Troll Lore Quiz

Staff

In most tales, trolls tend to live where?

Although trolls get a bad rap from attacking humans once in a while, they actually tend to avoid contact. They most often live in remote caves.

Trolls originate from which region's folklore?

Trolls are a uniquely Scandinavian concept, strongly tied to Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

In fictional tales, how are trolls generally portrayed?

If you encounter a troll, it's best to be on guard. They aren't the most fearsome creatures, but they're not to be trifled with, either.

What does the word "troll" mean?

No one really knows for certain, but the word may have origins in the idea of magic or malignancy of some kind. Whatever the source, people generally agree that trolls aren't the nicest creatures.

In the tale "Three Billy Goats Gruff," where does the troll live?

The troll lives under a bridge, and when the goats try to cross, the troll threatens to eat them.

What happens at the end of "Three Billy Goats Gruff"?

The biggest goat isn't intimidated by the troll's threats -- he butts him with his horns and pushes him into the river.

When did our modern ideas about trolls become popularized?

In the late 1800s and 1900s, when a romantic era of folklore swept through Europe, stories about trolls were solidified in ways that we now recognize them.

True or False: Troll are based on creatures that existed 3,200 years ago.

Trolls are just mythological creatures with no basis in fact. They may, however, be a sort of cultural echo of prehistoric Neanderthal humans.

In the story of "The Three Princesses of Whiteland," how does the fisherman kill the trolls?

The trolls beat the fisherman mercilessly for three days, at which point he grabs a sword and kills them.

What sort of troll is a "sjotrollet"?

In some stories a sjotrollet is a sea troll, one that hangs out by the ocean, perhaps harassing sailors from time to time.

In "Tatterhood," what is the hero trying to retrieve from the evil trolls?

The trolls invaded his home one night and snatched his sister's head (replacing it with a calf's head). Tatterhood eventually finds the trolls and gets back his sister's noggin.

What happens to some trolls when they are exposed to sunlight?

Trolls may be scary in some stories, but if you can somehow lure one into sunlight, it might turn into stone.

Where would you find a type of troll called a fossegrimen?

The fossegrimen were a type of troll found in waterfalls. They also liked to play the fiddle.

Where is Troldhaugen?

Troldhaugen ("troll's hill") is the former home of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, who composed numerous pieces about trolls. The home was converted into a museum.

Trolls are known to be afraid of what?

Like other creatures from folklore, trolls aren't particularly fond of steel … perhaps because it's often included in weapons used against them.

In the Middle Ages, some stories created links between trolls and what other creatures?

In the Middle Ages, some tales made trolls out to be demonic or even satanic -- creatures that had been pushed out of heaven for their awful sins.

In Scandinavian folklore, how does lightning affect trolls?

If you're terrified of a troll, a heavy thunderstorm is your best friend -- the lightning may help to scare the troll away.

True or False: Some types of trolls lives in groups.

Smaller trolls have been represented as more social than the bigger (and fiercer) types of trolls. They might even have a family unit consisting of parents and children.

In Scandinavian lore, with regard to trolls, what is "bergtagning"?

Bertagning is a word that means "kidnapping," which many trolls seem to enjoy doing to human passersby.

What happens to the king's daughter at the beginning of the fairy tale titled "Dapplegrim"?

The troll kidnaps the poor daughter and absconds with her to his mountain lair. Later, a brave young man whisks her away on horseback.

How do church bells affect some troll populations?

Church bells may help drive away some trolls. In others, it may spark aggression and cause trolls to attack.

True or False: Trolls tend to live right on the outskirts of human communities, all the better to torment people.

Trolls are the kinds of creatures that skulk about in far-flung areas. They make unknown places all the more terrifying for humans traveling the lands.

Some southern Scandinavian trolls have what ability?

When fierce winds sweep the plains, watch for these trolls, which can travel on the breezes.

As the stories go, how did the god named Thor manage to kill trolls?

Thor used his special magic hammer to attack trolls. The hammer created lightning that struck them dead.

What religion do Scandinavian trolls tend to follow?

Myths about trolls tend to portray them as heathens of sorts -- they are opposed to ideas like Christianity.

In many Scandinavian tales, trolls are almost universally good at what skill?

Trolls are often known as adept thieves. They'll make their way to farms and villages to steal what they can.

In the story, "Soria Moria Castle," the troll has how many heads?

The ferocious three-headed troll is killed by the hero of the story. Trolls that appear later in the tale have six and nine heads.

Why are some Scandinavian landmarks associated with trolls?

Sometimes, particular rocks in a specific location might resemble a creature turned to stone. Those kinds of formations make good landmarks…and good myths.

How does the king kill the troll in "The Witch in the Stone Boat"?

When the king realizes the troll witch has been impersonating his wife, he has the imposter stoned to death. For good measure, he then has her dead body torn apart by horses.

In "The Cat on the Dovrefjell," how does the farmer keep trolls from rampaging through his home every Christmas Eve?

He convinces the trolls that he has numerous bears roaming the property and they believe him -- they never bother the farmer again.

Explore More Quizzes

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Trolls are mythical creatures that roam the world, often causing a ruckus. How much do you know about these snaggle-toothed beasts?

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!