Follow TV Tropes


Series / The Quest

Go To

The world of Everealm is under threat from the evil warlord Verlox. Their own armies quickly prove unequal to the task of defeating him, forcing them to turn to help from a whole other world. That would be ours, where twelve people discover messages declaring that they have been named Paladins, and they must journey to Everealm as one of them is destined to save it. Upon their arrival, they are set to a series of tasks to determine who will be the land's savior, while those who lose will be sent back to their own world.


It might not seem like it from that description, but The Quest is a reality show from the creators of The Amazing Race, as well as producer Mark Ordesky of the Lord of the Rings films. Twelve contestants are sent into a scripted fantasy story with the help of a troupe of actors and quite impressive special effects, where they are set several tasks that will whittle them down in typical reality competition fashion until one winner is left.

A revival for Disney+, with teenage contestants instead of adults, is currently in the works.


This show provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Leticia who, in the "Battle Dome" episode manages to take down both Shondo and Andrew. Jasmine's performance in the mounted combat test also qualifies her.
    • And then there's Lina, who ends up being the One True Hero, taking down Verlox.
  • All There in the Manual: The Fates are never named on screen but according to the credits, they're Karu, Talmuh, and Solas.
  • Ancient Artifact: The Sun Spear, the only weapon that can defeat Verlox. It is initially split into twelve pieces with one for each Paladin, which they hand over upon being banished.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: To Andrew in Episode 5 when having to choose to banish among whom is his friend Christian but whom has been consistently up for banishment, among other things.
    Andrew: This is not about friendship. This is about the Quest.
    Lina: Do you understand that?
    (Cue Quieter Than Silence moment)
  • Arrow Cam: Shows up in the first episode's Scorpion challenge, as tiny cameras are attached to the arrows that the Paladins launch at the army of practice dummies.
  • Advertisement:
  • Ascended Fanboy/Fangirl: The Paladins.
  • Back for the Finale: The completed Sun Spear summons the banished Paladins back to help fight the final battle. Sir Ansgar also appears out of nowhere in this scene, after he was last seen at the mercy of the enemy.
  • Bald Woman: One of the Fates.
  • Big Bad: Verlox.
  • The Big Guy: Shondo and Patrick double up on this role in the group. As in many cases, they're also the last ones to fall before the Lancer and the Hero finish the quest.
  • Cliffhanger: Most episodes end with one, setting up the story for the next episode.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: Inverted; there's basically nothing preventing a piece of the Sun Spear from falling out of the pocket of the paladins. The fact that it can combined with the fact that it's such a crucial part of the quest means that Ansgar individually calls out a paladin who loses theirs during a challenge and eventually all the paladins start calling out for a 'piece check' whenever they're going somewhere.
  • Confession Cam: One of the only standard reality tropes still present in the show. We mostly see the ones where they talk about the story like it's real, but there is the occasional line like Shondo saying Jim should be kept because he gets into the story the most.
  • Cynical Mentor: Sir Ansgar fits this as he was not too thrilled with having to mentor a bunch of ordinary 21st century Americans to be powerful warriors capable of defeating a dark lord and he acted like a jerkish and sometimes unsympathetic mentor to them. This trope subverts over time as he starts to warm up to the paladins, as first shown when he likes the song Bonnie wrote about him, which eventually leads to him opening up on his past personal life to them.
  • Damsel in Distress: Queen Ralia fits this as she was poisoned in the end of the second episode and needed to be cured of it by the paladins in the third episodes, which Andrew manages to do. She is subjected to this trope multiple times including being captured by the Rana, and being kidnapped by The Grand Vizer and Verlox. The latter is subverted because the person who rescues her is also a girl.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Ansgar is the chief NPC warrior on the side of good but has black hair, black beard and dresses entirely in black.
  • Death by Pragmatism: Christian's strategy in the siege challenge was to set his own team up for failure while stacking the other team with his allies, figuring that this would keep him safe from banishment. In practice, though, this tactic was the final straw that turned his supporters against him during the vote.
  • Doing It for the Art: Unlike most reality shows, there is no prize for the winner, meaning all the contestants are truly there just for the experience. Although it's implied that Lina, the winner of the show got to take the Sun Spear home because she was carrying it outside the castle when leaving Everealm.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty/Sergeant Rock: Sir Ansgar, who introduces himself to the Paladins by saying he fully expects them to fail, but since they're all Everealm has, he's going to do his best to whip them into shape and starts as Drill Sergeant Nasty. Over subsequent episodes, though, he shows genuine concern for his charges and becomes a Sergeant Rock.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Grand Vizier. Really, what more do you need?
  • Evil Chancellor: After Castle Saenctum falls, the Paladins start to suspect the Grand Vizier of being one. They're especially suspicious of the amulet he gave the Queen without explaining why, but they also note that he's been present when enemy forces were at work within the castle. He is.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Verlox.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Happens in Episode 6 when one Paladin, seeking a hidden item outside the castle walls, wanders around a pile of sacks and barrels in an otherwise overgrown hedge without ever looking in the pile.
    • Andrew suffers from it twice in the final challenge, sealing his fate.
  • Feminist Fantasy: Many of the lady Paladins are determined to enforce this. And pays off when Lina becomes the One True Hero despite being the only woman to make it to the final four.
  • Filk Song: Bonnie makes and sings a couple.
  • Find the Cure!: The plot of episode 3, as the Queen had been poisoned.
  • Fish People: Subverted with the Rana, who look like the progeny of the Creature from the Black Lagoon but live in a forest. They were deceived by the Grand Vizer into being enemies of the Paladins.
  • Flynning: Not being professional stuntpeople, the Paladins were trained mostly in a basic diagonal slashing maneuver against an opponent's raised sword. There were some examples of more chaotic fighting by professionals and during the finale, but with dull swords and plenty of padded armor.
  • Genius Bruiser: Patrick. One look at him, you figure he's probably some sort of athlete or other physical profession-type similar to Shondo. Nope, he's actually a math teacher.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Sir Ansgar specifically calls out the Paladins in the fourth episode for being too nice to each other, as it's blinding them to each others' weaknesses and not being able to assess each others' capabilities accurately can get them killed. Unintentionally, it serves as Foreshadowing about Christian's 3-time save from elimination and confidence that he could do it a fourth. As it turns out, everyone else learned the lesson well and stopped putting up with Christian, making this trope cause his banishment from the game.
  • The Heart: Bonnie became this in the third episode after writing and singing a song about Everealm and the Quest. Lampshaded by several players in the fifth episode when they're discussing who to banish. When she does get banished, it's with the most touching send-off thus far, including many flashbacks of her earlier exploits.
  • Hidden Depths: Sir Ansgar, as of Episode 6.
    Sir Ansgar: I had a wife once. She was about to give birth. Things...did not go as they should have. But I have my sword, and my queen. It's good.
  • The High Queen: Queen Ralia
  • Horned Humanoid: Verlox, when he finally appears. A shock to the Paladins, who were expecting someone human, and came face to face with... That.
  • Jerkass: The jury's out for most of the season on whether or not the Vizier is an Evil Chancellor (He is), but he's this at the very least.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": All the Paladins are fantasy/superhero fans, so naturally this trope crops up a lot.
  • The Lancer: Andrew ultimately serves this role - they are the runner up, but they also demonstrate a lot of the inverse qualities that the One True Hero had.
  • Mid-Season Twist: Once half of the Paladins have been banished, Verlox and his forces seize castle Saenctum, forcing the Paladins, Crio, Sir Ansgar and Queen Ralia to flee and take refuge in the forest.
  • Our Ogres Are Hungrier: Ogres appear now and then. Sir Ansgar goes up against one, and the Paladins encounter one when they first arrive in Everealm.
  • Powers That Be: The Fates.
  • Practical Effects: Costumes, animatronics, and projectors made up most of the special effects. The flying dragon was CGI, but everyone knows the reason for that.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Averted. Probably one of the primary reasons there's no prize. Having supposed saviors and heroes plot against each other and backstab each other in the name of money and prizes would sort of hamper the intended feeling of them being heroes. Some of it happens anyway, of course - some of the women have shown an interest in supporting other women over the men, for example - but it's discouraged.
  • Quirky Bard: Bonnie writes and sings songs, is self admittedly hopeless in physical challenges and is a bit of a ditz.
  • Railroading: The Paladins might participate in the story, but they have essentially no control over its course. They only rarely got to do anything during the scripted scenes, and the plot-integrated tasks lacked a meaningful time limit. Even a well-founded attempt to convince Ansgar that the Grand Vizier was a traitor could not derail the plot. However, the paladins did cause some minor changes in the story's script as evidenced by the reactions of Queen Ralia, Sir Ansgar, and Crio when the find out that the Grand Vizer did really betray them.
    • Particularly notable is when they're given the task of assembling a ballista when an ogre attacks. It's actually a scripted sequence where Ansgar defeats the ogre on his own, and the producers revealed that the Paladins weren't given all the pieces they would need to prevent them from finishing it (and launching an arrow at the actors).
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Queen Ralia turns out to be one, being quite upset at how the Paladins have been treated since they arrived.
    • Sir Ansgar also proves to be one; he just has to invoke Good Is Not Nice at times in order to do his job.
  • Rule of Three: The three Fates. And at the end of each episode, it's typically three Paladins who face the possibility of elimination.
  • Seers: Crio is one.
  • Sequel Hook: After the Paladins leave Everealm, someone busts the Vizier out of jail.
  • Smug Snake: Christian who assumed that even when he lost his friends would keep him in the game. Unfortunately for him he crossed the Moral Event Horizon in game when when he deliberately picked a team he thought would lose for the siege test. Even Andrew, his best friend, decides that enough is enough.
  • Storming the Castle: The Paladins do this in the finale.
  • Summon Everyman Hero: The Paladins are, for the most part, normal people from our world rather than ones already equipped to handle a war.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Ansgar definitely softens towards his charges in later episodes, especially after Bonnie writes a song dedicated to him.
  • Trapped in Another World: Implied; the Paladins are, after all, normal fantasy fans in a fantasy realm. Subverted in that none of them express any desire to go home.
  • Tsundere: Sir Ansgar is this because he acted mean and cynical towards the paladins but he has a huge soft spot to the paladins. He became nicer to them, opened up about his personal life to them, and even supported them in their quest.
  • Turn in Your Badge: Eliminated Paladins have to return their piece of the Sun Spear.
  • World of Ham: All the scripted actors have a grand old time.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Christian insists on playing the game like he's on Survivor.
    • To a lesser extent, in the final episode Andrew realizes he was concerned too much with his own pride to be the One True Hero.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: