Half-trolls

From Tolkien Gateway
"Gothmog the lieutenant of Morgul had flung them into the fray; Easterlings with axes, and Variags of Khand, Southrons in scarlet, and out of Far Harad black men like half-trolls with white eyes and red tongues."
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields"

Half-troll was a term used to describe the appearance of the Far Haradrim who fought for Sauron at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.[1] Later in the battle, the knights of Dol Amroth were said to have driven before them "troll-men and Variags and orcs."[2]

There is no other known reference to this term in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, so it cannot be known whether half-trolls ever truly existed within Arda, even as folklore. If half-trolls did exist, whether their origins had any similarity to those of half-orcs can only be a matter for speculation.

Inspiration[edit]

According to Christopher Tolkien, a character in the Thiðrekssaga (a 13th century work which influenced The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún), who is an off-spring of a woman and an incubus, appears "troll-like" and is "all over dark, with black hair and black beard".[3]

Portrayal in adaptations[edit]

Half-trolls in adaptations
A "Half-troll Brute" in The Lord of the Rings Online  

1982-97: Middle-earth Role Playing:

Half-trolls (Sindarin Pirtereg, sing. Pertorog) were bred by Sauron, from a union of Olog-hai and Variags or Men from Khand. They are about seven feet tall and have black skin.[4][5]

1995-8: Middle-earth Collectible Card Game:

"Half-trolls of Far Harad" is a creature, able to inflict two strikes on a player. "Half-trolls" is a Troll Faction, playable at Cirith Ungol or Barad-dûr.

2001-: The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game:

The Half Trolls are "Mahûd men" of Far Harad who were altered to the size and strength of the Olog-hai of Sauron. During the end of the Third Age, when Sauron was destroyed, their powers diminished and they too fell into darkness.[6] Units include "Half Troll Warband" and "Half Troll of Far Harad".[7]

2006: The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II:

Half-Troll Marauders are crossbreeds of Trolls and an Orcs. These creatures serve as the pikemen unit for the Goblin faction.[8]. In a later expansion pack, Half Troll Swordsmen are available.[6]

2015: The Lord of the Rings Online::Half-trolls appear as a type of Troll-kind creature crossed with the blood of Men. They have the strength and appearance of Trolls yet are also cunning and intelligent. Sauron bestowed Half-trolls onto the Haradrim as a gift. Half-trolls can be found throughout the various regions of Gondor and Anórien, fighting alongside Men of Harad and the Corsairs of Umbar.


References

Legendary Races of Arda
 Animals:  Dumbledors · Gorcrows · Hummerhorns · Pards · Swans of Gorbelgod · Turtle-fish
Dragon-kind:  Sea-serpents · Spark-dragons · Were-worms
Evil Races:  Ettens · Giants · Half-trolls · Hobgoblins · Ogres · Snow-trolls · Two-headed Trolls
Other:  Badger-folk · Great beasts · Lintips · Mewlips · Nameless Things · Spectres
Individuals:  The Hunter · Lonely Troll · Man in the Moon · The Rider · River-woman · Tarlang · Tim · White cow