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Thread: Trolls: Traits and Origins

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1.) Where do trolls come from? Apparently they were made in mockery of ents, but that doesn't mean they were originally ents that were corrupted (like how orcs came from elves), and they don't have any tree-like characteristics anyways. So where do they come from?
2.) Why do the trolls in The Hobbit seem more intelligent than the trolls in LOTR, and why do they turn to stone in the sunlight, whereas other trolls don't? Does it depend on the kind of troll? Also, why in the movies do Bilbo's trolls (who had been turned into stone) look drastically different from the cave troll in Moria, and all of them looked very different from the trolls in the battle of Pelennor Fields?
well the trolls in moria are cave trolls,
the trolls in plenneanor fields ( dont know if i spelt it right)
are olog-hai
"olog" meaning troll
"hai" meaning folk- OR higher, asin a higher form of troll ( thanks grondy Orc Grinning Smilie )
i think the ones in the hobbit are sort of natural, they turn to stone, then as the orcs bred them for their own deeds, they became smarter and stronger, and more resistant to sunlight
Troll (natural) -> cave trolls -> Olog-hai

dont know if its right or not, just my thoughts Smile Smilie
I think Gris definitely has some valid points there.

Why do the trolls in The Hobbit seem more intelligent than the trolls in LOTR, and why do they turn to stone in the sunlight, whereas other trolls don't?

The thing about the intelligence is quite simple - when Sauron bred these creatures for war, he really wouldn't want to have a large number of two-tonne, extremely strong, heavily armoured and armed monsters having some free will and thought of their own.
To the issue of normal trolls turning to stone in sunlight - Sauron was a powerful Maiar, so I think that he could remove that curse from his walking tanks quite easily.
That's not all of the questions, though; we'll probably need Galin in on this one. Big Smile Smilie
Hmm, Trolls: Tolkien noted that 'unlike the older race of the Twilight they [the Olog-hai] could endure the Sun, so long as the will of Sauron held sway over them.'

Concerning this new type of Troll, the Olog-hai: they spoke little, and only in the Black Tongue of Barad Dur; though from what stock they were bred was 'not known'.

Way back in time Trolls were said to be dull and lumpish creatures and had no more language than beasts, but Sauron taught them what little they could learn 'increasing their wits with wickedness.'

Tolkien noted that it seems clearly implied that Trolls existed in their own right, but were 'tinkered with', and in a quickly written text noted: 'It would seem evident that they were corruptions of primitive human types' (I think this comment might be later than the following letter).

In 1954 (letter 153) Tolkien explains (after saying he is not sure) that he thinks the Stone-trolls are 'counterfeits' perhaps implying (by contrast to what he said about Orcs earlier) that they were not corruptions of already existing 'created' beings -- he then adds that there are other sorts of Trolls 'for which other origins are suggested' in any case -- and then notes that when you make Trolls speak you are giving them a power which in our world probably connotes the possession of a soul!

Smile Smilie
Exploding Head Smilie
information overload!
If "Trolls existed in their own right, but were 'tinkered with'," why would they exist to begin with? Even if they were unintelligent? Weren't all of Yavanna's Kelvar supposed to be just normal animals, the same ones we here in our world?
I'm not really sure JRRT had figured out everything to his satisfaction, and for publication (published by Tolkien himself I mean) who knows but he might have left some origins, or some ancient origins, vague, as he did for the Olog-hai in Appendix F.

As for orcs, Tolkien considered variant origins, which include:

A) 'made' by Melkor (until JRRT later hit upon the idea that Melkor could not make them, but must corrupt something already existing)

B) possible result of the discord of the Music

3) corrupted Elves -- at least theoried by the Wise of Eressea (as in Silmarillion)

D) corrupted Elves then later corrupted Men

E) Maiar-orcs (some at least)

6) beasts (with maybe an Elf-strain at one point)

G) Men (includes altering the timeline)

8) some thought the Druedain were in play as well as Men -- emphasis on 'some said' or thought this, however.

Actually, Maiar-orcs as leaders and notably terrible orcs seem to have been fairly consistent according to the later ideas, but they were not the numerous regular orcs anyway.

JRRT appears to have considered orcs more than trolls, and look at all the paths he thought about taking!