This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by professional essay writers.

The Notion of Goblins

downloadDownload printPrint

Table of contents

  1. Physical Appearance
  2. Powers and Abilities
  3. Heritage

The Goblin is one of the classic monsters of myth. More a class of creature than a single creature itself, it draws from myths across the world. While the classic goblin is fairly easy to describe, the many sub-species of goblin make it the type of creature that can fit into virtually any story.

Physical Appearance

One of the real issues with describing the appearance of goblins is that there are several types of goblin. Depending on where in the world you are and when the story was written, goblins can range from the terrifyingly inhuman to monsters who are only differentiated by a few minor features. There are dozens of different types of builds and bodies, though there are at least a few things that tend to be true. In most cases, goblins are short. They’re not tiny like fairies, but they are generally shorter than the average man. Most goblins tend to be quite ugly, bordering on monstrous. They have deformed features, often accompanied by being strangely hairy or having oddly-textured skin. Goblins in modern fiction tend to have long, grasping fingers that might end in claws. Most goblins also have decidedly inhuman eyes.

Powers and Abilities

The powers and abilities of a goblin tend to be related to the type of goblin in the story. There are actually fairly few universal constants in terms of power, with the exception of the fact that they can be relatively stealthy. Goblins are more likely to be active at night or in hidden places, but some myths do tend to give them the ability to turn invisible at will. As general trickster monsters, some versions of goblins may also have access to limited magic and the ability to change shape at will. In more modern tales, goblins tend to be deceptively strong for their size. They are easily able to kidnap and subdue adults, though they often are seen to prey on children and livestock. Goblins may have a certain affinity for gold or for treasure, though they can also be bound by promises and contracts. Goblins are such a diverse type of monster that it’s safe to attribute virtually any type of behavior or power to these creatures.


Goblins are a generally European invention, with the bulk of modern folklore coming out of present-day Germany. There are, however, goblin-like creatures described virtually everywhere in the world. They tend to work well as generic evil spirits and creatures, the kind of monsters that can be held responsible for everything from simple mischief to truly horrifying acts. These are the monsters that are used to explain events that are generally too horrifying the blame on man or nature. Goblins have a tendency to pop up in rural areas, especially in those that are near forests. They represent an overall fear of the dark and unknown, with the tacit admission that humans can’t necessarily fight back against those things that can’t be seen. Even the more benevolent goblins in folklore have tended to have a mean streak, so they’re also a good example of myths surrounding the importance of keeping one’s word and upholding contracts. Because goblin myths are so ubiquitous, though, they have the relatively uncommon benefit of being able to fit into virtually any type of myth framework.

Goblins have become a go-to in modern fantasy media. They are often the rank-and-file monsters, though many authors have supplanted them with the historically-similar orcs. Works that feature goblins include, but are not limited to: The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien, Snuff by Terry Pratchett, The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, World of Warcraft – Magic: The Gathering – Fable – Labyrinth – Warhammer

Remember! This is just a sample.

You can get your custom paper by one of our expert writers.

Get custom essay

121 writers online


Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

Your time is important. Let us write you an essay from scratch

experts 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help you just now

delivery Starting from 3 hours delivery

Find Free Essays

We provide you with original essay samples, perfect formatting and styling

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

The Notion Of Goblins. (2020, April 30). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 30, 2023, from
“The Notion Of Goblins.” GradesFixer, 30 Apr. 2020,
The Notion Of Goblins. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 30 Mar. 2023].
The Notion Of Goblins [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2020 Apr 30 [cited 2023 Mar 30]. Available from:
copy to clipboard

Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts


    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!


    Hi there!

    Are you interested in getting a customized paper?

    Check it out!
    Don't use plagiarized sources. Get your custom essay. Get custom paper

    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!

    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now