Worlds Strongest Troll
Trolls are creatures in Norse mythology that live in isolated areas and are not helpful to humans. They are often associated with particular landmarks in Scandinavian folklore, which may be explained as the result of a troll’s exposure to sunlight.
In Scandinavian folklore, trolls can be considered beings in their own right. They live far from human habitation and are not Christianized, but they are considered dangerous to human beings. Depending on the source, their appearance may vary significantly. Some trolls may be ugly and slow-witted, while others may look and behave exactly like human beings with no particularly grotesque characteristics.
Trolls are sometimes associated with particular landmarks in Scandinavian folklore, which at times may be explained as the result of a troll being exposed to sunlight. Trolls are often depicted in popular cultures, such as movies and books, which their association with these places can explain.
The Proto-Germanic word for “fiend” was *trullan. The Old Norse nouns troll and trǫll (variously meaning “fiend, demon, werewolf, jötunn”) developed from this word. Additionally, the Old Norse verb trylla ‘to enchant, to turn into a troll’ and the Middle High German verb trüllen, “to flutter,” developed from the Proto-Germanic verb *trulljanan.
Trolls are a being that is often described as extremely old, strong but slow and dim-witted, and are at times described as man-eaters and turning to stone upon contact with sunlight. However, trolls are also attested as looking much the same as human beings, without any particularly hideous appearance about them, but living far away from human habitation and generally having “some form of social organization”—unlike the rå and näck, who is attested as “solitary beings.” According to John Lindow, what sets them apart is that they are not Christian. Therefore, in the end, trolls were dangerous even if they got along well with Christian society.
Lindow believes that the etymology of the word “troll” is still unknown. However, he defines trolls in later Swedish folklore as “nature beings” and as “all-purpose otherworldly being[s], equivalent, for example, to fairies in Anglo-Celtic traditions.” They “appear in various migratory legends where collective nature-beings are called for.” Lindow notes that trolls are sometimes swapped out for cats and “little people” in the folklore record.
A Scandinavian folk belief is that lightning scares away trolls and jötnar. This may be a late reflection of the god Thor’s role in fighting such beings, as there are no trolls or jötnar in modern Scandinavia. Additionally, the absence of trolls in regions of Scandinavia is sometimes explained as a result of the “accuracy and efficiency of the lightning strokes.” This ringing caused the trolls to leave for other lands, although not without some resistance; numerous traditions relate how trolls destroyed a church under construction or hurled boulders and stones at completed churches. Large local stones are sometimes described as the product of a troll’s toss. Additionally, into the 20th century, the origins of particular Scandinavian landmarks, such as specific stones, are ascribed to trolls who may, for example, have turned to stone upon exposure to sunlight.
Lindow compares the Swedish trolls of the folk tradition to Grendel, a supernatural mead hall invader in Old Scandinavian Beowulf, and points out that “just as the poem Beowulf doesn’t dwell on mortal swordsmanship but the cleansing of the hall of Beowulf, so do the tales not focus on RL battles but the heroic expulsion of the trolls.”
Smaller trolls have been attested as living in burial mounds, in particular in Scandinavian folk beliefare, in Scandinavia, troldfolk (“troll-people”), bjergtrolde (“mountain-trolls”), and bjergfolk (“mountain-folk”) are all taken into consideration, in addition to troldfolk, and tusser in Norway. Depending on the story’s origin, trolls may or may not be based on manlike beings.
In Norwegian tradition, similar myths may be told about the Huldrefolk (“hidden-folk”) and the more giant trolls, but a distinction between the two is created. The use of the word trøw in Orkney and Shetland to mean beings similar to the Huldrefolk in Norway may suggest a common origin for the terms.
Norse settlers in Orkney and Shetland may have used the word troll as a collective term for superhuman beings that should be respected and avoided rather than worshiped. A troll could have been developed as a term for the real-life J turn-kind, while the term hundredfold might have referred to little trolls.
John Arnott MacCulloch proposed a connection between the Old Norse word for “troll” and a third-century source of folklore, using that theory to suggest that it and the word for “spirit of the dead” come from the same source.
Troll, a Norwegian research station in Antarctica, is known as a troll because of the rugged mountains in this site’s corner. This station has an extensive circular floor that tracks satellite imagery everywhere in Antarctica.