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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Goblins - What the Heck are They?

By John Morgan
Halloween Symbols


As a lifetime Halloween enthusiast, I have to come clean: I have never understood what the heck a goblin is. Oh sure, I have faked the funk enough: “Goblins, I know all there is about goblins! They love hanging out with ghosts and you don’t even want to get me started on their subspecies, the Hobgoblin!”

It is time to stop faking it until I make it. Today, I have decided to finally ferret out the little (they are little, aren’t they?) rascals. Let me do a quick Google search. Ah yes, here we go…"the term goblin is a collective noun for evil spirits like redcaps and bugbears.” Well, mystery solved then - this will be my shortest post to date.

(Note to self: If anyone asks me to explain redcaps or bugbears, I will just shake my head in pity, boldly state that they are goblins, put on a facial expression that conveys “what else could they possibly be?”, then turn and walk away in mild disgust).

As someone who currently is not much of a gamer, unless you count the occasional Spider Solitaire game while I am waiting for something to upload, I am guessing that I might be in the minority in my goblin quandary. Especially since we are now living in a post “Dungeons and Dragons” and World of Warcraft” age.

Maybe I am suffering from a mild form of amnesia. I have always admired the Lord of the Rings, it’s quite possible that goblins were thoroughly described and chronicled throughout Tolkien’s classic series. After all, just by reading the series and watching the trilogy, I have through osmosis acquired an understanding of trolls, elves, and ring-wraiths and the like. If pressed, I would hazard that the LOTR character Gollum is probably the most goblin-like. Yet, I would not be in the least surprised, if someone admonished me by definitively declaring that Gollum was a redcap, bugbear, or hobgoblin - whatever the heck they are?

OK, so let me see if I can at least get a handle on Hobgoblins. Let just go to Wikipedia. Here it is: "Hobgoblins –seem to be small, hairy little men who—like their close relative, brownies”…STOP! STOP right there! Is someone messing with me? How come every definition of a goblin or goblin relative is defined as something resembling an even a more obscure mythical creature?

Great, it goes on to state that Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream character Puck is a hobgoblin. Now I am even more confused, wasn’t Puck a half goat, half devil looking thing like Phil from Disney’s Hercules?

At this point, I no longer give a @#%& jack-o-lantern what they are! It is time for me to break this infinite vague definition chain and just proclaim that all I know about goblins and their evil spirited kin is that they are now my least favorite Halloween characters!


  1. Very funny written =) Halloween is not really celebrated where I come from, but I bet it´s great though!
    In that sense - Happy Halloween =)

  2. Forget my confusion about Goblins and Hobgoblins now I am really confused. Your wonderful blog - that has a delicious looking pumpkin soup recipe - has your name starting with a C but you comment link has it starting with a K. Is it possible that they do celebrate Halloween in the country where you are from but they just filed it under a different letter of the alphabet?

    I haven't read all the terms and conditions of blogger, but I am pretty sure the powers at Google must have granted me the authority to offer you holiday immunity status here in the United States. Therefore - and for the sole purpose of celebrating Halloween you understand - I am officially changing your country of origin to the United States. Although I guess technically there are about 14 other countries that celebrate Halloween so if you would like I could talk with the Halloween ambassadors in Korea or Czechoslovakia to see if I could broker some kind of holiday prisoner exchange. What holiday are you willing to give up?

    Regardless, thank you for your kind comments and for your Happy Halloween sentiment. You are always welcome to celebrate Halloween here anytime.

    PS - Have fun why you shop and chew gum!

  3. Funny post! Me too, I didn't know about goblins until I read about them here. Cool blog! ヅ

    P.S. Thank you so much for the visit on our site. Glad to follow you back thru GFC#16. ヅ

    Happy blogging! ヅ

  4. Thanks! I now believe that Goblins are - and have been for centuries - creatures invented to help authors overcome writer's block.

    It's their vagueness and virtual indefinable nature that allows Goblins to fill in any plot void. Just start writing about Goblins, no one will question you as an authority on the subject, because to do so would unmask one's own ignorance on the matter. Goblins make the perfect smoke screen!

    Anyway, thank you for coming by. You both look like you manage to have fun! Amazed at the access to animals you get at the zoo - I can't believe you were able to hold a Cheetah.

    Still only a few weeks into blogging and I must confess I am a bit overwhelmed at the globalness and scale of the blogging community. I can randomly surf sites for hours and it doesn't help that I become interested in practically everything, now if I can only put a tenth of that effort and dedication into writing a post for my own blog!