Meet the characters
In my last post I was talking about the two characters I’m creating, Huldra and the troll. In this post I will talk more about their background and why I chose them instead of some of the other characters I had in mind when I first started planning.
She’s described in the lore as an incredibly beautiful woman, usually naked, with long golden hair and a cow’s tail. There are different lore about her depending on which Scandinavian country you’re in, but in the most common ones in Norway she would use her stunning looks to kidnap men and lure them to the underworld. It is also said that she would trick men to sleep with her and they wouldn’t know who she was before they saw her tail the next morning. Often she would have their child and then she would steal human infants only to replace them with her own ugly changelings.
In another lore she’s known as a forest warden and would give the huntsman good luck on his hunt. Although if he were to comment on her tail she would bring great misfortune and/or make him give up his sanity upon escaping her.
In the most gory ones she would abuse the men sexually and whether or not they could satisfy her, she would bring good fortune to them or kill them.
I put together a moodboard to inspire ideas for my own design:
The troll is not one creature in particular, but a whole race. There are many different kinds of trolls going all the way back to Norse mythology where they were called jotun/jøtul. The trolls are commonly described as very large creatures. They are often very old and although they resemble humans, they are typically extremely ugly, but not always. Because of their age and where they live, they adapt by letting trees and stone formations grow on them. They display great strength, but they lack intelligence and move slowly. They do not like humans unless they can kill them. Trolls prefer their own company and tend to reside inside giant caves in the mountains. The trolls cannot be exposed to sunlight or they will turn to stone, which sometimes is a part of the background story to why different mountains in Norway look the way they do.
They're known for having their 'own forests' and will kill humans in order to protect 'their land'. They're also found of shiny treasures which they would hide in their caves and they would kidnap pretty princesses to make them take care of housekeeping.
I put together a moodboard for the troll too:
Something I did for the troll and not Huldra was to create some silhouettes to easier find a look I liked:
Huldra and the troll are the two creatures I've decided to create and animate.
For my visual idea I wanted to create a lyktemann (will-o'-the-wisp) and Nøkken (The Neck, water spirit) as well as Huldra and the troll. I'm very glad I went with two instead of four, but I really liked the designs I created for the other two, so I'll take time when I'm done with my FYP to continue working on them.
I created moodboards and some concepts for Nøkken and the will-o'-the-wisp before I changed my plan:
I really enjoyed working on the silhouettes for Nøkken and I was looking forward to continue working on him. One of the reasons I didn't pick him is all the dangling stuff and the fact that he would look like this under water, but moving out of it he would change his shape til a beautiful man with a harp or a majestic white horse. Shapes he would use to trick people to move closer to the water in order to pull them under and drown them. It's actually a very cool character and I definitely will keep working on him at another time.
When creating the will-o'-the-wisp I kept picturing the one from Pixar's Brave. I got a bit caught up in that which is reflected in many of the concepts. I tried my best to create something different, but I didn't want to go too far away from that look either. It is after all supposed to be a dazzling light in the midst of the forest, usually in a fog and it will trick you to follow it into the mire where you would get stuck and drown. As shown in one of the photos at the bottom of the moodboard the will-o'-the-wisp is sometimes thought of as a human looking creature with a light or a lantern. You would only see the light and follow it and then by the time you got stuck in the mire the creature would wait til you died and then eat you.
Again a very cool creature, but for this project I wanted two creatures looking a bit more similar, but so different at the same time.
I think I've done the right choice with creating Huldra and the troll for now. I want to develop my knowledge of human anatomy and gain a better understanding of lightweight vs. heavyweight characters. I can then apply this to the creation of characters that are less human since I would know what traits to change or take away and which ones to keep and adapt.