The Official Collection of Fantastical Creature Information--Updated Randomly

For all your fantastical creature needs! This is the beginning of my encyclopedia, and I'm collecting as much information as I can on various fantasy creatures. Most of my stuff can be found on wikipedia. However, no source is perfect, so the stuff that is my input is often italicized. Help me by sending me more information at Questkid13@gmail.com

Side Note: There have been concerns about my using Wikipedia because it is not a reliable resource. I am well aware of wikipedia's unreliable nature--but that's exactly why I use it. Fantasy creatures are available to all, and everyone should have a chance to add their "discoveries." This website is supposed to be a fun collection of fantastical creature information with fun images to go with. I am not a reliable source--I'm just a collector. Though at this point, I am flattered that people are concerned with the validity of my site. :)

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Troll--Tolkien

In J. R. R. Tolkien's world of Middle-earth, Trolls are very large (twelve feet tall or morehumanoids of great strength and poor intellect. While in Norse mythology, the Troll was a magical creature with special skills, and are so accepted to this day in Scandinavia, in Tolkien's writings they are portrayed as evil, stupid, with crude habits, although still intelligent enough to communicate with a known language.

Description
In The Hobbit they speak with very thick Cockney accents. They turn to stone when exposed to sunlight and they enjoy eating meat (such as mutton, hobbits and Dwarves) and drinking beer. While threatening, the trolls in The Hobbit serve as a comic element. They even have normal names: Tom, Bert and William (Bill) Huggins (the only one with a given surname).

Mountain-trolls, including the cave-trolls of Moria, are about 17 feet (5 m) tall, with massive limbs, potbellies, and dark scales on its back and shoulders. They come in stony colours, with the most common being grey. They have 22 teeth, including two fangs on the lower canines. Their blood is black, and is so hot that when split, it sizzles on the floor. They are mainly carnivorous, but can digest plant matter if need be. The eyes are either grey or blue. They wear loincloths of leather that they find in the Mines or are given by the Goblins. They sometimes roar when in a battle rage, but are incapable of forming words or language. They often wield either a great club or a hammer.

Cave-trolls are usually found with small groups of Orcs. They are too unintelligent to hunt food for themselves, often consuming whatever hapless creature they come across, so food is an advantage they get from working with the Orcs. Their fingernails extend to most of their fingers, and were allegedly used to dig holes into the rock itself. The hide of trolls is rubbery, and usually either moss green, putrid grey, or mottled gray and green. Their coarse hair is typically iron grey, or greenish-black. Due to their sagging shoulders and tendency to hunch forward, they walk with an uneven gait, and their arms dangle and drag the ground when running. Despite this apparent awkwardness, trolls are quite agile.

The Olog-hai differ from the other Trolls in that they have more forward-facing eyes as well as hair on their bodies, suggesting that they are a more advanced form of Troll. They are usually grey to black in colour. Mountain trolls and Olog-hai have much in common, they are both much larger and more intelligent than most trolls and more resistant to light. However Olog-hai are certainly far superior to Mountain trolls in all these aspects.

History
The fallen Vala and first Dark Lord, Morgoth, created the first Trolls before the First Age. They were strong and vicious, but stupid creatures. The major weakness of at least some Trolls was that they turned to stone in sunlight. Nobody knows how he managed to breed them, though it is stated by Treebeard of the Ents that Trolls were "made in mockery of" them, as Orcs were of Elves, though not necessarily from Entish stock. However, they are likely a corrupted form of some other race of Middle-earth, as neither Morgoth nor Sauron have access to the Secret Fire, and cannot therefore create things; only corrupt that which already exists. There is reference that sunlight will return them to the stone from which they were made.

During the wars of Beleriand, Gothmog, the Lord of Balrogs, had a bodyguard of Trolls. While leading his men in a final stand to protect the retreat of Turgon and the continued secrecy of the Kingdom of Gondolin, the great warrior Húrin faced them, and due to Morgoth's emphatic orders to have Húrin captured alive, he managed to wipe them out. Their apparently caustic blood, however, melted his axe, allowing orcs to swarm over him and bind him, his capture ending the Nírnaeth Arnoediad, the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, where Morgoth seemingly triumphed over the united armies of Elves, Men and Dwarves.

Many Trolls died in the War of Wrath, but some survived and joined the forces of Sauron, the greatest surviving servant of Morgoth. In the Second Age and Third Age, Trolls were among Sauron's most dangerous warriors.

Troll types
Tolkien used several different terms for types of trolls, though there seems to have been some overlap in meanings.

Stone-trolls were Trolls who turned into stone during daylight, like the Trolls in The Hobbit. They could speak, and used a debased form of Westron (presumably rendered into Cockney English in Tolkien's "translation" of Bilbo's diary).

Hill-trolls are described as having killed Arador, Chieftain of the Rangers of the North, and grandfather to Aragorn. Tolkien described the trolls of that region, including the three from The Hobbit, as stone-trolls, suggesting that hill-trolls might be a sub-class or alternate term for such. However, the Army of the West fought "hill-trolls" of Gorgoroth that could move in sunlight at the Black Gate, inferring that these hill-trolls, at least, were Olog-hai rather than stone-trolls.

Cave-trolls were seen in Moria. One was described as having dark greenish scales and black blood. Their hide was thick enough that when Boromir struck one in the arm his sword was notched and did no damage. However, Frodo Baggins was able to impale the "toeless" foot of the same troll with the enchanted sword Sting.

Mountain-trolls were mentioned once, wielding the great battering ram Grond in shattering the gates of Minas Tirith. From their name they are generally assumed to live in the mountains, and their choice as the creatures to wield Grond is sometimes taken to suggest that they were particularly strong even for trolls.

Snow-trolls are mentioned only in comparison to Helm Hammerhand. When Helm went out clad in white during the Long Winter to stalk and slay his enemies he was described as being like a snow-troll. It thus seems implied that these trolls were white in colour and lived in cold climates, but otherwise nothing is known of them.

Olog-hai were "strong, agile, fierce, and cunning" trolls created by Sauron, not unlike the Uruk-hai, and were able to withstand sunlight while under the sway of Sauron's will. They seldom spoke and were said to know no language other than the Black Speech, in which Olog-hai means "troll-folk" (singular Olog "troll"). Because of their cunning, they were thought by some to be giant Orcs, rather than trolls. They appeared towards the end of the Third Age and could be found near Dol Guldur and in the mountains around Mordor. In the Battle of the Morannon, there appear "hill-trolls" of Gorgoroth which are implied to be Olog-hai in one of the Appendices to The Lord of the Rings (the term is not used within the story proper). These were described as being taller and wider than men, and their hide or armour was described as a mesh of horny scales. They had black blood. Peregrin Took slew the leader of these trolls at the Battle of the Morannon and after the destruction of the One Ring and the fall of Sauron the surviving trolls scattered as if mindless.

During the Battle of the Pelennor Fields there is a reference to "men like half-trolls", also called troll-men, but it is unclear whether these men actually had some trollish ancestry or were simply compared to trolls (for some readers, the first interpretation is supported by the similar and interchangeable terms "orc-men" and "half-orcs", referring to crossbreeds of Saruman).

A special thanks to Wikipedia, J.R.R. Tolkien, and to makers of the movies.

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