Whispers
by Sauron Gorthaur

Even before the ban on love, the Bog King had always been a popular subject of gossip in the goblin court.

Especially amongst the females.

After the ban, it had only intensified.

"Why in the world would a male like that want a ban on love?"

"Surely he'll lift it eventually. I can't imagine he won't change his mind sooner or later."

"I sure hope so. And sooner rather than later, am I right?"

"His mother is totally ignoring the ban and still setting up girls to introduce to him, you know."

"Really?! What I wouldn't give to be on that list!"

"I'm already on it."

"Shhh, shhh, he's coming!"

Three pairs of envious eyes followed the striding figure of their monarch as he took his place on the throne, long fingers curled protectively around his staff as he leaned back.

"Just look at him! He carries that staff as if it weighs nothing."

"You know he took down a praying mantis once, single-handedly, with nothing but his claws and teeth!"

There was a chorus of impressed murmurs.

"That's a male who could protect you and give you a strong, healthy brood."

"Just imagine those fangs on the back of your neck and shoulders."

"Or those claws dragging down your back!"

Titters ensued.

"He's got to take a mate eventually, if for no other reason than the throne."

"Can you imagine being Queen of the Dark Forest and having a male like that to share your nest."

"Ooo, now just how did you say you got on that list again?"

~o~o~o~

Bog heard the whispers that followed him wherever he went, the whispers that fell conspicuously silent whenever he came within earshot and resumed when he had passed. They chased him down the corridors of the castle and filled the corners of the throne room, making him grind his teeth and clutch his staff until his knuckles turned white. He never managed to hear any actual words, but he didn't need to. He could imagine well enough what was being whispered behind his back.

"It's such a pity he turned out so ugly, him being king and all."

"Just imagine having to walk around with a face like that!"

"He can't help it, poor thing."

"No, but not being able to help it doesn't make him any less hideous."

"No wonder he set up that ban on love. He knows he could never get a girl."

"His mother is ignoring the ban and still making girls parade themselves in front of him."

"Ugh! I hope I don't end up on that list! How humiliating!"

"Ban or no ban, he'll probably have to take a mate eventually just for the sake of the throne."

"Would you do it? If you got to be Queen of the Dark Forest but had share a nest with that every night?"

Bog closed his eyes, teeth gritted, shame flooding through him as he hunched over on his throne. He knew there was nothing he could do to stop the whispers. And it wasn't as if they weren't true.

"Oooh, the girl he chooses will be the luckiest female in the Forest!"

"Ugh, how horrible to be the female he chooses!"

Bog turned his face away, heart turning to ice to block out the whispers.


A/N: This is based on a headcanon I've had for a while (aka the "Bog is Totally a Goblin Stud" headcanon) but I hadn't figured out a good way to put it into fanfic form. So, I know a lot of people in the fandom go with the headcanon that Bog is unattractive by both fairy and goblin standards, but even from the first time I saw the movie, I found myself leaning the direction of this story for a number of reasons.

Firstly, Griselda seems to have no trouble whatsoever coming up with girls who seem quite interested in getting introduced to Bog. Yes, it may be that they are just interested in the throne, but hey, I like my irony of Bog moping around about being hideous while all the goblin ladies are drooling over him behind his back :P

Secondly, Bog thinks he's hideous but there's no real evidence that he actually is. Sure, he looks different, but there seems to be a very wide range in physical appearances for goblins, so "different" doesn't necessarily mean "unattractive". We know that goblins do notice physical beauty (e.g. Bog referring to his former beloved as "beautiful") but I imagine there'd be quite a few other qualities that goblins would also see as desirable in a mate: toughness, ferocity, strength, the ability to protect a mate and offspring, etc. (Bog certainly seems to find those qualities sexy when he sees them in Marianne, just saying.) And come on! The dude is strong enough to hold up an animal skull that's ten times his size, and he's nothing if not tough and fierce with his claws and fangs and bristly shoulders and spikes coming off of, like, everywhere. Plus, he's, you know, king and all that.

(Not to mention that he's, ehm, absolutely gorgeous.)

ANYWAY, what this boils down to is that you cannot convince me that Bog is not considered one of the most eligible and hottest bachelors in the Dark Forest.