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"We are talking about a different breed of being. Dealings between wizards and goblins have been fraught for centuries ... There has been fault on both sides, I would never claim that wizards have been innocent. However, there is a belief among some goblins, and those at Gringotts are perhaps most prone to it, that wizards cannot be trusted in matters of gold and treasure, that they have no respect for goblin ownership."
Bill Weasley on the mindset of goblins[src]

Goblins were a highly intelligent race of small magical humanoid beings with long fingers and feet that coexisted with the wizarding world. Their diet consisted of meat, roots, and fungi. Goblins conversed in a language known as Gobbledegook, and were adept metalsmiths notable for their silverwork; they even minted coins for wizarding currency. Due to their skills with money and finances, they controlled the wizarding economy to a large extent and ran Gringotts Wizarding Bank.[4]

Goblins had their own type of magic and could do magic without a wand. They were represented by the Goblin Liaison Office of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures in the British Ministry of Magic. Goblins were considered to be inferior by many wizards, who foolishly believed that the goblins were comfortable with that arrangement.


Physical appearance[]

Goblins were short and fair-skinned, as they spent very little time outside. They had very long fingers and feet, dome-shaped heads and were slightly larger than house-elves. Griphook, one of the hundreds of goblins working at Gringotts, had a bald head, pointed nose, and pointed ears. Some had dark and slanted eyes. Their eyes had no whites.[6] Some goblins wore pointed hats.[4]


Harry Potter: "Wizards have banks?"
Rubeus Hagrid: "Just the one. Gringotts. Run by goblins."
Harry Potter: "Goblins?"
Rubeus Hagrid: "Yeah — so yeh'd be mad ter try an' rob it, I'll tell yeh that. Never mess with goblins, Harry."
Harry Potter and Rubeus Hagrid discussing goblins[src]
Gringotts goblin played by Andy Herd

A goblin employed at Gringotts

Goblins were extremely clever and over the years had dealt with wizard-kind effectively. They were still subservient in the minds of most wizards, but they had established themselves as a vital part of wizarding society. The goblins ran Gringotts, the wizarding bank. Therefore, they controlled the wizarding economy to a large extent.[4]

Goblins were extremely clever and more than able to stand up to wizards. The fact that the wizarding population treated them poorly was evidence of the severe injustice built into wizard culture. Ironically, the Fountain of Magical Brethren in the Atrium of the Ministry of Magic showed a goblin, along with a house-elf and a centaur, gazing admiringly at a witch and wizard.[7]

Apart from their cleverness with money and finances, goblins were also very capable metalsmiths. Their silverwork was well known and prized (Sirius Black's wealthy family had dishes which were 'finest fifteenth-century goblin-wrought silver, embossed with the Black family crest').[8] When Rubeus Hagrid visited the Giants, one of the presents he brought was a goblin-wrought helmet which was described as "indestructible".[9] Goblins minted the Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts used in the Wizarding world; each coin was stamped with a serial number identifying the goblin who cast it. They were also able to tell the difference between genuine and counterfeit, as Griphook easily discerned the Sword of Gryffindor,[10] while Leprechaun gold couldn't fool them.[11]

It is possible that part-goblin Filius Flitwick had inherited such cleverness since he was in Ravenclaw. He had also demonstrated such intelligence on many occasions, such as during the Battle of Hogwarts, with his successful charms work.


Ragnuk the First was the king of the goblins during the lifetime of Godric Gryffindor. As the king of the goblins was also their finest silversmith, he was commissioned by Gryffindor to forge a sword of pure goblin's silver, with rubies set into the hilt. By the time Ragnuk had finished the sword, he liked it so much that he sought to steal it back from Gryffindor. He sent a group of his subjects to retrieve the sword, but they were all fought off by Gryffindor. A legend persisted in the goblin community that Gryffindor had stolen the sword.[6]

Gringotts Wizarding Bank[]

"Gringotts is the safest place in the world fer anything yeh want ter keep safe — 'cept maybe Hogwarts."
— Gringotts' top notch security[src]

The emblem of Gringotts Wizarding Bank, which employed goblins

Gringott was a celebrated goblin who founded Gringotts Wizarding Bank in 1474. For the Bank's founding and presumable management, Gringott was featured on a Chocolate Frog Card.[12]

Partway down Diagon Alley, near its intersection with Knockturn Alley, stood an imposing snow-white marble building: Gringotts Wizarding Bank. "Towering over the other shops", it was the place where British witches and wizards stored their money and other valuables, in vaults miles below ground. The vaults were heavily guarded.[4][5]

The centuries-old bank was run by goblins, and they alone knew the secrets of the twisting underground passages and the enchantments (and creatures) in place to defend against intruders. The goblins had a code that forbade them to speak of the bank's secrets and would consider it "base treachery" to break any part of that code. Dragons were said to guard the bank's high-security vaults — a rumour that was later confirmed as true.[5]

It is unknown if Gringotts was the only bank in the wizarding world. Rubeus Hagrid said it was the only wizard bank,[4] but it isn't clear if he meant in Britain, or in the wizarding world as a whole. It is known, however, that the bank at least had dealings in Egypt, where Bill Weasley worked as a Curse-Breaker as of 1993.[13]


Main article: Goblin Rebellions
Urg the Unclean

Urg the Unclean, a goblin activist who led some Goblin Rebellions

Throughout the history of the wizarding world, there had been rebellions where the goblins had fought against discrimination and prejudice. They were still considered subservient in the minds of most wizards, and they were forbidden by the Ministry from carrying wands, which had led to deep-seated resentment. During the 16th century, Yardley Platt was a serial killer of goblins.[14]

These rebellions were most prevalent in the 17th and 18th centuries. One rebellion, in 1612, took place in the vicinity of Hogsmeade; an unidentified inn was used as headquarters for the rebellion. The rebellions had been described as "bloody and vicious". The names of the rebels tended to run along the lines of "Bodrod the Bearded" and "Urg the Unclean", according to Ron Weasley. According to the Daily Prophet, even today there were subversive goblin groups who worked in secret against the Ministry, although the validity of these claims is uncertain.[15]

Ranrok's Goblin Rebellion

The Goblin Rebellion led by Ranrok

The reasons for starting some of the varied Goblin Rebellions included all but one of the following (according to the 3rd W.O.M.B.A.T. test, all but one of the following were true): an allegation by Ragnuk the First that Godric Gryffindor stole his sword; the pursuit and imprisonment of Ug the Unreliable, who was peddling leprechaun gold; the accidental death of Nagnok, Gringotts Wizarding Bank goblin, at the hands of an untrained security troll sent by the Ministry of Magic; imprisonment of the notoriously violent Hodrod the Horny-Handed, who attempted to kill three wizards; the public ducking in the village pond by a gang of young wizards of goblin activist Urg the Unclean; and the Ministry of Magic decree of 1631 preventing magical beings other than wizards and witches from carrying a wand.[16]

Wizarding Wars[]

The goblins suffered their share of losses during the first rise of Lord Voldemort in the 1970s. A family living near Nottingham had been murdered by Voldemort. Bill Weasley had been approaching the goblins, appealing to their sense of belonging to the wizarding community. This proved problematic, however, because a Ministry official, Ludo Bagman, swindled a group of goblins out of a large amount of gold at the Quidditch World Cup in the summer of 1994,[11] leading the goblins to distrust both sides and become neutral during the war.[17]

In the aftermath of the trio's successful robbery of the Lestrange Vault in 1998, Voldemort personally murdered many goblins present in the bank in fury and to eliminate witnesses of those who knew of his cup Horcrux.[18]

Human relations[]

"Gold, filthy gold! We cannot live without it, yet I confess I deplore the necessity of consorting with our long-fingered friends."
Travers's distaste for goblins[src]
Goblin jazz singer

A female goblin singing jazz in The Bling Pig in 1926

Despite this troubled history, they had established themselves as a vital part of wizarding society. Being in charge of Gringotts, they controlled the wizarding economy to a large extent. Apart from their cleverness with money and finances, goblins were also very capable metalsmiths. Their silverwork was well known and prized. Sirius Black's wealthy family had dishes which were "finest fifteenth-century goblin-wrought silver, embossed with the Black family crest".[8] When Hagrid visited the giants, one of the presents he brought was a goblin-wrought helmet which was described as "indestructible".[9] At her wedding to Bill, Fleur Delacour wore a goblin-made tiara owned by the Weasley's Auntie Muriel.[19]

Goblins minted the Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts used in the wizarding world; each coin was stamped with a serial number identifying the goblin who cast it. Perhaps the most famous goblin-made artefact was the Sword of Gryffindor.[6]

Gringotts Goblins

Goblins working with wizarding currency at Gringotts

There were rumours, almost certainly unfounded, that Cornelius Fudge was plotting ways to wrestle control of the money supply and the economy from the goblins while in office. Ludo Bagman, got on the wrong side of a group of goblins when he swindled them out of a large amount of gold at the Quidditch World Cup in the summer of 1995.[11] This exacerbated the anti-Ministry feeling, which made it difficult for Bill Weasley who was tasked with the job of trying to persuade the goblins to side with wizards against Voldemort.[17]

Harry-potter-gringotts 320

Several Goblins of Gringotts

When the Death Eaters started rising in power, people feared the goblins would have joined Voldemort, as did other oppressed such as werewolves and giants. However, this did not happen, as Voldemort even murdered a Goblin family near Nottingham, leading to them standing at a neutral point.[17] Death Eater Travers even made it clear he disliked the goblins as a whole, and only tolerated them for their ability to maintain the wizarding currency in check.[18]

Goblins could use magic without the aid of a wand, although they were insulted by the refusal of wizards to allow them to use wands. In turn, goblins concealed the secrets of their magic from wizards. Their weaponry and armour were nearly indestructible when created and had their kinds of magical properties.

Wizard jobs at Gringotts[]


Bill Weasley worked at Gringotts Wizarding Bank as a Curse-Breaker

There seemed to be several jobs available at Gringotts for wizards, in addition to those positions held by goblins, though they were largely behind-the-scenes. Bill Weasley took a job as a Curse-Breaker, hunting treasure in Egypt after his graduation from Hogwarts. The job was described in a pamphlet available to Hogwarts students.[20]

When he wanted to do work for the Order of the Phoenix, Bill transferred to a desk job in England to be near home. That same year, Fleur Delacour took a job at Gringotts as well, to improve her English, though she only worked part-time. There also seemed to be a full-time security force that was comprised of wizards, and that rushed to the scene when the Lestranges vault was broken into. They also employed Dragon Feeders, a job with a high mortality rate, at 7 Galleons per week.[5]

Goblin values[]

"To a goblin, the rightful and true master of any object is the maker, not the purchaser. All goblin-made objects are, in goblin eyes, rightfully theirs."
— Explanation of goblin notions of payment and ownership[src]
Griphook dh

Griphook, a goblin who believed the Sword of Gryffindor belonged to its goblin makers

Overall, goblins' idea of payment and repayment were not the same as humans. Goblins disliked theft but used a different definition of the word. By goblin standards, the maker of an item, not the purchaser, was the rightful owner; the item was required to be returned to its maker after the death of the purchaser. Goblins believed that the wizard paying for a goblin-made artefact was merely renting it, not owning it. Thus it would, in their eyes, be of absolute necessity for each new owner to pay the maker individually to possess the item to reset the cycle of ownership. Goblins considered the passing of an item from one wizard or witch to another without further payment to its maker "little more than theft", as Bill Weasley put it.[6]

Goblins also held the debt to extremes, as they hunted down Ludo Bagman after he lost a bet with them, and even though they took everything of value from him after he cheated them with leprechaun gold, they still hounded him due to it being not enough to cover his debt.[11] When Bagman ran out on his final loss against the goblins, they refused to side with the humans due to this cheat.

Known goblins[]

Goblin(s) Notes
Alguff the Awful A goblin known for being particularly foul-smelling, who attempted to sell vials of his sweat for Dungbomb production.[12]
Belgruff the Bludgeoner Originally a peaceful member of the goblin rights movement, but was corrupted by power and became militant after associating with Ranrok.[21]
Bogrod An employee at Gringotts.[5]
Bodrig the Boss-Eyed Spokesgoblin at the Brotherhood of Goblins.
Burgock An employee at Gringotts.[22]
Clever goblin An employee at Gringotts.
Eargit the Ugly The goblin representative at the 14th century of the Wizard's Council.[12]
Filius Flitwick's goblin ancestor A distant ancestor of Filius Flitwick.
Goblin killed by Sebastian Sallow Sebastian Sallow used the Imperius Curse to force this goblin to fatally stab himself with his own sword in order to protect his sister.[21]
Gnarlak American goblin, owner of the speakeasy, The Blind Pig.
Gornuk An employee at Gringotts.
Gringott Founder of Gringotts Wizarding Bank.
Gringotts Guard A security guard who worked in the oldest sections of the bank.[21]
Gringotts Head Goblin Employee and head at Gringotts.
Griphook An employee at Gringotts.[4]
Grodbik A young trusted guard of Ranrok, said to be outspoken.[21]
Lodgok A metal trader and younger brother of goblin supremacy extremist, Ranrok. He was disillusioned with Ranrok's mission and defected after meeting a kind witch.[21]
Loyalist Assassins A battalion of Ranrok's Loyalists who used corrupted ancient magic to grant themselves immense speed.[21]
Loyalist Commanders A battalion of Ranrok's Loyalists who wielded hammers with impressive skill and were capable of using ancient magic during duels.[21]
Loyalist Rangers A battalion of Ranrok's Loyalists who duelled using crossbows imbued with ancient magic.[21]
Loyalist Sentinels A battalion of Ranrok's Loyalists who specialised in offensive and defensive goblin magic and were capable of going toe-to-toe with the most powerful witches and wizards. [21]
Loyalist Warriors A battalion of Ranrok's Loyalists who wielded heavy goblin weaponry.[21]
Ludovic Bagman's goblin creditors Some goblins that put Bagman under pressure because he could not pay the money.[11]
Magic goblin An employee at Gringotts.
Nagnok An employee at Gringotts.
Odbert An employee at Gringotts.[22]
Ogbert the Odd Joined Ranrok after an encounter with a security dragon at Gringotts Bank.[21]
Pergit One of Ranrok's Loyalists who was rumoured to be attacking travellers in the Lower Hogsfield area and retreating to Korrow Ruins.[23]
A goblin who had himself pictured in portraits A famous goblin.
Ragnok An associate of Bill Weasley.[17]
Ragnok the Pigeon-Toed An author and activist.[24]
Ragnuk the First The maker of the Sword of Gryffindor.[25]
Ranrok A goblin who led an anti-wizard rebellion in the 19th century, with the help of Dark wizards.[21]
Red A bellboy for the Magical Congress of the United States of America.
Ricbert A goblin that worked at Gringotts in the position of Chief Bank Teller.[26]
Tall goblin An employee at Gringotts.
Unidentified goblin associate of Oswald Beamish A goblin that was an associate of Beamish.
Unidentified goblin killed by Voldemort A former employee at Gringotts.
Unidentified goblin philosopher A philosopher goblin.
Unidentified Gringotts Bank goblin guard A goblin that guarded the silver doors at Gringotts.
Unidentified Gringotts spokesgoblin A goblin that spoke about serious events publicly.
Unidentified goblin stockbroker A goblin that worked at the British Ministry of Magic.
Ug the Unreliable A con artist, known for organising the fraudulent Demiguise Derby.[12]
Urg the Unclean An activist.[12]
Urgruff the Unwary A goblin who made a perfect dragon egg replica.[27]
Goblin jazz singer A female goblin who performed as a singer in the The Blind Pig in the 1920s.[2]
Victor Gridley's goblin associate[28] A criminal goblin

Known part-goblins[]

Behind the scenes[]

  • The goblin is an evil, mischievous creature from European mythology. Though they are described inconsistently in the myths of different countries, common traits include short stature, the magical ability of some form, and a love of money.
    • The Goblins being good metalsmiths seems to be based on the dwarves of Nordic mythology.
  • According to W.O.M.B.A.T., it is possible that goblins fear sunlight, which may explain why Humans guarded the outside doors of Gringotts.
  • At Gringotts, goblins appear to have a lounge, where they can relax and dance. It is located in Vault 712.
  • Goblins are known to have not agreed with the Statute of Secrecy summit decisions of 1692.
  • Former Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge was nicknamed "Goblin-Crusher" by the tabloid magazine The Quibbler due to debatable claims that Fudge kills goblins in ways that may seem ridiculous, such as cooking them in pies.
  • In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 the goblin that asked Hagrid for Harry's keys appeared to have been taking notes. However, when the goblin went to fetch Griphook, Hagrid caught a glimpse of the paper, revealing it to have simply been a child's drawing of a house.
  • Oddly, only one female goblin has ever appeared in any Wizarding World media.
  • Goblin's ideas of ownership are similar to the theory of Georgism.
  • Goblins have the power to do magic. However, in LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, they only come with a key.
  • In the second part of the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, many of the Gringotts goblins were portrayed by members of Willow Management, an agency founded in part by Warwick Davis, specialising in representing actors under 5 feet tall.
  • Goblin culture seems to not include surnames.
  • In the first film, Rubeus Hagrid referred to goblins as beasts, although they are classified as beings. However, he may simply have been speaking metaphorically.
  • Some commentators have alleged that J. K. Rowling's depiction of goblins in the Harry Potter universe resemble anti-Semitic caricatures, particularly due to their appearance and behaviour,[29] but others have strongly dismissed this notion.[30]


The Harry Potter Wiki has 190 images related to Goblin.

Notes and references[]

  1. Pottermore
  2. 2.0 2.1 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay
  3. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 5 (Diagon Alley)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 26 (Gringotts)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 25 (Shell Cottage)
  7. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 7 (The Ministry of Magic)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 4 (Number Twelve Grimmauld Place)
  9. 9.0 9.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 20 (Hagrid's Tale)
  10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 23 (Malfoy Manor)
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 37 (The Beginning)
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
  13. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 1 (Owl Post)
  14. J. K. Rowling's official site
  15. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 15 (The Hogwarts High Inquisitor)
  16. Wizards' Ordinary Magic and Basic Aptitude Test
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 5 (The Order of the Phoenix)
  18. 18.0 18.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 27 (The Final Hiding Place)
  19. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 8 (The Wedding)
  20. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 29 (Careers Advice)
  21. 21.00 21.01 21.02 21.03 21.04 21.05 21.06 21.07 21.08 21.09 21.10 21.11 Hogwarts Legacy
  22. 22.0 22.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, "THE DRAGON'S TREASURE" Achievement - Part 1, Side Quest "Adventures in Curse-Breaking"
  23. Hogwarts Legacy - Lower Hogsfield rumour
  24. Daily Prophet Newsletters: 1 June, 1999, page 1
  25. Writing by J. K. Rowling: "The Sword of Gryffindor" at Wizarding World
  26. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  27. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Side Quest "Adventures in Curse-Breaking "
  28. Harry Potter: Magic Awakened, Year 3
  29. The "Harry Potter" Anti-Semitism Controversy, Explained
  30. Jewish groups defend J.K. Rowling over claim "Harry Potter" goblins antisemitic
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