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Danish Troll Legends

Swedish, rather than Danish - this is something I mentioned some years ago; in order to avoid repeating myself, I'm going to, erm, repeat myself. From Page 18 of the Suggestions for a Good Read thread:

The Forest of Hours by Kirstin Ekman.

I first became aware of this author through her novel Blackwater - an early action in the current Scandinavian takeover of the crime fiction genre.

The Forest of Hours is an entirely different kettle of fish, but equally excellent.

Skord is a forest troll who becomes infatuated with human beings and their world to such an extent that he leaves the forest in order to join them, becoming indistinguishable from the humans around him to all but a perceptive few. His lifetime extends over several centuries and his career includes banditry, soldiering, alchemy and medicine. Always at heart a creature of the forest, Skord remains a very moral animal when it comes to nature – wincing at the wearing of skins, the spilling of animal blood and the felling of trees - but decidedly more amoral when it comes to his adopted species; the book can be brutal as well as beautiful.

Despite the presence of trolls and giants and magical animals this is decidedly not a fantasy novel in the way that definition would normally be applied, and I wouldn’t class it as magical realism either; it’s really a book about the nature of humanity thrown into relief through being as observed by an outsider, and it’s point of view is pragmatic, practical and earthy rather than in any way surreal or ethereal. The writing style is clear and lucid and the descriptions of the natural world are stunning without being twee or romanticised – possibly the best descriptions of nature that I’ve ever read.

I think it’s out of print at the moment – but it’s well worth the effort of hunting down.

I've no idea how much actual troll-lore Ekman uses, or if the troll motif is just a device, pure and simple. I really enjoyed it and may now have to re-read when I get back home.

Edit: I notice that I misspelled the author's christian name in the original post - it's Kerstin, not Kirstin.
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Stallo is well worth a look. Its a kind of Scandinavian noir thriller with trolls! Not a million miles away from the excellent Swedish tv series Jordskott. It involves a cryptozoologist, missing children, a dangerous secret group and surviving trolls.

A haunting supernatural thriller for fans of Let the Right One In, The Passage and Salem's Lot.

'I was enthralled form the very first page . . . the words seems to sparkle on the page.' Karl Ove Knausgaard

In the summer of 1978 a young boy disappears without trace from a summer cabin in the woods. His mother claims that he was abducted by a giant. The boy is never found.

The previous year, over in a Swedish National Park, a wildlife photographer takes a strange picture from his small airplane, of a bear running over the marshes. On its back sits a creature, which the photographer claims is something extraordinary.

Twenty-five years later, and back in Laponia, Susso runs a much-maligned web page, one dedicated to searching for creatures whose existence have not yet been proven: the Yeti, the Loch Ness Monster, Big Foot. But Susso has her own obsession, one inherited from her grandfather, the well-known wildlife photographer.

When an old woman claims that a small creature has been standing outside her house, observing her and her five year old grandson for hours, Susso picks up her camera and leaves for what will become a terrifying adventure into the unknown.
Another troll related horror Trollnight by Peter Tremayne. A little light on the trolls but they are ok when they finally turn up.

When American scientist Tony Stevens hears that his sister has been killed in a skiing accident in Oslo, he refuses to believe it. After much investigation, he discovers that whatever killed his sister is now after him.
Jordskott, truly great series. Begins like a police show but takes a dark left turn into folkloric horror...

Thanks for that recommendation. I've been umming and erring about this series for ages - think I'm going to give it a go now.
Its really good and look out for an actress called Happy Jankel in it. Christ on a bike is all i can say!
lol, trolls are an interesting subject
Are you familiar with the notion of the Trollsyn. This apparently refers to people with second sight, but more deeply because they have trollish ancestry. Trollsyn is also possible thru items like the "self drilled stone", which is any found stone that has a natural hole thru it. Apparently animals who behave strangely are exhibiting the Trollsyn. The norse also used to think that anything that comes out of a mist and doesn't last for three days isn't real. This could make them rather uninviting hosts on occasion.
The norse also used to think that anything that comes out of a mist and doesn't last for three days isn't real. This could make them rather uninviting hosts on occasion.
For three days or so anyway :)
It occurred to me that that's a very very Norse approach - it's both wildly superstitious and completely pragmatic - at the same time.
Though now uncommon, sightings of trolls persist in remote areas of Scandinavia. Lars Thomas has collected a number of them. Some of the most spectacular come from Sweden. Most reports have been in the vicinity of Kebnekaise, the highest mountain in Sweden. In 1953 a mountaineer described seeing a group of creatures that looked like white gorillas on the mountain. The creatures vanished when he tried to get closer. The Sami people call trolls ‘Stallo’ and it was a student of Sami heritage that saw one of the beasts in 1961. He was walking to Kebnekaise, from Nikaluokta when he saw a large white figure running across the bottom of a valley some 980 feet away. It stood on two legs and looked like a large man covered in shaggy white fur like an ‘unwashed polar bear’. A Sami woman and her two young daughters were driving towards Nikaluokta along the northern edge of Laukkujarvi Lake. The woman had slowed the car down as her youngest daughter had complained of feeling car sick. Suddenly she had to slam on the breaks as a huge creature appeared by the side of the road. It was looking directly at the car and her daughters began to cry. She described it as bigger than the biggest man and covered in dirty white fur. It had yellow eyes. The foul-smelling beast grimaced at them then crossed the road no more than thirty-three feet from her car. She said the stench was like a dead reindeer that had been lying in the summer sun. In the summer of 1984, two Danish birdwatchers were visiting Abisko National Park, north of Kebnekaise. They had, for several days, been walking around Abiskojaure Lake and had seen a brown bear. One afternoon they had set up a picnic near an area with thick underbrush. Hearing growling from the thicket they thought it was a bear and walked slowly away leaving the food. Looking back, they saw a man-like creature covered in white hair eating the food. A friend of Lars Thomas’ father told him of how, as a youth, he had fought against the Red Army in the forests of Eastern Finland. Their sky patrols were constantly watched by a race of hairy wildmen they called hiisi. The creatures would only vanish if the soldiers were fighting the Red Army. The soldiers once came upon a wounded hissi that had been shot during one of these conflicts. It looked like a powerfully built, hair covered man. They had their own wounded to attend to, so they left the creature where it was. Lars’ grandfather also had a Finnish friend who fought against the Red Army. He too saw a hiisi when he was in Finland. When he was on guard duty one night, he saw a hiisi only 65 from him standing against a tree. He felt no hostility from the creature that looked like a large, broad shouldered, hairy man. The creature was carrying a long stick, possibly a spear. In 1997, a group of moose hunters described being watched by a hairy man or ape-like beast. One witness, a lawyer from Helsinki said the creature was leaning against a long stick that may have been a spear. Three birdwatchers, two Danes and a Swede, were bird watching in Finland in 2004. They were looking at a great grey owl in a tree when a hooting sound, unlike that of an owl, scared the bird away. Soon after they saw two humanoid figures covered in dark hair running fast through the forest.
I recently watched a movie on Netflix: Troll. Set in Norway. This interpretation was that trolls were not hairy man-beasts, but rather were composed of rocks. It was refreshing to watch a movie in which the main female character did not fall in love with a main male character. The troll did not survive.
I recently watched a movie on Netflix: Troll. Set in Norway. This interpretation was that trolls were not hairy man-beasts, but rather were composed of rocks. It was refreshing to watch a movie in which the main female character did not fall in love with a main male character. The troll did not survive.
I watched it last night, great film but not as good as Troll Hunter. I'd like to see a troll film based on hominin survival.
There is the swedish film Gräns, but that takes a rather different tone.

Troll Hunter was great fun, and the reviews that I've read of Troll make it sound like a gas.

Gräns / Border is excellent, but, as you say, completely different in tone. That said, if there is anything at all tangible in regard to the basic idea, Gräns feels to me like it might be much closer to some sort of truth.