Goblin Ends with Bittersweet Happy ending and Incredible 18.6% Cable Ratings for Episode 20

Sooooooo…….let’s get this out of the way – I am not a fan of how Kim Eun Sook decided to write the ending to her hit cable drama Goblin. This drama made me cry buckets of tears at various junctures and the entire final episode was awash with salty drops falling from my eyes. It was beautifully rendered and acceptable within the narrative-verse of the fantasy world created, but one major plot point stuck a dagger in me that I wish weren’t so.

But my quibble aside, this was a wonderful heartfelt drama to watch from beginning to end, anchored by Gong Yoo‘s warm and charismatic turn as the titular Goblin Kim Shin. Secondary were Lee Dong Wook and Yoo In Na‘s Grim Reaper and Sunny, leads in their own story but we merely got to see parts of their lives in this tale. It’s a shame that Kim Go Eun‘s female lead Ji Eun Tak finally transformed into a compelling character in the final episode, convincing me that it was the writing on her role and not her acting that caused the disconnect earlier on. Episode 15 brought in 16.92% ratings while the final episode 16 hit an incredible 18.68%. All my love to the cast and crew for creating this memorable drama from start to finish, it was 95% perfect for me.

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Goblin Ends with Bittersweet Happy ending and Incredible 18.6% Cable Ratings for Episode 20 — 43 Comments

  1. I agree with you. It was also 95% perfect for me. The ending was just not satisfying enough to have a complete closure for the series. But that is just from my point of view.

  2. I thought the ending was fitting. The title itself is the lonely and shining Goblin. I didn’t get the lonely part at first but after watching the ending, I get it. Waiting for the love of your life for 30 years while your friend and sister move on not to mention Deok Hwa growing old. It seems everybody leaving you. It’s sad. But it’s his choice.

    However, instead of leaving to our imagination, we get to see their love blossomed. Falling in love again, being in love, the proposal, wedding dress shopping!, getting married and enjoying newlywed life even a possible *wink wink* scene. We saw that. Though I did hope the truck of doom didn’t happen and they didn’t have to face the heartbreak but they’re indeed living on borrowed time so it bound to happen. Otherwise, there’ll be holes in the plot.

    Congrats on the rating!

  3. Funny thing is I stayed up to watch it live (happens rarely), watched 15.. Lovely.. Started 16.. The moment I realized what was happening I was out. I think I am too emotionally attached to finish it now. I will remember this as a lovely drama, Gong Yoo’s Shin was memorable and so was Lee Dong Wook’s crying (so heartbreaking.. I’m sure he needs to rehydrate after this).

  4. It was episode 15 and 16………..I was happy that my second couple got their happy ending. That’s all, I never truly cared for Eun Tak, it was more like without her Goblin would be sad which is why I cared whatever amount that I did.

    • After watching Goblin, I have become a certified Yoo In Na fan. She was amazing! Even if her scenes were so few, she dominated it with her charisma! Absolutely a joy to watch! Her chemistry with Lee Dong Wok sizzles! These should have a drama together !

    • hello… she’s only freshman college then they meet again when she is about 29.

      goblin has been around the corner for about 900+ years.

      so she has the tendency to be playful and cheerful as compared to goblin who has outlived friends and possibly, lovers…

      physically, they should have not much age gap as one is considered old and marriageable when they are in their 20s in the past (kim shin’s time)

      • Nope, she acted like a 19 years old… i get where you come from, but it is a culture difference. I am western, but lived half my life in Asian countries… and the mentality and actions of a teen in America or Europe can never be compared as a teen in Asia, ever!!! So for a South Korean, she was actually a very mature 19 year old girl.

  5. 199
    Jane Says:
    January 22nd, 2017 at 12:36 pm
    Reasons why I love the writer Kim Eun Sook:-
    1) her flair is exactly what I love
    2) her romance script is reality plus fairy tale. Too much reality is boring cos we already have reality in our life. I prefer a drama that relieve me from reality.
    3) entertaining: the story line and especially the dialogues are great and tacky
    4) happy ending : it may sound so typical but so what? We laugh and cry buckets with the drama. And then, we rejoice when we see happy ending!

    My plan for Goblin:-
    I am saving Goblin until it ends. Then I can watch and enjoy it in my leisure
    BUT I hear the ending is not a happy one. This is not Kim EUn Sook’s style. So disappointing! This is so Japanese-like. Japanese drama is so mean in their ending: either unhappy or inconclusive. I hate this kind, too much reality. We have too much of reality in our life. I don’t need this reality in dramas.
    I think I will not watch Goblin
    Sigh! Please, could you give an epilogue for Goblin with a happy ending!!!! PLEASE!

  6. Just think of the ending as a cycle. She comes back, reincarnation x 3. After her life cycle ends, they both go together to the afterlife like grim reaper and Sunny. Then re-incarnate as normal human. I think the writer end it with an open ending, that audience need to make a good ending for the drama.

  7. i started to marathon goblin knowing it ends yesterday, i caught up to last episode live broadcast and feeling bittersweet by the ending. i like the ending because we know they are in the better place and have peace in their heart. no more resentment whatsoever especially for goblin, grim reaper and sunny. euntak has the chance to relive her life in a good way, where there is no threat of death hanging every time she hit the ‘9’ in her life. Goblin made his own fate by continuing to stay immortal but for this time, he’s not waiting for someone to pulled the sword, he’s waiting for his loved one and spending every precious time together again. i hope the deities show his mercy and end goblin immortal live when euntak hit her last reincarnation.

    kudos to kim eunsook-nim and the director for this masterpiece. a fantasy drama done right. they are not perfect, it was still done nicely. thank you the actor and actress for holding up in such a cold weather and still delivering the right emotional punch.

  8. I always wait for the soompi forum comments before watching the real episode, the moment to prepare my self, especially in the last 4 episodes…
    I know smt is wrong when I watch the preview last night, something feel missing…and I remember the preview, something about dandelion, but not yet been shown in the show

    The last episode makes my heart feel like ‘PANG’. It’s not hurting that much (because I’ve spoiled my self too much), it does not feel that empty, but it feels…something lingering inside. Like someone shove reality forcefully to me

    I love this show, I truly do

    But I might avoid this show for a while to avoid my own self

  9. I don’t know why when I see this ending, I get the similar feeling with time traveler’s wife movie ending,
    it maybe bitter ending,eun tak love story is the sad ending for kim shin but at least he get new bride,like in time traveler’s wife,her husband maybe death,but the young version of her husband always come.
    And yeah bravo for this drama,it still awesome drama,especially for gong yoo,he nail that.

  10. Would I have preferred a happy end with rainbows and a big bow? Probably, because I am sucker for happy endings. But I am not dissatisfied with the ending we got, because I felt it was earned and what the characters needed.

    Sunny and Grim Reaper needed a clean slate, to fall in love and live happily together. All her life she was always waiting and her leaving because she couldn’t forgive him would have been pointless. Love is sometimes simply not enough. And he need to forigve himself and just love her. Not remembering was a blessing.

    Eun Tak time on earth was limited, so choosing to sacrifice herself in a hearbeat and overcome her sorrow in another life, to just be with him with all her memories intact, felt right to me.

    Kim Shin loosing her was heartbreaking. But this time he wasn’t waiting for his bride to end his life, he was waiting for her to live his life. I believe, that in the end he would be able to leave this life behind together with her. Be it at the end of her second life or fourth.

  11. I liked the ending but I wanted a little bit more time spent together by the goblin and his bride after her reincarnation, maybe a hug or hands held as they walk through Quebec talking and happy; something order than those stupid stand-off ending, I’ve always hated those. Nevertheless, I will definitely be watching it again someday.

    • Yeah,don’t get me started on those stand-off endings…… like in Faith, another WTF stand-off. Just really need a more intimate gesture to finish it off properly.

  12. Kimshin and euntak will live happily ever after, having lots of children, so that when ET left him in her second life, he won’t be lonely, because their children, grand children, grand grand children and so on, will accompany him, while waiting for ET next lifetime comes. I think this is my perfect happy ending.

  13. Kim Go Eun is an amazing actress. she is shine the most among the four lead in the last 3
    episode effortlessly. such a nuance actress

    • I knew some people did not like her younger character but I loved it and how open she was; I think it complements the part of the goblins life where he never got to enjoy life as a young carefree man, she brought that zest.

  14. Hi koala!
    Was wondering what was the plot point that stuck a dagger in you? If you dont mind sharing of course.
    I still don’t know how i feel about the finale. All i know, is that i was crying like a mad woman in the middle of the night in front of my laptop and that feeling of sadness hasn’t left me since then.

  15. I was waiting to watch until it ended (I’m not patient enough for weekly updates lol) but now I’m not sure I want to watch, which sucks. I just can’t with sad endings 🙁 especially these days with too much depressing reality around us.

  16. Loved this drama, did i loved the ending? No but is not because ET died is because they didn’t spend enough time together in this life time when death separate them again. It feels not fair as they loved each other wholeheartedly and honestly. KS is immortal so that means he will never dies but ET will be reincarnated 4 times and human life normally dont past 100 yrs so at the end KS will end all alone after last reincarnation of ET, what was the grave sin that KS committed to be punished this way was his last rebelion against god when he decided not to go with him when he died? It feels so unfair that his future will have over and over pain and
    suffering. I would had prefer that the writer would had make us think of this because more than bittersweet is just sad and lets safe it who knows that ET will not sacrifice her live again to save one, they may not even be together at all in one of the reincarnation.

    This is downside when we get to invested on characters in a drama because we start thinking what would happen if they were real.

    • I liked your comment and agree with most of it. As much as I loved this drama, I was left with such sadness. To know that Kim Shin eventually will have to live without his beloved bride made the 2nd reunion bittersweet. I hope someday he will be able to petition the Gods and end his earthly existence.

  17. Yeah the ending was bittersweet and left me with a lingering sorrow for Kim Shin. I thought that he would lose his powers and become human,then he and Eun Tak would be reincarnated like Sunny and Yeol and live HEA. The way it ended was too sad for Kim Shin who will see Eun Tak grow old and die while he remains eternally young. – And when she dies he will be left alone again. For me, this isn’t closure at all. If the Almighty forgave him for killing over a thousand souls, why not take away his curse of immortality?

    Big sigh. This is one drama that I won’t forget anytime soon.

  18. Koala – So bittersweet, but at least it was sweet!

    Usually stories rush rush to the finish line as measured by the OTP, and side couples, getting together. The stories are earthbound; good equates to materialistic gains.
    She wins because the beats the MIL, or she wins bc she gets him to capitulate. They live HEA enjoying all the PPL fridges, make-up and sandwiches.

    It’s awesome the audience is talking about the consequences of good vs evil, selflessness and selfishness – and what happens in the hereafter as a result. Not because I believe in any particular religion, but because those ideas are bigger than we are. Death is scary to me; these stories calm me down a lot.

  19. Guys… random thought but did Sunny and GR drink the tea of forgetfulness?? Because I don’t recall them doing so just before walking through the door hand in hand. In which case surely they would remember their past lives just like Eun Tak did right?!

    • No they didn’t. He put the ring on her and they said goodbye to Shin. I went back and rewatched that part. Now I’m teary again. I broke down so many times during these last episodes.

  20. The writer has always been like this with her female leads that’s why I raged when Kim Go-eun was cast as the female lead, not because I didn’t believe she could make the least developed character fleshed out through her acting, but because she would get tons of criticism (even before Ep.1) for the poorly written character.

    I wished that they ended Kim Shin’s punishment though so he could be reborn again like Eun-tak and that they could’ve grown together and died of old age. It’s just too sad that he’ll live through her death at most 3 more more before that butterfly god would let him rest. On the other hand, he chose to stay in that in-between place and not fade into nothingness that’s why he got to return as immortal again.

    • I had dropped this show after episode 8. I couldn’t take anymore of the silliness of the lead actress. In the past there have always been drama characters that are young, silly, feisty, innocent , etc (ex:Jandi BOF, Cinderella and Four knights etc) but, those characters grew on me. But the Eun Tak character was just so annoying and so unlikeable. Good thing a friend of mine told me to continue watching as she said that ep10 onwards would be more on Reaper and Sunny mystery. Peace fellow drama fan. 💙

  21. Hi Ms. Koala! 🙂

    First of all, I must say that, though I’m an avid reader of your blog, and you fan, I don’t agree with you about the final. I respect your opinion, of course, but actually, I think that Goblin was one of the best dramas that I saw. For me it was a masterpiece, that I’ll gladly will re-watch, and likely more than once.

    First of all, I do understand why Kim Eun Sook took so long to make this project; the connections between characters in this story are all so well made, and I think she thought about every single detail. I mean, I really want to re-watch it, because there are so many rich details, so many messages and underlined meanings, that it’s impossible to catch it all at once.

    I’ve read in some websites that this it was a drama about death. After seeing the final episodes I realized that actually it’s about life, the true meaning of life. If you remember, there is a scene when the Goblin said to the Grim Reaper that he lived his life always as it was his last day, having access to everything he could, since he was a warrior living on a battlefield. But I think that he didn’t lived at all. He just had a meaningless life, led by his sword, killing a lot of people. I believe that he was punished by the deity because he lived a life ignoring his humanity. So, he spent 900 years living as a God among the Humans, so he could learn the value of each life, the weight of each life he took away.

    Now, that’s why I totally get why Eun Tak was presented as a 19 years old girl. I don’t think her character was written in a sloppy way. She was the goblin’s bride, but the way she was, her attitude was actually a great contrast with the life of Kim Shin. And I think that was what actually showed to the Goblin the importance of living and the meaning of dead. Eu Tak had such a difficult and tragic life, and mostly because she wasn’t supposed to born, and also because she born with a rola (goblin’s bride) and a mission (take out the sowrd). Even thought, she never hated anyone, and always shinned on her own. I saw so many people criticizing the way the character was written, or even the talent of Kim Go Eun to to act. I don’t agree with that. I know that KES always had a problem in writting strong female roles. But I do believe she portrayed Ji Eu Tak in such a perfect way, and Kim Go Eun did great in bringing her to life. Even thought she acted so many times as a 19 years old girl, she was very mature in the way she faced life.

    I thought the way the show slowly developed made everything even more special. Goblin demands us patient to enjoy every beautiful and meanful detail. The way Kim Shin and Eun Tak fall in love, first feeling a deeper connection and care, than then transformed to pure love. Normally, it works the way around, but I guess for them it was just the snow falling backwards when Eun Tak first kissed Kim Shin.

    Concerning the Grim Reaper and Sunny, I think it was a way more painful to them on the beginning, but we slowly started to understand why. And if you criticize KES for not writing strong female roles, what you have to say about Sunny? She is one of the strongest woman roles that I saw in a drama! She continued to go with her heart, even when Grim Reaper acted so awkwardly. And when she learned the true, she respected the way Wang Yeo decided to deal with all that. And after all, she remember everything, and she was always by Eun Tak side, and kept her memories for herself, letting the thing happens as they should be. And she was strong enough to let time pass by, to help heal the guilt, the sorrow and the pain. She went away, to just live the rest of that life alone, waiting for the right time to reunite with her love and move on.

    For all that, I just love not only the final, but the whole show. I know that many people called it a bittersweet final, but for me it was a very happy and wise one. You see, me and many other kdrama fans that are not korean, start seeing kdramas because mostly they sell us a romanticized view of life and love. For many, it is the light component of kdramas stories, and mainly the lovey dovey finals, that attracted them to watch kdrama over kdrama. I mean, its a nice feeling that we get, an escape to real life. But the true is that life it is so much more than that. I knew since the beginning, that Goblin was on a totally different level, not only because of the unique and odd story, but for the quality of direction, photography, the amazing ost (honestly, one of the bests ever!) and the singular and so real view of the life as it really is. We may aim for an happy ending, but what is an happy ending for you? A forged one as the same KES created to Descendants of the Sun? Or an happy ending, coherent with all the story line, and with the reality of life?

    I mean, lets start with the fact that Eun Tak wans’t supposed to born at all, and only did because Goblin saved her mom. That made posible for her to came to life but, as everything in life, it had a price: she was born with a specific mission. The deity herself said to the Goblin, that he would had to actually die, in order to Eun Tak to live. He made the choice to sacrifice himself, in order for ET to live. It was not an happy ending, even thought the almighty erased her memory. She suffered a lot, even thought she was kept alive. Because Kim Shin loved her so much, he made a decision: to remain as an immortal goblin, walking to where, in order to have an opportunity to came back to her, even if it was a remote shot. But he did came back, and the Grim Reaper and Eun Tak herself knew that she would die, because that the natural order of the world, there are rules that cannot be changed. And its here that you see how beautiful and great, and perfect it is the Eun Tak character is! She knew all along the meaning of life. She reminded Kim shin of her own previous words: “That the living have to live on. You’ll cry sometimes, but you have a laugh a lot and be strong – that’s how you honor the love you were given.” See, the punishment of the Goblin ended 900 after he died because he learned the true value of life. En Tak showed him that. So, yes, I was so sad for him, for his pain. But now he had something to remember and someone to wait for. What is 600 years waiting for the one you love, when you lived lonely and empty for 900 years? And him meeting her again in her next life was the perfect ending: she was no longer a missing soul, nor the born with a mission the restricts the worth of her life for it. She was free of that, and she had many years of that life to live with Kim Shin, which she remember, and the next 2 lives she still had. For me, that it is a perfect ending. That’s way Goblin was so perfect: we started watching it thinking that it was all about death and saddness, but actually it was about life, and the true meaning of life. A life that is made with laugh, tears, pain, evolution and valuable lessons, some happy one some painful. A sad love that it’s eternal it’s so much better that a lovey dovey story that finishes with a last chapter, and don’t live on after.

    I’m sorry for the large comment. It’s just how much in love I am for this wonderful drama. Greeting from Portugal!

    • Oh ! I agree with you !!!

      I really like the fact that the grimp reapers are person who comited suicide, it has a beautiful meaning.

    • I love your comment. I agree 100% with you. The ending is just perfect. This drama has become my favorite drama ever! It makes me laugh, cry and giggles.
      I think this is KES biggest work and this is the second time i love KES drama (after City Hall). I hope she would only write this kind of fantasy drama from now on.

    • Very well said! You’ve just stated everything I wanted to shout out. It was such indeed a great story about life!

  22. i’m not satisfied with the ending, was hoping there would be more interaction between the goblin couple and them hugging and kissing and whatnot. i feel like there needs to be more, but yes it is good as it is. i also feel like without gong yoo, goblin wouldn’t have been this great because he’s really handsome and i just love the way how he looks at her with love and he made it worth watching throughout this drama. i also feel like the ending is a bit consecutive, like how he died then came back to life and now she died and just came back to life…wanted more romantic scenes between them, but glad that it ended on a good note….oh the feels! >.<,

  23. I wanted to say my feelings towards Goblin. To be honest I watch this for the bromance and mostly for Sunny and the Grim Reaper.

    I am not satisfied with their ending, I need a spin off drama just for them. I really love their relationship and how it was unfolded. I love Lee dong wook quiet and quirky self but yet manly approached to the bright and strong beautiful sunny. They deserve the happy ending after such hardship in their past lives but still I need more scene of just them.

    If anything please oh please have a drama of how the cop and actress actually got together and fall in love. I would die to watch about it.

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