Tuesday, August 30, 2011

More Fairy Tellings: Trolls

I use trolls as villians a lot.  This is probably due to the fact I'm a sucker for Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales, and he always uses trolls for villians.  The Haugaard translations of "The Snow Queen" and "The Traveling Companion," my two favorite fairy tales, call the baddies trolls.

It also may have something to do with the fact that, when I was little, I was terrified of the troll dolls.  Even now, just a day away from turning 19, they still make me uncomfortable.

*uncontrollable shuttering*

Instant bad guy.  Just add darkness.  When you get tired of them, just add light.

Also, according to my Microsoft Works dictionary:  Troll: Early 17th century. Via Swedish or Norwegian < Old Norse , "demon"

I grew up in a Christian home.  Demon = evil.  For a lot of reasons, trolls just seem to be the perfect villian for me.

Trolls can be dwarf or giant-sized.  They're supposted to turn to stone when hit with sunlight.  They are usually associated with the Earth elementals.  They eat human flesh some times, which is what I wanted them for.

Anyone ever hear of a good troll in a book/story?  Please tell.


  1. No good trolls I know of. But I had one of those troll dolls when I was little. It had orange hair. I could never tell if it was supposed to be a boy or girl. Which explains why trolls are so grumpyl--wouldn't you be angry if you didn't know what sex you were?

  2. I'd be ticked.

    The only good troll in fiction that I can think of is Ravus in Holly Black's Valiant. But even coining him as "good" or "bad" is probably inaccurate. One of those in-betweeners, you know?


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