Fremont Troll

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Fremont Troll
The Troll
ArtistSteve Badanes
Will Martin
Donna Walter
Ross Whitehead
Year1990 (1990)
Dimensions5.5 m (18 ft)
CoordinatesCoordinates: 47°39′03″N 122°20′50″W / 47.650955°N 122.34728°W / 47.650955; -122.34728 (Fremont Troll)
OwnerCity of Seattle

The Fremont Troll (also known as The Troll, or the Troll Under the Bridge) is a public sculpture in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, Washington in the United States.


Sign for "Troll Avenue"

The Troll is a mixed media colossal statue, located on N. 36th Street at Troll Avenue N., under the north end of the George Washington Memorial Bridge (also known as the Aurora Bridge). It is clutching an actual Volkswagen Beetle, as if it had just swiped it from the roadway above. The vehicle has a California license plate.[1] Originally, the car held a time capsule, including a plaster bust of Elvis Presley, which was stolen when the sculpture was vandalized.[2][3]

The Troll is 18 ft (5.5 m) high, weighs 13,000 lb (5,900 kg), and is made of steel rebar, wire, and concrete.[4]

Artists and inspiration[edit]

The Troll was sculpted by four local artists: Steve Badanes, Will Martin, Donna Walter, and Ross Whitehead. The idea of a troll living under a bridge is derived from the Scandinavian (Norwegian) folklore.

The artists have copyright to the Troll images. They have sued businesses that use its image commercially without written permission.[5] Postcards, beer, and other products approved by the artists are commercially available, and use is free to non-profit organizations.[6]


Plaque for the sculpture

In 1990, the Fremont Arts Council launched an art competition whose partial goal was to rehabilitate the area under the bridge, which was "becoming a dumping ground and haven for drug dealers".[6] The piece, built later that same year, won the competition.

In 2005, the segment of Aurora Avenue North under the bridge, running downhill from the Troll to North 34th Street was renamed "Troll Avenue" in honor of the sculpture.[7] In 2011 the Fremont Arts Council licensed a Chia Pet based on the Fremont Troll that was sold at a local drug store chain.[8] In 2016, the Chicago rock band Majungas released "The Fremont Troll" off their Seattle Rock album.[9][10] Starting in 2017, the seventh season of Once Upon a Time heavily featured a replica of the troll, providing it a backstory that includes references to the book "The BFG".[11]


  1. ^ Kirby, Doug. "The Fremont Troll, Seattle, Washington". Roadside America. Roadside America (book series). Archived from the original on 2011-04-12. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
  2. ^ Golden, Hallie (2019-06-04). "How the Fremont Troll became a symbol of creative resilience in a tech boomtown". Curbed Seattle. Retrieved 2020-10-01.
  3. ^ Henderson, Diedtra (February 22, 1991). "Hideous Times For Fremont Troll -- Vandals Damaging Under-Bridge Sculpture | The Seattle Times". Retrieved 2020-10-01.
  4. ^ Allen, Rebeccah (January 4, 2011). "Sculptural Seattle". The Orange County Register. Santa Ana, CA: Terry Horne. ISSN 0886-4934. OCLC 12199155. Archived from the original on 2011-01-22. Retrieved March 20, 2011.
  5. ^ "A Toll For The Troll; Artists Sue Business For Using Sculpture". The Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington: William Stacey Cowles. August 16, 1996. p. 13. ISSN 1064-7317. OCLC 11102610. Retrieved March 20, 2011.
  6. ^ a b "Fremont Troll". Fremont Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on 2011-04-12. Retrieved 2011-02-18.
  7. ^ Gilmore, Susan (July 9, 2005). "Street may be rechristened for Fremont Troll". The Seattle Times. Seattle, Washington: Frank A. Blethen. ISSN 0745-9696. OCLC 9198928. Archived from the original on 2011-04-12. Retrieved March 20, 2011.
  8. ^ "The Fremont Troll becomes a Chia pet". Seattle's Big Blog. 2011-10-19. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  9. ^ Harms, Shane (April 19, 2016). "Chicago band releases songs inspired by Ballard and Fremont". Ballard News Tribune.
  10. ^ Kirby, Lindsay. "Majungas Sing A Song For The Fremont Troll". Retrieved May 7, 2016.
  11. ^ Mangione, Nick (March 24, 2018), "Once Upon a Time Builds Fun Lore Around a Seattle Landmark",, archived from the original on August 2, 2019, retrieved August 2, 2019

External links[edit]