Labyrinth is a delightful and wondrous film. It’s full of the magical and fantastical, and it’s enjoyable to get lost in the story and David Bowie’s hair and tight pants. One important question isn’t addressed in the movie though: why exactly is Jareth kidnapping a baby from the young girl Sarah? It doesn’t make much sense.
Tumblr user Glamdamnit’s sister asked about whether the events of the movie were real or just Sarah’s dreams, and it made Glamdamnit think way too much about Labyrinth. She wrote a backstory that makes so much sense it may blow your mind. It begins:
In a time long long ago a sorcerer named Jareth fell in love with a girl named Sarah. Sarah’s father and step-mother would not let her marry Jareth because they wanted her to keep her, as a servant, to care for their other child. In a fit of rage Jareth kidnapped this other child and spirited it away to the fairy world. In this new world Jareth built a palace for his Sarah. He turned the spoiled child into a goblin, and kept it to be a servant.
Many stories of the fairy world tell us that time moves differently there than in our world (Rip Van Winkle for one). In the time it took for Jareth to build his kingdom, which he may have thought was little more than a few years, Sarah grew old and died.
Overcome by grief and addled by a lifetime spent in a strange world filled with monsters, Jareth goes mad. He refuses to believe that he has lost his love. He searches the mortal world from his castle, looking for her.
Sarah is Hebrew name. So, it is common, and has been in use for thousands and thousands of years. It does not take long (for him) to find a dark haired girl named Sarah, who has a younger sibling, and who feels that she is treated unfairly by her step mother. In a fit of rage he kidnaps this other child and spirits it away to the fairy world. Perhaps this new Sarah dies in the quest to find the child, perhaps she wins her sibling back and flees.
This is how Jareth becomes the goblin king. Every goblin in the goblin city is a child Jareth has stolen, who was not recovered by a Sarah… This is why he builds the maze.
Be sure to check out the rest of the story on Glamdamnit.