Troll-man

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The troll-men of Far Harad are a fictional race (or a subset of a race) from J. R. R. Tolkien's epic fantasy book, The Lord of the Rings.

In the third volume, The Return of the King, Tolkien makes a passing reference to "black men like half-trolls" fighting in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields:

"...Easterlings with axes, and Variags of Khand, Southrons in scarlet, and out of Far Harad black men like half-trolls with white eyes and red tongues."

He later mentions "troll-men" as being amongst those driven off by the knights of Dol Amroth.

"...East rode the knights of Dol Amroth driving the enemy before them: troll-men and Variags and orcs that hated the sunlight."

It is commonly assumed by readers that these two references apply to the same group, though there are of course exceptions. There is disagreement on whether they were just large Men who are being compared to Trolls, and thus another group of Southrons (Haradrim), or some sort of crossbreed between the two races. Supporters of the latter interpretation point to the similar terms "half-orcs" and "goblin-men", appearing in the same book (chiefly in the second volume, The Two Towers), and "Orc-men" and "Man-orcs", appearing in later writings (published in Morgoth's Ring) — all applied to the products of Sauron and Saruman's Orc-Man breeding programs. (The interpretation of these terms as referring to specific "breeds", especially with the Uruk-hai, who had Mannish blood, is another source of disagreement.)

According to M2TW submod Third Age: "Perhaps the most strange of all [the Haradrim] are the Troll Men of Far Harad. Emerging from the southernmost expanses of Harad's desert and jungle regions they appear to the Gondorians as living legends come to haunt them. Arriving from unknown lands with unknown motives the Troll-Men fight with great ferocity that seems completely undeterred by their lack of amour or sophisticated weapons. Being perfectly adapted to life in the most in hospitable of deserts their strength and endurance are considerable and Troll-Men require little sophistication to be an effective fighting force. Their frightening, at times almost deformed, appearance and seemingly scorched skin is what earns the Troll-Men their name though none, save the Haradrim, know their true origin or nature. Whether they are a product of exotic climate, or dark sorcery, Troll-Men represent a deadly threat on the battlefield.

In other media[edit]

In The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game, the Half-Trolls are "Mahûd men" of Far Harad who were altered to the size and strength of the Olog-hai of Sauron. During the end of the Third Age, when Sauron was destroyed, their powers diminished and they too fell into darkness. This information is not canonical.

In The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II, the Goblin faction has the option to build Half Troll Marauders. In a later expansion pack Half Troll Swordsmen were also made available. This information is also not canonical.

In the Middle-earth Role Playing Game, the Half-Trolls are crossbreeds of Trolls and Southrons or Variags while the darker more southern Haradrim are a separate mannish sub-group. This information is as well not canonical.

In Medieval II Total War: mod : Third Age : Troll Men are depicted as fierce muscular warriors of Harad with swarthy skin carrying short thick swords and large shields made of animal hide. The shields patterns are either a snake (symbol of Haradrim) or a simple straw weave design. Their swords are metal with bronze or copper hilts. The swords are either spiked with one prong, or two pronged. They are also depicted with leather head caps stitched with four short protruding black horns. Whether the horns belong to the troll men or are part of the cap is unknown. On their chest they either have red war paint in a spiral shape or a necklace strung with animals teeth. Their clothing consists of mainly a cloth kilt around their waist and many have cloth vambraces on their arms. The troll men in this game are simply muscular dark skinned men, not a half breed of troll. This information is not canonical.