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Recap / Trollhunters S 1 E 6 Win Lose or Draal

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How the mighty have fallen...
Jim preps for a high-stakes rematch against Draal, the amulet's seemingly rightful heir. But their animosity gives way to a surprising partnership.

Tropes for this episode include:

  • Boss Arena Idiocy: Jim uses one of the swinging pendulums to knock Draal onto the edge of a cliff, leaving him vulnerable for a finishing blow.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Jim tries to use the amulet against Nomura, but he accidentally drops it before he gets the chance. He opts not to recover it, hoping this will count as him trying to throw it away.
    Jim: (Opening the medicine cabinet to find the amulet there) Yes! Thank you!
  • Chef of Iron: Jim was able to defend himself against Nomura by using various utensils and devices in the kitchen.
  • Cruel Mercy: Inadvertently enacted when Jim spares Draal's life, the trolls of Troll Market booing him for surviving his loss, leading to Draal's self-exile.
  • Dead Man Writing: Jim writes a series of letters to various people (Toby, Claire, his mother) when he believes that he would die in battle against Draal.
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  • Defeat Means Friendship: After Jim defeats Draal in combat, but refuses to kill him, Draal becomes disgraced and unable to show his face in Trollmarket. He decides to live with Jim as his bodyguard instead, becoming the start of their eventual friendship.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Barbara keeps urging Jim to apologize to Ms. Nomura for the terrible crime of breaking into the museum at night.
    • Draal believes Jim when the latter announces the presence of changelings in the arena. He then comes to protect Jim from Ms. Nomura and serve as his bodyguard.
  • Groin Attack: Jim enacts Rule Three to gain an edge against Draal.
  • Honor Before Reason: Jim doesn't tell his mother that they broke into the museum because they thought Ms. Nomura was in danger from the goblins, or from an unknown danger rather. Not that it would have mattered, but still.
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  • Idiot Ball: Jim threatening Ms. Nomura in front of his mother after apologizing. If Ms. Nomura hadn't drugged Barbara's tea, he would have looekd like an idiot.
  • I Owe You My Life: Draal comes to live with Jim because the latter spared and thus dishonored him. He also believes Jim when the latter was telling the trolls that changelings had returned.
  • Involuntary Battle to the Death: Blinky claims that to challenge a troll's honor would mean this, Jim's rematch with Draal meant as a Duel to the Death.
  • The Magnificent: Draal "the Destroyer"
  • Mugshot Montage: The episode starts with Jim and Toby having their mugshots taken. Toby starts, finding the photographing segment amusing and does various posses for the camera. Even when it is Jim's turn, he takes the time to photobomb it before Barbara comes to pick them up.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: By attacking Jim at his house, Ms. Nomura reveals to Draal the existence of changelings.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Considering Jim was close to finding out the plan to rebuild the Bridge, Mr. Strickler was kind to "convince" Ms. Nomura not to press charges against him. It has the added bonus that he asks Barbara out on a date.
    • Ms. Nomura drugs Barbara rather than use her as a hostage against Jim.
  • Rolling Attack: Draal does this during combat.
  • Slipping a Mickey: Nomura spikes Barbara's tea so that she could kill Jim with no trouble.
  • Translator Microbes: It is revealed that the Amulet is able to translate Troll-language to English and vice versa.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Zigzagged. The first time Jim does, it takes Draal completely by surprise, but the second time Draal hits the sword out of the air mid flight which temporarily disables his ability to summon it.
    Jim: Aaaaand there goes that move...
  • Villain Ball: Ms. Nomura is already on the outs with Strickler and Bular for nearly revealing the plan to Jim and Toby. So of course she goes against Strickler's directive to attack Jim at his house. Even if Draal hadn't been there, Strickler would have been less than amused to find that she disobeyed his orders.
  • You Have Failed Me: Subverted. Bular nearly kills Nomura for failing in her mission, but she reveals that she's found a fetch, to make more changelings.


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