Netflix’s Norwegian film ‘Troll’ follows the titular giant creature, which threatens the lives of Oslo residents, forcing the Norwegian government to evacuate the entire city. To stop and defeat the creature, a paleontologist named Nora Tidemann join hands with Andreas Isaksen and Captain Kristoffer Holm. Nora, who leads the efforts to prevent the troll from destroying the city, eventually unravels the history of the creature to fight the same. Directed by Roar Uthaug, the monster film is an intriguing genre film that reminds us of ‘Godzilla’ and ‘King Kong’ films. If you are wondering whether the troll is in any way connected to Godzilla or King Kong, you are at the right place!
Are Trolls Related to Godzilla or King Kong?
Godzilla and King Kong are two fictional monstrous creatures that changed the history of cinema significantly. It isn’t a wonder that any “monster” that gets featured in any film is compared to the startling sea monster and gorilla-like creature. However, as far as the origins of the three creatures are concerned, trolls aren’t directly related to Godzilla and King Kong and the Scandinavian entity even predates the two other monsters. The troll in Uthaug’s film is based on the entity mentioned in Nordic folktales and mythological texts, which are thousands of years old, compared to Godzilla (first appeared in 1954) and King Kong (first appeared in 1933).
In Nordic folklore, trolls are giant creatures that live in mountains and forests. They often live as family units and even interact with human beings, as per selected folktales. According to revered French philologist and medievalist Claude Lecouteux’s book ‘Encyclopedia of Norse and Germanic Folklore, Mythology, and Magic,’ trolls are malevolent entities who turn into stones when exposed to sunlight. Godzilla and King Kong do not have a history of over a thousand years. The former was created by Tomoyuki Tanaka, Ishirō Honda, and Eiji Tsuburaya reportedly as a metaphor for nuclear weapons.
Godzilla was conceived as a prehistoric sea monster, whose awakening is the result of nuclear radiation. Akira Watanabe, the art director who played a significant part in designing the creature, was inspired by the features of the T-Rex (Tyrannosaurus), Stegosaurus, and alligators to conceive Godzilla. The similarities between a troll and Godzilla can be limited to their gigantic physicality, destructive qualities, and distinctive roars. While trolls eat humans, Godzilla doesn’t. Godzilla is arguably the most modern monster creature since it symbolizes the wrath and aftermath of nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, trolls can be seen as one of the most ancient ones.
King Kong was conceived by Merian C. Cooper, who co-directed the first ever ‘King Kong’ film. Cooper was inspired by the real-life gorillas and their “half man, half beast” appearance to create the renowned monster. As per reports, it was Cooper’s desire to make a “terror gorilla picture” became the foundation of ‘King Kong.’ However, there are several similarities between King Kong and the troll Uthaug created with his screenwriter Espen Aukan. In a pivotal scene, the troll fights several helicopters, reminding us of the iconic King Kong scene that depicts the monster fighting airplanes.
In 1930, as per James Van Hise’s ‘Hot Blooded Dinosaur Movies,’ Cooper described King Kong in a memo that read, “His [King Kong’s] hands and feet have the size and strength of steam shovels; his girth is that of a steam boiler. This is a monster with the strength of a hundred men. But more terrifying is the head—a nightmare head with bloodshot eyes and jagged teeth set under a thick mat of hair, a face half-beast half-human.” Cooper’s descriptions of Kong interestingly match the troll Uthaug and Aukan conceived for their film.
Read More: Troll 2: Will There be a Sequel?