A troll was a magical being in the Harry Potter universe that was larger than humans in size and very strong but was known to be underdeveloped mentally.

The Definitive Glossary for Harry Potter

The first appearance of a troll in the Harry Potter universe happened in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone when a troll was let into Hogwarts by Professor Quirrell to distract everyone from his attempt to steal the Philosopher’s Stone. Trolls were mostly associated with their sub-standard intelligence to the extent that the lowest possible grade in wizarding examinations was named after them. There were several types of trolls, including mountain trolls, river trolls, and forest trolls – the latter of which was green in color. It is believed that trolls originated from the Scandinavian regions but migrated over the years into different parts of the world.

Physical Appearance and Behaviour

A giant is also similar to a troll in appearance and size and while giants are considered magical beings, trolls are considered magical beasts owing to their violent and aggressive nature. A description of a troll appears in the textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander. Trolls are considered to be capable of magic, although the true extent of their magic or the nature of it is not known to wizards and witches. Giants were more likely to breed with humans as in the case of Fridwulfa and a wizard who gave birth to Hagrid.

Trolls grew up to a height of twelve feet and weighed up to a tonne. They were known to have two toes on each of their feet, with giant toenails. Troll whiskers were said to possess magical properties and were used in wand cores, although wands made from troll whiskers were said to make inferior wands. Trolls were taxonomically grouped into the genus Troglodytarum. Trolls were known to be attracted to unpleasant smells, which is probably why the troll that came to Hogwarts made its way into the bathrooms, although it was spotted first in the dungeon. A forest troll, unlike a regular troll, would be completely green in color which was probably for camouflage.

Trolls in the Harry Potter Series

A troll first appeared in the Harry Potter book series in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone during the Hallowe’en feast. Professor Quirrell enters the Great Hall and warns everyone that he saw a troll in the dungeon. However, at the end of the book, it is revealed that Professor Quirrell led the troll to Hogwarts to distract everyone from him when he tried to steal the Philosopher’s Stone. This was in the first year of Harry, Ron, and Hermione at Hogwarts.

However, the troll eventually makes its way into the girls’ bathroom where Hermione Granger is, as she had skipped dinner and was crying after Ron Weasley made fun of her. After a while, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley come in search of Hermione and find the creature trying to attack Hermione. They start distracting the troll and are eventually successful in dropping the troll’s club on itself. Professor Minerva McGonagall enters the bathroom with Severus Snape and is shocked to find the three with an unconscious troll. The only possible to why Hermione would encounter a troll could be that trolls are attracted to the smells of washrooms.

When Professor McGonagall asks for an explanation, Hermione defends Harry and Ron and claims they saved her after she tried to fight the troll herself. Professor McGonagall rewards both Harry and Ron with ten points for sheer dumb luck and reduces ten points from Gryffindor due to Miss Granger and her ‘overconfidence’ to fight a troll.

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, two security trolls were kept as guards to protect the ‘Fat Lady’ in the portrait by Albus Dumbledore after Sirius Black attacked her. They were eventually removed, but only after Sirius Black was no longer considered a threat, as Remus Lupin and the Golden Trio found out that Sirius was framed by Peter Pettigrew and told Dumbledore about the same.

In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, an umbrella stand made of a troll’s leg is found in Twelve Grimmauld Place, which is Sirius’s family house and serves as the headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix.

In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, after Professor McGonagall revealed the nature of the Sorting Ceremony, Ron swore to kill his brother Fred Weasley as the latter had warned that the Sorting Ceremony required the first years to wrestle a troll.

Barty Crouch Sr was believed to know how to converse with trolls as he was proficient in the languages of several beings in the wizarding world.

When the Golden Trio were captured by some Snatchers looking for Muggle-born and Half-blooded wizards and witches, Ron lied to them and claimed that he was Stan Shunpike as he believed that they were not very bright and one of them was probably part-troll.

The Origin of Trolls in Folklore

Although considered magical beasts in the Harry Potter universe by J. K. Rowling, trolls have long been a part of several fantasy worlds, both in fiction and in mythology. It is believed that the earliest iterations of trolls can be found in Nordic folklore and Norse mythology. They have always been considered not very useful to humans or sometimes even outright dangerous to human beings. In later years, trolls have featured extensively in magical and fantasy literature, most notably in the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. They have also been used in the Dungeons and Dragons board games and many other similar worlds in fantasy. Some movies have also been named after trolls, including an animated jukebox musical-comedy by DreamWorks animation.


How many types of trolls are there in Harry Potter?

Three types of trolls are known to exist in the Harry Potter universe. They are the mountain trolls, the river trolls, and the forest trolls. The troll that is found in the dungeon at Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is a mountain troll. Forest trolls, in contrast to these trolls, are completely green in color.

What attacked Hermione in the bathroom?

A troll attacked Hermione Granger when she was crying in the bathroom after Ron made fun of her. It was later revealed that Professor Quirinus Quirrell deliberately let this troll wander into the dungeon at Hogwarts so that he could try and steal the Philosopher’s Stone from Hogwarts without anybody noticing.

Did J.K. Rowling copy “Harry Potter”’s main character’s name from the “Troll” 1986 movie?

It is highly unlikely that J. K. Rowling copied the name of Harry Potter from the protagonist of the 1986 movie Troll. Although they both have the same name, it is not necessarily uncommon for two people to have the same name. Furthermore, it is absurd to assume that J. K. Rowling would require to copy the name of her novel’s protagonist from a random movie and then lie about it. She has also told in several interviews that Harry Potter’s name was taken from her childhood friend Ian Potter and her favorite boy’s name “Harry”.

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