Thursday, June 08, 2006


A goblin is an evil or merely mischievous creature of folklore, often described as a grotesquely disfigured or elf-like phantom.


Goblins are grotesque faeries of about dwarf height. Various (sometimes conflicting) abilities and attributes have been given to them.

  1. They can appear as animals.
  2. They are sometimes said to be mostly invisible to human eye.
  3. They are said to count the dead among their companions.
  4. They can weave nightmares out of gossamer and insert them into the ear of a sleeping human.
  5. They steal human women and children and hide them away underground.
  6. Goblin women steal human babies, replacing them with ugly goblin babies (changelings).
  7. Goblin changelings are sometimes known as "oafs" or "crimbils".
  8. They have a somewhat bestial appearance: their brow is fully covered with thick hair and their mouth is filled with yellowed, crooked teeth.
  9. They have some traits of old men, which can include shortsightedness, but they are described as wiser than humans.
  10. They sometimes eat humans.
  11. They are sometimes described as being an entirely male race.
  12. Female goblins are referred to as "hags" or "crones"
  13. Goblins can grow to anywhere from 30 cm to 2 m tall.
  14. Goblins are of the Unseelie Court, and war with fairies.
  15. It is said that they mimic human actions in their sardonic way, twisting human rituals and culture to show the worst aspects.
  16. A favorite sport among Goblins is playing deadly pranks on humans, gnomes, elfs, and dwarfs.
  17. An infant goblin is referred to as a Snotling.
  18. A group of goblins is referred to as a horde.
  19. Much like their "good" counterparts, the Hobbits, Goblins love mushrooms, and utilize them for housing, recreation, and as food.
  20. Goblins despise Hobbits, and consider them a delicacy.
  21. In some circles, Goblins are considered to be the cousins of gnomes.
  22. Goblins suffer from discrimination in almost all fantasy settings.
  23. Goblins are often assosciated with fire, or have the ability to create said element
  24. Goblins are usually portrayed as green in color.

[citation needed]


According to some traditions, goblin comes from Gob or Ghob, the king of the gnomes, whose inferiors were called Ghob-lings. However, according to "The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English" the name is probably derived from the Anglo-French gobelin (medieval Latin gobelinus), which is probably a diminutive of Gobel, a name related to the word kobold. Goblin is also related to the French lutin.

Goblins in art and literature

"The Benevolent Goblin" by Gesta Romanorum and The Goblin of Adachigahara (Japanese) are just a few fairy tales depicting goblins. Also see Brothers Grimm.

Christina Rossetti in her poem Goblin Market, used goblins as symbols of earthly desires who tantalize and nearly destroy a girl who falls under their spell.

Poet Craig MacKenzie, known for his works in portraying mythical creatures, described these creatures as being a paean to early explorers tales, documenting what they seen, It is now known that these creatures were probably small apes. In one of his greater works, MacKenzie uses the comparison of a goblin to the liking of one of his townspeople, Michael Nimbley, using 'goblin' as an insulting phrase.

Author George MacDonald, in The Princess and the Goblin, portrayed goblins as malevolent, subterranean creatures.

The book is said to have been a childhood favorite of J. R. R. Tolkien, who populated his Middle-earth with goblins, but later preferred to call them Orcs in order to distance them from fairy tale characters, explaining such a change in name was due to "goblin" being another name for Orcs usually used by Hobbits, and occasionally by other peoples (even his Uruk-hai are called goblins at some points).

In the Jim Henson film Labyrinth, Goblins figure prominently. Jareth the Goblin King, a powerful sorcerer (portrayed by David Bowie), commands a legion of foul, diminutive, largely incompetent creatures. The goblins initially do the bidding of a young girl (played by Jennifer Connelly), who must ultimately overcome her fear of them and resist seduction by their king.

Goblins also feature in the novel The Black Cauldron, adapted into a film in 1985 by Walt Disney Pictures, and in the 1986 film Legend, starring Tom Cruise. In 2005, a new perspective of goblins was depicted in the novel Dance of the Goblins by Jaq D. Hawkins. A film based on the novel and directed by Si Fantauzzo is currently in pre-production at Goblin Films Ltd.

See also Goblins (Harry Potter).

Goblins play a prominent and frightening role in the middle-grade novel The Revenge of the Shadow King, by Derek Benz and J.S. Lewis.

See also information about the U.S. fighter plane XF-85, nicknamed the Goblin. The Goblin is one of America's earliest jets, first flying in 1948. Only 14 feet (4.3 meters) long, it was intended to have a top speed of 650 mph and flying time of 80 minutes. The concept didn't get too far, though, with only two aircraft built and very few flights made. After only a year and with just a few drops and recoveries from B-29 Superfortresses, the program was cancelled.

The Green Goblin is a villianous character in the Marvel Comics Spider-Man comic book series .

(Via Wikipedia.)


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