This article is about one of the books from the Hilda series of graphic novels.
You may be looking for the Netflix-exclusive television series of the same name.
The book, particularly Hilda's encounter with a troll, was adapted for chapter 1 of the animated series.
The graphic novel consists of two smaller stories and some additional material.
The story begins at Hilda’s house in the wilderness. When she hears on the radio that it’s going to rain that night, she asks her mom for permission to sleep outside in the tent. She forgets to close the door however and thus the Wood Man gets into the house to warm himself at the fire place.
That night, while in the tent, Hilda enjoys the rain, until something outside startles her. She first fears it’s a monster, but it was just her deer fox Twig. She lets him in and dries him off. The following day, after breakfast, Hilda decides to go up the hill to do some drawing. The Wood Man drops by again, to Hilda’s annoyance.
In the wilderness, Hilda and Twig encounter some Woff, and a lost sea spirit. Eventually, they come across a troll rock and Hilda stops to draw it. Just in case, she has Twig tie a bell to the troll’s nose. After making some drawings, Hilda falls asleep and when she wakes up, it had started snowing and sunset is near. Realizing the troll will wake up soon, she and Twig flee, but in their hurry, they get lost. They encounter a forest giant, who is also lost. They are saved, however, when they stumble upon the Wood Man’s house, and the Wood Man brings them home.
That night, the troll shows up at Hilda’s house, with the bell still attached to his nose. Wood Man warns Hilda that trolls cannot stand the sound of bells, and that it is considered rather cruel to tie a bell to a troll. Hilda faces her fears to go outside and help the troll remove the bell, since he can’t do it himself. With help of Twig, she succeeds. Afterward, the Troll picks Hilda up and it looks like he is going to eat her, but instead he spits out Hilda’s sketch book, which she forgot up the hill. The troll leaves, and it had start to rain again so Hilda spends another night in the tent.
The Wood Man
In this two page story, the Wood Man sits down on some rocks and decides to stay there forever to admire the world. No matter what happens, whether it is birds sitting (and defecating) on him, snow, rain, or slugs, he remains where he is. Until the rock he sits on turns out to be a troll. He returns home and considers himself a complicated person with many sides.
Besides the stories, the book also contains:
- A two page drawing of Hilda’s desk.
- Two pages with information about trolls.
- A series of sketches from during the development of the comic.
- A preview of the next album, Hilda and the Midnight Giant.
Changes in the adaptation
When adapted for the animated series, the following changes were made to the story:
- The scene with Hilda sleeping in her tent was left out of the animated adaptation.
- Likewise, the short story about the Wood Man was not adapted for the animated series.
- In the animated series, Hilda is more tolerant of the Wood Man coming over to her house uninvited. Here, she is annoyed with him alike how Johanna is.
- In the animated series, Hilda does not get lost, does not encounter the forest giant, and does not visit the Wood Man at his house.
- In the animated series, the troll chases Hilda and Twig to their home, where Hilda herself realizes what is bothering the troll and removes the bell before she goes into the house. Here, the troll doesn’t show up at the house until much later, thus disturbing Hilda in her sleep, and the Wood Man has to point out to Hilda what is wrong with the troll.
- Twig originally had blue fur, a white underbelly, and white antlers in this story. When the comic was republished as Hilda and the Troll, this coloring was kept in the hardcover edition, but the paperback edition had Twig recolored with all white fur and black antlers to match the other books.
- The title "Hildafolk" is most likely a pun on Huldufólk, Icelandic for "Hidden People", a mythological race of Elves and other supernatural beings.
- The book jacket for the hardcover version of Hilda and the Troll contains a map of the wilderness inside.