Goblins have their own type of magic and can do magic without a wand. They are represented by the Goblin Liaison Office of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures in the Ministry of Magic. Goblins are considered to be inferior by many wizards, who foolishly believe that the goblins are comfortable with that arrangement.
Goblins are short and fair-skinned, as they spend very little time outside. They have very long fingers and feet, dome shaped heads and are slightly larger than house-elves. Griphook, one of the hundreds of goblins working at Gringotts, has a bald head, pointed nose, and pointed ears. Some have dark, slanted eyes, and some goblins even wear pointed hats.
Throughout the history of the Wizarding world, there have been several goblin rebellions. These rebellions were most prevalent in the 17th and 18th centuries. One rebellion, in 1612, took place in the vicinity of Hogsmeade; the Three Broomsticks Inn was used as headquarters for the rebellion. The rebellions have been described as "bloody and vicious". The names of the rebels tend 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 are subversive goblin groups who work in secret against the Ministry, although the validity of these claims is uncertain.
The reasons for starting some of the varied Goblin Rebellions include all but one of the following (according to J. K. Rowling's Official Site's 3rd W.O.M.B.A.T. test, all but one of the following are 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
- The Ministry of Magic decree of 1631 preventing magical beings other than wizards and witches from carrying a wand.
Wizarding Wars Edit
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's followers at that time, and Bill Weasley has 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, leading the goblins to distrust both sides and became neutral during the war. When the trio broke into 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.
Goblins are extremely clever and over the years have dealt with wizard-kind effectively. They are still subservient in the minds of most wizards, but they have established themselves as a vital part of wizarding society. The goblins run Gringotts, the wizarding bank. Therefore, they control the wizarding economy to a large extent. It is unknown if Gringotts is the only bank in the wizarding world. Goblins are extremely clever and more than able to stand up to wizards. The fact that the wizarding population treats them poorly is evidence of the severe injustice built into wizard culture. Ironically, the Fountain of Magical Brethren in the Atrium of the Ministry of Magic shows a goblin, along with a house-elf and a centaur, gazing admiringly at a witch and wizard.
Apart from their cleverness with money and finances, goblins are also very capable metalsmiths. Their silverwork is 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'). When Rubeus Hagrid visited the Giants, one of the presents he brought was a goblin-wrought helmet which was described as "indestructible". Goblins actually mint the Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts used in the Wizarding world; each coin is stamped with a serial number identifying the goblin who cast it. They are also able to tell the difference between genuine and counterfeit, as Griphook easily discerned the Sword of Gryffindor, while Leprechaun gold cannot fool them.
It is possible that part-goblin Filius Flitwick has inherited such cleverness since he is in Ravenclaw. He has also demonstrated such brilliance in many occasions, such as during the Battle of Hogwarts, with his successful charmswork.
Human relations Edit
Throughout wizarding history there has been a dispute between wizards and goblins due to errors on both sides. Goblins can be bloodthirsty and cruel towards wizards and consider them to be arrogant while many wizards consider goblins inferior. Goblins have in the past, resenting the fact that they occupy positions as second-class citizens, resorted to violence in the form of rebellions and riots.
Goblins can use magic without the aid of a wand, although they are insulted by the refusal of wizards to allow them to use wands. In turn, goblins conceal the secrets of their own magic from wizards. Their weaponry and armour are nearly indestructible when created and have their own kinds of magical properties.
Overall, goblins' idea of payment and repayment are not the same as humans. Goblins dislike theft, but use a different definition of the word. By goblin standards, the maker of an item, not the purchaser is the rightful owner; the item is required to be returned to its maker after the death of the purchaser. Goblins believe that the wizard paying for a goblin-made artefact is merely renting it, not owning it. Goblins consider 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 puts it.
Goblins also hold 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. When Bagman ran out on his final loss against the goblins, they refused to side with the humans due to this cheat.