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Characters / Goblin

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The following tropes list the characters for the Korean drama/fantasy series Goblin:

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     Kim Shin/Goblin 

Played by: Gong Yoo

The titular character of the series, Kim Shin was a general in 1078 Goryeo who was executed by King Wang Yeo for an apparent rebellion and was cursed by the gods to live as an immortal dokkaebi. His curse can only be lifted by his bride pulling his sword impaling his body, after which he can finally die and enter the afterlife.

  • And I Must Scream: When he chooses to remain on Earth as rainfall and snow, he is stuck in the in-between world, where he has to endure the harsh environment all by himself until Eun-tak somehow manages to summon him. This lasts for 9 years.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Evidently, due to the failure of protecting her in the past. When he learns that Sunny is a reincarnated Sun, he's so overjoyed that he goes into somewhat stalker mode just so he can keep an eye on her at all times.
  • Blessed with Suck: Living forever while remembering all your experiences, including seeing your loved ones die. There's also a sword stuck in your abdomen that you yourself can't remove no matter how hard you try.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Drinking alcohol more often that not exposes secrets that he withholds, as Eun-tak finds out.
  • Complete Immortality: Once he returns back to Earth from the in-between world. He's still an immortal, and there's absolutely no physical weakness, since he's not bound to the sword curse anymore.
  • The Determinator: In the past, he continued to defy the king's order to leave Goryeo, insisting him to arrest Joong-heon even as he's in his death throes. In the present, he manages to traverse through the in-between world for almost a decade as he waits for Eun-tak to summon him.
  • Four-Star Badass: As he frequently emphasizes, he's a general while human, and characters who deliberately provoke him really have a death wish. His expert swordmanship is awesomely demonstrated against a 10-odd gang harassing him and Eun-tak during New Years.
  • Frontline General: Enforced due to the medieval era he hailed from, but also because Wang Yeo was trying to put him into an ultimately futile Uriah Gambit.
  • I Have Many Names: Mainly to disguise himself as a blood member of the Yoo family.
  • I Will Wait for You: In in the in-between world.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: By his own sword, which kickstarts the entire curse.
  • Loophole Abuse: His wish to become a part of the rain and snow makes him its permanent residence without the pesky hindrance that is his sword curse.
  • The Magic Touch: Can turn objects into gold bars.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: He's the December, being an immortal, while the normal human Eun-tak is the Mayfly.
  • My Greatest Failure: Letting his retainers, family, and especially, his sister be executed along with him due to his stubbornness.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: After finding out that his sister is reincarnated into a woman Woo-bin is eyeing. Since You Can't Fight Fate, it doesn't last long.
  • Official Couple: With Eun-tak, one so official the gods themselves decreed it.
  • Playing with Fire: Blue fire.
  • Portal Door: Can create temporary portals to distant places. Humans usually can't follow him, though Eun-tak is an exception.
  • Really 700 Years Old: 938 years old as of 2016. By the end of the series, he's most likely well over a millennia old.
  • Refusing Paradise: Because he can't bear the thought of parting ways with Eun-tak, he opts not to enter afterlife when his curse is lifted and has to wander through a barren wasteland for 9 years until Eun-tak summons him back to Earth, where he's destined to live for eternity.
  • Samurai Ponytail: While still a general in Goryeo. He's short-haired in the present day, though.
  • Screw Destiny: Defies his fate to enter the afterlife by remaining in the in-between world, giving him chance to enter Earth again.
  • Seers: He can see someone's future by looking at them. However, he doesn't know when it would happen, just that it would eventually happen, like a deja vu. He also can't see the future of lost souls like Eun-tak, because they are not registered in the celestial white pages.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Eun-tak. It takes him at least 60 years from their first meeting until they are able to properly live together.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Is very fond of doing this. There's also the fact that if Eun-tak summons him by blowing candles, he'll always show up behind her, even if he's in the same room with her, right in front of her.
  • Taking You with Me: He pulls his sword so he can destroy both himself and Joong-heon. Fortunately, his love for Eun-tak saves him.
  • Teleportation: Which excises the need for transports (of course, he ends up having to drive them anyway, since he can't pick people up with him).
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Woo-bin.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Living forever and seeing your loved ones die in each generation, not to mention remembering them all, sucks. All he wants is for his bride to show up and pull the sword. This gets inverted later when he falls in love with the bride, and the sword can only be pulled when the bride loves him too. He agonizes over how to continue living even after the curse is lifted, until eventually he decides not to enter paradise.


     Ji Eun-tak 

Played by: Kim Go-eun

A high school girl and the bride of the dokkaebi, she is the only person capable of lifting his curse by removing the sword impaled into his body.

  • Amnesiac Lover: Her memories of Shin are suppressed for 9 years after she lifts his curse. However, it comes back at a rather brisk pace since he consciously attempts to make her remember.
  • Birthmark of Destiny: She has the mark of the goblin on her nape, which designates her as his bride.
  • Born-Again Immortality: Her ultimate fate. She and Shin are destined together, but because he's immortal and she's not, she has to live a mortal life, die, and be reincarnated over the ages, with the same identity and full memories of her previous selves, as she chooses not to drink the memory-erasing tea.
  • Claimed by the Supernatural: Her bride status is signified by the goblin mark on her nape.
  • Cosmic Plaything: There's actually an in-universe explanation on why dangers seem to follow this poor girl everywhere she goes: because she's a lost soul, she really is never meant to be born into this world, and the universe tries to "correct" this by making accidents fall on her. The whole chosen one thing with Dokkaebi is somewhat of a loophole; tying her life with him means that she is given a purpose (i.e. removing his curse) and thus a chance to live as a normal human, but if she procrastinates, she'll get killed before it can happen.
  • Damsel in Distress: When she's kidnapped by loan sharks.
  • God Was My Copilot: Specifically, ghosts and a reaper are her friends, a goblin is her lover, and a goddess is her mother figure.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In the final episode, she chooses to let her car be in the way of a speeding truck, saving a bunch of schoolchildren at the cost of her life.
  • I See Dead People: Able to see ghosts, spirits, and reapers with their fedoras on.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: The Mayfly to Shin's December.
  • Memento MacGuffin: The necklace Shin bought for her is one of the things she uses to finally regain her memories about him.
  • The Pollyanna: Is she ever. Staying sane while being a Cosmic Plaything means that you're automatically this.
  • Plucky Girl: Reckless and never hesitates to voice her opinion.
  • Power at a Price: Her goblin mark can prevent her from being attacked, but using it will slowly blur the mark, bringing her one step closer to death each time.
  • Reincarnation Romance: Her relationship with Shin ends up as a one-sided version of this, with Eun-tak being reincarnated to be together with Shin, who stays immortal.
  • Screw Destiny: Her sacrifice in the final episode writes off the deaths of dozens of schoolchildren in place of her own, and also defies Woo-bin's expectation of an unchanging fate, because Eun-tak's death card does not appear until after her death.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Shin, see his entry.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Never had the chance to know her father, lost her mother when she was 9 and hunted by reapers since then, had to live with an aunt and cousins who treated rats better than her until she was 19, tormented by her classmates and teacher, almost gets kidnapped, is revealed to always be in danger of death if she procrastinates removing Kim Shin's curse, eventually does face death, etc...
  • The Woobie: Life never goes well for this girl. Well, until she meets with Shin, somewhat.
  • True Love's Kiss: Believes in this trope as an alternative to freeing Shin from the curse. While it doesn't work, true love does factor on whether she could pull the sword or not.
  • Wistful Amnesia: Despite not remembering Shin after the total memory wipeout, she still feels that something of her life is lost whenever rain and snow fall down.

     Kim Woo-bin/Reaper/Wang Yeo 

Played by: Lee Dong-wook

A grim reaper who by chance rents the lodgings where Kim Shin lives. He is the reaper originally tasked to capture Eun-tak due to her lost soul status. He's actually an amnesiac King Wang Yeo, as in the king who executed Shin, cursed to be a reaper due to his past sins.

  • Adorkable: Seriously, dorkiness can't even begin to describe him, especially when it comes to technology.
  • An Ice Person: When being stressed, he tends to freeze things he holds. Of course, it's a mirror to Shin's fire.
  • The Atoner: Being a reaper means that he had committed a great sin in his human life, and now he has to make it up by guiding people into the right path to enter the next world. Considering that he's responsible for breaking up and killing families when he was alive...
  • Big Brother Instinct: Slowly develops one for Eun-tak. His "siding with her at all times" isn't always just figurative. Compare his rather mild acceptance of seeing Eun-tak being potentially killed in a bus accident to his genuinely freaked out reaction when he sees Eun-tak's final moments in life before a truck hits her car.
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: He and Sunny seem to change their mind about their relationship every time they meet. They ultimately decide on break up, but only in this life.
  • Don't Fear the Reaper: You'll learn to love him quick.
  • Hat of Power: The reaper fedora makes him invisible to normal humans.
  • I Have Many Names: Woo-bin is the name he chose to introduce Sunny with. His true name is Wang Yeo.
  • Identity Amnesia: Due to being a reaper.
  • Kissed Keepsake: The paper with Sunny's phone number and a kiss mark.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: The December to Sunny's Mayfly. In this life, anyway.
  • Really 700 Years Old: He states that he's been around since 300 years ago at the very least. He's actually much older; Kim Shin is his contemporary, as his true identity is that of King Wang Yeo of Goryeo.
  • Reincarnation Romance: He is reincarnated with Sunny as a couple in the next life.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: His romance with Sunny, which is blocked mainly because he's an immortal reaper and she's a human, but also because he committed a horrible betrayal when the two were a couple in the past. Nevertheless, despite not becoming together in this life, they do become one in future incarnations.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Even more than Shin.
  • Teleportation
  • Together in Death: His final task before being pardoned and allowed entry to the afterlife is reaping Sunny. And yes, the two do enter the pearly gates hand-in-hand.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Woo-bin is an amnesiac Wang Yeo.
  • Walking Spoiler: When it comes to his actual identity.
  • Wistful Amnesia: Despite having forgotten his memories, some moments that involve Sunny (such as unconsciously crying during their first meeting) suggest that they aren't lost forever. It's because he is smacked with the guilt of seeing the reincarnation of a wife he betrayed and executed.

     Sunny/Kim Sun 

Played by: Yoo In-na

The owner of a chicken restaurant where Eun-tak works part time at. She's a reincarnation of Shin's sister, Kim Sun.

  • Amnesia Missed a Spot: Woo-bin's erasure of her memories doesn't work because he wants her to forget him and keep all the good memories, while Sunny views all her memories of Woo-bin as good.
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: See Woo-bin's entry above.
  • Cool Big Sis: To Eun-tak.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Especially once she remembers her persona as Kim Sun.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Whatever you do, do not call her with her birth name.
  • Easily Forgiven: She quickly forgives Woo-bin's sins of executing her and her brother, even after recovering her past life's memories, because, as she puts it, it happened to Kim Sun, not her.
  • Faking Amnesia: She never loses her memories of Shin after the curse is ended, but pretends to anyway as she doesn't want to disturb Eun-tak's new peace.
  • Fiery Redhead: Really aggressive when it comes to things she wants to have.
  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You: She falls head over heels for Woo-bin because he's the first man who isn't infatuated with her looks.
  • Local Hangout: Her restaurant serves as one.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: The Mayfly to Woo-bin's December until the two are reunited in death and allowed to become equals in the next life.
  • Old Maid: Laments that she's already over the ideal marriageable age yet has not caught a single man. And she stays that way until death.
  • One Steve Limit: In-story, Shin is rather certain that Sunny's a reincarnation of his sister, simply because they share the same name. It's true, though.
  • Reincarnation Romance: Reincarnated alongside Woo-bin as a couple in the next life.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Woo-bin.
  • Together in Death: Her reaping is Woo-bin's last job before he's allowed to enter afterlife.
  • Vanity Is Feminine: Always has the need to appear perfect in public, as she enjoys the attention she's inevitably receive.
  • Walking Spoiler: Like Woo-bin, though it's less severe.

     Yoo Deok-hwa 

Played by: Yook Sung-jae

The heir of a chaebol and Shin and Woo-bin's honorary nephew.

  • Angel Unaware: Subverted. While God does channel His consciousness into Duk-hwa, it's only from time to time, and He never possesses him again once Shin and Woo-bin learn the truth.
  • Bishōnen: And proud of it.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: His grandfather certainly thinks of him this way. It's not far from the truth.
  • Butt-Monkey: His vain goal of getting credit cards ensures that he's squarely in this position.
  • Demonic Possession: By God.
  • Handsome Lech: This backfires on him as it makes him not know how to create a proper relationship.
  • Heroic Lineage: His ancestors, including his grandfather, are all destined to serve as Kim Shin's personal assistant from birth.
  • Hidden Depths: He's very skilled in conducting investigations and is fluent in hanja, which very few people in South Korea can read. To be fair, if you're possessed by God Himself, you would be.
  • Only in It for the Money: He serves as Shin and Eun-tak's assistant mainly so he can get his credit cards back.
  • Plucky Comic Relief
  • Rich Idiot with No Day Job: Despite being the heir of a conglomerate, the most taxing activity he does everyday is helping Eun-tak solve her problems. The rest of his time he mostly spends sightseeing and visiting a club.
  • Shameless Self-Promoter: Constantly parades his upbringing and what achievements he earned.
  • Upper-Class Twit
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Unlike the other main characters, he doesn't appear again after Eun-tak dies. He also doesn't show up in the segment set 30 years later, and his descendants, if any, don't feature in the epilogue.

     Yoo Shin-woo 

Played by: Kim Sung-kyum

The chairman of a chaebol and Deok-hwa's grandfather. He has been serving Kim Shin since he was a boy.

  • Grumpy Old Man: To Deok-hwa only.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Implied. Since his ancestors are all played by the same actor, that means Deok-hwa may be what Chairman Yoo looked like when he was young.
  • Killed Off for Real: Dies of a heart attack in February 2017.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Shin, to the point that he makes himself clear in his will that Shin inherits all of his properties.


     Kim Do-young 

Played by: Jo Woo-jin

Chairman Yoo's secretary who is assigned to monitor Deok-hwa's activities.

  • Fainting: Played for Laughs when he discovers Shin and Woo-bin's true nature for the first time.
  • The Jeeves: To Chairman Yoo and Deok-hwa.
  • Stoic Spectacles: Is very discreet when it comes to doing his job. Eun-tak also discovers that he used to work as a loan shark before he met Chairman Kim.
  • With Due Respect: Inevitable given that he has to look after Deok-hwa.
  • You Are in Command Now: He becomes chairman after Chairman Yoo's death, as the latter feels that Deok-hwa needs to learn more before he can inherit his title properly.

     Kim Yoo-na 

Played by: Ko Bo-gyeol

Eun-tak's class president and later friend.

     Choi Tae-hee 

Played by: Jung Hae-in

Eun-tak's first crush.

  • Bishōnen: Shin lampshades this.
  • Girl of the Week: Is this to Eun-tak, as he only appears in two episodes to convey a rather thin tension of her and Kim Shin's relationship.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: Turns out that the man he played baseball with was Kim Shin.

     Wang Yeo 

Played by: Kim Min-jae

A king of Goryeo who executed his wife, Kim Sun, and her brother, Kim Shin for alleged coup d'etat. After his suicide, he's cursed into a grim reaper, who then took the name Kim Woo-bin.

     Kim Sun 

Played by: Kim So-hyun

Queen of Goryeo, wife of Wang Yeo, and Kim Shin's younger sister. In the present, she's reincarnated as Sunny.


     Park Joong-heon 

Played by: Kim Byung-chul

King Wang Yeo's primary eunuch who masterminded the execution of Kim Shin and his family.

  • Achilles' Heel: His allegiance to the king. If the king orders him, he has to obey it. Even if the king is now a reaper.
  • Big Bad: For the series, being the one that caused Kim Shin to become a goblin in the first place. His track record went way beyond that; poisoning the drug for the kings indirectly also caused Wang Yeo's transformation into a reaper and by feeding on men's evils he might indirectly also make Eun-tak the bride of the goblin.
  • Die Laughing: When he is destroyed by Kim Shin's sword, he gloats about how he can have the last laugh as the sword curse is still lifted and Shin will die nevertheless. Too bad he doesn't know The Power of Love.
  • Eunuchs Are Evil: Really evil.
  • Evil Gloating: As a ghost, he constantly brags about how he's undefeatable.
  • Evil Plan: He controlled the succession of the king so he can rule Goryeo. Later, as a ghost, he engineers the selection of the goblin's bride so he can use her to destroy the goblin and everyone he holds dear.
  • Hitodama Light: Emits sickening grey lights as a ghost.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The sword that he plans to kill Kim Shin with ends up killing himself.
  • Made of Evil: He literally eats men's apathetic and evil thoughts to keep on existing.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Controlled the kings of Goryeo and killed them off one by one if they were deemed to deviating.
  • Medication Tampering: He poisoned drugs to slow kill the kings and Make It Look Like an Accident.
  • Neck Snap: The method Kim Shin used to kill him.
  • Obviously Evil: How he appears behind Wang Yeo, not to mention his decayed state as a ghost and the way he sustains being one.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: He manages to stay in the living world by feeding on the evils on men's hearts.
  • Posthumous Character: Kim Shin killed him several years after his execution. He still exists in the present, but as a ghost.

     The Lady in Red/Samshin 

Played by: Lee El

A mysterious red-dressed lady who frequently appears in intermission scenes, though she sometimes directly interacts with the main characters. She's actually the goddess of birth, Samshin, and is serving as a watcher for the progress of the bride of the goblin removing the curse. Her old lady form also acted as Eun-tak's guardian after her mother's death.

     Go Jung-hyun 

Played by: Ahn Ji-hyun

The ghost of a high school student and Eun-tak's friend.

  • Chekhov's Gunman: It turns out that she's Yeon-hee's best friend and her locker hides the inheritance money that Eun-tak legally possesses. She befriends Eun-tak so she can someday access them.
  • Ghostly Goals: The reason why she still remains on Earth long after her death is because she wants Eun-tak to realize her connection with her mother and access her inheritance.
  • School Uniforms Are the New Black: Since she died when she was a student, she is always seen wearing a school uniform.
  • Undeath Always Ends: She moves to the afterlife after her goal is fulfilled.

     Ji Yeon-suk, Park Kyung-shik, and Park Kyung-mi 

Played by: Yum Hye-ran (Yeon-suk), Jung Young-gi (Kyung-shik), and Choi Ri (Kyung-mi)

Eun-tak's aunt and two cousins whom she live with after the death of her mother.

  • Abusive Parents: Yeon-suk is this not only to Eun-tak but also to her own children. The attitude doesn't change even after she dies and becomes a ghost.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: None of them has a particular love for each other. When Kim Shin baits them with gold bars, they turn on each other quick.
  • Gold Digger: Yeon-suk adopts Eun-tak only so she can take her inheritance money.
  • Karmic Death: Yeon-suk died alone and loveless in the streets after her children abandoned her.
  • Spoiled Brat: Kyung-shik and Kyung-mi act like they're kings of the house.
  • Starter Villain: Serve as one for Eun-tak.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Kyung-shik and Kyung-mi don't appear again after their release from prison.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Yeon-suk to Eun-tak.

     Ji Yeon-hee 

Played by: Park Hee-von

Eun-tak's mother.

  • Back from the Dead: Kim Shin resurrecting her saved Eun-tak and marked her as the bride of the goblin.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: She's literally her daughter's only happy memory in the 19 years before she meets with Kim Shin.
  • Good Parents: To Eun-tak.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Her resurrection meant that she lived on a life that she was never meant to live in, and thus she became the constant target of reapers. She managed to evade them for 9 years.


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