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Literature / Gotrek & Felix

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A series of novels set in the Warhammer world.

Felix Jaeger was the son of a wealthy merchant, a student and aspiring writer/poet until the day he accidentally killed a man in a duel. Disowned by his family, he ran away from home, where he eventually became a bit of an activist, and inadvertently started a riot over an unfair Window Tax.

Just as he faces the lance tips of a squad of oncoming knights, Felix's life is saved by Gotrek Gurnisson, a Dwarf with an odd hairstyle and a huge axe. After a night of discussion (and much drinking), Felix discovers that Gotrek is a Troll Slayer, a warrior who seeks his death in combat to atone for a past failure or shame.

And that the previous night, Felix had sworn an oath to accompany Gotrek in his travels and record his doom in an epic poem. And Dwarfs take oaths very seriously.


Now Felix travels the world with his Dwarfish companion, finding the truth about just now nasty the world really is, fighting Evil and Chaos at every turn, and wondering how the hell he's going to survive anything that would be tough enough to kill Gotrek long enough to write about it?

The books were originally written by William King but have since been taken over by Nathan Long. The books are notable for the fact that in the largely grim and depressing world of Warhammer Fantasy, Gotrek and Felix usually manage to make a real difference in the fight of Order vs. Chaos. After twelve books, they've probably killed more enemies of the Empire than anyone who isn't a legendary hero.

Given this series' popularity, it is unsurprising that yet more novels are on the way. The primary storyline was Left Hanging for some time, with the new novels starting with The Road of Skulls being set during the various time skips in the earlier books, but with the big "The End Times" event, the old storyline concluded with new stories bringing Gotrek's saga to a close, to the point they are subtitled "The Doom of Gotrek Gurnisson".


Or not, as Gotrek has appeared in Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, alive despite his supposed doom (which he is not happy about). He is voiced by BRIAN BLESSED in the audiobooks.


  • Aloof Big Brother: Otto to Felix.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Octavia the necromancer from The Serpent Queen can function by the time of the story, but in her backstory was so dependent on routine that major changes made her completely lock up for weeks. She got into necromancy in the first place because she sees predictable mindless undead as superior to chaotic people or intelligent undead.
  • Animal Motifs: Garmr Hrodvitner (whose name is basically Old Norse for 'Hound Fame-Wolf') is a Norscan Chaos Lord of Khorne whose title is 'Gorewolf' and has a wolf-shaped helmet.
  • An Axe to Grind:
    • Gotrek wields a battle axe originally forged by Grimnir, the Dwarf god of war, and grants him superhuman (superdwarfish?) fighting abilities.
    • Garmr, a Chaos Champion of Khorne, wields a daemon-axe almost as badass in Road of Skulls.
  • Ancestral Weapon: Gotrek's axe was literally forged by Grimnir, the Dwarf ancestor god of war and vengeance. It's so powerful that it's turning Gotrek into some kind of super-dwarf, possibly even Grimnir himself.
  • Angel Unaware: In Blood of the Old World Grombrindal joins the party for a while. He does so little to conceal his identity, including introducing himself by a varient on his more famous nickname, that it's frankly astonishing Gotrek didn't figure it out.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Felix's dad, Gustav, disowned him.
  • Anyone Can Die: Being a recurring character is no protection, especially in The End Times.
  • Badass Bookworm: Max Schreiber, Malakai Makaisson and Teclis of the White Tower. Also Lhoigor Goldenrod and Kelmain Blackstaff, but they're evil.
  • Badass Beard: Too many to count.
  • Barrier Warrior: Max Schreiber. He's a deadly battlemage in his own right, but his real forte is protective enchantments and wards, which is why Borek Forkbeard hired him to ward the Spirit of Grugni.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Pretty much sums up the big plot in Shaman Slayer.
  • BFS: Technically a Big Frickin' Axe but hey, it is pretty big.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Gotrek and Felix, all the damned time. Gotrek has this with Snorri and even Teclis occasionally. Felix has tons with the other half of his Battle Couple (whomever that might be), and with Max Schreiber. Most named characters who fight with Gotrek and Felix will generally have this with one or the other eventually.
  • Bash Brothers: Gotrek and Felix, natch. Humans and Dwarfs in general, too, thanks to an ancient oath sworn by the Dwarfs to Sigmar.
  • Battle Couple: Felix and Ulrika, Felix and Kat.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension:
    • A possible case between Felix and Siobhain in Giantslayer, which is a Series Continuity Error.
    • In Giantslayer they only speak one sentence to each other in the entire book, and it's a hostile one. Siobhain's only other interactions with Felix are fighting alongside him or glaring at him when he gets too close to her. Throughout the story she also expresses a a strong crush in Teclis. Interestingly, it's implied Felix is jealous of Teclis over this.
    • Later in Elfslayer, when Felix is musing on past women he's had sexual encounters with, Siobhain is listed among them despite their previous lack of chemistry.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: One of the short stories reveals that beastmen consider the thought of mating with a human as repulsive as human would consider mating with a beastman.
  • Beyond the Impossible:
    • Felix and Gotrek start as relatively typical heroes of the setting. By the end of the third book, they've done things that should by all accounts never happen by the rules.
    • Kelmain Blackstaff, and Lhoigor Goldenrod are ludicrously powerful sorcerers, two of the most powerful wizards ever in the setting, and all alive at the same time, with the possible exceptions of Teclis, Malekith and Nagash.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Getting between a Slayer and alcohol is a bad idea.
    • Do not hurt Felix's friends.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Jaeger clan. Gustav, Felix's father, is an unbearable dick who exhibits everything wrong with the Nouveau Riche, and Otto, Felix's older brother, is very much like him. Still, despite their many disagreements and having nothing in common, Otto's still a pretty decent (if decadent and Holier Than Thou) guy, who tries to help Felix whenever he shows up in Nuln (where Otto runs the largest branch of Jaeger & Sons). Inevitably, Otto tries to hard to get Felix to rejoin the family business, which leads to them resenting each other powerfully. The only normal and reasonable member of the family; Otto's and Felix's mother, died when Felix was a child.
  • Blessed with Suck:
    • Gotrek is perhaps the most badass hero in all of the world, as the combination of his skill, legendarily powerful magical weapon and his own strange destiny means he is practically unkillable... and he's a Death Seeker who needs to die in battle if he's to have any hope of attaining redemption for his sins.
    • Felix is honor-bound to follow Gotrek so he can compose a saga of Gotrek's doom. But the sheer epicness of the battles that Gotrek has survived so far means that Felix is more likely to die himself once Gotrek does, as he's lampshaded. Furthermore, either his magical weapon or his role in Gotrek's fate means he's been adventuring for 20 years and hasn't aged a day, and he probably won't start aging until he untangles himself from Gotrek's fate. Also, nobody is willing to believe his tales because of Arbitrary Skepticism.
    • Ulrika ends up being transformed into a vampire.
  • Blood Knight: Gotrek and Slayers in general. But Garmr in Road of Skulls is arguably the most extreme. His entire purpose is to shatter the barriers holding back the Realm of Chaos and transform the Old World into an endless daemonic battlefield.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: When Thanquol captures them, he recounts the plans they have foiled, and they don't even remember him at first and weren't actively trying to thwart his plans. Thanquol is angry, to put it lightly.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Nathan Long's novels set during and after the events of Storm of Chaos, however, with the retcon of “The End of Times”, the events of Storm of Chaos are effectively undone by the new timeline.
  • Cast From Hitpoints: Max is a very powerful wizard, but his endurance is sharply limited, and he performs a number of magical feats that come close to killing him.
  • Chaotic Stupid: The Skaven are usually too busy scheming against each other and getting egoistic about their race's "superiority" to accomplish much. Which is a good thing cause even when they fight each OTHER their plots threaten cities, when the work together to combat a common threat they can destroy nations.
  • The Chew Toy:
    • Grey Seer Thanquol is somewhat like this, bordering on Cosmic Plaything. Every time he is about to make it big, Gotrek and Felix ruin his plans...and kill Bone Ripper. You'd almost feel bad for the guy if he wasn't HIDEOUSLY evil.
    • This happens so often that he concludes they are hunting him down, and for a while they thought he was following them... And then, in Elfslayer, he captures them at last and learns they've never even heard of his name before now.
    • He has his own books now. He doesn't manage to fulfill his plans there, either.
      • In the novel "The Serpent's Temple", a Slaan (in essence a physically incarnated godling with prophetic and magical powers unmatched by any individual Greater Daemon) is about to destroy Thanquol with a mere thought, when it notices something about Thanquol's fate-line. It promptly calls off its Lizardmen goons and creates a temporary current to speed Thanquol safely back to the Skaven under-empire. Why? Because it realises that letting Thanquol live would bring unspeakable doom, death, destruction and disaster... to the Skaven race. That's right, Thanquol is officially one of the worst enemies the Skaven have.
      • However, in the next book the Slann realizes that he made a mistake and didn't look far enough into the future, trying to send an agent to assassinate him after all. Come The End Times and the time skip before Age of Sigmar and Thanquol is pretty much single-handedly responsible for the Skaven race surviving the end of the world and spreading to others. Oops.
  • Cliffhanger Copout: The third disc of Realmslayer has Gotrek's current companion suggest that they simply explain to the monster they're facing that using the Realmgate it contains to send them on their way would be to defy Nagash (who it hates), only for Gotrek to convince him that they should fight it out of sheer principle and the two charging into a seemingly unwinnable battle. The beginning of the next chapter reveals that it was listening to their argument and sent them through without a fight whether they liked it or not.
  • Continuity Drift: The stories have been written over a long time frame and some parts of the setting have changed since then. Notably the description of Kislev (and especially Praag) feels a lot less distinctly 'foreign' than in later books dealing with the country.
  • Crapsack World: When it's not a straight-up World Half Empty. Warhammer is not a very pleasant setting.
    • Bizarrely, averted as the novels drag on. In much the same way as the Ciaphas Cain novels, Gotrek & Felix have started to do enough damage to the bad guys that the world is starting to get glimmers of hope. Since Warhammer is already a brighter world than Warhammer 40,000 you might actually argue that the duo's twenty-five in-universe years of adventuring have proven mortals can make a difference.
  • Continuity Snarl:
    • The Drachenfels semi-sequel Beasts in Velvet is at least partially a follow-up to Skavenslayer and references events from Beastslayer, but in this series the events of that series are treated as having happened almost a generation before.
    • Ghoulslayer is set some time after Blood of the Old World, but they were worked on seperately and released the same day. This creates multiple small inconsistencies, mostly connected to his character growth and coming to terms with his new situation.
  • Cursed with Awesome:
    • Gotrek, despite throwing himself at the most dangerous enemies he can find, repeatedly fails to get himself killed.
    • Felix to a lesser extent. This is after he finds out he hasn't aged a day in 20 odd years of adventuring.
    • In Zombieslayer another slayer believed that Gotrek is literally cursed with awesome. It culminates in a scene where he punts Gotrek through a door with the retreating survivors that locks behind him before a fight to keep that ridiculous luck from preventing his own doom. Before going off to die against Krell, he actually shouts through the door that he just knew that, if he hadn't done that, even despite the fact he's suffering a belly wound that has his guts hanging from his body, Gotrek's curse would have ensured he survives.
  • Death Seeker: All Slayers are dwarves who have taken an oath to seek heroic doom in recompense for something so disgraceful or shameful that death can be the only recompense.
    • It highlights the importance of death in a Slayer's role that Gotrek is considered the worst slayer of all time.
      • Not just considered. He might be a hero, but until he gets killed in combat, whatever disgrace he committed cannot be atoned for, but at the rate he's going, he's going to die of old age. Which is the worst possible shame for any Slayer. (And this is for a group who are already so shamed that the only proper way to make up for it is by getting killed by something big and mean.)
  • Defector from Decadence: Felix.
  • Defensive Feint Trap: In Trollslayer, Felix and an amnesiac Gotrek are surrounded by the same mutants they drove off earlier. With Gotrek helpless because of his amnesia, and the mutants outnumbering the pair, Felix prepares to make a last stand. Fortunately for the two, the mutant leader (wrongfully) believes that the duo are trying to trick them into a trap, and knowing how dangerous the dwarf slayer is, orders his band to retreat. He even scornfully mocks Felix for thinking them stupid enough to fall for it, and Felix barely manages to shut himself up in time.
  • Despair Event Horizon: This is what pushes just about any Dwarf to shave their head and join the Slayer Cult. Gotrek's in particular is never spelt out explicitly, but is eventually revealed over the stories to be the result of three things happening one after the other; he was the sole survivor of an expedition into the Chaos Wastes to find the lost Dwarven city of Karag Dum, he returns home to find his home village razed and everyone slaughtered (and his wife and child amongst the dead), and, finally, a Dwarf thane provokes Gotrek after this until he goes berserk and winds up slaughtering the thane and his entire court, the act for which Gotrek's shame forces him to shave his head and become a Slayer.
    • Snorri's gets revealed in Kinslayer and is intimately intertwined with Gotrek's, as he finally recalls.
  • Did Not Think This Through: The Slann that's behind everything in Temple of the Serpent realizes at the end of the story that there's a critical flaw in his experiment, making the entire thing worthless. When informed that he could potentially salvage it if he cooperates, the last human survivor takes his own life as revenge.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
    • Gotrek is tossed aside and left for dead by a Chaos Daemon. The last thing it hears before being blasted back to the black realms from which it came is:
    "Oi! You! I'm not finished with you yet!"
    • Gotrek and Felix have never quite equaled that feat but the events of Elfslayer, Shamanslayer, and Dragonslayer have all gone to Up to Eleven levels for mortals in Warhammer's setting.
    • Another Greater Daemon met them, remarked it had no chance since the Slayer was fated to die fighting something much more powerful than itself, and promptly fled the planet.
      • Rumors from Games Workshop have implied that "The Doom of Gotrek Gurnisson" will involve Gotrek facing off against Be'lakor. That is, the first Daemon Prince to ever exist in Warhammer Fantasy, and an entity that could be considered a valid candidate for the title of the 5th Chaos God.
  • Dirty Coward: The Skaven, naturally. Especially Thanquol, who flees whenever the odds turn against him and leaving his minions to their doom without a second thought.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: In Skavenslayer, the Eshin Assassin Chang Squik stumbles upon the ballroom and is spotted by the partying nobles. Fortunately for him, the nobles are wearing costumes and most are drunk and mistake chang as another party-goer wearing a realistic costume. Chang takes this as an opportunity to locate Countess Emmanuelle and hopefully redeem himself in the eyes of Thanquol for placing the scrying stone far away from the objective. Unfortunately for him, when Thanquol and his Stormvermin reach the ballroom, Thanquol, who humorously enough initially mistakes Chang for a costumed human, blasts him with his magic for his constant failures.
  • Downer Ending: In a sense, the entire series: Gotrek meets his doom at the hands of Grimnir himself, but rather than respite he gets resurrected as his avatar and is sent on an unending rampage through an army of Daemons, which he dosen't seem to mind. Felix on the other hand ends up trapped in a collapsed temple with no apparent way out and a limited supply of food, water and air. Almost every other named character is dead, including Felix's young family, and the End Times are in full swing which will ultimately end with a Chaos victory and the near-total annihilation of the Warhammer world.
  • Dragon Hoard: Skjalandir has one, which provides a party of Slayers an additional reason to seek him out in addition to revenge for a wrecked airship. Shame it gets buried under tons of rubble after a cache of gunpowder is accidentally set off. Then again, Dwarfs can dig it out... eventually.
  • The Dreaded: A few of the more notable villains in the series, except to Gotrek. The only exception is that even Gotrek acts more reserved at the mention of Nagash. A few examples are:
    • The Bloodthirster in Daemonslayer. The Dwarfs, except for Gotrek, were terrified and Felix almost soils himself as soon as he sees it.
    • Skjalandir the Ancient, a mutated dragon from Dragonslayer. A local warlord fears him even though he literally has his army surrounding him.
    • In Giantslayer a Truthsayer of Albion says they regard the Witch King Malekith as this.
  • Dumb Blonde: While not unintelligent, Aethenir and Claudia Pallenberger in Elfslayer are just complete and utter morons.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In Daemonslayer Gotrek and Felix run across a flock of Harpies. Though the harpies are not described in great detail they are apparently ugly, not obviously gendered and completely non human looking, matching the genderless gargoyle look Games Works was going for in the late 1990s. From the early 2000s on Warhammer Harpies started looking far more female and far more human.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: In Trollslayer, Gotrek slays a Troll. In Skavenslayer, Gotrek slays a lot of Skaven. Guess what happens in Daemonslayer?
    • Subverted in Dragonslayer, when to everyone's surprise (including his own) it's Felix who slays a Dragon!
    • Also in Orcslayer, there are a lot of Orcs but the main enemy is a unique monster.
    • Played with in The Serpent Queen. The name implies they will be fighting the established character Khalida, who appears on the cover. In fact they end up allying with her against the real villain... who is also a snake-themed undead ruler, and is partly motivated by wanting a monopoly on the title.
  • Expy: The Van Hel lineage, which are obviously Van Helsing crossed with the Belmont family who, instead of all becoming Vampire Hunters, became Witch Hunters.
  • The Evil Genius: Lhoigor Goldenrod and Kelmain Blackstaff.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: To many fans, Nathan's novels are not worthy successors to the original works by William King.
  • From Bad to Worse: The Skaven attacks on Nuln have a cumulative effect and degrade the city in spite of our main duo's efforts. Skaven playing your city's head of the secret police like a fiddle? Check. Trying to steal vital war machines and plans from your central armory and accidentally burning it down? Check. Unleashing a bio-warfare agent into your city's water supply? Check. Unleashing a hoard of genetically-engineered rats who will eat EVERYTHING they can get their teeth into and breed like mad? Oh boy check. Launching a full two-pronged assault on your city, one front blitzing through the citizens while the other simultaneously goes for the local nobility at their ball? Big time check. Yes folks, this is what Skaven can do while being Chaotic Stupid and actively sabotaging each other.
  • Gadgeteer Genius:
    • Malakai Makaisson
    • Possibly suberted with Heskitt One-Eye. A tech genius certainly but rather than invent his own things he tries to steal them from humans and improve on them.
  • Genius Bruiser: Max Schreiber, Teclis, and Arek Daemonclaw. Teclis especially, who's almost as dangerous with his sword as Gotrek is with his axe, despite being an asthmatic cripple kept upright by powerful potions.
  • Genius Cripple: Teclis, obviously.
  • Ghostly Goals: The dwarfen spirits of Karak Eight Peaks cannot pass on to their afterlife due to a Chaos Troll desecrating their tombs. A spirit begs Gotrek and Felix to release them from their torment by killing the beast. When the pair finally slay the troll, the spirits save the pair from a large group of greenskins before passing on.
  • Handsome Lech: Subverted. Felix certainly enjoys the company of attractive women, though not to the extent that he's a lech. It's just, well, the girls add up a bit over time. Gotrek and Max lampshade this on occasion.
    • Up to Eleven in 'The Serpent Queen', the Hearld of Khalida, the UNDEAD champion Zabbai, outright says she would take Felix for herself if she were still a living woman. Gotrek spends half the book trying to hook them up, although he's probably just screwing with Felix.
  • Healing Hands: Max Schreiber. As a Gold wizard, Max's specialty lies in the defensive, but he's a reasonably skilled magical healer as well, which comes in handy when, during the Siege of Praag, Ulrika comes down with a magical Nurgelite plague. Max manages to cure her, but nearly kills himself doing it.
  • Heroic BSoD: Through the first part of Elfslayer Gotrek suffered a BIG one of these.
    • Gotrek is actually permanently stuck in one of these. Really, the only time he ever really removes himself is when he's fighting. He's not exactly congenial company.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Gotrek and Felix, with the emphasis on the heterosexual; Felix's only sexual interest is in various women he encounters in his journey, while Gotrek's sole interests are downing beer & ale by the liter and fighting monsters in hopes of getting killed at last. Gotrek's life revolves around blood and booze because he's a widower, driven to take up the Slayer oath by the brutal deaths of his beloved wife and daughter.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: Used in an assassination attempt on Thanquol in one of his spin-offs. He realizes almost too late that Skyre assassins are smarter than that and the real attack is from another direction.
  • Horny Vikings: The Chaos Warriors Gotrek and Felix meet in Manslayer and Road of Skulls. Especially the latter.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Thanquol's main schtick. When we see from his perspective he actively re-writes his memories and opinions moment to moment depending on how powerful he is in the group and how well his current plan is doing.
  • Idiot Ball: Claudia Pallenberger and Aethenir both pick it up and never let go in Elfslayer.
    • Claudia's moronic pursuit of Felix (in which she doesn't relent even after they're caught having sex) does nothing but drive another wedge between Felix and Max (though, in this case, Max is Claudia's guardian, not part of a Love Triangle), and her pointless anger over being snubbed by Felix (after she had come on to him yet again after they had been previously caught) causes her to keep the contents of one of her visions from Max and Felix, leading to Felix, Gotrek, and Aethenir being captured by Thanquol, leading to the brutal and horrific torture of the nearly-as-moronic Aethenir.
    • Aethenir's not nearly so bad, but he never stops being a naive idiot (though he does step up at the end), and his seduction by a disguised dark elf sets the whole plot in motion, and nearly leads to the destruction of the whole Old World by a Slaanesh-worshipping dark elf sorceress.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Gotrek's Rune Axe. Iit has killed or had a part in killing a Greater Daemon of Khorne, arguably a Greater Daemon of Slaanesh, a dragon, a giant, a vampire, werewolves, dozens of regular daemons, daemon-powered siege equipment, Chaos champions, and a dark elf CITY. It can also cut through enemy mooks like they were made of screaming butter.
    • Even more than that, it was literally forged by the Dwarf god of war and vengeance. It might be the most powerful weapon to ever exist.
    • Dual-wielding it with a certain Rune Hammer combined their powers, making him so powerful he cut through an entire army singlehandedly.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Felix sometimes, it is usually happens when he finds a girl he cares for and thinks about settling down.
    • Felix is starting to realize that's never going to happen, having essentially become the Highlander. However, he's surprisingly resistant to every level of weirdness. He acts more like a middle aged man than what his twenty-something body would indicate.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: This happens to Felix in The Two Crowns of Ras Karim short story. As usual, Gotrek is to blame.
  • The Juggernaut: Gotrek, and to a lesser extent Felix.
  • Just Eat Gilligan: In Trollslayer, Felix is told by an alchemist to find a flower in the nearby mountains as part of an ingredient to cure Gotrek (who is suffering from amnesia). As they are being chased by a band of mutants, they happen to find the flower. Felix thinks that eating the flower will be enough to cure Gotrek, and orders the latter to eat it. It does nothing and Gotrek just spits it out.
  • Last of Their Kind: In Daemonslayer, our main characters discover that there are still dwarfs living in hidden holds deep beneath the lost city of Karag Dum. It is explained that the surviving dwarfs of Karag Dum were split into 5 factions, each living in their own hidden holds. By the time the main characters arrive, only one remains whilst the other four were long lost to the besieging forces of chaos.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Gotrek and Teclis, as well as Felix, to a certain extent. Most of the various Big Bads are this too.
  • The Load: Claudia Pallenberger and Aethenir in Elfslayer.
  • The Lost Lenore: Gotrek is implied to have been married, though his wife died, in a vision of his life before he became a Slayer. Kirsten and Ulrika serve as this to Felix.
    • Gotrek's wife is confirmed to be dead in Kinslayer. Snorri Nosebiter killed her.
  • Magic Missile Storm: One of Max's two primary attacks, for dealing with numerous enemies.
  • Mêlée à Trois: In Dragonslayer, after the main characters slay Skjalandir, they discover that the armies of the greenskin warlord Urgek Manflayer and the bandit king Henrik Richter are outside the dragon's cave (each wanting the dragon's treasure). When Gotrek shouts that they killed Skjalandir, Urgek and Henrik's armies clash whilst the former and his bodyguards go for the main characters. Luckily for our heroes, the Spirit of Grungi arrives and and routs the two opposing armies.
  • Mercy Kill: More then a few times in the books, most recently in Elfslayer and Shamanslayer.
  • Moses in the Bulrushes: One Tomb King character the pair met in The Serpent Queen was supposedly found this way and adopted by the royal family. The fact that Rhupesh is biologically a dwarf is considered an insignificant detail.
  • Nouveau Riche: The Jaeger clan. Felix's father, Gustav is an extremely successful and wealthy (if somewhat underhanded) merchant, and has spent decades and countless fortunes trying to buy his way into the nobility. His Screw the Rules, I Have Money! behavior is part of what led Felix to becoming a small-time Soapbox Sadie at Altdorf University. Unfortunately, it rubbed off rather strongly on Felix's older brother, Otto.
  • Noble Fugitive: As a result of his role in the Window Tax riots and the death of several elite and highborn knights (killed by Gotrek to save Felix), Felix is a wanted fugitive in The Empire. This is part of what brings him to keep his oath to Gotrek in the first place; he needs to get out of Altdorf.
  • Noodle Incident: A few references to adventures during the twenty year time jump, like the time they stayed the night in a Tomb King's... tomb. The Serpent Queen is full of these and was actually written to explain the previous example (it turns out they were invited guests.)
    • Nobody says what exactly happened during the infamous Window Tax Riots that started Gotrek and Felix on their adventures together, other than that the army started violently attacking the protestors (thus sparking the riots), Gotrek chose to save Felix by killing some of the soldiers, and then they went and got drunk together, causing the young, ambitious poet to vow to write Gotrek's death-saga.
    • Gotrek lost his axe at some point between Slayer and Realmslayer and has to get a replacement.
  • No Man of Woman Born: In Trollslayer, the female Chaos Warrior, Justine, is prophesied by her Daemonic Master that no warrior can kill her. Just when she is about to kill Felix with her bare hands, her own daughter (whom she abandoned and came to kill to remove whatever weakness she had left) takes her sword and impales Justine from behind. Before she dies, Justine is amused by the irony that it wasn't a warrior who killed her but her young daughter.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain - Thanquol's incompetence and inflated opinion of himself makes it easy to think of him as a comic relief villain after his first couple of appearances. It can come as a shock when we're reminded he really is a powerful Grey Seer, for example when he almost drags the Spirit of Grungni down to earth using his warpstone-enhanced powers alone.
  • Obligatory Joke: In Realmslayer they have Gotrek played by BRIAN BLESSED. You don't pass up an opportunity like that to get a "X is ALIVE!" reference.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Hrolf Wyrdulf, another Norscan Khornate Champion, is basically a werewolf in Chaos Plate.
  • Pædo Hunt: To show how evil the Dark Elves in are Elfslayer (or just the ones on the Black Ark), a brothel madam visits and the captive children after removing their clothes, revealing that they have legalized child prostitution.
  • Phlebotinum: Warpstone, which seems capable of doing almost anything.
  • The Plan: A couple of Chaos sorcerers tried this in order to get rid of our heroes... didn't work. This caused the two or three they were successfully throwing at the entire rest of the world to also crumble.
  • Powder Trail: In the fourth novel, the dwarfs lay a powder trail (and a couple kegs of powder) to collapse the tunnel leading into a dragon's lair in case they're overrun by orcs or bandits. Their engineer's rocket launcher accidentally sets it off, leading to much swearing since the dragon had quite a large hoard.
  • The Red Mage: Max is a very well-rounded mage, and can do pretty much anything the plot demands, subject to his endurance limit.
  • Retcon: The later Nathan Long novels take place twenty years after the ones by William King. This was done rather neatly by establishing that the dates in the older ones (from a fictional document) were due to the printer mistakenly using the current year instead of the years they occurred in. It was necessary in order to fit the stories in more closely with the official timeline of the setting. Also, he modifies some aspects of several characters for no apparent reason:
    • Max Schreiber was retconned from a Gold to a Light wizard between his last appearance in Vampireslayer and his reappearance in Elfslayer, although his power set doesn't change.
    • Ulrika is now a vampire of the Lahmia clan, despite his vampire father being described as a Von Carstein vampire in Vampireslayer and other works
    • Another change is about Snorri Nosebiter’s memory. In Dragonslayer, in an inner monologue, he already knows that he no longer remembers exactly the reason why he shaved his head and became a Slayer; however, it's not a big deal (in fact, he drinks to forget his crime). In Shamanslayer, not remember his crime is now a great shame and an important plot point.
    • Felix himself. In Skavenslayer he has a good relationship with his brother Otto, in Manslayer his brother is the second person whom he despises the most after his father. In one point of Nathan Long's novels, he said that he had a romantic relationship with Siobhain, which never happened.
    • In the Spin-off novel Bloodborn, Nathan said that 3 years have passed between the events of Skavenslayer and those of Vampireslayer, when if you have read King's novels, not even a year has passed.
  • Revenge Before Reason: The aspect of Dwarven psychology that ultimately spawns their Death Seeker traits and their need for the Slayer Cult.
  • Savage Wolves: There's the Ulfrgandr (Old Norse for 'Wolf Monster'), a giant, indestructible Khornate Chaos Daemon that's in the shape of a massive daemonic wolf.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The second Thanquol book Temple of the Serpent introduces a whole new cast of characters who are all killed in the course of their adventure, which was all secretly an expirament by a Slaan. At the end of the book he realizes that he knows so little about humans that his data are completely useless, and the last survivor commits suicide out of spite when offered a chance to surrender and submit to further tests. Even in-universe the events, including the deaths of the cast and an entire temple city were a complete waste of time achieving nothing.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In Road of Skulls Canto the Unsworn (the only Chaos champion who doesn't worship Khorne) makes a run for it when Gotrek destroys his sword, then again just before the final battle (making him the only one to survive). He shows up again in The Lord of the End Times, the very last story in the setting, where he intentionally gets himself killed on the (correct, it turns out) reasoning that dying is the only real escape from what's coming.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Kat when Gotrek and Felix run into her again in Shaman Slayer. Felix is a bit disturbed by her attraction to him. At first.
  • Situational Sword: Felix's sword is designed to destroy dragons. As such, most of its true power only works in the presence of dragons, and the sword actively seeks to push the wielder into combat with such beasts. It's also intelligent enough to activate itself against other foes if doing so means that the wielder will be able to fight a dragon.
  • Sole Survivor: Thanquol is nearly always the sole survivor of his adventures by the end, its become a running gag.
    • Grey Seer: Thanquol uses magic to escape his enemies and manifests alone in a random old woman's house somewhere in the Empire. After being spooked by her cats and killing her, Thanquol sets off on his own back to Skavenblight, plotting how to shift the blame for this onto someone else.
    • Temple of the Serpent: Thanquol is cast adrift from Lustria on a small boat with a dying Boneripper, who will likely not last long after Thanquol realises he has no food and starts to stare at Boneripper.
    • Thanquol's Doom: Yet again Thanquol is alone after surviving the battle between the Dwarfs, Clan Mors and Skarbrand. Boneripper is with him, albeit badly wounded and possibly dying (And since he is technically Undead he doesn't really count as a survivor), and once again Thanquol is the sole survivor of his mission and must find a way to blame the dead other guy for it. Ikkit Claw is the sole survivor from his own Skaven faction.
  • Spinoff: Thanquol and Ulrika have their own novels now.
  • Spanner in the Works Gotrek and Felix, possibly by divine mandate. These guys just putter around looking for something that will finally give Gotrek his mighty doom and somehow they stumble across the plots of the forces of chaos and foil them, sometimes by accident. Just ask the Grey Seer Thanquol, the Vampire, the... ok, just ask Thanquol since he is the only one of Gotrek's enemies still alive.
  • Sphere of Destruction: Max's other main attack, for powerful single opponents.
  • Springtime for Hitler: Gotrek is on a quest to die heroically in battle to atone for his sins. He is spectacularly bad at the 'dying' part.
  • The Starscream: Thanquol is this even by Skaven standards, to the point of actively sabotaging his own plans to keep anyone else from getting any credit.
    • It's even to the point that He is more of a danger to his own race than any other.
  • Thanatos Gambit: In Thanquol's Doom a dying grey seer turns out to have replaced a relic that can summon daemons of their god with one fashioned from his own arm that summons a Khornate daemon to destroy its summoner.
  • Took a Level in Badass: This somewhat applies to Felix and Max as we get to see them becoming more competent and deadly as the books go on. Although you'd have to accumulate Badass points simply by surviving that long in the Warhammer world.
    • Actually happened to Thanquol in Grey Seer. Upon seeing that his new apprentice Kratch, who the Council forced on him, has betrayed him and sided with Lord Skrolk Thanquol unleashes such a powerful blast of magic against Kratch, annihilating him instantly, that everybody in the chamber, including an Imperial Shadow Wizard and one of the most powerful Plague Priests of Clan Pestilens Lord Skrolk himself are horrified by the magnitude of power that Thanquol commands. Unfortunately he used it all in that blast and was exhaused by it, which Skrolk quickly leapt on.
  • True Companions: The recurring companions Gotrek and Felix have had with them on their travels. Max the wizard and Action Girl Ulrika (starting earlier on) with the slayers Bjorni, Ulli, Snorri, and Makaisson joining in later. Several of the slayers obviously complete their oath, and the survivors make their enemies pay dearly for every member lost. With Ulli, for example, Felix notes that while he didn't particularly like him, Ulli had been a friend and comrade on a desperate adventure. Seeing him cut down causes Felix to fly into such a killing rage, he scares the crap out of the beastmen who did it...well, those that survived the initial onslaught.
  • Unknown Rival: Thanquol is convinced that the pair is hunting him since they manage to thwart his schemes at every turn. For their part they just thought they seemed to randomly run into Skaven a lot among all their other adventures and hadn't even heard his name until Elfslayer. After that they genuinely do have it in for him, but naturally it's the last time their paths cross before the breaking of the world. The first time they actually meet as rivals is in Blood of the Old World, thousands of years later.
  • Valkyries: Valkia the Bloody, Sword-Maiden of the Chaos God Khorne, bearer of the great spear Slaupnir, and the Bringer of Glory, makes brief cameo appearances to the Norscan Chaos army in Road of Skulls.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Grey Seer Thanquol is made of this trope. His biggest one comes in Elfslayer when, after two decades of ranting about how the titular duo are his worst enemies and plotting revenge for all of his plans Gotrek and Felix have foiled over the years, he finds out that they don't even know who he is, having ruined Thanquol's life essentially by accident!
    • Another great one of these comes in Manslayer where The Dragon of a band of Tzeentchian cultists utterly loses his shit when the pair thwart the cult's plan to detonate a massive bomb under the city of Nuln by flooding the chamber where the explosives are planted with the contents of the local sewer.
    " You ruined everything! Our glorious future, drowned in a tide of shit! I'll kill you! In Tzeentch's name, I'll kill you!"
  • Violent Glaswegian: Malakai Makaisson. The author does a very good job of capturing the accent - although seeing as Bill King is Scottish, he'd have no excuse for failing to do so.
    • Something of a joke on the Scottish-light accent that most fantasy dwarfs, including the others in the books, usually speak in.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Felix and Gotrek, and how! Gotrek and Felix are generally fairly standoffish towards one another, and can sometimes be really viciously mean and/or sarcastic, but they're both close to the only thing the other has in the world. Felix also has this with Max Schreiber, due to their rivalry over Ulrika. Gotrek and Snorri are also this, but Snorri's so stupid and sweet it's all on Gotrek's side. Max and Malakai Makaisson start out this way, but they become true friends around Dragonslayer.
  • Weapon of X-Slaying: Felix's Situational Sword is especially effective against dragons, or when questing TO specifically fight a dragon.
  • What the Hell, Hero? - Happens in both Manslayer and Shamanslayer, both by Otto to Felix. Guy can just never catch a break I tell ya.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Obviously Gotrek. However, Felix is starting to feel this even though he's only middle aged.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Before beginning his adventures with Gotrek, Felix was this while he was a student at Altdorf University, which made him a bit of a Soapbox Sadie, leading to his participating in the Window Tax riots, in which Gotrek killed several of the Emperor's elite Reiksguard cavalry to save Felix's life. In the drunken aftermath, Felix swore to follow Gotrek and recount his doom. And the rest, as they say, is history.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: Something Claudia should have remembered.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds:
    • Gotrek.
    • Felix gets this a bit himself, becoming essentially more and more like Connor McLeod as the decades pass. He's already lost his first love murdered by a deranged nobel, his second to vampirism and is now becoming increasingly aware he'll outlive all the others. You know, if he doesn't get killed first.
  • Worthy Opponent: Gotrek comes to regard Garmr Hrodvitner as this towards the end of Road of Skulls, which is quite a lot.
  • Xanatos Gambit: The Council of Thirteen only send Thanquol on missions where his getting everyone he works with killed is considered almost as good as actual success. Even though he (or whoever he pinned responsibility on) are almost always rewarded for the destruction he accidentally inflicts on the Council's Skaven enemies he never figures out the pattern.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: Time works differently in the furthest part of the chaos wastes. The dwarfen city of Karag Dum is located in such a place. 200 years have past since the fall of Karag Dum, but to it's inhabitants, it was only 20 years. The main characters and the dwarfs of Karag Dum are all surprised by this revelation.
  • You All Look Familiar: Gotrek's outright states this about Skaven. The closest he gets to differing between them is counting certain ones as being alive or dead. Of course in Thanquol's own books he admits that he really can't either; Skaven identify each other by smell for the most part.


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