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- Alternate Character Interpretation: The series-long running gag of Nobby Nobbs's questionable humanity may possibly be explained by him being a half-goblin. Vimes suspects, but doesn't conclude anything.
- Anvilicious: And Terry Pratchett has officially lost all subtlety he ever possessed.
- Deus Ex Machina: Type 2. The Summoning Dark is just sort of shoe-horned into the story to give Vimes a way of understanding Goblin language.
- Ho Yay: "Your friend told you to take your trousers off as well..." Also, just what was the deal with Stratford and Flutter's conversation that couldn't be revealed while Constable Upshot was listening?
- Moral Event Horizon: Stratford's attempt on the life of Young Sam. Gravid Rust and the Magistrates are revealed to have crossed it three years ago.
- Positive Discrimination: Goblins again. Fancy that.
- Woobie Species: The whole goblin race.