Nordic Spirit Classics Second Friday Series – Friday, April 8

Trolls: A Retrospective
Episode 3: “Trolls out of Chaos”

By Britte Rasmussen Marsh

Illustration of Walter Stenström's The boy and the trolls or The Adventure in childrens' anthology Among pixies and trolls, a collection of childrens' stories, 1915.

Beginning in the Modern Era, troll narratives sprung like dandelions from the scorched earth of World War’s I and II–as flowers or as weeds? In Episode 3 of Trolls: A Retrospective we’ll investigate the ever-shifting influences of 20th century Europe: good, evil, neutrality, fantasy and fascism. Expect trolls of belligerence and troll allies. Expect Tolkien and Moomin. There’s a saying that goes: to feign neutrality in the face of oppression helps the oppressor, never the oppressed. What might trolls have to teach us about taking sides? How might trolls plant seeds of joy, of freedom, in ways human hands have failed?

Britte Rasmussen Marsh is a writer and independent researcher based in Portland, Oregon. Her current work, WeTroll, is a non-fiction book and podcast that explores the “troll diaspora” from Scandinavia to North America in order to ask “are trolls real, and have you encountered one?” She is actively seeking participants for WeTroll to date. She may be reached via email at

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