Understanding Jareth the Goblin King: How he can help us succeed in life – (Part 2)

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Understanding Jareth the Goblin King: How he can help us succeed in life - (Part 2) http://vlnresearch.com/understanding-jareth-the-goblin-king-part-2

Welcome to the freak show.


 Part 2! Welcome back. Read Part 1 if you missed it. Here we learn how to succeed in life a little easier.

Picking up where we left off…

Peaches and Dream:

Sarah eats the peach, which makes her stumble about in a drugged haze before passing out.

Understanding Jareth the Goblin King: How he can help us succeed in life - (Part 2) http://vlnresearch.com/understanding-jareth-the-goblin-king-part-2 Goblin King Jareth sends crystal balls image

Dream a little dream of me.

Jareth sends a flock of crystal balls, which turn into bubbles, to control Sarah’s dream. In it, she’s in a masquerade ball, dressed the part but without a mask. Same for Jareth. This mirrors the doll in the glass case in her room.

The song he sings to her is “As the World Falls Down.” Go read the lyrics. I’ll wait.

This part:

There’s such a sad love
Deep in your eyes, a kind of pale jewel
Open and closed within your eyes
I’ll place the sky within your eyes

There’s such a fooled heart
Beating so fast in search of new dreams
A love that will last within your heart
I’ll place the moon within your heart

As the pain sweeps through
Makes no sense for you
Every thrill has gone
Wasn’t too much fun at all
But I’ll be there for you
As the world falls down

This is a straight-up love song. If anyone still thought Toby was the center of Jareth’s attention, “As the World Falls Down” blows that out of the water. Jareth’s attention has been steadily shifting away from the baby and toward Sarah.

Again we see he’s bringing her here as an act of generosity. Her real life sucks, so he’s giving her something more. “I’ll be there for you as the world falls down.” As she moves through the crowd, he smiles at her amazement.

Understanding Jareth the Goblin King: How he can help us succeed in life - (Part 2) http://vlnresearch.com/understanding-jareth-the-goblin-king-part-2 Goblin King Jareth and Sarah ballroom dance image

Another kind of Magic Dance, with serious sexual tension.

They share a dance, but she pushes him away when she sees the clock. He watches her go, disappointed.

Storm the gates:

Understanding Jareth the Goblin King: How he can help us succeed in life - (Part 2) http://vlnresearch.com/understanding-jareth-the-goblin-king-part-2 labyrinth goblins protect the wall image

This could have gone worse…

The fellowship of the Labyrinth breaches the castle perimeter. Jareth orders the goblin minions to repel them. The goblins actually do pretty well, but fail in the end. Why he thinks they’ll succeed is a mystery. But again, potentially fatal tactics are used against the protagonists.

Finale:

Jareth and Sarah meet in the Escher Room, named after MC Escher, the artist who drew the stairs picture seen in Sarah’s room.

Understanding Jareth the Goblin King: How he can help us succeed in life - (Part 2) http://vlnresearch.com/understanding-jareth-the-goblin-king-part-2 mc escher stairs labyrinth room

You’re not high, it’s just MC Escher’s mindbending stairs room image.

Here Sarah tries to catch an oblivious Toby, who crawls along the ceilings and walls like a fly. There’s no up or down here. Nothing is as it seems. Jareth isn’t bothered, as he walks from upside down to right-side up without a blink. Face to face with Sarah again, he explains that he did all this for her.

Sarah, beware. I have been generous up ’til now. I can be cruel.

Sarah: Generous? What have you done that’s generous?

Everything! Everything that you wanted I have done. You asked that the child be taken. I took him. You cowered before me, I was frightening. I have reordered time. I have turned the world upside down, and I have done it all for you! I am exhausted from living up to your expectations. Isn’t that generous?

Jareth sums it up well there. He is half singing these words. The song blossoms into “Within You.”

Live without the sunlight
Love without your heartbeat
I, I can’t live within you
I can’t live within you

Laying all his cards on the table even as she begins the spell to defeat him, he says,

I ask for so little. Just fear me. Love me. Do as I ask, and I shall be your slave.

He’s pleading. The great Goblin King is reduced to begging. In cooperation with his crystal balls, Jareth’s words have always gotten him his way. He manipulates people by appealing to or threatening their basic desires.

Understanding Jareth the Goblin King: How he can help us succeed in life - (Part 2) http://vlnresearch.com/understanding-jareth-the-goblin-king-part-2 Goblin King Jareth final crystal ball offer image

Last chance offer! Accept now before it’s gone forever!

No more threats. He could threaten to come after her in the real world. She doesn’t know if he can or can’t. Instead, he appeals to her heart, her dreams, offering the crystal ball a last time.

He promises to be her “slave” in return for her love and obedience. Despite all his power, he wants someone who not only obeys and fears him, but who also loves him. It can be argued that love and fear are mutually exclusive, but not in Jareth’s eyes. Even now he hopes to achieve his deepest desire: to be accepted, loved.

Sarah is unmoved.

Conclusion:

The sad thing is, by fulfilling Sarah’s wish, he’s shot himself in the foot. As long as she’s fixated on Toby, she won’t care about the Goblin King. She’s single minded in her quest to find her brother. In Jareth’s defense, there wasn’t a lot of evidence that Sarah would turn out to have a heart of platinum.

Jareth was operating on the assumption that she really doesn’t like Toby. The fact that Sarah continues to defy his expectations and orders seems to intrigue him. Yet despite her continued resistance against his ploys, he fails to see she’s moved beyond being suckered by dreams. He underestimated her, never believing she could say, “You have no power over me.”

♦ What does Jareth represent?

Villains embody themes, morals, warnings, dangers. They are symbols and parables that help us live better.

So what about the Goblin King? This is just my opinion, but I believe he embodies a number of themes:

  • The dangers of materialism along with its attraction.
  • The allure of surface beauty.
  • The emptiness of power that has no love.
  • The universal desire for love.
  • The temptation to sacrifice freedom (obey Jareth) to have security (and he will give her her dreams).

This isn’t exhaustive, of course.

♦ What Jareth the Goblin King teaches us about how to succeed in life:

Never underestimate your opponents. People act in surprising ways. Be ready for their change; reassess them frequently.

Know what people want. You never know your demographic, client, love interest, etc. as well as you think. Make double sure of your “subject’s” motivations before you roar in with all cylinders firing.

Remember that nothing is as it seems. Use this to your advantage, since most people assume “what you see is what you get.” Give people more than they expected, or something better than they expected. People generally like to be pleasantly surprised. The more they underestimate you, the more their esteem for you will climb when you prove them wrong.

Choose your friends wisely. “Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future,” the saying goes. Choose wisely, because peer pressure is real. And don’t expect people who are unqualified for a role to fill that role!

Sing. Studies show that singing is excellent for your well being overall. An Australian study conducted in 2008 showed that choral singers rated their satisfaction with life higher than did the public.

Dance. A Swedish study found that people who took dance classes improved their mental health and mood.


♦ Mach(iavelli) Tip:

“Since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.

Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli, The Prince*

 Tzu Tip:

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

Sun Tzu, The Art Of War*


♦ Further reading:

Jareth’s Villain Matrix score


Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments. Perform your own villain assessment with the Villain Matrix. Use the Villain Matrix spreadsheet that comes free when you join the Research Team, where you’ll also get our newsletter with its exclusive updates and content.


 (*Affiliate link, meaning you get a movie, I get a few pennies, and everybody’s happy!)

Lead researcher at Villainous Life Natures Research. Writer, reader, snarker. Lover of all things Geek and Dark. INTJ. Read my reports at vlnresearch.com and learn how understanding villains can help you succeed in life. Find my action-adventure post-apocalypse zombie thriller Wolves of the Apocalypse series at lcchamplin.com. I write fiction because the characters in my head have too much attitude to stay in my skull, I want to see the world through different eyes, and I want to live life through different souls.

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