Fairies of the Realms Part 4: The Mighty Troll

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Fairies of the Realms Part 4: The Mighty Troll

In the last chapter of Fairies of the Realms we talked about the Brownies and Boggarts, Today I would like to talk about The Mighty Troll.

A Troll

A Troll

The mighty troll is a supernatural being considered part of the Seelie and Unseelie folklore, they are considered to be the first in a line of the noble fairy realms. In Scandinavian folklore they are depicted as the true Norse giants, these creatures have great size and strength although it must be noted that in  modern day folklore they are said to be really huge or more dwarf like in appearance. They have oversized ears and noses and have very poor eyesight. Some also were known to have tails that they would hide in their clothing. Depending on the region in which they inhabit most are portrayed as very ugly with lots of Snaggly teeth and distorted features and very long matted hair. Also some trolls had a foul distinct smell, so if you could not see him you would be aware of his presence right away.

kittelsen-sea-troll

A Sea Troll

In the extensive Fairy realms they are seen as the true giants with very simple manners, the unseelie Trolls are also noted for their great respect that they bestow on their warrior enemies even in battle. they  have also a reputation for being fiendish ogres, very dangerous to humans in isolated regions. In troll legends from the middle ages they are seen as being of more gruesome dimensions, with the females being more comely and much more cunning.

A Troll vs. a Troll Hunter

A Troll vs. a Troll Hunter

Most folklore tales suggest that they would rather avoid us completely, as they love to live in harmony with nature, hence their dislike of humans. The Troll environment is usually said to be either in caves or mountains and in underground dwellings, the trolls of the hills are considered insane like creatures with great strength and girth. Remember JRR Tolkien’s Trolls in Middle Earth? Some trolls will even live under bridges, and we all remember the most famous fairy tale of them all?? The Three Billy Goats Gruff who outsmarted that troll that was hiding under the bridge and so crossed to safety!! Phew!

trollbridge

A Troll guarding a bridge.

Trolls do not like sunlight and are said to turn to stone if they come into contact with it, this myth attributed to the misshapen rock formations that are dotted throughout Scandinavia, and especially in Norway near the Fjords. These creatures were considered heathens, extremely noisy and very messy, leaving their dinner spoils and the like all over the floors, and like most fairy folk legends they love to hoard gold and treasure and they liked to pile and stock up things.

The meeting of a troll in the woods.

The meeting of a troll in the woods.

In earlier folklore they were said to take humans as slaves, this was known as being spirited away.  They were also known to steal human babies and leave their off spring in its place, in what’s known as the Changeling which is a common Unseelie trait. In their living environment they liked to keep animals and sometimes unfortunate humans as pets, they liked to see humans miserable as they despised happiness and they would become angry in the presence of  happiness.

A troll trying to capture a boy.

A troll trying to capture a boy.

If you were captured and then released by a Troll you would have no memory of the events. If you needed to make your escape from a troll just leave him a special food offering to win his favor for a few moments, it was told that they loved marshmallows, pumpkin and raisins. There are lots of tales of humans out smarting Trolls with food. If a human were to be in danger from a troll attack there are  various charms that could be used, the faithful Troll cross which I mentioned earlier on in this special, was a magical piece it was designed as an iron amulet and it was very effective in warding them off, as they are said to be repelled by iron in most any form.

A Iron Troll Cross, used to ward off trolls.

A Iron Troll Cross, used to ward off trolls.

Scandinavia have so many different types of trolls within their  folklore tales, each represent different types of human frailties such as greed, deceit and anger. For more detailed reading I have suggested a couple of fine books on the subject of the mighty Troll

d35528d8adc5ea9e1828528780bf1222ae1d1f92 The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer

great swedish fairy tales Great Swedish Fairy Tales Illustrated by John Bauer and edited by Holger Lundbergh

troll talesNorwegian Troll Tales retold by Joanne Asala

I hope to see you next time for more Fairies of the Realms here onkfthead

Karen

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Posted on July 23, 2013, in Folklore and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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