History and DescriptionThe name "Goblin" is used in The Hobbit to replace usage of the word "Orc," except for when describing larger Goblins. When Melkor was taken in chains to Valinor, the Goblins and other foul creatures were forced to flee from Angband. Their kingdoms spread throughout many mountains of Middle-earth; notable cities include Goblin-town near the High Pass above Rivendell, the Goblin-capital at Mount Gundabad, and the former Dwarf-kingdom of Moria.
They are similar to orcs in appearance, but are slightly smaller, sometimes hunched over or appearing to walk and run with limps. Their blood is black in color, as with all orc breeds which is normal. They also seem to be "slimy", as seen when The Fellowship is attacked in Moria. They are seen as slaves by larger orcs breeds. The Goblins are usually shorter in height and skinnier in weight. Tolkien never gives the exact height or weight, though they look about the size of hobbits, or possibly just a little bigger.
- "Now goblins are cruel, wicked, and bad-hearted. They make no beautiful things, but they make many clever ones. They can tunnel and mine as well as any but the most skilled dwarves, when they take the trouble, though they are usually untidy and dirty. Hammers, axes, swords, daggers, pickaxes, tongs, and also instruments of torture, they make very well, or get other people to make their design, prisoners and slaves that have to work till they die for want of air and light. It is not unlikely that they invented some of the machines that have since troubled the world, especially the ingenious devices for killing large numbers of people at once, for wheels and engines and explosives always delighted them, and also not working with their own hands more than they could help: but in those days and those wilder parts they were not as advanced (as it is called) so far."
- —The Hobbit; Over Hill and Under Hill
In the The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth game-series the goblins have the ability to scale walls, as well as build tunnels which can allow them to move their troops around great distances.
Weapons and armorGoblin weapons are varied and often described as scavenged and of poor quality, yet deadly. Their arsenal includes scimitars, arrows and shields, often coated in poison to continue damaging their enemies after the initial blow. They also wield the weapons of previous victims, although they will not touch many Elf-weapons due to the power in them. Their own armor is made in a crude fashion and is often described as rusty, but strong enough to protect the wearer from the unceasing skirmishes amongst the different Goblin clans and the occasional meetings with other races. The armor is often segmented or otherwise designed for mobility, allowing the Goblins to scale walls and cliffs with ease.
Fellowship of the Ring (movie)In the Peter Jackson's movie of The Fellowship of the Ring, the Goblins have overrun the dwarven colony in Moria long before the events of the movie. When the Fellowship passes through the abandoned Dwarf city of Dwarrowdelf, Pippin accidentally alerts the Goblins to their presence, causing a fight to break out in the Tomb of Balin. In this instance, their main weapon appears to be a Cave Troll, which has to be brought down by the whole Fellowship, but the entire force is wiped out by the end of the battle.
However, the skirmish allows a much larger force of Goblins to close in on the Fellowship, which flees to the Bridge of Khazad-dûm. Unfortunately for them, even more Goblins intercept them in one of Dwarrowdelf's great halls, emerging from cracks in the floor and holes in the ceiling to aid their comrades.Trapped in a near-literal sea of Goblins, the Fellowship could only prepare for death, but the evil creatures suddenly paused as a menacing roar echoed in the distance. As a distant hall lit with a fiery orange glow, the Goblins inexplicably fled in all directions, leaving the Fellowship to wonder at their fortune - as well as at what was coming next: Durin's Bane.
The Fellowship of the Ring (book)In the book however, they are portrayed as much more effective fighters. It was a Goblin chieftain who stabbed Frodo, rather than the Cave Troll in the movie, and Sam was also injured by another Goblin. Haldir tells the Fellowship that the goblins will track for long distances, even during the day, to avenge the death of a chieftain.
The Two Towers (movie)
One of the Uruk-Hai in the Peter Jackson film, Lurtz, was portrayed as the leader or captain of the party who actually killed Boromir. In Peter Jackson's film, four goblins look like the uruk-hai, yet they have the curving blades not associated with uruks. The larger-breed of Orcs seemingly have little use for the sun-hating mountain goblins, except maybe as cannon-fodder in battle.
The Two Towers (book)In the book of The Two Towers, the goblins go to Isengard to report to Saruman telling him that the Fellowship passed through Moria. Saruman then sends Uglúk and Uruk-Hai from Isengard, orcs from Mordor and goblins from Moria to attack the Fellowship on Amon Hen. The Goblins go to get revenge for the chieftain killed by Aragorn in Moria. They also retreat with the Uruk-Hai who have Merry and Pippin as prisoners and get to Fangorn Forest. However, when the orcs are trying to calculate how much further they have to travel it ends in a minor battle. The goblins then retreat in different directions; some flee back to Moria while others head for Fangorn. It is unknown exactly how many escaped and how many died. Legolas also finds four goblins dead at Amon Hen.
List of Goblin units & Heroes in Games & Movies
- Goblin Warrior
- Goblin Archers
- Half-Troll Marauders
- Mountain Giants
- Goblin Spider Riders
- Wildmen of Dunland
- Corsairs of Umbar
- Half-Troll Swordsmen
- Fire Drake Brood