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Time’s are tough. I think we can all agree on that. The global economy is suffering and so are people. When people can’t pay their bills, bad things happen, namely goblins coming to your house and destroying you. If there’s nobody to get in the way, they can loot your house at will!

Goblins have long been a favourite of mine, though they are tremendously under appreciated in storytelling and lore. You see them sometimes as an afterthought in fantasy literature, never really at center stage. Orcs, on the other hand, get all the attention in the world. There was a series of books my brother had picked up at one point that told a story entirely based around them and painted them as misunderstood rather than outright evil. I want to see that sort of treatment for goblins.

You seem to get two types of goblins in literature. Evil, horrendous, weak and cowardly goblins, or the Brian Froud sort of goblins, small, mischievous, and fun-loving. I would argue that Froud’s goblins are just faeries in disguise. Reprehensible!

Tolkien, for whatever reason, seemed a bit confused about where goblins fit into his own setting; surprising for a man so thorough in almost every other regard. He often used the terms orc and goblin independently, as though they were separate races, but then states in other parts of his books that they were one in the same. I’m not sure if anyone’s done a thorough study of this, but if they have, I am legitimately curious, no matter how ridiculous the matter is.

Some of the most fun goblins can be found in the Warhammer universe. Warhammer is a fantasy tabletop game which set the tone for a lot of other games (the notorious World of Warcraft included) and books. Their goblins are small and weak, subservient to their orc cousins, but smart, quick, and clever. I always thought that sort of synergistic relationship was pretty interesting.

Part of the fun of folktales and myths is that you can impress your own ideas upon them with relative ease. These monsters and legends are pretty widely recognized and drawing on something like that as inspiration for a story or a joke is a lovely thing. It can be difficult to do right, but when it happens, it’s magic.

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