Miss my review last week? You can find it here!
After a brutal battle with the goblins left the Priestess badly wounded and seemingly killed Goblin Slayer, it appeared as though our adventuring party was set to suffer their first loss. Luckily for them, the Sword Maiden has other plans!
The episode opens with a flashback to a young Goblin Slayer being trained by a creepy old man/creature. While he mocks the young student for his weakness and indecisiveness, he instills the value of quick thinking and action. In a series of riddles that echoes The Hobbit’s iconic encounter between Bilbo and Gollum, the young Goblin Slayer offers a lightning round of answers, seemingly earning a brief moment of respect from his teacher.
The dream ends and Goblin Slayer awakens in a large bed next to a (seemingly) nude Priestess. Scandalous indeed! The Sword Maiden appears as the Goblin Slayer reflects on the “miracle of Resurrection” – confirming that he had indeed died in the cavern and was only brought back to life due to the Sword Maiden’s high-level healing capabilities. Since the spell relies on “sharing a bed” with a virgin, this explains the seemingly awkward scenario with the Priestess.
The Sword Maiden reveals her harrowing experience at the hands of the goblins some ten years prior. While explicit details aren’t provided, it’s certainly enough to understand that she was violated by the goblins, and despite her status as being a legendary adventurer responsible for battling back the Demon Lord, she still fears goblins as a result of the traumatic event. She asks Goblin Slayer for his continued aid before leaving the room, awakening Priestess in the process.
The Priestess, flustered by the situation, asks if Goblin Slayer “saw” anything. He confirms that he did, but assures her she has no scars from the Goblin Champion’s attack. The party reconvenes and decide to share a meal together, as promised before the ventured into the underground tunnels to do battle with the goblins.
Following the meal, Goblin Slayer and Priestess do some shopping and equipment upgrades, enjoying a day on the town as they get to know each other a bit better. Priestess asks Goblin Slayer to try to say more than just “Sure” and “I see” in conversation, and as a result, our stoic protagonist shares some insightful anecdotes from when he was young. We also get to see his scheming mind at work in everyday interactions – including a brief interrogation on the nature of “ice cream”.
As their afternoon is wrapping up, Goblin Slayer and Priestess are greeted by Sorceress and Spearmaster. Sorceress seems glad to see Priestess still in one piece, and Spearmaster complains that he’s not Goblin Slayer’s errand boy as he dumps a mysterious sack of an unknown substance at his feet. Goblin Slayer thanks him for the delivery and insists it will be useful.
Soon enough, the party is back in the underground tunnels, this time making a beeline for a strange and powerful creature of chaos. Fans of Dungeons and Dragons will recognize this creature as a variation of the iconic Beholder.
Capable of casting a Disintegrate ray with its main eye, and dispelling any unwanted magical effects, the creature is a formidable foe. Goblin Slayer, with his mysterious brown bag slung over his shoulder, insists he has a plan. Archer distracts the Beholder while Dwarf casts a sleep spell on it. Rushing in and tearing the bag open, Goblin Slayer reveals the substance inside: simple flour! As Lizardman summons a skeletal warrior to trigger the Disintegrate ray and Priestess summons a wall of Protection to encase the monster, the fire and powder mixed in the air triggers a massive explosion that instantly destroys their foe.
Taking a few moments to collect themselves and exchange some playful banter, the party is faced with a mysterious mirror. What could this be?
Another week, another fantasy session tucked away in the annals of Goblin Slayer.
The opening scene seemed a bit stale at points, with Sword Maiden failing to make much of an impact as a character. It definitely seems like she’s actively keeping her distance from the characters on-screen. The “arms-length” approach makes it hard to empathize with her, despite the harrowing experience she describes to Goblin Slayer. I was also perplexed by her sudden exit after asking Goblin Slayer if he would help her. If there was supposed to be some subtext there, it was completely lost on me.
What really helped to carry this episode was Priestess and Goblin Slayer spending the day together. While many would pooh-pooh the idea that it be considered a “date”, I think it was certainly structured to look that way, and the two do seem to grow closer as a result. Goblin Slayer’s anecdote about being afraid that the ground would open up and devour him as a child, and ultimately overcoming his fear to keep taking step after step, was surprisingly powerful. It’s also refreshing to see Priestess feeling more emboldened to call Goblin Slayer out on his behavioral eccentricities.
Much of the action of this episode is reserved for the closing minutes, and that’s perfectly fine. The way that it’s animated and executed plays out like countless Beholder fights have no doubt gone in D&D sessions across the country. Well, except maybe using flour as an explosive component…
Overall, I found this week’s installment to be a solid episode that continues to carve out Goblin Slayer’s particular niche this season. I’m interested to see where this mysterious mirror will lead them next!