Tolkien Gateway

Great Goblin

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John Howe - The Great Goblin.jpg
Great Goblin
Biographical Information
Date of deathT.A. 2941
Physical Description

The Great Goblin was the chief of the Goblins who dwelt in Goblin-town beneath the High Pass in the Misty Mountains. He was described as “tremendous” and had a huge head.[1]

In T.A. 2941[2] his warriors captured Thorin and Company when they were crossing the Misty Mountains and took refuge in a cave. When the Dwarves and Bilbo were hauled before the Great Goblin he questioned them regarding their intentions, while accusing them of being spies, thieves, murderers, and friends of Elves. When one of his guards showed the Great Goblin Thorin's sword Orcrist he howled with rage and rushed at Thorin with open mouth. At that moment all of the lights in the cave were extinguished and a flashing sword stabbed right through the Gobins' leader. Soon the company learned that it was Gandalf who killed the Great Goblin with his blade Glamdring.[1]

It was the death of the Great Goblin that tickled Beorn's fancy enough to gain the Company access to his hall and dinner. Once Beorn confirmed their tale he warmed up to true friendship and provided the party with aid, advice, and mounts to ride to the border of Mirkwood.[3]

Portrayal in Adapatations

1977: The Hobbit (1977 film):

In the animated version of The Hobbit, the Great Goblin was voiced by John Stephenson.

2012-3: The Hobbit films:

Barry Humphries has been cast as the "Goblin King".[4]

See Also


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Over Hill and Under Hill"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Queer Lodgings"
  4. Peter Jackson, "The Hobbit Casting Update" dated 19 June 2011, Facebook (accessed 23 December 2011)