I cried so much throughout this mind-blowing, fantastic finale!
I have so much to say about the show, but at the moment right now, I’m super intrigued by the portrayal of religion in Goblin.Take note of spoilers in the last two episodes and please feel free to share with me your thoughts. I would love your clarifications should I have gotten anything wrong! (I wonder if anyone else has written on this?)
I have the privilege of being surrounded with multiple religions and with people who are open to sharing about their religions. I think Goblin has dealt with the issue of religion in an elegant and thought-provoking manner. If anyone has been offended by the way it offers some of its propositions, let me know. Otherwise, I felt that the melding of religious ideas together is remarkable.
For example, in Episode 16, Wang Yeo reflects that people become grim reapers because they have committed a great sin in their lives. While we were led to think that his sin was because he turned on his wife, his nation and his warrior, he points out that his ultimate sin was because he took his own life. This is why grim reapers become grim reapers – because they killed themselves – and if I’m not wrong, taking your own life is considered one of the sins in Christianity.
I was also confused throughout the series as to why some people reincarnate and why some people ascend to heaven/go to hell. In the last episode, my conclusion is that a human has four lives, and when you finish your last, that’s when you go to heaven or hell (or straight to hell if you are already horrid and immoral). This is so creative and looks at a harmonisation of ideas between heaven and reincarnation (probably inspired by Christianity and Buddhism/Hinduism) which most people would usually think as being contradictory.
The fact that goblins are considered as deities is also a cool concept that I’ve never read before. There is a sense of hierarchy in the deities-world, where the goblin is obviously subject to the power of The One, which is also unique because of the mix between monotheism and polytheism. Here, there are deities with different purposes, such as the Red Lady who aims to protect children (this was revealed in the special episode).
Lastly, The One is at once everywhere and nowhere. He is represented by a butterfly (which represents resurrection in Christianity), but sometimes he listens through the eyes and ears of the humans. He is merciful but strict and firm. I also love that till the end, we don’t have a clue how The One actually looks like. This is the same, although to a lesser degree, for the Red Lady (because she alternates her appearance to suit the circumstances), and serves as a nice contrast with Kim Shin.
This is all I have for now, but I will be sure to add on if I have further thoughts!