Monday, January 23, 2012

Creature of the Week - Troll

Last week's creature was the Ogre and Johanna Garth asked how Ogres were different from Trolls so I decided to highlight trolls this week.
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Ogres and trolls are rather similar except for two things - one, where their mythology originated (Ogres from France and England and Trolls from Norse mythology and Scandinavian folklore) and two, there seems to be more variations to the different kinds of trolls versus ogres.
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 Trolls appearance vary greatly in various stories. Some stories say that trolls are old, incredibly strong, slow, and dimwitted, although this is only the case with the males as the females trolls may be quite cunning. Another difference between male and female - males are ugly with big noses, long arms and lots of hair, while females are beautiful. Sometimes the only way to distinguish a female troll from a human women is by their dress - a female troll will be too elegantly dressed for walking in a forest.
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Some trolls are man-eaters. Some are said to turn to stone when the sun touches them. Some are fiendish giants. Most are ugly, may have tusks or only one eye. However, some stories say that trolls look like humans, not hideous at all, but they live far away from humans in hills, caves, or mounds.The wind-troll Ysätters-Kajsa could dance on the wind or fly. I combine mound trolls or haugtrold with the ability to dance on the wind when I created my race of trolls in my Kingdom of Arnhem trilogy. They first make their appearance in the middle book, Knight of Glory.

16 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Figures that the males are dumb and ugly!

Will said...

This series is a great idea! We often use the names of Fantasy creatures interchangeably, so a working knowlege of the origins sounds like a good idea. Thanks for this series!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Didn't realize troll women could be beautiful. Very interesting.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

ROFL at Alex's comment.

Too bad I don't write fantasy, otherwise I'd write a MG story about a troll tired of the troll stereotype, and who is determined to do something good with his life. :)

Great explanation about the difference between trolls and ogres.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Excellenet post and interesting into the bargain,

Yvonne.

Talli Roland said...

Haha at Alex's post! : )

Well, I think trolls get a bad rap. They're probably quite nice under all of the those warts 'n' stuff.

Joshua said...

And I always think of The Hobbit when I think of Trolls.

Brinda said...

I love it that the males are...well.."trollish" and the females are beautiful. HA!

Johanna Garth said...

Thank you Nicole!! Now I know my trolls from my ogres (just in case I meet any on one of our weekend hikes;)

L.G.Smith said...

If you don't mind subtitles, there is a Norwegian movie called Trollhunter available on Netflix. It's a riot. It's all about a guy who hunts trolls around the fjords of Norway. I got a real education about trolls by watching it. :))

David P. King said...

This totally reminds me of the troll in the revision I'm working on. Can't wait to get to that part! :)

Colene Murphy said...

Huh. I'm really glad you answered that question. I had wondered when she asked myself! SO thanks! And I would prefer to be a female troll. ^_^

Leigh Covington said...

Fascinating. I love learning about mythical creatures. And great pictures too. I'm very excited about your books Nicole. You're amazing.

Angela Brown said...

Hmmm...so the women are beautiful and cunning? Very interesting.

jake said...

Nicole, love all your creature info - fascinating and the history behind them. I am in the know now for fantasy!

Angela Ackerman said...

I have a lovely illustrated book on trolls...I think they get a bad rap sometimes. I would love to write a troll story and stay away from the same-old, same-old. :)