History of Trolls in Norwegian Culture




Since the genre of the week was foreign films I was unable to find my standard history of the genre so this is about the trolls in Norwegian culture.  Trollhunter is a Norwegian movie and in the movie, three college students try to follow a poacher around to see what he is up to but the man that they think is a poacher turns out to be a government troll hunter.  In the movie Trollhunter, to lure a troll out from under a bridge and into the open so they can see it the blood of a Christian man is dumped onto the bridge above the troll.  This is based off a Norwegian folk tale called Soria Moria Castle, written by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen.  In this story a young Christian man meets a princess and he battles a troll and the troll can smell his  Christian blood.  They also use three goats on a bridge to try to lure a troll out in reference to the story The Three Billy Goats Gruff (also written by Asbjørnsen) .  In The Three Billy Goats Gruff three goats try to cross a bridge that a troll lives underneath.  The troll does not like this and tries to eat them but they outsmart him and end up eating him.  In Trollhunter the goats are used purely as bait. 

According to Insight Guides (a travel guide book company), A constant topic in Norwegian legend is its landscapes.  … Many mythical creatures inhabit the mountains and forests, and tales about landmarks supposedly created by trolls exist all over the country.  Marks said to have been left by trolls show their size, such as the Giant Cut (Jutulhogget) in Østerdal.  The scientific explanation for this is glaciers, not trolls unfortunately.  When ice melts, it turns into water and when the melting ice is 100s of meters thick, it has a big impact.  Glacial meltwater channels look like small stream beds, but there is currently no stream.  It’s like if you were building a dam to make a huge lake and you proposed making it out of ice it wouldn’t work because at some point the dam will fail and all the water will come flooding out. An example of this is the Jutulhogget or ‘Giant’s Cut’ in Norway and an American example is the channeled scablands in Washington State. 

It is easily comparable to how Paul and Babe made Minnesota get all of the lakes.  Paul, who was born in Maine, was walking west to find all the big trees and open land when his home in Maine got too crowded and over logged.  He stopped in the midwest and did some logging then it got too crowded again so he set off on his journey once again but there was a really bad snowstorm.  This is when he found Babe the blue ox.  Then the storm got worse, and they got lost leaving footprints and hoof tracks all over what we call Minnesota.  Then in the spring when everything melted they filled with water causing all of the lakes.  This is close to what actually happened with glaciers.  The glaciers would be moving across the land and when a chunk would get left behind it would cause an indent in the ground and then once it melted the water just stayed there.

Link That I Used

Glacial Melt

Channeled Scablands

Paul and Babe


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