Land of trolls Posted by Bjørn A. Bojesen on Jun 29, 2013 in Art, Traditions
If you look around you, there are troll everywhere in Norway. På fjellet (in the mountains), mange rare skapninger (many strange creatures) are waiting for you to see them. Trær med krokete røtter (trees with gnarled roots) seem to be silently watching your steps – as long as you are under tregrensa (below the tree line) and there are still trees on the mountain slopes. As you get closer to toppen (the summit) and you find yourselves climbing across naked klipper (rocks), you suddenly feel a strange presence. A solid shadow is standing in front of you i tåka (in the mist). Phew, it’s only a varde – a cairn that grows higher each time a hiker passes and adds another stein [stine] (stone). Or is it?
As you can probably guess, troll are an important part of Norwegian legender and eventyr [evenTEER] (fairy-tales). In the 19th century, story collectors Asbjørnsen og Moe (and their illustrator Theodor Kittelsen) helped making trolls famous, even in the cities far away from their natural mountain dwellings. From Asbjørnsen and Moe’s texts we learn that most trolls have haler (tails) and that they sprekker i sollys (crack in sunlight).
Have you seen the film Trolljegeren (Troll Hunter)? If you love trolls and Norwegian, it’s the perfect treat! Originally screened in 2010, it’s like a mix of The Blair Witch Project and Jurassic Park – with trolls instead of dinosaurs! Comedian Otto Jespersen stars at the ”troll hunter”, and the trolls are very much inspired by the classic drawings by Theodor Kittelsen… Okay, it might not be the world’s most serious film, but if you’re in the right (light!) mood, find some popcorn and embrace yourself for a shocking revelation: Trolls do exist.
Have you ever seen a troll?
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