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



[edit] Description

Goblins are grotesque fairies that can be from dwarf to human height. Various (sometimes conflicting) abilities and attributes have been given to them. Nowadays, it seems any diminutive monster can be called a goblin

  • Goblins can grow to anywhere from 30 cm to 2 m tall.[citation needed]
  • They have a somewhat bestial appearance: their brow is fully covered with thick hair and their mouth is filled with yellowed, crooked teeth.
  • They have some traits of old men, which can include shortsightedness, but they are described as wiser than humans.
  • In recent depictions Goblins have been portrayed as green in color. This is a modern tradition.
  • They are sometimes said to be mostly invisible to human eye.
  • They steal human women and children and hide them away underground.
  • Goblin women steal human babies and dump them, replacing them with ugly goblin babies (changelings).
  • Goblin changelings are sometimes known as "oafs" or "crimbils".
  • They are sometimes described as being an entirely male race.
  • Female goblins are referred to as "hags" or "crones"
  • Goblins are of the Unseelie Court.
  • It is said that they mimic human actions in their sardonic way, twisting human rituals and culture to show the worst aspects.
  • Goblin pranks include hiding small objects, tipping over pails of milk, and altering signposts.
  • Goblins are often associated with fire, or have the ability to create said element.
  • Goblins like to borrow horses and ride them all night. If a horse is tired in the morning, it is said a goblin rode it. If a horse is panicking, the goblin is trying to mount it.
  • They are said to count the dead among their companions. Goblins like to roam and cause mayhem during Halloween, along with a crowd of ghosts, witches, etc.
  • 'Goblin’s Thimbles' is another name for the foxglove plant.
  • They sometimes eat humans.
  • In some cases, Goblins love mushrooms, and utilize them for housing, recreation, and as food.
  • Goblins are often depicted possessing a coarse raspy sounding and slightly high-pitched voice.
  • When speaking a human tongue, goblins will stereotypically refer to themselves in third person.
  • Goblins often have a particular interest in money or trading, like being banker in the Harry Potter book series or running trade houses in World of Warcraft.
  • Goblins love revenge
  • Goblins are very magical
  • Goblins capture pretty unmarried girls to be their brides.
  • Some stories portray goblins in a kinder light, as beings that could actually be quite helpful if treated well. However, if ill used or, strangely, given thanks for their help, a goblin's wrath could be limitless.

[citation needed]

[edit] Etymology

According to some traditions, goblin comes from Gob or Ghob, the king of the gnomes, whose inferiors were called Ghob-lings.[citation needed] 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.

[edit] Places

One fabled origin for Goblins is in France, in a cleft of the Pyrenees, from which they spread rapidly throughout Europe. They hitched a ride with Viking ships to get to Britain. They have no homes, being nomadic, dwelling temporarily in mossy cracks in rocks and tree roots. Bryn y Ellyllon 'The Hill of the Goblins' is a place in Somerset. The Gap of Goeblin is a hole and underground tunnel in Mortaine France.

Sir Walter Scott in his Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft ascribed gnomes, kobolds and goblins, along with Scottish bogles to all correspond with a caricature of the Sami people.

[edit] Goblins in art and literature

  • 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.
  • Other books that feature goblins are: The Book of Wonder (1912) (The Hoard of the Gibbelins) by Edward Plunkett (18th Baron Dunsany), The Brownies and the Goblins (1915), Outside Over There by Maurice Sendak, Rainbow Goblins, The White Goblin, The Revenge of the Shadow King by Derek Benz and J.S. Lewis
  • 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.
  • The U.S. fighter plane XF-85, is 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 March of the Goblins is a polka song composed by J.J. Tarrant.
  • In the Spiderwick Chronicles, goblins are toothless, toadlike beings who use random artifacts in the place of fangs.

[edit] Goblins in modern fiction

Two major branches of goblins exist in popular game properties. Alongside with J. R. R. Tolkien's descriptions of Orcs, the older branch is inherently evil and malicious, with varying coloring and generally matted and filthy hair. This type of goblin appears in Dungeons & Dragons. The distinctive green-skinned, hairless, capricious, and generally amoral (rather than absolutely evil) goblins created for Warhammer are direct progenitors of goblins in more modern games, such as those in the Warcraft Universe or Magic: The Gathering.

[edit] Goblins in RuneScape

In the MMORPG RuneScape, most of the goblins that the humans of RuneScape are familiar with are those goblins that cover the surface of the world. There are few places goblins cannot be found, but there are also few goblins that could not be described as stupid. The Dorgeshuun tribe of goblins are the notable exception to this, as they have been separated from the main goblin race since the times of the godwars. The Dorgeshuun have since then been hiding themselves away in their underground city, Dorgesh-Kaan. Were it not for their remarkable stupidity, the common goblins of the surface could cause extreme problems for the human civilisations. The Dorgeshuun, who are nowhere close to as stupid or inclined to bickering as normal goblins, are opposed to violence of all forms. They do not trust humans, though, and it is a rare human that has seen their mines or had anything approaching a decent conversation with them. Some goblins are found in barbarian village and lumbridge

[edit] Goblins in Dungeons & Dragons

See main article Goblin (Dungeons & Dragons).

[edit] Goblins in Warhammer

See main article Goblin (Warhammer).

[edit] Goblins in Palladium

In the Palladium Fantasy Role-Playing Game, goblins are a race of faeries who have lost much of their native magic. Only a few, known as Cobblers, retain any magic. The vast majority of goblins are stupid, cruel, and lazy thieves.

[edit] Goblins in Warcraft

In the Warcraft Universe, goblins are a green-skinned, diminutive, crafty race; known for their occasionally explosive, but usually effective engineering. They also tend to be a neutral party between the Alliance and Horde factions of Azeroth. Motivated almost entirely by greed, it is very likely that the only reason goblins remain neutral in the ongoing conflict is that if they chose a side, they would be unable to profit from the other. Fans have noted similarity between the greed of Warcraft goblins and that of Star Trek's Ferengi.

Main article: Goblin (Warcraft)

[edit] Goblins in Final Fantasy

In the Final Fantasy series of RPGs, goblins are synonymous with imps. In the earlier episodes of the series, they typically appear as the weakest enemy in the game. They are depicted as being small and skinny with browinish skin and pointy ears and nearly always wearing a stocking cap, owing more in appearance to a Scottish redcap than a Tolkien-style goblin. They also occasionally appear as a low level summoned creature. In Final Fantasy XI, they appear as one of the more intelligent species of Beastmen, occasionally living as merchants in cities and interacting with the people there. The more hostile Goblins are also known as some of the most annoying enemies in the game, frequently appearing at high levels in popular leveling zones, much to the chagrin of campers who must constantly avoid them.

[edit] Goblins in Everquest

In the MMORPG Everquest 2, goblins are portrayed as largely mischievous, primitive, fairly foolish creatures. Small and green, with large pointy ears and yellow eyes, they tend to look and sound as silly as they act. Gigglegibber Goblins run a series of gambling games throughout Norrath. Upon visiting their hideout during the 'Frostfell' season (Christmas 2005 special quest) it is revealed that in addition to this gambling game they are also attempting to - unsuccessfully - forge gold coins, and yet they have no intention spending any of this money, they simply wish to 'have' it. Most of their schemes are harmless, though often illegal. Not all goblins of Norrath are so benign, however, with some being evil, and even falling under the control of external dark magics.

[edit] Goblins in other computer games

Other computer games featuring goblins include Goblin Commandos, Dungeon Keeper 2, Ghost´n Goblins (Arcade), the MMORPG [ Tibia which has a complete entry for Goblins in its bestiary and the Gobliiins! series, in addition to games based on other works featuring goblins.

[edit] Goblins in Magic: the Gathering

In the collectible trading card game, Magic: The Gathering, goblins are a very popular and potent creature type. They tend to be red aligned creatures that come in large numbers, love rocks and have little to no sense of self preservation. They are often a source of humour within the game (for example, the flavour text of the spell Shock reads "I love lightning! It’s my best invention since the rock", attributed to the goblin weaponsmith Toggo). Their popularity and effectiveness is such that they have received more attention at the cost of other red flavoured creatures, such as dwarves and orcs.

[edit] Goblins in Yu-Gi-Oh

In the Yu-Gi-Oh trading card game there are a small number of Monsters identified as goblins which are depicted as green or light grey anthropoids and are classed either as warriors or fiends. Also there are several Spell and Trap cards with goblin in their names which normally have effects linked to card drawing or life point alteration. However it should be noted that as of 2005 there are few of these and they don't fit a particular deck type or theme. The most famous of these monsters, with the word goblin in its name, is Goblin Attack Force and its Toon counterpart.

[edit] Goblins in The Elder Scrolls

Throughout the franchise, including the 2006 "Oblivion", goblins have been used as an NPC class of monsters. The goblins featured in Oblivion are semisentient, diminutive greenskined barbarians. They range in power from the weak and cowardly "peon" goblins to the mighty goblin warlords.

[edit] Goblins in The Grey Griffin Books

In The Revenge of the Shadow King, the first book in The Grey Griffin books, goblins are dark faeries who make up the Shadow Kings Armies. They are divided into sub-species, the most dangerous being the Slayer Goblin.

[edit] Goblins in the Artemis Fowl Book Series

Goblins are fairies that are considered very stupid by other races. They are able to conjure fireballs (as Foaly points out, giving this power to such unintelligent creatures amounts to one of evolution's nasty tricks). Goblins are lucky if they can make friends, as they cannot cooperate with others. A group of them create the B'wa Kell, a mafia group that smuggles batteries for weaponery and started a rebellion that nearly destroyed Haven, the capital of the fairy people.

[edit] Sources:

  • British Goblins: Welsh Folk-lore, Fairy Mythology, Legends and Traditions by Wirt Sikes
  • Encyclopedia of Things That Never Were by Michael Page & Robert Ingpen
  • The Complete Encyclopedia of Elves, Goblins, and Other Little Creatures by Pierre Dubois
  • Goblins! and The Goblin Companion by Brain Froud

[edit] See also

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