The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Location
From Far Harad in the distant south
Race
Men, possibly with Troll blood
Division
Culture
Other names

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  • Updated 14 March 2010
  • This entry is complete

Half-trolls

Ferocious enemies out of the South

Encyclopedia of Arda Timeline
Years of the Trees First Age Second Age Third Age Fourth Age and Beyond
"...out of Far Harad black men like half-trolls with white eyes and red tongues."
The Return of the King V 6
The Battle of the Pelennor Fields

An uncertain term which may refer to beings who were literally half-troll and half-Man, or may simply be a simile used to suggest that certain troops of the Haradrim were truly huge and terrifying, while not actually being any more than Men.

The term 'half-trolls' only appears in the single citation given above, and purely on that basis, it appears that Tolkien is using the term more for literary effect than to imply some kind of cross-bred being. However, later in the same chapter there's a direct reference to 'troll-men', apparently the equivalent to 'half-trolls', which strengthens the possibility that these people actually did carry troll blood.

Neither half-trolls nor troll-men are mentioned outside these two rather indefinite references, so ultimately it's impossible to be sure whether there really were literal half-trolls in Middle-earth. It seems at least as likely that the Men of Far Harad were simply so huge and ferocious that they could meaningfully be compared to trolls.


See also...

Troll-men

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