Goblin-town Ruled by the Great Goblin

“Clap! Snap! the black crack! Grip, grab! Pinch, nab!
And down, down to Goblin-town! You go, may lad!”

The Hobbit C4

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TolkienCanon3Deep within the Misty Mountains lay the Goblin Tunnels. They consisted of a branching network of natural caves with tunnels dug by the Goblins connecting them loosely together. Near it’s center was a large open cave, where thousands of Goblins lived in what was called Goblin-town. The place was ruled by an over-large goblin with a huge head called the Great Goblin. This Goblin-chieftain was cruel, wicked and bad-hearted, as were all of his kind.

The goblins lived off the booty they collected in raids and from from travelers crossing the mountain passes, taking all their goods and using the captured as slaves. The goblins had a series of caves along the mountain passes, with secret doors out of which they would jump upon unwary travelers.

In the year 2941 of the Third Age, the Great Goblin was killed at the hand of Gandalf the Grey, with the sword Glamdring, which the Goblins called Beater, a sword that came out of Gondolin and was known to have slain many orcs in it’s time. The killing of the Great Goblin was the catalyst event the led the Goblins and Orcs of the Misty Mountains to march on Erebor to avenge their fallen Goblin chieftain.

TolkienLegend3There are many who believe that Sauron, in the guise of the Necromancer in Dol Guldur, was also behind the attack on Erebor, seeking to win its vast treasure hoard and control the North through it’s strategic location. The death of Smaug was already a blow to his plans and the destruction of the forces sent to the Battle the Five Armies intensified his desire to find the One Ring in order to gain control of Middle-earth. Many think the Battle of the Five armies was the first salvo in the War of the Ring, Sauron’s first test of the strength of his enemies in the North of Middle-earth.

The Company of Dwarves and the hobbit Bilbo on their way to Erebor, traveling across the Mountain Pass were captured by goblins in a cave they called The Front Porch!

GoblinTunnels1“It was a good thing that night that they had brought little Bilbo with them, after all. For, somehow, he could not go to sleep for a long while; and when he did sleep, he had very nasty dreams. He dreamed that a crack in the wall at the back of the cave got bigger and bigger, and opened wider and wider, and he was very afraid but could not call out or do anything but lie and look. Then he dreamed that the floor of the cave was giving way, and he was slipping – beginning to fall down, goodness knows where.
At that he woke up with a horrible start, and found that part of his dream was true. A crack had opened at the back of the cave, and was already a wide passage. He was just in time to see the last of the ponies’ tails disappearing into it. Of course he gave a very loud yell, as loud a yell as a hobbit can give, which is surprising for their size.
Out jumped the goblins, big goblins, great ugly-looking goblins, lots of goblins, before you could say ‘rocks and blocks.’ There were six to each dwarf, at least, and two even for Bilbo; and they were all grabbed and carried through the crack, before you could say ‘tinder and flint.’ But not Gandalf. Bilbo’s yell had done that much good. It had wakened him up wide in a splintered second, and when goblins came to grab him, there was a terrible flash like lightening in the cave, a smell like gunpowder, and several of them fell dead.”

From The Hobbit in the chapter ‘Over Hill and Under Hill.’


Down, down in Goblin-town the Dwarves and Bilbo were taken… and they were put before a goblin of huge size and girth!

GoblinTunnels2“There in the shadows on a large fat stone sat a tremendous goblin with a huge head, and armed goblins were standing around him carrying the axes and bent swords that they use. Now goblins are cruel, wicked, and bad-hearted. The make no beautiful things, but they make many clever ones. The can tunnel and mine as well as any but the most skilled dwarves, when they take the trouble, though they are usually untidy and dirty. Hammers, axes, swords, daggers, pickaxes, tongs, and also interments of torture, they make very well or get others people to make to their design, prisoners and slaves that have to work till they die for want of air and light. It is not unlikely  that they invented some of the machines that have since troubled the world, especially the ingenious devices for killing large numbers of people at once, or wheels and engines and explosions always delighted them, and also not working with their own hands more than they could help; but in those days and those wild parts they had not advanced (as it it called) so far.
They do not hate dwarves especially, no more then they hated everybody and everything, and particularity the orderly and prosperous; in some parts wicked  dwarves had even made alliances with them. But they had a special grudge against Thorin’s people, because of the war which you have heard mentioned, but which does not come into this tale; and anyway goblins don’t care who they catch. as long as it’s done smart and secret, and the prisoners are not able to defend themselves.”

From The Hobbit in the chapter ‘Over Hill and Under Hill.’


Gandalf appears in the nick of time to save Bilbo and the dwarves from torture and death.

GoblinTunnels3“Just at the moment all the lights in the cavern went out, and the great fire went poof! into a tower of blue glowing smoke, right up to the roof, that scattered piercing white sparks all among the goblins.
The yells and yammering, croaking, jibbering and jabbering; howls, growls and curses; shrieking and skriking, that followed were beyond description. Several  hundred wild cats and wolves being roasted slowly alive together would not have compared with it. The sparks were burning holes in goblins, and the smoke that now fell from the roof made the air too thick for even their eyes to see through. Soon they were falling over one another and rolling in heaps on the floor, biting and kicking and fighting as if they has all gone mad.
Suddenly a sword flashed in it’s own light. Bilbo saw it go right through the Great Goblin as he stood dumb-founded in the middle of his rage. He fell dead, and the goblin soldiers fled before the sword shrieking into the darkness.” 

From The Hobbit in the chapter ‘Over Hill and Under Hill.’


“It was lit by a great red fire in the middle, and by torches along the walls, and it was full of goblins!”


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 Posted by at 8:07 am