Spider-Man No Way Home Trailer: Green Goblin Explained

Spider-Man: No Way Home seems to be a celebration of everything Spider-Man if the latest trailer released is any indication. Featuring a slew of familiar faces from Spider-Man's history, there is one particular face that stood out from the rest. That being the Green Goblin, as portrayed by Willem Dafoe. Featuring some narration from Dafoe as Norman Osborn, No Way Home spotlights the Green Goblin as one of five villains brought into the MCU as a result of the botched spell performed by Doctor Strange at the request of Spider-Man. So, for those who need a refresher, here's everything to know about the Green Goblin before his return in No Way Home.

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Norman Osborn serves as the primary antagonist and main foil to Spider-Man/Peter Parker (played by Tobey Maguire) in the first film in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy. Head of the corporation, Oscorp, and father to Peter's best friend, Harry Osborn (James Franco), it's Norman's greed and desperation that leads him to testing a dangerous performance enhancer on himself, giving him enhanced strength and agility, while also fracturing his psyche. Throughout the film, Osborn has bouts of amnesia, forgetting his actions as the Goblin that help him to thrive at Oscorp and literally destroy his competition.

Osborn eventually comes to the realization of what he really is, with his splot Goblin persona revealing himself in a rather dramatic performance in which Dafoe converses with himself in a mirror. At this point, the Green Goblin feels that the only person in his way at this point is Spider-Man, with whom he tries to form an alliance. Spider-Man, being the hero that he is, refuses this offer which leads the two to come to blows.

The power balance in the film shifts, however, when Norman discovers that Peter is Spider-Man, which leads to Norman as the Goblin to attack those who Peter cares about the most, putting Aunt May in the hospital and kidnapping Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst). These personal attacks lead Spider-Man and the Green Goblin to one last deadly fight, which ends with Spider-Man discovering the Goblin's identity as his best friend's father, and Goblin dying at the hands of his own glider. These circumstances lead to Harry believing that Spider-Man killed his father in cold blood, developing a vendetta against the hero.

Despite dying in the first film, this isn’t the last we see of Willem Dafoe as the Green Goblin in the trilogy. Dafoe returns in Spider-Man 2 (2004) in a brief cameo role. Similar to his iconic mirror scene from the first film, Norman reappears in the reflection, speaking to Harry from what seems like beyond the grave. Conversing with his son, Norman screams at him, asking to be avenged. This leads to an outburst from Harry, who discovers his father's hidden lair within their apartment, filled to the brim with Green Goblin gear and bombs. This leads to Harry becming the new Goblin complete with his own glider and bombs in Spider-Man 3 (2007).

Norman Osborn/Green Goblin in the original Raimi film was a psychopathic, power-hungry maniac who wanted nothing more than Spider-Man dead and out of his way so that he could have New York under his control. If his appearance in the second No Way Home trailer is any indication, it's that this Green Goblin is just as dangerous and unhinged as he was before, with a never-ending vendetta against Tom Holland's Peter Parker saying to him in the trailer "Peter, you're struggling to have everything you want while the world makes you choose". Even after 19 years since the first Spider-Man, Willem's voice as the Goblin is as menacing and eery as ever.

'Spider-Man: No Way Home' Trailer Reveals More Villains and Bigger Stakes

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Ernesto Valenzuela (20 Articles Published)

Ernesto Valenzuela is a Gaming Features Writer for Collider. He's been writing about movies, comics, TV, and video games since 2017. When he's not doing that he's probably watching Basketball or telling you that Metal Gear Solid 2 is the greatest game ever made. He's an aspiring screenwriter and the father of two dogs.

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