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Fanfic / Becoming the Mask

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Becoming the Mask is a Trollhunters fanfic by Forever-Furuba/moonlit_wings.

Jim holds a secret; he is not the real James Lake Jr. He is instead a changeling that has replaced the baby Jim and now lives his life as a spy. His loyalties grow conflicted when he is called as the Trollhunter and develops friendships with Gunmar's enemies.

The fanfic can be found on and Archive of Our Own. Not to be confused with the trope of the same name.


This fanfic provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: Jim comments that Dicatious and Mark Hamill, Dictatious' voice actor, sound "uncannily alike".
  • Adaptation Species Change: Subverted. James Lake Jr. is not the protagonist of the story. Instead, the story is centered around Jim, the changeling that replaced the actual James Lake Jr. and has lived his life in his place since infancy.
  • Adult Fear: After finding the Amulet, Jim begins acting evasive and stressed and spending a lot of time alone with his history teacher. Toby, not knowing Jim is a spy and Mr Strickler is his commanding officer, begins to suspect Mr Strickler of molesting Jim.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Jim calls his familiar - the actual James Lake Jr. - "Jay-Jay", because it was one of the nicknames his parents were trying out before settling on "Jim" (by which time he was replaced by a changeling).
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  • Armor-Piercing Question: Jim is asked if he's willing to bet his friends' lives on being able to convince Gunmar not to eat them, forcing him to acknowledge Gunmar won't listen to a Changeling and prompting Jim's official Heel–Face Turn.
  • Battle Trophy: After their victory over Bular, Jim and the others bring back his severed head and swords as proof. Desecrating the Dead in such a manner is considered taboo in troll-culture, so various trolls (including Draal, who winces as Jim does the deed) are more horrified than impressed. Granted, it's Bular's head they bring back, so Jim gets brownie-points even before Vendel explains to everyone that such a thing is considered a human custom.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: Despite Barbara being a Lethal Chef, the Jim of this story actually likes her food because, as a Changeling, his appetite falls in the middle of that of a troll's and human's.
  • Conveniently Unverifiable Cover Story: Jim is fond of these.
    • After Blinky and AAARRRGGHH introduced themselves to Jim, Jim is quick to come up with a cover story to explain any absences he may have; he has been secretly dating a girl from Arcadia Oaks Academy (Arcadia Oaks High School's rival school), hence why he has not been telling anyone. He later changes it to claiming he was pulling a prank and was nearly caught, and so had to bail while still setting it up.
    • He excuses his stress and tiredness the day after being exposed as a Changeling to some, but not all, of his allies by claiming he and Draal had an argument, right after Toby comments on having met Draal twice and never actually had a conversation with him.
    • Toby eventually catches onto this and actually recognizes when Jim is lying, this time trying to cover for the Changeling who replaced Enrique, because Jim's excuse is "slightly too perfect".
  • Exact Words: A gaggletack will force any changeling it touches to switch forms. This only works if it makes skin contact, therefore Jim is able to touch it with his armored hands with no ill-effect.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: While sparring with Draal for the first time, Jim takes several hits and becomes somewhat disoriented. He wonders why the arena is so brightly lit - not due to his head injury making it look brighter, but because, as a later line of narration reveals, he's having a flashback to his time in the Darklands.
  • Heroic BSoD: Being aware of AAARRRGGHH’s history and secretly been trained The Spartan Way, Jim was quick to defend himself against the rampaging troll when AAARRRGGHH pretended to go mad for Jim's surprise birthday party. Jim manages to incapacitate AAARRRGGHH with a Pressure Point, and then has an emotional breakdown at the thought of nearly stabbing him through the neck under a false assumption.
  • In Spite of a Nail: The circumstances which lead to Claire's brother being swapped for a Changeling are not recreated - Jim and Toby never follow the goblins into the museum and see Nomura in her Changeling form, pushing her to reveal the recently-recovered Fetch to Bular in the next episode to convince him of her usefulness and to spare her life. However, Enrique still ends up being kidnapped and replaced.
  • Internal Reveal: Both of Jim's secret identities are eventually exposed to other characters, after Jim interferes in a fight between Draal and Nomura, revealing himself to Nomura as the Trollhunter and to Draal as a Changeling.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Jim and Strickler don't see exactly what AAARRRGGHH and Blinky were doing in the library, because AAARRRGGHH is much larger than Blinky and blocked the view, but when Jim and Strickler walk in, AAARRRGGHH becomes momentarily tense, Blinky is flustered, the study table behind Blinky doesn't have books on it, and Blinky needs to put one of his suspender straps back on.
  • It's Not You, It's Me: After Claire kisses him on the cheek twice, Jim decides to let her down easy and tell her that he is not into her.
  • The Kindnapper: Jim insists several times that replacing human babies with Changelings is okay because the babies are protected and cared for by goblins, who attend the Familiars' every need.
    • Nomura and Draal drug Barbara unconscious and bring her to Trollmarket after Bular finds out Jim is a traitor, so Bular won't be able to use Barbara as a hostage against Jim.
  • Lava Adds Awesome: Why is there lava in the Hero's Forge?
  • Leonine Contract: Jim at one point offers to bribe someone into silence. The bribe on offer is the antidote to the poison coating the knife with which Jim just stabbed them.
  • Morton's Fork: Jim does not seem all that bothered at first that becoming the new Trollhunter would give Bular an actual reason to kill him, joking that Bular's Bad Boss tendencies probably would have gotten him killed anyway.
  • Papa Wolf: Having known him for a very long time, Strickler is highly protective of Jim, seeing him as a son. When Bular tries to kill Jim for his "failure" in opening Killahead Bridge, Strickler does everything he can to talk Bular down, finally all-out attacking him when that fails, becoming a fugitive in the process. Granted, he was planning on bailing out anyway, but still.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Jim carries a knife coated in Creeper's Sun poison and implies it is standard issue in the Janus Order.
  • Pragmatic Hero: On the Anti-Hero scale. Much of Jim's early inner monologue involves cold, logical and rather disturbing observations of the people around him, making various comments about his loved ones under a plan to help keep them alive in a future where Gunmar reigns supreme (like including Toby as a part of breeding stock and having Barbara be a doctor for said breeding stock).
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: After Bular gives his own Badass Boast about how he has killed changelings and trollhunters before, Jim gives one of these before he stabs him with the Sword of Daylight and Draal smashes him to pieces.
    Jim: You've never endured the Darklands. I've fought Nyarlagroths. They're bigger than you.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Bular accuses Jim of doing something to or with the Amulet to prevent the portal to the Darklands from opening when Killahead Bridge is rebuilt. Jim actually stole a piece of the bridge itself.
  • Sabotage to Discredit: In order to buy himself more time, Jim manages to sneak off with a piece of Killahead Bridge, counting on the portal's failure to open being interpreted as Deya placing a more complicated seal on it than a simple "insert Amulet here."
  • Secret Keeper: Draal and Nomura inadvertently become this on opposite ends. Nomura figures out that Jim stole a piece of Killahead Bridge and thus confronts him. Recognizing her, Draal attacks her, only to accidentally expose Jim as a Changeling (to Draal) and the Trollhunter (to Nomura). Draal eventually decides to keep the secret if Jim lets Blinky know too.
    • Several human children - Toby Domzalski, Darci Scott, Mary Wang, and Claire Nuñez - discover trolls exist and are sworn to secrecy. Around Chapter 40 begins a plot arc of them wanting to share the secret with their families, against the trolls' wishes.
  • Self-Deprecation: Strickler really does not like it when Jim refers to himself as an "impure."
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: During his fight against Draal in the Hero's Forge, Jim briefly loses himself, thinking for a moment that he was fighting for his life in Gunmar's crucible.
  • Shout-Out: Toby compares Jim's fake argument with Draal to a fight between Manolo and Joaquin in The Book of Life.
  • Sparing the Aces: Jim tries to set Toby up for this, giving him a piece of Heartstone in hopes Toby can use his skill in geology to make it grow, which would make him useful enough for Gunmar not to eat.
  • Staying with Friends: Barbara temporarily kicks Jim out after learning he's the Trollhunter, a Changeling, and been giving her sleeping potions to sneak out at night without being caught. Jim moves in with Toby.
  • Talk to the Fist: Bular taunts Draal about his father, who Bular killed. Draal punches Bular in the face.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Jim realizes Gunmar is setting the Changelings up for this. Once the sun is blotted out, Gunmar will no longer need servants able to withstand sunlight.


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