Goblin: A Mysterious and Mischievous Creature in Folklore and Fiction

Goblin: A Mysterious and Mischievous Creature in Folklore and Fiction

A goblin is a small, grotesque, monstrous creature that appears in the folklore of multiple European cultures. First attested in stories from the Middle Ages, they are ascribed conflicting abilities, temperaments, and appearances depending on the story and country of origin, ranging from mischievous household spirits to malicious, bestial thieves.

Some of the most famous goblins in literature include Rumpelstiltskin, who spun straw into gold for a miller’s daughter but demanded her firstborn child in return; Gollum, who possessed the One Ring in The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien; and Dobby, a loyal and brave house-elf who served Harry Potter in Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.

Goblins have also been popularized in other media, such as movies, video games, comics, and television shows. For example, Goblin (also known as Guardian: The Lonely and Great God) is a South Korean television series starring Gong Yoo as Kim Shin, a cursed immortal goblin who seeks his bride to end his life. The series aired on tvN from December 2, 2016, to January 21, 2017, and became a cultural phenomenon in South Korea.

Goblins are fascinating creatures that have captured the imagination of many people for centuries. They are often portrayed as cunning, greedy, and mischievous, but sometimes also as helpful, loyal, and heroic. Whether they are friend or foe, goblins are sure to add some magic and mystery to any story.

One of the possible origins of the word “goblin” is the Latin term “gobelinus”, which was used by a 12th-century French chronicler to describe a mischievous spirit that haunted the town of Évreux. Another possible source is the Germanic word “kobold”, which means “household spirit”. In some cultures, goblins are considered to be a type of fairy or elf, while in others they are distinct from them.

Goblins vary in appearance and behavior depending on the region and the legend. Some common traits that goblins share are their small stature, their ugly and distorted features, their fondness for gold and treasure, and their trickery and malice. Goblins are often associated with caves, mines, forests, mountains, and swamps, where they hide from humans and cause mischief. Some goblins are also known to kidnap children, steal livestock, spoil food, and damage property.

However, not all goblins are evil or harmful. Some goblins are benevolent or neutral, and may even help humans in exchange for gifts or favors. For instance, the brownies of Scotland and England are goblins that perform household chores at night, but only if they are treated with respect and kindness. The hobgoblins of English folklore are similar to brownies, but more prankish and less helpful. The tengu of Japanese folklore are goblins that can shape-shift into human or animal forms, and can be either friendly or hostile to humans.

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