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Trolls are a humanoid race of aliens that appear in both Homestuck and Hiveswap, originating from the planet Alternia, which exists in a separate universe to Earth. In Homestuck, they were introduced at first as a group of twelve internet trolls, who often bothered the kids on Pesterchum before being revealed as literal trolls. These particular trolls are approximately the same age as the kids and are the protagonists of Hivebent, which is the first half of Act 5.

Trolls have grey skin and dark yellow eyes. Before maturity, they have dark grey irises, but these fill in with their respective blood colors as they ageSburb Logo. This has been shown with the CondesceSburb Logo, but Sollux, the Ψiioniic, and possibly Mituna are an exception in both regards. Trolls' tears are also the color of their blood, but in a more diluted fashion. Trolls also have pointed teeth, yellow nails, black lips, and black hair. Their most noticeable features are the horns sprouting from their heads, which resemble candy corn (i.e. red-orange bottoms, progressing gradually to yellow at the tips). Young trolls have first and last names with six letters each, while older trolls tend to acquire adult names or titles, typically with 8 letters, although there are exceptions, such as Troll Will Smith (5/4/5), Marquise Spinneret Mindfang (8/9/8), the Grand Highblood (5/9) and Expatriate Darkleer (10/8 when spelled without Mindfang's quirk). The 8 letter rule has been thought to not apply to Highbloods.

Each troll has a signSburb Logo, usually depicted on their clothing, which is assigned from an alphabet for each caste. Should mutation place a troll outside the caste system (such as Kankri and Karkat Vantas) they will usually lack a sign. Certain crimes could warrant stripping a troll of their signSburb Logo as part of the punishment.

In Homestuck the signs of the main trolls became the signs of the zodiac. Each troll's horns reflect their sign; for example, Tavros's (♉ - Taurus) horns are massive like a bull's, and Sollux (♊ - Gemini) has two pairs. Other qualities associated with the signs have also emerged, such as Nepeta's (♌- Leo) cat-like tendencies, Karkat's (♋ - Cancer) crabbiness and Kanaya's (♍ - Virgo) helpful, motherly nature.

For Hiveswap, Whatpumpkin has made over 250 signs to be used for the trolls. The full alphabet containing all released troll symbols can be found here.

Prior to the main events of Homestuck and Sburb, the Sgrub trolls pester Jade Harley for years and force 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 ill beatsSburb Logo that he blocks Dave, rather than the other way around. Eventually, the trolls inadvertently form a friendship with the kids.

The twelve main post-scratch trolls have online handles tied to the Greek zodiac and DNA nucleobases. 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 nucleobases of DNA.

Individual trollsEdit

Post-scratch/Alternian/Beta trollsEdit

Hiveswap trollsEdit

The main trolls featured in Hiveswap. While they aren't Sburb players, Hiveswap takes place on Alternia before the A2 session players were around. The other trolls can be seen here.

Pre-scratch/Beforan/Alpha trollsEdit

For the post-scratch versions of these characters, see Ancestors.

Canon fan trollsEdit

Trolls made canon via the Kickstarter campaign.

HistoryEdit

Pre-scratchEdit

BeforusEdit

Prior to the scratch, the trolls were a peaceful race, living on the ironically named planet Beforus, 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, Meenah Peixes, 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, inspired by the legacies of their Ancestors, played the game.

Beforan Sgrub sessionEdit

04989

A1 trolls just before their scratch

The pre-scratch trolls were unprepared for the difficulties of the game. A lack of leadership and the presence of sabotage, as well as copious amounts of romantic drama, caused them to fail their session. Unbeknownst to them, their session was affected by a glitch caused by Lord 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.

Post-scratchEdit

AlterniaEdit

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. As a result, Doc Scratch came into being. He shaped and manipulated the Alternian troll race into the warlike people they are, in order to mold the twelve kids into a group strong and cohesive enough to finish the game with ease. However, the twelve trolls who originally played the game would not be the ones to play it in the post-scratch session, but rather their Beforan ancestors would be the players, and they themselves would become their ancestors. After the initial events of the Sgrub session, the overwhelming majority of the trolls were killed by the Vast Glub, a psychic wave from Gl'bgolyb, a horrorterror-like creature that Doc Scratch provided to Alternia and was cared for by the heir apparent to the Alternian crown. The only survivors of the Vast Glub, besides the 12 troll players (barring Sollux's original body), are the Handmaid and the Condesce. The Handmaid later sacrifices herself to the Condesce, so that she can replace her as English's eternal servant.

Alternian Sgrub sessionEdit

02592

The Victory Platform as seen through an Aradiabot's video log.

The trolls complete 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.

Post-SgrubEdit

Half the trolls from the post-scratch Sgrub session die, all at the hands of each other, before they manage to take their meteor from The Veil into the Furthest Ring, where they meet up with two of the kids, Rose Lalonde and Dave Strider. They then begin a three year journey through the ring to get to the post-scratch kids' session. Aradia and Sollux choose to stay behind in the dream bubbles throughout the ring. During the journey they meet the ghosts of the pre-scratch Sgrub players, and see the destructive effects Lord English has had on the ring. They also learn that the Condesce, in English's service, took over post-scratch future Earth, and later entered the post-kids session and took over Derse. In the pre-retcon timeline, Gamzee Makara, who kept all of the dead trolls' bodies, attempted to revive all of them with sprites in the post-scratch kids' session, merging some of them together. Half the sprites created exploded from a conflict of personality, but Eridan and Equius managed to survive, albeit merged with Sollux's spirit and Lil' Hal respectively. In the post-retcon timeline, Vriska revived Tavros and Equius through sprites and later Jasprosesprite^2 prototyped Nepeta into a sprite as well, leaving Eridan and Feferi as the only fully deceased trolls in this timeline.

Kanaya succeeded at reviving the troll population in the kid's new universe. A number of them however are shown to be killed by an adult cherub. The universe is also the one where Caliborn is born, before he entered his own game session, and began spreading himself through time as Lord English. In an attempt to avert his existence, Aranea Serket, one of the pre-scratch trolls, revives herself with the Ring of Life, so as to take over the post-scratch kids' session and avert the creation of this universe. She fails at her goal and is killed by the Condesce, and ends up creating no more than a doomed timeline.

BiologyEdit

Adult trolls do not reproduce in person, instead supplying their genetic material to filial pails carried by Imperial Drones which are then 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, created by the strongest troll romances, rise to the top) and lays hundreds of thousands of eggs at once.

Wigglers

Slime and wigglers everywhere.

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 (although Sollux's wiggler eyes seem to be blue and red), while teenage trolls have grey irises. It can be assumed that this change is part of their drastic metamorphosis during pupation. These grey eyes later fill inSburb Logo with the troll's blood pigment as they get older. For unknown reasons, a number of wigglers are culled (and their blood can be used to make paintSburb Logo). After they pupate, the young troll with their 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 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 Alternian equivalent of a house. The building process is facilitated by carpenter droids left on the planet to cater to the young for building.

Due to their confusing procreation system it is unclear what the distinction between genders is, however differences in anatomy do exist as suggested by Tavros's responseSburb Logo to Dave referencing Terezi believing he was a girl, albeit suspiciously. (i DON'T CARE, aBOUT YOUR ANATOMICAL DETAILS, aND THINGS LIKE THAT,) They lack the concepts of homo- and heterosexuality, as most trolls are bisexual and offspring can be formed by pairings of any gender combination; as such any potential physical differences in genitalia and secondary sexual characteristic seem functionally cosmetic, except for perhaps in terms of the actual mechanics of coitus itself. Arquiusprite has impliedSburb Logo that trolls aren't able to lactate and that their breasts have a number of other significant biological purposes. Differences between the genders are also alluded to in Act 6 Intermission 3 by Porrim and Kankri, who mention (and argue about) gender equality. While Porrim claims gender plays a role in Beforun and Alternian civilization, Kankri says it is suspect at 6est and dismisses gender roles as pseud9science, which could mean Beforian trolls are unsure of the real role gender plays in their society. However, based on Porrim's seemingly incredulous response to Kankri's response, this may just be his personal opinion. In a discussion about reproduction Aranea stated that trolls reproduce bisexuallySburb Logo while humans reproduce heterosexually, making it clear that she was referring to biological sex instead of gender and stating almost conclusively that trolls have two distinct biological sexes. In a conversationSburb Logo Kanaya has with Jade, it is shown that trolls do have a concept of hermaphroditism, but it applies to livestock and not trolls themselves. If trolls did not have a term or concept of homo- and heterosexuality due to not having a sexual preference being the norm in their society, then they would not have created one for hermaphrodite if they also fell into this category. Further evidence for this can be found in how Kanaya finds it strange that humans can lactate yet are not hermaphrodites like the species found within the butler genus, and we know that female trolls do not produce milk because Arquiusprite has stated soSburb Logo. Ultimately, the matter remains inconclusive, and Hussie shows no signs of non-jokingly explaining the reproductive biology of trolls any further, although he has offered up vestigiality as a potential explanation for the different troll genders. The drones are shown to hold two separate buckets with a differing symbol on each arm, one specifically for kismesissitude, and one for matespritship, it can be determined that genetic materials are different depending on the pairing. In other words a matespritships and kismesissitudes could possibly result in the release of different gametes, resulting in this labelling on the drones.

Troll skeleton

A troll's skeleton.

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, torso pillar, and rumble spheres among others. Their functions are largely unclear, although some have quite obvious equivalents in human anatomy. Kanaya has mentionedSburb Logo Feferi's Collapsing And Expanding Bladder Based Aquatic Vascular System, which she uses in a cliche phrase where a human would normally say "heart". Based on Karkat's (apparently indecent) use of the terms in his various rants, the 'bulge' seems to serve a reproductive purpose, but this is not explicitly stated.

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 orange colorSburb Logo regardless of blood color, as the flesh of the eye is the same color as troll horns. Trolls, in Hussie's official artwork, do not have visible ears that are similar to human's (see Hussnasty Mode). However, as seen is the Vriskagram flash, the trolls do have elf-like ears, like how the fandom believes. The majority of the fandom also accept that seadwellers have webbed fin-like ears. Troll teeth are sharp, often protrude beyond the lips in a fang-like manner, and usually grow backSburb Logoafter being knocked out, a trait displayed by both Equius andSburb Logo GamzeeSburb Logo. The appearance of the set of teeth can vary from troll to troll too, with some having completely even teeth, to others having bigger teeth in the upper or lower jaws. Some trolls also have big canines, like Kanaya and Vriska, with the rest being rather small. Apparently higher castes have sharper teeth.

Many biological troll qualities seem to relate to their place on the hemospectrum.  A troll's lifespan, for example, increases with their place on the spectrum- 'burgundy' bloods, the lowest caste, seem to live for only a dozen or two sweepsSburb Logo, while higher castes potentially have lifespans stretching for centuries. The Condesce, as a fuschia blood, has a stated lifespan of potentially hundreds of thousands of years. In addition, the higher castes seem to have more physical strength, while lower castes tend to have powerful psychic abilities, although castes higher on the spectrum may also display significant psychic abilities and immunity to mindcontrol.

It is speculated by some that trolls' horns serve as erogenous zones (they are not made of bone, as shown by the troll skeleton above), but the only canon basis is Karkat's claimSburb Logo 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 Karkat states thatSburb Logo it must be hard for Sollux to use his hands on EVERY MUTATED SET OF GENITALS PEPPERING THAT GHASTLY HUSK YOU PAWN OFF AS A BODY.

All trolls have naturally gray tongues, black lips and yellow nails. Exceptions to the black lips and hair exist as Aradia's lips and eyelashes are naturally red as shown by her ancestor as a grub hereSburb Logo. Eridan's hair streak is also shown to be natural as he is portrayed with the hair streak as a grub.

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.

Trolls of different blood hues have been hinted by MindfangSburb Logo (and later by Kankri in Openbound) to have different standard body temperatures, with lowbloods having higher temperatures, and highbloods having lower temperatures. This probably alludes to blue being associated with cold, and red with warmth.

RelationshipsEdit

Main article: Quadrants

Relationships amongst trolls are built around hate and pity and are really, really confusingSburb Logo. 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 are said to have the same word for "friend" and "enemy", although what this means exactly is unknown, as trolls are always shown speaking English.

CultureEdit

Through Scratch's manipulation, 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 Karkat for imposing an unnatural restraint over a group that should've been at each other's throats.

According to one of Andrew Hussie's Tumblr posts, 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. As such, an Heiress may enforce the rule of law on the planet in the absence of the Empress, prior to her periodic return to kill off such challengers before they can threaten her ultimate rule, although the degree to which individual Heiresses tend to or are required to do this is unknown. While Feferi as Heiress in Homestuck was not seen at that point to be actively exerting much control over planet, during Hiveswap's time period Heiress Trizza Tethis enforced a strict and active authoritarian rule and maintained a cult of personality around her.

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 deadSburb Logo. 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 recuperacoons 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. Gamzee Makara is shown to eat sopor slime and make it into pie.

Blood and CasteEdit

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 the hemospectrum and serves as the basis of a complex caste system.

Sport and recreation Edit

While it is unknown if this is still the case of adult trolls elsewhere in the interstellar empire, recreation is an important part of the lives of young trolls on the Homeworld. Many activities are combative and dangerous, continuing the Alternian tradition of brutality that ensures that the species in its post-Scratch incarnation remains ruthless and warlike. In Homestuck, many trolls are shown to engage in extensive Flarp campaigns, which can often result in injury and death. Furthermore, the popular stadium sport of Arena Stickball, as introduced in Hiveswap, incorporates player deaths into its gameplay tactics. Beyond these, other potentially less hazardous pastimes exist. Tavros is a fan of a mixed media card game known as Fiduspawn, which involves battling monsters that hatch out of balls. Despite employing real ravenous beasts in its gameplay, this is seen as a somewhat juvenile pastime. Video games also exist on Alternia, usually delivered in the form of biological game storage media known as "game grubs"; a magazine of the same name also exists, paralleling Game Bro on Earth.

Other forms of media on Alternia include various other magazine publications (such as Arena Stickball Illustrated), television broadcasts (many of which contain imperial propaganda, particularly of the Heiress), and film. Movies on Alternia typically have very long and highly specifically descriptive names, as the medium has existed for so long that shorter film titles have all been previously taken. Some of these can seemingly be watched more conventional discs, the most common standard of which is hexagonal, whereas circular discs are a luxury reserved for more well-off trolls.

Some trolls produce music as a hobby; Xefros and Dammek's two-troll band The Grubbels are an example of this. Their particular brand of music has a distinct subversive revolutionary streak (which it goes without saying is a highly dangerous subtext to engage in).

Eating habitsEdit

Not much is known about Troll eating habits. Nepeta says hereSburb Logo that she hunts "great beasts," presumably lususes, and eats them. This is possibly not the norm, however; in Hiveswap, trolls are shown to consume packaged food stored in a thermal hull (refrigerator) in a similar manner to humans, rather than hunting for their food in the wild, although their food is often somewhat esoteric. A feature of troll cuisine frequently referenced in Homestuck is a sauce known as grub sauce, which is described as being similar to mayonaisse in character.

TechnologyEdit

Sollux at Computer

Sollux surrounded by Alternian computer equipment.

Troll technology is highly advanced compared to the technology of Earth, particularly in the fields of robotics, biotechnology and interstellar warfare, with carpenter droids capable of constructing housesSburb Logo, combat-capable robotsSburb Logo, interstellar warshipsSburb Logo and battlemechsSburb Logo. Trolls rely heavily on organic technology, particularly as alternatives to electronics, such as husktops, game grubsSburb Logo, beehouse mainframesSburb Logo, recuperacoonsSburb Logo and thermal hullsSburb Logo, which are often filled with green slime.

TriviaEdit

  • 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. Limebloods would fit between Olivebloods and Goldbloods, i.e. Karkat's position on the spectrum.
  • 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 turn into stone when exposed to daylight, mirroring the fact that only jadebloods are able to stand exposed in Alternian sun. In addition, trolls are sometimes considered to be a subset of fairies; the winged god tier forms may be an allusion to this.
  • Andrew Hussie has confirmed in a twitter post that a troll has landed on Earth and then was Eaten by a Norwegian Earth Troll in 901AD. The Norwegian Troll got indigestion.
  • The fact that some trolls live underwater could be a reference to the fact that in a few traditional fairy tales trolls are known to live under bridges, which would usually cross over a river or some other body of water.
  • 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. He stated that clues in text point to this: the A2 trolls were all 6 sweeps old when they began Sgrub (the same is presumed to hold for the A1 trolls), and the A1 trolls' session was mentioned to last 3 sweeps; 6+3 sweeps = 9 sweeps, or about 19 years.
  • All of the dancestors of the pre-scratch female trolls with long hair have short hair and vice versa. Damara and Meenah could be considered exceptions, however they both have most of their hair above the shoulders. That makes it seem somewhat shorter.
  • There are 48 signs in the troll zodiac as stated by Karkat in this memoSburb Logo.
    • This is further referencing Andrew Hussie's [link needed] multiple satirical comments on the Trolls' universe being created from a session of 48 squiddles.

See alsoEdit

TheOrbs

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