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Literature / Hilda

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The first book in the series
Also known as the Hilda Tie-in-series. A series of illustrated children's novels, based on the animated series.

The books are written by Stephen Davies and illustrated by Seaerra Miller . The books are published by Flying Eye Books . Each book adapts multiple episodes into a single story, and adds more world building to the world of Hilda.

The series currently consists of:

  • Hilda and the Hidden People (adapts season 1 chapters 1 and 2, published on September 4, 2018)
  • Hilda and the Great Parade (adapts season 1 chapters 3, 5, and 7, published January 22, 2019)
  • Hilda and the Nowhere Space (adapts season 1 chapters 4, 6, and 11 through 13, published May 21, 2019).
  • Hilda and the Time Worm (adapts season 2 chapters 1, 6, 8, and 10, and briefly mentions the events of season 1 chapter 10. Published November 2020)
  • Hilda and the Ghost Ship (adapts season 2 chapters 2, 3, 5 and 7, and again briefly mentions the events of season 1 chapter 10. Published November 2020)
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  • Hilda and the White Woff (adapts season 2, chapters 4 and 13, as well as the flashbacks from chapter 9. Published November 2020)

In May 2022, all of the books were also released as audio books, with most of the cast from the animated series reprising their roles.

The Hilda Tie-in series contains examples of these tropes:

  • Adaptation Amalgamation: Each book combines multiple episodes into a single story, often with the events slightly altered and arranged in a different order where the events happen simultaniously and directly influence each other to make it look less episodic and more a coherent whole.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The novels tend to expand upon the animated series, which itself already expanded upon the original graphic novels. Examples include naming otherwise unnamed places, adding new minor characters, adding more character dialogue, a few new scenes, and fleshing out some subplots (like the one of Hilda being afraid to ride a bike). However, the opposite is also true (see below)
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication:
    • Like in the graphic novels and animated series, Hilda is grounded, but the reason why is again changed. In the books, it is because Johanna found out Hilda helped sabotage the mechanical bellringers, and her grounding coincides with the Winter Festival.
    • And the reason for Hilda and Johanna's fallout just before their adventure in the stone forest is changed to Johanna discovering that Hilda lied about having a sleepover at Frida's house, but instead secretly went camping with David and Frida.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Hilda is more of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold here than she's ever been, particularly in the first book. Alfur (who she takes a considerable amount of time to warm up to compared to the show) outright calls her a "big bully", and she acts confused when David and Frida refuse to talk to her after she drags them along for an adventure and into the clutches of the Bragga.
    • Believe it or not, this even extends to Johanna; in the third novel, upon finding out Hilda didn't earn any Sparrow Scout badges, she verbally kicks her clearly apologetic daughter while she's down by saying that if she didn't "mess around with house spirits", she'd have had more time for badges.
  • Adaptational Late Appearance: The novels use both this and Adaptational Early Appearance since the books reschedules the order in which the adventures they adapt take place, creatures and characters are often introduced in a different order. Like the Bragga family appearing before the adventure with the baby troll, or the Marra not making an appearance until the third book.
  • Adapted Out:
    • For season 1, episodes 8 & 9 are not adapted at all, the events of episode 10 are only briefly mentioned in passing but not shown in detail, and the episodes that are adapted have several subplots and characters omitted from them. The Tide Mice, the ghosts, Kelly, and the magical house in the woods don’t appear in any of the books, and Frida does not almost join the Marra, just to name a few examples.
    • For season 2, episodes 11 and 12 are not adapted at all, thus again leaving out the tide mice as well as Alvin and the Delegation for the Return of Wayward Elves. From chapter 9 only the flashbacks of how Hilda met Twig are adapted into a story told by Hilda, but the adventure in which Twig runs away is omitted. The adaptation of chapter 3 leaves out the battle with the void of no return, and the Bragga are omitted from the adaptation of chapter 7.
  • Alternate Continuity: To the animated series, and especially the original graphic novels.
  • Anger Born of Worry: In Hilda and the Hidden People, Johanna finds out about Hilda's encounter with the troll, and is understandably angered considering what could have happened to Hilda.
  • The Bully: Trevor, who unlike the graphic novels and the animated series never even tries to be friends with Hilda (or she with him), and constantly picks on her.
  • Canon Foreigner: some new characters created specifically for the books include an unnamed Elf dressed in a jester costume (whose riddle Hilda has to solve when trying to see the Prime Minister), Sigrid Spenstig, and Emil Gammelplassen (a naturalist whose books Hilda likes).
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase: All the books are named in this manner, just like the original Graphic Novels.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The blue nettle, which in the animated series only kicked off the plot of Chapter 7 and was not mentioned again afterwards, proves crucial to give the Great Raven his memory back.
  • Christmas Episode: Hilda and the Time Worm; it adapts the events from the show's Christmas Episode, and makes The Winter Festival (Trolberg's version of Christmas) the central setting by altering the events of the other episodes that it adapts into taking place during the 3 days of the festival.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • Hilda and the Hidden People tends to go into more detail how much the elves actually wanted to kill Hilda and her mother. Beyond that, the books go more into the frequent life-threatening situations the characters go through in general.
    • While the Kraken in the animated series attacked and sunk multiple ships, no mention was made there of her attacks resulting in any casualties. Hilda and the Ghost Ship, however, makes no secret about it that people died in these attacks.
  • Firing Day: Unlike the animated series, Erik Ahlberg does remember his Baleful Polymorph into a bug in "Hilda and the White Woff", and upon being turned back to normal fires Gerda Gustav for her part in his ordeal.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: In Hilda and the Nowhere Space, when she makes the plan to confront the Marra that is tormenting David, Hilda fully expects the Marra to feel remorse for her actions and promise to be good once she is told how much she is hurting David. Naturally, it doesn't work that way, and Hilda is shocked to hear the Marra enjoys tormenting people.
  • Gulliver Tie-Down: In Hilda and the Great Parade, Hilda is tied up in this manner when she, Frida and David are taken captive by the Bragga clan of Elves.
  • A Hero to His Hometown: Edmund Ahlberg, who is honored all through Trolberg for being the greatest trollslayer ever. Hilda, who understands trolls much better than the citizens of Trolberg, fails to see why such a man can be considered a hero, and instead believes him to be a murderer.
  • Improvised Zipline: In the 2nd book, Hilda is at a watchtower and spots Trevor carrying the captive Raven. To get there, she takes her scarf off and zip lines with it down a telephone wire.
  • Loophole Abuse: In Hilda and the Hidden People, Alfur is not allowed to tell Hilda where the castle of the king is, since all Elves have signed a secrecy form to never speak to a non-elf about the castle’s location. His solution: stand on a map of the wilderness, right there where the castle is located, without actually saying a word.
  • Knights and Knaves: Hilda faces a riddle like this in Hilda and the Hidden People, with two water spirits as the liar and truth-teller respectively. She has to figure out which of two caves is the one the Elf Prime Minister resides in, with the other supposedly housing a flesh-eating troll.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Multiple locations in and around Trolberg. Hilda also gives the Nisse that lived in her house the nickname Baldy, while David nicknames Victoria van Gale's artificial Nisse Moss Head Fred (or just Fred).
  • No Name Given: Surprisingly, despite the novels naming previously unnamed characters, and the fact that the animated series revealed Hilda's mother to be named Johanna, the books only ever refer to her as "Mum", just like the graphic novels.
  • Not Good with People: Hilda, due to her having lived in the wilderness her whole life. In "Hilda and the Great Parade", she genuinly does not understand why David and Frida got so cross with her after the adventure with the Bragga family and the lindworm, which she herself considered a normal adventure.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: In Hilda and the Great Parade, Frida and David have a falling out with Hilda following the adventure with the Bragga Family and the Lindworm. They reconcile after Hilda apologizes and asks for their help to hunt down a baby troll that has gotten into the school.
  • Police Are Useless: In Hilda and the Nowhere Space, Hilda discovers the Black Hound has a nest in the Great Forest and tries to tell the police where it is, but she is informed that the police already handed over the case to the Safety Patrol and is thus no longer interested. And the Safety Patrol can’t act on her information since they have no authority outside Trolberg. Hilda is understandably quite frustrated. And once Erik Ahlberg becomes head of the safety patrol from the fourth book onwards, the safety patrol's usefullness further drops; something Frida lampshades in "Hilda and the White Woff".
  • Riddle for the Ages: "Hilda and the Time Worm", which adapts the episode "The Fifty Year Night", never bothers to explain how the time traveling magazines work. In the animated series, it was because they where enchanted by Matilda Pilqvist.
  • Suddenly Speaking: The water spirits and the elf Agnes, who are mute in the animated series, have dialogue here.
  • The Three Trials: In order to see the Prime Minister in Hilda and the Hidden People, Hilda has to pass three tests; the test of courage (which involves having to face the Prime Minister’s cavalry), the test of skill (which involves having to navigate a narrow, slippery path intothe caves of kismet), and the Test of Exceptional Braininess (where Hilda has to figure out in which of two caves the Prime minister is, by asking two water spirits a single question which one will answer truthfully and the other will answer with a lie).
  • Train Escape: Type 1; in Hilda and the Great Parade, when running from Trevor with the unconscious raven, Hilda loses him by jumping across the train tracks just before a train passes, and Trevor is thus forced to wait.