Okay, so I sat down to write this and it was boring. This character deserves a little more silliness and fun so we're going to break the mold here.
If you want to know about this character there's a movie which you must watch. It's called the Labyrinth and it's amazing. Go do that now. I'll wait.
Okay, you watched it? Cool. Now go watch Jurassic Park, Independence Day, and the 1986 version of The Fly. Did you do that too? Cool!
Now go watch Man of La Mancha. It's a 1960's musical that sounds like Rogers and Hammerstein, I know, and maybe that's not your cup of tea. You can also read the book, Don Quixote, if you prefer.
This character is exactly the character from the Labyrinth (with a little Ambrosious the Dog thrown in too), played by Jeff Goldblum in his prime, thrust into the role of Sancho Panza.
Now, let me tell you a story.
This is the story of a Hero.
No, that’s not right. A Highball? That makes no sense. Sorry, it’s kind of smeared and hard to make out. Horrible? No. Hobbled? No. Hoggle? Uh, okay. I guess it’s a story of a Hoggle.
What is a Hoggle? A Hoggle is a goblin. But not a very good goblin. Goblins are meant to create chaos and destroy, wherever they go. They serve the Goblin King’s every whim and scour the land for valuables and children to take back to his Labyrinthine lair. They were created to be an army of weapons. They suck the very life force out of human babes and leave them withered Changeling husks. That is what a goblin is.
A Hoggle is none of those things.
A Hoggle can’t really create chaos. The best he can do is attempt a poorly disguised lie. His nose twitches when he does it and he can’t make eye contact, although his nose is often twitchy and he seldom manages to make eye contact at any time. As for destroying things, well, he’s even worse. A Hoggle is really only a threat to small pests like neverbugs and silkeworms. He thought about starting an exterminator’s business but decided against it since most of his prospective clients either liked the vermin or would have been better at it than him. He kept it up as a hobby, though.
A Hoggle isn’t particularly good at scouring for valuables. He tends to get distracted by even the cheapest and most worthless of stones and jewelry. He tries not to think about who the trinkets might have belonged to before he stuffs them into his pouch but every once in a while he catches a sickness of sentimentality and has to put them back. As for children, he hates them! They whine and scream and wail and he has to clap both hands over his ears and run from the horrid noise. But he won’t hurt the little blighters. They’ve never done anything to hurt him, after all, and they can’t help it if they’re noisy. They don’t know any better.
A Hoggle is not part of an army. He tried! He lined up with the rest of the goblins because that was what he was told to do. But he wasn’t very good at fighting or sneaking or smashing or anything, really. He wasn’t even good at having people remember his name. It caused no end to confusion in drills but after Hedwig, Hoover, Hilde, or Heisenburg - no one could agree on exactly who it was - got the unit reprimanded for 200 years for lighting the barracks on fire, Hoggle just quietly left while everyone searched for the real culprit.
And as for Jareth, a Hoggle stays as far away from the King of Goblins as he can! Jareth is nasty and dangerous and when he’s around he makes Hoggle do bad things. Hoggle doesn’t want to do them, of course, but Jareth is scary and more than anything else Hoggle is a coward. He will do anything to avoid Jareth’s ire lest the king chop off his ears or leave him in the Bog of Eternal Stench.
But Jareth is the Goblin King, and even a Hoggle is not beneath his notice. Jareth saw in Hoggle a power not all goblins shared. Hoggle had a gift, you see. A special ability of a sort. Hoggle had a good heart. It wasn’t something Hoggle could help. He tried! But Jareth used that good heart for his own purposes. Hoggle was sent out from the Labyrinth to the world of Ga’Leah find new children to become Changelings. He did not do so by force or by stealth. He was tasked with befriending the children and luring them back.
A Hoggle doesn’t like children, but he won’t hurt them. A Hoggle is a goblin, but he has a good heart. A Hoggle’s heart broke every time he brought a child back for Jareth.
So Hoggle ran away, like any cowardly, self-loathing Hoggle would. Instead of finding more children to be ruined he found his way into the great and wide world. Though he was still cowardly and he found there were just as many terrifying things out there as were in the Labyrinth he found it was much easier to run away from them when you’re not surrounded by walls. That is not to say Hoggle had no problems adapting to his new life.
The most difficult challenge of all is that a Hoggle is a goblin and his natural form is quite hideous. He carries a magical torc which allows him to appear as a fit and handsome man but the device runs on the essence of youth. In the Labyrinth a Hoggle could use the supply of changelings to recharge its magic but in the outside world changelings are in short supply. Hoggle hasn’t worked out a plan for when his torc’s energy runs out. He knows it will happen one day but maybe if he just ignores the problem it’ll go away.
Other goblins have been roaming the lands. They are not Hoggles. They are real goblins and Hoggle would like nothing more than to stay clear of them. Hoggle would also like nothing more than to be sure that Jareth wasn’t going to find him and drag him back to the Labyrinth. But even more than that Hoggle would like to have a friend.
But Hoggles don’t get to have the things they want. Hoggles don’t get to feel happy or lucky or brave. Hoggles don’t even get to have other Hoggles because there is only one Hoggle.