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The jabberwock, J, is a monster in NetHack. It hits very hard and can catch unwary adventurers off guard with its extremely high damage, but is sure to be killed in one hit by Vorpal Blade.

The Jabberwock is currently the only member of the J jabberwock monster class, sharing it only with the deferred feature J vorpal jabberwock.

Jabberwocks are considered kebabable, able to be skewered, and you receive a +2 to-hit bonus when using a weapon that uses the spear or javelin skills.


Jabberwocks are generated asleep 80% of the time, unless you have the Amulet of Yendor in which case they are guaranteed to be generated awake.[1]



The Vorpal Blade is guaranteed to kill it in one blow.

The kebabable bonus is unlikely to be helpful by the time you meet a jabberwock.

If the jabberwock is generated asleep, it may be best to avoid disturbing it.

As a pet

Jabberwocks are occasionally enlisted as steeds due to their potential for causing damage. They can also fly. However unlike dragons and ki-rin, jabberwocks have no resistances.


The Jabberwock is featured in Jabberwocky, a famous nonsense poem by Lewis Carroll. The encyclopedia entry is not the full poem.

In the original illustration, it vaguely resembles a dragon. It has wings, a long neck, a long tail, a weird head and hands with three long clawed fingers.

In the poem, the Jabberwock is killed by the vorpal sword. This is why the Vorpal Blade is an instadeath for Jabberwocks in NetHack.


Several variants have implemented the vorpal jabberwock.

Encyclopedia entry

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
  Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
  And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
  The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
  And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
  The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
  He went galumphing back.

[ Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll ]


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It may contain text specific to NetHack 3.4.3. Information on this page may be out of date.

Editors: After reviewing this page and making necessary edits, please change the {{nethack-343}} tag to the current version's tag or {{noversion}} as appropriate.