Goblins are magical creatures defined as beings, rather than beasts, that are chiefly involved with metal work and the running of Gringotts bank. They are represented by the Goblin Liaison Office in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. Goblins are described as having long, thin fingers and feet, black eyes, and domed heads that are much larger than human heads.[DH Ch.24] Goblins eat a diet of largely raw meat, roots, and fungi.[DH Ch.25] Goblins converse in a language known as Gobbledegook. Goblins harbour very different feelings about ownership than wizards: they consider the true owner of an object to be its maker, invariably, rather than its purchaser, whom they see as simply renting the object until their death, and resent the passing of goblin-made heirlooms through Wizarding families without further payment.[DH Ch.25] Wizarding Law prohibits the ownership of wands by goblins. Goblins are capable of using goblin magic which (like elf magic) is independent of Wizarding magic.
Relations between goblins and wizards have been strained for centuries from misunderstandings on both sides, sometimes leading to violence in the form of goblin rebellions and riots. Along with house-elves, goblins seem to occupy positions as second-class citizens in the Wizarding world. The goblins remain a neutral force during the Second Wizarding War, siding with neither Voldemort nor the opposition to him, claiming that it is "a wizard's war."[DH Ch.15] In some cases, a state of friendship exists between certain wizards and goblins (particularly Bill Weasley, who works as a Curse Breaker for Gringotts Bank), and there have even been some instances of goblin-wizard interbreeding (Professor Flitwick has distant goblin ancestry, which likely accounts for his small size).
Named Goblin characters:
- Gornuk, an associate of Griphook
- Ragnuk the First: Supposedly the creator of the sword of Godric Gryffindor