Goblin Slayer Episode 9

Goblin Slayer Episode 9

There and Back Again

The creator of Goblin Slayer, Kumo Kagyuu, has said that western fantasy series, such as Dungeons & Dragons, are a huge influence for him and his work. Last week we got a Hobbit reference in the form of the riddle, “what have I got in my pocket?” and this week even the title of the episode is a Hobbit reference.

For those who aren’t aware, “what have I got in my pocket?” is the riddle Bilbo Baggins asks Gollum (unintentionally) and the answer is the ring of power. The title of this week’s episode, “There and Back Again” is the title of the book Bilbo writes about his adventure.

I’m low-key hoping for Goblin Slayer to ask High Elf, “what do your elf eyes see?” Although, to be fair this may have already happened in an earlier episode and I just didn’t notice.

Unfortunately, this title doesn’t really seem to have had much to do with the content of the episode. I assumed it was foreshadowing that Goblin Slayer and company where going to enter the mirror portal and eventually make their way back, but it seems that the title was more so referencing the conclusion of their time in Water Town.

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall

At the end of last week’s episode the party found a mysterious mirror in the sewers beneath Water Town that was guarded by an eyeball monster. This mirror appeared to be a portal of some sort and was assumed to be how the goblins were entering the sewers.

In this episode, this is all confirmed when Priestess touches the mirror and a goblin village is shown on the other side after the ripples in the surface fade. The goblins in this village are seen using primitive technology and boats, something the goblins of the sewers were familiar with, but normal goblins should not be.

Now that it’s confirmed that these goblins originated from beyond the portal, it makes sense why they didn’t know of the existence of the large, white alligator which inhabited the sewer. Remember, Goblin Slayer thought it was strange that they wouldn’t know of its existence if the sewers were, in fact, their domain.

But, even though the geographical origin of the goblins was discovered, there are still more questions which need to be answered. These goblins were taught how to use the portal, and there was a monster guarding the portal, so who is their leader and what are they after?

These questions will be answered in the next section, so for now let’s take a look at what happens next.

When the goblin village was shown through the mirror, I was certain that Goblin Slayer would choose to enter it and eradicate the goblins at the source, but this isn’t the case. Instead, he uses the mirror as part of his plan to defeat the incoming army of goblins from elsewhere in the sewers, who were alerted to the party by the explosion from last episode.

The party back up to the mirror and divide up the tasks at hand. Priestess does her usual Priestess things and Lizardman creates a dragontooth warrior to protect her while he tears the mirror down from the wall. Meanwhile, the other three fend off the goblins.

High Elf uses her bow, Dwarf creates rock projectiles, and Goblin Slayer uses said rocks with a sling. When the goblin champion reappears, Goblin Slayer moves in to distract it until Lizardman can fully remove the mirror from the wall.

Once the mirror is down, Lizardman and his dragontooth warrior hold it facing the ceiling, and the rest of the party gathers underneath it. At this point, Goblin Slayer instructs Dwarf to bring down the entire cavern in which the battle is taking place, once again showing his ability to think outside the box.

The collapsing ceiling crushes all of the goblins, but the party of adventurers come out unscathed because all the rubble which would have fallen on them instead went through the mirror and destroyed the goblin village on the other side.

To prevent the goblins, or anyone else, from using the mirror portal again, the party then seal it in cement and sink it in the canal. This doesn’t really seem all that permanent, but I suppose it’s not all that easy to destroy an ancient, magical artifact.

Kono Sword Maiden Da!

Yes, that subtitle was a JoJo’s reference.

Upon returning from the sewers, Goblin Slayer reports back to the Sword Maiden and informs her that the goblins will no longer be able to enter the sewers via the mirror. He then asks her how much she actually knew about the situation, to which she admits that she knew everything going on in the sewers the whole time.

However, this doesn’t mean that the Sword Maiden was the one leading the goblins into Water Town. What she’s admitting to is knowing that the goblins were entering the sewers via the portal, and that the attacks on civilians weren’t actually the doing of goblins.

The true mastermind behind the goblins’ movements is none other than the demon lord, and the motive was likely the Sword Maiden. By this I mean that the Sword Maiden was likely the intended target of the goblin attacks, although they never even made it out of the sewers.

The reason for the goblins never making it out of the sewers is the giant, white alligator I mentioned earlier. It seems that this monster was summoned by the Sword Maiden in an attempt to stop the goblins from gaining a foothold within the sewers, but it came with an unexpected consequence.

I mentioned that the attacks on civilians within the city weren’t actually the work of goblins, and it would seem that this alligator may be to blame, although I have to admit, that doesn’t make much sense. It’s true that goblins don’t merely kill, disembowel, and eat women, but due to its size I don’t think that alligator would either.

I’d be pretty amazed if an alligator of that size was able to traverse the city streets undetected, even at night. So, as far as the true culprit of the attacks on civilians is concerned, I can’t say for sure who or what it is. If you obtained more information regarding this from Goblin Slayer’s conversation with Sword Maiden, let me know in the comments.

Goblin Slayer from the anime Goblin Slayer
Goblin Slayer

Due to her experience with goblins when she was 15, part of which we see, Sword Maiden is so afraid of a potential goblin attack that she saw summoning a monster like the alligator as a preferable alternative. However, her hiring of Goblin Slayer shows that she understood the alligator couldn’t be a permanent solution.

Sword Maiden then seems to go off on a tangent about dissent among other members of the church and how there is a group which wishes to see her deposed. I assume their reasoning is that they believe she isn’t able to protect Water Town, but this isn’t entirely clear.

Finally, she comes back to her story about being raped by goblins as a teenager. I’ve said it multiple times before and I’ll say it again, Goblin Slayer isn’t a series which glorifies rape, it’s a story about the horrors of rape, and Sword Maiden’s story exemplifies this.

Although it’s likely been decades since her attack, she still bears physical and emotional scars from it, and the fear she has of the goblins is enough to make her resort to drastic measures. She even asks Goblin Slayer to “save” her, which I took to mean kill her.

He refuses to save her (or kill her), but instead tells her that if she ever needs him to slay some goblins, all she has to do is ask. She then asks if he’ll come to rescue her even in her dreams, to which he replies that he will.

We’ve already seen that Guild Girl thinks of Goblin Slayer as a hero because he’s willing to do the important work which the rest of the adventurers believe is beneath them, and from this interaction with Sword Maiden we see how the survivors of goblin attacks also view Goblin Slayer as their hero.

But, despite being viewed as a hero, Goblin Slayer still doesn’t see himself that way, and in fact, he even claims that he isn’t an adventurer either. As far as he’s concerned, he’s just a man on a mission to kill goblins; he never intended to become anyone’s hero.

Conclusion

What did you think of this week’s episode of Goblin Slayer? I thought it was one of the better episodes due to the combination of action, lore, and references. Speaking of which, have you picked up on any other references I haven’t mentioned? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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2 Replies to “Goblin Slayer Episode 9”

  1. The goblin infestation and the attacks on the civilians was orchestrated by the cultists we saw the hero dispatch in episode 6. Goblin Slayer & Co was just doing some cleanup duty.

    1. Thanks for pointing out that connection! I assumed the scene we saw of the Hero in episode 6 was simply meant to be an informal introduction to her; I didn’t realize it actually mattered in any way.

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