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Here Be Trolls

Updated on August 9, 2013

Welcome to a Treasury of Trolls

This light-hearted lens is devoted enhancing the image of a crazy little critter and misbegotten munchkin, the troll, who's got a bad rap of late.

Since the advent of computers, naughty worms not to mention pesky people with no appreciation of these titillating toys and good luck charms, the time-honored troll has been a little ticked!

Let's here it for the Troll Call!


Image Credit: Ron Leishman illustration -

TERRIFIC TROLL OF THE MONTH - Norton "Noseyparker"



Image Credit: Matteo Cerato, illustrator at


Word has it that trolls originated in the northern hemisphere and were commonly found in Germany and Scandinavia but also in Finland, Russia and Siberia.

Inhabiting caves or hills, these dwarfs, imps and giants were superb at guarding bridges or byways (although the help given humans was at times a tad arbitrary, not unlike humans).

Some might have called them shaggy, rough-haired, ugly creatures more often than not because of the trees and moss-like growth on their heads and noses. Their long noses also came in handy for cooking broth or stirring porridge. While some trolls had two or three heads, others had only one eye in the middle of their foreheads. Not to be confused with humans, many of these elusive critters had features included four fingers, four toes and a tail resembling that of a cow.

While these cranky critters could survive for several hundred years, their lifetime could be cut short since sunlight would turn them into stone. (Unlike today's movie stars, pop stars and celebrities, they have avoided being in the spotlight whenever possible, except a deadbeat dude named "troll rocker" spotted in Lyon, France).

These ancient creatures are a rich part of the Norse folkloric tradition and appear everywhere from Medieval maps to modern children's tales. They come in handy when warning wee ones to brush their teeth to keep away the terrible tooth trolls. Relatively benign, mischievous, or simply chaotic, they may take on human features or sometimes they appear more like trees or rocks. You know you are talking with a troll when you see his tail, which he may try to hide from you!

Modern usages of the word "troll" a slang expression meaning a person who lives or sleeps in a park or under a viaduct or bridge such as a bag lady or vagrant. Since the advent of the computer, "the usenet troll" refers to an electronic communication which is intentionally incorrect, but not overtly controversial, or the act of sending such a message. And, there is one report of an "office troll" who is known to munch on computer display screens if not fed a heck of a good brand of hops!

According to J.K. Rowlings, author of the hugely popular Harry Potter books, the troll is a foul smelling, small-brained, extremely ugly but very tall creature with a really bad temper who lives in the mountains away from the Hogwarts Academy of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

While Scott Adams, the cartoonist behind the Dilbert comic strip, suggests that one of his characters, "Larry", is none other than an Accounting Troll who takes great joy in spitting all over Dilbert and his paperwork.


Image Credit: Vintage troll illustration by Mabel Lucie Atwell courtesy of finsbry@flickrcom



If you're tip-toeing through the tulips, do not tread upon the Tippling Trolls!


The Troll Doll was originally known as the "Dam Doll" or "Dammit Doll" in honor of its creator, a Danish woodcutter by the name of Thomas Dam.

In 1959, Mr. Dam who was unable to afford a birthday present for his young daughter instead carved a doll for her. This wasn't just any kind of doll mind you, it was inspired by the legendary trolls whom it is believed inhabit the Nordic forests and bring luck to any humans who could catch them.

As many young girls do, his daughter decided to dress up her doll and show it off to the local villagers. Apparently the doll attracted the eye of a Danish toy store owner and the rest as they say is history.

Who would have thought that part of the dolls charm and world-wide appeal would be its ugly features? It had big ears, a flat forehead, large glass eyes and a potbelly, not to mention long colorful strands of sheep's wool for hair.

The people of Denmark believed that the "Dam Dolls", (also known as "Norfins", "Wishniks" and "Treasure Trolls"), were so ugly that you had to laugh at them and if you were laughing, nothing bad could happen to you. Soon the dolls became a source of good luck to people around the world.

While "trolls" may strike fear into the hearts of wimps and wussies, they've managed to make a lot of people rich and/or very happy. Let's see there are many hundreds of thousands of "dammit doll" collectors, not to mention movie directors who've used them as props, a ventriloquist who uses one as "trilling troll", and a comedian who has featured them in his musical "troll advertisements".


Note: As the story goes, Mr. Dam sold replicas of the troll doll all over the world, (with more than a million sold in the United States alone in 1964). The troll dolls became one of the biggest toy fads in U.S. history, (probably due to an error in the copyright notice of Thomas Dam's original product). It was not until 2003 however that a law passed by the American Congress permitted the Dam family of Denmark to restore their original copyright and become the only official manufacturer of the "Troll Doll" once again.

Are You A Troll Type?

My Lucky Sundress Troll - Dark Pink
My Lucky Sundress Troll - Dark Pink

Purple hair is for puckish personalities!

My Lucky A+ TEACHER Troll Doll (Red Hair)
My Lucky A+ TEACHER Troll Doll (Red Hair)

Every troll has a "Bad Hair Day" once in a while.




Image Credit:


What is the favorite food of trolls?

See results

Are there bad-tempered beer-drinking trolls?

Yup, at the Grumpy Troll Brew Pub silly!


Image Credit:


What Makes Trolls Happy?

Trolls, particularly those living outside the continental United States, may not win any beauty contests or spelling bees, but they're really great at piling and stacking things such as leaves, stones, acorns, and branches. This is great if you have a great big garden or a putting green in your back yard, (but keep them away from lawnmowers, tractors and weed-whackers as they can make a royal mess of the neatly manicured grass in parks if they feel like having some fun at public expense).

Since they are easily confused and have poor memories, often requiring constant reminders, golf, croquet, and lawn bowling are out of the question as choices for recreational activity. On the other hand, trolls love to search for toadstool rings, so just make sure you let those mushrooms grow after a rainstorm, and they'll be ever so grateful to you.

They are known to live in large families, so make sure that they have adequate shelter to keep them contented (they don't like fake trees, silk plants or styrofoam caves so try something else).

What Do Trolls Eat?

American Trolls, like "Bucolic Billy the Tennessee Troll", apparently adore raisins, pumpkins, and marshmallows, which is wholesome food for kids too!

Never let trolls near the kitchen, particularly if you're making pumpkin cookies. They often forget half the ingredients so the cookies may have an odd taste and may not even resemble pumpkin cookies by the time they are baked.

All American Trolls have a raisin pocket. Scientists haven't figured out know why they like raisins, it's just one of those things, like wicked witches, lemon jellybeans, or stars and stripes bubblegum.

Scientists have however discovered why American Trolls like pumpkins and marshmallows. Trolls do all of their planting at night, since exposure to sunlight shrivels up their lips requiring expensive boxtox treatments and plastic surgery to remove unsighly wrinkles around the eyes, fingers and toes.

Trolls love pumpkins because they remind them of the sun that they can never see and marshmallows, the clouds that they can never float upon.

The good news is that they like water, but be careful they may drink you out of house and home. (Note: Trolls can only retain their water for two hours max, so make sure you have a loo or a powder room me, you don't want to have to clean up after a troll)!

An introduction to fantastic fiends

Notebook for Fantastical Observations
Notebook for Fantastical Observations

Your very own notebook with all sorts of information about fantastical fiends, and a place to add your sightings of trolls, ogres, and dragons.

The Chronicles of Spiderwick: A Grand Tour of the Enchanted World, Navigated by Thimbletack (The Spiderwick Chronicles)
The Chronicles of Spiderwick: A Grand Tour of the Enchanted World, Navigated by Thimbletack (The Spiderwick Chronicles)

Enchanting and entertaining, this guide to the other world of wit and wonk will surely please its owner.




In case anyone thinks that trolls are not exactly uppermost on the minds of modern munchkins, you might be surprised.

"That's insane troll logic." (Xander to Olaf the Troll in the movie, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer")

"There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them." (Chapter 10, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling.

"Anyone can speak Troll, all you have to do is point and grunt." (Fred Wesley in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling.

"Please don't feed the troll." (Anonymous)

"The ego is that ugly little troll that lives underneath the bridge between your mind and your heart." (Gael Greene)


Image Credit: Robert



If you were a troll, what would your name be?

See results

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE! (Credit: ExtraLife on

THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE! (Credit: ExtraLife on
THIS IS MY HAPPY FACE! (Credit: ExtraLife on


Fairies, Gnomes & Trolls: Create a Fantasy World in Polymer Clay
Fairies, Gnomes & Trolls: Create a Fantasy World in Polymer Clay

For those who want to make their very own troll thank you!

D'Aulaires' Book of Trolls (New York Review Children's Collection)
D'Aulaires' Book of Trolls (New York Review Children's Collection)

Who wouldn't like a book full of trolls not to mention a princess who burps toads thrown in for good measure?

Elves, Wights, and Trolls: Studies Towards the Practice of Germanic Heathenry: Vol. I (v. 1)
Elves, Wights, and Trolls: Studies Towards the Practice of Germanic Heathenry: Vol. I (v. 1)

Old Norse scholars will love this compendium about cockamammie critters that go bump in the night.

Norwegian Troll Tales
Norwegian Troll Tales

For those who thought that Trolls didn't immigrate to America.

Accepting the Troll Underneath the Bridge: Overcoming Our Self-Doubts
Accepting the Troll Underneath the Bridge: Overcoming Our Self-Doubts

Frankly, if the blessed beasts are living under a bridge...there must be a this book and find out why.


The Troll Poll


Image Credit: Trolls On Vacation book cover illustration -

So, exactly where do trolls go on vacation?

See results

Hermione Hag Sends You Grumpy Greetings from Deep Within the Forest of Flakes & Fruitcakes - May You Enjoy A Horrid Halloween!


Image Credit: Halloween Troll -

Ghoulish Greetings from The Trick-or-Treat Troll, The Tummy Trouble Troll, and the Toothless Tokens of Affection Trolls


Image Credit:

What'cha mean there's no Christmas Troll?


Image Credit: Troll Fairy Stank at

A Treasury of Trolls for the Sparkly Season!

The Christmas Troll: Sometimes God's Best Gifts Are the Most Unexpected (Experiencing God)
The Christmas Troll: Sometimes God's Best Gifts Are the Most Unexpected (Experiencing God)

The Christmas Troll is one way of letting believers know that sometimes not everything fits nicely and neatly into a box and how to deal with the unexpectedness of life.

A Troll for Christmas: and Other Stories
A Troll for Christmas: and Other Stories

Start a new family tradition -- give Santa a break by telling a troll story or two.

Maxi Marionette's Harlequin Troll Marionette
Maxi Marionette's Harlequin Troll Marionette

How about a Harlequin Troll Marionette -- You'll love pulling his strings!

Giants, Trolls, and Ogres (Fantasy Chronicles)
Giants, Trolls, and Ogres (Fantasy Chronicles)

A helpful guide to the world of giants, trolls, and ogres.


HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM HERBIE HICCUPS - Trolls always tipple a wee bit while doing housework

TROLL TOKENS OF APPRECIATION - If you admire, adore, and accept trolls as a vital part of nature's blessed bounty, please don't hesitate to leave a token of you

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    • yourselfempowered profile image

      Odille Rault 

      6 years ago from Gloucester

      What a fun and fabulous lens! Love these trolls! Blessed. :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Never knew there was so much information on trolls! Blessed!

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 

      7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Love your take on trolls! Blessed by the Angel of Legendary Creatures.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      The New Book about Trolls and Leprechauns is The Seventh's an excerpt:

      "Just then, time itself shifted into slow motion while his unblinking eyes concentrated on the dull metal of the horseshoe. He watched it land into the clover track in a silent thud. He ran and then slid into the clover as his fingers closed around the one side of the horseshoe; just a millisecond before another hand claimed the other side of the arch. At this instant, a silent explosion of fireworks and bright flashes appeared around him. All sound stopped and his ears reacted to the instant vacuum-like lack of noise. His body was elevated as he floated and spun into a rotating tornado of beautiful and sparkling lights. He did not have command of his body as he started to slowly lurch and pitch; just like riding on the roller coaster at the annual Shamrock Downs Fair. He looked down at his hand and then at the other hand grasping the other side of the horseshoe.

      His eyes slowly traveled up the length of the other arm and discovered the owner of that hand was a very agitated little person trying to pull the horseshoe away from Julian. The little manâs young face was scarlet from exertion and anger, and his grip was surprisingly strong. He had slightly pointed ears, was about three feet tall with a curious nose and a full head of bright curly red hair.

      The sensation of the swirling lights made him feel so good that he began to laugh. The angrier the other little man got, the funnier it was to Julian.

      âItâs MINE! MINE! MINE!â the little man shouted into the vacuum. âHumanâs are not allowed to have a magic horseshoe!â

      Watching the mouth of the other, Julian tried to catch his words.

      Magic Horseshoe?"

    • Fortunalee profile image


      10 years ago

      Great lens! You're missing one major piece of troll-lore though, Three Billy Goats Gruff, which is a Norwegian folk tale about trolls, popular long before there was a JK Rowling, much less a Harry Potter.

    • profile image


      10 years ago



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