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Trolls are a humanoid 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. These particular trolls are approximately the same age as the kids and are the protagonists of Hivebent, the first half of Act 5.

They have gray skin, orange eyes with gray irises (according to Vriska, these fill in with the troll's blood pigment as they ageSburb Logo, this has been shown with the CondesceSburb Logo, but Sollux and the Ψiioniic are 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. 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 (9/8 when spelled without Mindfang's quirk).

Each troll has a signSburb Logo, usually depicted on their shirt, which is assigned from an alphabet for each caste, should mutation place a troll outside the caste system they will usually lack a sign. Certain crimes could include 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' (♉) horns are massive like a bull's, and Sollux (♊) has two pairs. Other qualities associated with the 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 ill beatsSburb Logo 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 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

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.

Homestuck Adventure Game trollsEdit

Trolls featured in the Homestuck Adventure Game. Names are currently unknown.


HistoryEdit

Pre-scratchEdit

BeforusEdit

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.

Beforan Sgrub sessionEdit

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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 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. 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. Eventually nearly all the trolls die from the Vast Glub, a psychic wave from Feferi's lusus, a Horrorterror-like creature that Doc Scratch provided to the planet. The only survivors, besides the 12 trolls 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

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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.

Post-SgrubEdit

Half the trolls from the post-scratch Sgrub session die, all at the hands 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. 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.

When they arrive in the new session, they find out the Condesce plans on using the session to create a new universe where she will repopulate the trolls outside of her brutal master's reach. Its been seen that, the universe created by the session does in fact have trolls in it, implying either the Condesce, or Kanaya who also plans on reviving them, succeeded. A number of them however are shown to be killed by Caliborn and Calliope's father. 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.

BiologyEdit

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.

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, 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 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, if any, the distinction between genders is aside from outward appearance. They lack the concepts of homo- and heterosexuality as most trolls are bi- or pansexual and offspring can be formed by pairings of any gender combination. This possibly relegates any potential physical differences in genitalia and secondary sexual characteristic as 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 siginificant 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 even trolls are unsure of the real role gender plays. However, this may just be Kankri's personal opinion. It is also possible that all trolls are genetically a singular sex if Mother Grubs supply gametic material during conception, thus are equivalently the other sex ((troll1+troll2)+grub), instead of merely a home for the gestation of already fertilized zygotes (troll1+troll2; grub incubates). However this only operates under the assumption that either Mother Grubs are of the same species as trolls, or that trolls only exist as a continual hybridization. Ultimately, the matter remains inconclusive, and Hussie shows no signs of non-jokingly explaining the reproductive biology of trolls any further. However 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, 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". 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). Troll teeth are sharp and carnivorous, often protrude beyond the lips in a fang-like manner, and usually grow backSburb Logo, a trait displayed by both Equius andSburb Logo GamzeeSburb Logo.

All trolls have naturally black lips and yellow nails. 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.

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 to have different standard body temperatures, with lowbloods having higher temperatures, and highbloods having lower temperatures.

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 have the same word for "friend" and "enemy."

CultureEdit

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

TechnologyEdit

Sollux at Computer

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

See alsoEdit


TheOrbs

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