Opal Koboi

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Opal Koboi
Artemis Fowl character
First appearanceBook 2: Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident
Last appearanceBook 8: Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian
Created byEoin Colfer

Opal Koboi is a fictional character from the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. After the character's introduction in the second book in the series as a supporting antagonist,[1] Colfer again used Koboi as the main antagonist of the fourth, sixth, and eighth books in the series, giving her the status of archenemy to Artemis Fowl II.


Colfer first brought the Opal Koboi character into the Artemis Fowl series through the May 2002 publication of Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident. Koboi was written in this second book of the series as an evil genius responsible for the highest level of planning and execution of a war by goblins using outlawed lethal lasers against the Lower Elements Police Reconnaissance (LEPrecon) police squad, shutting off all the LEP's power and blaming her only scientific rival Foaly for the entire affair.[2] She employs Lieutenant Briar Cudgeon, a LEPrecon officer who was disgraced in the prequel, as her partner in her attempt to stage this coup deep in the bowels of the Earth.[2][3] However, at the climax of the book, Artemis reveals that Cudgeon plans to betray Koboi. Koboi flies into a rage and attacks Cudgeon. In the ensuing struggle, Cudgeon is electrocuted to death by falling into live plasma tubes and Koboi is incapacitated. She then falls into a self-induced coma as part of a plan to escape imprisonment.[4]

With statements such as "before her second birthday she had dismantled her first hard drive," the Opal Koboi character comes off as precocious,[2] but not in a positive way. Described as an "insane, power-mad pixie"[5] and an outrageous character that is confident of her own intelligence in a way that annoys other people,[1] this beauteous[3] "pixie with the golden touch"[2] contributes to the Colfer idea that fairies are basically as bad as us -and fight even dirtier.[1] The name Koboi sounds both as "cowboy" and "kobold", a temperamental sprite of German folklore who becomes outraged when not fed properly, and who sometimes is referred to as a spirit of caves and mines, which fits since the fairies of the series live underground. [6] In this way, the name Koboi suits the gold-digger Opal Koboi.[6] It is also known that Koboi bankrupted her father's business after he tried to dissuade her from studying engineering (as he expected his daughter to follow the normal path in life for female pixies: namely, getting married to a suitable husband) and that she has a long, bitter rivalry with Foaly since their days at university, and that one of Opal's main goals is to prove she is intellectually superior to the centaur. The only reason to this hatred between the two magical creatures is that Foaly won their University's science fair with his iris-cam, which Opal found stupid and to which she thought that her Koboi wings were far superior. She then accuses the centaur of winning only because he was a male.

Subsequent appearances[edit]

Opal Koboi was the titular character in Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception, which was published in April 2005 as the fourth book of the fictional series.[7] In this installment, Colfer describes Opal Koboi's coma situation from the perspective of Doctor Jerbal Argon, a fictional fairy gnome psychiatrist taking care of his incarcerated, "celebrity" patient:

"If only every fairy in the facility was as docile as Opal Koboi. All she needed was a few intravenous tubes and a monitor, which had been more than paid for by her first six months' medical fees. Doctor Argon fervently hoped that little Opal never woke up. Because once she did, the LEP would haul her off to court. And when she had been convicted of treason her assets would be frozen, including the Clinic's fund. No, the longer Opal's nap lasted, the better for everyone, especially her. Because of their thin skulls and large brain volume, Pixies were susceptible to various maladies such as catatonia, amnesia and narcolepsy."[8]

Rather than being in an actual coma, Colfer has Koboi in a coma-like state of meditation known as a "cleansing coma" to elude punishment for her own criminal activities.[9] Koboi awakens herself from the faked coma, leaves a clone of herself under guard in a coma and disguises herself as a human child,[10][11][12] and breaks out of prison to take revenge and dominate the world both of fairies and humans.[7][9][13][14][15] Koboi's plan is to bring the Fairy People in contact with humans, "who until now have been completely ignorant of their existence below the surface of the earth, but by their nature manage to ruin everything they touch."[16][17] Koboi, who plans to install herself as supreme world ruler,[18] is opposed by both Captain Holly Short, a talkative elf in the LEP, and Artemis Fowl, a 14-year-old[19] criminal mastermind from a super-criminal family dynasty and the main character of the series.[7][20][21][22][23] Colfer makes their opposition to Opal Koboi more difficult by erasing Fowl's memory of the wicked Opal Koboi and the other fairy people through a Foaly mindwipe and by having Koboi frame Captain Holly Short for a murder that in fact was committed by Koboi.[8][20][22][24][25][26] Even though Opal has laid out death traps for Artemis and Holly in a troll-infested amusement park,[27] Holly eventually is able to restore Artemis' memory and the two of them stop Opal.[28][29][30] At the end of Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception, Colfer has the reader assuming that Koboi is safely locked up in an LEP prison.

She also appears in Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox, as the main antagonist again. Artemis and Holly tangle with a past version of Koboi. She had realized that absorbing parts of different (usually rare) animals, she can modify her magic. By now she can levitate, shoot lightning and has a more advanced mesmer. She plans to use the Silky Sifaka Lemur to channel her magic into Time Travel which she will use to become leader. At the climax of the book, she has been revealed to have travelled to the current time, and was defeated but unapprehended. The consequences of her leaving the past has yet to be resolved.

Colfer used the fourth novel to describe Opal Koboi's hysterical megalomania in significant detail.[13] Coming across as embittered,[24] slightly loony,[24] deranged and dangerous,[31] ultra-evil,[32] and world domination-obsessed,[33] Colfer has the criminal mastermind Koboi go "mind-to-mind" against a similarly intelligent and criminal mastermind Fowl.[24][34][35] Strangely, in The Time Paradox, she seemed insane on a level which was not evident in The Arctic Incident (It is suggested in Last Guardian that this is because the timeline that created this Opal has diverged from the timeline that created the 'present' Opal), even deciding to think about choosing to shoot down the moon after using the term in a thought.

In book 7, Artemis suspects Opal of the attack on Atlantis until he discovers that the enemy is Turnball Root, disgraced brother of the late Commander Julius Root. There is also reference to her present, human self being relocated during an attack on a prison- although she is contained in a metal box to prevent her escaping-, as well as reference to the rumour that her past self is active in the present and may be trying to free her.

In Last Guardian, Opal deliberately arranges for the execution of her own past self- although she speculates that the younger her is merely an alternate Opal due to her own lack of memory of these events-, with the resulting energy explosion as everything that Opal Koboi has created and done over the five years between her past and present self is erased causing a social collapse as multiple Koboi technologies are destroyed or cease to exist. However, Opal manages to survive after tricking the LEP into moving her present self into a radiation-proof tube, channelling the energy release as her body becomes a paradox to regrow her entire body. She subsequently releases a group of long-imprisoned warrior spirits to serve as her army while she works to activate a doomsday spell that will wipe all human life from Earth's surface, but Artemis is able to defeat her by using her clone- now 'trained' to perform simple movements- to instead activate a command that will disperse the energy and the spirits while leaving Earth unharmed, the resulting energy release also destroying Opal's powers. She is finally killed by one of her warrior spirits.


Koboi is noted as having an IQ of 300. In The Time Paradox she is discovered to be illegally harvesting animal brain fluid and body parts and using their potency to augment her magical abilities; she is able to levitate unaided, release concussive energy waves, conjure fireballs (a gift only goblins are mentioned as having), and has acute mind control, much more powerful than the standard mesmer; she is also able to absorb memories, wiping Mulch Diggums' mind clean of all the events of The Time Paradox in the process; she also seeks out the silky sifaka lemur Jayjay as his brain fluid would allow her to time travel, an ability only the demon warlocks Qwan and No1 are able to use. On top of this, she is able to use remote psychokinesis on such a level that she is able to mimic the complex symptoms of the fairy disease Spelltropy perfectly, fooling even Foaly's sensors into believing Artemis' mother has actually contracted the disease. When she is shot with a tranquilizer dart by Artemis Fowl, she inadvertently conjures several images by projecting them through manipulating magical sparks and marshaling them into recognizable shape, again a power only Qwan and №1 are noted as having. Finally, she prizes her ability to shoot lightning bolts from her fingertips; however, it requires a lot of magic and great concentration to muster them. It is worth noting, however, that the human pituitary gland she surgically installed has robbed her of all her magical powers, rendering all that time she spent gathering brain fluids to augment her powers useless. She later has the pituitary gland removed, and uses the power caused by the paradox of killing her past self to generate even greater magical power, able to reconstruct the molecular structure of anything around her and fire plasma blasts capable of vaporizing a fairy, but this does not stop her being fatally stabbed by one of her summoned Beserkers.


  1. ^ a b c Johnson, Sarah (May 29, 2002). "A teenage Tartuffe with a skull tattoo". The Times. p. 2. Outrageous characters such as too-clever-by-half Opal Koboi reveal that fairies are basically as bad as humans - and they fight even dirtier.
  2. ^ a b c d Cruickshank, Margrit (22 June 2002). "Let him entertain you". The Irish Times. p. 57. Retrieved 14 October 2008.
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