Artemis Fowl and the Last Guardian (known as Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian in the US) is the eighth and final novel in the Artemis Fowl series. The book was mentioned by Eoin Colfer when he stated that The Atlantis Complex was the penultimate (second to last) book of the Artemis Fowl series and would be followed soon after by the finale. The book was released on July 10, 2012.
The book begins with the perspective of the Berserkers, highlighting their vigor on getting their revenge on humans. The perspective then shifts to where Artemis is cured of the Atlantis Complex at the J. Argon Institute, with Holly and Butler accompanying him. During his visit, Dr J. Argon reveals to Artemis that there had been once a human- fairy battle fought at the Fowl Estate. Artemis then trades the information with his sketches on curing Dr. J Argons's hip problem. Following that, Holly is seen sitting beside Nopal, Opal Koboi's catatonic clone (from Artemis Fowl: the Opal Deception) when Artemis enters. Foaly alerts Holly about the live feed of Opal received at Police Plaza and urges her to rush there as soon as possible. They travel on a "stick" and arrives there. The two "kidnappers" then state that they demand that the present-day Opal be set free, or they will shoot the younger Opal, possibly causing nuclear fission, as explained by Artemis and Foaly. This causes panic due to their indecision of letting present-day Opal free. They finally decide to contain her in a nuclear reactor so as to contain the nuclear fission. However, after present-day Opal is placed in the nuclear reactor and the younger Opal is killed, Opal's entity generated massive energy. Opal manipulates the nuclear energy in the reactor to do her bidding, revealing that she had planned the entire thing. Opal escapes and zooms towards Fowl Manor. At the same time, Artemis and Holly, who, due to a slip from one of the kidnappers, realize that they were at Fowl Manor, rush to the estate immediately. However, Opal reaches Fowl Manor first and unlocks the first lock, which releases the Berserkers from the ground. They rise from the ground to possess Juliet, Myles, Beckett and all the animals. They then attempt possession of Artemis, Butler, and Holly. Holly, upon realizing this, fires a blast from her Neutrino at Artemis and Butler to prevent them from being possessed. Opal, realizing that they are immune to possession, orders Artemis and Company to be killed. Holly, after using her magic to heal Artemis, Butler and herself, collapses. This leaves the gang defenseless against the Berserkers. Out of nowhere, the ground below Artemis, Butler and Holly splits, swallowing them. Opal then shrieks a defiant "NO!"
As it turns out, Mulch Diggums created the split, thus saving Artemis, Butler and Holly from the clutches of Opal. Mulch brings Artemis and Company to his underground hideout, accidentally revealing that the initial plan was to rob Artemis. This temporarily angers Artemis. In the hideout, Holly tells Artemis, Butler and Mulch of the origins of the Lock and Key. The Key was Opal (Magic), while there were two locks. The first, which had already been open, releases the Berserkers. Its purpose was to protect the fairy world from the humans should their existence ever be discovered. The second lock was more sinister. It harnesses the power of the Earth God, Danu, to kill all humans on Earth. Artemis and gang then realized that Opal intends to open the second lock, so as to inherit the new Earth. Artemis and gang then agreed to split up. Artemis, Holly and Butler would try to retrieve all of their weapons in Fowl Estate before the Berserkers did, while Mulch would try to get the remaining weapons.
After much zing and fight from both sides, Artemis, emerges with their weapons, from various locations around the Fowl Estate but Butler has been knocked out during the firefight. Artemis then requests to be left alone to reflect while Holly, suspecting Artemis of having a plan to save them, demands to know it. He convincingly lies to Holly that he has no plan. He retreats to a room to ponder, while writing his last will and testament, uses a bio- tech bug to relay to Foaly that he requires two things. Foaly, upon receiving the message, doubts if he trusts Artemis. Foaly still sends the required materials to Artemis, but also, in the process, hints Holly that Artemis is formulating a suicidal master plan. Holly, interpreting from the items whch had arrived from Foaly, confronts Artemis and tries to stop him with a sedative seal. However, Artemis had predicted that Holly would use a sedative seal and counteracts it by injecting himself with adrenaline. He holds Holly's hand with a sedative pad in his palms, drugging Holly. While drifting between consciousness and unconsciousness, Holly is relayed the information so as to give Artemis a fighting chance at being revived.
The perspective then shifts to Opal having almost unlocked the lock. Just when she was about to unlock the lock, however, she is informed that Artemis Fowl and Holly have arrive at the gate. She antagonistically toys with their feelings. While distracted by her victory close at hand, she becomes overcomplacent and Artemis breaks free from his captives and attempts to close the gate forever. This action is, however, deemed moronic by Opal as Opal knew that she was the only one to be able to close the gate. While distracted, "Holly" attempts to close the gate and Opal shrieks mockingly. However, the ace Artemis had is revealed and "Holly" was revealed to be Opal's clone. As Nopal had the same DNA as Opal, the gate could be closed. Opal, maddened that her plan had been foiled once more, orders the clone to be killed. However, the berserker Oro instead kills Opal, stating that there has been too many deaths of the fairy folk. Artemis, exhausted from all the exertion, collapses to the ground. He sees Holly and Butler sprinting towards him. However, as the gate sucks in all fairy creatures souls which had been involved in either opening/closing the gate, Artemis's was killed due to his fairy eye (from Holly).
The final chapter begins six months after the termed "Great Techno-Crash". It is revealed that Artemis has planned to be cloned using Opal's chrysalis device. His clone is brought to the spot where he had collapsed and in a reversal of the magic that took his soul, Artemis is miraculously revived. The story ends with Holly telling Artemis' story of how he met the fairy folk, referencing the first book's introduction.
The secret message is in fact Artemis's last will:
The Last Will And Testament Of Artemis Fowl The Second
Being the final wishes of Artemis Fowl in the event of his death at the hands of the pixie Opal Koboi. Should he survive for forty eight hours after the date of writing, this will becomes null and void and shall have no legal weight in any court, human or fairy.
I, Artemis Fowl the Second, of exceedingly sound mind and reasonably sound body, bequeath my estate and advice as follows.
To my father, I leave the three hundred million dollars in bearer bonds that are hidden, believe it or not, under my own bed, the last spot anyone would look and possibly the most booby trapped place on Earth, Butler will know how to disengage the security measures.
To my darling mother, I leave my stock portfolio including my shares in ethical funds and registered charities which I know she will manage with her usual moral determination and I also bequeath to her the department store on New York's fifth avenue I had planned to give to her on her birthday.
I wish my brother Myles, to inherit my laboratory and all its equipment with access to the special projects room to be granted on his eighth birthday, when he will be mature enough to deal with other dimensions, aliens and time travel.
For my brother Beckett, I have purchased a lifetime's supply of slime so he can coat himself in gunge as often as he pleases. I also wish Beckett to have the ant farm, provided he promises not to eat any of the ants.
My faithful bodyguard, Butler, is of course entitled to his generous severance package and is under no obligation to stay on but it would be greatly appreciated if he renewed his contract and remained in the employ of the Fowl family. Apart from his pension, I wish Butler to become legal owner of the apartments in which he has lived since I was born and the dojo where he tried to teach me how to fight.
To Juliet Butler who has protected my brothers so faithfully, I leave my sound system which is based on gel speaker technology and which should make even her collection of modern music sound reasonably non-offensive. I also leave to Juliet the three sports cars and lifetime subscription to the wrestling channel.
My friend, Captain Holly Short of the Lower Elements Police, I leave the thirty seven solid gold bars that were price of her release all those years ago. I know that I can never make up for that crime, but hopefully you can think of me as a friend when you do think of me.
To the dwarf Mulch Diggums, I leave the refrigerated warehouse in London docklands, that is stocked with enough frozen chicken to satisfy even his appetite for several decades.
To the centaur Foaly, I leave the blueprints to an interstellar craft that is so advanced, it makes his spacecraft look like hot air balloons. I have hidden the designs inside his own system where he would never think of looking for them. To find them, Foaly must open his own security file on me, blink eight times and say the words,"Artemis Fowl is smarter than I am." If this does not work, then at least I will smile in the afterlife.
Characters that appear in the book
- Artemis Fowl II
- Holly Short
- Beckett and Myles Fowl
- Artemis Fowl I
- Angeline Fowl
- Mulch Diggums
- Opal Koboi
- Trouble Kelp
- Opal Koboi (of the past)
- Pip and Kip
- Oro Shaydova
- Caballine Wanderford Paddox Foaly
- Bruin Fadda
- Mayne (Foaly's gifted nephew)
- In some cover arts of the book the word 'and' is missing from the name.
- The book says Artemis is not familiar with military hand signals when in The Lost Colony he knows the exact same signal when Holly does it.
"... Butler held up his fist. Artemis was not familiar with military hand signals and crashed into the bodyguard's broad back."
"Holly jogged the last few steps, then raised her right hand, fingers closed in a fist 'That means halt,' Artemis told the others. 'It's a military thing. Human soldiers use the exact same sign.'"