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  • The Bridge
    by greentown at 14:47 on 07 July 2012
    This should probably go in The Lounge where people are a bit more relaxed... but I like to post in the public areas when I can.

    Anyway, Inspiration and Ideas seemed like the most appropriate forum.

    Has anyone seen the most recent BBC Scandi import The Bridge?

    I taped this when it was on TV recently and have only just got round to watching it... what an amazing show and very inspiring. Dark and foreboding and really captures the cool, dampness of the Scandinavian climate at that time of year.

    If I had to find any fault with it, it would be that every character was potentially a suspect until the last couple of episodes and I felt I expended a lot of effort into trying to identify the baddie only for them to pull an unkown lad out of the bag at the end.

    It did feel like a great idea that became confused and then had to be rapidly tied up at the end. I got a sense of Lost, which was also, so I've read, being made up - on the hoof, so to speak.

    I did think the cinematography/photography was of outstanding quality, really bringing the landscape alive.

    Has anybody been to the location of The Bridge?

    It makes the Scandi countries seem very appealing.

    If I had the chance, I would definitely consider living there, even if only on a temporary basis.

    Has anybody else watched The Bridge or been inspired by other TV series?

  • Re: The Bridge
    by greentown at 12:26 on 11 July 2012
    As a general rule, what would be called a "troll" in Norway would in Denmark and Sweden be a "giant" (jætte or jätte, related to jötunn/jotunn in Jotunheimen/Norway).

    The second tradition is most prominent in southern Scandinavia. What would be called trolls in southern Sweden and Denmark would be called huldrefolk in Norway and vitterfolk in northern Sweden.

    These trolls have a human-like appearance. Sometimes they had a tail hidden in their clothing, but even that is not a definite. Many of these trolls had a single lock of hair that no human could comb, whereas the rest was generally messy. A frequent way of telling a human-looking troll in folklore is to look at what it is wearing: Troll women in particular were often too elegantly dressed to be human women moving around in the forest. They could attract human males to do their bidding, or simply as mates or pets. Later these would be found wandering, decades later, with no memory of what had happened to them in a troll woman's care.

    More often than not, though, the trolls kept themselves invisible, and then they could travel on the winds, or sneak into human homes. Sometimes you could only hear them speak, shout and make noise, or the sound of their cattle. Similarly, if you were out in the forest and smelled food cooking, you knew you were near a troll dwelling. The trolls were also great shapeshifters, taking shapes of objects or animals like cats and dogs. A fairly frequent notion is that the trolls liked to appear as rolling balls of synthetic fibres.

    Whereas the large, cruel trolls often appear as a solitary being, the "small" trolls were thought to be social beings who lived together, much like humans except out in the forest. They kept animals, cooked and baked, were excellent at crafts and held great feasts. Like many other species in Scandinavian folklore, they were said to reside in underground complexes, accessible from underneath large boulders in the forests or in the mountains. These boulders could be raised upon pillars of gold. In their living quarters, they hoard gold and treasures. Opinion varied as to whether or not the trolls were thoroughly bad or not, but often they treated people as they were treated. Trolls could cause great harm if vindictive or playful, though. Trolls were also great thieves, and liked to steal from the food that the farmers had stored. They could enter the homes invisibly during feasts and eat from the plates so that there was not enough food, or spoil the making of beer and bread so that it failed or did not end up plentiful enough.

    The trolls sometimes abducted people to live as slaves or at least prisoners among them. These poor souls were known as bergtagna ("those taken to/by the mountain"), which also is the Scandinavian word for having been spirited away. To be bergtagen does not only refer to the disappearance of the person, but also that upon returning, he or she has been struck with insanity or apathy caused by the trolls. Anyone could be taken by the trolls, even cattle, but at the greatest risk were women who had given birth but not yet been taken back to the church.

    Occasionally, the trolls would even steal a new-born baby, leaving their own offspring in return.

    To protect oneselfs of the trolls and keep them away you could always trust in Christianity: Church bells, a cross or even words like "Jesus" or "Christ" would work against them. Like other Scandinavian folklore creatures they also feared iron. Apart from that they were hunted by Thor, one of the last to remain of the old Norse mythology. He threw Mjolnir, his hammer, causing lightning bolts to kill Trolls. Though Mjolnir was supposed to return to Thor after throwing, the imprints of his hammer could later be found in the earth (actually Stone Age axes) and be used as protective talismans.