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The Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe)

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The Green Goblin
Green Goblin New (Raimi Series)
Name: Norman Virgil Osborn
Alias(es): "Stormin' Norman"
"The Greenie Meany"
Affiliation: Oscorp Technologies
Rank: C.E.O.
Spouse(s): Emily Osborn
Children: Harry Osborn
Portrayed by: Willem Dafoe
First appeared: Spider-Man
Last appeared: Spider-Man 3
Appears in: 3 Films
"Only fools are HEROES!"
―The Green Goblin/Norman Osborn[src]
"Uh Oh"
―Norman right before his death[src]
"I'm a Scientist myself"
―Norman Osborn before becoming evil[src]
"I could squash you like a bug right now!"
―Green Goblin to Spider-Man[src]
―Norman before he pushes Spider-Man[src]
"Peter, don't tell Harry"
―Norman's last words[src]
"The one thing they love more than a hero is to see a hero fail, fall, die trying. In spite of everything you've done for them, eventually, they will hate you."
―The Green Goblin[src]

The Green Goblin (Norman Osborn) is the main antagonist in Spider-Man. He is a fictional supervillain character, who appears in the Marvel comic books, created by writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko in 1964. He was portrayed by Willem Dafoe in the first film and featured in all three films in the Raimi Spider-Man Trilogy from 2002 to 2007.



Norman Osborn is a rich industrialist, the head of weapons contractor Oscorp, which was working towards winning a contract with the military to supply weapons. He has a single son, Harry and a deceased wife who apparently died in Harry's infancy. Norman greatly appreciates Harry's best friend Peter's scientific aptitude and can barely conceal his desire that Peter was his own son, causing Harry discomfort.

Meanwhile, General Slocum of the United States Army visits Oscorp to see the results of their new super soldier formula. When one of Norman's top scientists, Dr. Stromm warns him the formula is unstable, General Slocum threatens to pull all of the military's funding from Oscorp. Later that night, Norman exposes himself to the formula as its first human trial. He gains superhuman strength and agility but is driven partially insane. He kills Stromm and steals two other Oscorp inventions, an exoskeleton suit and a jet glider.

Another night, Slocum visits Quest Aerospace, Oscorp's chief competitor, to view their progress towards the contract. While viewing a demonstration of a new battlesuit, a menacing figure wearing the stolen Oscorp exoskeleton and riding the jet glider attacks a weapons test at Quest Aerospace. Their prototype is destroyed and General Slocum is killed.

Norman basks in his company's eventual success: Quest has to reorganize after the debacle that killed Slocum, Oscorp has been given more government contracts and the company's stock is soaring. He is crestfallen to learn the Board of Directors has chosen this moment to accept a buyout offer from Quest. His insane agression manifests itself in a split personality: the driven yet confused Norman, and the murderous, scheming villain who will soon become known as "The Green Goblin". As The Green Goblin, he attacks Oscorp's annual Unity Day street fair and kills the Board of Directors to prevent the sell out. Spider-man fights off The Green Goblin and saves the day.

Out am I

The Green Goblin attacking the Unity Day Festival.

Norman's evil side convinces him that he and Spider-Man should work together as partners. He attacks The Daily Bugle offices, threatening J. Jonah Jameson to tell him who took Spider-Man's photo's, though Jameson refused. Spider-Man arrives and The Green Goblin uses a gas to render Spider-Man unconscious, causing the human webslinger to fall but The Goblin catches him and takes him to a nearby New York building. The Green Goblin offers Spider-Man a chance of partnership then leaves, giving Spider-Man a few days to think over his offer of partnership. He did warn Spider-Man the city will eventually turn against him, and that they should rule it together. A few days later, on Thanksgiving, The Green Goblin stages a fire in an apartment building to get an answer from Spider-Man. Spider-Man refuses to join with Goblin, and the two fight. Spider-Man receives a bad cut on his arm from one of The Green Goblins's razor bats. Despite the injury, Spider-Man gets the upper hand Goblin in hand-to-hand combat before escaping, leaving Spider-Man victor and Goblin in disappointment from Spider-Man's choice. As Norman and Peter respectively, The Green Goblin and Spider-Man are due at Peter and Harry's loft for Thanksgiving dinner. They each race back separately. When Peter arrives to dinner with fresh blood from the cut on his sleeve, Norman then realizes that Peter is Spider-Man and hastily leaves. On his way out, he insults Harry's then girlfriend Mary Jane and she leaves angrily too, hurt that Harry didn't defend her after what Norman had said.

That night, The Green Goblin attacks Aunt May at her home, sending her to the hospital. The Green Goblin then decides to strike at Spider-Man through Mary Jane. He kidnaps her, then sabotages a trolley car along the Roosevelt Bridge. Spider-Man arrives and The Green Goblin gives him the choice of saving either Mary Jane or the trolley car, then drops them both from the bridge. However, Spider-man manages to save both, with assistance from a passing barge and pedestrians on the bridge who pelt The Green Goblin with debris and delay him from his attempts to kill Spider-Man.

The Green Goblin, enraged of Spider-Man, grabs him and throws him into an abandoned building. After Spider-Man crashes through the building, The Green Goblin throws a pumpkin bomb into the building, severely injuring and weakening him. This gives The Green Goblin a chance to brutally beat Spider-Man, despite the latter's attempts and effort to fight back. The Green Goblin nearly wins when he taunts how he will finish off Mary Jane with a painful and slow death. Enraged by this, Spider-Man regains his strength, stamina, and senses to viciously beats The Green Goblin into submission but stops after Norman takes off his Goblin mask. Norman reasons with Peter that it was the serum and the evil side of him that made him turn to crime. All in the while, The Green Goblin is controlling his jet glider and attempts to stab Spider-Man with it, but he leaps out of the way, since his spider-senses has been regained, just before it collides with him. Norman is impaled and killed as a result. Before death the begs of Peter not to tell Harry of his misdeeds.

Spider-Man takes Norman's body back to his penthouse apartment. He returns the Goblin gear back to Norman's secret lair. He places his body on a sofabed, but Harry sees them and thusly blames Spider-Man for Norman's death. At his father's funeral, he vows revenge and thanks Peter for being such a great friend.

Spider-Man 2Edit

After Spider-Man's defeat of Doctor Octopus, Peter's true identity as Spider-Man is revealed to Harry. Subsequently Norman appears in a hallucination in a mirror to Harry, demanding him to seek vengance against Peter in a similair fashion to how King Hamlet haunted his son to avenge him in Shakespeare's play. Harry refuses leading to Norman calling him weak. Enraged, Harry broke the mirror, revealing the secret Goblin lair, and therefore his father's true identity.

Mirror, Mirror

Norman appearing in one of Harry's mirror hallucinations.

Spider-Man 3Edit

Six months later Norman's hallucination returns to encourage his son to again destroy Spider-Man. This time Harry acts on his father's words and dons the Oscorp gear and glider as "The New Goblin" and attacks Peter, but is knocked out and suffers from immediate memory loss, forgetting his promise to Norman for revenge.

In time Harry has flashbacks and remembers Peter's alter-ego; he again sees his father in the mirror telling him this time to attack Peter's heart. He threatens Mary Jane and blackmails her into breaking up with Peter, then lies that he is the one she dumped him for. Later Peter attacks Harry and boasted of how Norman never truly loved Harry. The Osborn's butler later tells Harry that Spider-Man was not to blame for his father's death an that the wounds were from his own glider. He subsequently drops his father's vendetta, then aids Peter against The Sandman and Venom at the cost of his own life. Before he dies he forgave Peter for Norman's death.

Abilities and EquipmentEdit

The Green Goblin pilots a high-tech jet glider, armed with seeking missiles and machine guns. His suit consists of green armor that cybernetically connects him to his glider and weapons. He is seen using three varieties of his signature "Pumpkin Bombs": one which is a simple explosive; one that releases a bright, radioactive flash which reduces people to skeletons; and one that splits into flying, razor-bat blades. Rather than carrying a shoulder "bag of tricks", the weapons are contained in the glider and are ejected individually out of their storage compartment when desired. His suit is armed with knockout gas that is released from the wrists. His suit is also linked to the Goblin Glider, allowing him to control it remotely



The Green Goblin was eventually chosen to be the film's main villain as Sam Raimi felt the father-son theme between Norman and Harry would make the film deeper. David Koepp's earlier script had Doctor Octopus as a secondary villain. Edward Norton, Nicolas Cage, John Malkovich and Robert De Niro were all offered the role of The Green Goblin but all turned it down. Willem Dafoe was eventually cast in 2000 for the part.

As Dafoe was never an intended choice to play the Green Goblin, a script fell into his possession by chance. He then began lobbying for the role and met with Sam Raimi. Sometime later, while filming a movie in Spain, Dafoe was approached and shot some test footage inside the hotel room he was staying in which led to him being cast. Once he received the role, Dafoe asked that he be allowed to perform his own stunts so that the character and movements would feel authentic, or else the audience would notice the difference. He performed almost all of his own stunts, and unlike many of the stunt crew, learned how to handle the Goblin Glider after just fifteen minutes.

After greatly enjoying his time during filming, Dafoe offered to return for Spider-Man 2 and asked if they could write his character in somewhere, despite his character having died in Spider-Man. Sam Raimi took him up on the offer and both of them set aside a specific day of filming on Spider-Man 2 for Dafoe to shoot Harry Osborn's mirror dream sequence. This was repeated again in Spider-Man 3.

The Green Goblin's costume was originally designed to be more bulky and armoured, but Willem Dafoe, having decided to film his own stunts, rejected it in favour of a more streamlined and athletic costume. The final outfit was composed of 580 pieces and took Dafoe half an hour to put on.

See AlsoEdit

Raimi Film Series
Films: Spider-Man | Spider-Man 2 | Spider-Man 3 | Spider-Man 4
Characters: Spider-Man | Mary Jane Watson | Harry Osborn | J. Jonah Jameson | Uncle Ben | Aunt May | George Stacy | Gwen Stacy | Robbie Robertson | Betty Brant | Curt Connors | Flash Thompson | Dr. Stromm | Mr. Ditkovich | Ursula Ditkovich | Maximillian Fargas | Henry Balkan | Rosalie Octavius | Hoffman | Bernard Houseman | Mr. Aziz | Bonesaw McGraw
Enemies: The Green Goblin | Doctor Octopus | The Sandman | New Goblin | Venom | Vulture | Vulturess | The Lizard | The Carjacker
Locations: The Daily Bugle | Oscorp Technologies | Quest Aerospace | Osborn Penthouse | Goblin Lair
Video Games: Spider-Man | Spider-Man 2 | Spider-Man 3 | Spider-Man: Friend or Foe | Spider-Man 4

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