, Pip hijacked a helicopter to help them escape.
Pip later returned to England with Alucard and Seras, joining them at the emergency conference of Iscariot, Hellsing, and The Convention of Twelve to discuss Alucard's findings regarding Millenium. When Schrödinger appeared, Pip joined several others in training his gun on the interloper, and subsequently bore witness to the Major's declaration of war against them.
During Millennium's invasion of London (Operation Seelöwe 2), Pip, Seras, and the Wild Geese were tasked with defending Hellsing Manor. When First Lieutenant Zorin Blitz attacked Hellsing Manor with roughly one-third of the Letztes Bataillon, Pip coordinated his allies' defense of the manor. As Seras Victoria shot down incoming missiles with the Harkonnen II's AA cannons, Pip admitted that he was no longer concerned about payment for his services. Although not particularly fond of London or its people, he believed that they did not deserve the horrors of war Millennium was bringing upon them. To that end, Pip ordered Seras to make the vampiric Nazis pay for every life they took, and Seras readily agreed.
After Seras shot down Zorin's zeppelin, Pip directed his Wild Geese to lay down suppressing fire on the advancing vampires, forcing them into a field of claymore mines the Geese had set up earlier. He explained that vampires, unlike humans, would not think of retreat - thus, their best hope was to whittle the Millennium forces down from afar. Unfortunately, Zorin used an illusion to distract the defenders, including Pip himself. By the time Seras managed to dispel the illusion, Zorin's forces had bypassed the minefield (by throwing a line of knives into the ground and hopping across their hilts) and breached Hellsing Manor.
Realizing that his mercenaries were vastly outclassed by the vampires in direct combat, Pip changed his strategy; the Wild Geese would try to stall the vampires while Seras ambushed and killed them. Before they split up, Pip almost tricked Seras into letting him kiss her, but honestly bid her luck as she set off. When Seras was gone, Pip gave his men a heartening speech about dying with honor for the sake of "a fine woman" before dispatching them to their posts.
The resulting battle went poorly for the Wild Geese - most of them were killed by Zorin and her minions. Pip found himself barricaded in the conference room with a few of his men, spending most of his time fortifying their position and bolstering their faltering morale in the face of overwhelming odds and low ammunition. When Zorin's troops attacked the Wild Geese's barricade with a Panzerfaust, Pip was wounded by wooden shrapnel that hit him in the stomach. Luckily, Seras arrived to destroy Zorin's troops before they could finish off the few surviving mercenaries, prompting Pip to confidently declare that the tide had turned back in their favor.
However, Zorin Blitz had other plans; she used her illusions to incapacitate Seras before inflicting numerous brutal wounds with her scythe. Before the First Lieutenant could finish Seras off, Pip struck her with the butt of his rifle before shooting her with his last silver bullets. With Zorin temporarily out of commission, Pip tried to carry Seras to safety under the cover of smoke grenades. As he struggled down the hall and shot down Seras' pleas to leave her behind, the Captain was shot repeatedly by a vampire that managed to survive Seras' attack. While his remaining men finished off the vampire, Pip continued to slowly retreat, again refusing to leave Seras to die.
Before Pip could get to safety, he was impaled through the stomach by Zorin's thrown scythe, finally forcing him to drop Seras as he slumped against a wall. Lighting a cigarette as the wounded Seras blindly reached for him, he playfully called her an "idiot" for needing saving while trying to save the Wild Geese. When Seras managed to climb over his dying body, Pip took the opportunity to kiss her, cheerfully laughing that he finally caught her off-guard. After asking Seras to drink his blood and defeat Millennium, Pip finally expired with a smile on his face.
As Zorin mocked Pip as "a gnat" and summoned reinforcements, Seras honored the captain's last wish and drank his blood. In doing so, she unlocked her true vampiric powers, giving her the strength to effortlessly destroy Zorin's soldiers and overpower the First Lieutenant. When Zorin attempted to trap Seras in another illusion, she discovered that Pip's memories had been added to Seras', preventing her from influencing the latter's mind. After killing Zorin, Seras set out for London, citing her earlier promise to Pip that she would "get" the Nazis. The two survivors of the Wild Geese realized that their captain lived on within Seras herself, and thus saluted her before she left.
Pip made a reappearance as Seras' familiar in Volume 9, encouraging her during her battle with the Captain in the Deus Ex Machina. He realized that the room they were battling in was filled with relics from World War II, including treasures stolen from the innocent people the Nazis killed. At that moment, the Captain threw Seras a silver tooth (or a tooth with a silver filling), which Pip interpreted as a desire for Seras to kill him. When Seras immobilized the Captain by grabbing his leg with her teeth, Pip manifested from her shadowy left arm and drove the silver tooth into the Captain's heart, killing him.
Pip continued to exist by the final chapter of Hellsing: Volume 10. As Seras uses her shadows to create a barrier around Hellsing Manor after the 30-year time skip, even though Pip makes no actual appearance, his voice can be heard from the shadows that proves that he is still sentient, living being as a part of Seras.
- "Now then, let's go and die like mangy dogs. Let's die while yelling 'Fuck, Fuck!' as we take gut shots. As we writhe in agony."
- "Face it, this room will be our tomb; the mansion our gravestone; and our gravekeeper will be that cast-iron bitch Integra. And our epitaph? 'Here lies the fearsome Wild Geese who kicked beaucoup Nazi ass for Queen and crumpets.' But they won't write any of that. Because of you it'll say: 'Here lies those gutless pussies that died pissing themselves and screaming like schoolgirls.' Man the fuck up, bitch! You'll die with honor even if I have to tie you to your damn post! You take the money because you like it, and you fight because you like it and now... you're going to die like a merc and like it!"
- It should be noted that between Pip's first appearance and the expedition to Brazil, Pip did not have an eyepatch, but instead had his left eye bandaged, though this is not reflected in the OVA.
- In a filler chapter, Kouta Hirano mentioned that Pip was of Swedish ancestry. The current royal house of Sweden is the Royal House of Bernadotte, founded by one of Napoleon's marshals: Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte.
- Given Pip's French/Swedish origins and his possible connections with the Royal House of Bernadotte, he is most likely a Protestant (in this case, Lutheran).
- The name of his group, The Wild Geese, is NOT derived from a movie during the 1970s about a group of mercenaries in Africa, but is instead a reference to The Wild Geese, the Irish who left Ireland following the Treaty of Limerick. Pip being French, it could an homage, since it was the Wild Geese serving France who finally broke the back of the English army at the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745, (according to some accounts taking the colors of England's Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards). (Which would place their entry after the dissolution of the 'official' French Irish units. However, many organizations of predominately Irish mercenaries are known to refer to themselves as the 'Wild Geese', particularly those dating back to the 18th and 19th century.)
- Unlike most mercenaries who prefer automatic pistols as their sidearm, Pip wields a revolver.
- He is never referred to as "Pip" in the manga, but is credited as "Pip Bernadotte" in the credits of the OVA.
- It appears that on his left collar, he has a patch of the flag of Romania. Vlad the Impaler (Alucard) had his residence in Transylvania while he was the king of Wallachia, and after the Great War (WWI) Transylvania was integrated into Romania as part of the agreement between Romania and the allies.
- Alternatively, the patch could be of the flag of Belgium (though the coloration is ambiguous). This would make sense given Belgium's close geographical proximity to France, and the role Belgium played between Great Britain, France, and Germany in both World Wars.
- The brand of cigarettes Pip smokes before he dies is "Lucky Strike".
- It is worth noting that while Alucard's familiars seem more like ghouls except Rip and Tubalcain, Pip is still very much himself. He encourages Seras as she is about to give up, exchange light banters with her and teaches her how to fight against the Captain while commenting all along. He remarks as he kills the Captain that he shouldn't have touched "other people's woman". He even complains loudly when Makube punched the wall in Volume 10.
- It's implied this is because he voluntarily gave Seras his blood, allowing him to maintain his autotomy. This is foreshadowed by Schrodinger, who mentions that accepting offered blood is much different than simply taking it.
- It's implied that Pip was raised in the United States. In the seventh episode of the OVA during his grandfather's speech, a shot shows Mr. Bernadotte's newspaper and the headlines were not only in English, but referencing American locations (one page is titled "NEW YORK FINANCIAL NEWS" and a page across it in an editorial talks about a factory in Alabama closing).