- “One hit, and you will be changed forever!”
- ―Blinky to Jim
Wherefore Art Thou, Trollhunter? is the third episode of Trollhunters.
After successfully evading the savage Bular, Jim and Toby get their first look at Heartstone Trollmarket, home and sanctuary for all good trolls, being the first humans to step foot in this secret world. Blinky and AAARRRGGHH!!! show the boys around. This worries and shocks the other trolls as they are unaccustomed to seeing humans sullying their market. Blinky then shows the boys the Heartstone, the very life-force which keeps trolls from crumbling to stone.
When every troll gathers around the humans in worry and confusion, Blinky tries to introduce them to Jim, until he is suddenly interrupted by an angry troll named Draal who demands to know why there are humans in Trollmarket. Blinky then awkwardly explains to the trolls that Jim is their new Trollhunter, to their shock and dismay. Draal then snaps that he should've been the rightful heir to the amulet since he is the son of Kanjigar, the Trollhunter before Jim, to the latter's own shock. When Draal tries to tear the amulet off Jim, it blasts him back since it has specifically chosen Jim as its new master. Draal then exclaims that he will complain to Vendel about this while Blinky and AAARRRGGHH!!! continue with the tour.
Blinky then leads Jim and Toby to the Hero's Forge, a sacred training ground for Trollhunters. Toby then wonders if Jim is the first human Trollhunter, so others before him are trolls. So, truth be told, he finds the title "Trollhunter" a little ironic like "[they] hunt themselves". AAARRRGGHH!!! and Blinky clarify that it means hunting only bad trolls called Gumm-Gumms (meaning "bringer of horrible, slow, painful and thoroughly-calculated death" in Trollish). Luckily, they assure them that most of the Gumm-Gumms (and their leader) have been exiled to the Darklands centuries ago, yet one still remains at large: Bular. Sensing that ill times are approaching, Blinky believes that they must train Jim now if he is ever going to face such a threat. However, before they could begin, Vendel suddenly appears before them, demanding to meet this "fleshbag" who has been chosen to wield the amulet (albeit he mistakes Toby as him until Jim confesses). Vendel expresses his opinion of a human child being the next Trollhunter as ridiculous, and knows that the amulet has been known to make ill-fated choices (something Blinky knows better than most).
Jim wonders what he means. AAARRRGGHH!!! explains that Blinky has trained a Trollhunter before: Unkar the Unfortunate (who was torn limb-from-limb on his first night out). Vendel then suggests that Jim should consult the Soothscryer if the amulet chose true. When Blinky tries to explain that Jim hasn't even started training yet, Vendel sternly demands either way. Jim activates the Soothcryer, which will judge his true spirit and see if he's worthy. Jim reluctantly places his hand in, yet the Soothcryer proclaims that Jim's test is inconclusive, since there's never been a human to wield the mantle before him. The Soothcryer will need more time to render its judge towards Jim until he proves his worth.
Later that night, the boys return to their homes with Jim complaining about his new potentially life-threatening position as the Trollhunter. Jim enters his house, yet finds Mr. Strickler in the kitchen with his mother, Barbara. Mr. Strickler came to inform Jim that he has won the part of Romeo in the school play, Romeo and Juliet, after his breath-taking audition. Also, he remarks to his mother that he's been overextending himself a lot lately and wishes to help them both as much as he can before he leaves the house. Barbara then confronts her son, concerning about his grades and if they slip, she insist that he should cut back with the chores he does for her. Though Jim says that he likes taking care of her, even when it's suppose to be the other way around. Jim then reminds her of the time when he was old enough to ask about his absent father, she told him that they would just have to take care of each other, and they share a hug. Barbara then suggests making them breakfast for dinner, albeit Jim knows she can screw up an omelet as she's not exactly the best cook.
Outside the Lake house, Strickler finds Bular stalking Jim through the window, saying he shouldn't be there. As Bular and Strickler watch Jim trying to perfect his mother's terrible omelet, Bular expresses his edging desire to burn his house to the ground, killing the boy, and taking the amulet. Strickler taunts that destroying a house and killing a human child will draw attention and risk exposing their hidden agenda to both humans and trolls. Dealing with the first human Trollhunter will take patience and tactical preparations. Bular begrudgingly agrees to follow his ways until he sees his father again.
The next night, Jim returns to Trollmarket to begin his first basics of training in the Hero's Forge. While Toby and AAARRRGGHH!!! watch from the sidelines, Blinky informs Jim the three rules of Trollhunting. Rule #1: Always be afraid. Fear helps the Trollhunter stay alert, on guard, and vigilant when in the face of battle. Rule #2: Always finish the fight. The Trollhunter must always vanquish his opponent through death, much to Jim's dismay. And finally, Rule #3: When in doubt, always kick them in the... gronk-nuks? Blinky demonstrates by sending out a blade which almost hits Jim where the light doesn't shine. Just then, Draal arrives to the Forge, "wondering" if Jim would accept him to be his sparing partner as a part of his training regiment. Before Blinky could deny his "offer" to protect his new pupil, Vendel appears, wanting to see Jim's strength in his mettle. Jim approaches Blinky and asks him what he needs to do, as he's never been in a fight before, much to Blinky's worry and shock. To keep his spirits up, Blinky proclaims that the fight is within him: one hit, and he will be changed forever. When the spare begins, Draal easily punches Jim and dangles him over a deep chasm. Draal once again express fury over Jim being chosen after everything he's trained himself for to be a worthy champion. Draal then drops him to the floor, knowing that killing him now will not be worth it. He then leaves, along with a disappointed Vendel, both leaving Jim feeling ashamed of his inability to fight back.
Jim, humiliated from his "spare" with Draal, exclaims that he's in way over his head and that an amulet can't choose anyone. Blinky assures Jim that he hasn't had any training at all, so there should be no shame about what just happened. Jim, however, feels like he's not cut out to be the Trollhunter and tosses the amulet to Blinky. Before Jim could leave Trollmarket forever, the amulet suddenly flies back to him. Blinky explains that, despite Jim's doubts about the amulet's choice, it's now bonded to him. After being chosen, the Trollhunter cannot refuse the mantle.
Jim tries to get rid of the amulet, but it always returns to him, no matter what he does. He tries to throw it away, but it appears on his bed next to him. He tries again, placing books on top of it, only for it to appear again. He eats popcorn while watching a movie, but accidentally bites on the amulet when he picks it up from his bowl. While brushing his teeth, he finds the amulet inside the mirror. Finally, he uses a baseball bat to swing it into the horizon. However, like a boomerang, the amulet hits Jim on the head. Jim finally gives up on getting rid of the amulet as he finally believes that Blinky's words are true: he can't refuse the amulet and must accept that he's the new Trollhunter, whether he wants it or not.
The next day at school, Jim is rehearsing with Claire and Ms. Janeth. Jim is distracted from his destiny that has been forced onto him. Claire says that he needed to be more convincing if he wanted to play Romeo and that they'll be together a lot.
After rehearsal, Steve confronts Jim for bailing on his scheduled beating. When Toby tries to defend his friend, Steve just tells him to back off. Steve then gives Jim the choice to bow down before him to escape a beating, which he does immediately, which catches him off guard. Jim glances to Claire, who shakes her head at the sight of Jim wimping out, so he stands up again, which promotes Steve into attacking him, unprovoked. Jim manages to avoid most of his hits, but gets punched in the face. He notices his amulet glowing in his backpack as Steve calls him a "worm", something Draal called him before. Despite feeling humiliated because of his lack of training, Jim still has a chance to make himself a Trollhunter his own way. With renewed confidence, Jim gets back up to face Steve again. Claire tries to stop Steve, but he just shoves her out of the way, which makes him punch the school bully in the jaw, knocking a tooth out as he passes out on the ground.
In Trollmarket at the pub, Draal continues to gloat about his victory over his "spar" with the human Trollhunter, saying how wimpy he is. Blinky and AAARRRGGHH!!! are the only trolls who were annoyed by Draal's arrogance. Jim then arrives and proposes a rematch, much to everyone's shock.
- 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!!!/Bagdwella
- Rodrigo Blaas as Gnome
- Amy Landecker as Barbara Lake
- Laraine Newman as Miss Janeth
- Matthew Waterson as Draal
- Victor Raider-Wexler as Vendel
- Steven Yeun as Steve Palchuk
- First appearances of Draal the Deadly, Vendel, Bagdwella, and gnomes.
- Title: The title is a reference to this famous line of Romeo and Juliet "Wherefore art thou, Romeo?", which Claire recites near the end of the episode.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- Rule Number Three of Trollhunting is "When in doubt, always kick them in the gronk-nuks." "Gronk-nuks" is an obvious euphemism to testicles. Jim even sums it up by saying that the Rule is essentially "kicking someone in the nards."
- When Blinky is explaining the second rule of trollhunting to Jim, the latter can be heard saying "What the hell" after AAARRRGGHH!!! throws a stone at him from behind.
- When Draal discovers that Jim is the Trollhunter, he exclaims "bushigal", which is likely a trollish term for "bulls**t".
- Error: In "Becoming: Part 1", Steve schedules an in-school fight with Jim on a Friday. Near the end of this episode, Steve makes his appearance, stating "Where have you been? I scheduled your butt-whooping for yesterday, Jerkface." Public day school normally does not take place on a Saturday in the United States.
- Plausibility: It's possible that Steve rescheduled, so he has either never told Jim about it (given his jerky attitude) or Jim probably just forgot he rescheduled.