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Fairy tale characters




Category: Ramblings | Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:09 pm

When Raoul and Christine meet again after many years in «The Phantom of the Opera» they recall reading to each other dark tales of the north. The Norwegian stories have figures like trolls, huldra, nøkken and other, more mysterious shapes.

None of these are nice. None have a light spirit. All they want, is to make life miserable for man.

The trolls are big, fairly stupid, often have many heads, and one eye between them, and have a stash of gold and valuables somewhere. They are known to capture lovely maids and lock them up inside strong castles, in mountains or underground.

Huldra is a beautiful female, known to bewitch young men hunting or herding. She's a vision to look at and has a lovely voice, but her behind is hollowed in, and she's got a tail. Many youths lost their wits after encountering her, and many plainly disappeared, to stay with her underground, miserably, for ever. Huldra and her kind also used to sneak in to people's houses and swap their babies with one of their own.

Nøkken lives in water. He likes to lure people to him and drown them, or bewitch them and steal their souls. He is known to play beautiful music on a fiddle, often by a waterfall, and specializes in stealing young maids. The sea version is both darker and more dangerous.

Another important character is Tuftekallen, connected of the first person to clear the farm and build a home there. If he is treated right, he might help the people living on the farm, but if they forget to pay homage to him, woe and behold! The cattle will fall ill, the seed will go bad and other small or large unfortunate accidents will happen. There are many legends about him, but he's not normally part of the Norwegian fairy tales.

My ancestors believed in these characters. They always wore a knife, to throw over any underground dweller's head in case they met one. Silver crucifixes were hung on cradles and worn always, to ward off huldra or nøkken. The trolls, well, there were many stories that told how to fool them, but the main goal would be to find out where they lived to steal their treasure.

If you're very good, I might tell you a proper troll fairy tale tomorrow.


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Comments

 

Frank wrote on Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:18 pm:


Most entertaining Droopy, thank you.

>>> Huldra is a beautiful female, known to bewitch young men hunting or herding. She's a vision to look at and has a lovely voice, but her behind is hollowed in, and she's got a tail. <<<

She's sounds like the Banshee that we have in Ireland. I believe see has ghostly white hair and looks a fright. If you hear here distorted, tortured cry in the night it means someone close to you will die the next day. Or something to that effect.

>>> If you're very good, I might tell you a proper troll fairy tale tomorrow. <<<

Yes please!




 

Frank wrote on Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:23 pm:


Animated tale of the Banshee:
http://www.geocities.com/trampingground/Banshee.html




 

Biita wrote on Wed Nov 28, 2007 7:44 pm:


ohh droopy i've heard these tales and read them here in Norske Folkeevetyr. Please please tell one of the troll tales for everyone,, they will love them. We do the Nisse thing by putting out the porridge so the animals an farm comes to no harm..lol. but we also put out food on the solstices so each season is a good one on the farm.




 

Biita wrote on Wed Nov 28, 2007 7:46 pm:


Frank i copied your web address i hope you don't mind, i'd like to read about the banshee. I've heard the tales, but don't know if what i heard was correct or not...




 

Frank wrote on Wed Nov 28, 2007 8:44 pm:


>>> Frank i copied your web address i hope you don't mind, i'd like to read about the banshee <<<

Not at all Biita, that's what it's there for ;)




 

Frank wrote on Wed Nov 28, 2007 8:46 pm:


Droopy I forgot to mention if you have any illustrations you could point us to it would be great. Nøkken must be one scary looking guy.




 

Anitra wrote on Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:38 pm:


In every culture, the old "fairy tales" are much darker and scarier than the modern, sanitized ones. I like the older versions myself. They're more honest. I look forward to your troll story, Droopy. Do I have to be good? :)




 

Droopy wrote on Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:17 pm:


The Banshee and Huldra look like two different characters. The Irish folklore is older than ours, and different even if it's similar.

Frank, check out Kittelsen on Wickipedia. Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodor_Kittelsen

Some nice drawings there, but most of them less scary than they ought to be.

Anitra, you're the best, you'll definitely get your story anyway.




 

glendann wrote on Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:40 am:


I would love to read a proper troll fairy tale from you Droopy




 

Frank wrote on Thu Nov 29, 2007 11:30 am:


Thanks Droopy, he sure was talented wasn't he. I found his full gallery from a link on the Wikipedia page

http://kittelsen.efenstor.net/

>>> but most of them less scary than they ought to be. <<<

I agree but still very creepy *shiver*




 

Droopy wrote on Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:18 pm:


I shall have to research some of our local legends and share those, since the folk tales are so well covered.

Frank, Mr. Kittelsen is a national treasure. I particularly like his "Soria Moria" (page 6) and the water horse painting.





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