It has been a while since I wrote about the characters from norwegian folklore, but ere 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.

Troll

Probably the most famous of characters in Norway. As mentioned earlier, it is not always easy to distinguish between the rise, jutul and trolls. Several legends have the same action in which the variations is whether there is troll or rise which are mentioned.

The trolls in the legends as in folktales can not stand (or maybe they desire) Christian blood, and they have a strong resistance towards churches, church bells, and St. Olaf. they become so enraged that they howl and scream and sometimes cracks. They get mad When they hear
thunder they belive it is the god Tor and they are terrified. There is a story about a troll who was almost immortal because it had 7 men’s heart. A trolls age was measured by the size, the bigger the older. Troll grunts like a pig and hated humans. The sun is the most powerful medicine against the trolls, then they burst or turns into
stone. Beyond this, troll is described as somewhat overgrown, having green eyes and mucus ran from their mouth. Were they injured, they did not bleed, but had a slimy
consistency. Some had the ability to create storms.

Trollkatt/trollcat

A magic cat which is either related to the huldrefolk/hidden people, but most are mentioned in connection with witches. Troll cat was often made by a witch by the use of blood or it was a witch who turned herself into a cat. Troll cat is often described as a rolling ball. It was also called “buttercat” because it sucked milk and vomited out butter.

Trollkjerring/witch/trollhag

Legends are many and long about this very interesting phenomenon. A witch was a woman who had devoted herself to the devil, usually voluntary, but sometimes forced to, like in a competition where she was drawing the shortest straw.

Witches were often associated with days as Midsummer, Christmas Eve, etc. In particular, Maundy Thursday was an active day.

If you wanted to spot a witch, you could take a black hen or rooster, take out the eyes of the head, then salt and dry it and carry it with you. By looking through the head you could see the witches. Or you could look through the first eggs that were laid on Maundy Thursday. Otherwise, you could stand by a church wall with flat bread on your head to see witches fly by, you had to be completely silent. To prove that you had with an witch to do, you should take a knife that is forged three Thursday evenings in a row and cut the food with it and if the blood splattered out, you knew that you were visiting a witch.

Witches rode on a broom, but could also ride other things like a millstone or a stool. In time of need, they could also use people to ride on. To ride they smeared a special ointment on the broom or the thing they used for riding.

Actions performed by witches in the legends are: cast spell on people so they drowned themselves, they could milk the marrow out of people, make sure dead calves fell out of the pregnant cows, make boats sink by stirring in a bowl of water, turning people into werewolfs. They threw, in other words, evil on people and animals.

Of course behind the legends there are found a much more cruel story, the need to suppress women.

 

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