Goblins, Hobgoblins, and Orcs

Discussion in '"The Hobbit"' started by Tulkas, Oct 16, 2001.

  1. Tulkas

    Tulkas Registered User

    When Bilbo and the Dwarves ask Gandalf if they have to go through the forest, or could they go around it? Gandalf then said they couldn't go south of it because of the Necromancer. Then he said north they would run into all kinds of goblins, hobgoblins, and orcs. What is the difference between the three?

    I've never heard of hobgoblins anywhere else, I've never remember hearing of orcsin The Hobbit, but in the LOTR orcs seem to replace the word orcs. What's the deal?
  2. Talierin

    Talierin Still here... sometimes

    Goblins, hobgoblins, orcs, they're all the same thing, I believe. Certain things in the Hobbit later got new names later on in LOTR, and some things got taken out. The goblins/orcs are a prime example, as are the Stone Giants.
  3. Dengen-Goroth

    Dengen-Goroth Dark Lord of Arda

    Goblins were supposedly less in build and weaker, many describe gollum as a hobgoblin. In a book it states that it is actually a contridiction. Hob is supposed to mean good, yet goblin is bad. So a battle between good and bad in a certain individual.
  4. Tulkas

    Tulkas Registered User

    What my first thought was, consisering the order they were stated, I though goblins were the smallest and the least dangerous (not to say goblins aren't deadly), orcs were the larger form of goblins, and hobgoblins were somewhere in between. But what I guess I neglected to consiser was that fact that many things chenged from The Hobbit to LOTR. Thank you for reminding me.
  5. Sting99

    Sting99 Registered User

    Goblins and Orcs are the same, however, HobGoblins are more of a so-called "commando-goblin". They are slightly larger, are more aggresive, and usualy lead goblins/orcs in battle.
  6. Greymantle

    Greymantle Registered User

    I agree pretty much with Sting. I also think the term "orc" was meant to include pretty much all of this nasty type of creature. Hobgoblins were supposed to be the larger, tougher goblins, so they would equate to the orcs we see in LotR that are especially large and tough.
  7. Tulkas

    Tulkas Registered User

    Are you sure about the hobgoblins being tougher? A little while after I posted this I heard the "hob" in the elven language (I think) means good (or some other positve meaning) and goblin, on the contrary means bad. I also heard that Gollum would be considered a hobgoblin, an orc-like creature, but not entirely. But I don't know thats why I posted this. I would really like to hear a debate on this.
  8. Cian

    Cian sylvan madman

    In the revised introductory note to The Hobbit JRRT tells us that he used Hobgoblin for the larger kinds of goblin, and that orc is usually translated goblin.

    Despite this sentence, the terms orc and goblin are used interchangeably. Goblin still appears in LotR ~ even when referring to large orcs, thus speaking against the theory that goblins were ultimately smaller than orcs.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2002
  9. Greymantle

    Greymantle Registered User

    "Goblin" is not an elvish word; therefore applying "hob-" to mean "good" wouldn't necessarily work.
    "Goblin" is a direct translation of "orc." All orcs are goblins, therefore; "hobgoblin" would not, in this case. be a technical term. Instead it's just a way of referring to larger orcs.
    The Uruk-hai are something else together. They aren't half-orcs (though there are half-orcs, I believe), but they are stronger than normal orcs. They think for themselves, they're not afraid of sunlight, and they are generally larger. I think they also walk similarly to Men, which brought up the confusion between the Uruks and the half-orcs.
  10. Tulkas

    Tulkas Registered User

    Yea Greymantle, I have to agree with that.
  11. Lantarion

    Lantarion no house

    I think that in the Hobbit there are many contradictory parts. Gandalf mentions something about getting a stone-giant to work for him or something; and in those days, when there was no such thing as modern fantasy literature, hobgoblins and goblins were used loosely, and orcs were not mentioned much at all. I think that Tolkien was building the entire story of Middle-earth when he was writing the Hobbit to a fine-toned point, so although many things are 'correct', or according to the places, events and people in the LotR, in the Hobbit, there are many almost cliché-like terms.
    In modern-day fantasy books, the terms 'orc', 'goblin' and 'hobgoblin' have evolved a lot, but to what level I don't know I've always seen the three like this:
    Orcs: shorter than Men, but a bit larger in build than most. Ugly, with almost no human features bar a nose, eyes, mouth and ears, relatively unlearned but evilly crafty.
    Goblins: More troll-like orcs= taller, but not much larger in build, and a bit more intelligent.
    Hobgoblins: the most humane of the three, IMO. I think they posess the most human-like features, and are more prone to courteousness and kindness than orcs. I like to think that maybe some 'hobgoblins' have turned against their larger and stupider relatives, and joined the Mannish lifestyle.
  12. Greymantle

    Greymantle Registered User

    "Goblin" is a simple translation of the Sindarin "Orch," or Orc. They're exactly the same thing.
  13. baggins

    baggins Registered User

    orcs are tougher than goblins and hobgoblins are deformed goblins

    thats how i pictured it
  14. Mount Doom

    Mount Doom Registered User

    So in the end what is up??? Orcs and goblins are the same.... And hob-goblins are taller, stronger, but deformed orcs (or goblins). Am I correct?:confused:
  15. ReadWryt

    ReadWryt Guest

    Oh great, why do I now have an unshakable mental image of Bilbo and the Dwarves cautiously walking into Mirkwood chanting "Goblins, Hobgoblins and Orcs, Oh My!...Goblins, Hobgoblins and Orcs, OH MY!"?
  16. Tulkas

    Tulkas Registered User

    Maybe in the Disney version they would.
  17. Tulidian

    Tulidian Registered User

    Goblins and Orcs

    I think this thread has already been asked, but are goblins and orcs the same thing? I always pictured them much differen't. Goblins, I thought, were smaller and had claw like hands. Orcs I thought of being bigger and more muscular than goblins. If they are the same thing, why did Tolkien in "The Hobbit" use the word goblin, and then in the rest of LotR use the word orc? I would appreciate any help on this subject.
  18. Telchar

    Telchar Someone out there?

    Might be beacuse The Hobbit was written for children while the LoTR is written for a more adult audince..
  19. Cian

    Cian sylvan madman

    Tolkien explained (in an intro note for The Hobbit):

    Orcrist = "goblin cleaver" fits that. JRRT later preferred orc to goblin, but still used "goblin" in the LotR (he had used both terms in an early mythology before The Hobbit was written).

    A couple LotR examples: the Prof uses "goblin" when referring to large orcs, and refers to Grishnákh as both an "orc" and a "goblin".
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2002
  20. Gandalf White

    Gandalf White Gone Missing

    That's interesting, because I, too, had always thought of them as different creatures.

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