Aka: S. “Tereg” (sing. “Torog”); “Therengi”; B.S. “Ologti” (sing. “Olog”).
Trolls, or “Tereg,” are huge, foul creatures. Like Giants and Ents, Trolls comprise one of the so-called “Giant Races.” They are also true monsters, for they were bred by Morgoth in mockery of the Onodrim. Their exact origin is clouded, although all Trolls owe their spirits to the essence of the Earth. The Black Enemy contrived them during the Elder Days by remaking captured Ents and imbuing them with the nature of the fiery stone from the Underdeeps.
Trolls, like Orcs, are creations of Evil that only breed and prosper when a powerful Dark Will compels them to stir. By nature, they prefer to remain apart or in small groups, keeping apart from their brethren, all of whom are potential enemies. The Tereg eat virtually any meat, including the flesh of their own kind. This is especially true of Wild Trolls, who will hunt one another if hungry unless stayed by Sauron or some other overwhelming power.
Trolls rarely multiply, but when they do their numbers quickly increase. Fortunately, though, they do not breed with the vigor of Orcs. Wild Trolls are especially reluctant to produce offspring, so they are relatively rare creatures.
“William never spoke for he stood turned to stone as he stooped; and Bert and Tom were stuck like rocks as they looked at him. And there they stand to this day. All alone, unless the birds perch on them: for trolls as you know, must be underground before dawn, or they go back to the stuff of the mountains they are made of, and never move again.”
—Hob., p. 52.
There are numerous varieties, or sub-races, of Tereg. All “Therengi Melkoro,” or “Wild Trolls,” are classified according to their favored ecosystem and trace their ancestry to Morgoth. The more intelligent and dangerous Olog-hai and their even more terrifying Half-troll relatives owe their existence to Morgoth’s Maia servant, Sauron of Mordor.
Trolls were born in utter darkness. Indeed, they still breed underground and spend their waking hours during the night. Wild Trolls shun daylight and prefer the illumination of a fire to the glistening aura of the moon. Most turn to rock if struck by the sun’s rays, as if the spell that created the Tereg becomes unraveled.
Trolls are huge and strong and have thick bodies and powerful limbs. Because they are by nature born of stone, Trolls have an extremely tough, scaly hide that protects them as well as fine, rigid leather armor. Troll skin varies considerably in thickness, even at various spots on a given Troll, but it is usually strong enough to deflect the blows of most weaponry. The Tereg make formidable foes.
There are numerous types of Wild Trolls. Some are grey or brown, others green. All, save Snow Trolls, have flat, often toeless feet, brown or black eyes, and black blood. They can be categorized in any number of ways, but the most common groupings follow.
Cave Trolls are among the largest and most powerful of the Wild Troll breeds. They are often ten to fourteen feet tall. Awesome in power, with tough, scaly hides, they fear only one thing: sunlight, which turns them to stone. Cave Trolls are generally solitary and seldom band together, even in family groups. Frequently cannibalistic (they will eat virtually any sort of meat), their race survives because they live a secluded lifestyle.
Cave Trolls are almost blind but find this no handicap, as their senses of hearing and smell are superb. Their elongated arms are like steel cables, and their scaly hides are as pallid as those of most cave-dwelling things. Their feet are huge and splayed.
Forest Trolls are generally only eight to ten feet tall. They are the least brutal and monstrous of the Wild Troll breeds, being closer to their Ent ancestry. More graceful than the Cave Troll and not nearly as hideous, Forest Trolls live in loosely organized tribes in wooded areas throughout Endor. Good hunters, they are rarely utilized by powerful evil beings except in the most casual way (for instance, an evil Power might choose to build his fortress in an area heavily populated by Forest Trolls and order them to report anything suspicious to him but would not employ them in the fortress itself).
Forest Trolls are rarely cannibalistic, perhaps because their environment provides plentiful food of other kinds. Few use Mannish or Elvish style weaponry, except for an occasional sword honed down as a skinning-knife, preferring to hunt with slings and snares of their own making. They will eat anything meaty that is not a Troll, be it deer, boar, or Man. Forest Trolls can survive in diffused sunlight (operating at –50%), but they will revert to stone in blazing daylight.
Nine to twelve feet tall, Hill Trolls are among the most common of Torog breeds. They are not as loathsome as Cave Trolls (few things are), but are quarrelsome, greedy, and cannibalistic. Most groups live in isolation, although they adhere to their loose (and ever-present) tribal structure when compelled to join.
Hill Trolls will attack other beings with clubs and thrown stones, being territorial (as Forest Trolls are not), and save loot because they know that it is valuable, even if they cannot use the treasure. (For instance, one tribe of Hill Trolls had a priceless library of old books in their den, obtained when they ambushed a Magician travelling to visit another of his order; they couldn’t read much less use magic, but they guarded the books like gold.) These creatures have a great, if brutish, sense of humor and are fond of practical jokes — pranks that usually leave their victims dead or maimed.
Snow Trolls are large (10 – 12 ft tall), rare creatures with grey-white hides and icy blue eyes that glow faintly in the dark. They can go for long periods without food, but when they see something edible, be it bear or Mannish hunter, they are unstoppable. When exposed to direct sunlight. Snow Trolls turn into huge pillars of icy slag, mysterious hut fairly natural in appearance. In this form they are vulnerable to anything that harms ice: heat, sharp blows, salt — but if unharmed, they regain their normal form at nightfall. Gaunt and ghastly, Snow Trolls prowl and prey in the northern regions of Middle-earth.
Stone Trolls are the most common Torog breed. While they are typically only eight to ten feet tall, their numbers make them the most feared of the Troll varieties. In fact, most people that know of, or write about, the Tereg know of no other Trolls and necessarily refer to Stone Trolls.
As their name suggests, Stone Trolls turn entirely and irreversibly to stone when exposed to direct sunlight. It is likely that these futile, nasty beings were the original Trolls, as all of the other types are improvements in some direction or other. They are like Hill Trolls in habit, but if anything, they are worse. Quarrelsome and fratricidal in the extreme, greedy for both sustenance and useless (to them) riches, they spend a great deal of time hoarding piles of food and treasure, stealing it from each other if the opportunity arises, and boasting of their riches.
The Olog hai are also called Black Trolls, for they have scaly hides which are as black as their Torog blood. In addition, they are the smartest, and most dangerous of all the Troll breeds. These cunning and dangerous Trolls serve as Sauron’s elite troops. Nine to eleven feet in height and utterly ruthless, they make superb commanders for the Dark Lord’s Orc armies. Some, like the Olog called Rogrog, the Warlord of the Witch-king’s armies in Angmar, even enjoy positions of extreme trust and responsibility.
Able to bear sunlight easily and as intelligent as many Men, the Olog hai are flexible, reasoning creatures. They speak the Black Speech fluently and some know Westron and other common tongues. Most can write. They always wear armor and use weapons. The Olog-hai also have a certain “esprit de corps”, for unlike Orcs and lesser Trolls they rarely quarrel among themselves. Instead, they release pent-up anger by bullying lesser creatures, especially other Trolls, to whom they consider themselves much superior — as indeed they are.
Sauron spawned Half-trolls (S. “Pertereg”; sing “Pertorog”) by breeding the finest of his Olog Warriors together with extremely strong and brutal Men from Khand. By uniting the Olog-hai and the Variags, he produced the most dangerous race of evil beings in all of Endor. Half-trolls suffer little in sunlight and are more intelligent, agile, and brutal than any other Troll breed. Of all the Tereg, they are closest in nature to their master, the Lord of the Rings.
Half-trolls are usually about seven feet tall. They have jet-black skin and sharp features. Their long, thin, red tongues and glowing red eyes suggest a demonic nature. Half-trolls wear clothing and armor like Men, however, so they often appear less frightening than the larger Olog-hai.
Aside from comprising Mordor’s elite shock troops, the Half-trolls serve as lieutenants for Sauron’s Nazgûl and lead groups of Orc armies. They enjoy greater trust than the Olog hai, for the Pertereg are more refined. Still, their influence is limited by their extremely small numbers. It is rumored that the entire race consists of but a few score of these awful creatures.
Documents de la section
Troll Character Glossary ⇨
We have chosen a limited number of Troll characters to focus upon in some detail.
Troll Short Description Glossary ⇨
A series of short descriptions covering the majority of the Trolls in the lore of Middle-earth.
Troll Characters List ⇨
A list of all the known Trolls from Middle-Earth.
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