Trolls are large, ape-like, dim-witted humanoids endowed with three eyes, and sometimes horns. Their powerful arms and claws can deal massive amounts of physical damage. Trolls possess the unique trait of being able to rapidly regenerate their tissue, an ability that is only annulled if exposed to fire. While some claim that it's a myth, there have been rare cases where a troll's regeneration can prevent their death completely, making the scorching of its corpse the only way to truly kill it. The origin of trolls is completely unknown, and their reproductive biology is not well understood. Their regeneration is somewhat mysterious, and some theorize it could even work on their meat after death. One Orc who lived among trolls believed that praying to Trinimac would unlock the secrets of their regeneration.
Trolls are found all over Tamriel, mostly in caves and forested areas. They have been known to carry parasites or diseases such as Gutworm and Winter Worn. Trolls are known to occasionally grow to tremendous sizes, and some can even live for centuries, possibly due to their regeneration ability. Trolls are said to have been much larger and more powerful during the chaos of the Dawn Era.
Behavior and Intelligence
Trolls are known to live in patriarchal packs, led by powerful male alphas sometimes called Troll Kings. Female trolls are refered to as she-trolls, a name which is occasionally used as an insult. Troll infestations can often be traced back to a Troll Mother, a particularly powerful she-troll who may have moved into the area. Eliminating the mother is an effective means of ending the threat, although the individual trolls will still need to be hunted down. Trolls are known to occasionally steal gold or treasure. Trolls dislike water, and do not swim.
Circa 2E 565, unseasonably warm weather in Skyrim drove hordes of trolls across the western half of the province while locked in "unspeakably horrid acts". High King Svargrim personally stopped the rampage, splitting many of the mating trolls. As a result of this, trolls tend to avoid the areas closest to the walls of Solitude. This event was later known as "The Great Troll Rut".
The exact intelligence of trolls is unclear, or at least varies wildly. The Augur of the Obscure claims that they are more intelligent than they might appear to be, and that while they are still primitive, they may be on the verge of further advancement. Some sources refer to them as a race, while others see them only as somewhat intelligent animals. Unlike most intelligent species they do not appear to make their own tools, weapons, or clothing, and do not appear capable of speech.
Trolls are generally thought to possess only rudimentary intelligence, but they have some cunning, as they are smart enough to be able to avoid traps, or even use them to their advantage. They are also capable of using clubs or other objects as simple bludgeoning weapons. Trolls sometimes organize themselves into what might be primitive tribal structures, such as the Azhklan or the caliper-obsessed Kalperklan. Some trolls even seem to be capable of basic literacy.
The tamed trolls used as guards in the Crystal Tower were especially intelligent. They were entrusted with complex tasks such as guarding and feeding the creatures in the tower's animal pens, and seemed to be capable of writing in a script known as "trollish".
The brownish Cave Trolls are the most common variety of troll in Skyrim, but the green Forest Trolls are more common in the wilds of Cyrodiil. The white Frost Trolls found at higher elevations are much stronger than their lowland cousins. Other varieties include Swamp Trolls, River Trolls, and Lowland Trolls. Weak trolls are sometimes known as Trollkin.
Circa 2E 582, the Iron Orcs of Craglorn fell under the influence of the Celestial Serpent. By infusing the skin and armor of trolls with nirncrux, the Iron Orcs hoped to unlock their Dawn Era potential and raise an army of giant primordial trolls. This operation was sabotaged before very many trolls could undergo the procedure, although the smuggling of these nirncrux-infused trolls out of Craglorn seemingly continued.
The rarely-seen Grahl native to the ice caves of Solstheim are sometimes called "ice trolls",[UOL 1] although the native Skaal are unsure of their true nature. They have regeneration and vulnerability to fire in common with their mainland namesake, and some grahl possess a third eye.
A primordial troll infused with nirncrux
Uses and Culture
Troll fat has many known applications, and it is a notably consistent element in rituals intended to summon Malacath. Troll fat is most commonly used in alchemy, with troll blood also being used occasionally. Troll skulls are popular hunting prizes that are commonly used in decoration. Nords make use of trollbone and trollskin as materials for crafting armor. Some Nords may even use troll spit to enhance their grip in battle, or to bind books. Mannimarco's famed Bloodworm Helm is a magically constructed trollbone helmet. Troll teeth are sometimes used for arms or jewelery. Troll hair is flammable and useful for starting fires, some use it to make napkins. The Coldsnap Tribe of Rieklings wear troll fur for warmth.
Troll meat is typically not used for cooking but some still experiment with the ingredient. Troll fat is dried out to make jerky in Orsinium, but most find the the flavor and smell of the fat too unpleasant to use in meals. Some hags eat troll brains.
Trolls are often trained and armored for use as war beasts, with some trolls using cestuses as weapons. They are also often captured and used in gladiatorial arenas. Powerful mages are known to use trolls as guardians. Primitive peoples such as Goblins, Rieklings, and the Ice Tribes have often utilized tamed trolls. Circa 4E 201, the Dawnguard tamed trolls native to Skyrim and used them in their crusade against vampires. Trained trolls that are mistreated or left alone for too long will usually return to the wild, forgetting that their owner ever existed.
Some people style themselves as troll hunters or trollslayers, they are known to create enchanted weapons or armor especially effective for fighting trolls, or use troll musk to mask their scent while hunting. The Lord's Mail, the famous cuirass of Morihaus, is sometimes referred to as the "bane of trolls everywhere".
Trolls have been present in Tamrielic folklore "from time immemorial". They are known to nearly every culture and have appeared in tales of all sorts, from children's fables to the histories of the ancients. The Reachfolk believe that Malacath created trolls, along with Orcs and Ogres, to provide hardships and to test his chosen followers. The teachings of the One taught that trolls, along with Orcs and Goblins, were among "the miscreated", malicious and brutish creatures who must be united against by the other peoples of Tamriel. Plush toys of trolls are given to children, sometimes children are given troll claws carved with prayers and told they were the claws of dragons.
One of Kyne's most powerful Guardian Spirit champions, which typically took the form of specific animals, was known to take the form of a troll. Some people etch Kyne's War Prayer into troll teeth.
A painting known as the "Frolicking Trolls of Eastmarch" is said to depict how Bretons imagine the frost trolls of Skyrim, the painting depicts frost trolls smiling and dancing in the snow. Small statues carved from ironwood by the Matrons of Shor's Stone, known as garden trolls, are sometimes used to protect gardens from unwanted pests. Bookends modeled after trolls have been made, but they frightened customers so much that few sets still exist.
- The Ancient One: An ancient troll, said to have roamed Nirn since the dawn of the time. Circa 4E 180, a group of Aureal who served Sheogorath were rumored to have made some sort of alliance with the beast. The Warrior ended up following these rumors through a portal and managed to slay the monstrous creature.
- The Beast of Gorrham: A larger than average troll with a unique appearance. Unlike ordinary trolls, it did not fear fire. It was slain by the Warrior circa 4E 180.
- Death-In-Winter: An alpha troll whose pack once terrorized the town of Darkwater Crossing, until it was slain circa 2E 582.
- Icestalker: A large, powerful frost troll who had been outfitted with Dwarven armor by the Coldsnap Tribe of Rieklings. It dwelt in the Vault of Mhuvnak, a Dwarven ruin in Eastmarch, and was slain circa 2E 582.
- Some Nords have "Half-Troll" as their last name, but it is unlikely this is literal.
- Those born under the sign of the Lord are sometimes referred to as Trollkin due to their innate weakness to fire.
- Troll Names
- For game-specific information, see the Arena, Redguard, Bloodmoon, Dawnstar, Oblivion, Oblivion Mobile, Skyrim, ESO, Legends, Skyrim Very Special Edition, and Blades articles.
- 101 Uses for Troll Fat — A skeptical letter describing the various uses for troll fat
- The Care and Feeding of Trolls by Gulzog the Butcher — A step-by-step guide to caring for nirncrux-infused trolls
- Field Guide to River Trolls by Phrastus of Elinhir — A treatise on the River Troll
- Old Nord Drinking Song — A drunk Nord meets a Troll
- Practical Alchemy in Skyrim — Notes on the various uses of troll fat
- Troll Slaying by Finn — A guide to identifying, fighting, and collecting fat from trolls
- Troll Socialization Research Notes by Grularz — A researcher's notes on the behavior and mannerisms of trolls
- Arena Player's Guide description
- Troll Slaying — Finn
- Crafting Motif 87: Ancestral Nord Style — Bjarnus Whitewhiskers
- Trolls in ESO
- Trolls in Blades
- Brenus Astis' Journal — Brenus Astis
- Rumors in Oblivion
- Trolls in Redguard
- Field Guide to River Trolls — Phrastus of Elinhir
- Notes on Racial Phylogeny — the Council of Healers, Imperial University
- A New Recipe?
- Dialogue during The Heretic in Blades
- Gutworm from Survival Mode in Skyrim
- Winter Worn in Dawnstar
- The Ancient One quest in Blades
- Svenja Snow-Song's dialogue in Morrowind: Bloodmoon
- Agnar's Journal — Agnar the Unwavering
- The Serpent's dialogue in ESO
- Troll Socialization Research Notes — Grularz
- Irgnar's Journal — Irgnar
- The Troll King and Crawg the Troll King in ESO
- A Tough Audience — Sempronia
- The Troll King quest in Oblivion Mobile
- Runs-With-Quickness' dialogue in ESO
- Mounted Troll Head item description in ESO
- Abnur Tharn's dialogue in ESO
- Chronicles of the Five Companions 5 — Abnur Tharn
- The Troll Hunter quest in Blades
- Dialogue during The Troll King in Oblivion Mobile
- Weebam-Na's dialogue in Oblivion
- The Care and Feeding of Trolls — Gulzog the Butcher
- Gluineth's dialogue in ESO
- A Gold Coast Children's Bestiary
- Ripgut in ESO
- Deepswimmer's dialogue in ESO
- Drunk Trolls in Dawnstar
- A Poorly Scrawled Note
- Old Nord Drinking Song
- Meet the Character - High King Svargrim — Pjetr the Skald, of the Bards College
- The Augur of the Obscure's dialogue in ESO
- Isran's dialogue in Skyrim
- Animal Extermination quest in Skyrim
- The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: Skyrim
- Trolls in Arena
- The Udyrfrykte in Bloodmoon
- Troll War Axes and Troll Warhammers in Dawnstar
- Trolls in Oblivion
- Events of Crystal Tower quest in Arena
- King Edward, Part V
- Trolls in Skyrim
- Frost Trolls in Skyrim
- Swamp Trolls in ESO
- River Trolls in ESO
- Legends card
- Trollkin in Dawnstar
- Little Leaf's dialogue in ESO
- Letter to Exarch Braadoth — Elska, Regent of Fanged Fury
- Events of Dark Brotherhood
- Elgrim's dialogue in Skyrim
- The Uderfrykte Matron in Oblivion
- Grahl-Eye Gem Purse item description in ESO
- The Castle Karstaag journal entry descriptions in Morrowind: Bloodmoon
- Krish's dialogue in Morrowind: Bloodmoon
- Legends card category
- Generic Dialogue in Morrowind: Bloodmoon
- Grahls in Morrowind: Bloodmoon
- 101 Uses for Troll Fat
- Cracking the Elden Tree Vault
- Shobob gro-Rugdush's dialogue in Oblivion
- Atub's dialogue during The Cursed Tribe in Skyrim
- Practical Alchemy in Skyrim
- Troll's Bood in Daggerfall
- Troll Skulls in Skyrim
- Troll Skull Slumgullion Serving Bowl item description in ESO
- Tri-Socket Inkwell item description in ESO
- Nordic Trollbone Armor in Morrowind
- Trollbone Shields in Dawnstar
- Trollskin Leather armor in Dawnstar
- Ancestral Nord Gloves description in ESO
- Helm of Oreyn Bearclaw
- Trolltooth Axe in Dawnstar
- Troll-Tooth Necklace in ESO
- Troll-Hair Kindling Pouch item description in ESO
- Troll-Mane Napkin item description in ESO
- Crafting Motif 71: Coldsnap Style — Landal Gevont, Scholar of Goblins, Invisible College of Daggerfall
- Alyxe's dialogue in ESO
- Shaman Bogham's dialogue in ESO
- Lieutenant Stilga's dialogue in ESO
- Chung's dialogue in Dawnstar
- Trithik's dialogue in Redguard
- Hireling Correspondence in ESO
- Armored Troll in Skyrim
- Events of Troll Arena in ESO
- Events of Fires of Battle in ESO
- The Arena! — Emingil
- Icestalker in ESO
- Kirsh and Dulk's dialogue in Morrowind: Bloodmoon
- Events of Dawnstar
- Gunmar's dialogue in Skyrim
- Agra Crun
- Trollslayer's Gully in ESO
- Trollsbane in Skyrim
- Trollslayer's Girdle in ESO
- Troll Musk item description in ESO
- Tavern Encounters in Arena
- Brave Little Scrib and the River Troll
- Partial Visual Guide to Trolls item description in ESO
- Malacath and the Reach — Kyrtos
- The Real Barenziah, v 3 — Anonymous
- Frost Troll Ragamuffin Doll item description in ESO
- Gilly the River Troll item description in ESO
- Claw of Akatosh item description in ESO
- Guardian Troll Spirit in Skyrim
- Froki Whetted-Blade's dialogue in Skyrim
- Etched Troll Tooth item description in ESO
- "Frolicking Trolls of Eastmarch" item description in ESO
- Garden Troll Varmint Defender item description in ESO
- Matching Troll Bookends item description in ESO
- Deadly Neighbor quest in Blades
- Our Poor Town quest in ESO
- Yngling Half-Troll and Greidil Half-Troll in Morrowind
- Daljari Half-Troll in ESO
- The Lord in Oblivion
Note: The following references are considered to be unofficial sources. They are included to round off this article and may not be authoritative or conclusive.