Tag Archives: troll

The Survival of Paganism in Iceland

When Icelanders converted to Christianity after the decision of þorgeier the Lawgiver at the þing in 999, they allowed for private worship of pagan beliefs; public worship was reserved for Christianity. This view south from Starmyri, in the East of Iceland…


… shows just what remains of that decision, as it has worked itself out over 1,000 years +. The trolls are still watching out to sea! They’re not public, of course. That’s reserved for the separation into logical categories that is the Christian legacy, and yet there they are, only remaining in the land, where the Norse settlers placed them, after they brought them with them. Only 4% of Icelanders profess a belief in the other people, the Huldúfolk, but privately, well, that’s another matter. You simply can’t help it. That’s quite the story of survival!

Trolls and Invasive Species

Icelanders started playing around with imported North American lupines a couple generations go, to try to stop erosion. The things do stop the land from blowing away, and they are mighty beautiful, for sure, but they’re also a bone of contention, as they change the colour palette of the landscape profoundly and reduce the number of species that can thrive. Nonetheless, it remains an uncertain tradeoff, with some people planting lupines and others tearing them out. One of the species that doesn’t mind is the Icelandic Troll. Here’s one who seems to be thriving among the beautiful weeds.

Strutágil