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Trolls

Other Names:
Olog-hai
mountain-trolls
stone-giants
stone-trolls
snow-trolls
cave-trolls
hill-trolls

Race/Species: Beasts & Monsters

Description:

Huge, malicious, sentient creatures of the Dark, made by Morgoth in mockery of the Ents:

Table of Contents:
Description
Common Trolls
Olog-hai
Language
Notes


Description
The Trolls.
The Trolls, by JRR Tolkien.
Many things of beauty and wonder remained on earth in that time [Third Age], and many things also of evil and dread: Orcs there were and trolls and dragons and fell beasts....

The Silmarillion, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age

[Said Treebeard,] 'Maybe you have heard of Trolls? They are mighty strong. But Trolls are only counterfeits, made by the Enemy in the Great Darkness, in mockery of Ents, as orcs were of Elves. We are stronger than Trolls.'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 4, Treebeard

[There] came forward out of the trees three strange shapes. As tall as trolls they were, twelve feet or more in height....

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 8, The Road to Isengard


Common Trolls
In their beginning far back in the twilight of the Elder Days, [trolls] were creatures of dull and lumpish nature and had no more language than beasts.

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age: Of Other Races

Then [Húrin]... wielded an axe two-handed; and it is sung that the axe smoked in the black blood of the troll-guard of Gothmog until it withered....

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 20, Of The Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad

Soon afterwards the Long Winter began... [Helm] would go out by himself, clad in white, and stalk like a snow-troll into the camps of his enemies....

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: The House of Eorl

When [Bilbo] peeped out in the lightning-flashes, he saw that across the the valley the stone-giants 1 were out and were hurling rocks at one another for a game, and catching them, and tossing them down into the darkness where they smashed among the trees far below, or splintered into little bits with a bang.... They could hear the giants guffawing and shouting all over the mountainsides.

The Hobbit, Ch 4, Over Hill and Under Hill

[Bilbo] got right up to the fire... without disturbing anyone. And this is what he saw. Three very large persons sitting round a very large fire of beech-logs. They were toasting mutton on long spits of wood... and they were drinking out of jugs. But they were trolls.... Even Bilbo... could see that: from the great heavy faces of them, and their size, and the shape of their legs, not to mention their language, which was not drawing-room fashion at all....

'Mutton yesterday, mutton today, and blimey, if it don't look like mutton again tomorrer,' said one of the trolls.

'Never a blinking bit of manflesh have we had for long enough,' said a second.

'What the 'ell William was a-thinkin' of to bring us into these parts at all, beats me — and the drink runnin' short, what's more,' he said jogging the elbow of William, who was taking a pull at his jug.

William choked. 'Shut yer mouth!' he said as soon as he could. 'Yer can't expect folk to stop here for ever just to be et by you and Bert. You've et a village and a half between yer, since we come down from the mountains. How much more d'yer want?'

The Hobbit, Ch 2, Roast Mutton

The Three Trolls are Turned to Stone.
The Three Trolls are Turned to Stone, by JRR Tolkien.
'Dawn take you all, and be stone to you!' said a voice that sounded like William's. But it wasn't. For just at that moment the light came over the hill.... William never spoke for he stood turned to stone as he stooped; and Bert and Tom were stuck like rocks as they looked at him. And there they stand to this day...; for trolls... must be underground before dawn, or they go back to the stuff of the mountains they are made of, and never move again.

The Hobbit, Ch 2, Roast Mutton

[Said Gandalf,] 'Don't you realize that the trolls must have a cave or a hole dug somewhere near to hide from the sun in? We must look into it!'....

[The] stone door swung back with one big push, and they all went inside. There were bones on the floor and a nasty smell was in the air; but there was a good deal of food jumbled carelessly on shelves and on the ground, among an untidy litter of plunder, of all sorts from brass buttons to pots full of gold coins standing in a corner. There were lots of clothes, too, hanging on the walls — too small for trolls... — and among them were several swords of various makes, shapes, and sizes. Two caught their eyes particularly, because of their beautiful scabbards and jewelled hilts....

The Hobbit, Ch 2, Roast Mutton

'Whence did the trolls get them, I wonder?' said Thorin looking at his sword with new interest.

'I could not say,' said Elrond, 'but one may guess that your trolls had plundered other plunderers, or come on the remnants of old robberies in some hold in the mountains of the North. I have heard that there are still forgotten treasures of old to be found in the deserted caverns of the mines of Moria, since the dwarf and goblin war.'

The Hobbit, Ch 3, A Short Rest

... Arador was taken by hill-trolls in the Coldfells north of Rivendell and was slain....

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen

[Frodo] asked. 'And who built these towers? Is this troll-country?'

'No!' said Strider. 'Trolls do not build.'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 11, A Knife in the Dark

'[There] is something else there. A great cave-troll....'...

There was a blow on the door that made it quiver; and then it began to grind slowly open, driving back the wedges. A huge arm and shoulder, with a dark skin of greenish scales, was thrust through the widening gap. Then a great, flat, toeless foot was forced through below....

Boromir leaped forward and hewed at the arm with all his might; but his sword rang [and] glanced aside.... The blade was notched.

Suddenly, and to his own surprise, Frodo... stooped, and stabbed with Sting at the hideous foot. There was a bellow, and the foot jerked back, nearly wrenching Sting from Frodo's arm. Black drops dripped from the blade and smoked on the floor....

'Now is the time!' cried Gandalf. 'Let us go, before the troll returns!'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 5, The Bridge of Khazad-dûm

Two great trolls appeared; they bore great slabs of stone, and flung them down to serve as gangways over the fire.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 5, The Bridge of Khazad-dûm


Olog-hai
Sauron had made use of [trolls], teaching them what little they could learn, and increasing their wits with wickedness.

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age: Of Other Races

[At] the end of the Third Age a troll-race not before seen appeared in southern Mirkwood and in the mountain borders of Mordor. Olog-hai they were called in the Black Speech. That Sauron bred them none doubted, though from what stock was not known. Some held that they were not Trolls but giant Orcs; but the Olog-hai were in fashion of body and mind quite unlike even the largest of Orc-kind, whom they far surpassed in size and power. Trolls they were, but filled with the evil will of their master: a fell race, strong, agile, fierce and cunning, but harder than stone. Unlike the older race of the Twilight they could endure the Sun, so long as the will of Sauron held sway over them.

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age: Of Other Races

Trolls were abroad, no longer dull-witted, but cunning and armed with dreadful weapons.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 2, The Shadow of the Past

Great engines crawled across the field; and in the midst was a huge ram, great as a forest-tree a hundred feet in length, swinging on mighty chains.... Great beasts drew it..., and behind walked mountain-trolls to wield it.

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 4, The Siege of Gondor

[There] came striding up, roaring like beasts, a great company of hill-trolls out of Gorgoroth. Taller and broader than Men they were, and they were clad only in close-fitting mesh of horny scales, or maybe that was their hideous hide; but they bore round bucklers huge and black and wielded heavy hammers in their knotted hands. Reckless they sprang into the pools and waded across, bellowing as they came. Like a storm they broke upon the line of the men of Gondor, and beat upon helm and head, and arm and shield as smiths hewing the hot bending iron.... Beregond... fell; and the great troll-chief that smote him down bent over him, reaching out a clutching claw; for these fell creatures would bite the throats of those that they threw down.

Then Pippin stabbed upwards, and the written blade of Westernesse pierced through the hide and went deep into the vitals of the troll, and his black blood came gushing out.

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 10, The Black Gate Opens


Language
Trolls. Troll has been used to translate the Sindarin Torog. In their beginning... these... had no more language than beasts. But Sauron had made use of them, teaching them what little they could learn.... Trolls therefore took such language as they could master from the Orcs; and in the Westlands the Stone-trolls spoke a debased form of the Common Speech....

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age: Of Other Races

But Orcs and Trolls spoke as they would, without love of words or things; and their language was actually more degraded and filthy than I have shown it.

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age: Of Other Races

[Olog-hai] spoke little, and the only tongue that they knew was the Black Speech of Barad-dûr.

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age: Of Other Races


Notes
1The stone-giants are only mentioned in The Hobbit. It seems probable that they can be interpreted as a type of troll. Both are large and apparently malicious beings, and in Appendix F of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien mentions as a type of troll the Stone-trolls of the Westlands, who spoke a debased form of Common Speech, and this description certainly applies to Bert, Tom, and William Huggins.

The Annotated Hobbit, Annotated by Douglas A. Anderson, Ch 4, Over Hill and Under Hill, Note 5

Contributors:
Elena Tiriel 26Sep05, 1Oct11

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