Tolkien Gateway


Ron Chironna - Hobgoblins for MECCG

Hobgoblin was a name "for the larger kinds"[1][2] of Orcs found in Middle-earth in the Third Age. In the quest for Erebor, Gandalf warns Bilbo Baggins that the Grey Mountains are "simply stiff with goblins, hobgoblins, and orcs of the worst description".[3]


[edit] Other versions of the legendarium

The term appears only twice in the published writings on the legendarium (both in The Hobbit). It has been speculated that "the term perhaps, but doubtfully, refers to the large soldier-orcs known as Uruks"[4], possibly since Tolkien had not created the latter name by the time of his writing of The Hobbit.

In a 1971 letter to Roger Lancelyn Green, Tolkien commented that "the statement that hobgoblins were 'a larger kind' is the reverse of the original truth."[5]

[edit] Portrayals in Adaptations

1996, 1997: Middle-earth Collectible Card Game:

The card "Hobgoblins" was released in two editions: one for the expansion set Middle-earth: The Dragons (card art by Ron Chironna) and one for Middle-earth: The Lidless Eye (card art by Heather Hudson).

2018: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Hobgoblins are a breed of large, tusked Orc-kind found in the Grey Mountains.

[edit] External links

Legendary Races of Arda
 Animals:  Dumbledors · Gorcrows · Hummerhorns · Pards · Swans of Gorbelgod · Turtle-fish
Dragon-kind:  Great glow-worms · Sea-serpents · Spark-dragons · Were-worms
Evil Races:  Ettens · Giants · Gongs · Half-trolls · Hobgoblins · Ogres · Snow-trolls · Two-headed Trolls
Fairies and Sprites:  Dryads · Leprechauns/Leprawns · Mermaids · Sylphs · White cow
Other:  Badger-folk · Great beasts · Lintips · Mewlips · Nameless Things · Spectres
Individuals:  The Hunter · Lonely Troll · Man in the Moon · The Rider · River-woman · Tarlang · Tim


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, [Preface]
  2. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 24
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Queer Lodgings"
  4. "Hobgoblins", at Encyclopedia of Arda, as of 5 September 2010
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 319, (dated 8 January 1971)