Feb 16, 2010

Goblins 2

Things started out pretty rocky when I was drawing last night. I think in my rush to solidify my bat/salamander/lizard/rat design, I lost track of what I liked about the Goblins and lost a lot of the charm. The Hobbit is a kids book, more or less, and so it's important that even the villains have enough charm about them to intrigue the reader even if they're a little scary. These Goblins sing, mind you. Two songs. Two different songs on two different occasions. The Goblins have four scenes in the book, and in two of those scenes they are singing. If you met a Goblin in The Hobbit, there would be a 50-50 shot it would sing you a song, is what I'm saying.

Thankfully the last drawing (which is about 1/4 the size of the others) recaptured some of what I wanted in the Goblins and I was able to end on that.

I mentioned before that I have little hats on all my Goblins. I think it's interesting that every culture has some sort of Goblin creature, each with their own quirks. I've adopted the redcap mythology and given it to my Goblins here; that is, because Goblins are constantly spilling blood (enemies, their own, whatever), they would stain their hats in it as a sign of hierarchy. The darker and redder a Goblin's hat, the higher up in the tribe they are, with the Great Goblin wearing the darkest and bloodiest hat. I guess it would be sort of brown/maroon, since Goblin blood is black.

I imagine little Goblin children as being given a white or burlap cap and being taught to hammer nails through boards and sent on their little way. As they grew they would develop more sophisticated weapons (like in the previous post), but always with bloodletting in mind. Hooks, spears, cleavers, and picks are Goblin weapons, along with sharp stones and three edged daggers. Goblin armor is haphazard, as they care little for defense and their numbers are many.

It's mentioned in Lord of the Rings that the Orcs (Goblins) are brutalized and ruined elves. While I love what this gives to the Tolkien universe, it's simply not mentioned in the Hobbit, and so I'll be ignoring it. Similarly unmentioned is the origin of Gollum as a river-Hobbit --he is simply Gollum, small and dark.


  1. Wow they kind of look like ancient Chinese warriors :D ...except there goblins!
    I completely forgot about Gollum,and Smaug for that matter! Looking forward to the next illustration!

  2. Sam I am loving reading the thought process behind all this. And that last drawing is fantastic, I definitely want to see more of that.

  3. I always imagined Goblins as the cuter, more comical version of Orcs.

    That fork-hand contraption is amazing!