Thursday, July 17, 2014

THURSDAY CRUSH: Jareth the Goblin King

Name: Jareth the Goblin King
Born: Unknown
You Know Him From: Labyrinth
Geek Cred: He looks like David Bowie, does fun tricks with crystal balls, and will be your slave as long as you let him rule you.

"Just fear me, love me, do as I say, and I will be your slave."


When I think about my crushes through the years, Jareth pops up a lot. I was an unusual kid. Right next to a unicorn poster in my room there could be a Clash of the Titans one, or even a David Bowie one. My fascination for David Bowie began before Labyrinth, though it continues long after. But there is something about the film, something about Jareth that still resonates. It apparently affected me so much that I wrote fan-fiction about Sarah and Jareth.

For those who haven’t seen the film Sarah is a teenage girl with a big imagination, who also has what she sees as an evil stepmother and a new baby brother who keeps being given all of her favorite toys. Jareth, the Goblin King, has fallen in love with her and when she asks for the goblins to take away Toby who won’t stop crying (maybe it’s because you took away his toy) Jareth does. He needs an heir and will turn Toby into a goblin. Isn’t that what Sarah asked him to do after all? Sarah has “thirteen hours in which to solve the labyrinth, before your baby brother becomes one of us… forever.” So into the Labyrinth she goes. And what a Labyrinth it is. It has Froud faeries and goblins, amazing muppets by the Henson company and plenty of catchy musical numbers. It does have the fierys though and those things give me the heebie jeebies kind of the way the Wheelers did from Return to Oz.

The rest of the film is a competition between Jareth and Sarah not only for Sarah to solve the Labyrinth, but for control of little Toby. Sarah taunts Jareth. He, in return, cheats. Sarah finds herself intrigued by the Goblin King, he wants to rule her heart, but break free of the hold she has over him. As a child I might not have seen the more adult themes you could possibly see in the film. As an adult…uh yeah. It’s not just the tight pants, it’s how Jareth is a bad guy, but a likable bad guy. He has layers. He is complex. And I love it when he sings. *grin*

He is a sympathetic character (just listen to the lyrics of Within You). He cannot exist without her (perhaps literally since it could be said that the whole film is in her head and part of her imagination). He also begins to see Sarah not as a girl, but a woman who could be his queen. Sure there might be some sexual awakening subtext. If Sarah would only submit to him, let him rule her, let him love her…and he will give her anything she wants. He will be her slave. Sarah of course does not take him up on his offer much to my disappointment and massive amounts of other fangirls just like me. Would I say no to Jareth? What do you think?

"Everything that you wanted I have done. You asked that child be taken, I took him. You cowered before me and 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 of me. "

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