William, Tom, and Bert

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William, Tom, and Bert
Trolls
"Bilbo and the Three Trolls" by Justin Gerard
Biographical Information
Other names"The Three Trolls"[1]
"William Huggins" (William)
"Bill" (William)
LocationTrollshaws
AffiliationStone-trolls
LanguageWestron
DeathT.A. 2941
Trollshaws
Notable forCapturing Thorin and Company
Physical Description
GenderMale
ClothingTalking purse (William)
GalleryImages of William, Tom, and Bert

William Huggins, Tom, and Bert were a group of trolls that captured Bilbo Baggins and the dwarves during the Quest of Erebor.

History

They lived in a cave in the Trollshaws, west of Rivendell. In the spring of T.A. 2941 they had journeyed down out of the hills in search of food, having been led by William to the area. They had already eaten their way through a village or two before stopping for the night in the woods not far from Great Road.[2]

The light of the trolls fire was spotted by Balin who alerted the rest of the company, and on Thorins urging it was Bilbo that approached and first encountered the three trolls; they were drinking, eating mutton and bickering.

Bilbo was captured trying to pickpocket William's purse and when the rest of the company came to investigate what had happened to Bilbo they too were captured. Only Thorin put up a fight, putting out Bert's eye with a flaming branch and then hitting Tom in the face, knocking out a tooth. William still managed to catch Thorin and so the all the dwarves were captured in sacks.

However, Gandalf had returned unnoticed and throwing his voice caused the trolls to argue amongst themselves for so long that the sun rose and turned all three of them to stone.

On 18 October T.A. 3018 Strider and the four hobbits come across the stone statues of the three trolls whilst travelling to Rivendell with The One Ring.[3]

William's "pity"

The troll William twice states that they ought to let Bilbo go rather than eat him, calling Bilbo a "poor little blighter" which leads to a row with Bert. William's comments are curious as trolls are evil by nature, having been created by Morgoth in the twilight of the Elder Days. William, however, is noted to have "already had as much supper as he could hold; also he had had lots of beer."[4]

In an unsent letter to Christian book shop owner Peter Hastings, J.R.R. Tolkien responded to this subject:

There is no more 'pity' here than in a beast of prey yawning, or lazily patting a creature it could eat, but does not want to, since it is not hungry. Or indeed than there is in many of men's actions, whose real roots are in satiety, sloth, or a purely non-moral natural softness, though they may dignify them by 'pity's' name.[5]

See also

Portrayal in adaptations

William, Tom, and Bert in adaptations
The Hobbit (1977 film)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Wûluag in the Middle-earth Collectible Card Game
Tûma in the Middle-earth Collectible Card Game
Bûrat in the Middle-earth Collectible Card Game
"Bill" in The Hobbit Strategy Battle Game
"Tom" in The Hobbit Strategy Battle Game
"Bert" in The Hobbit Strategy Battle Game
The Lord of the Rings Online

1968: The Hobbit (1968 radio series):

The trolls are encountered in the second episode, "Out of the Frying-pan into the Fire". Victor Lucas plays William, Francis de Wolff plays Tom and Brian Haines plays Bert. The scene is taken verbatim from the book.

1979: The Hobbit (1979 radio series):

The troll's scene is presented without alteration. No actors are credited for the individual parts of the three trolls.

1982: The Hobbit (1982 video game):

The three trolls are the first obstacle encountered after leaving Bag End.

1982-97: Middle-earth Role Playing:

All three trolls are listed as members of the Hugath tribe of Stone Trolls of the Trollshaw and share the same last name; "Huggins". Their real names are given as Wûluag Hugath, Tûma, and Bûrat "the Tongue".[6]

1989: Hobit (1989 Slovak radio series):

The voices of William, Bert and Tom are provided by Peter Debnár, Vlado Černý and Ivan Gogál.

1995-8: Middle-earth Collectible Card Game:

All three trolls are playable both as a Hazard Creature and as a Minion. They are also given the MERP variant names; Wûluag, Tûma, and Bûrat.

2001: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:

Aragorn and the Hobbits rest at the petrified trolls after Frodo is stabbed by the Witch-king. In the Extended Edition, Sam points out to the wounded Frodo that they are "Mr. Bilbo's trolls".

2003: The Hobbit (2003 video game):

William, Tom, and Bert are the first 'bosses' of the game, though they cannot be fought directly; Bilbo has to sneak around the trolls, waiting for them to turn or walk away.

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

The stone statues of all three trolls can be found in the wilderness of the Trollshaws.

2012: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The three trolls are played by Peter Hambleton, William Kircher and Mark Hadlow respectively, via the use of motion capture. In the film it is Tom that catches Bilbo when he mistakenly grabs him while reaching for his handkerchief and blows his nose on him.

References