Difference between Goblin and Hobgoblin

Both goblins and hobgoblins are mythical creatures that feature prominently in many fairy tales and in folklore, and much like their names, there is little to no difference between the two. As far as appearance is concerned, they are both short hairy looking men with magical powers, and are frequently seen as creatures that enjoy playing tricks on human beings. However, there are some minor differences between the two.

Goblins are known to be excessively greedy, and have a strong desire for money – in addition, they covet precious items like jewels, and have a powerful need to hoard wealth. Hobgoblins, however, have no such traits. The capacity and desire for creating mischief is also different – while goblins are known for harbouring malicious feelings towards human beings, hobgoblins are less evil, and instead of looking to harm, their mischief and tricks are carried out more in the spirit of fun. like practical jokes. Hobgoblins are also known for helping human beings out secretly with small tasks and chores – however, this is not something goblins are known to do.

Aside from these few factors, however, there really isn’t much of a difference between these two creatures. Some differences in their sizes and powers have been experimented with in books and movies; however, these differences are believed to be inaccurate.


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    These small, mythical, and hairy creatures are found in many fairy and folk tales. These creatures are believed to possess supernatural powers, and while they are only a few inches tall and can be labelled as dwarfs, they have the capacity to wreak havoc upon humans and other beings. Featuring in many different stories, these goblins are credited with various, distinct powers. Goblins are usually characterised as shy and mischievous beings who do not like to be out in public and find pleasure in living in hiding from the outside world. Goblins have gained prominence in popular culture recently, where they have featured in movies like Harry Potter. Such movies, in which these goblins look life-like, thanks to modern advancements in film technology, have helped in defining these creatures in greater detail. While goblins are known to be mischievous and greedy, they are also very clever beings.

    Image courtesy: shadesofeberron.wikispaces.com

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    Hobgoblins are mythical creatures which are tiny and hairy in appearance. These creatures live in areas which are populated by humans, but prefer to come out when the human beings are asleep. Instead of causing any harm to the sleeping humans, these creatures are often found doing menial work around the house, and require nothing more than food as a reward for their services. These creatures make an effort to help humans, and often finish the chores that are left unattended. They are indeed helpers, but could get offended if you do not appreciate them in the proper way; e.g., leaving them money or gold could be taken as an insult, and consequently they could either stop doing work around the house or start destroying what you manage to complete.

    Although they were initially thought to be the same, J R R Tolkien's "The Hobbit" makes a distinction between goblins and hobgoblins, where the latter are depicted as bigger in size, with more powers. After realising his mistake, J R R Tolkien rectified it, which means that hobgoblins are neither bigger nor more powerful than goblins.

    Image courtesy: deviantart.net

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