The Origin of Trolls

By | April 17, 2019

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Stories of Trolls originated in Norway. Source: (

We may think we know a lot about trolls from that Dreamworks movie with Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick, simply called Trolls, or from the band of helpful matchmakers in Disney’s Frozen, but the real Norwegian legends about trolls paint them in a different light. These trolls are big, stupid, enjoy eating humans, and they certainly don’t sing and dance. Let’s look at the origin of trolls. 

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Herr Birre och trollen (Among Gnomes and Trolls) by Alfred Smedberg, 1909. Private Collection. Source: (Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

Trolls are a Norwegian Legend

Stories and legends about trolls come to us from Norway. The true origin of Troll stories is difficult to pin down, however. That’s because most of the Norse legends were handed down orally. When they were finally written down, the tales had changed and evolved, by generation and by location. Scholars still often disagree about the source materials for the legends.