Episode 2 of Goblin Hits All the Right Narrative Notes and Ratings Rise to 7.9%

So what’s so good about Goblin? Oh, how about everything so far. Sure the drama has a long ways to go, hence a long trip in which to potentially falter, but the first two episodes have been sheer perfection for me and that’s high praise indeed with no other drama in recent memory being this good all around. I can love flawed dramas but the start of Goblin has nary a flaw to see. The directing is impeccable and beautifully visualized, the writing is fast and layered with the dialogue feeling seamless to each character, and the cast is firing on all cylinders with the chemistry. Domestic audiences appear to agree as episode two jumped 1.6% to rise to 7.9% ratings, an impressive feat for a drama airing on paid cable network tvN. I’m already swooning, chuckling, gasping, and tearing up, Goblin Kim Shin is mesmerizing with a multi-faceted personality, and his new roomie the Grim Reaper is so straight-laced with an edge. Love this drama to pieces and congrats to Goblin for being an all-around win.


Episode 2 of Goblin Hits All the Right Narrative Notes and Ratings Rise to 7.9% — 46 Comments

  1. I love fantasy drama and movies. It’s hitting all the buttons for me too. But am just wondering , I check wiki for a goblin meaning and it says they are monstrously looking beings, inanimate or not but Gong Yoo is monstrously handsome.

    • I also was asking the same thing. To make goblin hundsom like Gong Yoo they said in the begning of ep 1 those who make a strong wish become goblin. I think Something like that. Can some body help.

      • I think it depends on the cultural variety of ‘goblin’ really. I come from a South-East Asian culture and in my culture ‘goblin’ means a magical being who gains their power by training for hundreds or thousands of years long. Mostly these beings, once mastering their power, can take on the form of another being to disguise themselves, and they often don the disguise of a very beautiful human. If you guys look up Journey to the West, a Chinese series from 1986 on Google images, all the beautiful but fierce/ evil-looking ladies or men are actually hundred-year-old goblins. I’m not a Korean cultural savvy but I guess the meaning of the word ‘goblin’ is adopted from Chinese culture too.

      • Since there is no straight translation of (Dokkaebi) for English, the word Goblin in the English language would be the closest word for it.
        Goblin in asian cultures usually means a creature that has powers and can turn into a different form.
        In Chinese literature, it is usually a being that spent years to “cultivate” into the different forms to turn into a “magical” creature that depends on years and years (hundreds, thousands). Search “A chinese ghost story” or here on Koalas playground own blog on “Three lives three worlds- Peach blossom” or google the Journey of Flower, where there is a green worm that cultivated to a fairy.

      • I think Kim Eun Sook invented her own goblin by combining different myhths. For instance in western mythology the goblin is, generally, a sort of a mischievous and annoying creature; I don’t know anything about the Asian mythology, but as @Hye Mi said, some are beatiful hundred-year-old creatures; moreover, the writer hints at some Greek mythology deities (Prometheus, for instance, who was punished to be eternally tormented by an eagle).
        Kim Eun Sook’s goblin (mischievous and beautiful) seems to have been somehow transformed from a human being into a deity when he was stabbed (this is why he didn’t die, and this is also why the Grim Reaper is inferior to him – so I don’t think he cultivated himself) and for some reason to be punished or cursed to live with that sword stuck in his chest until that certain bride etc. (punished, because he was allowed to take revenge – but at a certain price, I suppose). IMO, there are many mythologies there, all combined.
        Just an opinion and I just felt like rambling since I really like this drama (not so much the cast, unfortunately, but I hope I can just live with it).

      • @SGNAREL – There are many other Chinese myths, the ones I posted in my prior post are from very recent authors, but they use the same myth. There are some that are cultivated thousand of years, but usually that is to become an immortal that lives in Heaven with the God King. I would imagine, that the writer of Goblin has to create her own creature to keep her story fresh, otherwise, it would be her take on a story told thousands of times. The story started out that the key to what made Gong Yoo Goblin was the blood of the many killed during wars that was on his sword including his. If you think this as part of his cultivation, then it is similiar to the Asian myths, whether it is Chinese or Korean. Greek Mythology to me was always a war between gods, whereas, the Chinese “Asian” myths involving, “Fairies” that lives in the heaven, or Goblins, or other mythical creatures always at one time needs to turn into a human being to understand the suffering of the humans before they can really become a deity to live amongst those in heaven. There is always some sort of Human element or interaction in the Chinese stories. Who knows where the real origin of these mythical stories come from, it could all be all the same at one ancient point, and then the different cultures of the world put their own spin on it. Since I do see some of the same themes on all the stories involving fairies from all the different cultures.

      • I agree with jkfan and Sganarel that the author of Goblin seems to have created her own version of ‘goblin’, since afaik goblins in my culture and from the Chinese myths that I read during my childhood goblins are never human beings but other objects/ living things (trees or other creatures) which train for hundreds or thousands of years to become deities (because human beings are meant to be mortal, that’s why). The goblin in this drama we know was originally human, so this is definitely a fresh take on the Asian goblin mythology. However I don’t think Shin is a deity yet, because his mortality is still bound by a curse rather than just a blessing. We know from grandma’s myth that his soul will be freed and he’ll die peacefully when the right one pulls the sword from him, which suggests that he has no control over his mortality. Deities in Asian myth have full control over their immortality and that’s why goblins and other mythical creatures want to be one of them. That Shin is called a goblin rather than a deity might suggest that the author follows the Asian mythology reg. deities versus goblin here, and since his fate is decided by some other godly being above the Reaper himself might explain why he is beyond the Reaper’s power. In ep 2 I think the Reaper also refers to this godly being as ‘my boss’.

      • @jkfan
        Actually the whole cultivation thing always left me a bit confused. Thanks for the explanation.

      • Tolkien took a lot of different myth and legends to write “Lord of the rings”. When LDW was sleeping it made me think of JDepp in “Dark Shadows”,… and we can see a lot of references of movies and series like “DEAD LIKE ME”…The thing i don’t love is the outfit of LDW as a reaper it reminds me GESTAPO officers.

    • Oh, what a beautiful conversation! we don’t have a goblin in my culture so I was a little confused on what is Goblin!? I tried to search for it but still couldn’t capture the full meaning and how it’s related to our main character here. So, thanks to everyone.

  2. yes to everything so ecstatic this drama’s knocking out of the park bc i’m in love w/ it so much gah it’s so epic i cannot wait ’til friday why so long mang

  3. if there is something I want to find fault in this drama, is the tonal shift. Particularly in episode 1 when it seems they want to tell all the background story in one episode. It’s work because it’s a fantasy drama, when it seems all possible and work as long as you create your own logic.
    Episode 2 seems more make sense, they finally explain it all the bizare scene in episode 1. But That’s okay I’m too mezmering by now. I don’t want to nitpicky by now I will enjoy all the feels and the mood.

  4. I watched both episodes twice. TVN seem to have a HBO a budget for this show. This drama is great so far. The pilot really could have been released in a movie theater it is that well written and directed. Cinemotography is A work.

  5. I decided to watch this show. I liked both episodes but lets not call the cinematography of high quality because it is not. It’s just random TVN cinematography nothing really to notice and rather average. It comes of like a TV-show.

    The true standard of cinematography IS LOTBS and DOTS. Cameraman putting alot of work, creativity, using creative and expensive camera’s.. etc etc and angles plus scenery.

  6. I enjoyed the 1st 2 episodes
    It was beautifully filmed as well
    But it’s KES – i know she’s a huge success but I belong to that camp that don’t warm up to her dramas mostly her cheesy lines kinda make me cringe.
    – she has great ideas but they always turn to fluff
    Just when I thought goblin might be a different style for her, we have to end with the walk out of the fog heroic scene – check, totally KES

    • Same here.
      I enjoyed it so far but it does not give me the satisfaction that I need. Feel like there are some missing notes somewhere which I could not decipher what. I never liked KES writings but she is good at creating moments in drama. I still find this cheesy despite being toned down a bit and I just could not warmed up with KGE. Her chirpiness is totally overdone. In contrast, the two male leads are good esp LDW.

      • I find the drama good for what i’ve seen bu it doesn’t get me emotionally just like DOTS .

  7. I like it so far, the final moment of episode 2 looked so cool. And I can’t wait for the Reaper to meet Sunny the sexy chicken shop owner.

    My only complaint is the very one-note characterisation of the heroine. Kim Go Eun plays the part well and I enjoy her crazy perkiness but sometimes it seems too much and it’s a bit weird to me to see her with Gong Yoo when he looks so much older than her.

    • The problem for me is not the age gap but the lack of a romantic chemistry. It’s more like a genie that comes from his bottle when she summoms him. Bu the chemistry between Gy and LDW is just so awesome. I think they ‘re the real leading couple.

  8. GOBLIN is awesome! Two charismatic man that looks great and commands the screen all in one screen! This drama is so well written and the cinematic fill is awesome too. I love the scenes of the Goblin and the Grim Reaper. I love their little brotherly spats, so childish but at the same time so manly. At the very least, they are not resorting to a fighting brawl but a battle of wits with magic in the mix that makes their spats so much more entertaining.
    Took me sometime to warm up to the heroine, but it is so cute when she says she loves the Goblin. Gong Yoo is awesome. I didn’t understand why he was so popular as I didn’t like anything he was in including coffee prince, but this drama makes me understand why viewers love him. The casting was very well done, and Yoo in na looks so pretty!

    • yeah the pettiness of the Goblin and the Reaper is my favourite part of these two episodes – they’re immortal beings but so childish lol.

  9. I wouldn’t call Goblin perfect when it’s only two episodes in and the plot moves rather slowly just like the many slo-mo scenes in the drama itself. It’s pretty to look at but pretty doesn’t make a drama perfect. Gong Yoo is carrying the show so far. And I like his scenes with LDW more than the ones with KGE.

    Plot-wise Goblin still has to impress and surprise me.

  10. LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS DRAMA!! it’s AWESOME so far and I hope it remaines this way and even better till the very end!! Congratulations to Goblin’s team for the great work so far!! keep up the great work!! Fighting!! ^___^

  11. Well I skipped all the comments and just want to say, I tried all means to skip GY’s dramas since I just can’t romanticize a man who looks like my mom’s bro. LMAO..but ok, for KES’ sake and the rating hype, I may have to give a shot. Besides, LDW! How can I miss him? LOL

  12. This kind of bromance is something I’ve missed in a drama for a while. Ep 1 when they’re in Canada i got a few flash backs of the coffee prince when she forces herself in his apartment… ?

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