- “I don't mean I just want my life to be exciting. I mean... MORE. I just need to know that there's something more to life than high school.”
- ―Jim to Toby
Becoming: Part 1 is the first episode of Trollhunters.
In the series premiere, dawn is breaking in the town of Arcadia Oaks, with a radio host announcing the arrival of the most beautiful 4:40 sunrise.
During the sunrise, an epic fight is being waged in the canal under the Arcadia town bridge between two trolls: Kanjigar the Courageous, the current Trollhunter, and Bular, the son of Gunmar the Black. Bular seems to have the upper hand for a little while, until Kanjigar takes it back. The encroaching sun over the bridge begins to burn Kanjigar's shoulder, distracting him, as trolls have a fatal weakness to natural sunlight. Bular uses this opportunity to kick Kanjigar away, the Sword of Daylight is ripped from his grasp, sliding away and coming to a halt in the direct sun. Kanjigar grabs it in a split second so his hand doesn't suffer any permanent damage from the exposure. He runs up the side of the canal, and onto the underside of the bridge. He looks around for Bular, not seeing him until the evil troll jumps from behind a pillar and slams Kanjigar into the frame of the bridge. Kanjigar swings around like a monkey underneath the bridge in an attempt to get away from Bular, but the Gumm-Gumm follows him. They swing back up, and Bular drops out of nowhere on top of Kanjigar, throwing him onto the edge of the bridge. He jumps on top of him again, trying to force Kanjigar into the sun. The sword of Daylight falls into the canal and disappears. Bular manages to force half of Kanjigar's face into the sun, turning it to stone. He tries to rip the amulet from Kanjigar's breastplate, but Kanjigar grabs his hand, forcing it into the sun which begins to turn it to stone. Knowing there is nowhere else for him to go without the risk of Bular taking the amulet once and for all, Kanjigar ends up sacrificing himself, throwing himself off of the bridge and into the sun, turning him to stone, and smashing to rubble on the concrete ground below. So, now the amulet is safely out of Bular's reach, patiently waiting for its next champion.
Meanwhile, an hour and a half later in a suburban neighborhood, an alarm rings, awakening our hero to gear up for school: fifteen-year-old James "Jim" Lake Jr. He gets out of bed, and runs down the stairs to get ready for the day. He puts away magazines, wipes down the table, and changes one light-bulb. He makes toast, prints out a recipe, and cooks breakfast for his mother as well as makes lunches. One for him, one for his mother, and one for his best friend, Toby Domzalski. He takes his mom's breakfast to her, as she is still asleep in her bedroom from a late shift at the clinic she works at. He takes the glasses off of her face and wipes them, setting them on her nightstand. He then leaves for school, putting on his helmet in the garage. He opens the garage door and walks his bike out, only to be stopped by knocked over trash can, which he deals with.
Toby shows up on his bike, informing him that they are going to be late for school "on account of meatloaf". Jim talks Toby into taking the canal, a shortcut to school. Toby is reluctant, but agrees. Jim makes the jump into the canal, allowing the sun to eclipse him, and turns around, calling for Toby, when he hears a mysterious voice calling his name. He turns to the sound, confused. Toby appears at the top of the canal, and proceeds to ride down the canal, go halfway up the other side, ride back down again, and crash his bike. Jim sets his bike down and hesitantly walks in the direction of the voice. Jim comes upon a pile of rocks, which are, unbeknownst to him, Kanjigar's remains. The voice calls Jim's name again, and they both scream, falling backwards onto the cement. Jim notices that something under one of the rocks seems to be glowing, and he removes the rock to reveal the amulet. Jim picks it up, and says that it looks like an amulet. A suspicious Toby begins to call out whoever's pulling the "prank". Jim holds the amulet up to his ear to see if it will talk again, and Toby comes and puts his ear up to it as well. A school bell rings in the distance, and the two of them scream. Jim shoves the amulet into his bag, and the two of them hop on their bikes and ride frantically to school. Meanwhile, Blinky appears just inside the grate that leads to the canal, where he is surprised to find that the amulet chose a human.
Mr. Strickler is up in front of his World History class, teaching about the Peloponnesian War. He walks around a classroom full of kids typing notes at computers. Toby becomes exasperated with Jim, who is staring at Claire with a dopey grin on his face. Mr. Strickler asks Jim a question about the Peloponnesian War, which Jim answers with a joking reply. After class, Mr. Strickler asks to speak with Jim. He voices his concern that Jim isn't getting enough sleep, and that there is too much stress placed upon him. Jim explains that he just wants to help his mother. Mr. Strickler gives Jim his phone number, and tells him that he can drop by his office any time, just in case he can be of any assistance. He also tells Jim that talking to Claire will do more than staring at her.
Toby struggles to climb the rope in gym class, as a supportive Jim cheers him on. Jim spots Claire talking and laughing with her friends, and leaves to go talk to her as Toby falls off the rope. Coach Lawrence begins acting like a jerk to Toby. Jim says something in Spanish to Claire, and she asks him if he speaks Spanish, sounding somewhat surprised. He is at a total loss for words, and her friends urge her to leave. Before she does, she asks Jim if he likes Shakespeare, and tells him he should try out for Romeo and Juliet.
Jim and Toby are in the locker room, and Toby is struggling to put his socks on. He is surprise to hear that Jim actually talked to Claire out loud. Toby tells Jim that he should try out for Romeo and Juliet, and Jim claims he isn't an actor. Toby reminds him that Jim wants a more exciting life, to which Jim replies that he wants a purpose, not just excitement. Suddenly, Jim sees something running out of the corner of his eye. He walks down the lockers cautiously, and sees that the showers are releasing a lot of steam. He looks into the showers, and sees the shape running again, but before he could investigate further, Toby startles him by shouting about putting his sock on. As they leave, you can see the same multi-eyes troll standing in the steam, watching them go.
Outside of the locker room, Jim notices Steve Palchuk bullying Eli Pepperjack, forcing him into a locker. He wants to do something about it, and Toby tries to talk him out of it. Jim tells Steve to leave Eli alone, and Steve tells Jim to mind his own business. Steve then asks Eli to tell him about the monsters. Unbeknownst to Jim, Eli actually saw trolls, and that was what he was describing. Jim tells Steve to let him out again, and Steve grabs the front of Jim's shirt. Jim tells Steve to punch him, but he should remember that in 20 years, Steve will be a deadbeat and Eli will be successful. Toby riles the other students into chanting "Let him out! Let him out!" Just as Steve is about to punch Jim, the door swings open and Coach Lawrence yells at Steve to go to practice. As he is leaving, Steve tells Jim to meet him on Friday for a beating.
As the boys ride their bikes home, Toby is recounting the adventures of the day. He tells Jim that he won't live past Friday, and that it's a good thing his mom is a doctor. Jim's mom pulls up in her car to tell him that she's going to be out all night, and that he has to hold down the fort at home.
Jim goes inside and flips on the TV. He sits down on the arm of the couch, and pulls out the amulet. An annoying ad for a blender plays on the TV in the background. He pulls the amulet out of his bag, asking it to do something. It doesn't do anything. He hears something in the basement, which he thinks is raccoons, and goes to check it out. He takes a broom with him as he goes down the steps. He clicks a light on in the basement, looking around. He gets startled by his own reflection for a moment. The light that Jim turned on a moment ago flicks off, and Jim yelps in fear. He sighs, relieved. Behind him, we can see something with six glowing eyes emerging from behind a stack of boxes. The thing appears as if it is going to hurt Jim, but is actually about to introduce himself. He throws his arms up and shouts joyously, and Jim whirls around, and falls over, screaming. He hits his head on a pipe. The thing comes closer, and Jim screams and hits his head again. The six eyed thing introduces himself as Blinky, and his friend as AAARRRGGHH!!! They corner Jim, who is still screaming, and are confused as to why he is doing so. Jim attempts to run away, but AAARRRGGHH!!! grabs him by the feet and holds him upside down. Blinky starts to explain that Jim has been chosen as the Trollhunter, when AAARRRGGHH!!! asks Blinky why Jim looks so scared. Jim asks AAARRRGGHH!!! to put him down, and the troll complies. Blinky explains the Amulet of Daylight to Jim, and the responsibilities, albeit being interrupted a few times by a confused AAARRRGGHH!!! who doesn't understand all the large words being used. He tells Jim that there is a vast world of trolls living underground, and that it is now his charge, as the Trollhunter, to protect them. Jim passes out, overwhelmed by everything thrown at him.
Jim wakes up the next morning, alone in his basement. He picks up his phone and speed dials Toby. Toby answers the phone, and Jim starts to tell him what happened the night before. Toby stops him, telling him that he's at the dentist. Jim starts to tell the story again, but Toby starts screaming on the other line, and tells Jim he'll have to call him back.
Jim walks into Mr. Strickler's office, and Mr. Strickler invites him to have a seat. Jim starts explaining what happened at his house the night before, but thinks better of it and modifies it so that the History teacher thinks he is talking about the chess club. Mr. Strickler tells him that he needs not spread himself so thin, and gives him some more advice. The bell rings, and Jim has to go. Jim thanks him, and on his way out, the amulet flashes in his backpack. Mr. Strickler sees it, his eyes grow wide, and he looks shocked.
Jim is in the middle of making sandwiches when he looks up to see the amulet in his backpack. It begins glowing brightly. He takes it outside, and begins to study it. The troll characters on the amulet begin to glow, and the hands on its face spin. The language changes a couple times until it is in English, and Jim can read it. He speaks the incantation, "For the glory of Merlin, Daylight is mine to command." The wind blows, his computer shuts off, the food in a cat's bowl begins to float. A single bright orb with a blue glow comes out of the amulet, swirls, around, and dives into the spot over Jim's heart. Three more orbs follow, and Jim begins to float as blue energy pours out of him. The energy materializes into armor which click together around him, and since it still remembers Kanjigar, it is at first much too big. But then, it conforms to fit Jim's exact size. The amulet is where the first orbs entered his chest, just above his heart. A few more orbs appear, and go from the amulet to the palm of his right hand, which begins to glow. A giant sword materializes in his hand, too big for him to wield at first before also shrinking to a manageable size. He then begins to play around with the sword. He gets it stuck in a large rock, and struggles to pull it free. Once he does, he stumbles back and he gets it stuck in another large rock behind him.
A car drives up to the edge of the canal, and Mr. Strickler walks down to the bottom. He stands at the pile of Kanjigar's remains, holding the stone with an indent where the amulet would have rested. He begins to voice his complaints, and Bular appears behind him, swearing to catch the new Trollhunter. Strickler's eyes turn, glowing yellow with slit pupils, like a snake. He tells Bular he knows where the amulet is, and that it has found a new champion.
Meanwhile, Jim manages to get the sword free from the second stone, and holds it up in the air triumphantly, looking along the plane of the blade.
- Kelsey Grammer as Blinky
- Anton Yelchin as Jim Lake Jr.
- Charlie Saxton as Toby Domzalski
- Lexi Medrano as Claire Nuñez
- Ron Perlman as Bular
- Jonathan Hyde as Mr. Strickler
- Fred Tatasciore as AAARRRGGHH!!!
- Tom Hiddleston as Kanjigar
- Amy Landecker as Barbara Lake
- Laraine Newman as Nana
- James Purefoy as Amulet
- Cole Sand as Eli Pepperjack
- Yara Shahidi as Darci Scott
- Thomas F. Wilson as Coach Lawrence
- Steven Yeun as Steve Palchuk
- This is the very first episode in the entire Tales of Arcadia franchise.
- This episode, along with the following episode, aired on October 8th, 2016, before the remaining episodes of Part One premiered months later.
- Jim's neighbor is heard to have a dog called Parker during this episode. Later in "Win Lose or Draal" Jim's neighbor is heard to have another dog called Arthur.
- Strickler's line "Don't forget, Michaelson, chapters four and five" is a reference to Indiana Jones's exact line from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
- While trying to remove his sword from a boulder, Jim pulls it out in a similar manner as the classic legends of the Sword in Stone. This likely foreshadows Jim's eventual worthiness to wield Excalibur itself in the far off future.
- Toothless from the How to Train Your Dragon franchise appears as a background on a computer when Jim activates his amulet for the first time.
- Title: The title refers to Jim "becoming" not only the next Trollhunter, but the first human Trollhunter.
- Continuity Error: During the first history class scene, while they are first panning back through the class Shannon is sitting next to Claire in the front row. Then, after Jim is caught out for not paying attention, she is sitting the middle back when the view is pulled back as they laugh at him.
- Before Jim recites the incantation for the first time near the end of the episode, the Amulet of Daylight is seen shifting to various languages, one of which is Spanish ("Por la gloria de Merlin, luz ven a mi.")
- This episode, along with the following episode, features a dedication to Anton Yelchin just before the end credits.
- Blinky, AAARRRGGHH!!!, and Eli Pepperjack are the only ones who watched the fight between Bular and Kanjigar in the opening scene; they also witness Kanjigar's heroic sacrifice and demise.