Also known as Trow (Shetland Islands)

Trolls are not always little people--in many tales, they are larger and stronger than humans. But they are close relatives of dwarfs, and small breeds do exist. They are often depicted as ugly and malicious, but in some traditions they are helpful to humans. Like dwarfs, they live in hills. They are very wealthy, and they have a tendency to steal--cows are their favorite loot. They are also known to steal human women to act as wet nurses for their babies, and they will steal unbaptized babies and replace them with changelings. According to traditions in the Shetland Islands, trolls are very beautiful--they wear green, can travel on air, and they love music and dancing. They are good doctors, who sometimes assist humans.


The Trows Steal a Child

A Swedish Changeling Story

The Death of a Troll

A Troll Steals a Human Midwife


Kneightley, Thomas. The World Guide to Gnomes, Fairies, Elves, and Other Little People. New York: Avenel Books, 1978.

Encyclopedia Mythica: Troll

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