What is a country without their folklore, music, old time stories and culture? Iceland might be a small, not too populated country but it bursts with myths, legends and folklore not many people in the country are able to deny. It is not about numbers; it is about connecting our world to the magic it has got within. Iceland does not only have its feet well set on the real world, the invisible is also present every single day. The country’s culture has opened tiny doors that from time to time lead us to unravel our wildest imagination. Would it be possible those doors allowed trolls and elves in Iceland to mingle with us?
In many countries, magical creatures not yet verified have become almost a national symbol. So it happened with Nessie, who wandered secretly in the cold waters of Loch Ness. And probably most of us have also hear about The Yeti, the abominable Snowman. A huge part of the folklore of Nepal that crossed borders. So what about our own country? Well, Trolls and Elves in Iceland are the most prominent not- verified unseen creatures out there!
Where do all these mythical creatures come from then? It all goes back to the old Viking era, when the first settlers came to the island and made this place their home. Besides their family, they brought along their own believes and culture. Not only did the Vikings had great stores about their Gods and Goddesses, other magical creatures had their own place too. Among them, we could find:
Trolls: cruel and mean creatures, yet incredibly stupid. Vikings believe they dwell in the mountains or under the bridges. It is a bit unclear what were the purpose of these magical creatures. They can come in any size, shape and some can be quite ugly. Usually live together in small groups of families. Forget about getting anything good from them. They are not helpful or kind to human beings.
Elves: If trolls were ugly, nasty and mean, elves are the opposite. They are shiny, brilliant and kind creatures usually linked to the Nordic gods. They can cause harm to the human beings but they also have the key and power of healing. This might be the reason why they have been worshipped for centuries. They live in tiny houses in the rocks.
These tales about magical trolls and elves date back to the 10th B.C. It stayed through medieval Scandinavian and Icelandic literature. And as many have confirmed, survived the Christianization of the country.
Currently there are many people that claim to have seen them. In the Elves School of Iceland, there are compiled files about encounters of Icelanders and these creatures. Even the government tends to respect their abode out in the nature. People can ask for advises and look for guide to what they consider a higher power. I do consider everybody in Iceland love elves! But do not upset them if you do not want them to trick you. But there are also other people that do not strictly believe in them as magical creatures. They think they are just a representation of the good (elves) or bad (trolls) that can happen in life.
So, is there an answer to the question regarding people believing in trolls and elves in Iceland? Yes, we can indeed affirm many people do believe in them nowadays, some do not and some others are right in the middle.
Do People Really Believe In Trolls And Elves In Iceland?
In my opinion, the key is not if we Icelanders believe in trolls and elves or if we do not. I think it is an important piece of our own legacy, our own history wrapped up in the shape of magical stories. A tale we pass down to our children that represents everything we are as a nation. All of this, generation after generation, will preserve and maintain what we are as Scandinavian people.