Trolls are a species of bipedal primates that are believed to be descended from Homo Habilis, and have the ability to Step.[1][2] They communicate with ultrasonics between themselves but can sing in frequencies audible for the human ear.

They can learn any songs a human will sing to them and will be able to sing a song pitch perfect after only hearing it once. Those songs serve as a shared-memory that is passed on from troll to troll. The song can last about ten minutes and is referred as the short call but it also can last a month, referred as the long call.[3]

The people of Happy Landings found out that the trolls get nervous around big human communities, the limit being one thousand, eight hundred and ninety humans. Past this limit, the trolls will simply go away and only comeback after the population dropped under this limit.[2]

Like most of the stepping humanoids, trolls are not found beyond the Gap.[4]


They are described to have chimp faces, and black, hairy body with a wide chest, a big head and enormous hands the size of tennis rackets.[1]

They used stone blades and sharpened sticks as weapons when hunting animals.[5]

The Long Earth

In Happy Landings, humans have been living alongside trolls for centuries with the trolls helping them with manual labor like carrying heavy loads.


Rendition of Joshua's first encounter with trolls - Created by DSonla

Before Step Day and Lobsang and Joshua Valienté's journey, only few people, like Sally Linsay knew about their existence (except rare incidents like with Private Percy Blakeney who lived several decades with trolls and thought they were Russians).

Sally, fond of the trolls, soon noticed, fifteen years after Step Day, that the trolls were migrating East for an unknown reason.[6] In order to find the reason behind it, she seeked Lobsang and Joshua's help and embarked on the Mark Twain.

It was later discovered that the trolls were feeling a mental pressure, a migraine, coming from the West and that it was caused by a living organism called First Person Singular.[2][7]

Lobsang, in order to prevent the creature to reach Datum Earth, merged with it and diverted her course.[8]

The Long War

In 2040, trolls had become an ever-present in the stepwise worlds colonized by mankind. They are willing and clever workers who help tend to clear fields, build schoolhouse, help in sheep farms like in stepwise Australias and even work in the assembly lines of factories in some Low Earth Americas.[9]

But as mankind spread across the Long Earth, incidents between humans and trolls began to happen more and more often. One of the most iconic incident was when Mary, a troll female residing at the GapSpace facility, killed one of the GapSpace researchers who tried to force her to give away her cub.[10]

This incident, among others, prompted Sally Linsay to reach out to Joshua Valienté and ask him to go in front of the Congress on Datum Earth to ask for the creation of a protection law for trolls.[11][12]

Joshua, accompanied by Bill Chambers, met up with Senator Starling but failed to convince him to intervene in favor of the trolls.[9]

While Maggie Kauffman, aboard the USS Benjamin Franklin, was solving more and more incidents involving trolls as much as she could, in June 2040, the trolls, swapping information with the long call, finally reached the decision to leave the worlds with humans in it.[13]

This is why Lobsang summoned Joshua to Madison West 10, to a transEarth Institute facility, where he asked him to go find Sally and Monica Jansson, who disappeared with Mary and Ham, find the trolls and convince them to give mankind a second chance.[14]

The trolls were eventually found on Earth West 1,617,524, the beagles homeworld, and there Joshua and Bill unpacked a translator box looking like a tablet that with a message part human and part troll where a hologram of Lobsang apologized in the name of mankind.[15]

By September 2040, the trolls started to come back and show up across the Long Earth and Senator Starling claimed that he was a supporter of the trolls all along.[16]

The Long Mars

According to Maggie Kauffman's observations of the family of trolls she kept aboard the USS Benjamin Franklin and now aboard the USS Neil A. Armstrong II, trolls could sense danger coming well before humans could respond, like the imminence of Jokers.


The Long Earth - Joshua meets the trolls

The Long Earth - Joshua meets the trolls


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Long Earth - Chapter 20
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The Long Earth - Chapter 39
  3. The Long Earth - Chapter 38
  4. The Long Mars - Chapter 14
  5. The Long Cosmos - Chapter 1
  6. The Long Earth - Chapter 36
  7. The Long Earth - Chapter 48
  8. The Long Earth - Chapter 49
  9. 9.0 9.1 The Long War - Chapter 24
  10. The Long War - Chapter 1
  11. The Long War - Chapter 2
  12. The Long War - Chapter 3
  13. The Long War - Chapter 35
  14. The Long War - Chapter 36
  15. The Long War - Chapter 65
  16. The Long War - Chapter 68
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