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Literature / The Goblin Quest Series

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"We may be outnumbered. They may have magic and muscle on their side. But we're goblins! We're tough, we're mean, and we're more than a match for a few so-called heroes. Some of us will die, but for the survivors this will be a victory to live forever in goblin memories."
— Goblin captain(name unknown), shortly before his death by multiple stab wounds to the back.

The Goblin Quest series by Jim C. Hines is a humorous fantasy series about oh so very Reluctant Hero Jig, a clever little runt of a goblin who gets pulled into grand adventures and harrowing dangers when he'd rather run and hide as any self-respecting goblin should. Jig lives with a tribe of goblins in a mountain filled with bigger(and somewhat smarter) hobgoblins and various other dangerous creatures. Jig is picked on by the other goblins because of his size but what he lacks in imposing physical traits he more than makes up for with common sense. The series also features the original appearances of Smudge the fire spider from Jim C. Hines' "Magic Ex Libris" series.



  • Goblin Quest(2006)
  • Goblin Hero(2007)
  • Goblin War(2008)
  • Goblin Tales(2011)

This series features the following tropes:

  • The Hero's Journey: What the novice goblin wizard Veka THINKS she's on in Goblin Hero.
  • The Magnificent: Subverted Billa the Bloody is so named because she gets frequent nosebleeds.
  • The Quest: The reason Prince Barius & Co are in the goblins' mountain to begin with.
  • The Old Gods: Tymalous Shadowstar(formerly Autumnstar) and Isa of the Winter Winds are two of the 15 Forgotten Gods
  • The Undead: The Necromancer had more than a few undead warriors to protect him.
  • This Cannot Be!: It's the general reaction when of Jig's enemies.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Goblins are already small and Jig is smaller than most so he expects that almost every confrontation will end in extreme pain if not outright death.
  • To the Tune of...: The Song of Jig(to the tune of the wizard drinking song ''Sweet Tome of Ally Ba'ma'')
  • Unexplained Recovery: Darnak is turned into a large, ugly bird at the end of Goblin Quest and is back to his old self in Goblin War.
  • Unperson: The Forgotten Gods. Cursed to be forgotten by all civilized races, to the point where even if a person hears their name, they will forget it within moments. Then some of them discovered a loophole - the curse only applies to the civilized races. Uncivilized races, like goblins and orcs, on the other hand...
  • Unwitting Pawn: Everyone in Goblin War is a pawn in Isa, the Goddess of Winter Winds' plan to get the death god Noc's attention.
  • Willing Channeler: Prince Ryslind made an agreement with Straum to get the Rod of Creation in exchange for magic power.
  • Zerg Rush: Pretty much the end-all, be-all of goblin battle tactics.

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