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Characters / Goblin Slayer: Goblin Slayer

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Traveling Companions and Loved Ones: (Goblin Slayer | Priestess)
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Goblin Slayer

Voiced by: Yuichiro Umehara (Japanese), Brad Hawkins (English), Haileigh Todd (young) (English)
He does not let anyone roll the dice.
Goblin Slayer in Year One

"I am to goblins what goblins are to us."

The series' main character, an experienced Silver-ranked adventurer whose only concern is hunting goblins. He doesn't take any other jobs unless they involve goblins.

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  • 24-Hour Armor: It's implied he even sleeps in his armor, even when he's staying at his childhood friend's farm. In fact, the only time so far he's seen without it is at the end of the first light novel, when he blacks out after nearly dying from fighting a giant Elite Mook ogre. When he comes to, he's back in his room at the farm, wearing nothing but his undershirt and trousers. His armor was heavily dented in the battle and was sent to the local smith to have it repaired.
  • Almighty Janitor: Zigzagged — he is experienced enough with goblins to know full well how much of a threat they can be to villages and innocents, and is very effective at his job. He's also top field rank as an adventurer for someone focusing entirely on goblins. However, he suffers from Crippling Overspecialization by dedicating every ounce of his training and skill into such a specific threat, and is held as some nobody freak weirdo by those of similar rank or higher due to dedicating to what they see as trash mobs not worth their time. Despite this, the Guild is very thankful that someone's focusing on such a domestic threat, and he doesn't give a damn about his reputation. While on paper he doesn't quite fit, in practice he is this when the goblin threat is involved. As of Volume 13 this is Played Straight; by that point he has fought several members of the Demon Lord army, Wizards, Dark Elves and the Demon Lord itself, always coming on top. This is without mentioning the new breeds of Goblins.
  • Always Save the Girl: His older sister told him as a little boy that "you have to protect girls," and in the wake of losing her to a grisly fate he has resolved to live up to her expectations by ruthlessly cutting down goblins and anything else he catches committing violence against women, and doing everything he can think of to keep Cow Girl safe and happy. High Elf Archer also notes in Volume 6 that if there's a chance for a woman taken by Goblins to still be alive, he'll abstain from his usual method of using poisons, flooding the caves, or burning it down until he's explicitly saved them. As much as he prizes efficiency when it comes to killing Goblins, he doesn't want to risk them being caught as collateral damage. In Volume 9, he doesn't hesitate to charge past the Ogre and his goblin horde to retrieve two crucified hostages, and carries to safety before turning to continue fighting.
  • Always Someone Better: In Volume 9, he still believes that he is not yet measuring up to his mentor Burglar, and that he is not good enough to count as a proper hero/adventurer compared to his friends and associates.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Virtually anyone who has ever laid eyes on him can tell that this man is simply not well. He has a flat affect, no sense of sarcasm, no care for his self-image, limited social skills and sense of tact, and his work ethic is more machine than human, not to mention his complete lack of a libido. Goblin Slayer also has to think extremely long and hard to gather and articulate his thoughts in deep conversation and visibly struggles to recollect and recount more than the broadest details of his quests when giving reports. He brusquely dismisses and discards from memory anything he doesn't consider worth complete attention, tends to fixate on minute details, and admittedly has trouble appreciating the concept of solidarity, outright surprising himself when he thinks of his friends as friends. Whatever's afflicting him more than likely stems from his Freudian Excuse, as he was suggested to have been a completely ordinary boy until then. He ticks off boxes in at least obsessive compulsive disorder, PTSD, and old-fashioned psychopathy.
  • And Then What?: The primary theme of his character development; Every single person close to him knows that his one-man campaign of goblin genocide is doomed to end with him either gruesomely killed, or else irreparably crippled and left bitterly cursing his inability to continue exterminating for the rest of his life, and that the day of reckoning is coming sooner rather than later if they allow him to keep pushing himself the way he wants to. So all the supporting characters make it their mission to get Goblin Slayer to finally let go of his obsessive hate, and open his eyes to the possibilities of the world and his potential as a more conventional adventurer. It’s working, but very gradually.
  • Animal Stampede: The second half of his plan to eliminate the desert goblin horde was to have Lizard Priest call in a swarm of giant manta rays to plow right through their cave and the fort above them.
  • Anti-Hero:
    • Of the pragmatic variety — while it's clear that his hunting of goblins comes from a very angry and unhealthy hatred of the creatures, over the usual wish to keep the peace and save the world like typical adventurers, the simple fact is that he's the only Silver-ranked adventurer willing to take the poorly rewarded goblin contracts, which are numerous due to the many goblin outbreaks and the unfortunate fact that most experienced adventurers won't touch them due to the low pay and high risk.
    • Let's not pull any punches: what he ultimately desires is total genocide of the goblinoid species. What Measure Is a Non-Human? morality comes into question. When asked if a "good goblin" were possible (as he's murdering goblin children), he responds that while the chance is not zero percent, the danger goblins represent and the benefits of their eradication makes the idea not worth consideration. Even though evidence indicates goblins are Always Chaotic Evil, the extremity of his feelings does cause some to pause for a moment. In Goblin Slayer's defense, after witnessing the depravity and cruelty goblins inflict, no one questions him further and many eventually embrace a portion of his ideology on the matter.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: As he says near the end of Year One Volume 1 "So one man dies, the world will keep on spinning, as it will if one village is burned to the ground. So what?" Doesn't stop him from fighting through green goblin hell to prevent any of that from happening.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Priestess asks if he'd really go as far as hurt goblin children, as Priestess is unable to fathom the idea of hurting children in general. He replies with a simple confirmation. When she then asks him if one of the goblins he kills could be good, he responds that while this possibility exists, he's not taking any chances after all the race has done before killing them. This breaks Priestess's Wide-Eyed Idealism.
  • Arrows on Fire: When attacking the goblins in the abandoned elvish fortress in Volume 1, he lights the tree on fire with burning rags tied to his arrows.
  • Artificial Gill: His collection of Breath Rings give him the magical ability to breathe in any environment, from underwater to a sealed chamber where a fire consumed all the oxygen.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Throughout Year One Goblin Slayer shows a consistent tendency to get distracted by memories of his childhood village as a fresh rookie. He also lets his mind wander back towards instances of his training under Burglar, most often (and ironically) times when the old coot was screaming at him to only focus on his mission and never stop keeping his thoughts on the goblins.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: He doesn’t actually do close combat if he can avoid it. He’s closer to a guerrilla fighter, using creative stealth and ambush tactics to stack the odds overwhelmingly in his favor before the fight even starts. The few times his party does engage in direct battle, things tend to go bad quickly, which emphasizes the necessity for this approach.
  • Ax-Crazy: Stoic he may be but that doesn't change the fact that under his shell lies a murderous instinct towards the goblins. In fact his obsession downright makes him seem unstable towards everyone and though he doesn't show off his fury much he does have an unhealthy way of coping and killing goblins, as he even starts to relish hunting them with brutal killings.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: In Volume 5, he and Priestess get circled by goblins raiding the mountain village. They get cut down as brutally as every other time.
  • Badass Baritone: Has a deep, strong voice to go with his fighting prowess and serious demeanor courtesy of Brad Hawkins and Yuichiro Umehara.
  • Badass Normal: For all of his feats, it is quite easy to forget that he is not much more than an athletic young man. No magical talent, no fortune of the gods, no beneficial racial attributes, and no enchanted weapons, unique armor, or special techniques. He achieved his high rank through practice and resourcefulness alone. In Year-One, the gods mention that there's nothing special about him other than his higher than average VIT.
  • Bad with the Bone: In Volume 9, he manages to grab a human femur when charging through a goblin ambush site, and without halting or slowing his sprint he brings it down on one goblin's head hard enough to shatter and then shoves the splintered stump left through the eye of another.
  • The Bait: The nascent goblin lord in Year One attempted to have him tortured in a huge cavern to lure out Capital Inspector. Though he breaks free, he does end up needing rescue, which goes on to mop up the remainder of the intended ambush with little issue.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: The Memoria Freese crossover has Goblin Slayer reveal that his Ring of Breath works in any air-deprived environment, not just underwater, when he gives a spare to Bell and has him spam Firebolts until all the oxygen in the room they were in was burnt up and the goblin horde surrounding them suffocated.
  • Battle Aura: In the Year One manga, the young Goblin Slayer sometimes gets a dark miasma emanating off his upper body when he's particularly amped up for a fight.
  • Beautiful All Along: The audience never quite gets a full view of his face, but from what is shown, he's a handsome, fair-haired young man — enough for Priestess to be completely smitten. Other adventurers have also commented that he's got the face of a hero.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Goblins, so much so that he's dedicated his entire life to hunting every single one of them down for what they did to his sister and refuses to accept quests that do not involve them. Perhaps his biggest berserk button is to watch goblins attempt rape. To the point that he would shred them with his bare hands. His sister being raped to death before his eyes might have something to do with it.
    • To a much lesser extent, people tricking him into doing things. In the beginning of Volume 8, Guild Girl mistakenly gives the party a quest to hunt some Fish People due to the notice calling them “sea goblins.” When he figures out the error, Goblin Slayer wants to quit the quest immediately until Priestess entreats him to help the preyed-upon villagers, and when they finish and return to town he lays into Guild Girl, replete with Glowing Eyes of Doom, until she manages to swear it was a genuine accident. Makes sense why High Elf Archer never tried that stunt intentionally to get him on a “real adventure” yet.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Goblin Slayer is not one who talks a lot. When he gets angry, it usually gets him into a Unstoppable Rage.
  • Big Brother Instinct: An aloof, cold, and dysfunctional brother perhaps, but it's one of the greatest indicators that his ability to connect with others hasn't completely atrophied; his desire to keep people safe, particularly kids and younger adventurers, manages to shine through his surly personality.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Make his first appearance by emerging from the darkness and promptly cutting down the two goblins approaching the wounded Priestess before they can do anything else to her.
  • The Big Guy: He shares this role with Lizard Priest in their party. It's not even that he's exceptionally beefy (he's of average height and mostly lean-muscle) but as High Elf Archer says, he's the party's only dedicated front-line fighter and thus absolutely necessary to tackle any sort of extended melee or head-on assault..
  • Big Guy Rodeo: He hops on the Water Town goblin champion's back and strangles him with a hair rope, grimly holding on even as it freaks out and starts slamming its back against a wall.
  • Black Knight: Even though this isn't his official title, he fits this trope like a glove due to wearing a dark, face-obscuring armor at all times and being brutal and ruthless to his enemies, making him an anti-heroic example.
  • Blood Knight: He loves goblin hunting a little too much. To the point where everyone starts to wonder if he's even stable anymore, but during the battlefield he seems more at home when he's killing goblins.
  • Blood-Splattered Warrior: He can never seem to complete his job without being drenched in goblin blood first. His armor is noted by others to be covered in suspiciously-crimson stains. In fact, he even purposefully does the bare minimum in cleaning his armor, because a polished set would give his position away to the goblins' sense of smell.
  • Blunt "Yes": When Priestess wakes up the morning after participating in the Resurrection miracle to find herself naked under her sheets and Goblin Slayer just getting dressed, she panics, pulls the covers up and haltingly asks Goblin Slayer if he saw anything. Goblin Slayer affirms he did, before sobering her mood by saying her injury left no scar.
  • Body-Count Competition: Always endeavors to keep count of every goblin struck down during a hunt. Like Kerillian, its a compulsion and not him competing with anybody.
  • Book Dumb: States that when he was a kid his literacy and numeracy lessons were very slow-going, that thinking about academic subjects for long is tiring for him, and that both his sister and master considered him to be a bit dull-witted.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Has spent several years training specifically to aim his throwing knives at the necks of goblins. In a more traditional example, the climatic battle of volume 12 sees him finally down the "fire goblin" with a metal dart that nails it square in the center of its forehead.
  • Boring, but Practical: His equipment is mundane, plain, and rather low-quality, exacerbated by his decision to leave it coated in grime as camouflage, but it doesn't need to be fancy to kill goblins. Lampshaded by Dwarf Shaman upon meeting Goblin Slayer.
    Dwarf Shaman: Don't be stupid, long ears. You want to know what I see? Leather armor for ease of movement, chainmail to stop a dagger in the dark, a helmet to protect the head, a small sword and shield to use in narrow spaces.
  • Born Unlucky: Any time Goblin Slayer rushes into battle or does anything that relies even slightly on chance, it blows up in his face miserably. All the more reason for him to train and prepare for a mission in such a way that leaves no room for a roll of the dice on his chances of success.
  • Boulder Bludgeon: Frequently picks up stones or broken stalagmites to throw at goblins or swing like a caveman.
  • Broken Hero: Beneath his eccentricity and single-minded determination is a broken man that finds it very difficult to form relationships of affection or friendship with others because of the horrific trauma he underwent.
  • Broken Pedestal: High Elf Archer held "Orcbolg" in rather high regard especially after hearing songs depicting him as a Folk Hero to the frontier villagers. She's very disappointed when she sees him in person and finds a guy with No Social Skills in dirty armor who doesn't care about anything but killing goblins. She eventually comes to think of him in a better light, but she still wants to make him a more "proper" adventurer.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: The Brooding Boy to Priestess' Gentle Girl. Goblin Slayer was terribly traumatized by goblins during childhood and has been single-mindedly hunting them ever since. Many think he's gone insane, but Priestess insists on staying with him because she feels she has to look after him. Eventually, Goblin Slayer opens up a bit and feels comfortable enough around her to confide his fears in her.
  • Brutal Honesty: He does not mince words, hurting people more than once in the process. He's usually not trying to, but he doesn't care if he does.
  • Bulletproof Human Shield: Can and does use goblin bodies to block attacks from their fellows.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He is the Goblin Slayer. He’s also in his armor about 99% of the time, and has an absolute, single-minded focus on killing all goblins he can get his hands on. This makes him very polarizing among his peers, but his results mostly speak for themselves.
  • Busman's Holiday: By volume 13, he's agreed to a few non-goblin related quests, but just because they start that way in the write doesn't mean they ever stay that way.
    Dwarf Shaman: Every time we have Beard-cutter along, the little devils seem to end up involved somehow.
  • But Now I Must Go: Tends to do this immediately after finishing his current goblin extermination mission. This only adds to his legend among the common folk as a hero of the frontier.
  • Byronic Hero: Very troubled background, intensely introspective, highly intelligent, heavily brooding, severely antisocial, incredibly zealous in his personal mission, potentially self-destructive, and strangely charismatic. He more than checks all the boxes.
  • By the Hair: If any goblin ever manages to grow out an appreciable length of hair, he does not pass up the opportunity to yank it and smash their head against the nearest hard surface.
  • Canary in a Coal Mine: Buys one to check for poison in the Water Town sewer, then gives it to Cow Girl as a pet.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Not nearly as bad as High Elf Archer, but Priestess reveals that he gets taken out by drinking very easily. It doesn't help that he's apparently a sleepy drunk.
  • Captain Oblivious: Due to his monomaniacal devotion to his personal crusade, he has disregarded the daily going ons of the world around him for most of his life. He's been living in town for over 7 years and only realizes there is an annual summer festival where the temple of the Earth Mother makes wines when Priestess brings it up in Volume 10.
  • Captain Obvious: Always feels the need to call out any monsters he encounters that aren't goblins as in fact not being goblins. Whether they be 12 foot tall ogres, giant albino alligators, or flying stone gargoyles. How does he start his every quest report, quests that already state upfront that they were for the clearing of goblin nests? "There were goblins."
  • Catchphrase: A large fraction of his dialogue is made up of this due to his extreme terseness and habit of repeating himself. His most used line in casual conversation is "Is that so?" and his most used line while on a hunt is "Goblins are stupid, but they are not fools."
  • Celibate Hero: Or Chaste Hero, depending on one's interpretation. In stark contrast to his sworn enemies, sex and nudity do nothing for him. It is downplayed in that he is aware about concepts like marriage and workplace dating, and was quick to figure out that Female Knight was carrying a torch for Heavy Warrior. It is just that he is either disinterested or blind to such topics if they involve himself.
  • Character Development: It's very slow and gradual, but it's there, all started by meeting Priestess, who accompanies him with his many goblin hunts, insisting to look after him since he's so helpless. And not long after, being joined with High Elf Archer, Lizard Priest, and Dwarf Shaman into his goblin adventures. This was when he started to experience camaraderie and friendship with his team and with others outside them, becoming more social and open, to an extent and even joining on adventures that don't involve goblins, although rare for this to occur. By volume 11 he starts to remember the names of non-goblin monsters. By the end of volume 12, he considers people outside his party and home, like Spearman and Heavy Warrior, as friends too, is willing to humor attempts to get him to buy magic equipment, elaborates his thoughts during conversation unprompted, takes off his armor while resting at home, smiles readily, and willingly takes breaks from goblin hunts.
  • Chick Magnet: While he really only cares about killing goblins to the exclusion of everything else to the point where he seems basically asexual, several female characters express interest in him on an emotional level including his White Mage partner, his Childhood Friend, and the clerk that works at the Adventurers Guild. Later on, even the High Elf Archer eyes him with intrigue. In Volume 2, Sword Maiden actively throws herself at him multiple times, and outright gives a Love Confession by the end of the novel. Other people have taken notice, which isn't helped when two of the above-mentioned girls ask him out on a date to the Harvest Festival in Volume 3.
  • Close to Home:
    • After rescuing a young child from goblins in the middle of a raid and learning that she was told by her older sister to stay hidden, Goblin Slayer becomes unusually heated and mutters repeatedly about how he dislikes the situation, a stark contrast to his usual unemotional assessments.
    • After learning that Wizard Boy just happened to have had an older sister whose fate met an end due to goblins, one that Goblin Slayer was responsible for euthanizing no less, he becomes so angry that he immediately excuses himself from dinner, shoves Spearman out of the way, and goes into a back alley to vomit.
    • This is a reoccurring problem throughout Year One; spending any length of time within one of the hamlets of the frontier causes the young Goblin Slayer to have flashbacks of his home village, both grisly glimpses of the goblin attack and the start of his subsequent crusade of vengeance, and nostalgic recollections of the happy childhood before all that which are equally as distracting and disturbing to him in their own way.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: Is oblivious or outright apathetic to female interest. When Cow Girl's Uncle tries to get him to understand how important his date with her is, he gives up almost immediately on realizing the futility of it. Subverted by Volume 6/Chapter 66 when Spearman straight up ask him which of his potential love interests does he intend to get together with. Goblin Slayer responds that he does not believe a relationship would be possible with any of them, not until all the goblins are gone. This does seem to indicate that Goblin Slayer is aware of his potential suitors feelings for him, but will not settle down with any of them until his personal mission is complete.
  • Cold Equation: Edges towards this to show how ruthless he can be, because while Goblin Slayer is doing his thing to save people almost as much to exact vengeance, efficiently killing goblins still comes first. Though he usually makes finding and securing captive women first priority, if a cursory recon leads him to believe that the chance for surviving prisoners is negligible or he spots a way to destroy a nest from the outside, he'll go full scorched earth without bothering to check in the interior. And while he will go after rookie teams on goblin hunts at Guild Girl's plead, he makes them lowest priority, and goes in expecting a mop-up operation, not a rescue or back up.
  • Cold Ham: "Dispassionate" is the word used most frequently to describe his voice, even when he's in the middle of slaughtering goblins, yet the moments where he talks down to his opponents with gravitas and intimidation can only be this trope.
  • Combat Parkour: When forced to fight goblins head on, he often puts his superior athleticism to use by leaping over them, rushing past and around them, hurdling over rubble, twisting while striking to catch several in a sweeping hit, and more besides.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Dear Lord yes. Setting up traps, using smoke bombs, using their own weapons against them, using any advantage he possibly can, up to and including killing goblin children so they don't grow up and get revenge on him years later. It's all fair game if he can kill more goblins easier and more efficiently:
    • Simply put, if there's a way to either kill all the goblins in their lair or force them out without actually going inside in the first place, he'll do it. Here are some specific examples
      • Goblins in an old elf tree fortress and they've already proved strong enough to kill experienced adventurers? Light the fortress on fire with fire bomb arrows and then trap the little buggers inside with your white mage's shield spell.
      • More than 50 goblins inside an old fortress. Do you you run down and try to fight them all? Do you lure them into a trap and then kill the stragglers? Do you fight them in a hallway so their numbers are meaningless? Hell no. Just get your dwarven companion to put everyone to sleep and your white mage to cast a noise cancelling spell so you can just walk down and kill each sleeping goblin individually.
      • Horde of goblins coming for you and your only escape is a gate mirror? Bring the entire chapel down and use the gate mirror to protect you as it buries the rest alive.
      • A small cave of goblins and you have no way of knowing how many of them are in there? Throw a smoke grenade made of burning pine resin and sulfur to drive them out for the kill.
      • He's also mentioned that he sometimes re-directs a nearby river to flood their lair and is not above causing a cave-in to bury them alive.
        Priestess: A-About our last quest! I-I think destroying that cave with that fire mixture was too...too much! What if the whole mountain had come down?!
        Goblin Slayer: Far better than letting any goblins live.
    • This extends to other enemies as well. For example, he knew he couldn't match Rhea Scout in close combat, so instead he pretends to be poisoned by his darts, and when his opponent is distracted by gloating, Goblin Slayer attacks and kills him.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • High Elf Archer tells him not to use fire, water, or poison when hunting goblins in Water Town's sewer so they don't cause any collateral damage for the town's human inhabitants. So Goblin Slayer uses dust explosions, and she is so exaperated with him she can't talk coherently through it.
    • His reaction to Spearman making insinuating comments about catching him 'having a nice time' with Priestess? "We are shopping."
    • In Volume 9, when he sees Cow Girl looking worried as he assesses the situation while they're trapped in an abandoned village being hunted by an Ogre and a Goblin horde, he assures her not to worry, he'll be sure to kill all the goblins. She rolls her eyes in response.
  • The Comically Serious: His single-minded drive to slay goblins, combined with his concise personality, occasionally paints him as a Cloud Cuckoo Lander from an outsider's perspective. At times, his intentions borderline on Skewed Priorities. Then there are his just plain bizarre habits, like how he eats and drinks without lifting his visor. Somehow. He's even managed to stuff ice cream and a candy apple in there, though the anime does in the joke by showing him lifting his face-plate just enough to free his mouth to eat.
  • Confusion Fu: In the climatic fight of Volume 2, he blitzes the remainder of the horde and they can barely keep up as he strikes from behind cover only to double around to flank the respondents, kicks off of broken columns to dodge attacks, and throws everything from discarded armor pieces to severed limbs in their faces.
    High Elf Archer: My head is almost spinning, and I'm just watching.
    Dwarf Shaman: He has those goblins in a tizzy, he does!
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Any time he faces off against a horde of goblins, he and his companions often make short work of them. But when facing off against a single opponent, they often have trouble. However, it's justified since normal goblins are pretty weak, while the bigger goblins have more strength and experience with fighting/raids. Since Goblin Slayer isn't used to prolonged fights, he often has trouble if he can't kill them within the first few blows.
  • Cool Helmet: The narration insists its cheap-looking, but can you deny it's this trope after seeing what it actually looks like? Among other things, they possess distinct nubs at the side that used to be a full pair of horns, but has since been broken off.
    • The aforementioned nubs are also a very clearly symbolic of his Broken Pedestal status.
  • Control Freak: He has a self-admitted problem with obsessively needing to be in full awareness and direction of any situation, and tends to fret and get lost if a problem arises that he cannot address entirely or single-handedly.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Inverted to an astounding degree — Every living being in the world is one, actually... everyone, except him. The gods of the world use the world as the setting for their Cosmic Chess Game of a roleplay campaign, and they determine fate by chance. Goblin Slayer himself is explicitly described as unremarkable, with no attributes, abilities, genius, or much else of note, and for all intents there is no greater purpose ahead for him. Yet, he is too meticulous to leave anything to luck, so not even the gods know where his fate will eventually end up. In the light novel, the very first action he does in the story (saving Priestess) is seen from a cosmic scale as a game piece suddenly challenging the results of a terrible dice roll and altering another character's fate.
  • Covered in Scars: His entire physique is adorned with rugged nicks and scar tissue accrued from years of nonstop fighting, contrasting against many clean-faced adventurers with likely better access to healing magic.
  • Cowardly Lion: As a child, he developed a phobia about the ground giving out under him. He remained adamant about his fear in the face of the gentle teasing of his sister and Cow Girl, but after days of staying perched in his bed he realized he had to go out regardless of the perceived danger. It's something that remains in the back of his mind, years later and after everything else he's been through.
    Goblin Slayer: Even now, I am very frightened.
  • The Cowl: Considering he was deliberately based on Batman and The Punisher, he is a fantasy version of this trope, as a brutal anti-hero that wears dark and obscuring armor. Though he doesn't necessarily operate in the shadows, he focus exclusively on the goblin problem which is considered "pest control" to high-level adventurers, much like his character inspirations take on street-level threats.
  • Crazy-Prepared: He's forced to do this since he's not much of a fighter against anything larger than a standard goblin. If he's unable to kill his opponents within the first few hits, things will go badly for him without help.
    • His bags are filled with various supplies that seemingly have no rhyme or reason until the scenario calls for it. He's kept a magic scroll, charcoal for making rudimentary gas masks, flour to be spread and ignited in a dust explosion, and even raw materials for making concrete.
    • He purchases a southern-style (read: African, aka mambele) throwing knife and digs holes around town while everyone else was preparing for the Harvest Festival. When a Dark Elf inevitably crashes the festivities with a small army of goblins, Goblin Slayer was more than ready with pitfall traps, trenches, fumes, and Flechette Storms. The knife itself gets put to use to dismember the Dark Elf, who was too far away to tackle and immune to arrows due to a magical enchantment.
    • And when he's not fixing his armor, what does he do? Making honest to god smoke grenades.
    • Generally, when it comes to goblins, there isn't a single thing he has not thought of and prepared for.
      High Elf Archer: So, do you have a plan?
      Goblin Slayer: Of course, I always do.
  • Creepy Good: Always covering his face, either completely silent or forcefully shaking down strangers for information, socially maladjusted yet imposing, and with an unhealthy mental state and focus on revenge. Checks out.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: He has spent literally more than half his life training to kill goblins specifically, and bottle-necked himself further by specializing in ambush tactics and environmental warfare. The few times he is forced to engage in direct combat, sure he can knock out bog-standard goblins easily, but against literally anything even slightly stronger or more skilled? More often than not he proves shockingly weak for a fighter of his rank and track record. But then, this trope is also ZigZagged in that his out-of-the-box thinking and ruthlessness can lead to him devising and deploying devastatingly lethal battle strategies against hordes and even the occasional high-level monster, and when he's in his element he shows an undeniable degree of high skill in combat, so he's more of an overhyped mid-tier fighter than an out-and-out Fake Ultimate Heronote .
  • Crisis Catch And Carry: Semi-often he will bodily pick up and run with Priestess, High Elf Archer, or the Guest-Star Party Member of the volume under his arm when a sudden need to retreat crops up. They all get very flustered by this habit.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Cow Girl mentions that her neighbor dreamed of being a heroic adventurer with her. After witnessing the murder and rape of his big sister, his goal now is to kill every goblin.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: His dark and grimy armor often gives others a frightening first impression, and his near-Sociopathic Hero mentality towards slaughtering goblins and being a Combat Pragmatist make many question both his morals and sanity. Despite all of this, he does his job purely for the sake of saving others from experiencing his past, and underneath that intimidating visage is a genuine Nice Guy who never faults anybody for seeing him as a weirdo.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Doesn't get much more so than witnessing the violation and butchery of a beloved family member, nearly dying escaping from pillagers, and being abusively trained by an insane old adventuring hermit.
  • Dawn Attack: Well, dusk, as his enemies are nocturnal, but Goblin Slayer states that he considers the best time to attack a goblin nest to be twilight, either the beginning or end of the goblin's active period, when they are sleepy, shuffling shifts, and don't have their interior defenses primed.
  • Deadly Dodging: In keeping with his mobility-focused attack style, he loves to deflect and parry goblin attacks into their fellows, something ridiculously easy to pull off with their simplistic swarm tactics and total lack of care for their comrades. Biggest example by a mile is in Volume 2 when he baits the enraged champion into rampaging through the battlefield swinging his club every which way.
  • Deadpan Snarker: His sense of sarcasm is usually as shot as his people skills, but he very rarely lets out the occasional crack in his usual flat tone:
    Goblin Slayer: I know eight different ways to kill goblins silently.
    Priestess: Really?
    Goblin Slayer: That was a joke. It is many more.
  • Death Glare: If he's looking at anything with a gleam in his eye visible behind his helmet, it's getting the piss scared out of it if it's lucky, seconds away from being beaten to a pulp if it isn't.
  • Debt Detester: Won’t take loans if he can at all avoid them, and is very, very serious about paying people back for favors.
  • Deer in the Headlights: When he was a child trying to sneak away from the goblins that had overrun his village, he collapsed from exhaustion and terror after stumbling upon a mound of corpses of his neighbors, his legs refusing to work even when he heard goblins approaching his position. He had to lay down and play dead to evade them, and afterwards had to crawl to continue moving.
  • Defrosting Ice King: It's very, very, very gradual, but it's happening. It says something that he's actually considering his companions' opinions of him nowadays, possibly because he's finally being surrounded by people who thinks of him as a friend.
  • Dented Iron: Any time Goblin Slayer takes off even a single article of clothing, he exposes dry, roughened skin stretched taut over bulging muscles, pinched in by little scarred nicks on every conceivable nook and cranny, and mottled by contusions on top of contusions, all a testament to the battles he partakes in and the strenuous regimes he puts himself through just to keep up with his self-imposed mission.
  • Depending on the Artist: Goblin Slayer's hair color is all over the place; the translated text of Volume 3 states him to be black-haired, all of the colored manga pages show him as white-haired, an illustration of him as a boy in the Year One light novel gives him a chestnut brown shag, and the anime makes him Prematurely Grey-Haired with a dull, bluish-silver sheen. At least his described pale skin and red eyes have not been contradicted.
  • Destructive Savior: Goblin Slayer will kill all goblins in a given area brutally and with no regard for collateral damage, and has if anything demonstrated a preference for wide-sweeping and excessive environmental warfare, to better catch stragglers in the crossfire and hinder repopulation assumedly. His teammates, even High Elf Archer, have mostly given up trying to break this habit, and come Volume 6 it’s down to the narrator to call out how flooding a goblin cave with saltwater will have rendered the soil of the surrounding valley barren and damage the local ecosystem for years to come. Later that volume, he completely drains a lake to drown some goblins, renders the soil around it into mud, and makes further construction on the training grounds almost impossible to continue.
  • Determinator: He is relentless when it comes to goblin slaying. Even after being seriously injured, he won't give up. As expected of someone based on Batman and the Punisher.
  • Determined Defeatist: He is incredibly pessimistic about his mission. While he sincerely believes in his goal to exterminate the entire goblin race and his capacity to achieve it, until he actually has done so "nothing has changed" no matter how many he's killed so far or who he saved from them. He also gives up every opportunity presented for him to try to make people outside his inner circle take goblins seriously, thoroughly set in his outlook that everyone else in the world will brush his concerns off until it's too late despite contrary evidence.
  • Didn't Think This Through: The first chapters of Year One expose that Goblin Slayer... did not actually study goblins before becoming an adventurer as extensively as one would have assumed. On his very first official quest, he marches into a goblin cave right after a scouting party sets out in the middle of the day (having not yet realized goblins are nocturnal and at their laxest during twilight), is unaware of goblin shamans and is tripped up by one's totem, doesn't confirm his kills while progressing, carries armaments too cumbersome for a narrow cave, and has a very simplistic fighting style wherein he either plants his back to a wall and hacks apart incoming waves, or attempts to charge a spellcaster spamming lightning bolts. Apparently, Burglar's tutelage was geared towards general survival, strength, and mental condition training. Knowledge and strategies to specifically and effectively counter the greenskins are learned on the job the hard way.
  • Dissonant Serenity: In spite of being based on Batman and The Punisher, the Animated Adaptation gives Goblin Slayer a warm, soft, almost kind-and-gentle voice as opposed to the Badass Baritone expected of hate-driven avenger archetype like him.
  • Distressed Dude: Has needed others to pull him out of a fire at times throughout his crusade, most notably in the third story arc of Year One when Capital Inspector had to rescue him from the squad of goblins beating him down when he tried to escape captivity.
  • Divide and Conquer: Goblin Slayer knows that the best way to counter goblins' superior numbers is to find some way to split up their horde and kill them piecemeal. The mansion siege in Volume 10 is all about this, from funneling the swarm into separate corridors, to having Priestess' Barrier cut the front of a charge from reinforcements.
  • Does Not Like Spam: Admits to disliking having to eat fish, because of its smell and how easily it spoils.
  • Don't Ask, Just Run: The very first thing he does when he discovers signs of a full-sized horde encroaching the Farm is to find Cow Girl and beg her to get the hell out of dodge.
  • Doomed Hometown: While the loss of his sister is understandably at the forefront of his grief, he loved the rest of his village as well and wishes to avenge the entirety of it, as well as defend other hamlets from that fate.
  • Double Meaning: He does not care much for elaboration, and is fine with giving a Mathematician's Answer if it gets the point across. As a result though, he ends up hiding some severe emotional hangups behind seemingly candid wording:
    • To pay for his debut as an adventurer in Year One, he pulls out a flower-embroidered coin purse that belonged to his sister. The guild's blacksmith snarks that he must have snuck away with it while she wasn't looking, to which he confirms with a yes. He didn't explain why.
    • In the end of Volume 7, he congratulates High Elf Archer on her sister's wedding. She did not catch the heavy subtext attached:
      Goblin Slayer: I am glad your sister was able to marry.
  • Double Take: He of all people does in the Memoria Freese crossover when Bell Cranel tells him he can cast Firebolt up to 70 times in a row before passing out from magic overuse. Given that miracles that can be cast more than once a day are rarity in Goblin Slayer's world, it's understandable why he'd be impressed.
  • The Drag-Along: Isn't so much "invited" on a boys' quest out by Spearman and Heavy Warrior in volume 12 as he is "grabbed in the Guild Hall and carried out with barely a word in edgewise."
  • The Dreaded: He is this towards the goblins. Though they'll eagerly attack him at first, once he's slain a few of them, they start getting scared. After he gets knocked into a stone pillar by a goblin champion, he still manages to hang on long enough to rip one of its eyes out. Though he's barely standing by that point, after the champion runs off, the rest of the goblins are so terrified of him that they all run away instead of finishing him off. It is also Played for Laughs it is shown several times that Guild Girl and Priestess can actually make him sweat in fear.
  • Dual Wielding: His forearm-mounted shield frees up his left hand, allowing him to proficiently dual wield weapons if necessary. He actually purposefully chose his forearm shield in the past because he realized he needed his hand free to also hold a torch.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Subverted; while most higher ranked adventurers look down on Goblin Slayer for his shabby equipment and the fact he only fights "weak goblins," the Guild officials have much more respect and admiration for him, as he's willing to take on the many goblin-related quests instead of some possibly doomed rookies, and keeps the backlog of imperiled villages nearly cleared. In Chapter 4 of the manga, a bard is able to make good money by singing a song about Goblin Slayer, meaning he's also rather popular with the common folk. Amusingly, he is not aware of his influence. Finally becomes fully averted after the events of Volume 1 among his peers in the Adventurers Guild. Although Goblin Slayer is still regarded as the town weirdo, almost all of the adventurers have now seen proof of his competence and necessity, and now treat him with fondness. Adventurers from other towns still step in to look down on him, but he still has very little concern for what anyone thinks of him, good or ill.
  • Due to the Dead: Has at least enough concern for the deceased to usually try to collect bodies or adventurer tags in goblin nests and arrange for a proper burial in the nearest town.
  • Dungeon Bypass:
    • When faced with a massive 60+ floor tower, get ready for a grand adventure of facing deadly traps and monsters on every floor — or just skip all that by scaling the outer-walls and reach the top.
      Goblin Slayer: There's no need to confront them directly. Let's climb the walls.
      Spear Man: Whoa— hang on.
    • This is also his preferred option when clearing out goblin nests (as opposed to rescue missions). If he can kill them all without actually going into their lair where they will have the Home Field Advantage, he'll do it.
  • Establishing Character Moment: His introduction during the Greenhorn Party's failed mission tells you everything you need to know about him. Saving the life of Priestess from goblins while mercy-killing a doomed victim before expertly clearing out the goblin nest sparing none, even the goblin children.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Female Knight's lecture on branch castles gives him two in Volume 10; the first is when it helps him realize that the Wine Merchant's attempted hostile takeover of the farm and temple vineyards are probable preparations for another Chaos assault of town, and the second is when remembering it inspires his strategy for splitting up the goblin horde attacking the mansion.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": It's worth noting that almost all the other sobriets in the series, such as "High Elf Archer" and "Cow Girl", are conveniences for the narrator. Hey, You! is in complete effect when characters talk to or about each other. Goblin Slayer is one of the rare exceptions, instead being known by his Red Baron, since nobody except Cow Girl knew the man underneath the armor, so all anybody had to go by for calling him was that he was a slayer of goblins.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Goblin Slayer is a firm Anti-Hero who has no qualms killing Goblin children, but he clearly isn't without some morals or standards. Notably, he makes it clear to Rhea Thief that Ninja Looting is unacceptable, and he is disgusted by the fact said thief basically took advantage of other adventurers just to get rich.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: Does this with another person who's legitimate a bad shot. He has Cow Girl throw a stone at a tree, which accomplishes nothing and barely reaches it. But the goblins chasing them are utterly fixated on Cow Girl's body and movement, and afterwards too busy laughing at her pathetic throw to notice their quarry jumping down a well to escape.
  • Exact Words:
    • High Elf Archer forbids him to use fire, or water, or poison gas as an attack method. He used dust explosions instead. High Elf Archer isn't amused. Later on, when she's amended the list to cover explosions, while surrounded goblins with no way out, he has Dwarf Shaman use earth magic to collapse the entire dungeon on them. They only survive due to a magic mirror that swallowed all the debris that landed on top of them. Goblin Slayer proudly tells High Elf Archer that his plan involved no explosions or poisons of any kind. She smiles at him then kicks him off a ledge.
    • Spearman complains in Volume 4 that Goblin Slayer only paid for one round after the extermination of the goblin lord’s army. Goblin Slayer points out that he agreed to help just on the promise of being bought a drink, to which Heavy Warrior laughs and comes down on Goblin Slayer’s side in the debate.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Despite being a hero of the frontier with bards singing tales of his deeds, most people experience surprise upon realizing that this man wearing cheap, dirty equipment is the Goblin Slayer. Exemplified in Volume 5 with the Village Head experiencing skepticism upon meeting Goblin Slayer, but through his words and actions, slowly realized that the tales were true after all.
    It said he was made of the sternest stuff that he was taciturn and without greed, who wouldn't spurn even the smallest reward. When goblins appeared, he would go to even the most remote and rustic places to meet them, and his sword would slay them all.
  • Experienced Protagonist: He's had years of experience under his belt by the time he is introduced, and makes no hesitation in teaching Priestess about goblin tactics to better increase her chances of survival.
    F to M 
  • The Faceless: Even when he's out of his armor, we never see his face due to either angles or text bubbles covering it. The anime also uses camera angles, and the most we see of his adult face is up to the nose. It's heavily implied by the reaction of the other characters that he's pretty good looking though.
  • Face of a Thug:
    • Not his actual face, (which according to certain reactions, suggests him to be quite handsome) but the helmet he wears on a near-permanent basis does little to garner positive attention. There are adventurers who scare themselves shitless just from sustaining their gaze with his expressionless visor.
    • He's even been mistaken for an undead a few times, due to the grody condition of his armor.
  • Face Your Fears: Did this as a kid when he had to come to terms with his fear of sinkholes opening under his feet and how he couldn't avoid walking because of it. To this day he's not completely over it, but he also doesn't let it affect him anymore.
  • Famed in Story: He's known as the "Frontier's Kindest" cause he goes around protecting poor villages from a huge ignored nuisance problem for little to no rewards. This has caused Bards to write a (rather elaborated) tale about his heroism and selflessness that caused the entire Kingdom and other Racial Capitals to know of him as a hero and give him titles: "Orcbolg" from Elves & "Beard-Cutter" from Dwarves. So famous is he that an Alliance of races specific sought him out for their "Human Representative". Hilariously, Goblin Slayer himself had no idea he is so famous.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: According to Year One, Goblin Slayer is classified in the guild as a hybrid of Fighter with some Ranger or Scout.
  • Farm Boy: Was a simple peasant before he became an adventurer, and still has all the sensibilities of a country bumpkin in regards to anything outside his field of interests.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Is the fighter alongside Lizard Priest, with Dwarf Shaman and Priestess as the Mage, and High Elf Archer as the Thief. In Volume 4, he becomes the thief to Heavy Warrior’s fighter and Spearman's mage, complete with suddenly demonstrating some knowledge in picking treasure chest locks.
  • Flashback Echo: Throughout Year One, he has a tendency to suddenly envision traumatic scenes from the past even as he struggles to focus on the here and now, such as how his first goblin children makes him think back to his attempted escape from goblin raiders as a ten-year-old.
  • Folk Hero: Villagers know and admire him by reputation since he has singlehandedly and repeatedly slain countless goblins, the most persistent monster threat they face. For this, he's dubbed the "Frontier's Kindest" in sharp contrast to Unknown Rival Spearman's "Frontier's Strongest".
  • Forced to Watch: Though unintentional on the goblins' part, his hiding place gave him an unavoidable up-close look at how they violated, killed, then ate his sister, and he was left staring up at the remains for three days afterwards.
  • Forgetful Jones: Admits in Year One that if he doesn’t do a task as soon as it comes to his attention, he’s liable to let it slip his mind entirely.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: He met Chosen Heroine during one of his first goblin slaying quests in Year One, and actually spent quite a bit of time with her watching him patrol and prep for battle, but the both of them are careless with remembering others, and when they meet again five years later, it's the middle of the night and both are rushing in opposite directions so they never register who the other person is. He also met Priestess immediately after said quest, when he was nursed at the Frontier Town's temple to the Earth Mother, though he was sadly unconscious the whole time and never actually saw her.
  • Fragile Speedster: Decently strong and astonishingly hardy, but his sub-par equipment means that he always measures up woefully short in an exchange of blows with higher-level monsters and adventurers. When he fights he rushes his target, making full use of his agility to blitz through gaggles of goblins and leave parting blows on big monsters.
  • Genius Bruiser: He's a bit downplayed on the "bruiser" part, as characters like Lizard Priest have a greater amount of physical might, but he's still very capable as a frontline fighter utilizing various weapons. But what truly makes him an effective goblin hunter is how fighting harder isn't his first priority, greatly preferring to fight smarter, being a major Combat Pragmatist who makes sure to prepare for almost every kind of situation, especially the unexpected.
  • Gift-Giving Gaffe: Subverted in Volume 3; he gives Cow Girl a cheap toy ring to commemorate their time spent together at the Harvest Festival. He did place serious consideration into the present, but based the decision upon her preferences from when they were still children. Cow Girl understood, and was more than happy to accept the ring anyway. In Volume 4, he can't think of a birthday present for her and just saves up some money to give her, for which she admonishes him for being unimaginative, and tells him to just take her shopping next time he can't pick a gift.
  • Giver of Lame Names: Is the one to call the Giant Eyeball that, because why waste time thinking of a more elaborate moniker? Dwarf Shaman finds it hilarious, and Priestess imagines he do the same with the canary.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: His left eye blazes red and leaves a trail when he's particularly amped up to kill goblins.
  • Goal in Life: Goblin Slayer literally wants to kill all goblins, and he fully intends to make good on that assertion.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Puts it best when Wizard Boy questions the lack of serious debate on delaying the assault on the monster bosses to try to rescue hostages that are clearly there as bait.
    Goblin Slayer: I don’t understand the point of not helping them.
  • Godzilla Threshold: He really doesn't like going back to or associating with the Rogue's Guild, but he will do so without hesitation when Priestess' home needs "unconventional" defense.
  • Go Look at the Distraction: Misdirecting and baiting attempted goblin ambushes is a frequent gambit of his.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Gets up in front of the entire Adventurers' Guild and asks everyone for help in defending the farm from a goblin army, offering up everything he has to his name in compensation, up to his own life.
  • Gotta Kill Them All: He's called "Goblin Slayer" for a reason.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: He has used empty potion or perfume bottles to brain goblins or put glass in their eyes.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: On his very first official quest he knocked out a Hobgoblin, propped its body up beside the entrance of a goblin cave, and dropped it on two goblins to crush them under its weight. When he later kills it for good, he sends it toppling on top of a shaman trying to crawl away, pinning it so he can stab it in the face. In later volumes he bodily throws goblin corpses into crowds of their compatriots to great effect, especially if he made them a goblin pincushion first.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: He managed to tag along with Young Warrior's first party on a goblin quest they grabbed first in Year One.
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War: He wages a tireless, one-man version of this against all goblins, everywhere. By their nature, all goblins are irredeemable and evil bastards who deserve to be wiped off the face of the earth, and very few people question that what he's doing is the right thing.
  • Gut Feeling: He lingers after taking out the goblin nest in Water Town because of a vague suspicion that Sword Maiden or someone else was hiding information when sending out that quest, which turns out to be true. In general, Goblin Slayer has a highly-honed intuition that he values greatly and follows unhesitantly.
  • Handbag of Hurt: In the final battle of Volume 6, he can find no usable weapons from the first wave of goblins in the tunnels, so he overstuffs his sister's purse with coins and uses it as a makeshift blackjack on the second wave.
  • A Handful for an Eye: As expected of a Combat Pragmatist, he pulls a fistful of grass and tosses it into a goblin lord's face as a distraction tactic. In Chapter 16 of the manga, he demonstrates the know-how to make full-on metsubushi.
  • Harmful to Minors: When he was a kid, goblins massacred everyone in his village. He hid in a basement and had to watch in silence as goblins raped and murdered his older sister upstairs. No wonder he's got a few screws loose in the present.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: In volume 13 it is noted that simply polishing his usual equipment is enough to get newbies to finally see him as a serious and experienced adventuring veteran (if one oddly stingy about gear upgrades.)
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Averted — Goblin Slayer wears a full helmet almost all the time, and while some of his aspects are unpleasant, he's firmly on the heroic side.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Subverted; when Goblin Slayer first started adventuring, he started out with a long sword and like the Greenhorn Party's Warrior, suffered from his sword being too long in a small narrow cave, resulting in it banging against the wall as he drew it. He quickly figured out that smaller weapons are better suited for goblin hunting in caves (and to maintain center balance due to the weight of a larger sword on one side). Later on, he also figures out that learning to use any type of weapon is better than mastering one, and he could always just use whatever weapons he gets from the goblins he kills.
  • Heroic Build: Rarely seen due to 24-Hour Armor, but Chapter 10 of the manga reveals that he is very well-toned without plating to cover him up.
  • Heroic Resolve: In Volume 2, it is the memory of his sister and the thought of his friends being subjected to her fate that drives him to force himself back into the fray with the Water Town champion after being nearly one-shotted.
  • Heroic RRoD: Goblin Slayer regularly takes multiple quests at once/back-to-back, goes days with barely any sleep or meals, and pushes his body past its limits in a mad pursuit of the next kill immediately at hand. More than once he has collapsed from accumulated fatigue and damage, and his friends have to remind him that he is destroying his body and needs rest to stay sharp, something he acknowledges but won't perform beyond the bare minimum.
  • Heroic Second Wind: In Volume 2, a single swipe from a goblin champion breaks several bones in his body and leaves him barely more than paste held in place by his ruined armor. Upon hearing his party on the verge of being overwhelmed though, he reaches a level of rage never seen before, forces himself up while gushing blood, beats several goblins to death with just his shield, and strangles the goblin champion with the flayed skin and hair of a dead woman. Then, with his broken right arm, he yanks the monster's eye out and throws it at the rest of the horde, terrifying all of them into stopping the assault and fleeing in fear.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: He brushes off any praise from villagers, feels unsuited for his Silver rank, is dumbfounded whenever Priestess or Guild Girl insist he is a hero and makes a difference, and doesn’t consider himself a proper adventurer, just an exterminator. When Dark Elf fights him in the climax of Volume 3 and rated his combat strength as closer to an Emerald or Ruby ranked adventurer, Goblin Slayer remarks that he’s always seen himself as no stronger or more skilled than an average Obsidian rank. In volume 13 he is baffled by the idea that he could have anything to pass down to prospective new recruits and thinks its only Guild Girl's favoritism that got him the job of dungeon designer. In Year One, he regularly berates himself for being foolish and underprepared in his earliest missions. He also insists that he is lacking in brains compared to his peers and not cut out for cerebral tasks, both because his master said and because he remembers being a slow learner.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: A noted hurdle in Year One is that new adventurers without an established reputation tend to be seen by villagers as bandits or racketeers in waiting, which Goblin Slayer catches particularly harshly for his bloodstained appearance and solo operation. This is actually a good deal less of an issue in the main series; by then tall tales of his exploits are widespread enough people know he is the best man for the job, and the majority of clients are at worst mildly stumped by his less than shining appearance.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Downplayed. Goblin Slayer always remains cordial with other civilized humanoids, but his sheer ruthlessness in his quest to massacre and exterminate Goblins is a thing to behold. Some artworks depict him as being more monstrous than he actually appears, and it would not be surprising if he's become the legendary boogeyman of the Goblin race.
    How could you ever let that go? So you take a weapon in hand. You train yourself. You learn. You grow. Your only thought is revenge. You search them out... hunt them down... you fight... you attack... and you kill them... and kill them... and kill them... and kill them. Sometimes things go well... and sometimes they don't. Each time you ask, how will I kill them next time? What's the best way to kill them? Day after day, month after month, that's the sole thought that takes up residence in your head. Of course, you test every idea you have when the opportunity presents itself. And in come to relish it.
  • Hidden Depths: His taciturn demeanor belies a natural curiosity and wonder for the unknown, possible holdovers from his original personality. Normally this is yet another tool to his arsenal, but it shows up prominently when he asks a vendor how ice cream is made. In fact, after the events of Volume 2 he offers to try making ice cream for everyone upon coming home.
  • Hidden Eyes: When scenarios arise where he isn't wearing his helmet, such as extended childhood flashbacks or situations that force him out of his armor, and the story can't simply stick to showing him from either behind his head or below his nose, his face will be rendered as having his eyes completely obscured by shadow no matter the angle. The only times his eyes are actually shown are moments in the Year One manga during and shortly after the goblin horde ravaged his village.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: He can be insensitive to everyone's feelings at times, much less those of his own teammates. Far from being unfettered though, he places the safety of his companions above all else, even his very purpose in life.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: His Plan B against the Giant Eyeball was to snipe at it from outside the room it was meant to guard, falling back if it had the presence of mind to pursue them.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: When they fought the Water Town goblin nest for the first time, they were in the catacombs directly under the city, and as such Goblin Slayer couldn't do any of his usual environmental warfare tricks to ease the pitch melee they were dragged into. The second time around, Goblin Slayer checked with Dwarf Shaman that the secret passage they followed had taken them beyond the town, and then fully cuts loose and brings the labyrinth section down.
    Goblin Slayer: If I can't use gas or fire or water, this is the best I can do.
  • How Is That Even Possible?: Goblin Slayer is visibly shocked and bewildered when Chosen Heroine runs on top of a pit trap he just finished setting up, stands on it for a full minute talking to him, then walks off without a tremor beneath her. He even stoops to inspect the spot just to be sure it all actually happened.
  • Humble Hero:
    • He doesn't consider himself special just because he's Silver-ranked, despite being part of the third-highest tier of adventurers in the Guild and one who still takes ordinary guild contracts. Guild Girl is rather irritated with this attitude, but she also appreciates the humility.
    • When a newly-promoted Priestess approached him to show gratitude for everything he's done for her, including his rescue on that fateful day, he tried brushing it off as nothing, bringing up his failure to save everyone else in Priestess' doomed first party. She nonetheless thanked him for at least saving her, leaving him at a loss for words.
  • The Hero: He is closer to this than what the narration and the story may imply. Ironically he is "Choosen Heroine" personal Hero, since it was his actions (By virtue of being untouched by Fate) that saved her and her village from a Goblin Horde, while the rest of the Guild was busy with the Rock Eater. As of Volume Five he has defeated a new brand of Goblin that would have presented a very serious Threat to the World, had it been allowed to grow. And in Volume 8 he and his group stop the resurrection of he Demon Lord. And as a side note, his actions tend to support Choosen Heroine's own actions.
  • Hunter of Monsters: Specializes in killing goblins and takes no other job except goblin hunting. He's killed so many goblins that he was able to achieve Silver-rank from those jobs alone.
  • Hypocrite: Zig-zagged. When he hears that Wizard Boy is intending to go goblin hunting without a party or more than half an idea of what he's doing, Goblin Slayer calls it foolishness. Guild Girl just stares incredulously at his lack of self-awareness. On one hand, she is correct in Goblin Slayer having lone wolf tendencies when he started out; on the other hand, even back then, he understood goblins and what they were capable of, more than any adventurer that would normally start out, and certainly more than Wizard Boy at the time.
  • Idiosyncrazy: A rare heroic example. He's Goblin Slayer, it always has to be about slaying goblins for him. All goblins must be wiped out with extreme prejudice. All goblin stragglers must be purged. All nests must be burned to the ground, flooded, gassed, whatever will get the job done. Even the slightest hint of goblins must be investigated. If a request isn't about killing goblins, it isn't worth even a glance. Goblins today, goblins tomorrow, goblins 24/7. Goblin Slayer appears to be getting better though, to the point where he'll consider other options if there are no goblins to slay, if his team-up with Spearman and Heavy Warrior to take down an evil wizard in Brand New Day is of any indication. It remains a point of teasing from others though, as High Elf Archer and Priestess are genuinely shocked he knows what a gargoyle is without reference back to a goblin in Volume 10, and he has to think of the different kinds of demons in analogy to goblin evolution tiers to wrap his head around the concept.
  • I Gave My Word: Goblin Slayer's sense of gratitude is the one thing that is stronger than his hatred of the beasts who ruined his life; if he owes you a debt of kindness, he will repay it tenfold, and will leap into hellfire itself to keep a promise.
  • I Have Many Names: If High Elf Archer and Dwarf Shaman are to be believed, he is known as "Orcbolg" and "Beard Cutter" to the Elves and Dwarves respectively. The man himself only lays claim to Goblin Slayer, though.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Burglar taught the value of always acting even in the face of internal doubts by impressing on him the idea that his sister died because he "chose to do nothing." Whether it was fleeing together, fighting to keep the goblins from getting to her, or finagling some way for them both to fit in the hiding spot, him instead passively hiding as she was brutalized made it his fault. Goblin Slayer has internalized this view. It will not happen again.
  • Immune to Fate: He's not one of the gods' pawns and isn't subject to their dice rolls directly, though the people and places around him are. This makes him a rogue element in the cosmos and capable of averting some certainties. For instance, Chosen Heroine was supposed to have a Dark and Troubled Past with her hometown burned to the ground and her family killed by goblins. But Goblin Slayer stopped the attack before it happened, changing Chosen Heroine's childhood into one filled with peace, love, and happiness.
  • I'm Not a Hero, I'm...: Goblin Slayer is always rather quick to counter any attempts to call him a hero or adventurer by stating he's neither of those, as heroes have the ability to save the world and adventurers are capable of enjoying their lives, while he's just the guy that slays goblins so that nobody has to go through what he did. That said, he does gradually come to accept how people around him do indeed see him as such, even if it makes him uncomfortable at times.
  • Implacable Man: Towards goblins. He makes sure to kill every goblin within the vicinity, and will even kill young ones since he knows they can grow up holding a grudge. Broken bones aren't going to stop him tearing their eyes out with said broken bones.
  • Improbable Weapon: Items that prove to be deadly instruments in Goblin Slayer's hands include, but are not limited to; discarded helmets and pieces of armor, severed limbs, and a coinpurse packed with stones.
  • Improbable Use of a Weapon: In the manga depiction of the fight against the goblin paladin horde, he briefly uses a sword in mordhau grip after the blade becomes slathered in blood. It also becomes a bit of a joke how fond he is flinging literally everything, including his melee weapons.
  • Impromptu Tracheotomy: His preferred target with his throwing knives against goblins is their throats.
  • Improperly Paranoid: The light novels have included a few instances wherein his overestimation of goblins was detrimental, writing off non-goblin monsters as less of a threat only to get overwhelmed each time. He also refuses to teach any of his anti-goblin strategies or allow any notes of his techniques for fear that goblins will get their hands on them, when not one goblin in 10 volumes has demonstrated literacy and he himself has already stated the case that goblins are all too much a bunch of Smug Snakes to be concerned about enemy tactics, let alone interrogate for information on them. In Volume 10, he somehow thinks Grape Nun in a cloak is a goblin or other monster trying to scope out town, even after hearing her voice, and refuses to speak to her or put away his sword until she shows her face in the middle of town when she was trying to avoid confrontation over the rumors currently spreading.
  • Improv Fu: Goblin Slayer's fighting style is a pitched, no-hold-barred melee designed to kill as swiftly and brutally as possible before moving straight to the next target, exploiting every opening available, using anything conceivable as a weapon, and fighting dirty as much as possible.
  • Improvised Weapon: He can and will use whatever's available to kill goblins. It's shown multiple times that one of Goblin Slayer's greatest assets is his creativity and his willingness to use anything to his advantage.
    • He once used another goblin's dropped steel helmet to bludgeon a goblin to death.
    • When his party was in danger, Goblin Slayer used human hair from a slain victim of the goblins to strangle the beast.
    • He's used portals to either send his enemies flying into the air, drowning them underwater, or even using water as a cutting tool with intense water pressure.
    • He once used saltpeter to help one of his enemies burn to death. He was planning on using the saltpeter to make ice cream.
    • His Tragic Keepsake is a rose-embroidered coin pouch from his sister. Goblin Slayer once filled it with coins and bludgeoned a goblin's skull with it.
  • Indy Ploy: While his Crippling Overspecialization and bad luck hinder him, he's also got a good imagination. As such, he's able to quickly come up with new strategies in the face of bad situations. This can be seen in Volume 1 when he quickly incorporates Priestess' spells into a strategy to finish off the goblin nest's defenders. Later light novel volumes have Goblin Slayer opine at length about how acting on a good enough snap judgement during a crisis is infinitely better than standing around trying to polish a perfect strategy and getting killed while ruminating.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Due to his extremely blunt and stoic personality, he can come off as rude sometimes, though this is attributed to his lack of social skills rather than malice.
  • Insane Equals Violent: Averted. A few characters noted how he's not all there, and Cow Girl's uncle warned her that the boy she knew back then is gone. But Goblin Slayer remains very calm and cordial in his relationships, and at the end of the day, he's still a trusted Silver ranked member of the Adventurer's Guild.
  • Instant Waking Skills: He sleeps with one eye open, and is always alert before anyone gets a chance to wake him.
  • Ironic Echo: After volumes and volumes of Priestess putting up his lack of social grace or consideration with the catchphrase of "He's hopeless", Goblin Slayer calls her hopeless after observing another one of her dramatic moodswings after another bout of Heroic Self-Deprecation late into Volume 10.
  • I Shall Taunt You: He actually attempts to further goad the Water Town champion when it flies into a berserk rage at the sight of him.
  • I Should Have Been Better: The longer his crusade to eliminate the goblins drags on, the more he doubts his abilities and contribution to the world. It comes to a head in Volume 10, when his lack of ability to directly and personally help quash the rumors about Grape Nun, ease Priestess' spirits, or investigate the Wine Merchant cause him so much frustration that he begins to doubt the impact of all he has done in the past seven years, questioning if he accomplished anything even after Grape Nun's good name is restored, the Wine Merchant arrested, goblins are killed, Priestess smiling again, and order brought back to town thanks to him discovering a Chaos incursion.
  • It's All My Fault: Volume 7 reveals that, in addition to watching his sister get butchered in front of him, he blames himself for forcing her to remain in their hometown to take care of him when she could have had a bright future pursuing a career in the city. High-Elf Archer and Dwarf Shaman try dissuading him from the notion, but he remains unconvinced.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: His skills are well-rounded and versatile from constantly slaying goblins and adapting to their tactics. This makes him a quick and flexible improviser, but it's obvious his colleagues, and stronger monsters, outclass him in a fair fight. Then again, that implies he ever fights fair.
  • Javelin Thrower: If he has to use spears, he prefers short ones that he can fling unerringly into a far-off goblin.
  • Killer Game Master: When designing the practice dungeon in volume 13, he approaches it with the idea of an unusually competent and trap-festooned goblin nest as a baseline. Everyone else agrees he's playing way too hardball on an encounter meant to ease adventuring-hopefuls into the lifestyle.
    Spearman: “Today is a good day to get wiped clean off the map. “I can guarantee any dungeon of yours is gonna be one brutal affair.
  • Killing Intent: You’ll know Goblin Slayer is in the swing of things when his eye catches fire, the shadows around him draw in to cloak his entire upper body, and his line art and shading shift to resemble something out of Berserk. Of particular note is when Rhea Scout’s Imagine Spot of stabbing Guild Girl for demoting him morphs into a vision of him getting his face broken by Goblin Slayer, who is sitting in the corner watching for trouble.
  • Kill It with Fire: Fond of this trope, be it using gasoline to ignite a body and roll it down an incline on top of other goblins or setting an entire goblin nest ablaze with burning arrows.
    Goblin Slayer: Old elven fortress. Burns nicely.
  • Kill It with Water: He also has a seeming preference for flooding and drowning goblin nests, to the point of investing in magic items to pull it off (something he is otherwise extremely reluctant to do.)
  • Knightly Sword and Shield: He fits the look of a particularly shabby Black Knight, and completes it with his undersized but viciously effective buckler and gladius.
  • Knows the Ropes: Occasionally busts out a garrote for stealth takedowns, and utilizes his vastly greater size and strength to out-and-out hang goblins from his arms and crush their windpipes to be quicker about it.
  • Kung-Shui: His favorite way to kill goblins is by destroying their nests with all of them still inside, be it by flooding, setting fires, poison gas, explosions, or just tearing it down.
  • Last Stand: When all his tricks fail to put down the Ogre of Volume 9 without directly engaging, he readies himself to enter an exchange of blows with an air of stoic resignation.
  • Leave No Survivors: His number one priority on quests is to corral all the goblins together, take each and every one of them out in a single swoop, drop their lair on their heads, and scope the area to make sure none slipped away.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: The first half of his plan to deal with the goblin breeding ground in volume 11 is to just let their paranoia and resentment lead them to riot against the soldiers cultivating them after they lose their women.
  • The Lightfooted: Is noted to be unusually fast and acrobatic for a warrior.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He's fast enough to dodge or parry most attacks coming his way and can leap over the really big goblins. After that he easily smashes through goblin skull with his buckler or any weapon in his hand.
  • Limp and Livid: A few times in Year One when he prepares to face of against goblins in melee after working himself up into a frenzy, he will adopt a battle stance with crouched legs, dangling arms and out-thrust head that, when combined with Glowing Eyes of Doom and an appropriate backdrop, makes him look downright demonic.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Is definitely this to Sword Maiden, and to a lesser extent Priestess (who shuts down catastrophically if he ever falls during battle). He doesn't like it, acutely aware of his own emotional damage as he is, but lets them both take as much strength from their image of him as they need to keep going.
  • Look Behind You: In Volume 9, he shows off his capacity for misdirection by constantly setting traps and making fake attacks to distract goblins so he and Cow Girl can retreat or hide.
  • Loner-Turned-Friend: He initially went to exterminate goblins on his own and only relied on himself to survive. Priestess and his other new teammates are the first people to join him in his quest and give him people he can trust. However, having friends means Goblin Slayer now gets worried if they're in danger and so he must have their safety in mind during missions.
  • Loners Are Freaks: In spite of being a veteran of the Adventurers Guild for five years, his colleagues hardly bothered to get along with him. Pest control work aside, they couldn't see anything good out of a grimy adventurer who mutters about goblins all the time, all by his lonesome. Once Priestess and the rest of his companions join his party, his reputation with the rest of the Guild noticeably improves.
  • Loser Friend Puzzles Outsiders: In a party of visually-striking adventurers, Goblin Slayer is always attracting derisive comments from both peers and the general public about his grungy armor and dour attitude. This gets worse whenever he's around Priestess or High Elf Archer, because others assume the only reason why beautiful girls would associate with him is through some sort of dark secret or coercion.
  • Ludicrous Mêlée Accuracy: On his very first quest, he broke the tip of his sword off in a hobgoblin’s neck, which plugged the wound enough for it to keep fighting. He ended the fight by stabbing it again, lining up the broken edges of the blade so that they slotted back together perfectly and hitting with enough force to make the broken part shoot out through the back of the hob’s neck.
  • Ma'am Shock: Surprisingly, Goblin Slayer seems sensitive about his age and is quick to inform Scout Boy that he is still only twenty years old when the kid refers to him as "old man Goblin Slayer."
  • Made of Iron: It's true that he's well-armored, but he can take a beating regardless. In his first quest as Goblin Slayer, he gets a poisoned knife in the back which only makes his arm go numb, and soon after he shrugs off a brutal bear hug from an enraged hobgoblin before slaughtering the goblin shaman leader and his nest. This is represented by his stats as it's mentioned by the gods in Year One that he has higher than average VIT.
  • Madness Mantra: While head down and about to be brained by a gaggle of goblins in Year One, he launches in an internal rant about the insignificance of human life, fighting, and personal tragedy on the world stage, capped off by him getting up and slaughtering the greenskins while chanting "So what? So what?" in his head over and over.
  • Magic Potion: Showing off how lenient his no-enchantments policy gets on the subject of consumables, in volume 12 he buys and uses a potion that grants enhanced agility on a quest with Spearman and Heavy Warrior.
  • Magnetic Hero: Although he possesses all the sociability and charm of a dead fish, a significant number of people still end up finding themselves weirdly drawn toward this disheveled warrior. Maybe it's because they grew to admire his determination and skills. Maybe it's because he's clearly in desperate, desperate need of a psychiatrist.
  • Manchild: You wouldn't have guessed just by looking at him, but the narration frequently refers to Goblin Slayer as a "boy", rather than a "man". Through that perspective, his mannerisms take on a new light — sure, Goblin Slayer is more organized and steadfast than most adults, but that, mixed with his attachments and clumsy communication skills, just make him come off more like an especially precocious kid who never got the chance to grow up.
  • Married to the Job: Singularly focused upon his self-appointed task of eradicating every goblin from the face of the earth, and has less than no patience for anyone that might try to distract from that, a lesson that Cow Girl, Guild Girl, Sword Maiden, and (less intimately) High Elf Archer have had to learn with varying degrees of pain.
  • Matchstick Weapon: Goblin Slayer has used torches as Improvised Weapons against goblins on more than one occasion.
  • Meaningful Name: Played hilariously straight. He is "Goblin Slayer." He has one job and he's only interested in that job. If that job doesn't have "goblins" and "slaying" he's not interested.
  • The Mentally Disturbed: Downplayed He is severely traumatized and socially stunted; the events causing it are treated deadly serious, the characters recognize, pity, and try their best to heal him, and he occasionally laments his obvious damage. But he still goes about his daily life without much care for the manifestation and effects of his emotional hang-up. His people in and out of universe mostly see his lack of social grace as an amusing quirk.
    Cow Girl's Uncle: Look, the truth is... he's completely lost it. You know that, but you choose to ignore it.
  • Mercy Kill: Doles these out unhesitatingly on those unfortunate occasions he pulls someone out of a goblin nest whose injuries are too extensive to survive field treatment or a run back to civilization.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Silent, closed-off, and almost always smelling of stale blood, he consistently surprises people who discover for themselves how much of a good person he actually is.
  • Molotov Cocktail: In chapter 70 of Year One he makes several to throw at the goblin lord's horde, though he packs the bottles with blackpowder instead of oil.
  • Momma's Boy: Believe it or not, towards his deceased sister. His parents didn't survive long enough to register in his memory, meaning his sister was his caretaker throughout his entire childhood. Even in the present day, he holds her memory and her words close to heart like an obedient son.
  • Mook Horror Show: His regular goblin beatdowns can be extremely brutal in their execution, particularly early on when he was fighting by himself and the art had a habit of warping him to look demonic when in action.
  • Morning Routine: Goblin Slayer wakes up before dawn, puts on his armor, and inspects the farm's perimeter. After, that he trains until the sun comes up, then uses the light to do maintenance on the defenses. He sits for breakfast with Cow Girl, then goes into town. If he were to ever find a skulking goblin, he would kill it with 100% certainty.
  • Morality Pet: His Friends. He has no reason to accommodate their desires but he constantly does. Eating with Cow Girl and her Uncle, tending to hear out Guild Girl's advice and requests, putting up with High Elf Archer constant "prohibitions", and all of his interactions with Priestess can be called sweet to some extent.
  • Mr. Fanservice: The number of times he's seen without armor, much less clothes, can be counted on one hand, but on such rare occasions the manga sees fit to show off his well-defined musculature and sharp jawline. His multitude of scars only add to his ruggedness, which explains why at least one person (like Sword Maiden) would be physically attracted to him.
  • Multi-Melee Master: "Master" might be a stretch, but he's proficient at wielding different kinds of weapons. He has no problem with using the slain goblins' own weapons against other goblins. Volume 1 shows that he's no slouch with a bow either.
  • Munchkin: Due to the true nature of the world, Goblin Slayer's out-of-the-box solutions and tendency to stack the deck in his favor equates to a "play-style" that would (and indeed did) give GM's and fellow players minor strokes from questioning its legality.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Taking his helmet off after victory against the Goblin Lord and his horde. It's a big shock to everyone present aside from Cow Girl, everyone comments that he has fine features and even Priestess is absolutely smitten.
  • My Greatest Failure: Being too scared to do anything but hide by himself when the goblins descended on his village will forever haunt him. Never mind he was an untrained 10-year-old boy, he could have done something, and if he had his sister might still be alive.
    Choosing to not act once was more than enough for a lifetime.
    N to S 
  • Nay-Theist: Because the gods won’t or can’t use their power to erase the goblin threat, he views them as not deserving of his worship.
  • Near-Death Experience: Has had a few, but the most prominent one is his brutalization by the goblin champion in volume 2, on account of actually needing magic to recover from the brink of death.
  • Never Bare Headed: He adamantly refuses to ever take off his helmet or even lift the visor without massive amounts of arm-twisting, claiming he fears a sneak attack, even inside the Guild Hall surrounded by veterans.
  • Nice Guy: Beyond his imposing and gruff exterior lies a kind and honest man who cares deeply for the welfare of his fellow men and women, and slowly but surely regains the ability to openly express his kindness with the help of his newfound friends.
  • Nice to the Waiter: One personal aspect that wins over the local villagers over other adventurers is how considerate he is of them; he doesn't lord over them and he always pays them back for supplies and general assistance.
    • When he was at the Chosen Heroine's village, he surprised the locals by using his own money to buy the lumber which he used to build a fence and spike trap for them. Normally, adventurers would demand supplies from the locals and other freebies.
    • This is also showcased in Volume 5, where he provides first aid for the surviving villagers and pays for his party's inn fee despite the villagers offering to let them stay in their homes, under the reasoning it would be easier in case of an ambush but also implied because the village's supplies were reduced because of Noble Fencer's ill-fated plan to eliminate goblins.
  • Nightmare Face: Right at the end of Chapter 2 of the manga, when he's about to club the last goblin child, he gives a terrific one, complete with blood-soaked armor and club, plus Glowing Eyes of Doom. Were that image taken out of context, he could easily be mistaken as the bad guy.
  • Noiseless Walker: While usually plodding and heavy-stepping, when the situation calls for him to be sneaky he makes barely a whisper or trace as he creeps up to goblins.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Full armor and faceless helmet; detailed wear and tear; strong shading and outlines; dark color palette dominated by lead-like gray; almost never off-model. Even in a setting that doesn't follow the vibrant and exaggerated aesthetics of modern fantasy adventure games, he sticks out like a sore thumb. As it is, he might as well be a transplant from the Souls series. The Brand New Day spinoff manga takes it even further by adopting a looser art style while simultaneously making him look more at home in a Gurren Lagann title card.
  • No Party Like a Donner Party: As a flashback in Volume 9 reveals, he is at least intellectually ready to perform cannibalism as a last resort of survival if stranded somehow.
  • No Social Skills: The events of his past have made him emotionally-stunted and blunt. Not only does he not get along with most people as a result, he treats conversations as just checkpoints to obtaining more goblin-slaying quests. It is only after several joint adventures that he begins to engage in casual talk, and so far almost no progress has been made on the other fronts such as his lack of hygiene, refusal to hear out stories or requests that don't interest him, and constant cutting to the front of the Guild queue.
  • No Sympathy:
    • Goblin Slayer's trauma and tutelage under Burglar have left him breathtakingly callous. He harshly dismisses Sword Maiden's attempt to evoke Birds of a Feather because he sees little commonality in their experiences with and reactions to their respective traumas, and won't even pretend to try to empathize with her, his last second comforting words saving her from Despair Event Horizon being tossed back as an afterthought. He also doesn't particularly care for other adventurers going into goblin quests and getting in over their head, and if anyone in his team looks like they are about to have a Vomiting Cop moment, he simply tells them to get over it or bail before they become dead weight.
      Goblin Slayer: This adventurer appears to have been ambushed. One blow to the head. Not even time to draw his weapon. Good.
    • This has lessened overtime; by Volume 8, he is deeply bothered if one of his friends is distressed. By Volume 10, he can read expressions well enough to tell someone is in a bad mood and has enough concern for others to (haltingly) ask what is wrong and if he can help.
  • Not Afraid to Die: Though not as eager about it as Lizard Priest, Goblin Slayer has largely made peace with the prospect of being cut down in battle. His only concern is that his friends will get too hung up over losing him, but even then he assures himself they'll all move on eventually and fondly commemorate him like a true adventurer.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: Cow Girl has made likely several flirtatious gestures towards him, the first shown in Volume 1 where she greets him in the morning in only her underwear. He doesn't skip a beat. Then, in Volume 2, after suffering gruesome injuries that left him at death's door, he was healed with Resurrection, a miracle that requires the target to sleep naked in the same bed with a Maiden. When he woke up, said Maiden greeted him while wearing a single piece that hid nothing. Priestess, also healed and naked, was asleep with her arms around his waist. Goblin Slayer was more interested in confirming that Resurrection exists.
  • Not Hyperbole: Do not doubt the completeness of Goblin Slayer's conviction.
    Goblin Slayer: “I will get back your sword. And I will kill that goblin paladin. Along with the other goblins. I don’t mean one or two of them. I don’t mean an entire nest. I don’t mean even this entire fortress. I will slay all the goblins.”
  • Not So Similar: He likens himself as a sort of counterpart to a goblin wanderer who survives the slaughter of its nest and grows up obsessed with getting back at the people hunting its kind. He however, has none of a goblin’s arrogance, entitlement, sadism, or the self-serving greed and ambition that really drives a goblin out for vengeance. If every goblin were to suddenly disappear into thin air, he would celebrate. He might not know what to do with himself after that, but he has already and clearly stated that he would consider it a good thing.
  • Not the Intended Use: He has very unorthodox ideas of how to utilize spells and items.
    • Goblin Slayer uses Priestess' Protection spell to chilling effect in Volume 1: he starts a fire in an old elven fortress and by using the protection spell, he traps the goblins in a bubble to choke and burn to death.
    • He also uses a Gate Scroll as a weapon, by making the location of the Gate the bottom of the ocean, effectively making it a water cannon.
    • In Volume 2, rather than escaping a goblin horde by using a newly-discovered teleportation mirror leading to goodness-knows-where, he has his team lift it up like an umbrella while he collapses the ceiling. The rubble is absorbed by the mirror and buries everything else, leaving them the only survivors.
    • His stock of water-breathing rings introduced in Vol. 5 contain Required Secondary Powers such as stabilizing the wearer's body temperature and functioning within all forms of water — this makes them just as useful at traversing harsh winter terrain as they are at crossing bodies of water.
      Goblin Slayer: The imagination is a weapon. Those who fail to use it, die first.
  • Oblivious to Love: Subverted; most romantic hints made by the girls interested in him appear to miss their mark as expected, but it's suggested that he is actually aware of their special treatment. Unfortunately, his focus on goblin-hunting has made him completely incapable of behaving in any way resembling intimacy.
  • One-Hit Kill: Has trained to aim for goblin vital points and cultivated the strength to put them down with the minimum necessary moves. He aims for the throat whenever possible, and strives to make each strike a deathblow.
  • One Hit Poly Kill: Not nearly as often as High Elf Archer, but occasionally he manages to pierce two goblins at once with a well-launched arrow or javelin.
  • One-Man Army: While it was under extremely optimal engagement circumstances, the climatic battle through the Shadow Tower in Year One Volume 2 shows that Goblin Slayer has the strength and stamina to cuts his way through upwards of one hundred and thirty goblins in a single engagement before his body gives out (thereabouts; he loses count at 120, but is shown to make a little over a dozen additional onscreen kills between then and his ending the fight by pulling out his ocean Gate scroll.)
  • One-Way Visor: Its a thick vertical grill set under a heavily protruding brow. No hint of his face ever gleams through the shadows, save for the occasional red ball of light in his eye that is a manifestation of his bloodlust.
  • Only Sane Man: While his sanity is questionable, he's still one of the few adventurers who understand that goblins are a serious threat.
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • A series of small footprints on the pasture is enough for Goblin Slayer to deduce the presence of a goblin lord, with an army on the same scale as the one that razed his village. He is almost meek when he reports this to Cow Girl, who is floored by this behavior. The entirety of the Adventurers Guild reacts similarly when he requests everyone for help.
    • Goblin Slayer storms out of the Guild Hall after Wizard Boy drunkenly explains his motivations for seeking vengeance on goblins. Spearman, who ended up bearing the brunt of his anger, is left completely bewildered.
    • Goblin Slayer insists on going after the missing rookie in the practice dungeon ruins alone and rushes in without a full plan or letting his party get a word in edgewise, exposing how desperate he is to help Guild Girl keep the festival running smoothly and prevent her getting in trouble.
  • "Open!" Says Me: Kicks in the hidden door containing the baby goblins in the first den extremely violently.
  • Parental Abandonment: Both his parents died from a plague when he was a baby, his sister and other villagers at his home village were killed by goblins. Hence, his one-man vendetta against goblins everywhere.
  • Past Experience Nightmare: Dreams of the goblin attack on his village still haunt him.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: He has seen the depths of goblin brutality and the extent of their irredeemability, and has dedicated himself utterly to their wholesale genocide, completely without mercy, even against their infants.
  • Pet the Dog: As standoffish and manically driven as he is, he does care for the welfare of others, and always does try to save people if he can do so. He even makes the occasional attempt to show it.
    • In Volume 2, he buys a canary to detect gas while his party travels deep underground. He nevertheless protects it from harm, and by the end of the novel he is shown to have kept it well-fed and cared for.
    • His relationship with Priestess is full of this. He never once gets angry at her, is always keen to listen to her even if he doesn't agree or follow her advice, and is shown to be very protective of her. This also extends to Guild Girl and Cow Girl; all three of them he values immensely and has gone out of his way to protect or even confide in to a degree.
  • Phrase Catcher: From the narrator itself; any and every time Goblin Slayer enters a new scene, the narration will describe his armor and its shabbiness in detail and cap it off with some variation of "Even a brand new Porcelain-rank adventurer would have better equipment."
  • The Pig-Pen: Due to often being covered on his enemies' guts and blood and neglecting to clean his armor, he presumably reeks very bad. One could assume its because of his lack of aesthetic self-care, but this is actually a deliberate choice on his part due to goblins' enhanced sense of smell being alerted to clean equipment, therefore its on his best interest to disguise his presence as best as he can.
  • Pinball Protagonist: While his efforts to accomplish his goblin genocide does some air of good, he's ultimately just a footnote in the grand scheme of things due to his refusal to get involved in the universe's major storylines; there are kingdoms that need saving, dark gods to repel, and far more deadly and threatening monsters out there that take priority over goblins. As such, it is usually up to other adventurers and the Heroine to take the job.
  • Playing Possum: Not unlike goblins themselves, he is not above pretending to be a corpse just to strike when the opponent's back is turned. This is how Goblin Slayer kills Rhea Thief; he pretends to be incapacitated by Rhea Thief's poison darts. When Rhea Thief engages in some Unsportsmanlike Gloating, Goblin Slayer knifes Rhea Thief right in the gut.
  • Poisoned Weapons: In Volume 3, he siphons the poison of Rhea Scout's darts for his own blades when facing off against Dark Elf. In Volume 5, he deliberately wounds a goblin non-lethally in an effort to give it gangrene and spread infection in its nest. The latter doesn't work, on account of goblin paladin's healing magic.
  • Post-Mortem One-Liner: Actually attempts to quip after pushing the Ogre’s Brother into an ice lake that “I have goblins to slay” now that he’s dead. The universe punishes his newfound cockiness by having the monster jump right back out of the water.
  • Powerful Pick: One of the few extra weapons he's been seen pre-packing is a nadziak or similar hooked warhammer, that he uses against well-equipped goblins to wrench away their shields or pierce their armor.
  • The Power of Hate: His extraordinary determination and unbreakable resolve is fueled by a hatred for goblins. Though he eventually understands and accepts that friendship is a powerful source of strength, the desire to exterminate the entire goblinoid species drives him further. When facing defeat and falling into unconsciousness, the mere idea of goblins succeeding or injuring those he holds dear is enough to generate a Heroic Second Wind born from pure anger.
  • The Power of Trust: For an adventurer who worked solo throughout his entire career, Goblin Slayer is quick to believe in his teammates' reliability. He coordinates multiple plans that would otherwise be incredibly drastic and risky because he knows his party will play their roles and cover each other in a fight. Part of why he expresses disgust with the Rhea Thief is that the Rhea Thief steals from his own party, something Goblin Slayer would never even THINK of doing.
  • Power Walk: Even more than the commentary about how cruddy his armor is, the light novel narration is obsessed with repeating its description of the way Goblin Slayer walks; almost every time Goblin Slayer enters a scene, he is described as having a "bold, nonchalant stride" while nonetheless stooping and coiling his muscles in perpetual readiness to lunge. And he walks like this everywhere, even in town. More than once has he been mistaken for a street performer caricaturing an adventurer patrolling a dungeon, and even his friends internally laugh and admit he looks stupid doing it sometimes.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Goblin Slayer is on the side of good, but he's not much of a noble hero. He fights dirty, will mercy-kill poisoned or wounded people who are too far gone over wasting time trying to save them, and is not afraid to get his hands bloody.
  • Precision F-Strike: When evidences of goblins sneaking into the practice dungeon is found, he hisses out "The little bastards." Guild Girl and Priestess are shocked, as he so rarely curses out loud.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Delivers one to the ogre after bisecting him with creative application of a Gate Scroll.
    Goblin Slayer: Goblins are more powerful than you, anyway.
  • Professor Guinea Pig: Year One included an incidental night where he first got the idea to make pepper bombs part of his tool kit. He was uncertain how effective they would be on goblins, and wanted to live test them before packing them on a quest. After a Beat, he just slaps a cloth rag smeared in irritant against his eyes. It worked more than fine.
  • Properly Paranoid:
    • Never takes off his armor even during his downtime, and refuses to go into detail about his techniques lest the goblins overhear and learn from them. Sounds rather extreme, but there's a reason why he's still alive after years in the goblin-slaying business.
    • Rather than take advantage of a teleportation mirror that could have been used for travel or sold for thousands of gold coins, he blocks the entire thing in concrete and sinks it into a river. Considering that it was the original source of a massive goblin infestation, and one of the locations it led to was what looked to be the very heart of goblin territory, he probably made the right call.
    • Cow Girl's uncle criticizes Goblin Slayer over his seemingly obsessive ritual of inspecting the farm every morning for signs of goblin intrusion. Naturally, it's this same ritual that allows Goblin Slayer to later uncover the goblins' plan to attack the farm, giving him time to make preparations.
  • Punched Across the Room: The Ogre in Volume 1 and the goblin champion in Volume 2 bat him across large underground chambers with their metal clubs. Both times he very nearly dies, having to spend a month recuperating after the first time and needing a Resurrection miracle to bring him back from the brink of death the second time.
  • The Quiet One: Doesn't talk very much, and his responses are usually just one-word answers. Thus, it surprises a few characters who have known him for years that he says so much when talking with Priestess.
  • Quit Your Whining: When High Elf Archer is still freaking out over the state of Elf Scout after they rescued her, Goblin Slayer tells her in blunt terms that she's either strong enough to put her feelings aside and take out the goblins that did it, or she's dead weight who should leave before her distraction causes an issue in battle.
  • Random Number God: Defied — as a meta-example, the series' Tagline refers to Goblin Slayer as "he who does not let the gods roll the dice". In-Universe, he's not much more significant than an Non-Player Character with no special powers, other than his Crazy-Prepared antics and deep insight. He's always prepared contingencies for all kinds of situations, hence the description.
  • Rape and Revenge: A third-party example. Goblin Slayer's desire to wipe out all goblins came to be as a result of him watching a horde of these monsters gang-rape and kill his older sister. Ever since that moment he resolved to kill every goblin he can so that as many people as possible can be spared from the same fate that his sister suffered. If he happens to come across a surviving captive during his goblin hunts, he would usually promise them that he would kill their monstrous tormentors, such as the case with the elf scout in Volume 1.
    • During the climax of Volume 1 of Year One, while fighting a losing battle against a pack of goblins, Goblin Slayer notices that one of the goblins happen to have his father's dagger, an item that was stolen the night his sister died. This strongly implied that the goblins he was presently fighting are his sister's rapists. Naturally, this cause a Heroic Second Wind in the form of a Roaring Rampage of Revenge as he proceed to brutally slaughter the remaining goblins until none of them were left standing.
  • Red Baron: While pretty much no one in this series gets an actual name, he stands out from the usual "[race] [class]" (or some variation thereof) nicknaming pattern for adventurers by instead being known by his occupation, which is, obviously enough, slaying goblins.
  • Redemption Quest: After getting it drilled through into his head that his "cowardice" made him Accomplice by Inaction to his sister's death, Goblin Slayer's vendetta against greenskins takes this tone. It's more overt in the later light novels, as he values human life more and becomes explicit in his wish that "it never happen again."
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: A single red eye is visible behind his helmet's visor, blazing a ghostly trail whenever his bloodlust peaks. Additionally, his natural eye color is described as being scarlet.
  • Reluctant Psycho: There are hints in the narration and inner monologues of the light novels that Goblin Slayer is painfully aware of how stunted and alienated he has become, and dislikes it.
  • Reverse Grip: Is frequently stated to flip daggers and such around in his hands and wield them backwards, the better to pitch them in a flash when he needs to, or get in close or from behind.
  • Ridiculously Average Guy: Is supposed to be this destiny and aptitude-wise, though years of obsession and Training from Hell have made him a methodical, success-all-but-guaranteed goblin-exterminating machine with one ludicrously talented throwing arm.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: It doesn't matter that his work is essentially pest control. It doesn't matter that his reputation is down in the pits. It doesn't matter that he's just one man against an entire race. He's going to make every goblin his life can afford pay for taking his hometown and sister away from him.
  • Robbing the Dead: He swipes weapons off goblin corpses as fast as he breaks his old ones on their bodies.
  • Rude Hero, Nice Sidekick: He makes up the "Rude Hero" part in comparison to the rest of the team's varying shades of niceness. In all fairness, he is generally courteous in conversations if a little bit stiff, but he can only apply base-level manners without a single regard for pleasantries or social etiquette. For example, his meeting with Sword Maiden mortifies his party, and he only gets away with his attitude because the archbishop is fascinated in him.
  • Rummage Sale Reject: His outfit in Year One definitely clashes; a bronze cuirass and pauldrons with a dull iron helmet, a dark red fur waist-wrap and feathered collar, a leather-wrapped buckler. All of it cheap as hell.
  • Running Gag: He has several, as his shtick as The Comically Serious, Idiosyncrazy Almighty Janitor is full of opportunities for jokes.
    • His single-minded obsession with killing goblins, which consequently leads to his disinterest in other monsters and his brain's inability to grasp concepts like "stopping to smell the roses", is frequently played for comedy.
    • Whenever he enters the Adventurers Guild, he has a bad habit of cutting other people in the waiting line and throwing them off-guard, more so if anyone mentions "goblins" within earshot.
    • Every volume has one moment where he wonders what an ogre could be, having somehow completely written off his near-death experience with one.
  • Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: Many adventurers don't even think he's human. Given that he's hellbent since the tender age of ten to spend the rest of his existence exterminating goblins, inventing methods to exterminate more goblins, and forgoing social interactions to keep thinking about exterminating goblins, they aren't exactly wrong.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: He disregards obvious small-talk and thus will get tripped up or outright ignore sardonic commentry, to the frustration of many, most particularly High Elf Archer.
  • Sanity Slippage: Throughout the first volume of Year One, as he gains his initial experience fighting goblins, he measurably becomes more paranoid, bloodthirsty, and antisocial as the book goes on.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Has this dynamic with High Elf Archer, in contrast to Priestess' Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl above, because of High Elf Archer's fiestiness. While she tries to engage him in meaningful conversation or drag him on a "real" adventure, he is smearing goblin blood on her so her scent as a girl and an elf won't attract goblins.
  • Scarred Equipment: He breaks the horns off of his helmets, performs only the most basic maintenance on his under armor, and lets his over armor stay covered in blood and filth to disguise his scent. In the manga, a prominent and consistent added detail is the presence of a long scratch up the crest of his helmet's brow from Volume 3 onwards.
  • Screw Destiny: He has the unusual ability to deny whatever outcome the Gods expect of him and it thrills them each time. That they can't predict or easily manipulate his every move make him enjoyable to watch.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Or rather Screw the Money There Are Goblins To Slay. The size of the reward doesn't matter to him, since he just wants to kill as many goblins as possible.... besides, he takes enough of the jobs alone that he makes a comfortable living anyway.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: In Volume 6, Wizard Boy is dragged by Goblin Slayer into the farm, where he sees Cow Girl being all friendly with him and immediately assumes they're married. Goblin Slayer corrects him despite Cow Girl's attempts to roll with the assumption.
  • Shield Bash: He straps his buckler on his forearm and keeps its edges polished — clocking a goblin with a whack is usually enough to put it down. In one dire situation, he's bleeding profusely, suffering a broken arm, lacking weapons, and floating in and out of consciousness. Multiple armed goblins saw an easy target, so he groped around until his fingers grasped the edges of his shield. It was more than enough.
  • Shoo the Dog: There have been moments where he dismisses Priestess, saying he'll be traveling without her or that her assistance is unnecessary. She, knowing he actually loathes to drag people into his crusade, sees through the act immediately and follows him regardless.
  • Shoot the Dog: He doesn't shy from doing rather unsavory acts such as Mercy killing the Mage who's been poisoned, though him massacring the goblin children would top it all.
  • Shovel Strike: Uses a short shovel to great effect while fending off the goblin paladin's horde in the climax of Volume 5. He even hooks and twists a goblin's arm with the back of the shovel blade, a move that was actually taught in WWII trench-fighting training.
  • Sincerity Mode: Frequently acknowledges and praises Spearman's prowess as an adventurer, and is the only one of his Silver-rank peers to unreservedly admire him. It's a shame that he's too awkward and Spearman's too hostile for the compliments to land correctly most of the time.
  • Skewed Priorities: When his party goes on a quest to hunt a sea-serpent under the impression the quarry was "sea goblins" (which themselves are really fishpeople), his first reaction when the error is revealed was to go back home and get a correct quest. Priestess has to plead with him to help the preyed-upon villagers while they're still there.
  • Small Steps Hero: For the most part he doesn't concern himself with the greater threats in the world. He's focused on killing goblins since someone has to protect the small and poor villages from them. He initially has no interest in joining the quest to investigate the Elven Fortress until he learns about the army of goblins stationed there. This slowly is getting Subverted Trope the more the series advance, he has fought powerful breeds of Goblins and the Demon Lord itself in Volumen 8 (At least its arm) and has saved at Full Kingdom iat least once.
    Goblin Slayer: I won't save the world. I just kill goblins.
  • Socially Awkward Hero: He knows how to slay goblin better than anyone, but it's difficult for him to simply have a normal conversation that doesn't involve goblins. For most of his adventuring career, he tramples over interactions with all the delicacy and care of a snowplow. Starting from Vol. 6, however, he is becoming increasingly frustrated at his inability to console others.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Discussed. Goblin Slayer intellectually understands that from the goblins' point of view he's no different than how humans see goblin wanderers and leaders, as a child who survived an attack from the other race and grew up to be a dangerous warrior who preyed upon his former attackers. However, he still has no qualms beating goblin children to death with a club at the end of the first arc.
  • Sole Survivor: Of his home village after goblins raided them, along with cow-shepherdess his childhood friend.
  • Someone Has to Do It: The biggest complication holding him back from ever moving on and finding happiness is his refusal to leave the issue of goblins alone; there will always be a goblin rearing to attack, always a goblin that will eventually terrorize innocent folk if left to conduct its machinations. As long as goblins remain, he can't even consider himself a proper adventurer.
  • So Unfunny, It's Funny: In Volume 2, he suggests to use an antidote to cure a drunk High Elf Archer if she's going to suffer a hangover in the morning. Priestess and Lizard Priest are alarmed at this extreme measure, to which he (flatly) states that he was just joking. The two burst into laughter not at the joke itself, but because it was Goblin Slayer making one.
  • Spanner in the Works: He's the living embodiment of this trope. Normally, he only cares about hunting goblins but any mission he gets involved in will usually end up in a way no one can predict. Because the Gods themselves can't predict or control his destiny, he's essentially a living wild card, the joker in the deck, that can alter events that while seem small at first, tend to have a huge impact.
    • By all indications, The Chosen One Platinum-ranked adventurer seemed to be headed for a Dark and Troubled Past origin with Doomed Hometown as a backstory all set up by the gods (not only was her village about to be attacked by goblins, all the other adventurers were out fighting a rockeater that just appeared out of nowhere). Then this Porcelain-ranked adventurer comes in, makes up a super meticulous plan, and kills the hell out of all the goblins so Chosen Heroine ends up a quirky, happy champion instead of an angsty anti-heroine.
    • Hell, in the very first chapter it seemed that Priestess was in for A Fate Worse Than Death with her party wiped out when all of the sudden this one-man goblin-killing machine shows up and proceeds to Screw Destiny, leading to Priestess surviving the quest and becoming his party member.
    • He pulls out a Gate scroll linked to the bottom of the ocean, which turns it into a high pressure water cannon, because to him There's No Kill Like Overkill. Not only was this decisive in defeating one of the generals of the dark gods, a giant ogre, but if he hadn't been there, any team that showed up to handle things would have likely been slaughtered.
  • The Stoic: Besides the helmet rendering his face inscrutable, he typically speaks with a calm, almost robotic tone. Otherwise, his emotional range only ever seems to dial between varying levels of indifference and irritation, except for the rare outlier to remind the audience that he's still capable of warmth.
  • The Strategist:
    • Due to his expertise in goblins, he is the party's go-to source for strategies and improvisation. Not only are they effective, but they cover a flexible range of topics and situations that wouldn't stray far from even traditional human warfare, from guerrilla tactics to skirmishes in an open battlefield. Some adventurers comment that how scary it is that he predicts everything the goblins would try to do, such as using women as a Human Shield, to the fact that they would probably use wolves and could be countered with a spear wall trap.
    • He's even able to think of ways to tackle non-goblin foes, like when he used a Gate scroll linked to the bottom of the ocean to bisect an ogre with pressurized water or use a dust explosion with flour and then guarding the party with Priestess' Protection spell to have the Beholder use its Disintegrate to immolate itself.
  • Stress Vomit: After the climatic battle of Year One Volume 1, where he is so exhausted and beaten to an inch of his life from fighting goblins in open terrain, he rips off his helmet and pukes his guts out while flashing back to the day his own village was destroyed.
  • Suffer the Slings: His preferred long-range weapon when he can't just fling a sword at a running goblin.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Right from the get-go, it is obvious that Goblin Slayer is a tough nut to crack: he's cynical, single-minded, almost always cool under pressure, ignorant of social cues, and so reserved with his companions that it would've come off as downright dismissive if they didn't know him better. At the same time, he is capable of shockingly tender moments that prove his sincere fondness for his friends.
  • Suicide Mission: Considered engaging the goblin army at the end of Volume 1 to be this. There was simply no feasible way to take on that many goblins at once on open terrain, but he was fully prepared to go down trying. When Cow Girl called him out on it and insisted she wasn't going anywhere, he found a better alternative; getting a ''lot'' of extra muscle.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Owns a magic ring that lets him breathe underwater, which he justifies to himself by saying that a goblin would have extremely limited use for such a thing if it stole it from him. It works with snow too, which saves his life from an avalanche at the end of Volume 5. In Volume 9, it's revealed one can even talk underwater with them.
  • Sword and Fist: Because his weapons are so unreliable in sustained combat, he is extremely adept at just straight up kicking and punching goblins to death when he has nothing on hand.
  • Sword and Sorcerer: Was in this dynamic for the time he and Priestess adventured with only the two of them. She uses miracles to strategically blind/contain/etc. goblins as part of his combat tactics. They still maintain this format whenever the rest of the party is unavailable.

    T to Z 
  • Tactical Withdrawal: He's pragmatic enough to pull out of a quest when he's suffered too much damage to press on or the environment has become unfavorable for continued fighting (if after prompting from his teammates). He didn't hesitate to disengage with the Giant Eyeball when it proved too powerful for an all-out assault.
  • Taught by Experience: As the Year One manga shows, all the knowledge he gained and the experience was honed during his hunts. He barely survived the first few and learned from them each time. He would go on to expound this philosophy to Wizard Boy when he tried to beg to become his apprentice.
    Goblin Slayer: If you don’t plan to do anything until you’ve been taught, then my teaching you won’t change anything.
  • Terror Hero: He knows he is pant-shittingly horrifying to goblins, and is perfectly willing to leverage that into psychological warfare for an extra boost in battle. Most significantly in Volume 2, where he bluffs the entire still-sizable horde into retreating with their champion even after he lost attack initiative and was dying as he stood.
  • Terse Talker: Half his dialogue consists of "Yeah", "I see" and "Is that so?", mostly when somebody talks to him about a topic other than goblins. Lampshaded more than once by Priestess and High Elf Archer in their attempts to make him more social.
  • That Came Out Wrong: His terseness and monotone lead many people (most often and especially Spearman) to interpret his abortive attempts at small talk as sarcastic put-downs. In Volume 2, he mentioned that he "didn't like it" ('it' being the Water Town goblins learning how to make boats) in the middle of a conversation with High Elf Archer about going on a "proper" adventure, momentarily raising her hackles at being rejected before he elaborated the thought. In volume 13, when Guild Girl explains her idea of a practice dungeon and he responds "So what does this have to do with me?", Priestess giggles at how easy that would be to take as a dismissal, but anyone who knows him could tell he meant the question completely in earnest.
  • That's an Order!: Freely admits that his favorite perk of being Silver-ranked is how flashing his tag at snobbish or unhelpful vendors tends to completely change their tunes in a heartbeat.
  • There Are No Therapists: Goblin Slayer has undergone some horrific trauma and abuse from a young age, and it has left permanent marks on his psyche. People around him do the best they can to help him move on, but clearly don't know where to begin, some of them rely on him to acheive peace of mind themselves, and even after years have only managed baby steps. His goblin crusade is theorized by some fans to be in part an attempt at exposure therapy, but that aspect would be accidental at best and, given how deranged and blood-thirsty he gets on hunts, isn't working.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Zigzagged. On one hand, Goblin Slayer refuses to collect magical weapons or armor as they are excessive firepower in a fight with ordinary goblins and he’d be constantly worried over if one got its hands on them and ran. On the other, he considers single-use magic items and explosives to be fair game and has a penchant for destroying goblin-occupied structures outright through environmental warfare.
  • The Lost Lenore: Non-romantic example towards his sister, during the Manga Year One it is clear that he terribly misses her and is not over her death. During the main serie he still misses her and mourns her deeply, citing her a story told by her as a source of knowledge. By that point it has been ten years.
  • There Is No Try: In later volumes this is something he is constantly telling himself and occasionally his allies; there is do or do not do. The enemy is before you and needs killing, so don't get bogged down by doubts or concern for your position or physical condition, just go for it. It's an attitude instilled by his mentor Burglar.
  • Thieves' Cant: Volume 10 reveals he knows this in order to communicate with the Runners, as part of his training with Burglar. He doesn't use it often but he made an exception to send Runners looking for evidence against the merchant trying to buy the farm.
  • Thinking Tic: Has an unconscious habit of staring off into space when engaging in deep thought. It's surprisingly easy to identify in the manga.
  • Think Nothing of It: Each goblin slaying quest is equal in his mind, which means that when he fights a particularly strong one, or protects a particularly important person (like say the Princess of the realm), he doesn't think to ask for an extra reward or even see it as anything beyond business as usual.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: His one special talent beyond his ridiculous durability and extreme out-of-the-box thinking is his throwing arm; he can chuck anything at hand and land a critical blow. And because he knows he's good and sees all his equipment as utterly disposable, he will throw anything at hand to score a kill at first chance. He also practices proper weapon launching technique using a javelin throwing for straight swords and only flings things end-over-end if they are designed for it, like his mambele.
    Lizard Priest: Milord Goblin Slayer. I know how you love to fling your weapons, but that sword claw...
    Goblin Slayer: I understand. I'll try not to throw it. Try.
  • Thwarted Coup de Grâce: Goblin Slayer attempted to get behind the Water Town champion and take it down with a stealth blow, but its senses and reflexes were honed enough to detect his jump, grab a goblin peon, and make it catch the adventurer's blade between its ribs.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Subverted — if it will help him kill goblins, he'll use it. Once, he even used up a rare magic scroll with a Gate spell inscribed on it. It's noted in the light novel that Gate is a lost spell that any magical researcher would pay a king's ransom for and is absolutely priceless... and the ogre was completely flabbergasted that he was going to use it to kill some goblins.
    Ogre: Goblins... Goblins?! You were going to use that power against mere goblins?!
  • Top-Heavy Guy: Downplayed, but when stripped of his armor Goblin Slayer exposes a surprising broad chest and shoulders that are just a touch disproportionate to the rest of his frame, with quite lean legs and forearms and a gaunt midriff and neck.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Cow Girl's beef stew, made with extra milk in the broth. It's a recipe she learned from Goblin Slayer's Sister.
  • Tranquil Fury: His default state. Goblin Slayer isn’t the most emotive of people and he tends to be blunt and to the point with anybody he encounters, but the sheer, relentless, unforgiving brutality that he shows when he’s out hunting Goblins makes his utter antipathy and disgust for them for all they have done all the more palpable. Another moment where this has come to the fore is his severe dressing down of Rhea Scout for his greedy, cowardly nature. The closest time we see Goblin Slayer nearly completely lose his composure is when his band of adventurers nearly dies and Priestess almost becomes Goblin food, and even then manages to maintain his stoicism to enough of a degree to calmly threaten the rest of the attacking horde into retreat.
  • Tragic Keepsake: An embroidered coin purse was all that he brought beyond his destroyed village, which he uses to pay for a set of armor and supplies for the first time after being registered in Goblin Slayer Side Story: Year One. Blacksmith snarks that he must have filched the purse from either his mother or his older sister, to which Goblin Slayer, after a brief pause, confirms that he did. Later in Year One, he notices that one of the goblins beating him to death in Chapter 15 has a hunting dagger with a hawk-decorated hilt that belonged to his father, was given to him by his sister, and was stolen during the raid on his village. Seeing it gives him the strength to get back up, take that dagger back, and slaughter all nine of the goblins ganging up on him.
  • Training from Hell: In Volume 2, it's revealed in a Flashback that he spent five years under the tutelage of a rhea named Burglar, starting from the age of ten. Said flashback took place in a snow cave, where he was forced to simultaneously dodge stone-laden snowballs and falling icicles, all while answering riddles as fast as possible to make it stop. The flashback ended when Burglar knocks him out cold. It can only be assumed that the rest of his training was similarly harsh. In Volume 5, he admits that even years after the fact, he still secretly dreads the idea of experiencing anything like his time with Burglar again.
  • Trap Master: Shown off best in Volume 3, but if given foreknowledge of a goblin advance and even a moment of spare time, he can lay down a counter-defense system that your typical shaman could only dream of.
  • Trauma Button: The circumstances of his first major quest at the end of Year One Volume 1 (to defend Chosen Heroine’s Town) keep making him think back to his own village. He is extremely distracted during his preparations and becomes particularly demented when fighting the goblins threatening it.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Life has not been kind to Goblin Slayer, at the age of 5 his parents died of a plague, leaving him and his sister orphaned and then all goes down hill from there; at the age of 10 he is Forced to Watch from his hiding spot as goblins abused and then killed and ate his sister, hiding for three days with no food or water to avoid detection, crawling through the mutilated remains of his neighbors, a short but frenetic chase by goblins that ends with him getting beaten nearly to death, the adventurer that saved him dragging him off to an icy mountain to give him five years of Training from Hell and lectures on how he is at fault for not saving his sister. It takes years for him to even begin psychologically recovering.
  • The Unchosen One: Downplayed but there. He may not do anything earth-shattering, but because the gods can't control his destiny and he's so Crazy-Prepared, he never leaves anything to chance. There have been many instances where his actions have had a far reaching impact despite his seemingly minor role. While he will probably never play a decisive part in saving the world, he's like a linchpin for coincidence and synchronicity. Many of the things he's done have furthered the cause of good and, from a cosmic scale, Set Right What Once Went Wrong according to destiny. One particular example is saving Chosen Heroine's hometown from goblins, allowing her to become the bubbly, happy champion of good without the Dark and Troubled Past to drag her down. It's also implied that his single-minded focus means he can't be influenced by the gods, but they are fine with this because he adds an unpredictable Wild Card element to their machinations.
  • The Unfettered: He doesn't give a damn if the goblins he offs include children, as he claims that they hold onto grudges throughout their lifetime, and thus must be killed as quickly as possible.
  • Unflinching Walk: Does so upon using a magic scroll with the spell Gate to flood a goblin cave. The rest of the party got launched out due to the sudden rush of water while Goblin Slayer just calmly walked his way out, having properly braced himself in preparation and equipped with a Ring of Water-Breathing so he can breathe.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Though the viewers never get a good look at him, he is stated to be very handsome beneath his armor which is quite impressive for a guy with no aesthetic self-care.
  • The Unreveal: There is great pomp and circumstance placed on Priestess finally talking him into divesting of his helmet in public... and the reader is simply denied a clear look at the face the other characters are gawking at.
  • Unreveal Angle: The few times he takes his helmet off, his head is seen either from befind or from the nose down.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Bringing harm to his friends will bring out a fueled rampage executed with methodical lethality. Just ask the goblin champion he strangled and blinded in one eye after it wounded Priestess. Hearing about other adventurers betraying or taking advantage of their teammates also earns his enmity.
  • Unwanted Harem: Priestess, High Elf Archer, Guild Girl, Cow Girl, and Sword Maiden all have feelings for him. Goblin Slayer, for his part, doesn't have interest in anything but killing goblins.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Goblin Slayer almost never discusses the details of his pre-set plans and never writes anything down, for fear of goblin spies. In volume 11, he tears up battle information given to him as soon as he reads it without letting his party see, leaving Priestess aggravated and wondering why she expected different.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Was shown to be a fairly normal village boy in his youth who loved his sister and could be expressive, but by the events of the story he is a quiet, dead-serious goblin killing machine.
  • Use Their Own Weapon Against Them: Goblin Slayer outfits himself mostly with the cheapest equipment the Guild-affiliated smithy supplies, and his swords rarely last for the whole of an extended engagement. He has taken up the habit of pilfering extra weapons from goblin corpses to continue hacking apart their fellows from nearly his earliest days. And on the other side of the equation, the reason why he prefers cheap gear is because he knows that he's likely to end up dying during a raid on a goblin nest someday, at which point his gear will be looted and used against humans, so he doesn't want there to be anything that would make them more dangerous to whatever adventurers end up going after the goblins that killed him.
  • Utility Belt: His belt-pouch, where he stores all his potions, homemade artifices, magic rings, charcoal to make improvised gas-masks with, bag of concrete mix, and generally any miscellaneous equipment he could ever possibly need.
    Dwarf Shaman: Is there anything you don't have in that bag?
    Goblin Slayer: I carry only necessities.
  • Walk, Don't Swim: His favorite trick is to put on one of his Breath rings and tramp along on the bottom of a body of water, usually while monsters drown above and around him.
  • Walking Armory: Played With. Goblin Slayer actually doesn't carry all that many weapons on his person at once (his trademark shortsword and buckler, a set of four throwing knives, and either a bow, back-up melee weapon, or some artifices depending on that day's loadout) and he tends to toss those away or chew them up into unusability within a few pages. So how does he always have a solid weapon on hand? Why, by taking relatively fresh ones off the goblins' corpses on the fly of course!
    What in the world had he been so worried about before? An armory had practically come marching right up to him.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Not all that strong even compared to lower ranked adventurers, and with shoddy equipment. He makes up for it in agility, versatility, precision, and the foreknowledge and sheer drive to guarantee the job is done every time.
  • What Is This Feeling?: Downplayed, but at multiple points in the light novels, the narration makes note of how Priestess being cute or expressing support towards him fills Goblin Slayer with "confusing emotions" that he has difficulty processing while interacting with her. As later novels have shown, the warrior is developing an uncharacteristic tendency to stew in his own (so-far undefined) feelings if he fails to support Priestess during her moments of stress.
  • When All You Have is a Hammer…: While his methods to kill goblins are varied, his view of things on how to deal with problems usually boils down to killing goblins or to use goblin-slaying logic as a solution. For example, Female Knight once asked him for relationship advice, and his response involved some goblin-slaying analogy. And when the Sword Maiden asked for help with dealing with the trauma (and the resulting nightmares) of her past involving being raped by goblins (which basically boiled down to asking him to have sex with her), he could only respond with goblin slaying, as in promising to slay the goblins haunting her dreams (which worked).
  • When He Smiles: He does it about once in a blue moon, and most times it's hidden behind his helmet. However, the sound of him actually laughing in Vol. 6 manages to startle Wizard Boy and Rhea Fighter out of an argument they were having.
  • Wife-Basher Basher: Considering that his sister was raped to death in front of his very eyes, the one spark that will ignite the true volcanic fury of his inconsolable rage is to witness the (attempted) rape of young women happening before him. True to the trope, no-amount of injury, however critical or normally crippling, will stop Goblin Slayer standing up again from the sheer power of his hatred and single-handedly tearing every green-skinned rapist present to pieces, with his bare hands if he must.
  • Willfully Weak: Goblin Slayer could easily afford masterwork enchanted weapons and armor as well as magic items, but sticks to plain, low-quality arms and home-made tools. Year One states that the reason for this is that he fully anticipates one day dying on the field, and wants to make sure the horde that finally does him in gets no better loot off his corpse than some average-at-best mundane gear. Besides, magical items would usually not be too useful to him as goblins (barring some very rare variants) will usually die in one hit from standard weapons anyways, and magical auras and flashy effects would undercut the effectiveness of his subtlety-based tactics. When trading blows with Dark Elf in the climax of Volume 3, the villain deduces his combat strength as being around the fighting level of the average Emerald- or maybe Ruby-ranked adventurer with his sub-standard gear.
  • Wisdom from the Gutter: Female Knight asks Goblin Slayer (yes, him of all people) for relationship advice in Volume 3, specifically for attracting Heavy Warrior's attention and whether or not putting on Chainmail Bikini will work. After initially taking her intentions with the armor literally, then making a goblin-slaying analogy, he suggests she should put on some civilian clothes.
  • Workaholic: Prefers to take goblin-hunting quests in bulk, and completes enough of these low-paying tasks at a time to nevertheless make a good profit. Even during his spare time he's usually helping Cow Girl with chores, deliveries to the Guild, maintaining her farm, or devising strategies to kill goblins more efficiently. In fact, the threat of being laid off from work by the Guild Girl is one of the few ways to unsettle him. In Volume 3, he professes that he is unfamiliar with the concept of a "day off", then proceeds to spend half his date-time with Cow Girl and Guild Girl to check around town for goblins. At his most extreme, he will ignore his own mortal injuries to press on through a goblin nest and ascertain all their deaths, relenting only when held back by his party.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Goblin Slayer has no mercy toward even the youngest of the goblins he kills, and is not averse to killing goblin children by clubbing them to death. When he says he wants to kill every goblin, he means he wants to kill every goblin. Justified as goblins in this setting are Always Chaotic Evil, thus goblin children will grow up to continue the cycle of violence. Given the goblin lord in Volume 1 got his start by immediately murdering the adventurer who made the mistake of sparing him, he has a point.
  • Wowing Cthulhu: It's stated that Goblin Slayer has become most of the gods' favorite character solely due to their inability to influence his actions.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: In Chapter 41 of the Year One manga, he picks up a goblin in a suplex hold before lobbing it into a crowd of its fellows.
  • You Are Not Alone: His realization that he has party members and people in the adventurer's guild who support him. For years he always saw himself as a loner and imagined he'd one day die forgotten fighting against goblin hordes. This was never true. Even before meeting his current party there was Cow Girl and Guild Girl. Witch and Spearman, in their own odd ways, showed concern for him from time to time. If he were to die, many people would be upset. If he's ever cornered into an unwinnable situation, others are willing to help him find a means to victory. The most explicit illustration comes in Volume 9, when his final gambit to neutralize the second Ogre fails and he exhaustedly prepares to fight to the death, only for the rest of his team to come sledding in to save his hide.
  • You Can Barely Stand: The injuries he sustained in his first encounter with the labyrinth's goblin champion left him a crumpled and bloody wreck, unable to stand without using nearby bones to prop himself up, a foot-and-a-half in his own grave. He still manages to terrify a horde of goblins (and said champion) into fleeing for their lives.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Due to being Famed in Story by some elaborate Bard tales, many, High Elf Acher especially, had a much different idea of how he was supposed to look. Said almost word for word upon their meeting:
    High Elf Archer: You don't look like Orcbolg.
    Goblin Slayer: I've never been called that before so why would I look like that?
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: In Volume 10, he is face to face with a goblin battle wagon, barely keeping from getting run over, and scrambling to come up with an idea to get past its defences, when a whistle alerts him that their are goblin boats coming up the river. It's perhaps the first time he's let himself get visibly frustrated and overwhelmed during a goblin fight, though he immediately chides himself to suck it up and focus on making a plan. In volume 11, he comments that it feels like some bad joke when he sees a goblin actually trying to ride a dragon.
  • You Killed My Mother: The main source of his undying hatred towards goblins is the brutal rape and murder of his older sister at their hands, which he witnessed with his own eyes when he was just a child.
  • Young and in Charge: It is not called upon very much, but Lizard Priest and Dwarf Shaman are middle aged men, with loads of experience under their belts, High Elf Archer is two thousand years old at the very least, although Elves age in a different way, she has far more years of adventuring than probably any of her fellows. Priestess is the only member of his party that is younger than him. Yet all of them tend to default to his leadership.
  • Younger Than They Look: Because he never takes off his armor, it wouldn't be surprising to mistake him for an aged warrior, but in reality he's actually pretty young.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: He has some kind of past with the Rogue's Guild, if only through associating with and being taught by Burglar, but he makes it clear he has no fondness for them, and he is embarrassed when members of the network defer to or get chummy with him, "the Apprentice."
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Is the one to deliver this news to Noble Fencer after rescuing her, pointing out the goblin cave her party was besieging was merely a secondary den and temple ground.