Goblins, known in Black Speech as Gongi, were an archaic breed of "Orcs of the Hills" known for inhabiting ancient regions and regions connected to the Underdeeps. They were recorded by some scholars as ”proto-orcs,” and were theorized as a continuation or branch of the ancient Orcs of Utumno, the first of their kind corrupted from the Elvish race. The term Goblin usually referred to the Lesser Orcs of this kind while the greater Gongs were called Hobgoblins.
Most lesser orcs or Snagas of the later Ages descended from the Gongs, while the great Gongs of the First Age gave rise to most breeds of Uruk in the Second and Third ages. The Greater Orcs of Barad dûr who fought at the Battle of the Gladden Fields, for example, were recorded as filled with the dark will of Sauron and to have acted simultaneously under it, a trait associated with Gongs. The Greater Orcs who appeared before the breeding of the Uruk-Hai were therefore likely descendants of these Hobgoblins.
- Forest Goblins
- Goblin Miners
- Goblins of Goblin-Gate
- Moon Goblins
- Moria Goblins
- Night Goblins
The dispute over the term of Goblin might be brought into accord if Goblin would be considered an umbrella term for the Lesser Orcs, just as Hobgoblin might be considered an umbrella term for the Greater Orcs. In this case, Goblin might mean the descendants of the primitive Orcs bred from Elves, who came to form the backbone of Sauron’s armies.