Trolls of Middle-earth ~ Origins of the Troll ~ Stone-trolls ~ Hill-trolls ~ Snow-trolls ~ Cave-trolls ~ Mountain-trolls ~ Olog-hai
“Trolls, as you probably know, must be underground before dawn,
or they go back to the stuff of the mountains they are made of, and never move again.”
The Hobbit C2
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The creatures known as Stone-trolls were the smallest and most man-like of the Troll species. Unlike the other creatures spawned in the pits of Angband, who dreaded the light of day, Stone-trolls actually turned to stone under the direct light of the sun. There were fewer of these trolls than the other variances of these creatures. It is likely these trolls were one of Morgoth’s first attempts at creating this new Servant of Shadow and would have been deemed a failure, because under the direct light of the sun these monsters returned to the stuff of the earth.
It is this author’s belief that they were cast aside as ineffectual and left to their own devices by the Dark Lord Morgoth and so most if not all were absent during the War of Wrath, and so escaped the doom that so many of Morgoth’s servants suffered. Considering the liability of sunlight to their wellbeing, it is nothing short of a miracle that any of these Trolls survived into the Third Age. However, we know that at least three did so, because they are featured in several parts of the Red Book of Westmarch. Were these last of the Stone-trolls? Perhaps, but we do know that these particular Trolls known at Tom, Bert and William, met their fate by the trickery of Gandalf the Grey in the year 2941 of the Third Age of Middle-earth. Though the lands may now have changed, you might one day be walking in a far corner of the woods and see three large stone shapes standing still as stone in the forest.
At that time, Stone-trolls were said to have inhabited the lands West of the Misty Mountains, troubling the unwary traveler. Whether because of these three Trolls or maybe because there more in this region, the hills just west of the Misty Mountains along the old East-west Road was known as the Trollshaws in the latter years of the Third Age.
Trolls were said to have hidden under bridges or camped along the road said, laying in wait for travelers heading East to the Misty Mountains or West to the lands of Bree and the Shire. These Trolls would often hide out during the day in caves, where they hoarded plunder and food taken from their victums.
The Stone-trolls though dull witted, were intelligent enough to used a debased version of the Common Tongue spoken in the West of Middle-earth. Though they were slow and lumbering, the Stone Trolls were very strong and dangerous to the unwary adventurer upon the road. They would steal all that you had and eat you for dinner, gnawing on your bones until nothing remained.