Here it is again, a new list and some explanation concerning characters in Norwegian folklegends. I am slowly reaching the end of the list. The characters comes in alphabetic order according to their Norwegian name.

Svartedauden/the plague

There are many legends that tells about “the Black Death” or the plague, but not so many that describes the character. Due to the artist Kittelsen who illustrated a lot of the folklore, I always thought the character was an old woman, but the descriptions vary. See Kittelsen’s illustration above.

The plague could be a wrinkled old woman with a rake and broom. If she used the rake, there were some who would survive her visit, if she used the broom, all would die on that certain place she visited.

The plague is also described as a man, also with a rake and broom. The man could promise an easy death to those who helped him traveling around. The ”stranger” meaning the plague could also carry a large book in which the names of those to be taken was written down.

In a legend from the part called Romsdal the plague is both man and woman traveling together. If the man worked, someone would survive, if the woman used the broom all would die. In a legend from Helgeland, the plague is described as a boy and girl.

Svart hund/Black dog

There are legends describing the presence of a black dog, often in connection with the death. A black dog may be lying in the bed of a dying person, or sitting on the coffin of a
dead. A legend tells of two large black dogs coming and fighting during a funeral.

Another legend tells of a funeral procession in which a carriage pulled by black horses, and afterwards trudged a big black dog.

Torefolket

I find only Torefolket (the people of Tore) mentioned in legends from Osterdalen. It may be that there is another name for huldrefolk/hidden people (mentioned earlier), at least, several of the legends are versions of the same themes.

What separates torefolk from humans is not a tail, but that they have a big toe that sits “outside leg” as said in legends.

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