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Recap / The Rising of the Shield Hero S 1 E 4 "Lullaby at Dawn"

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A celebration is being held to honor the success of the Heroes in subjugating the Waves. Motoyasu came to know of Raphtalia being a slave of Naofumi and challenges him to a duel for her freedom. Naofumi is forced to participate in the Duel.

How can the Shield Hero win with only defense alone? Will he be able to keep Raphtalia as his comrade? Or will Raphtalia part away from the Shield Hero?


Tropes for this episode include:

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  • All for Nothing: Not only does Motoyasu ultimately forfeit the duel thanks to Myne's cheating, but Raphtalia still chooses to go back to Naofumi even after she is freed.
  • Blow You Away: Myne wins the battle for Motoyasu by using a wind spell.
  • Combat Pragmatist: While Naofumi's offensive capabilities are next to non-existent without Raphtalia, he is still able to overwhelm Motoyasu and his Attack! Attack! Attack! strategy by attacking him with balloon monsters he keeps under his cape, as well using his many different types of shields and hero techniques in a variety of creative ways to misdirect and disorient the Spear Hero. If it wasn't for Myne's interference, Naofumi very well would have won.
  • Despair Event Horizon: With the reality that the King and his daughter have conspired to make his life a living Hell since the moment he came to their world, complete with trying to take Raphtalia away from him, Naofumi finally meets the requirements for the Curse Series.
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  • Dramatically Missing the Point: Motoyasu tries to trash-talk Naofumi by citing a folk tale about "the irresistible spear and the immovable shield", only for Naofumi to point out that it was the shield that won that battle because the spear failed to pierce it.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Ren and Itsuki may have believed Myne's lies about Naofumi, but they do not hesitate to call her out for her interference in the duel.
  • Fantastic Racism: When Raphtalia insults Malty, she calls her a "damn demihuman" like it was a slur.
    • Raphtalia later explains that one of the factors behind humanity's discrimination against demihumans is that their ability to age quicker by leveling up makes them seem more like magical creatures than people and thus no different than monsters.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Even after Motoyasu "wins her freedom", she goes back to him, having developed genuine loyalty after he took care of her and helped her grow strong.
  • Hypocrite: Motoyasu and King Aultcray accuse Naofumi of besmirching his title of hero by owning a slave and taking away her agency and freedom of expression... and yet they refuse to listen to her when she contradicts their world-view and have her bound-and-gagged against her will, "freeing" her with no consideration for what she wants.
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    • King Aultcray decries that Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil and that Naofumi "violated [their] customs" for practicing it, conveniently forgetting that slavery is still legal in his kingdom. Either he probably doesn't even know that it's legal in his own kingdom or he does and arbitrarily picks it as a reason to demonize the Shield Hero.
    • When Raphtalia calls out Motoyasu for freeing her against her wishes, Motoyasu argues that no one should be forced to fight against their will despite doing just that by forcing Naofumi into a duel with nothing to gain and everything to lose.
  • Indulgent Fantasy Segue: Of the "Nightmare" variety. After discovering that the King and his daughter had orchestrated his downward spiral from day one, he briefly imagines himself angrily tearing his shield off of his arm and throwing it, the shield shattering as Raphtalia abandons him as soon as she is freed, only for the shield to reappear on his arm. Even as Raphtalia confesses that she believes him, he is too Blinded by Rage to really hear her, desperately trying to pry the shield off of his arm and denouncing it as a curse.
  • Kick the Dog: After Myne cheats and secures Motoyasu's victory, she then rubs it in his face that he has to fight all by himself, punctuating it with a shrill Noblewoman's Laugh.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: When Myne sabotages Naofumi and secures Motoyasu's victory and frees Raphtalia in the process, all he gets is a slap in the face, pointing out that he didn't actually care about what she wanted and goes back to Naofumi willingly. Ren and Itsuki then call them out for cheating, citing that the only reason why no one was defending Naofumi over it is because the King had ordered the crowd to stay silent.
  • Loophole Abuse: Naofumi is able to legally fighting using balloon monsters because they don't count as party members.
  • Restored My Faith in Humanity: When Naofumi realizes that Raphtalia is still loyal to him after she regains her freedom, he breaks down crying in her arms. This also tempers his troubled mind, allowing him to see her as the woman that she is and regains his ability to taste.
  • The Reveal: Naofumi discovers that Myne is actually the King's daughter Princess Malty, realizing that the King and the Princess where both orchestrated his downward spiral the entire time.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Motoyasu starts a fight with Naofumi because he found out that Raphtalia was his slave, completely ignoring the fact that it isn't nearly as simple as that.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Raphtalia gives Motoyasu savage dressing down over how arrogantly and unfairly he treats her and Naofumi. Ren and Itsuki join in on the verbal takedown by pointing how he only won by cheating.
  • The Victim Must Be Confused: When Raphtalia tries explaining that whether she is his slave or not, she trusts Naofumi and that she is with him by choice, Motoyasu and King Aultcray accuse Naofumi of making her say that via her slave crest. When she still denies this, she is bound and gagged and tied to a chair so that she won't interfere with their battle. Even when she chooses to stay with Naofumi after her slave crest is removed, Motoyasu still insists she might have Stockholm Syndrome.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Raphtalia gets through to a distraught Naofumi by citing that she knows that he is not the monster everyone else thinks he is, believing him when he cries out how he was innocent of the many crimes he is accused of.


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