A Troll, in Norse mythology, is a generally negative synonym for the beings known as the jötunn, often referred to as giants. Trolls are said to dwell in isolated mountains, rocks, and caves, sometimes live together (usually as father-and-daughter or mother-and-son), and are rarely described as helpful or friendly. Later, in Scandinavian folklore, trolls become defined as a particular type of being, generally held to be larger than humans and notably ugly. Trolling is the practice of fishing by drawing a baited line or lure behind a boat, and because of allusions to this and to classical trolls, in modern times, troll has become a term for a person who, through willful action, attempts to disrupt an internet community or garner attention and controversy through provocative messages, or the process of engaging in such activity.
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- Trolls, it is said, were bred by Melkor because he desired a race as powerful as the giant Ents, the Tree-herds.
- David Day in Tolkien : The Illustrated Encyclopaedia (1993), p. 226
- The folk belief … is that lightning seeks out trolls and giants, perhaps a reflection the giant-slaying of Thor in Old Norse mythology. Many informants have told collectors that the reason the giants or trolls are no longer populous is the accuracy and efficiency of the lightning strokes.
- John Lindow, in Swedish Folktales and Legends (1978), p. 89
- Senator Stampingston: Gentlemen, it's clear that we're in a universally precarious situation. Dethklok has summoned a troll.
General Crozier: That's impossible, there's no such thing as trolls.
Senator Stampingston: Then how do you explain the dead unicorns?
- Metalocalypse, Dethtroll, episode 1.04 (2006)
- They were trolls. Obviously trolls. Even Bilbo, in spite of his sheltered life, could see that: from the great heavy faces of them, and their size, and the shape of their legs, not to mention their language, which was not drawing-room fashion at all, at all.
- Trolls are slow in the uptake, and mighty suspicious about anything new to them.
- Trolls simply detest the very sight of dwarves (uncooked).
- Trolls do not build.
- 'Now is the time!' cried Gandalf. 'Let us go, before the troll returns!'