Welcome to our Colossus Movie Guide for Troll. This guide contains our detailed library of content covering key aspects of the movie’s plot, ending, meaning, and more. We encourage your comments to help us create the best possible guide. Thank you!
What is Troll about?
Troll is a classic kind of monster film. More like the original 1954 Gojira/Godzilla than something as bombastic as Sharknado. It serves as an exploration of the tension between Norway’s Norse roots and its Christianity-influenced present. Ultimately, it feels like a question about the place of classic Norwegian traditions in a culture that seems very eager to be rid of them.
Movie Guide table of contents
- Nora Tidemann – Ine Marie Wilmann
- Andreas Isaksen – Kim Falck
- Tobias Tidemann – Gard B. Eidsvold
- Captain Kristoffer Holm – Mads Sjøgård Pettersen
- Sigrid Hodne – Karoline Viktoria Sletteng Garvang
- Prime Minister Berit Moberg – Anneke von der Lippe
- Minister of Defence Frederick Markussen – Fridtjov Såheim
- Written by – Espen Aukan, Roar Uthaug
- Directed by – Roar Uthaug
The ending of Troll explained
The ending of Troll begins after the Troll King has made his way to Oslo. It’s revealed that the trolls originally lived in and throughout Norway. After Christians arrived in the country and became a dominant force, they eventually exterminated the trolls and sealed the King in a cave away from the city. While in Oslo, the Troll King doesn’t actively damage anything. He’s just there to see if he can find any of his tribe.
After a chase that involves the skull of a baby troll, Nora brings the Troll King to a hill where the military shines intense UV light on him. Since light can destroy trolls, this begins to burn the king. Sigrid manages to intervene and stop the Minister of Defence from blowing the Troll King up with a missile from a fighter jet.
Then Nora turns off the lights and begs the lonely creature to retreat to the mountains. To save himself while he can. Before he really has time to decide, the sun comes up. The full blast of sunlight reduces the Troll King to rubble. People are sad but also celebrate. And Nora and Andrea discuss the possibility of more trolls. We then cut to the Dovre mountain range where the Troll King emerged. Another troll is there. And it’s upset.
Troll is a commentary on the destruction of Norse traditions by the arrival and dominance of Christian culture. The Troll King is the embodiment of that legacy. The fairytales, the myths, the legends. All of it. We’re even told that the Troll King’s home was in the exact spot the current Royal Palace is in Oslo. To most viewers, this probably doesn’t mean much. But the Palace has close ties to the Church of Norway, the country’s main religious body. There’s a chapel in the palace. I imagine to anyone familiar with Norway, they recognize this for what it is: a criticism.
This probably extends into the strife within the government. Throughout Troll, there are those who side with Nora and have empathy for the Troll King. Then there are those who only seek the monster’s destruction. The latter are emblematic of people in power who don’t care about Norway’s ancient history and culture. And its those people who want to blow up the Troll King. Something the good guys prevent from happening. In a lot of movies, this would be one-dimensional and superficial. Of course the good people save the creature from the bad people. But because Troll has this added layer of symbolism, you can read Sigrid’s actions as metaphoric for the prevention of the destruction of Nordic heritage.
The overall picture then is that the old ways of the Norse don’t really fit in with modern Oslo. You can’t necessarily go back to Viking culture. Or pre-viking tribal culture. That time has passed. Which is probably why the Troll King still ends up caught in the sun. It’s not really suited for the 21st century. But that doesn’t mean the culture is gone completely. In that way, Troll’s kind of a reminder to the people of Norway to remember more of their roots. To acknowledge their history. It’s not always pretty (just watch The Northman and you’ll see what I mean). But there’s nobility and power and beauty. And that shouldn’t be forgotten.
The themes and meaning of Troll
Reckoning with history
Troll neatly parallels Nora, Norway, and the Troll King. All three have tragedy as part of their backstory.
For Nora, it’s the loss of her mother and how it affected her, her father (Tobias), and her relationship with her father.
For Norway, it’s the conversion of its original Norse culture to Christianity. The myths and fairytales that had defined the country’s traditions gave way to more European practices and aesthetics.
And for the Troll King, it was the eradication of his people at the hands of the Christians. In this scenario, the trolls represent the old ways of the Norse and the loss of things like the myths of Odin and Thor, of runes, of Viking culture (the positive parts). It’s not a coincidence that the historic home of the Troll King is beneath the Royal Palace of Oslo. That’s about as on-the-nose as you can get with a metaphor.
Why is the movie called Troll?
Monster films have a long history of the creature itself being the title. Godzilla, King Kong, Gamera. It dates all the way back to the origins of gothic literature. Novels such as Frankenstein* (1818) and Dracula (1897) were the byproducts of their predecessors The Monk (1796), The Italian (1797), and “The Vampyre” (1819). Of course you have some slant versions. These are a few recent monster movies with a different style of name: The Cave, Nope, A Quiet Place, Attack the Block, Pacific Rim.
But Troll went with the classic. And the fact the word itself comes from Nordic folklore, it announces the film as having Nordic roots. Since it was entirely filmed in Norway and has a primarily Norwegian cast, that cultural element is important.
Then in the film, the Troll King is tied to ideas of faith, loss, and communication. So while there’s not a deep thematic meaning to the title or the character in the same way as, say, the original Godzilla. There’s a bit of something.
*Regarding Frankenstein. The “monster” never had a name. It’s just known as “Frankenstein’s monster” and over the centuries people started to refer to it as Frankenstein. But the creator, Doctor Victor Frankenstein, is often argued to be the true monster of the tale. Which is why the title is his name.
Important motifs in Troll
It could be a coincidence but given all the pointed symbolism in Troll you can’t help but think of the similarity between Nora and Norway. If that’s the case then we should place special attention on her character arc. She goes from someone who doesn’t believe in trolls, to trying to understand the troll, to defending the troll. Given that we know the troll represents the pre-Christian Norse culture of Norway, the assumption would be that Nora is, then, an embodiment of the Norwegian people. They’re aware of the pre-Christian heritage but don’t think much of it but if they could interact with it then there’s the hope they would become its biggest defenders against a government that’s trying to erase that history.
Troll’s major theme is about ancient Norwegian traditions, culture, and myths being lost to the country’s transformation to a mostly Christian nation. With the Troll King representative of all that is old. The Christian iconography throughout Troll is important because it represents the country’s present day. Whether it’s the soldier who prays with a cross. Or the effort to defeat the Troll King using church bells. Or the plot point that the Royal Palace of Oslo, home of an important church, was built on top of the Troll King’s original home.
Rocks, mountains, nature
In contrast to the Christian iconography, there’s an emphasis on Norway’s historic connection with nature. While Italy and Greece had cities with hundreds of thousands of people, and England as a country had a population of over a million, Norway was small. Rural. No major cities. Clusters of people rather than masses. Which meant people were more in touch with the land around them. Which was reflected in their myths and folklore. Before the church came through and modernized a lot of Norway, the country was rugged. A place befitting of a Troll King.
Questions & answers about Troll
Why save the Troll King from the missile only to have the sun destroy him?
Narratively speaking, this is a weird thing. One second, everyone’s trying to stop the government from blowing up the Troll King with a missile. They succeed and rejoice. But literally 3 minutes later the sun rises and burns the Troll King to death. And…people also rejoice? Even though Nora was just begging for the Troll King to run away and save itself. It’s a really quick turnaround. And begs the question of if you’re going to save the creature from the missile, why have it melt from the sun?
The answer is thematic. As the Troll King is symbolic of old, pre-Christianity Norway, the idea of the government destroying it with a missile is a bad thing. As it would mean the country destroys its own heritage. By preventing the missile, it’s essentially the people saving some of the history of Norway. The death that follows is natural. Which kind of makes it better? But, honestly, it feels like a plot choice that muddies the theme.
Why did the Troll King catch the helicopter and save the boy?
We’re supposed to realize the Troll King has intelligence. And isn’t necessarily a monster hellbent on destruction. Moreso that he’s lost, scared, and angry about what the Church did to him and his people. He’s more of a tragic figure than a villain. More Peter Jackson King Kong than original Godzilla or Cloverfield. In order to demonstrate the Troll King actually being pretty chill, you include a scene where he consciously and actively saves someone’s life.
Will there be a sequel?
Yes! It was announced in September 2023.
Now it’s your turn
Have more unanswered questions about Troll? Are there themes or motifs we missed? Is there more to explain about the ending? Please post your questions and thoughts in the comments section! We’ll do our best to address every one of them. If we like what you have to say, you could become part of our movie guide!