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Old 10-25-2002, 10:58 AM   #1
Eomer of the Rohirrim
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Sting Just how hard is it to kill a Troll?

Trolls. 'Created' by the Dark Lord in mockery of Ents. Right? So why am I just now realising that they must be pretty big, indeed way bigger than Orcs. I feel like an idiot!

Anyway, I watched the Fellowship movie the other night and this new thought came into my head. So the Cave Troll perhaps wasn't as exaggerated as I had previously thought. Well, maybe a bit.

I thought about it some more and said to myself, " Hey, the Fellowship actually did pretty well to kill that beast. Good on you."

Then I considered Hurin. Hurin the Elf-friend, who at the Nirnaeth Arnoediad killed at least 70 Trolls single-handedly. I also remembered reading a post on another thread telling me that Ecthelion had killed over 100 Trolls in one go.

How big were these Trolls? How was Hurin's tally so immense? Just how hard is it to kill a Troll?
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Old 10-25-2002, 11:15 AM   #2
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The trolls in the first age were weaker and stupider than they were in the Third age. Sauron took them and Übered™ them (made them stronger and smarter). The cave trolls were actaully pretty clever, though you wouldn't think it from the movie. But remember that Merry (or was it Pippin?) killed a troll by stabbing it in the belly with a sword (a hobbit sized sword). From this i would guess the Trolls were not that strong during the First Age, at least strong enough to be able to hue (sp? not the colour) with an single Axe swipe (if your strong and skilled enough).
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Old 10-25-2002, 11:28 AM   #3
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Quote:
Just how hard is it to kill a Troll?
It's easy. You just butt him off the bridge with your head.

(Trit-Trot.)
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Old 10-25-2002, 11:55 AM   #4
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Sting

Hahahahaha!

Come on, those Trolls were tiny! Unless, of course, the goats were huge.
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Old 10-25-2002, 12:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
It's easy. You just butt him off the bridge with your head.
(Trit-Trot.)
hahaha I always loved tht story, so when I was introduced to Tolkien it was rather hard for me to get that out of my head. I kept thinking (and still do sometimes!) That they were rather small creatures, not the big things like the cave troll in the movie.
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Old 10-25-2002, 12:29 PM   #6
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Sting

I'm guessing it must be pretty hard strenghth and size wise to kill a Troll but not stategy wise since they are all brawn and no brain. [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]
Quote:
. Hurin the Elf-friend, who at the Nirnaeth Arnoediad killed at least 70 Trolls single-handedly. I also remembered reading a post on another thread telling me that Ecthelion had killed over 100 Trolls in one go.
As for that all i have to say is "Whoah!" [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img] These 2 must have been super elves (I'm guessing they were elves)or something because it seemed pretty hard for all 9 of the Fellowship to do one let alone 100/70.
Actually like it was said the Cave Trolls were kind off smart in Hobbit.....maybe it depends on the Species of Troll

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Old 10-25-2002, 09:44 PM   #7
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well the 2 trolls are different breeds of trolls. i imagined the hill trolls that are in the battle of morannon, smaller then the cave trolls in the fellowshipe. in the fellowship the trolls carried large slabs of stone to put out the fire. i imagine them to be pretty big
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Old 10-25-2002, 11:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
...Through them there came striding up, roaring like beasts, a great company of hill-trolls out of Gorgoroth. Taller and broader then Men they were, and they were clad only in close-fitting mesh of horny scales, or maybe that was their hideous hide; but they bore round bucklers huge and black and wielded heavy hammers in their knotted hands. Reckless they sprang into the pools and waded across, bellowing as they came. Like a storm they broke upon the line of the men of Gondor, and beat upon helm and head, and arm and shield, as smiths bewing the hot bending iron. At Pippin's side Beregond was stunned and overborne, and he fell; and the great troll-chief that smote him down bent over him, reaching out a clutching claw; for these fell creatures would bite the throats of those that they threw down.

Then Pippin stabbed upwards, and the written blade of Westernesse pierced through the hide and went deep into the vitals of the troll, and his black blood came gushing out.
Ahem, er, I could go on and on. One of my favorite scenes! Unfortunately I've forgotten what my point was to be (I got lost on the battlefield, hehe).

Oh, yes. Tolkien says "Taller and broader then Men they were". How much taller he didn't say, but I would think not much, or he would have said "Way, way taller". [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

As I typed I noticed how similar that description was to the cave-troll of the movie. Both trolls were fond of bellowing, and wielded heavy hammers.

The fact that Tolkien mentions again that Pippin's blade is a special blade means that maybe any other blade couldn't have got the job done? Or am I assuming too much?
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Old 10-26-2002, 09:35 AM   #9
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Tolkien

Well the Fellowship didnt really kill that Troll in Moria. Maybe Peter Jackson thinks so, but no. In the book, Boromir took a swing at its arm and his sword glanced off. The only damage specifically spoken of to the troll was Frodo. Frodo stabbed it in the food sending black blood to the floor. Gandalf even said something about leaving before the troll comes back.
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Old 10-27-2002, 06:21 PM   #10
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On the strength of trolls, Hooom Hmm..

well that invaluable chap Treebeard comes up with some information. He explains that trolls were 'bred' by Morgoth in mockery of Ents. Ents were stronger (and perhaps taller?) than Trolls, in, I guess, much the same way that elves were stronger than orcs. Treebeard explains that it would take a strong axeman to wound an ent, that an ent's punch would crumple armour and that they're hurt but not seriously wounded by arrows. Therefore a Troll should have strength somewhere between a man and an ent.

Trolls apparently have some sort of tough scaly hide (or armour?), after all Boromir's sword glanced off the troll in Moria. However, this armour could be peirced by 'magic' swords such as Sting and the blade of Westernesse. Hurin famously slew 70 trolls (only v1.0 though!) but I'd guess he had a fairly decent blade since he hung aroud with all those high powered elf types! I imagine a good warrior could kill a troll with a stab from an ordinary sword, but would be more likely to have the blade turned if he used a slashing stroke.

I think Trolls should be portrayed (in RPGS, films etc!) as very strong and tough, but slow and rather clumsy. ie. if a troll hits you, you're out of it, but if you're quick you should be able to avoid the blow. For me, the film troll was far bigger than I'd imagined. (Surely they havn't changed things to heighten the dramatic effect!! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] )
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Old 10-27-2002, 06:46 PM   #11
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Tolkien

Hmm. . . I'd always imagined the troll in the movie to be about the right size. However, as has been pointed out, the killing of the troll and the big cool fight scene weren't really in the book. Just a few exchanged blows then retreat. And don't forget, these two elves that took out trolls were the more ancient seemingly more powerful elves doing deeds that were very very grand and powerful, even considering all the aid from really nice swords and weapons they had. And I would imagine that by the time you get the first 20 or 30, you get into a rythm and find good tricks to taking out trolls real quick like. ^_^
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Old 10-27-2002, 06:54 PM   #12
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Even in the movie, the troll wasn't killed by any stabbings...it took a arrow shot down the throat by Legolas. Apparently troll throats are like dragon bellies. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 10-28-2002, 08:15 PM   #13
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Sting

Hurin was able to kill so many trolls because he was the greatest warrior of the rece of men. Also, the trolls weren't trying to kill him but were in fact trying to capture him, which they succeeded in doing in the end. If they had tried to kill him, I think he wouldn't have killed so many but it is still a great feat to kill seventy trolls and manage to yell Day shall come again after each one.
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Old 10-28-2002, 08:50 PM   #14
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I imagine they aren't too hard to kill considering a goat can knock one off a bridge...
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Old 10-29-2002, 03:31 PM   #15
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Yeah ok Olo that jokes already been made get with it.

100 trolls could easily kill anyone, if only by running at them. The momentum of 100 trolls is not something to joke about [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

Edit: yeah i do know that Hurin killed 100 trolls, the point is if they wanted to kill them they would have easily.

[ October 29, 2002: Message edited by: Galorme ]
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Old 10-30-2002, 05:46 PM   #16
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Sting

OK I have put up with this for too long Hurin was a MAN!!!!!! NOT AN ELF!!!!!!
Tolkien described him as the greatest warrior ever in the race of man.
Just wondering: If the Battle of Unnumbered Tears lasted for a few days (I'm sure I read somewhere that it did) then wouldn't the trolls have turned to stone during the day. Morgoth probably had it really cloudy and dark like Sauron.
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Old 11-01-2002, 04:34 PM   #17
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Sting

I don't think that Hurin actually killed seventy trolls.
" And last of all Hurin sttod alone. Then he cast aside his shield and wielded an ax two handed;and it is sung that the ax smoked in the black blood of the troll gueard of Gothmog until it withered and each time that he slew Hurin cried 'Aure entuluva, Day shall come again.' Seventy times he uttered that cry; but they took him at last alive, by the command of Morgoth."

The passage goes on to say that the Orcs wrestled him to the ground and that he was cutting the arms off of the Orcs as they clutched for him. I think that Hurin a combination of trolls and orcs that numbered 70, but not seventy trolls only.
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Old 11-02-2002, 12:12 PM   #18
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Sting

Maybe you're right. Maybe he only killed, say, 4 trolls and 66 orcs.

Lets not bring the guy down though, Hurin was a LEGEND.
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Old 11-02-2002, 12:35 PM   #19
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Who's bringing Hurin down? I offered an alternate interpretation of the text and in no way minimized Hurin's skill as a warrior or his feat at the Battle of Unnumbered tears.
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Old 11-02-2002, 03:16 PM   #20
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Sting

Has anyone read "Artemis Fowl" by Eoin Colfer. Sadly the Elves in his books are little people albeit little people with really kickass weaponry. It gives a really detailed not to mention humourous account of how hard it is to kill a troll. I mean Butler hit it with a mace between the shoulderblades, put two bullets in it's chest and three bullets between it's eyes and it still didn't die.

[ November 02, 2002: Message edited by: Dimaldaeon ]
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Old 11-03-2002, 10:34 AM   #21
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Sting

I never said anyone was bringing Hurin down. I thought maybe other readers might think that I was bringing him down by questioning his Troll-slaying ability.

Which I wasn't.
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Old 11-07-2002, 02:35 PM   #22
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Killing a troll is now sweat just jump on his shoulders grap an axe and chop his head in 2 pieces.
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Old 11-10-2002, 10:44 PM   #23
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Eye

I think the movie troll was too large.
In order for Hurin to kill a bunch of trolls with his axe, their necks would have to be low enough for him to lop their heads off. (I'm assuming that's how he killed most of them because an axe blow to the body wouldn't necessarily kill a troll and the axe wouldn't go all the way through, it would get stuck in the troll, and while Hurin was trying to get it out all the other trolls would grab him)
The Silmarilion says that Hurin was not as tall as other members of his family (father, brother, son), but he was from a great house of men, so let's guestimate that he was 6'3". Also, in order to chop off a head, the axe from butt to blade needs to be as close to level as possible, cause if it's sticking up in the air the blade wouldn't cut very deep (tell me if you don't get what I mean and I'll explain it). So if Hurin were to stand on his tip-toes and hold his hands above his head and do a nice swing with the axe pointed up at no more than 30 degrees, the highest the neck could be would be a little less than 7 and 1/2 feet, meaning that the troll's total height would be anywhere from 9 to 9 and 1/2 feet.
In the movie the troll is definitely more than three feet taller than Aragorn. And remember, Aragorn is supposed to be tall, so he's probably at least 6'3" (probably more).
Therefore, the movie troll was OVERDONE!!!
(though it made for an awesome fight sequence!!!)
Anybody with a great blade and enough strength to stab (or swing in the case of an axe) is capable of killing a troll.
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Old 11-13-2002, 04:35 PM   #24
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Sting

All you need is a good blade and any troll will fall, man-sized black troll or huge cave troll alike.
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Old 04-04-2004, 06:05 AM   #25
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Quote:
I don't think that Hurin actually killed seventy trolls.
Thank you, Timloth the Guest: exactly what I searched for this topic to say. Many of us have long thought "70 trolls... hmm, impressive... too impressive!" Well, it took me until my sixth reading of The Silmarillion but I too finally realise that Húrin did not kill 70 trolls. Operative bit of the passage is:
Quote:
... each time that he slew Húrin cried: "Aurë entuluva! Day shall come again!" Seventy times he uttered that cry...
Húrin killed 70 times. If he killed 70 trolls, that means he did not kill any orcs. We know that he hewed the arms off orcs who grappled him; it is very likely that he did kill some. How many orcs and how many trolls we may never know. Personally, I might guess at about a dozen trolls, which is still phenomenal! That way I get to keep my image of trolls as being pretty bad-@ss customers, for anybody; also that keeps it in the realm of believability.
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Old 04-04-2004, 07:59 AM   #26
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What's betting that Hurin, a qualified elf-friend and hero of the first age was himself in possession of a fantastically crafted and razor sharp blade? Surely he owned a master weapon, something so sharp and quick that while a load of trolls was a lot to kill, no lesser man could do simply because their blades would turn like Boromir's did. How old was Narsil again? Forged in the First Age by Telchar, well maybe a few of the great men of old had the sister-blades to the Sword of Elendil (which presumably was once the sword of Elros, who likely either received it from Cirdan or it was passed from his father Earendil down from the armory of Thingol himself - a noted dwarf-friend (until the incident of the Nauglamir and the Silmaril, naturally).

Anyway, we know Beren had a knife capable of shearing through the Iron Crown of Morgoth to retrieve a Silmaril, and we know there were great elf blades in those days as well, Orcrist, Glamdring, Sting. It seems likely that the blades can attribute quite a bit to how well somebody fights something like a troll.

Trolls were bred in mockery of Ents. Ents are made up of the 'bones of the Earth' as Treebeard said(I think), and can rip through stone. Trolls turned into stone when the sun came out . . . but I'd think they had a very 'stony' nature regardless, as like to a rock as an Ent is to a tree. (maybe in 'corrupting' Ents Morgoth fed them minerals but no good clean water, possibly some venomous black magic, who knows?). Anyway, stabbing a rock isn't all that easy. Even stabbing a tree is hard, for anyone who has ever tried to drive a knife into a good healthy tree, more than a majority of blades turn. Sting, on the other hand, slid into an oak beam with ease, and so too right into a Troll foot. I wouldn't doubt that it could probably puncture good metal armor with a well placed and strong blow. I wouldn't be sure about the stone doors and walls of Khazad-Dum, which are covered in warding runes and the like, and the same goes for other 'enchanted' blades, rune inscribed, but a good sharp blade of elder craftsmanship seems to be the key in killing large amounts of, or extra-powerful enemies. Even Pippin and Merry's barrow swords were of fine craftsmanship of a bygone era, and slew some tough adversaries.
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Old 04-04-2004, 10:16 AM   #27
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Perhaps they are alike to Dragons, not hard to kill if you know how. Dragons were Week in the under belly, Smoug and Glouring's deaths are good examples of how one could do so. Until I realised Frodo stabbed the foot of the troll I often assumed it was so.

But then you must realise that there are many types of Trolls, mountain, forest and Cave trolls. So perhaps some are easier to kill then others. The trolls that the Dwarves and Gandalf dared not fight were mountain Trolls, SO perhaps they were stronger and harder to kill. Plus I don’t think Gandalf could have taken on three Trolls at once on his own, even with his power and the ring he bore.

But then again, this is an area in which many are confused by what happens in those a cursed films, As in the book Frodo simple stabs at the feet and the troll retreats.
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Old 04-04-2004, 11:53 AM   #28
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Old 04-04-2004, 12:27 PM   #29
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Hookbill the Goomba is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Hookbill the Goomba is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Hookbill the Goomba is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Hookbill the Goomba is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Yes, that would explain a lot, except perhaps the incest! :s
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Old 04-04-2004, 01:01 PM   #30
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Let's stay on topic.
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Old 04-04-2004, 03:11 PM   #31
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Another possible explanation for the very tough hide of the Moria troll was offered at a movie blooper site. Remember, the chamber where they were fighting was dimly lit with reflected sunlight. The light was not very strong at all, but it may have been strong enough to harden the troll's skin just a bit.
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Old 04-04-2004, 03:23 PM   #32
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Sting Hurin and others

It was pippin who killed the Hill-troll at the morannon and easy way to remember this was he was talking about getting even with Merry slaying the witch-king.

Hurin is no elf-warrior he is from the race of men, better then Turin, best mortal fighter right there.

Ecthelion, however was an elf-lord and a great warrior, I don't know if he slayed 100 trolls but he did slay Gothmog. Balrogs are very strong creatures much stronger then trolls.

I read a comment on another thread "the balrog Gandalf fought was kind of a wimp."
Whoever thinks this is an idiot, the Balrog that Gandalf fight was the most powerful enemy save Sauron. Saruman might of been able to slay the balrog but thats debatable.
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Old 04-05-2004, 05:34 AM   #33
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Good point about Pippin, although he did have the advantage of not being noticed by the troll. He also had an ancient sword (probably made like Merry's in Cardolan), if he still had his barrow-blade.

Keeper is surely correct about the weapon making a large difference. But the incredibly powerful weapons of the First Age seem to have mainly belonged to the Eldar. The axe of Tuor and the sword of Túrin are mentioned, but Húrin is never explicitly credited with having a particularly special weapon.

Trolls were made in mockery of ents, and weaker (according to Treebeard, who might have been more than a little biased). I'd have to say that they probably weren't as tough as stone, as that would make them tougher than ents, in that department at least. Frodo's stab and Pippin's both point to the fact that their hides aren't all that difficult to pierce... but only if you happen to catch 'em napping. BUT... did Frodo really stab a troll, or a large orc-chieftain? Now you've got me confused...
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Old 04-05-2004, 08:44 AM   #34
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Frodo stabbed the Troll's foot whilst saying "FOR THE SHIRE" in Balins tomb.
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Old 04-05-2004, 10:44 AM   #35
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Actually, it doesn't say who the foot belonged to. However, it uses the word 'great' to describe the foot, and just a few lines before Gandalf uses the word 'great' to describe what he believes was a cave-troll. He merely uses 'large' for the Uruks. So I believe it is implied that Frodo did in fact stab the foot of the troll.

We should always remember that Treebeard doesn't know everything that he thinks he knows, to paraphrase Tolkien. He might be spouting gibberish about Trolls. Who knows? We cannot take Treebeard's words as truth, simply by virtue of their being Treebeard's words.
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Old 04-05-2004, 04:02 PM   #36
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Eek

I think we can take Treebeard as honest, after all his words made it into the text, and there aren't any other incidences of him being wholly wrong about things like that.

But anyway, I don't think goblins and orcs have huge, scaly, greenish (did it say green?) toeless hooves of feet. That and Boromir's sword never glanced off the skin of any other orc, and he swung it at many, many of them.

"The Hobbit's bite is deep, you have a good blade, Frodo, son of Drogo." That's what Aragorn said. He didn't merely 'stab at' the Troll's foot, he drove Sting in deep and when it went past possibly two inches of tough, scaly skin (I'd say almost like that of a crocodile). And Boromir was probably more than five times the strength of Frodo - I'd say the weapon mattered TOTALLY.

Granted, Hurin was one of the greatest men ever - but Hurin bore an axe and came out of the East of Beleriand - it's possible that axe was dwarf-made, and Dwarves weapons were possibly of greater craft (though less enchantment) than elven ones in those days (Narsil, anyone?). Also, Trolls being something of a subterranean creature it's likely that Dwarves had many more dealings with them and so the craft of the weapons reflected that knowledge. Couple that with a mighty swing from Hurin into the chest or head of a troll (and they were also lesser in size and strength in those days, yes), and it seems likely if he dropped his shield and only used the axe, that he was assailing them in the berserker style, charging them, using speed and surprise and not letting them have time to defend themselves. Trolls are after all big, dumb and slow, so the berserker attack would work better on them than on Orcs or other Men.

And also - Hurin was taken alive, it's likely he was under explicit orders to be captured alive, and that's why he wasn't killed during his huge exploit, so it's possible he did kill 70 Trolls, with how stupid they are and his attack.

The Troll Pippin killed . . . was a huge troll on the other hand, and a huge feat for one Hobbit, it was well armored and massive. His barrow-blade (and it was that blade), cut right into it's belly. The Numenoreans in Arnor lived close to the Troll-Shaws, and it's likely that many Trolls were in the employ of the Witch-King of Angmar, whose sorceries and servants those blades were warded against (possibly by the elves of Rivendell). Had he screamed "For the Shire!" and stabbed the Troll's foot, it's likely he would have gotten similar (though I doubt as much) results as Frodo.

That raises the question in my mind, as why the Defender of Minas Tirith and the heir to the seat of Stewards, descended in a long line from Mardil, who was distinctly of pure Numenorean descent, wasn't carrying a blade of that history (I speculate the very sword Denethor still wore girt around his waist was the "Blade of Mardil" or whatever - he wasn't ready to part with it yet). But that's another topic.
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Old 04-05-2004, 06:05 PM   #37
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Sting

Quote:
That raises the question in my mind, as why the Defender of Minas Tirith and the heir to the seat of Stewards, descended in a long line from Mardil, who was distinctly of pure Numenorean descent, wasn't carrying a blade of that history
Who's to say that Boromir's sword wasn't of that history, just because it wasn't mentioned, doesn't mean it wasn't true.

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I think we can take Treebeard as honest, after all his words made it into the text, and there aren't any other incidences of him being wholly wrong about things like that.
Treebeard wasn't lying, (ie. he was honest), but he didn't know everthing. Just because his words made it into the text doesn't mean they were true, just that he said them. In one of the letters, I think one refering to orcs, Tolkien says that Treebeard was wrong and didn't know everything.
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Old 04-20-2004, 03:25 PM   #38
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alright here are my ideas...

Mountain (cave) trolls as far as i know don't turn to stone, only the forest trolls do
(but i'm not sure on that one)

And am i the only one who thought the trolls in the movies were too small?
maybe i just have a big imagination.

Also i got the impression that forest trolls were as wide around the waiste as tree trunks

But then again, i have only read the hobbit, LOTR and half of sil
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Old 04-20-2004, 04:42 PM   #39
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The great Hurin...

My faith in the power of Hurin makes me believe that he was able to kill, if not 70 so at least plenty of trolls. I know I'm repeating others words but remember: they had orders to get him alive! And: he was the greatest warrior of men ever lived!

And can somebody please help me out: when did Ecthelion kill 100 trolls? (I'm too lazy to go trough the books right now and I can't remember that). At the fall of Gondolin??

By the way, has anyone seen the old cartoon movie? The fight in Moria in that one is more as I've imagined it when reading the books...
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Old 04-21-2004, 07:33 AM   #40
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Ecthelion

Ecthelion is rumoured to have killed 100 Trolls in one go. I don't have an exact source for this claim. I only heard it on another thread. Perhaps this tale is told in HoME or maybe it is not true.
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