FANDOM


Farm-Fresh balanceYMMVTransmit blueRadarWikEd fancyquotesQuotes • (Emoticon happyFunnyHeartHeartwarmingSilk award star gold 3Awesome) • RefridgeratorFridgeGroupCharactersScript editFanfic RecsSkull0Nightmare FuelRsz 1rsz 2rsz 1shout-out iconShout OutMagnifierPlotGota iconoTear JerkerBug-silkHeadscratchersHelpTriviaWMGFilmRoll-smallRecapRainbowHo YayPhoto linkImage LinksNyan-Cat-OriginalMemesHaiku-wide-iconHaikuLaconic

The Right Words always were "You should have dates at your age".

And *POP* the Goblin King (plus package) shows up! Sarah's stepmother has no idea what she initiated.

David Bowie is a Muppet. The man never ages.

His career before Labyrinth was an elaborate experimental ruse by the Jim Henson company. It's the same style as having Elmo interviewed on a current affairs program, but on a grander scale. After the film was done, he somehow escaped, and he has been maintaining his fame as a security measure and because performance is all he knows how to do (and gods, he does it well...). There are legions of people who would notice if he ever disappeared.

  • Ooh. And Jim Henson never died. After Labyrinth he realized how much more lucrative being a rock star was compared to being a puppeteer. He's been "playing" Bowie ever since.

Labyrinth contains no special effects. It functions entirely on David Bowie's actual powers.

Ball-rolling and turning into animals? David Bowie does it with ease. Operating multiple Jim Henson muppets simultaneously with the power of his mind? Child's play for Bowie. Walking up walls and across ceilings? Just how Bowie gets about. The only thing that distinguishes Jareth from any of Bowie's other personae is the baby-stealing.

  • Strangely, Venture Brothers does insist that he is an actual shapeshifter. He even turns into a bird like in this movie, which is Lampshaded: "The guy from Labyrinth just turned into a bird!"

What we see in the fantasy part of the film is the result of Sarah's deranged and deluded mind after she kills Toby and sinks into insanity.

The end of the movie shows her having a brief lucid moment, though still being in denial about the murder, when her parents get home; then she sinks irrevocably into insanity at the end.

  • Nooooooo!
  • Some people just can't cope with fantasy.

Sarah commits suicide shortly after the end of the film.

Realising that she has turned down paradise with Bowi... um.. Jareth (in a bout of brief paranoia) hits home later that evening. She cries for several days straight, and then her body is found crumpled on the ground outside after she jumps off the roof trying to get back to Jareth's goblin kingdom.

  • Jareth (Bowie) could raise her from the dead and bring her back with him, but is far too faye to do so since she already made the wrong choice.

Jareth is of the same Witch Species as Yuko Ichihara from XxxHolic.

Both of them are masters at screwing around with space and time. Both of them like screwing over ignorant mortals by giving them exactly what they asked for. Both of them have the odd habit of having a new and ridiculously elaborate outfit every time they appear onscreen. Both like flirting with barely-legal teenagers in ambiguously sexual relationships. The similarities are scary.

  • Count D from Pet Shop of Horrors is another of that species. Same wish-granting theme and elaborate outfits.

Jareth is the same type of Fae as the gentleman with thistledown hair from Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.

The similarities are left as an exercise for the reader.

Jareth is the same type of Fae as the Beldam from Coraline.

They both steal children, preside over fantasy realms, change form, and have problems with their minions defecting. They both can be beaten by challenging them to games, and they both will cheat if you start to win.

Jareth is romantically interested in baby Toby.

Sadly, very sadly, this is the plot of the Labyrinth Spin-Off Yaoi manga, featuring bishounen teenage Toby being stalked for his whole life by Jareth the magical pedophile.

Well, he is a supernatural being and may have different ideas of what's an appropriate age to begin lusting after someone, or the difference between 'What a cute baby!' and 'Hel~looo, nurse.'

  • This just makes the lyrics of "Magic Dance" a million times worse...

 Dance, magic dance!

Dance, magic dance!

Put that baby spell on me

Jump, magic jump!

Jump, magic jump!

Put that magic jump on me

Slap that baby... make him free!

Jareth & The Goblins, "Magic Dance"

  • Jossed. The manga has Toby brought to the Goblin Kingdom to become the new King so that Jareth can run after Sarah in the Real World. As of now, Toby's in major trouble as the new Goblin King, and Jareth is plotting either vengeance or reclaiming Sarah as her Stalker with a Crush. The Yaoi implications, like the art on the covers, were just there to lure in the fangirls.
    • Anyone lured in by that Yaoi deserved what they got.

Sarah, but not Toby, is related to the famed Morgan Le Fay.

This is why, when SHE said the words, it worked.

Meiriona is using this in her own fanworks on fanfiction.net.


The right words were "Somebody take me away from this awful place!"

This makes the entire movie a set up for when Sarah inevitably runs back to the generous but cruel Goblin King, who had indeed fallen in love with her.

There Is No Toby.

The "baby" is a creation of Jareth, specifically a MacGuffin to lure Sarah into his world so he can evaluate her potential as his Queen. All the trials Sarah goes through in his world are tests of fitness. All her "memories" of Toby are false. Her "parents" either have false memories, too, or are fakes themselves.

Sarah is the sole beautiful statue in the Goblin World come to life.

Inspired by the speculation above. If her parents are constructs of Jareth's, then what does that make her? Simple -- another construct, only she has free will.

Jareth was stolen by goblins as a baby.

Hence his human appearance. He was stolen from the Krolock family, and his older brother later became a vampire after inheriting the title of Graf. (Jareth didn't age past about 30 because he lived in another realm.)

Both brothers, in spite of completely different upbringings, later fell in love with and lured teenage girls named Sarah who were bored to death with their normal lives.

In addition, isn't it obvious that Herbert (Graf von Krolock's son) is SOMEHOW related to Jareth? Just look at Jareth and then Herbert.

  • Not only is that the case, but Jareth was also specifically trying to duplicate that with Toby, more or less--he wanted to raise Toby to be his heir. Either he really ages at a normal rate and couldn't be the goblin king forever, or he didn't want to be the goblin king forever but couldn't leave without finding a replacement. (Abdication - successor = chaos, and not the kind the goblins will like.)
    • The second theory is the implication of Return to Labyrinth, although whether or not [[Fanon Discontinuity}}|it's canon]] depends on the reader.
    • According to the Book of the Movie, the first theory is partially correct. Jareth does age, but at a much slower rate. The beginning of the book has him realizing he's getting older and that he needs an heir.
      • There's a BOOK!?
      • Sadly, it's out of print, but you can find the text here
        • The text may also be accessible here, but the link is currently dead.
  • Jareth's being taken by the goblins and either not aging or aging slowly makes his attraction to Sarah less creepy. After all, the era he was born in may have considered a girl eligible for marriage at 16, or even 14, depending on how long he has been in the care of the goblins.
  • Different version of the theory but along the same lines: Jareth was stolen as a baby by a previous Goblin King also named Jareth because his big sister wished him away. His sister tried to get him back, but instead fell for the King's charms, and the King used the girl to break out of the Goblin Kingdom and into the real world to live with her. He named his "heir" Jareth as well before leaving the kingdom in his control. Jareth stopped aging at around 30, so this may have been centuries ago. In Labyrinth Jareth tried to to the same thing to Toby that was done to him, even considering changing Toby's name to Jareth.

Jareth is a vampire

Jareth is an Anthropomorphic Personification of Deception.

He certainly seems to operate on a different plane from the other goblins, who might or might not be constructs he personally created based on Sarah's books and toys when he targeted her.

Likewise, he follows no particular rules of time or space; but when Sarah stops believing in his power, it is broken, just with a lie. And he cannot show up until she tells him to.

Jareth is an Anthropomorphic Personification of stories

The goblins all seem to come from Sarah's stories. This leads to strange implications.

  • Well, let's make a long essay comparatively short:

Jareth is a facet of Dream.

He rules a magical kingdom. He put a girl he had fallen in love with but who refused his gifts into an oubliette. He offers that same girl the world ("Fear me love me..." / "I would have made her a goddess"). He pissed off a young woman by appearing to have stolen a fair-haired baby while it was being babysat and mum was out; but he didn't personally steal the kid. The young woman embarks on a quest to get revenge on the king for stealing the kid. The young woman gains three allies who help her to defeat this king. He desires to have the "stolen" child take his place. He is defeated, and his power is broken, when the young woman comes into the heart of his kingdom; his kingdom is destroyed by this. And he has Eighties Hair and long flowing cloaks.

The only real difference is that Sarah got Toby back, while Daniel took over for Morpheus. It's obviously an alternative ending Dream made for himself and his heir to be comforted by.

Jareth is a personification of dreams and stories, but not Grant Morrison's.

He's related to an entirely different attractive anthropomorphic personification of death.

Come on. Look at the way der Tod dresses. Watch "Der Letze Tanz" on one of the productions where Elisabeth's wedding dress looks decidedly white and poofy. Overtones of Sarah? You bet.

Jareth is an empty vessel -- he takes all his personality and important details beyond being what he is in the play, with minimal physical description, from Sarah's fantasies.

That's why he wants her to stay. Wouldn't you rather be a handsome, cunning trickster-god in really tight pants than just another goblin in a goblin kingdom?

The reason for all the puzzles and awkward semi-romantic imagery? Hormones.


The people inside the crystal during Sarah's dream/Jareth's seduction are the other people of his race.

They've been imprisoned by him, either for some crime against him or because he's totally batshit. They continue partying eternally, either because they're under a spell, they like it in there, or they, too, are completely batshit.

Both Sarah and the Goblin King are simply mentally ill humans.

Jareth breaks into the house and steals the kid as Sarah is babysitting. Sarah, not quite understanding 911, follows. She ventures into a small area of the city where the inhabitants don't like the cops but like baby-stealing psychos even less. (This part is justified by reality. Most crooks have a huge soft spot for kids in a good way.) Sarah's allies are friendly humans who want to help save the baby, and they use their underworld connections to do so. It is just fun to image the real world version of the Labyrinth. Maybe the Bog of Eternal Stench is a needle-strewn, long-abandoned crack-house.

  • The other inhabitants of this so-called Labyrinth are simple criminals. They get by, and they aren't heroes, but they aren't crazy either. Jareth, however, works outside the rules and is deeply delusional. Naturally, they would despise and occasionally disregard him-- but fear him as well.

Jareth is a creature similar to the elves in Terry Pratchett's Discworld, if not indeed one of them

His actions and motivations resemble those of the Queen of Fairies in the Wee Free Men considerably, and like with the Queen, his world seems to be a reflection of his own mind, and its creatures are either extensions of himself, or wandered in from other places and gotten stuck. His appearance and demeanor are very reminiscent of the elves described in Lords and Ladies. He isn't a sadistic monster, but he clearly struggles with the concepts of human morality, and can't really tell love and possessiveness apart from each other. Of course, the stories take influence from the same ancient myths, justifying the similarity.

  • Elves are canonically an offshoot of the boogeymen and look like small, ugly monkey things underneath their glamours - that is, goblins. They live in parasitical pocket dimensions they can mold to their whims - that is, the Labyrinth. They get off on convincing mortals to worship them and are near helpless against a human that's managed to overpower their illusions. Jareth's an elf that got fed up with all the dog raping characteristics of his kind and decided to head off, start his own kingdom, and play the Trickster God instead! It all makes sense!
    • Where the connection with bogeymen is canonically stated? It's an interesting wild mass guessing theory in its own right, but it's not a canonical fact. Indeed, much of the time it's implied that the elves' true form resembles The Greys in the Discworld.

Jareth is Sosuke Aizen.

He keeps his zanpakuto in his pants, which Sarah was the only one not to notice. This is why she is presumably the first human to break through his illusion: she was never subject to the full force of the illusions, just the secondary effects that could be broken.

  • Oh my gosh, you made me nosebleed for Aizen's possible crotchitude! You pervert!

Sarah Isn't Crazy; she's the new Goblin King

At the end of the movie, she summons the denizens of the Goblin City to her bedroom; she's not hallucinating them or sinking into insanity, it really is happening. Her bedroom, being her sanctuary away from mundane life, is slowly merging with Jareth's Castle. Having defeated him, Sarah is now the Goblin King (Queen?) and entitled to his realm.

Sarah emerges from the Labyrinth as a Fairest, Toby will grow up to be a Hunter.

Forever touched by the powers of Arcadia, Sarah returns triumphant from her Durance in the Labyrinth, but finds herself growing even more distant from normal humans because she's found real friends among the goblins and hobgoblins she met in the Hedge.

When Toby grows up and finds his sister consorting with monsters (and possibly being able to see through her Mask, having been touched by Jareth's power as a baby), and generally becoming less and less human as she grows more fully into her Fae powers, he'll eventually hear the story of how he was stolen and Sarah came to rescue him, and dedicate himself to keeping the Fae from stealing anyone else.

  • Alternately, Sarah is one of the Wizened. Her Durance certainly had more to do with being cunning than being pleasing, we only think of her as fair because we - most of us, anyway - cannot see through her Mask. She actually looks much like the dweller of the dump who helped her reach one of her most important realizations.
    • Jareth put her through all that because he fell in love with her, in as much as any True Fae can; Wizened durances typically mean pointless, hideous tortures or impossible labors, and they become what they do more than anything like what they were made to be. Since Sarah is as gorgeous as ever and has learned to make friends over the course of the journey, it's unlikely that she picked up the characteristic bitterness and spite that the Wizened all have-- however, it may be that she's picked up a dual kith, reflecting her unusually triumphant escape from Faerie by actually defeating her Keeper.
      • What makes you so sure she really did defeat him?
    • And to take it further, Toby has become a Fairest.

David Bowie is the heir of Gondor.

David Bowie is, however distantly, the direct descendant of King Aragorn, son of Arathorn, and Queen Arwen, making him not only the leader of the D únedain (and, by extension, the N úmen óreans), as well as the one of the last elves on Earth. This is evidenced by his slow-aging and as his singing.

Jareth is der Tod.

Sarah keeps almost dying. The film takes place while she's well and truly out of her skull. Maybe she's severely ill (or grappling with depression) or something, and the film (as well as her rejection of his affections, symbolic of a refusal to dream away the rest of her life just taking her medication and waiting for death) is her decision to live, with death returned to its proper place. A story element, not something that will rule her life.

Jareth is Toby.

He went back in time to ensure his own future as Goblin King.

  • ... awesome! This is further supported by the name Jareth bestows on Toby ("I think I'll call him Jareth").
    • W-Wait. But Jareth is in love with Sarah, at least so far as one assumes a Goblin King can be. The manga makes it clear that Toby, like Jareth, has very fond memories of his creative elder sister, and regrets her mundane 'growing up,' and sure, he falls in love with a palette-swapped version of Sarah as she was at his age, but... Ohdeargoditmakessense.

The entire Labyrinth, and everything in it, was created by Jareth for Sarah

Having fallen in love with Sarah, Jareth decides to allow her to live out her fantasies, by creating a realm inspired by Sarah's book, and the objects in her room. By the end, he's exhausted from playing the antagonist for her, without her ever realizing what he's trying to do for her. Realizing he can never have her, he lets her finish the story and sends her back to her own world, along with the friends she made in the Labyrinth to keep her happy.

The Entire Labyrinth, and everything in it, is literally Sarah's dream... until the end of the movie.

Being occupied mostly with her many fantasies, Sarah had dreams that were far more potent - and more recurring - than most. Eventually, one of those dreams actually became self-aware, and understood itself only to be a phantasm in the mind of a teenage girl. That dream acted first to rule the entirety of Sarah's dreamscape, then awaited its moment. When Sarah fell asleep in tears on her bed after her parents had left to see the show, he saw his moment, and worked the dream around her to start off seeming like real life, then take Sarah into a fantastic realm where anything could happen, all building up to a battle against him, personally. It was a massive Batman Gambit to make Sarah (his creator) acknowledge him as completely real (which she arguably did, with the caveat that he had no power over her), thereby allowing him to exist in the real world. He got more than he bargained for - all the Labyrinth creatures Sarah saw were also made real by her, but lack true self-identity, and exist only as Sarah's will dictates (AKA "when she needs them"). Jareth, however, maintains his independence, and flew off into the night to seek further mischief.

Jareth actually is a muppet like the other Goblins.

His true form is that of the "beggar" in the tunnels (really well-informed Goblins, such as Hoggle, know this). He practiced shapeshifting magics, however, and learned to become a white owl - chosen as a symbol of his superiority over the Labyrinth as a whole, in mockery of the omnipresent Black Chickens. Armed with this symbol (and the ability to fly over the walls), he amasses great power, and eventually mastered scrying (as well as contact juggling) to the extent he could look into the human world. He was so taken with humans he learned a human form as well, and used it almost exclusively thereafter.

Jareth represents Sarah's over-obsession with a world of fantasy, while Ludo, Hoggle and Sir Didymus are healthy amounts of imagination.

As Sarah goes through the movie she learns the facts of life and grows up from an annoying primadonna to a responsible teenager. Going with Jareth would've meant she neglected all the duties and normalcy of life and instead live in a world of fantasy where nothing could hurt her or be 'unfair'. Leaving with her brother however shows that she accepts the responsibility and harshness of the world. However, she feels slightly down that she is alone in the cruel real world, and realizes that certain amount of fantasy are good for the soul, and help to cope with all of life's troubles.

  • This is actually what I got out of the movie upon first viewing, but also, each of the goblins represents a responsibility that Sarah has shrugged off or forgotten, which is why Toby is in danger of turning into one.
    • And every puzzle represents something she can do to help repair her relationship with her father and grow up - for instance, asking for permission, asking politely for information instead of demanding it, being somewhere on time, helping because it's the right thing to do instead of it being required, not placing so much value on material possessions, not taking things at face value etc.
  • ^ This. Probably the reason why I don't like the The Nostalgia Chick review much is because she scorns the ending of the movie as a Completely Missing the Point about letting go of childhood, when any psicologyst will tell you that a little amount of phantasy is not only unavoidable but also healthy. Besides, don't you think that if letting completely go of your imagination was an unavoidable step into adult hood, it would make somehow difficult to people like Jim Henson to exist at all?

Jareth isn't a fae, a muppet, or a human...

He's a saiyan. One who's stuck in Super Saiyan form the way Goku and Gohan were during the Cell Saga. It would certainly explain his lack of aging.

Jareth is Satan.

Throughout the film, he continues to tempt Sarah to live a life of sloth and decadence, deceiving her at every turn and tempting her with everything she wants. Not to mention that peach... forbidden fruit anyone?

  • Therefore, The Labyrinth is Hell, and all the Goblins are former humans atoning for their sins (for example, by being forced to wage battles blind, being dismembered until they go mad from it, being immobilized across the hall from someone they hate, being trapped in the Bog Of Stench, etc.) - Sarah's stepmother sold her firstborn child to the devil, hence Jareth's interest.
    • Underground suddenly makes more sense, doesn't it?

Jareth is Nakago.

The Goblin Kingdom is really the "other world" Nakago wanted to conquer. He had two ways of becoming a god; one was by tricking Sarah into declaring him one, and the other was by getting Yui to use her last with as Seiryuu No Miko for that purpose. Being the Goblin King to Sarah and a Seishi to Yui, he decided that Sarah would be far easier to manipulate, therefore he went after her first. Upon failing, he turned to his last option--finishing the deal with Yui. Jareth and Nakago look a lot alike, anyhow.

Jareth is actually Loki.

Loki was a charming, sexy, shape shifting trickster who was willing to use manipulation, lead monsters, and steal children. And where is he imprisoned? Underground.

  • And Jareth does want someone to help get him out of there...

Jareth is Sovereign.

Jareth obviously survived the movie, ventured into the real world under a alias known as David Bowie, sometime down the road became involved in The Guild and rose through the ranks till he became Sovereign. In between Guild related stuff and his music he still watches over Sarah

Jareth isn't the Gobling King, he's the Goblin God.

The masquerade ball wasn't a dream created by Jareth, but another plane of existence, a Mt. Olympus-type realm for gods, that humans can only entire through dreams. Each god or goddess controls a race of mythical creature, and attends the ball in costume as a member of that race. Hence Jareth's goblin mask.

The people inside the globe failed to complete the Labyrinth.

And the goblins in the court were the children they wished away. Jareth had to decide what to do with them, and so decided to throw a masquerade ball. When Sarah shattered the walls they were freed.

  • Implied in the book. Jareth clearly states that if Sarah fails to save Toby in time, he will turn into a goblin. When she advances further, he muses about the threat she poses to him, because she is 'too old to be a goblin, but too young to be kept by him, damn her innocent eyes.' He tried to corrupt her in the bubble, but failed to do so. The other people inside might have been the ones he was able to corrupt all right.

The Junk Goblins are other girls who failed to get through the labyrinth.

And the one that kept piling junk onto Sarah was trying to turn her into one too. That's how they all get turned. Luckily Sarah was just a little more strong-willed than the rest.

  • This is implied even more heavily in the book than it already was in the movie.

Sarah is a warper.

Except, she isn't obsessed with time travel or psychics, she's obsessed with fantasy. Like Haruhi, Sarah is unaware of her power, and creates Jareth and the Labyrinth in a subconscious desire for something less mundane than having to watch her little brother for the umpteenth time. Jareth, being a creation of her subconscious, is using Sarah's own power to manipulate the Labyrinth, along with its inhabitants, to give Sarah the adventure she unknowingly wants. Either that, or he's a similar being to Nagato.

Toby is Sarah's son

It is never stated that he's her brother, and Sarah specifically says, "Take this child of mine far away from me."

  • Plus only a mother would have the power to give a baby away to Goblins.

Sarah is now the Goblin Queen.

Jareth, having fallen in love with her, intended to make her his mistress. But when she declared that Jareth had no power over her, that her kingdom was as great, etc... she essentially elevated her to equal stature. He's going to come back in, oh, five or ten years and woo her.

The other door in the Knaves trick leads to the Minotaur...

... And, therefore, to certain death.


Jareth is a figment of Sarah's imagination - but he understands that fact

Knowing that Sarah is on her way to growing up and outgrowing her childish changeling fantasies, Jareth steps in to preserve his own existence as the Goblin King of her mind. At first, he creates the type of fantasy that she's been using up to this point, trying to trap her in the labyrinth and the fantastic dangers within it. As Sarah overcomes these traps, it becomes clear that Jareth will no longer be able to exist in this role - so he creates a second fantasy for her, one sexually-charged and appropriate for the young woman she's becoming. If he can't be her villain, he'll be her lover, and remain in her fantasies. When Sarah overcomes that dream as well, he gets desperate, and the entirety of Within You is his plea to her to keep dreaming, so he won't have to flicker out of existence.

  • In the end she chooses to keep believing in her friends at least, preserving their existence.

After the movie, Sarah's life goes to hell

She changes her name, abandons her parents and Toby, moves to New York and starts taking heroin. Things don't get really bad until she meets Keith David.

The Movie's Sequel is Requiem For A Dream

After experimenting with drugs and hallucinating that she is in a Goblin Kingdom, Sarah becomes addicted to drugs, changes her name, and moves away, feeding her addiction.

The real lesson Sarah learns...

...isn't about maturity or responsibility, it's about learning to cope with unfairness, and become more fair herself in response. She does act like a brat in the scene with her parents, but her parents aren't stellar people either; her stepmother sees her as a complication in her marriage, her father is clearly more interested in his new wife and baby than helping his daughter cope. These things aren't her fault, but she feels like a third wheel in her own family, and she may be right. Going to the Labyrinth reminds her that the only person she can count on to treat her fairly and take care of her needs is herself; once she gains that self-reliance, she recognizes that she can be okay on her own, because she has her daydreams to keep her company.

The whole movie is an inversion of the The Wizard of Oz

Sarah sets off into the Labyrinth, which has no clear path(the opposite of the Yellow Brick Road, where you only have to stay on the path to be safe). She meets Hoggle(all brains), Ludo(all heart), and Sir Didymus(all courage). She must rescue her little brother Toby instead of her dog Toto. The Junk Lady corresponds loosely to the Wicked Witch of the West, who wants to keep her there and make her one of The Junk Lady's kind, instead of killing her and taking her shoes. Dorothy's power is her innocence, whereas Sarah's is gained through maturity and coming of age. The poppy scene corresponds loosely to the peach scene. The morals are inverted: "Every now and again in my life, for no reason at all, I need you [i.e. imagined things]" versus "If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, l won't look any further than my own backyard, because if it isn't there I never really lost it to begin with." Almost the first thing we learn in Oz is that good things are beautiful and bad are ugly, while we learn the opposite at the start of the Labyrinth with Hoggle and the pixies. The parallels go on, if you're looking for them, and many(like the sidekicks) seem less-than-coincidental.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.