In J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium, Trolls are large humanoids of great strength and poor intellect.

While in Norse mythology, the Troll was a magical creature with special skills, in Tolkien's writings they are portrayed as evil, stupid, with crude habits, although still intelligent enough to communicate with a known language.


In The Hobbit they speak with thick Cockney accents. They turn to stone when exposed to sunlight, and they enjoy eating meat (such as mutton, hobbits and Dwarves) and drinking beer. While threatening, the trolls in The Hobbit serve as a comic element. They even have normal names: Tom, Bert, and Bill.

Morgoth, the evil Vala, created the first Trolls before the First Age. They were strong and vicious but stupid creatures. Their major weakness was that they turned to stone in sunlight. Nobody knows how Morgoth managed to breed them, though Treebeard says that Trolls were "made ... in mockery of Ents", as Orcs were of Elves. They are likely a corrupted form of some existing race of Middle-earth, as Morgoth and Sauron could only corrupt creatures that already existed, not create life anew. Both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, however, mention that sunlight will return them to the stone from which they were made.

During the wars of Beleriand, Gothmog (the Lord of Balrogs) had a bodyguard of trolls. During the Nírnaeth Arnoediad, the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, in which Morgoth defeated the united armies of Elves, Men, and Dwarves, the great human warrior Húrin faced Gothmog's trolls to protect the retreat of the Elven king Turgon. As Morgoth had ordered to capture Húrin alive, the warrior managed to wipe out the trolls before being captured by orcs.

Many trolls died in the War of Wrath, but some survived and joined Sauron, the greatest surviving servant of Morgoth. In the Second Age and Third Age, trolls were among Sauron's most dangerous warriors.

Troll typesEdit

Tolkien used several different terms for types of trolls, though there seems to have been some overlap in meanings;

  • Stone-trolls were Trolls who turned into stone during daylight, like the trolls in The Hobbit. They could speak, and used a debased form of Westron (rendered into Cockney English in The Hobbit).
  • Hill-trolls in the Coldfells north of Rivendell killed Arador, Chieftain of the Rangers of the North and grandfather to Aragorn. Tolkien described the trolls of Eriador and the Troll-shaws, including the three from The Hobbit, as stone-trolls, suggesting that "hill-trolls" was an alternative name, or perhaps referred to a sub-class. At the Black Gate the Army of the West fought "hill-trolls" of Gorgoroth, which (given the description of Trolls in Appendix F) are generally taken to be Olog-hai.
  • Cave-trolls attacked the Company of the Ring in Moria. One is described as having dark greenish scales and black blood. Their hide was so thick that when Boromir struck one in the arm his sword was notched and did no damage. However, Frodo Baggins was able to impale the "toeless" foot of the same troll with the enchanted dagger Sting.
  • Mountain-trolls are mentioned once, wielding the great battering ram Grond in shattering the gates of Minas Tirith.
  • Snow-trolls are mentioned only in the story of Helm Hammerhand. When Helm went out clad in white during the Long Winter to stalk and slay his enemies, he was described as looking like a snow-troll. Otherwise nothing is known of them.
  • Olog-hai are described in Appendix F (the term does not appear in the story proper). They were "strong, agile, fierce, and cunning" trolls created by Sauron, not unlike the Uruk-Hai. Unlike other trolls, they could withstand sunlight while under the sway of Sauron's will. They seldom spoke and were said to know no language other than the Black Speech, in which Olog-hai means "troll-folk" (singular Olog "troll"). They appeared toward the end of the Third Age and could be found near Dol Guldur and in the mountains around Mordor. Since the "hill-trolls" of Gorgoroth that fought in the Battle of the Morannon could also withstand sunlight, these are taken to be the Olog-hai of Appendix F. They are described as being taller and wider than men, with hide or armour of horny scales. They had black blood. Peregrin Took slew their leader; and after the destruction of the One Ring and the fall of Sauron, the surviving trolls scattered as if mindless.

During the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, there is a reference to "men like half-trolls", also called troll-men, but it is unclear whether these men actually had some trollish ancestry or were simply compared to trolls. (For some readers, the first interpretation is supported by the similar and interchangeable terms "orc-men" and "half-orcs", referring to crossbreeds created by Saruman.)


Numerous trolls appear in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Bilbo recounts his altercation with the three stone-trolls and later on, the four hobbits and Aragorn are shown resting in the shelter of the petrified trolls. In the mines of Moria, a single cave troll is among the attackers. First sighted by Boromir, the Troll barges through the open doors, and smashes much of the Chamber, including Balin's tomb, in the ensuing fight. It has a collar with a trailing chain, and is undisciplined enough to inadvertently crush some of its goblin allies in the skirmish with Gandalf's company. The troll appears to impale Frodo with a metal stave, but Frodo is saved from fatal injury by his mithril shirt. In the book it is an Orc captain who spears him. After a hard fight, the Troll is killed by the members of the Fellowship, who stab, spear, and hack at it until Legolas kills it with a well-aimed arrow shot through the roof of its mouth.

In The Two Towers, shackled Trolls open and close the Black Gate to an army of approaching Easterlings.

In The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Mountain-trolls are shown being used to load catapults and to move extremely heavy objects such as siege towers and the battering ram Grond. After the gate of Minas Tirith is broken, Battle Trolls enter the city as shock troops, sporting armour and spiked clubs alluded to in the appendices. At least one survived and is seen later, attempting to break down a gate. During the Battle of the Morannon, Aragorn fights one of the Olog-hai, whose upper body is covered in black plated-armour, making it more menacing. While most trolls in the films wielded clubs, this one wielded a sword and a mace.

The morphology and actions of these trolls is completely divergent from the interpretation of ents, implying Jackson assumed that they were not directly associated.

In An Unexpected Journey the three stone trolls are similar to the appearance of the mountain trolls of the previous Lord of the Rings trilogy. Unlike the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the stone trolls are sentient and capable of speech, but are still unintelligent and therefore easily fooled. Just as in Tolkien's original novel, the trolls attempt to devour Bilbo and the thirteen dwarves, but revert to stone when exposed to sunlight. The trolls are portrayed through voice and motion capture by three actors who also play dwarves in Thorin's company. Bert is played by Mark Hadlow (Dori), Tom is played William Kircher (Bifur) and William is played by Peter Hambleton (Glóin).


The Cave Troll is mainly Sand Blue and Tan. It is made up five pieces: One large body, head and legs piece, two arm pieces and two hand parts.

The body is very large and is hunched over, with a wide, sand blue back speckled with grey and a head jutting forward, parallel to the ground. Two studs are located just above the head, in between the shoulders. The face is rather flat and has printing of small, beady eyes with two nostrils in between them and a an open, roaring mouth. It has printing of a tongue and bared teeth on it. Several wrinkles line the mouth, eyes and nose. The chest and stomach are both tan with no printing. The troll has a brown loincloth that encircles the waistline. It has two stubby legs that sport a pair of large grey toenails each.

The arm pieces are sand blue with grey speckles at the shoulder areas. They are large and slightly bent at the elbow. At the shoulder, they can connect to the body and at the wrist they can connect to the hands, which are claw-like and depict three thick, stubby fingers. Due to the angle of the fingers, the hands can grip rods that are minifigure-scale.

Official DescriptionEdit

(Do not modify)

A huge and brutish simple-minded creature that lives in the Mines of Moria. The Cave-troll is 2-3 times taller than men. Surprisingly fast for a creature of that size. It keeps away from the rest of the world, hidden in the constant darkness of the Mines of Moria. Its eye sight is very poor, so it uses its sense of smell to find its way in the dark. It does not know good from evil and will attack anything that wanders into its lair. Note: cannot be defeated by a frying pan.



Lore SourceEdit