We love trolls in Norway. You will find miniature versions of them in every tourist shop and we have many fairytales where they are the main characters. We even had small keychains with trolls, with blue, green or red hair. I had one of those, and loved it.
When I started working as a psychologist, I had a client who was around 10 when I saw him. He had anger issues, and we used play therapy to work on them. He was very gifted and creative, so it was a joy for the both of us to manage emotions in a non-threatening way. One of the things we did, was to make a drawing of his inner raging child. He had an aptitude for painting, and when he came back for his next session he had made his ‘angry troll’ in red colors. It was a symbalization of all the frustration he felt, but didn’t know how to express.
One of my favorite Norwegian movies is ‘Trolljegerne’. It is a funny portrayal of some troll hunters that try to kill dangerous trolls that lurk around in the forest. The humor combined with an unusual plot, gives the movie an unmistakable edge. If you haven’t seen it, I do recommend it.
So, what is this fuss about the trolls about? I think much of the charm I combining mythological scary creatures with something that can be really cute. Trolls are big and angry, but we have transformed them and made them our pets. In the movie, they are portrayed as stupid, but dangerous. If you keep out of their way, they will not attack. But you shouldn’t be fooled either. Because they are hunters, ready to strike if anyone invades their territories.
Humans can be like that too. We all have good and bad sides, and on most days we are able to keep our inner trolls satisfied. But if somebody comes to close and trigger our weak spots, we go into fight mode.
For now I want to think about the cute trolls, but I am mindful that they can easily become beasts like the gremlings did when they touched water.