"Troll -- in the dungeons -- thought you ought to know."
Quirinus Quirrell[src]

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.[1] Trolls possess rudimentary magic, but it is not known how they apply it.[2]


Physical appearance

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, though they are considered inferior to the Supreme 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.[3]


Trolls, similar to Acromantulas, have a taste for human flesh. They enjoy it raw, but are not fussy about what they eat. Trolls are also fond of fish.[4]

Society and Culture

"Anyone can speak Troll. All you have to do is point and grunt."
—The Troll language[src]

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 could understand them.[5] Trolls understand only a limited number of Human words, and some smarter ones can be skilfully trained as security trolls.[6] 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.[7][8]

Mountain trolls have been known to tame and ride Graphorns, or at least try to ride them. Graphorns don’t seem to be very keen on the idea.[9]


"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 originated in Scandinavia, but are now found all across Europe.[9]

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.[9] 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.[10]

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".[11]

The Black family kept an umbrella stand made out of a troll's leg in their front hall.[12]

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.[13]

A Troll was Quirrell's contribution to guarding the Philosopher's Stone in the Underground Chambers, during the 1991–1992 school year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.[14]

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, appearing in the dungeon.[8] 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 combination of using the Levitation Charm and what Minerva McGonagall would cite as "sheer dumb luck", Ron managed to knock it by levitating its club and dropping it on its head, incapacitating it and saving Hermione.[7]

Trolls participate in wizarding society to some extent; some witches and wizards make a career out of training security trolls.[15] 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.[6] 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.[16] 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.[17]

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.[18]

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.[19]


There are four known 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.[7]

The forest troll has pale-green skin and straggly hair.[9] This breed of troll is native to forests or woodlands, some may even live in the Forbidden Forest.[20]

The river troll has hairy purple skin and short horns. It is often found lurking under bridges or in the middle of rivers.[9]

A sub-type is the Troll of Nadroj, a kind of troll with disproportionate hands.[21]

Part-troll are beings with some, but not a total, amount of troll heritage or blood, as well as part human blood. Harry Potter once speculated that Marcus Flint had some traces of Troll blood in him; however, this might have been simply to insult Flint's stupidity and appearance.[22]

See also

Behind the scenes

A Mountain troll in LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4

A Mountain troll in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)

A Mountain troll in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)

  • 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.


The Harry Potter Wiki has 109 images related to Troll.

Troll as seen in Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells

Troll Club as seen in Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells

Notes and references

  1. Illustration of Diagon Alley by Jim Kay from the Deluxe Illustrated Slipcase Edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (see here).
  2. J. K. Rowling's official site
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
  4. Wonderbook: Book of Potions - see this video
  5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 7 (Bagman and Crouch)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 14 (Snape's Grudge)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 10 (Hallowe'en)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 17 (The Man with Two Faces)
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  10. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 31 (O.W.L.s)
  11. Daily Prophet Newsletters, 8 February, 1999, Page 1
  12. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 4 (Number Twelve Grimmauld Place)
  13. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 7 (The Sorting Hat)
  14. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 16 (Through the Trapdoor)
  15. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 29 (Careers Advice)
  16. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 3 (The Burrow)
  17. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 16 (The Chamber of Secrets)
  18. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 23 (Malfoy Manor)
  19. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
  20. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
  21. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
  22. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 11 (Quidditch)
  23. LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4

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