A troll is a magical beast of prodigious strength and immense stupidity. In fact, they are so synonymous with stupidity that they actually have a wizarding exam failing grade named after them. Trolls are grouped in the taxonomical genus Troglodytarum. Trolls possess rudimentary magic, but it is not known how they apply it.
Trolls generally reach a height of about twelve feet and weigh up to a tonne. Troll whiskers have magical properties, and are sometimes used as wand cores. Their feet have two toes, both with giant toenails.
They are dangerously violent and incredibly aggressive, and they engage in unpredictable behaviour, comparable to giants. They are also incredibly low in intelligence, of which giants seem to have more. Trolls are particularly attracted to unpleasant smells, such as Dungbombs.
Society and Culture
Troll language is supposedly nothing more than simple grunts that only Trolls seem to be able to interpret, though skilled magical multi-linguists such as Barty Crouch can understand them. Trolls understand only a limited number of Human words, and some smarter ones can be skilfully trained as security trolls. Professor Quirrell had a gift for communicating with trolls, and then used it to set one loose in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in 1991 in an effort to steal the Philosopher's Stone.
- "I went looking for the troll because I — I thought I could deal with it on my own — you know, because I've read all about them."
- —Hermione Granger lying after encountering a Troll[src]
Trolls are not recognised as magical beings, but are instead classified as beasts by the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures of the British Ministry of Magic, most likely due to their aggressive natures. Pierre Bonaccord, the first Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards, wanted to stop troll-hunting and give them rights, but his appointment to that office was contested by Liechtenstein, since they were having problems with a tribe of very dangerous mountain trolls at the time.
Artemius Lawson was an outspoken advocate for the strict restraint of trolls. He thought it was wrong to allow them to roam free, stating that "they were creatures who weighed a ton, but had brains the size of a bogey".
Professor Quirrell, to create a diversion so he could go after the Philosopher's Stone, let a mountain troll into the castle on Hallowe'en, 1991. It wandered around the corridors until Harry Potter and Ron Weasley locked it in a girls' bathroom, only to realise soon after that Hermione Granger was also in that particular bathroom. With a lucky combination of using the Levitation Charm and "sheer dumb luck" (according to Minerva McGonagall), Ron managed to knock it by levitating its club and dropping it on its head, incapacitating it out and saving Hermione.
Trolls participate in wizarding society to some extent; some witches and wizards make a career out of training security trolls. These were evidently a different type of troll than the mountain variety, since they seemed considerably more intelligent and less smelly. Dumbledore hired security trolls to guard the Fat Lady after Sirius Black attacked her. They spent all their time pacing the corridor in front of the Fat Lady's portrait, giving dirty looks to everyone who happened by and comparing the sizes of their clubs. They left at the end of the year, when Sirius was deemed to have left the country.
The wizarding author and celebrity Gilderoy Lockhart wrote about his supposed adventures with Trolls in his book Travels with Trolls, which was a mandatory Defence Against the Dark Arts textbook for his classes in that subject for the 1992–1993 school year when he was that year's Professor. As Gilderoy Lockhart was in reality a dishonest con artist who fraudulently took the credit of the achievements of far braver wizards and witches, by erasing their memories of their deeds with the Memory Charm, Lockhart in reality had no actual experience with these creatures.
During the Calamity, several Trolls started randomly appearing throughout the Wizarding world guarding various magical Confoundables, with volunteer members of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force having to incapacitate them with spells such as the the Ebublio Jinx and the Knockback Jinx, in order to overpower the Confoundables and return them to their rightful place.
There are four different types of Troll, each with its own highly unique set of physical differences.
The mountain troll is the largest and most violent of the various troll species. It stands twelve feet tall, with grey skin, a lumpy body, and flat horny feet. It exudes a powerfully awful smell, “a mixture of old socks and the kind of public toilet no one seems to clean.” Its nose is full of what looks like lumpy, grey glue: troll bogeys.
A sub-type is the Troll of Nadroj, a kind of troll with disproportionate hands.
Behind the scenes
- The troll is a creature from Norse mythology. Though sometimes depicted as being little different from humans, later Scandinavian folklore began to increasingly depict them as ugly, stupid, and brutish, a depiction that has persisted into modern fantasy works.
- In the Philosopher's Stone book and PS1/GBC game, there is a room with a troll that belongs to Professor Quirrell. However, in the film, this scene was omitted.
- In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Ron Weasley draws a picture of a troll and describes Gregory Goyle as one.
- In the video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, security trolls are made in the last parts of the game. They are shown to be watching the library, and will end the game if they catch the player. To distract them, Ron must throw a Dungbomb around one. If close enough, the Troll will walk towards them. Humourously, when a Troll walks to a Dungbomb, they seem to lose sense of the player.
- Harry Potter once speculated that Marcus Flint has some traces of Troll blood in him; however, this might be simply to insult Flint's stupidity and appearance.
- When Ron Weasley was captured by Snatchers in 1997, he told them he was Stan Shunpike, due to them not looking very intelligent, and even speculated that one of them might have been part-Troll, judging by his odour.
- In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, if someone casts a spell at a security troll, they can create an expansive wave in self-defence.
- Troll whiskers may be used in wand cores, though they are considered inferior to the Supreme Cores.
- There is some contradiction as to the ability of trolls to perform magic. In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, it states that trolls have no magic powers other than their naturally enhanced strength. However, one of the questions on the Wizards' Ordinary Magic and Basic Aptitude Test, when taken with information on the Patronus Charm from Wonderbook: Book of Spells, implies that both hags and trolls can use rudimentary magic.
- After the details of the Sorting ceremony were revealed in 1991, Ron stated that he was going to kill his brother Fred, who had suggested that the test to get into Hogwarts involved wrestling a troll.
- Though often derided as stupid, trolls are obviously intelligent, or at least sapient, beings. This is seen in their wielding of weapons, dressing themselves, and their attempts to domesticate other beasts (such as graphorns). This indicates that trolls are early to mid Stone Age in terms of culture, and likely possess rudimentary intelligence. However, they were either not considered intelligent enough to understand the laws of the wizarding world or could not control their violence, as the Ministry of Magic did not grant them being status.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film) (Appears in photogragh in Disc 2)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film) (Deleted scene) (Mentioned as Hairy Troll)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game) (As a bad nickname)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (video game) (Mentioned only)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
- Daily Prophet Newsletters (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter
- LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Dimensions (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game
- Harry Potter for Kinect
- Wonderbook: Book of Potions
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
- Harry Potter: The Wand Collection (Mentioned only)
- The Art of Harry Potter Mini Book of Graphic Design
Notes and references
- ↑ Illustration of Diagon Alley by Jim Kay from the Deluxe Illustrated Slipcase Edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (see here).
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
- ↑ Wonderbook: Book of Potions - see this video
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 31 (O.W.L.s)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 4 (Number Twelve Grimmauld Place)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 16 (Through the Trapdoor)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 10 (Hallowe'en)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 3 (The Burrow)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 16 (The Chamber of Secrets)
- ↑ Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- ↑ LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
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