|Created date||First Age|
|Created by fictional being||Melkor|
|Base of operations||Trollshaws, Moria, Mordor|
Trolls are fictional characters in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth, and feature in films and games adapted from his novels. They are portrayed as large humanoids of great strength and poor intellect. In The Hobbit , like the dwarf Alviss of Norse mythology, they must be below ground before dawn or turn to stone, whereas in The Lord of the Rings they are able to face daylight.
Commentators have noted the different uses Tolkien made of trolls, from comedy in Sam Gamgee's poem and the Cockney accents and table manners of the working-class trolls in The Hobbit, to the hellish atmosphere in Moria as the protagonists are confronted by darkness and monsters. Tolkien, a Roman Catholic, drew back from giving trolls the power of speech, as he had done in The Hobbit, as it implied to him that they had souls, so he made the trolls in The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings darker and more bestial. They were supposedly bred by the Dark Lords Melkor and Sauron for their own evil purposes, helping to express Tolkien's combination of "fairy tale with epic, ... bonded with the Christian mythos".
In The Hobbit , Bilbo Baggins and the Dwarf company encountered three trolls on their journey to Erebor. The trolls captured the Dwarves and prepared to eat them, but the wizard Gandalf managed to distract them until dawn, when exposure to sunlight turned them into stone. They had vulgar table manners, constantly argued and fought amongst themselves, in Tolkien's narrator's words "not drawing-room fashion at all, at all",spoke with Cockney accents, and had matching English working-class names: Tom, Bert, and Bill. Jennifer Eastman Attebery, a scholar of English, states that the trolls in The Hobbit "signify the uncouth".
As the Fellowship of the Ring made their way towards Rivendell through the Trollshaws, after Frodo had been stabbed by the Nazgûl with a Morgul-knife, they came upon the three trolls that Bilbo and the dwarves had encountered many years earlier, and had seen turned to stone at daybreak. Sam Gamgee recited a comic poem, "The Stone Troll", on the supposed dangers of kicking a troll, who has a "seat" which is "harder than stone", to cheer everyone up.The poem appears also in The Adventures of Tom Bombadil . In the Tolkien critic Paul H. Kocher's words, it achieves a certain "grisly slapstick".
Tolkien's description of the trolls in Appendix F "Of Other Races" in The Return of the King
Cave trolls attacked the Fellowship in Moria. One had dark greenish scales, black blood, and a hide so thick that when Boromir struck it in the arm his sword was notched. However, Frodo was able to impale the "toeless" foot of the same troll with the enchanted dagger Sting.The Tolkien scholar Charles A. Huttar writes that the trolls' presence, alongside orcs and the Balrog, means that "Moria not only houses inert obstacles but active monsters".
Mountain trolls wielded the great battering ram Grond to shatter the gates of Minas Tirith.They fought using clubs and round shields at the Battle of the Morannon. Sauron bred mountain and cave trolls, and developed the more intelligent Olog-hai that were not vulnerable to sunlight.
Snow trolls are mentioned only in the story of Helm Hammerhand. When Helm went out during the Long winter clad in white to ambush his enemies, he was described as looking like a snow-troll.
Morgoth, the evil Vala, created trolls in the First Age of Middle-earth.They were strong and vicious but stupid; as in The Hobbit, they turned to stone in sunlight. During the wars of Beleriand, Gothmog (the Lord of Balrogs) had a bodyguard of trolls. During the Nírnaeth Arnoediad, the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, in which Morgoth defeated the united armies of Elves, Men, and Dwarves, the great human warrior Húrin faced Gothmog's trolls to protect the retreat of the Elven king Turgon. Morgoth's order to Gothmog to capture Húrin alive allowed Húrin to kill all the trolls. Many trolls died in the War of Wrath, but some survived and joined Sauron, the greatest surviving servant of Morgoth.
In Germanic mythology, trolls are a kind of giant, along with rísar, jötnar , and þursar; the names are variously applied to large monstrous beings, sometimes as synonyms. 's audience in 1937 were familiar with trolls from fairy tale collections such as those of Grimm, and Asbjørnsen and Moe's Norwegian Folktales ; Tolkien's use of monsters of different kinds - orcs, trolls, and a Balrog in Moria made that journey "a descent into hell".The idea that such monsters must be below ground before dawn dates back to the Elder Edda of Norse mythology, where in the Alvíssmál, the god Thor keeps the dwarf Alviss (not a troll) talking until dawn, and sees him turn to stone. Tom Shippey, a Tolkien scholar, writes that The Hobbit
Attebery notes that trolls came into English first through Asbjørnsen and Moe's 1841 collection of traditional Norwegian tales, Norske-Eventyr, but that this was followed by Scandinavian retellings with reimagined trolls. Trolls thus moved from being grim Norse ogres to more sympathetic modern humanoids.In her view, Tolkien's trolls are based on the ogre type, but with two "incarnations": ancient trolls, "creatures of dull and lumpish nature" in Tolkien's words, unable to speak; and the malicious giants of strength and courage bred by Sauron with "enough intelligence to present a real danger". The scholar of English Edward Risden agrees that Tolkien's later trolls appear far more dangerous than those of The Hobbit, losing, too, "the [moral] capacity to relent"; he comments that in Norse mythology, trolls are "normally female and strongly associated with magic", while in the Norse sagas the trolls were physically strong and superhuman in battle.
Christina Fawcett, a scholar of English, writes that Tolkien synthesises materials from different eras, so his writing and his creatures can take on different qualities, from playful to monstrous; his hill-trolls "while still threatening, are primarily comic and slow-witted".On the other hand, when Gandalf outwits them, these same trolls are seen as "monstrous, a warning against vice, captured forever in stone for their greed and anger." All the same, Fawcett cautions that Tolkien uses tradition selectively. Fawcett writes that Tolkien transferred the more positive attributes of Norse trolls, including being rich and generous, to hobbits.
Shippey criticises Tolkien's class-based depiction of the trolls and goblins in The Hobbit, writing that the trolls were too close to labourers, just as the goblins were to munitions workers. Shippey notes, too, Tolkien's storytelling technique here, observing that making the troll's purse (which Bilbo attempts to steal) able to speak blurs the line between the ordinary and the magical.
Marjorie Burns, a medievalist, writes that the trolls' tiredness with eating mutton every day matches the fantasy writer and designer William Morris's account of his travels in Iceland in the early 1870s, one of many Middle-earth features that follows Morris, including the existence of trolls: Morris mentioned visiting places called Tröllakirkja ("Trollchurch") and Tröllahals ("Trollneck"). Burns notes, too, that the adventure with the three trolls combines Bilbo's fear of being eaten with the temptation of the "fine toothsome smell" of roast mutton.
The critic Gregory Hartley notes that while in The Hobbit, Tolkien's trolls were still much like those of Norse mythology, "archetypal, stereotypical ... basking in unexamined sentience", 's Cockney-speaking trolls thus gave way to the "more bestial trolls" of the later works. Hartley comments that the redaction effort that Tolkien threw himself into for his legendarium was driven by the way he had composed The Hobbit; and that the resulting "rich, curious roles" that trolls and other beasts play in Middle-earth would not have existed without it.in The Silmarillion and Lord of the Rings, "Tolkien undertook the difficult task of melding fairy tale with epic, which was in turn bonded with the Christian mythos. Characters and creatures began functioning on a multiplicity of registers." The entertainingly "light-hearted informality" of The Hobbit
Fawcett suggests that Tolkien's "roaring Troll" in The Return of the King reflects the Beowulf monster Grendel's "firey eye and terrible screaming."Noting that Tolkien compares them to beasts as they "came striding up, roaring like beasts ... bellowing", she observes that they "remain wordless warriors, like Grendel", although they are sentient, with intelligence and a single language, unlike the varied tongues of Tolkien's orcs.
Critics including Fawcett and Hartley note that by making all the beasts in The Hobbit talk, Tolkien, a devout Roman Catholic, had created a serious problem for himself: if trolls and other monsters were supposed to be sentient, they would in Christian terms have souls and be redeemable rather than wholly evil.Tolkien acknowledged this keenly-felt question: "Of course ... when you make Trolls speak [Tolkien's emphasis] you are giving them a power, which in our world (probably) connotes the possession of a 'soul'." Fawcett distinguishes the approach of Tolkien's narrator, who treats trolls as "wholly monstrous", from his "translator's notes" which take "a slightly more balanced view". She states that Tolkien adopts a similar multiplicity of viewpoints on the in-fiction creation of trolls: Frodo tells Sam that the Shadow cannot create "real new things of its own", but all the same, she writes, the "stone-bred mockery" seems very much alive. This is, Fawcett writes, in contrast to Tolkien's intelligent dragons, which are straightforwardly a created species with the power of speech, but certainly monsters; and in contrast to orcs which, as corrupted elves, do have souls. She concludes that Tolkien's linking of souls to speech "complicates these monstrous races".
Tolkien had another conceptual problem with the existence of evil creatures, as he believed that while good could create, evil could not. So he considered whether his evil creatures could have been corrupted from sentient beings, and whether they could breed, writing various and contradictory explanations of their origins.In The Two Towers, the leader of the Ents, Treebeard, remarks that trolls were "made ... in mockery of Ents", as Orcs were of Elves. Friedhelm Schneidewind, writing in the J. R. R. Tolkien Encyclopedia , states the precise origin of trolls "perhaps from giant apes but possibly from Men, Orcs, or 'Spirits'" is not given by Tolkien, but like Orcs, trolls were bred by Melkor and Sauron for their own evil purposes.
Burns notes that with the destruction of Sauron, trolls, like the rest of Sauron's minions, were scattered in defeat, though some survived by hiding in the hills. In Burns's view, this makes Tolkien appear both optimistic, since evil can be defeated, and pessimistic, as that defeat is never absolute.
Rankin/Bass' animated 1977 adaptation of The Hobbit depicts Bilbo's encounter with the trolls. In this film, the trolls are presented with tan-colored skin, large bulbous noses, and tusks. As in the book, they turn to stone when exposed to sunlight. The trolls were voiced by Paul Frees, Jack DeLeon, and Don Messick.
Ralph Bakshi's 1978 animated version of The Lord of the Rings follows the book faithfully in its depiction of the encounter with the troll in the Chamber, though the troll's foot has toes. Glenn Gaslin, reviewing the film on Slate , describes a clip from the film as "of ravenous trolls, [and it] does no justice to Tolkien's darker elements".
Trolls appear in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. In The Fellowship of the Ring , Bilbo Baggins recounts his altercation with the three stone-trolls and later on, the four hobbits and Aragorn are shown resting in the shelter of the petrified trolls. The location used was Piopio, Waitomo District, in New Zealand.In the mines of Moria, a single cave troll, animated in software, is among the attackers.
In The Return of the King , trolls fight in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields,and Aragorn fights a troll in the Battle of the Morannon, a departure from the book; Jackson had at one stage intended Aragorn to fight the Dark Lord Sauron in person, but "wisely" reduced this to combat with a troll.
In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey the three stone trolls appear as in Tolkien's book. The trolls are portrayed through voice and motion capture. Bert is played by Mark Hadlow, Tom by William Kircher, and William by Peter Hambleton.In The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies , some of the trolls have catapults mounted on their backs.
Trolls have featured in many video games set in Middle-earth, including The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth ,The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age , and The Lord of the Rings: Conquest . In The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II: The Rise of the Witch-king , the Angmar faction has a troll hero named Rogash, and an Olog-hai named Brûz the Chopper is important to the plot of Middle-earth: Shadow of War .
Middle-earth trolls have appeared in tabletop role-playing games; for example, the core book for Middle-earth Role Playing , published by Iron Crown Enterprises, included rules for Normal Trolls, Olog-hai (or Black Trolls), and Half Trolls,and the publisher released an adventure module called Trolls of the Misty Mountains. Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game includes trolls, while Games Workshop produce a selection of troll miniatures.
Gandalf is a protagonist in J. R. R. Tolkien's novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. He is a wizard, one of the Istari order, and the leader of the Fellowship of the Ring. Tolkien took the name "Gandalf" from the Old Norse "Catalogue of Dwarves" (Dvergatal) in the Völuspá.
Thorin Oakenshield is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's 1937 novel The Hobbit. Thorin is the leader of the Company of Dwarves who aim to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from Smaug the dragon. He is the son of Thráin II, grandson of Thrór, and becomes King of Durin's Folk during their exile from Erebor. Thorin's background is further elaborated in Appendix A of Tolkien's 1955 novel The Return of the King, and in Unfinished Tales.
A Balrog is a fictional creature in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth. It first appeared in print in his high fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings, where the Fellowship of the Ring encounter one known as Durin's Bane in the Mines of Moria. Balrogs appear also in Tolkien's The Silmarillion and other posthumously published books.
Mithril is a fictional metal found in the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien, which is present in his Middle-earth, and also appears in many other works of derivative fantasy. It is described as resembling silver but being stronger and lighter than steel. The author first wrote of it in The Lord of the Rings, and it is retrospectively mentioned in the third, revised edition of The Hobbit in 1966. In the first 1937 edition, the mail shirt given to Bilbo Baggins is described as being made of "silvered steel".
In J. R. R. Tolkien's epic fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings, the Battle of the Morannon or Battle of the Black Gate is an event that took place at the end of the War of the Ring. Gondor and its allies send a small army ostensibly to challenge Sauron at the entrance to his land of Mordor; he supposes that they have with them the One Ring and mean to use it to defeat him. In fact, the Ring is being carried by the hobbits Frodo Baggins and Sam Gamgee into Mordor to destroy it in Mount Doom, and the army is moving to distract Sauron from them. Before the battle, a nameless leader, the "Mouth of Sauron", taunts the leaders of the army with the personal effects of Frodo and Sam. Battle is joined, but just as it seems the army of Gondor will be overwhelmed, the Ring is destroyed, and the forces of Sauron lose heart. Mount Doom erupts, and Sauron's tower, Barad-dûr, collapses, along with the Black Gate. The army of Gondor returns home victorious, the War of the Ring won.
Balin is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. He is an important supporting character in The Hobbit, and is mentioned in The Fellowship of the Ring.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the real-world history and notable fictional elements of J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy universe:
The fictional peoples and races that appear in J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy world of Middle-earth include the seven peoples or races listed in Appendix F of The Lord of the Rings: Elves, Men, Dwarves, Hobbits, Ents, Orcs and Trolls, as well as various spirits, the Valar and Maiar. Other beings inhabit Middle-earth whose nature is unclear, such as Tom Bombadil and his wife Goldberry.
Scholars and critics have identified many themes of The Lord of the Rings, a major fantasy novel by J. R. R. Tolkien, including a reversed quest, the struggle of good and evil, death and immortality, fate and free will, the danger of power, and various aspects of Christianity such as the presence of three Christ figures, for prophet, priest, and king, as well as elements like hope and redemptive suffering. There is also a strong thread throughout the work of language, its sound, and its relationship to peoples and places, along with moralisation from descriptions of landscape. Out of these, Tolkien stated that the central theme is death and immortality.
Gimli is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium, featured in The Lord of the Rings. A dwarf warrior, he is the son of Glóin, a character from Tolkien's earlier novel, The Hobbit.
Peregrin Took, commonly known simply as Pippin, is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings. He is closely tied with his friend and cousin, Merry Brandybuck, and the two are together during most of the story. Pippin and Merry are introduced as a pair of young hobbits of the Shire who become ensnared in their friend Frodo Baggins's quest to destroy the One Ring. Pippin joins the Fellowship of the Ring. He and Merry become separated from the rest of the group at the breaking of the Fellowship and spend much of The Two Towers with their own story line. Impetuous and curious, Pippin enlists as a soldier in the army of Gondor and fights in the Battle of the Morannon. With the other hobbits, he returns home, helps to lead the Scouring of the Shire, and becomes Thain or hereditary leader of the land.
Middle-earth is the fictional setting of much of British writer J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. The term is equivalent to the term Midgard of Norse mythology, describing the human-inhabited world, that is, the central continent of the Earth in Tolkien's imagined mythological past.
Aragorn is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. He is one of the main protagonists of The Lord of the Rings. Aragorn was a Ranger of the North, first introduced with the name Strider. He was eventually revealed to be the heir of Isildur, King of Gondor. He was a confidant of Gandalf and part of the quest to destroy the One Ring and defeat the Dark Lord Sauron. He fell in love with the immortal elf Arwen, as told in The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen; her father, Elrond, forbade them to marry unless Aragorn became King of both Arnor and Gondor.
Elrond Half-elven is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. He is introduced in The Hobbit, and plays a supporting role in The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion.
Frodo Baggins is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's writings, and a central figure in The Lord of the Rings. Frodo is a hobbit of the Shire who inherits the One Ring from his cousin Bilbo Baggins and undertakes the quest to destroy it in the fires of Mount Doom in Mordor. He is mentioned in Tolkien's posthumously published works, The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales.
In J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional world of Middle-earth, Mordor is the realm and base of the arch-villain Sauron. It lay to the east of Gondor and the great river Anduin, and to the south of Mirkwood. Mount Doom, a volcano in Mordor, was the goal of the Fellowship of the Ring in the quest to destroy the One Ring. Mordor was surrounded by three mountain ranges, to the north, the west, and the south. These both protected the land from invasion and kept those living in Mordor from escaping.
In the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, Moria, also named Khazad-dûm, is an ancient subterranean complex in Middle-earth, comprising a vast labyrinthine network of tunnels, chambers, mines and halls under the Misty Mountains, with doors on both the western and the eastern sides of the mountain range. Moria is introduced in Tolkien's novel The Hobbit, and is a major scene of action in The Lord of the Rings.
The One Ring is a central plot element in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (1954–55). It first appeared in the earlier story The Hobbit (1937) as a magic ring that grants the wearer invisibility. Tolkien changed it into a malevolent Ring of Power and re-wrote parts of The Hobbit to fit in with the expanded narrative. The Lord of the Rings describes the hobbit Frodo Baggins's quest to destroy the Ring.
Sauron is the title character and the main antagonist of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, where he rules the land of Mordor and has the ambition of ruling the whole of Middle-earth.
The comedy is conveyed chiefly through the trolls' lower class British dialect and their clumsy handling of little Bilbo