Friday, March 25, 2011

Creature Feature: Trolls

Trolls are immensely popular among story tellers, writers, painters, and artists today. Few creatures in the media have been as popular as the troll. So when I decided to research them I was shocked at how little information I could find about their history. Here’s what I did find.

The earliest known troll stories come from Norse legends. They mostly describe them as large, ugly and dim-witted. Most of them have a bad disposition and can have a liking for human flesh. They are thought to live in caves, near rocks or under bridges and some of them live in small groups. It’s thought that if trolls are hit by sunlight, they immediately turn to stone. Some stories say they are afraid of lightening.

The most common type of troll is referred to as Jaete, which means giant. Another type of troll includes the Huldrefolk, which is thought to be more human-like and beautiful.

There’s a place in Norway called Trold-Tindterne (troll peaks) that is full of large stones once though to be trolls that had turned to stone during a great battle.

For a creature with such a negative image, they are certainly beloved by many.

If you know anything about trolls let me know. I’d love to learn more about them!


  1. I used to read some books by author Elizabeth H. Boyer that dealt with Scandinavian folklore and trolls were a big part of that. These were great books and I had an opportunity to speak with her once. However, I don't think that she found the kind of success she was looking for because mainstream America wouldn't embrace any of her stories because they were too different. I have friends thought that keep little rubber trolls and I remember a few years ago when the winter olympics were over in Lillehamer that trolls were a huge part of the tourist attraction.

  2. I notice the stone thing... gargoyles are said to do that too at times.

    I very much doubt troll dolls look like what ACTUAL trolls are thought to be. If so, I might find one and keep it somewhere. Then again, maybe not with the size and such.

    ***How many entries do you have into your contest, Alyson?***

  3. Michael, it sounds like her books might be kind of interesting. I may have to look here up. I had several of those troll dolls when I was a kid but I don't know what happened to them.

    Jennifer, I remember the gargoyles turning to stone thing from several stories. I wish I could find my old troll dolls. I haven't gotten any entries yet but I've had quite a few people tell me they plan on submitting something. I think most of them are waiting until the last mintue. :)

  4. I wrote about a troll once. One of these days that story will be published, as he's unlike most trolls I've ever heard of--and quite the charmer.

  5. Very cool. There aren't a lot of contemporary troll stories out there right now. I think Amanda Hocking published some trolls stories though and is doing quite well from there, so there is a market out there. Good luck with your story-I hope it finds a good home!