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Artemis Fowl character
Opal Koboi
Gender Female
Hair colour Black
Eye colour Dark brown
Species Pixie

Opal Koboi is a fictional character from the Artemis Fowl series - a set of six fantasy novels written by Irish author Eoin Colfer. After the character's May 2002 introduction in the second book in the series as a supporting antagonist,[1] Colfer again used Koboi as the main antagonist in the fourth and sixth book of the series, giving her the status of arch-enemy to the main protagonist, 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 purchasing weapons from rogue human gun traders against the Lower Elements Police Reconnaissance (LEPrecon) police squad.[2] She employs Lieutenant Briar Cudgeon, a disgraced-in-the-first-book LEPrecon officer, as a partner in her attempt to stage a 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 killed 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.[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 dissaude 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.

Subsequent appearances

Colfer brought back the Opal Koboi 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.[9][13][7][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's for a murder that in fact was committed by Koboi.[20][24][8][25][22][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. This Opal was not found after the incidents of the book and is still at large, an event which could unfortunately alter the events of the first two books, since Opal's encounter with the two times would probably lead her to explore the theme again, something which she wasn't aiming for in The Arctic Incident, possibly inferring that later books might focus on fixing this paradox since if Opal messes with time travel again she could alter the events of the first two books, which could lead to a completely new sequence of events.

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 (which is strange since if The Time Paradox explores events before The Arctic Incident, she should still be just as crazy), even deciding to think about choosing to shoot down the moon after using the term in a thought.

Interestingly, Opal has been the main antagonist of every second book in the series.


  1. ^ a b c Johnson, Sarah (May 29, 2002). "A teenage Tartuffe with a skull tattoo". The Times: pp. 2. "Outrageous characters such as too-clever-by-half Opal Koboi reveal that fairies are basically as bad as us -and fight even dirtier."  
  2. ^ a b c d Cruickshank, Margrit (MARGRIT C). "Let him entertain you". The Irish Times: pp. 57. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  3. ^ a b Balakrishnan, Paran (October 30, 2002). "The evil charm of a juvenile arch-criminal". Business Standard. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  4. ^ Scotton, Terrance (November 20, 2006). "Author's fun fantasy journey continues". Burlington County Times: pp. 8D. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  5. ^ Kelly, Stuart (August 3, 2008). "Book Review: Artemis Fowl And The Time Paradox: Time bandit". Scotland on Sunday: pp. 26. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  6. ^ a b Lindve, Katarina (2007). A Study on the Artemis Fowl Series in the Context of Publishing Success. Mälardalen University. p. 14. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  7. ^ a b c Benster, Sonia (February 18, 2005). "Children's previews: the panel's selections include a tale of sectarianism and the welcome return of Artemis Fowl.". Bookseller - VNU Business Media: pp. 30.  
  8. ^ a b Cameron, Ryle (April 28, 2005). "Opal and Artemis on the run". Toronto Star: pp. 10. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  9. ^ a b O'Hara, Delia (April 29, 2005). "'Artemis Fowl' creator makes rounds with new 'Deception'". Chicago Sun-Times: pp. 2. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  10. ^ Rohrlick, Paula (July 1, 2005). [Opal Koboi. "Colfer, Eoin. Artemis Fowl; the Opal deception."]. Kliatt 39 (4): 8. Opal Koboi.. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  11. ^ Fynes-Clinton, Jane (June 4, 2005). "For younger readers". The Courier-Mail: pp. M06. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  12. ^ Gilson, Nancy (June 8, 2005). "Summertime Reading for the Young". The Columbus Dispatch: pp. 3F. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  13. ^ a b Sekhar, Vaishnavi C. (22 May 2005). "A fairy tale with attitude". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  14. ^ Taylor, Jennifer (March 18, 2005). "Bumper crop for spring: Jennifer Taylor presents the leading children's titles for spring and summer.". Bookseller - VNU Business Media: pp. S24.  
  15. ^ Bantick, Christopher (June 18, 2005). "Shorts: children's books with Christopher Bantick Ratings: Excellent A good read Average.". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  16. ^ Colvin, Dani (June 5, 2005). "Dark battle with EVIL". Sunday Tasmanian: pp. A10. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  17. ^ Bennett, Tom (October 22, 2005). "Books: Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception by Eoin Colfer". Evening Mail: pp. 14. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  18. ^ Curtis, Gary (June 11, 2005). "Artemis is not so foul; Kids books". The Hamilton Spectator: pp. G18. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  19. ^ Rosenberg, Alan (December 29, 2005). "Books on tape by Alan Rosenberg: Mystery, history, fun and fantasy make for a year of lively listening". The Providence Journal. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  20. ^ a b Staff (March 28, 2005). "Children's Notes: The Next Chapter". Publishers Weekly 252 (13): 81. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  21. ^ Flynn, Gillian (April 29, 2005). "Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception". Entertainment Weekly: pp. 155.,,1052618,00.html. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  22. ^ a b Murphy, Noel (June 4, 2005). "Egg-head Artemis fouls up an evil plot". Geelong Advertiser: pp. 52. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  23. ^ "The Kids' Reading Room. Book Reviews by Kids". Los Angeles Times: pp. 4. November 13, 2005. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  24. ^ a b c d De Vera, Ruel S. (May 23, 2005). "Delighting in 'Deception'". Philippine Daily Inquirer: pp. 1. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  25. ^ "Book Review: Fowl's 'The Opal Deception'". Washington Post. May 23, 2005. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  26. ^ Zipp, Yvonne (June 14, 2005). "Would-be Harrys lack his magic". The Christian Science Monitor: pp. 14. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  27. ^ Sinclair, Frances (June 2008). Fantasy Fiction. School Library Association. p. 36. ISBN 1903446465. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  28. ^ Mabe, Chauncey (June 26, 2005). "Fowl soars again. Magic meets high-tech in a fantasy series good enough to ease the wait until that kid named Potter returns.". South Florida Sun-Sentinel: p. 15. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  29. ^ "Choose a great read to spice up summer". Express on Sunday. July 17, 2005. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  30. ^ Rosenberg, Alan (July 21, 2005). "Audio books by Alan Rosenberg: Opal Deception rich with fairies, schemes". Providence Journal Bulletin: pp. G03. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  31. ^ McNab, Andy (November 3, 2005). "Pupils from Cramlington High School, in Northumberland, review a selection of thrillers". Evening Chronicle: pp. 38. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  32. ^ Nicholl, Kati (August 15, 2008). "A wry look at our history". Daily Express.  
  33. ^ "Honesty is best policy for Fonda". Evening Standard: pp. 21. May 31, 2005. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  34. ^ "One Fowl youngster". The Gold Coast Bulletin: pp. 9. May 28, 2005. Retrieved 14 October 2008.  
  35. ^ Berman, Matt (July 10, 2005). "And the literature's easy. No more teachers, no more workbooks, just reading for the fun of it". The Times-Picayune: pp. 7.  


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