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A manual in understanding troll – Y is for years and youngest #125 #AZchallenge


The blog challenge is close to the end, but I am proud I actually managed to follow it, and it did give me some insights both to my own theme and reading other bloggers. As I have been reading the folktales where trolls are present, it has been more and more clear to me certain aspects that I have not read about in other sources, one of these things is that the folktales through using trolls also portrays a conflict between generations.
The hero of the folktales is always the youngest, the youngest brother or sister in a family. The researcher Marit Akero says that they represents the hope. They bring with them a number of qualities that one can say the hope need. They are open for anything and anyone, curious, eager and able to receive help. Interesting is the connection between curious and cure.

The trolls are old, really old. They are at least 300 hundred years when you meet them in the folktales. They have long noses, one of the few things that continues grow as we are getting older. Often old age are associated with wisdom, and you find this in the folktales too, but the trolls are passed that. It’s like troll represents norms, habits that are petrified. And the only thing that can change this is destruction, so that change and new hope can appear.

A manual in understanding troll – X is for X #123 #AZchallenge


X can refer to the unknown, but then you also have X factor (not the television show) and then of course X-Men, the superheroes of Marvel Comics – all three has something to do with folktales concerning troll.
The term «X Factor» comes from the world of mathematics, where it denotes an unknown factor that through a certain process can be known. In other contexts it is t about persons who have «something extra» – a quality that is not so easy to define.
Norwegian folktales seem to prefer a kind of middle course. The hero is apparently quite normal, in normal conditions one would not notice the hero. They are blending in with the surroundings. The stories portray an ordinary human, one that could have been anyone of us, because they are described with qualities we can recognize. Yet this normality is unusual, it is the X factor, because they are in the world where the extraordinary is the normal standard.

Somehow we can say that the Norwegian folktales avoid extraordinary powers, except those who are used for the very latest solution. In all Norwegian folktales I have read about trolls, there is only one boy who receive the ability to transform himself. All others have not an extraordinary quality in the sense of power. Their specific quality is that they are able to accept help from others, and it is the others that have this ”X-men”quality.

An manual in understanding troll – W is for ”Why this violence?” #121 #AZchallenge


Norwegian folktales contain aggressive motives. There is violence and murder and is this a necessary ingredient? Personally, I think yes. Yes, a story should have a battle between dualities. Folktales is the reality of the imagination, which is analogous to the real world. Folktales reflect human experiences. And Norwegian folktales have created it so that the evil is dehumanized. Troll is not people and should therefore not be perceived with sympathy.
But as a storyteller one should be aware of this tool, for the dangerous is when this grip is a rhetorical strategy. I think you see it too often in social media, especially related to immigration, one dehumanize»the one who one does not like» because then it is accepted to attack. Here we must, as storytellers, show responsibility and ensure that the image and stories told are nuanced.

There is an interesting discussion in Norway these days. Some newspapers on the Internet do not accept anonymous comments. Some of these papers have also started making television program that they send on the newspaper’s website. The fact that one can not comment anonymously does not prevent some from expressing the most discusting comments, under the umbrella «freedom of speech» as if freedom of speech deprives the responsibility for their actions. Anyway, one newspaper made a TV program where they called some of the people who had spoken out «disgusting» linked to the extremely tragic escape by boat into Europe in recent days. The newspaper said that since they had commented into the public sphere, they could also be involved in a debate related to their statements.
Of course, their tone was entirely different when they were confronted in this the way, where the reporter called them and asked them what they meant with their written statements. Through either trying to defend or moderate their views, they showed their lack of «intellect», if I can say it that way. The problem is that the reporter for the program can go into a confrontation, he has the competence to do this, those who were confronted cannot. If one at all can be rational towards a situation like this, it was an unfair match. Yet, of course I think it is needed with a confrontation too.
But because I find their views so discusting, I am using their rhetoric, I dehumanize them and look upon them as trolls.