Hilda is the titular protagonist of the award-winning British graphic novel series, the British-Canadian Netflix-exclusive television series, and the novelization of the animated series. She, along with her pet deer-fox Twig, her mother Johanna, and her friends from the city of Trolberg as well as a little elf named Alfur and its surroundings, embarks in a multitude of supernatural adventures, encountering a diverse cast of magical creatures inspired by Scandinavian folklore. She is voiced by Bella Ramsey, who is best known for her role as Lyanna Mormont in the HBO Fantasy Series Game of Thrones in the final season.
Hilda is a young girl who is 11 years old.
She sports blue hair, making her stand out from the rest of the human cast. Her typical outfit, which she wears both indoors and outdoors, consists of a black beret; a yellow scarf; a red sweater with yellow cuffs; a blue skirt, which is of the same signature blue as her hair; black leggings and red rain boots.
She also often has a brown, sling knapsack, in which she carries various items, including her sketch book and a pencil.
In all incarnations of the franchise, Hilda is an extremely adventurous and fearless girl. She loves to draw in her sketchbook and is very kind to nature. She is shown not to get scared easily by monsters and can outrun and outsmart them.
Hilda is sometimes rude but is usually a very generous girl. Her rude side is played up more in the graphic novels, where she is known to frequently argue with her mother or to easily get annoyed when things don't go her way. She is also more prone to mischief in the graphic novels (like taking her role of pretending to be injured for first aid practice of the Sparrow Scouts too far, or going on secret adventures without her mother knowing).
In "Chapter 6: The Nightmare Spirit", it is revealed that there is one thing that frightens her; riding a bike, something she never learned. This was used against her by David's Marra. In the graphic novels, this fear is never brought up, but in the novelization it is turned into a subplot for "Hilda and the Nowhere Space"; early in the book, Hilda comes up with various excuses for not having to use her bike (including that she doesn't want it to get dirty). Then she encounters the Marra, who just like in the animated series uses this fear against her for a nightmare. After this encounter, she tries her best to overcome her fear and slowly succeeds. By the end of the book, she has mastered to ride a bike, and is thrilled by the thought of all the places she can go to now.
Hilda hates having to disappoint people, especially her friends or her mother.
Hilda lives with her mother, Johanna. While the two of them can argue from time to time (though notably more so in the graphic novels than the animated series), they love each other deeply. No other relatives of her have been seen so far, though she does mention her grandfather (graphic novels)/great-grandfather (animated series) once when discussing the location of her house in the middle of an Elf Village.
While still living in the wilderness, Hilda befriended the elf Alfur. Thanks to him, she could sign the proper paperwork to finally see the Elves. In the animated series and novelization, Alfur went with Hilda when she moved to Trolberg so he could report on city life, and continued to be of great help to her there. In the graphic novels, he stayed behind in the wilderness.
Once in Trolberg, Hilda became friends with both David and Frida. Her friendship with the two is notably further fleshed out in the animated series and novelization than in the original graphic novels, where they were only minor characters. Just like Frida, she looks out for David and tries to help him overcome his fears.
From when she was a baby up until the start of the series, Hilda lived with just her mother in a house in the wilderness. Growing up there made her quite adventurous.
Her peaceful life ended however when the Elves decided to have the two humans evicted from the valley. Thankfully, one elf, Alfur came to her aid and helped Hilda meet both the Elf Prime Minister and Elf King to try and settle the conflict. At the same time, Hilda met the giant Jorgen, who was looking for his missing friend. Hilda eventually managed to get the two together again when it turned out the mountain next to her house was the giant Jorgen was waiting for. Sadly, Jorgen accidentally destroyed Hilda's house, just when she managed to arrange a truce with the king, forcing her and her mom to move to Trolberg.
In Trolberg, Hilda and Johanna moved into a new house. After an adventure in which she met The Great Raven, Hilda joined the Sparrow Scouts and made her first human friends; David and Frida. During their first badge challenge, for which they had to clean up and improve a section of Trolberg Park, the three friends accidentally dug up some sleeping Vittra, mistaking them for weeds, and had to rescue them from getting ground to mulch.
Living in Trolberg also meant Hilda had to go to school for the first time. She had at first quite some trouble adapting, which lead to friction between her and her teacher Mrs. Hallgrim, who considered her to be disruptive. Incidents included; Hilda asking a question without raising her hand and at the wrong time (namely a history related question during science class), refusing to participate in a troll drill since the procedure (duck under a desk, similar to an earthquake drill) wouldn't help during an actual troll attack, and making a philosophical question that addresses a math problem involving apples after school was already over and her classmates had left. During Parent's Night at The Ahlberg School however, Hilda proved her true value when she helped save the school from an angry Troll by returning the Troll's baby (that David had accidentally brought with him as part of his rock collection). After this, Mrs. Hallgrim warmed up to her.
When David became the victim of a Marra that kept giving him nightmares, Hilda helped him out by trading places with him and making a deal with the Marra that she would leave David alone if she could endure the nightmares the Marra came up with. While Hilda proved difficult to scare, the Marra eventually found something to use against her; her inability to ride a bike. David, not wanting Hilda to make this sacrifice for him, and offered to take the Marra back. This fortunately caused the Marra to lose interest in them both. After this, Hilda asked her friends to help her learn to ride a bike.
In "Chapter 7: The Lost Clan", Hilda, Frida and David discovered the long lost Bragga Family of Elves living in Trolberg City Park when Hilda suggested they should try to find a rare Blue Nettle for their botany badge. David was taken hostage by them, forcing Hilda and Frida to ask Alfur for help (With Frida first signing the paperwork so she could see Elves). Alfur told the two girls about the ancient conflict that lead to the Bragga being banished from the northern counties and tried to end their exile with a new contract, only to learn the Bragga had sworn off all forms of paperwork. Instead, they demanded that Alfur would settle the old conflict by combat. Hilda agreed to this and even offered to help Alfur fight, but Frida interfered and suggested to find a solution that could benefit everybody. At her request, Alfur, Hilda and Frida sought out a Lindworm and had her destroy the contract; the only way to render any Elf contract void. Thus, the exile of the Bragga was ended.
In "Chapter 8: The Tide Mice", she successfully auditions for the Warblers, and becomes a singer in the choir. She also discovered a hidden section in the Library, where she found a spellbook with a ritual for summoning Tide Mice. She used this to give David (who likewise wanted to join the Warblers, but kept failing his auditions) and Johanna (who had to take a job at the hardware store due to lack of any assignments) some luck. It worked, but she failed to properly read the entire section and thus didn't realize the Tide Mice would eventually give David and Johanna's souls to her. Thanks to Frida and Alfur, she discovered her mistake and was able to reverse it with a counter-ritual, which she had to perform during a concert of the Warblers.
In "Chapter 9: The Ghost", she became Frida's campaign manager when Frida tried to run for class president. That same episode, she and David discovered Frida's secret; she is not as perfect and neat as she appears. Her bedroom was always tidy because a ghost, Craigie Williams, cleaned it for her. When he stopped doing so since his, and Frida's favourite book went missing, Frida's room quickly became a pig pen. This shattered Frida's confidence. Determined to help her friend, Hilda (with the unwilling help of David) tracked down Craigie Williams, who suspected his sister Engilbjort had taken the book. The three kids fought her for it but lost. Hilda was able to make Engilbjort surrender the book by preventing her from going back into her grave at sunrise, only to discover the book she had taken was not the one they had been looking for. This made Hilda feel like she failed Frida as a friend. She tried again to lift Frida's spirits, but the girl angrily lashed out at her and David. This was too much, even for Hilda, and she left embittered, her friendship with Frida severely strained.
In "Chapter 10: The Storm", a severe snow storm struck Trolberg. During the storm, the weather broadcast by Hilda's favourite meteorologist Victoria Van Gale was interrupted, causing Hilda to think her hero was in trouble. Along with David and the Great Raven, she visited Victoria at the Trolberg Weather Station. There, she learned Victoria had managed to make a weather machine and had accidentally lured dozens of Weather Spirits to Trolberg, which were causing the storm with their arguments. Hilda convinced Victoria to try and use her machine to blow the storm away from Trolberg and Victoria agreed, but it failed and her machines overheated. Out of other options, Hilda and the Raven confronted the arguing Weather Spirits, with Hilda offering to moderate their debate. She succeeded in getting them to calm down, thus saving the city from getting completely covered in snow. Back at the Weather Station, David informed her of the truth; Victoria had captured a baby Weather Spirit. This shattered Hilda's image of her idol, and she proclaimed Victoria to be a mad scientist.
When the baby's father attacked the weather station, Hilda freed the baby. As the father and child reunited, the entire building was destroyed, but Hilda was fortunately saved because the adult Weather Spirit carried her outside. She fell off her however and ended up in the woods far away from Trolberg. Here she met the Wood Man again, who was playing cards with four Elves and a Forest Giant and asked for his help to return to Trolberg. She also had an elf named Barch send her mother a message by email to tell her she was fine. The Wood Man first deliberately lost Hilda to the giant so she could help him reclaim some of his stuff from the Giant's tree. After escaping the giant, the two of them ended up in a magical house that tried to keep them, prisoners, while simultaneously giving them everything they wanted. Alfur, Twig and the Great Raven also ended up here and got trapped as well, until Hilda figured out how to overload the house by asking for too many things at once. The house then created a doorway back to Hilda's house in Trolberg, allowing the five friends to escape.
As the end of the year approached, Hilda got quite nervous about the fact that she had not earned any Sparrow Scouts badges, and was afraid to tell this to her mom. Around the same time, she and David tried to reconcile with Frida, who had made a new friend named Kelly, and Hilda met a homeless Nisse named Tontu, whom she tried to help find a new house. She first invited him to come and live in her home, but this led to a violent fight between Tontu and another Nisse who already lived in Hilda's house. The fight resulted in Johanna banishing Tontu.
During the end-of-year camp of the Sparrow Scouts, David and Hilda met Tontu again in the Huldrawood. When they tried to bring him some snacks that night, they came across the Marra and discovered Frida was now with them (since Kelly was also a Marra). When The Black Hound] that had been stalking Trolberg for some time now also showed up, and Kelly tried to use Frida as bait for the beast so she herself could escape, Hilda rescued Frida. This finally restored their friendship. Frida even promised to help find Tontu and to help Hilda get at least one badge before the ceremony. This, unfortunately, failed again since Hilda got distracted while looking for Tontu, with the only silver lining that she eventually found him.
During the badge ceremony, the Black Hound showed up again, as it turned out it knew how to use Nowhere Space, the place where Nisse usually live. Hilda only escaped thanks to Tontu. The Hound chased the two throughout Nowhere Space, back to Hilda's house. There, the other Nisse came to their aid and discovered the Hound was none other than his old pet Jellybean. Realizing that the hound was not evil, just lost and scared, Hilda convinced her mom to help lure him out of the city before the Trolberg Safety Patrol could capture him. The plan almost failed when Jellybean jumped onto Johanna's car, causing it to go out of control, but the two Nisse saved everybody by briefly transporting the car into the Nowhere Space of the outside world.
At the end of season 1, Johanna gave Hilda a homemade badge to make up for her not having any proper ones and apologized for pushing her so hard to earn badges. Tontu came to live with Hilda in her home.
In the graphic novels "Hildafolk" through "Hilda and the Black Hound", Hilda's life is in many ways identical to the animated series; like her befriending Alfur and Jorgen, being forced to move to Trolberg after her house is destroyed, meeting the Great Raven, joining the Sparrow Scouts but failing to get any badges the first year, and meeting Tontu.
However, the events depicted in "Chapter 4" to "Chapter 11" of the animated series never happen in the graphic novels, and there are some notable differences between the two continuities. In the graphic novels, Alfur never moved with her to Trolberg, and Hilda had less trouble adapting to Trolberg, being eager to go explore the city while Johanna was reluctant to let her explore the city on her own. She is also less fequently seen with her friends David and Frida than in the animated series. In the graphic novels, Hilda is more prone to getting lost, whether she is in the wilderness or Trolberg. In "Hilda and the Bird Parade", she admitted to her mom she actually liked being lost.
In "Hilda and the Stone Forest", Hilda frequently goes on adventures without her mothers knowing, and uses various excuses to cover them up. She is finally caught by Johanna after secretly taking Frida for a flight with the Great Raven, and grounded for the first time in her life. When she was still grounded on the night of the Bird Parade, she tried to blackmail Tontu into letting her into Nowhere Space, but Johanna caught her in the act. In the struggle that followed mother and daughter were send to the Stone Forest. Here, they had to work together to escape the various trolls and other dangers, but got unexpected help from a female troll and her child Baba. With their help, and that of the Great Raven, they were able to escape and return to Trolberg, where Hilda decided she had enough adventures for now.
The troll however had seen how Johanna cared for Hilda, and used a changeling spell to make her daughter and Hilda swap places. Hilda thus became a troll, living in the stone forest. While she enjoyed her new freedom and the powers that came with being a troll, she longed back for her old life. A troll named Trundle promised to help her if she would find a way to release him from the cave he had been trapped in, and to retrieve a red orb for him from the ruins of the castle of the Mountain King. Hilda did as asked. When both Hilda and the now human Baba were reunited with their real mothers, the spell was lifted and they became their old selves again. Only now did Hilda find out Trundle had tricked her; he was the mountain king, and now that he was free and had his eye (the red orb) back, he planned to attack Trolberg and wake up Amma, the mother of all Trolls. Trundle was killed in a confrontation with the Trolberg Safety Patrol, and Hilda was able to convince them not to harm the other trolls since that would wake up Amma. After the adventure, Hilda and the trolls remained in contact, with Baba sometimes visiting Hilda's house, and Hilda sometimes going out into the wilderness with Baba and her mom.
In the Hilda Tie-In Series, which adapts Chapters 1 - 7 and 11 - 13, Hilda's role is largely identical to the animated series, except the adventures happen in a different order. Rather than the subplot of Frida breaking up her friendship with Hilda following the loss of her book, it happens due to the adventure with the Bragga Family and the Lindworm, and Hilda is able to restore their friendship by apologizing to Frida for dragging her into the danger.
- Voice actress Bella Ramsey has also been a part of Game Of Thrones and The Worst Witch.
- Luke Pearson has stated that Hilda's father is 'somewhere, just not a part of Hilda’s life at this time'.
- So far, Hilda has not yet been turned into a Troll in the animated series.
- Her last name is unknown.
- In tie-in book "Hilda and The Great Parade", Hilda was taught to swim and learned how to hold her breath as long as possible by Johanna every summer at a pond near their old cabin in the wilderness. This potentially explains why she is confident to swim from the city to Cauldron Island in Season 1 Chapter 7 in the Netflix series.