Anime Reviews Episodic Reviews

The Sword Maiden’s Trauma: Thoughts on Goblin Slayer Episode 9

Goblin Slayer (ゴブリンスレイヤー)

(Anime 2018)

Created By Kumo Kagyu & Noboru Kannatuki

Originally, I was just going to do a three-part post series for Goblin Slayer, but I decided that Episode 9 deserves its own post due to the fact that this episode discusses trauma to the audience.  

Returning to Past Trauma – Episodes 9: “There and Back Again”

In Episode 9, the group explores the mysterious mirror that the eye was guarding and realized that it’s a portal into the goblins’ homeland. The group decided to cement the mirror so it won’t be used again. The group succeeded and the Goblin Slayer reports back to the Sword Maiden about their quest.

© White Fox & Crunchyroll

The Goblin Slayer suspects that the Sword Maiden knew what was going on in the sewers but didn’t inform the party about it. He suspected the Sword Maiden because of the alligator familiar lurking in the sewers and killing goblins. The Sword Maiden confessed that the mirror was an ancient relic created by the Demon Lord’s minions that are now gone. For a while, the Sword Maiden didn’t do anything to the goblins because she wanted people to be aware of how dangerous these creatures truly are, but society seemed to not care. Yet, now that the mirror is gone, the Sword Maiden can live peacefully to some degree, but she still has to deal with the trauma of the past. The Goblin Slayer said that he is unable to cure her trauma but will come to slay all the goblins for her even in her dreams.

© White Fox & Crunchyroll

In this episode, the audience is invited to contemplate about how trauma can truly affect a person’s life. The Sword Maiden is known to be a fearless hero for being able to stop the Demon Lord, but she personally feels weak because she cannot kill measly goblins. However, the Sword Maiden has every right to fear goblins because she has been tortured and sexually abused by goblins.

The Sword Maiden is suffering from personal pain and suffering due to a traumatic experience. She’s scared, powerless, and fearful of goblins coming to attack her even in her dreams. She’s a victim of trauma and she knows that she has to try to cope and overcome such fears. The Sword Maiden believes that the Goblin Slayer could heal her from her personal trauma but the Goblin Slayer can only be sympathetic to her and that’s all. The Goblin Slayer offers his assistance in killing goblins, but it’s up to the Sword Maiden’s personal strength to overcome the trauma that she has experienced in the past.

© White Fox & Crunchyroll

The Sword Maiden’s traumatic experience invites a feeling of sympathy within viewers. This episode seems to evoke viewers to get in touch with their emotions and try to understand individuals who have dealt with trauma. Although we may not have experienced various types of trauma nor can we cure other people’s trauma, we are capable of sympathy and understanding, which as a society I think we sometimes forget to do.

However, I did find it interesting that the Goblin Slayer emphasized that he’s unable to heal her pain, and instead he implies that it’s an internal battle that she must overcome herself. Although we can be there for a person, we are unable to take away a person’s pain and suffering. In order to fully heal yourself, you have to be willing to change and start to appreciate and love yourself. It’s easy to say but challenging to do, and so, the Goblin Slayer suggests that he will slay goblins for the Sword Maiden, which is his way of supporting her.

I think this series handles trauma fairly well in Episode 9. I wish that other viewers looked past the first episode in order to see how this series views trauma through the perspective of the Sword Maiden, but I do understand it might be too much for some viewers, which is why they stopped watching after Episode 1.

You can watch this series on Crunchyroll.


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3 comments

  1. “I think this series handles trauma fairly well in Episode 9.”

    I think so, too! Between Goblin Slayer saying he couldn’t exactly help her in the real world and telling her he’d be there for her in her dreams — I think his honestly was exactly what she needed to heal herself.

    Heck, just recognizing her fear as something real and _justified_ had to help at least a little!

    Liked by 1 person

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