Labyrinth (1986) (part 4 of 4)

Sarah lands in what appears to be a big garbage dump right outside the Goblin City. There’s junk for miles around. I guess the goblins haven’t learned about recycling.

She accidentally lands on a pile of garbage that turns out to be an old goblin lady, who wanders around with a huge pile of old stuff on her back. It’s kind of like an especially disturbing episode of Hoarders.

Labyrinth (1986) (part 4 of 4)

Disoriented, Sarah follows the Trash Lady into a replica of her room back home. While Sarah tries to remember what the hell she was looking for, Trash Lady attempts to distract Sarah by giving her all her old toys to play with—like stuffed animals that smell like mold, and old games that are now unplayable since most of the pieces are gone. At least, that’s how it is in my attic.

But Sarah sees through this ruse as well. She proclaims that everything here is junk, and that she has to find Toby!

I’d like to think this whole sequence is a metaphor for choosing authentic, human relationships over crass consumerism and self-identification through external objects. That way, I don’t have to read the latest Eckhart Tolle book.

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Sarah breaks through the wall, and finds Didymus and Ludo waiting outside. The gates to the Goblin City are within spitting distance now. As they make their way there, Hoggle follows behind, hidden among the trash heaps.

At the gates, they find a single, sleeping guard that the overzealous Didymus tries to challenge to a duel. Luckily, they shut him up, and make it into the city without waking the guard. Still, Sarah is wary.

“I smell trouble,” she says.

Sarah, that’s probably the fifty-seven miles of trash behind you. Oh, and that giant, armored goblin that’s suddenly appeared.

Labyrinth (1986) (part 4 of 4)

It looks like the gang is done for, but Hoggle comes out of nowhere, and climbs up the castle walls and saves the day by jumping on the beast’s head. Hoggle snatches its helmet off, and we find out that this gigantic goblin is really just a machine driven by a single, normal-sized goblin.

Hoggle kicks the goblin out and commandeers the machine for about two seconds, until he steers it wrong and makes it explode. Except there’s no shrapnel or anything, so no bigs.

He hops back down to the ground, and Sarah and the gang forgive Hoggle because he was brave enough to come back and help them when he didn’t need to.

They head into the city, where it it looks like all is quiet.

Labyrinth (1986) (part 4 of 4)

Elsewhere, a frantic goblin runs into Jareth’s throne room and announces that Sarah is almost to the castle. Jareth rings the alarm bell and orders his goblins to attack.

Labyrinth (1986) (part 4 of 4)

And to that, the gang says, “Bring it, bitches!”

Well, Didymus does. Meanwhile, Sarah, Ludo, and Hoggle run off and try to lose the soldiers in the crooked, complicated streets. They finally duck into a goblin house (Ludo has to rip open—and then put back—one of the walls just to get inside), where Ludo sings his special song again.

Rocks flood the Goblin City, knocking down the soldiers and forcing them to retreat. With the path clear, Sarah and the gang finally make it to the Goblin Castle with time to spare. Ludo, Hoggle, and Didymus want to go with her to confront Jareth, but Sarah wants to go it alone.

Why? Because that’s the way these things are done in movies, of course.

Um, I guess. If it were me, I wouldn’t mind having a few guys to back me up, especially the giant monster that may or may not be able to bench press Jareth.

All alone now, Sarah runs into the last of Jareth’s traps…

Labyrinth (1986) (part 4 of 4)

Awesome. As Sarah tries to find her way to Toby, who is waiting seemingly within arm’s reach, we get another song from Bowie. And now Sarah is basically fighting her way through an M.C. Escher print.

Labyrinth (1986) (part 4 of 4)

After a bit of wandering, Sarah saves Toby by taking the plunge. Literally. Instead of following a path, she jumps down to him instead, and the whole puzzle falls apart.

Caption contributed by R.G. Quimby

“You have no idea how much this going to cost to fix, young lady.”

The Goblin King comes down and tries to bargain with Sarah. “Just let me rule you,” he says, “and you can have whatever you want.” Yeah, that sounds like a healthy relationship.

Sarah defeats him, not with her stellar oratorical skills, or even her ability to kick ass and take names, but by reciting lines from that play she was practicing before. Who says cosplay can’t save your life?

With Jareth’s clock chiming in the background, Sarah finds herself back in her plain old living room. She sees Toby sleeping peacefully in his crib, and she gives him her Lancelot teddy bear as a gesture of her love. Awww.

She goes back to her room, and a minute later, her parents return home. They just shout a hello. They don’t even come upstairs to see how she and the baby are doing. Yeesh. I’m starting to believe what Sarah said before about her parents being assholes.

Well, at least she’s got Hoggle and the gang. Unlike most fantasy movies, once we’re back in the “real world”, that doesn’t mean the awesomeness ends. Far from it. When Hoggle and company appear in Sarah’s bedroom mirror looking sad, she tells them that she’ll always need them in her life, no matter what.

Labyrinth (1986) (part 4 of 4)

“Well, why didn’t you say so?!” exclaims Hoggle.

Labyrinth (1986) (part 4 of 4)

It’s party time, y’all! As Sarah shakes her booty with her friends, a lone barn owl flies toward the moon.

And… scene.

I freaking love this ending. There’s none of this crap about the real world making you forget about fantasy. I’d like to think that the ending is supposed to imply that you can have it both ways: a normal life with normal obligations, with a dose of fantasy to balance things out.

Except, I gotta wonder: what the hell was up with those goblins just waiting for Sarah to “say the right words” in the beginning? If they’re just hanging out there, wouldn’t it be a little awkward, and just plain wrong, when she changes her clothes and stuff? I’m just saying.

Still, if it means getting to hang out with David Bowie and various eerily lifelike puppets, then sign me up. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I really wish the goblins would come and take me away. Right. Now.

Multi-Part Article: Labyrinth (1986)

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  • Tyche

    Sweetness.  I love this movie even after all these years.  Good times…

  • RE: Page 2 about the worm: I always assumed the intent was that the worm assumed that Sarah was trying to get *out* of the Labyrinth and back home (having, presumably, now lost the door courtesy of endless corridor) and not to the Goblin King, because the Goblin King is evil and why would anyone want to go there.

    • Mike

      Possibly, but another possibility is that no one goes *either* way. That every way could lead straight to the castle or no way could because the nature of labyrinth is a only consistent in it’s inconsistency.

      It’s lack the White Queen in Alice in Wonderland who says “Jam tomorrow, jam yesterday, but never, ever jam today.