Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Working Title: Poor Trolls: From YKTTW

Antheia: OK, I'm Scandinavian, and I've never heard of the 'beautiful women in the forest' creatures being referred to as trolls. Here in Sweden, one of those would be called a "skogsrå". Is this different in other Scandinavian countries?

Justin Cognito: As I understand it, they're called the huldra; they're known as trolls in Denmark, but as huldra in Norway. They get a mention in the Kaja Foglio comic featured on the page, and one of them shows up in the short story sequel to American Gods.

Antheia: Ah. I've heard of the huldra; it's used sometimes in Sweden too, although skogsrå is much more common. I didn't know they were called "trolls" in Denmark — interesting.

Nomic: In Finland troll often refers to the small furry sort, that tend to cause mischief and sometimes kidnap children. The term "mountain troll" is sometimes used to describe the large brutish creatures that lives in the mountains and eat people. Ofcourse this isn't an exact distinction and usually troll can refer to eighter kind or something different alltogether.

The Last Conformist: I've heard of at least two different kinds of "beautiful women in the forest" in Swedish folktales; the hollow-backed seductress, usually called a skogsrå or the like, and a more completely humanoid one, usually called a troll, who ends up marrying the male protagonist. The marriage usually ends badly, but more through his fault than hers.

Antheia: Still haven't heard of that type, ever. Trolls are (supposedly) ugly.

Farseer Lolotea: Back when I had some illusions of artistic talent, I drew a picture of a big, bulky, muti-armed (some arms had dextrous little hands, others had huge digging/fighting claws) and multi-eyed character with a long tufted tail and blue-tinted skin.  When someone asked me what he was, my answer was "a troll." Unfortunately, almost everyone had their own ideas of what a "troll" was (generally, but not always, based on either Warcraft or ElfQuest)...and it wasn't him.

Brunasfalt: Even if their names are different, "skogsrå" and "troll" are basically the same thing anyway. In fact, all "rå" means is "magical creature", so "skogsrå" would basically be "a magical creature of the woods". Kinda the same as what trolls (troll is either derived from one of the Swedish words for doing magic, or it's the other way around) are in the end, and it seems kind of pointless to try to draw lines between those mythological creatures that never were the same in any two stories anyway.

Joe Grim: There's the medieval Swedish ballad 'Herr/Sir Mannelig', where a (female) mountain troll proposes marriage to the titular knight. He gives a lot of reasons for not marrying her, but none of them involves her being gigantic or hideous. The lyrics actually imply that her being a troll isn't obvious, and he sees through this 'deception'.

La Roza: In Herr Mannelig, she is a "Bergatrolle". The lyrics give the impression being a troll is not obvious, and more of a curse and anti-Christian. This would be a more modern definition, as the concept is pre-Christian, so it could also just be a normal human, with some sort of curse or witchcraft.

Thee_Darcy: For an example of the pretty troll girl- in Peer Gynt, the titular character ends up romantically entangled with a troll princess, who is supposed to be quite fetching. Her father does not share her finer qualities, though his theme song compensates for that many times over.

Tricksterson: Trying to track down the title of an animated TV movie in which there's a young troll prince who is nicer than the rest his AlwaysChaoticEvil race. They're small and ugly, he's small and less ugly and in the end he finds Jesus and magically becomes a gnome after his brothers try to kill him.

Cain: That would be "The Little Troll Prince". Cartoon Network showed it once or twice, I believe. The whole film is one YouTube.