The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
The only recorded encounter with a cave-troll was on 15 January III 30191
'Troll' is a word from Scandinavian myth, used as an English translation of the Sindarin torog, of uncertain derivation


About this entry:

  • Updated 26 May 2003
  • This entry is complete


Evil creatures of the underworld

A race of monstrous creatures found in caverns and dark places. They are known from an encounter with the Fellowship of the Ring as they passed through Moria, but were evidently found elsewhere in Middle-earth, too. These Trolls, along with orcs and perhaps other creatures, were originally sent to inhabit Moria by Sauron some five hundred years before the War of the Ring.

The cave-trolls of Moria were of huge size with a skin of dark green scales, and flat, toeless feet. The fact that Gandalf was able to recognise the creature he encountered in Moria specifically as a cave-troll strongly suggests that this appearance was shared by others of the kind.



The only definite mention Tolkien makes of a cave-troll is during the Fellowship's struggle to escape Moria on this date. It's fair to presume, though, that the cave-trolls originated with the others of their kind, probably even before the beginning of the First Age.

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