Difference Between Goblin and Hobgoblin

Goblin vs Hobgoblin

Goblins and Hobgoblins are fictitious, mischievous characters that have been a part of folklore and folktales for a long time. As there has been no consistency while describing these troublesome creatures, people are always confused between a goblin and a hobgoblin. This article attempts to differentiate between these two fictitious characters based upon their appearance and habits.


In fairy tales, and also in other folklore, there is often description of tiny hairy creatures called goblins. These are just a few inches tall, fit to be labeled as dwarfs. Goblins have been credited with magical powers. In different places, goblins have been credited with different abilities and powers. Those who have seen harry Potter movies must be aware of a friendly but troublesome creature called goblin that appears all of a sudden doing mischief with the hero. In these movies, goblins are shown as greedy but clever creatures.


Hobgoblin is another fictitious creature often described in folklore. These are tiny creatures that look like humans and reside in human dwellings but are active only when humans are sleeping. They are seen doing menial work around the household and do not expect anything else other than food for their efforts. Hobgoblins have been a part of fairy tales from the past.

In the movie “The Lord of the Rings”, hobgoblins have been described as being bigger in size than goblins and having more powers than goblins. However, the author of the book, J R R Tolkein later realized his mistake that hobgoblins are not larger or more powerful than goblins and even rectified his mistake. Even in MMORPG of modern times, hobgoblins have been portrayed as being larger and stronger than goblins.


Goblin vs Hobgoblin

Goblin and hobgoblin are fictitious characters described in fairytales and folklore. Both creatures are described as having magical powers and being friendly but mischievous to human beings. The difference between the two creatures is dependent upon the culture and place where you come across them. While Tolkein has described hobgoblins as larger and stronger than goblins in The Lord of the Rings, the most popular of goblins have been the ones shown in Harry Potter movies who are small, green skinned creatures and are troublesome but clever.