Fellow villain lovers; gather! It is time again to come together and pick out a beautiful baddie to talk about. After our last villain, who was a total creep fest, I decided it was a good time to pick one of the greats to gush over this month. This month we are going to go deep into a magical place with twist and turns and we may not make it out alive: the 1980’s! AH! Jokes aside our villain does live in a twisty turney upside down world; the Labyrinth. Hold on to your tight pants, check on your little brothers and remember you have no power over me, this month we are talking about The Goblin King himself; Jareth.
Labyrinth is the cult classic movie that premiered in 1986, telling the story of a young girl who wished her little brother away and started on a beautiful and wacky adventure into another world. Sarah, played by Jennifer Connelly, is a teenage girl going through the typical teenage angst. Who doesn’t remember having to run home in the rain because we lost track of time cosplaying in the park down the street. Ok, so Sarah may have some issues but that’s not what we are here for! When Sarah feels trapped by her father and step-mother she decides to take it out on her young baby brother Toby. When he starts to cry she wishes him away and asks the Goblin King to take him. Then stuff happens and Toby is gone and that is when our villain Jareth appears, in all his glory. Appearing as if from a dream Jareth is portrayed by the late, great Davis Bowie, and tells Sarah that he has taken her brother from her to become a goblin. When Sarah begs for Toby back Jareth tells her that she may have him back, if she can solve the Labyrinth.
I won’t ruin the story for those who haven’t seen the movie, side note; if you have not seen this movie it is a must. Go watch it right now. I’ll wait. Anyway I won’t spoil it but the basic premise is that Jareth wants to convince Sarah to stay with him in the Labyrinth, and he even creates a small world within a bubble just for them and produces one of the most confusingly romantic stories of all time. This movie for me and many others was one of the first times we understood what it meant to have unrealistic boyfriend standards. Jareth for years was a standard that most boys had to attempt to meet before I decided to say hello. Labyrinth was the movie that convinced me I wanted to become a famous actress simply to meet David Bowie, and Jareth was the first man who convinced me that I needed someone to write me a song or send me into a magical Labyrinth to find my little brother. Either one would suffice.
Now it’s time to discuss our villain characteristics and how Jareth fits into them. First we will test his intelligence. Jareth is pretty smart, I actually think he might be smarter than Sarah. Well wait, he is definitely smarter than Sarah. Sarah stands around saying everything isn’t fair while Jareth warps and transforms this entire world on a whim to make it impossible for her to solve. I am still convinced that she only does it with the help she receives along the way. Jareth is for intent and purposes pretty smart for a villain and creates puzzles that would be difficult for Sarah, or anyone, to solve. Again the only reason why she is able to do it is because she gets help from creatures living within the Labyrinth itself. So basically she cheated.
Jareth’s morality is a little weird. It’s not that he doesn’t lack morality, I think he is fully aware of what is right and what is wrong; he just doesn’t care. Jareth wants what he wants and has the ability to get it, so he does. Jareth is I guess in love, or at the very least fascinated by Sarah and therefore has no qualms about kidnapping a one year old boy to entice her into his world. I think he knew very well that Sarah would want Toby back and used that against her to get her right where he wanted her. After saying that I feel a little creeped out and let down. Oh well.
Jareth’s obsession is pretty obvious; it’s Sarah. I’ve noticed this theme a lot with villains, they will obsess over one particular person, usually looking for some kind of romantic connection, and then cause mayhem in that person’s life until they submit. Charming! The obsession that Jareth has for Sarah is showcased in his attention to detail when it comes to the Labyrinth itself, he literally alters space and time just to make this puzzle for her, he even says “I have turned the world upside down and I have done it all for you, I’m exhausted living up to your expectations of me”. It is easy to see how Jareth let his obsession become his downfall, I think if Jareth had no real feelings toward Sarah, she wouldn’t have been able to solve the Labyrinth, with or without
Now comes the fun part, Jareth’s sex appeal. Jareth is sexy and if you say he isn’t then well, you’re wrong. Sorry, but you are. Jareth, first of all, is played by David Bowie, a man who just standing there exudes a certain sexy aura. The guy was a walking sex icon for many decades, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that he would bring that certain spark to this character. Jareth as the character is sexy, he is a peacock, he’s got “swagger,” as the kids call it. The costumes alone could knock you over with a feather. The biggest, no pun intended, part of the costume that is most often discussed with fans, are those pants. Jareth wears this skin tight Goblin King pants that basically show off everything. They’re like leggings but sexier. Aside from his physical appearance Jareth has that same strain of sexy that comes from the misunderstood guy trying to get the girl thing, he creates a whole world to impress the girl he likes and somehow that comes across as sexy and not creepy in this case.
I don’t know how wounded Jareth is, we are never given a back story in the movie, but I know that he is wounded after the movie. I know I said I wouldn’t spoil anything but basically Sarah figures out that he has no real power over her and is able to defeat him by making that revelation at the thirteenth hour. Right before this moment Jareth is attempting desperately to convince Sarah to stay with him, to love and worship him and when she finally remembers the “you have no power over me” line, he looks really sad. Jareth seems honestly broken hearted that Sarah remembered that she can’t be a puppet for him like everyone else. It makes me think if this is what Jareth does, goes around finding pretty innocent girls and tries to get them to love him and obey him and when they disappoint him, he just turns them into goblins…oh god. Thinking about how many goblins there are in that movie makes me wonder how many little brothers and teenage girls did this guy kidnapped? This article has taken an unexpected turn for the worse…
I am not sure anyone would be able to seriously relate to Jareth. I don’t know how many of you actually have the ability to create an alternate universe to impress the girl of your dreams, but I’m guessing you are few. The only way I think most people could relate is the fact that he was willing to do anything to get the person he loved to love him back, and like some of us, maybe he took it too far. We’ve all done something out there to impress the person we like and had it backfire, although I hope none of you had kidnapped siblings!
Jareth, the Goblin King, is one of my favorite fictional characters of all time. We are brought into this wonderful and magical world for a little while and convinced to leave behind the real world for a little while. Jareth is captivating, alluring and downright evil at times, making him the perfect mix for a villain. There is a reason why people return to the castle beyond the goblin city time and time again, it brings back a piece of childhood and that wonder you felt when you first laid eyes on Labyrinth. We are taken on dangers untold and hardships unnumbered and in the end we are brought back home, like Sarah, with the memories of the world falling down. Hope you enjoyed this month’s villain my readers, see you next time!
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