A man named Hawk is Ban’s master. Ban has no idea what Hawk’s real name is, and he has never seen him in his original form.
Nothing about their intimate relationship or how he came to refer to him as “master” has stayed in his memory.
His sole certainty is that he must do everything it takes to safeguard Hawk and carry out his commands, no matter how dire the situation becomes.
Ban’s pig side can’t remember why he chose to always side with a hawk, but his tiny human side believes it may be because someone taught him to never give up and protect his friends and family when he was human.
As a result, Ban has the idea that he owes someone for the education he received as a kid.
Reasons why Ban frequently refers to Hawk Master as “Master”
The first one is the easiest. Since Ban finds humor in everything, the name “Hawk Knight/Master/Scrap disposal” or whatever other bizarre moniker he came up with was probably simply a joke.
Second, while Ban is having a private conversation with Hawk, this is the only method to catch his attention (Hey! Excuse me, but could you just release your grip? Oh… right.)
In episode 7, after sneaking past the guards, Ban comments, “So that noise back there…” You can tell that the distance and the level of the talk mean that no one will be able to hear them if they speak normally.
If you look closely, you can hear Ban ask, “Hey… why’d you stop?” when they draw near to one another. With Hawk’s back to Ban, normal communication is obviously out of the question; this is presumably why Hawk referred to Ban by an unusual title.
Third, we’ve been taught that this level of formality is typical of a specific subset of people, but that it doesn’t feel right coming from Ban.
In the company of the other Sins, he isn’t exactly polite or respectful, either. In other words, it can sound natural coming from someone else since people are used to hearing them speak that way, but it sounds strange coming from Ban because he doesn’t usually do it.
The reason Hawk addressed Ban as “Master” in response is now clear:
First, given the trajectory of their relationship, there is very little genuine respect between them towards the end of the novel.
They cooperate more because it is in their best interests than because they genuinely care about one another.
As so, it’s puzzling why Hawk would refer to Ban as “master.” How could he possibly refer to him as “master” when he doesn’t act like his master?
The fact that people are always wondering why he keeps calling him Master or why Ban keeps calling Hawk Master is hilarious precisely because it makes no sense to anyone but those who know why.
And secondly, why would Ban address Hawk Master as “Master?” He probably does it for the same reasons Hawk calls him “Master”: it’s handy, and because they don’t have any positive feelings for each other, it’s not like they have anything to lose by calling each other that.
So, why do Hawk and Ban behave this way while they’re together?
It’s not clear what the whole answer is. We do know that they met, though, and that it was back when Hawk was still a Death Scythe (and not yet expelled from the order).
When his attempt to assassinate Ban failed, the two of them continued their journey together until Ban eventually struck off on his own.
Since then, neither has seriously attempted to kill the other, despite the alliance having devolved into something closer to mutual convenience than actual friendship.
One explanation is that they’re not doing it out of a shared desire to work together, but rather because doing so will get the job done more quickly and with less friction.
Ban may be calling Hawk “Master” to catch his attention, and the two may have tacitly agreed to pretend they respect each other more than they do.
Ban has proved that he is willing to cooperate with virtually anyone if doing so will further his agenda; since his safety is not in jeopardy, he sees no reason to resist.
Hawk doesn’t seem like the kind to worry about offending others, so why should he worry about Ban’s actions, even when they don’t directly affect him?
Episode 8’s exchange between Hawk and Ban, in which Hawk says, “You’ve got some nerve, showing up in a place like this,” and Ban replies, “Since when did you become the master?” provides further context for Hawk’s behavior towards Ban.
Ban refers to Hawk as “Master,” albeit it’s unclear why. They probably used that term for each other at one point to try to win favor.
Moreover, Hawk may say it more out of habit than respect, and Ban may act that way for reasons having less to do with mutual respect and more to do with why they settled on it in the first place.
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