Recently, the term troll has been appropriated to describe sad internet stalkers. But I was brought up to believe a troll was a weird Scandinavian being, lurking in a mountain cave.
In one Norse saga, a troll described himself as a
Destroyer of the storm-sun,
Guardian of the corpse fjord,
Swallower of sunlight –
What is a troll other than that?
I associated trolls with Norway and the composer Grieg. He even lived in a house called Trolls’ Knoll.
But then along came a Danish fisherman, Thomas Dam, who invented those risible Troll Dolls. They took off in the 60s and 70s. I resented them. They belittled the gloomy trolls of my imagination.
That was, of course, followed by the Harry Potter troll which was a sort of cross between Wayne Rooney and Ann Widdecombe.
And now the blinking internet’s pinched the word troll and ruined it again.
I demand a return to real trolls, skulking under bridges and jumping out to frighten people. I may even found a Real Troll Society.