"Well, to each his own. I chose my path, you chose the way of the hero. And they found you amusing for a while, the people of this city. But 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. Why bother?"— Green Goblin
Norman Osborn (also known as Green Goblin) is the main antagonist of the 2002 film Spider-Man and the 2021 film Spider-Man: No Way Home.
He is the founder and CEO of Oscorp Industries who, after being exposed to the Goblin Serum, was driven into insanity, causing his mind to create an alternative persona called the Green Goblin, who kills anybody, destroys everything, and uses a glider he stole to fly around and help commit his crimes.
He becomes obsessed with destroying Spider-Man and everything he cares about, becoming his arch-nemesis. He is ultimately killed while fighting Spider-Man, as he is impaled by his glider he attempted to use to kill Spider-Man. Despite his death, he'd continue to haunt Spider-Man for years. He is also the father of Harry Osborn, who befriended Peter Parker, as well as a close friend of Dr. Otto Octavius.
Why He's Something of A Scientist Himself
- Willem Dafoe committed to the role very well. He made the character haunting.
- He is considered one of the best supervillains in cinema history rivaling the popularity of Doctor Octopus from Spider-Man 2, Joker from The Dark Knight, Thanos from the MCU and many others.
- Norman talking to his Goblin personality is effectively creepy.
- He is a sympathetic villain done right, as he struggles with maintaining his company and his responsibilities as a father. The scene where he's kicked out of his own company is very sympathetic as well, since he was betrayed by his own board members and forced out of the company he worked for so many years to build. He also genuinely loves his son Harry, and the moment where Norman apologizes to his son while embracing him is very touching.
- He is one of Peter's most deadly and dangerous foes, psychologically tormenting him and pushing him to his very limit.
- His posthumous cameos in the rest of the Raimi series were good as well, and his influence turned Harry into the New Goblin.
- When he returns in No Way Home, Willem Dafoe manages to make both aspects of his character even better, making Norman more sympathetic while also making the Green Goblin more menacing.
- In No Way Home, he destroys the Goblin mask, so during the final battle, thanks to it revealing his face, he was even more terrifying than he was in the original movie.
- Osborn initially wears the same Goblin suit from his movie but eventually changes his gear before the final battle. His second suit ditches the mask to a pair of flight goggles and he is now equipped with a Blade Below the Shoulder.
- When the Goblin resurfaces, Peter's Spidey-Sense goes haywire and he webs the Goblin. Once he takes the reigns of the plot, he chastises Peter for seriously thinking, despite knowing he was still in there, that he'd just quietly let Norman be rid of him, giving him a scary vibe what a dangerous villain he is.
- During their first fight, the Goblin is absolutely unstoppable. He barely reacts to MCU Peter's blows, completely destroys him with his own, and is relentless in his pursuit of him and does not stop coming. He probably would have killed him if not for May intervening.
- The second time around, Peter wants revenge for May's death, and he stops pulling his punches, subjecting the Goblin to a downright brutal No-Holds-Barred Beatdown before being a split-second from outright killing him.
- The Green Goblin manages to be an even bigger threat than in the first movie, corrupting the other villains (except Doc Ock) and convincing them to rebel and embrace their role as villains and nearly destroying the Multiverse.
- He acts as an even more personal threat to the MCU Peter than he was to his own version of Peter. He kills MCU Peter's Aunt May, taunting Peter over his cowardice and mercy, driving Peter to embrace his darker impulses and nearly succeeds in corrupting him into taking vengeance against him.
- MCU Peter would've turned evil like Goblin if Tobey's Peter hadn't interfered and stopped his younger variant from killing him.
- Goblin even stabs Toby's Peter in the back after he prevents MCU Peter from killing him.
- With this act alone, he has caused the most personal damage to Peter's life, only being rivaled by Mysterio outing his identity to the public.
- A lot of his quotes are memorable such asː
- "You know, I'm something of a scientist myself"
- "You can't do this to me. Haha. YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I SACRIFICED!?"
- "Gods don't have to choose, we take"
- "You and I are not so different"
- "Back to formula?"
- "Out, am I?"
- "The cunning warrior attacks neither body, nor mind"
- "This is why only fools are heroes"
- "Because you never know when some lunatic will come along with the sadistic choice: let die the woman you love, or suffer the little children"
- "I’ve been burning bridges all day but I think I’ll just knock this one down!"
- "I offered you friendship and you spat in my face"
- "Godspeed, Spider-Man"
- "Can the Spider-Man come out to play?"
- "That's some neat trick, that sense of yours"
- "Norman's on sabbatical honeyǃ"
- "No more darker half? Did you really think that I’d let that happen? That I’d let you take away my power just because you’re blind to what true power can bring you?"
- "Strong enough to have it all, too weak to take it!"
- "Peter, Peter, Peter! No good deed goes unpunished, you can thank me later.",
- "Poor Peter. Too weak to send me home to die"
- "I may have struck a blow, but you're the one who killed her!"
- "AVENGE ME!"
- As iconic as Norman's Goblin Suit is, it looks like a discarded Power Rangers villain costume. Not to mention, the mask covering Dafoe's entire face did not give him enough to for facial expressions. Thankfully, this was fixed in No Way Home, where the movie gets rid of his mask, allowing the audience to see the Goblin's facial expressions and making him more terrifying.
- His plan wasn’t really explained very well as we don’t know if he wants to take over, destroy New York City, or if it was a bit of both.
- William Dafoe said that the Green Goblin is one of his favorite roles of his career.
- William Dafoe returned to voice the Green Goblin in the 2002 Spider-Man video game alongside Tobey Maguire.
- William Dafoe performed 90% of his own stunts.
- Green Goblin has the distinction of being the only main antagonist of a film of the Spider-Man film series within the Marvel Cinematic Universe whose origins aren't linked in any way to Tony Stark. The Vulture lost his job thanks to Tony founding Damage Control to clean up the remains of the Battle of New York and Mysterio was fired by Stark due to his unstable nature.
- Green Goblin has the distinction of being the first non-MCU villain to appear as the main antagonist of an MCU film, due to having been the main villain of the Raimi trilogy before becoming the main antagonist of No Way Home.