Trolls are a race of aliens in Homestuck from the planet Alternia, which exists in a separate universe. They were introduced as a group of twelve internet trolls, who often bothered the kids on Pesterchum, before being revealed as literal trolls. They are the protagonists of Hivebent, the first half of Act 5.
They are humanoid and approximately the same age as the kids. They have gray skin, sunken orange eyes with gray irises (according to Vriska, these fill in with the troll's blood pigment as they age Sollux and The Ψiioniic being an exception in both regards), pointed teeth, yellow nails, black lips, and black hair. Their most noticeable features are the horns sprouting from their heads, which resemble candy corn. All known trolls have first and last names with six letters each.,
Each troll is connected to one of the signs of the Zodiac. Each wears a shirt depicting his or her associated sign. Each troll's horns reflect their sign; for example, Tavros' (♉) horns are massive like a bull's, and Sollux (♊) has two pairs. Other qualities associated with Zodiac signs have also emerged, such as Nepeta's (♌) cat-like tendencies, Karkat's (♋) crabbiness and Kanaya's (♍) helpful, motherly nature.
The trolls have been pestering Jade Harley for years now and have even forced John to change his Pesterchum handle. Some of the trolls are very bad at trolling; Tavros becomes so freaked out with Dave's
sick fantasies that he blocks Dave, rather than the other way around. Eventually, the trolls inadvertently form a friendship with the kids.
The trolls have online handles tied to the Greek zodiac and DNA nucleotides. Adding their abbreviated trolltags to GG, GT, TG, and TT makes the 16 possible two-letter names from the letters A, C, G, and T, the four nucleotides of DNA.
- For the post-scratch versions of these characters, see Ancestors.
Prior to the Scratch the trolls were a peaceful race, with no need for constant violence and war. The species had a caste system where the higher caste trolls would aid and care for the lower (and more populous) castes. The heiress to the Beforan throne ran away from her duties and hid on the moon where she found a game. Just before the destruction of their race, she and eleven other trolls, with their Ancestors' legacies inspiring them, played the game. However their culture left them unable to handle the difficulty of the game.
Pre-Scratch Sgrub session
The pre-Scratch trolls were unprepared for the difficulties of the game. A lack of leadership and the presence of sabotage caused them to fail their session. Unbeknownst to them, their session was affected by a glitch caused by Lrd English that had rendered the session unwinnable by preventing them from being born in their session. After three sweeps (6½ years) in the null session, some of them sought the advice of Echidna, the mother of all monsters, who gave the trolls a choice: they could either do nothing, and doom their race to extinction, or they could have a second chance to complete the game. They chose the latter, and thus activated the Scratch, completely resetting the parameters of their universe, becoming the ancestors in the new incarnation of their universe. Before completing the Scratch, Meenah, on the advice of the Horrorterrors, killed them all using a bomb with the same appearance as the Tumor, allowing them to continue existing as ghosts within the dream bubbles.
After the Scratch the twenty four trolls arrived in different time periods of their planet's history than before to live out new lives with no memory of their previous roles. However as a result, Doc Scratch came into being. He shaped and manipulated the troll race into the warlike people they are, in order to shape the twelve kids into a group who would be able to finish the game with ease. However, the twelve trolls who originally played the game would not be the ones to play it again, but rather their Ancestors would be the players, and they themselves would be the Ancestors.
Post-Scratch Sgrub session
The trolls have completed their Sgrub session, originally starting as two teams of six players, which soon turned out to be both parts of the same chain of 12 players. The trolls at first began to question the nature of their two-team structure when the Red Team's prototyping began to affect the Blue Team's enemies and vice versa. Then, because of a Mobius Double Reacharound, the two chains turned out to be joined together all along; therefore, one Prospit and Derse, one Skaia, one pair of kings and queens, etc. exist in their Incipisphere. However, they have two Frog Temples for an unknown reason (however, Vriska mentions that the two teams may have been set up because Skaia was anticipating the trolls killing each other).
Through a combination of luck, strategy, and level grinding, the trolls are able to defeat their Black King and reach the end of the game, creating the kids' universe in the process. However, before they can leave the Incipisphere and enter our universe, thus winning the game, they are interrupted by the trans-universal rift that led Jack Noir to their session. They are forced to abscond to The Veil when the version of Jack Noir from the kids' session attacks them. There, the trolls use their equipment to talk to the kids at any point in the timeline, even years before the story begins.
It is interesting to note that while the trolls are quick to draw attention to the kids' supposed mistakes in the game, they themselves needlessly powered up their enemies and thus their final boss, the Black King, by prototyping their Kernelsprites with exceptionally dangerous creatures - the worst of which being Gl'Bgolyb.
Adult trolls supply their genetic material to the filial pails carried by Imperial Drones which are offered to the monstrous Mother Grub deep underground in the brooding caverns. She then combines all the genetic material into one diabolical incestuous slurry (where the more dominant gene combinations rise to the top) and lays hundreds of thousands of eggs at once.
The eggs hatch into young larval trolls, known as wigglers, which wriggle about to locate a cozy stalactite from which to spin their cocoons. Curiously a wiggler's eye color is the same as their blood color, while teenage trolls have grey irises. It can be assumed that this change is part of their drastic metamorphosis during pupation. For unknown reasons, a number of wigglers are culled (and their blood lusus naturae. This creature becomes the troll's custodian, behaving as a lifelong bodyguard, caretaker, and visceral sort of mentor, while the young troll must learn to function as a sort of zookeeper. Together, they surface and choose a location to build a hive. The building process is facilitated by carpenter droids left on the planet to cater to the young for building.). After they pupate, the young troll with his or her newfound limbs undergoes a series of dangerous trials. If they survive, they are chosen by a member of the diverse and terrifying subterranean monster population native to Alternia, frightening beasts known as a
Due to their confusing procreation system it is unclear whether or not trolls have a specific sex, if they all share the same sex, or are hermaphroditic. In the two latter cases their gender would be more defined by the outer appearance and personality. As previously mentioned, their unique procreation system, as well as the absence of concepts of homo- and heterosexuality suggest a hermaphroditic race (or a race that has evolved past such trivial issues), and inversely the presence of secondary sexual characteristics imply (but do not guarantee) sexual dimorphism. Ultimately, the matter remains inconclusive, and Hussie shows no signs of explaining the reproductive biology of trolls any further.
Features of troll anatomy include the bone bulge, stem, nook, cartilage nub, lobe stem, chitinous windhole, protein chute, squawk blister, auricular sponge clots, think pan, autoerogenous shame globe, ganderbulbs, hear ducts, and rumble spheres among others. Their functions are largely unclear although some have quite obvious equivalents in human anatomy. Kanaya has Feferi's "collapsing and expanding bladder based aquatic vascular system", which she uses in a cliche phrase where a human would normally say "heart". When the Handmaid receives an electric shock we can also see that trolls have a very human looking skeleton. When troll eyes are bloodshot, they appear as an regardless of blood color, as the flesh of the eye is the same color as troll horns.
All trolls have naturally black lips and yellow nails. It is speculated by some that trolls' horns serve as erogenous zones (despite their portrayal as being made of inflexible bone, such as when Tavrosgetting solid shuteye because of his), but the only canon basis is Karkat's that it would be typical Gamzee behavior to fondle his horns, and even this instance has the alternative explanations of mere reference to Gamzee's semi-constant state of glassy surrealism, or the horns being Gamzee's actual honking devices. However, in this it must be hard for Sollux to use his hands on "every mutated set of genitals peppering that ghastly husk you call a body."
Presumably the aquatic trolls with high-caste blood have a different physiology than other trolls, which allows them to live underwater and accounts for the finned, gill-like structures seen on either side of Feferi's and Eridan's jaws. The troll aristocracy uses human terminology for things that lower-class trolls identify with something more descriptive but less clear to us humans - for example, a red-blood troll's "ablution trap" is a "bathtub" to a blue-blood; this may be a reference to U and non-U English. As such, there's probably a similar parallel for troll anatomy - chitinous windhole and protein chute, for example, may correspond to the windpipe and esophagus, respectively.
- Main article: Quadrants
Relationships amongst trolls are built around hate and pity and are. There are four quadrants of troll romance: matesprit (♥), the closest to human romance; moirail (♦), or "fated friend"; kismesis (♠), or "fated nemesis"; and auspistice (♣), which involves three people - essentially, two rivals and their mediator. Trolls have the same word for "friend" and "enemy."
The trolls of Alternia are a nocturnal, aggressive and war-like race. Trolls are keen on such things as galactic conquest, legislaceration, subjugglation, the arbitrary execution of children, and kangaroo courts. The kids' only real contact with trolls is a group of twelve juveniles, but through them they begin to see that the trolls can also display friendship, kindness, and cooperation.
They come to understand that despite their dire circumstances, trolls are just as understandable and capable of virtue as the humans are. The group is not altogether free from the fighting and murder that were commonplace on their home planet, however. Vriska believes that this was in the cards to begin with, and blames their leader for imposing an unnatural restraint over a group that should've been at each other's throats.
According to one of Andrew Hussie's , the trolls' lusus gurgles some incoherent blabber, and the closest six-letter first and last names are assigned to the trolls. The 12 trolls featured in Hivebent, however, are actually all paradox clones, as Karkat Vantas performed the same sort of ectobiology as John did in the kids' session. Because of the troll mating and reproductive process, an ordinary human household cleaning bucket is seen as something obscene, the trolls reacting as though the kids had left pornographic material lying out in the open when one is spotted.
The vast majority of adult trolls are off-planet, serving some role in the forces of ongoing imperial conquest, besieging other star systems in the name of Alternian glory. The culture and civilization on the homeworld is maintained almost entirely by the young. Trolls are challenged from birth to prove their strength, having to conquer many trials before acquiring a lusus, and ensure the race stays at its peak. They are jaded towards violence and for the most part unsentimental about individual lives. They do not bury their dead. A number of the trolls exhibit similar behavior and characteristics to their lusus; Karkat is irritable and defensive, Tavros is sensitive and completely harmless, Nepeta is a deadly predator but happy and cute, and Vriska is a danger to everyone around her.
Trolls sleep within recuperacoon filled with sopor slime. Sopor slime is a slime that is helpful during sleep but should not be eaten. The slime helps ease the terrible visions of blood and carnage that plague the dark subconscious of their species.
Blood and Caste
- Main article: Hemospectrum
Trolls can have many different blood colors, ranging from dark red to tyrian purple, covering nearly all of the rainbow's colors. This is referred to as hemospectrum and serves as the basis of a complex caste system.
- In a trailer for Etrian Odyssey III, the characters' names for Advanced Character Creation were named Terezi, Kanaya, Gamzee, Equius and Karkat, a blatant reference to the trolls of the same names. It's also worth noting that in the previous shot, the 'Zodiac' subclass had been chosen.
- With the exception of Karkat and, correspondingly, Cancer, the order of the trolls on the hemospectrum is the same as the order in which the zodiac signs cycle, i.e. Aries, Taurus, Gemini, (Cancer), Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. In addition, this is exactly the same order of the trolls' trolltags on the ChumpRoll from top to bottom, as well as the transportalizers to each troll's section of the lab, shown in Alterniabound, with Aradia's sign beginning the cycle near the 11 o'clock position.
- After being asked if he was going to introduce another 12 trolls, Andrew jokingly declared all of the fantrolls canon. All of them. Yes, even the shitty ones.
- Seemingly coincidentally, the trolls bear a strong resemblance to the Dremora from the Elder Scrolls video game series. Both races have grey skin, yellow eyes, shaggy black hair, and horns, both reside in a caste-based warrior society in another dimension, and both make use of the Daedric Alphabet.
- In real-world mythology, trolls are often said to turn into stone when exposed to daylight, mirroring the fact that only jade-bloods are able to stand exposed in Alternian sun. In addition, trolls are sometimes considered to be a subset of fairies.
- The name Andrew Hussie would qualify as a troll name, since it consists of two names each six letters long.
- Hussie practically confirmed on his twitter that all of the A1 Trolls were 19 years old at the time of their death.