Half-trolls

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This article describes a concept which is mentioned in J.R.R. Tolkien's works, but was never given a definite name.

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.

Half-trolls was a term used to describe the appearance of the men from Far Harad who fought for Sauron at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. These Men were said to be black skinned with white eyes and red tongues.[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 half-trolls in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, so it cannot be known whether they 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

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

Half-trolls in adaptations
"Half-trolls" by Angus McBride in Middle-earth Collectible Card Game
"Half-Troll Marauder" in The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II
A "Half-troll Brute" in The Lord of the Rings Online
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 · Otter-folk · Spectres
Individuals:  Badger-brock · Fastitocalon · Fisher Blue · Lady of the Sun · Lonely Troll · Man in the Moon · Old Swan · Talking Gurthang · Talking purse · The Hunter · The Rider · River-woman · Tarlang · Tim · Tom · Whisker-lad · White cow · Willow-wren