The less glamorous cousin of the orc. Goblins are usually regarded as filthy, resourceful and down right mean. Tolkien’s goblins in The Hobbit are clearly malignant creatures that hang out in the darkness of caves and forests.
Apparently, goblins come in all shapes and sizes, but most often they are small and gruesome in some fashion. Their sharp teeth and craftiness are to be respected.
A close relative of the goblin is the Hobgoblin. They are, however, more of a friendly trickster, though no less to be wary of.
One of the Spider-Man’s greatest foes is the Green Goblin. A madman dressed up like a goblin prone to throwing explosive pumpkin bombs, and cruel acts of violence against the hero. A villain named the Hobgoblin also terrorizes the Spider-Man from time to time. Perhaps they should start a goblin band.
The movie Labyrinth has a goblin king named Jareth (played by the wonderful David Bowie). This proves that one does not have to be as ugly as a goblin to rule them. The goblins in the movie are delightful little puppets designed by Brian Froud, and brought to vivid life by Jim Henson and company. Froud’s goblins are grotesque but carry a certain whimsy about them that I find charming. Of course, the young girl trying to regain her baby brother from the clutches of these creatures would tend not to be swayed by such.
On Halloween night, ghosts and goblins run about the neighborhood asking for treats at each door or promising tricks otherwise. I am unsure how this association started, but feel alliteration to be the main culprit. However, it conjures a perfect picture of mischief and dread for a perfect autumn night.