Johanna is an adult woman with long brown hair and black eyes. She often wears a yellow jacket and a maroon turtle neck sweater underneath.
Hilda's mother is caring and supportive, but at times she can worry too much about Hilda not having any "normal" friends her age. Since she grew up in Trolberg, she favors the city over the wilderness, while Hilda favors the wilderness.
In the graphic novels, she is even more worried about Hilda than in the animated series, and is known to get mad at her daughter quite easily, often ending discussions with the words "because I said so". It is also shown in "Hilda and the Bird Parade" that she doesn't like the city that much, despite having moved there, and doesn't want Hilda to go out by herself. This in contrast to the animated series, where she encourages Hilda to embrace Trolberg.
In "Hilda and the Black Hound"/"Chapter 12: The Nisse", it is revealed that she distrusts Nisse, considering them to be thieves and liars. She seems to have gotten over this, however by the end of the story (adapted into "Chapter 13: The Black Hound"), at least when it comes to Tontu.
Hilda: Johanna and her daughter, Hilda are very close. Johanna tends to be concerned with matters surrounding her daughter and the mythical creatures she befriends but understands that it is something that Hilda excels at. In the graphic novels, they have a more rocky relationship and are prone to arguing, but in the end they love each other.
Johanna is not shown to be close to anyboy else. She never mentions Hilda's father in any way.
Not much is known about Johanna's past, except for the fact that she was a sparrow scout as a child and grew up in Trolberg before moving out to the wilderness, to the house built by Hilda's great-grandfather. At some point, she met an unnamed man and give birth to a daughter named Hilda. She's a single parent since the start of the series, but it's unknown if she is widowed, or (if she and Hilda's father where married) divorced.
Johanna works as a graphic designer. She tried several times to convince Hilda to move to Trolberg, believing it would be better for her to grow up around other kids her age. Her desire to move became stronger when the Elves began their attempts to drive the humans away (who had unknowingly been living in the middle of an elf village all this time). Hilda managed to end the conflict, but soon afterwards the house was destroyed by Jorgen the giant, forcing Johanna and Hilda to move to Trolberg anyway.
In "Chapter 8: The Tide Mice", Johanna temporarily had to take a new job at the hardware store due to not getting enough assignments as a graphic designer. Hilda used a Tide Mice spell to giver Johanna her old job as a graphic designer back, and she was hired for a large advertisement campaign for the Trolberg Bellmakers Corporation. Sadly, Hilda eventually discovered the Tide Mice would steal the souls of their victims after 30 days, and was forced to dispose of the mouse again.
In "Chapter 12: The Nisse", Johanna was looking forward to the upcoming badge ceremony of the Sparrow Scouts, as she believed that Hilda had earned a lot of badges. Hilda however hadn't earned any badges, and was too nervous to tell Johanna. Around the same time, the Black Hound was stalking Trolberg, so Johanna was naturally nervous to let Hilda go on Sparrow Scouts camp. Her fears were proven correct when the Hound was spotted in the Huldrawood during the first night, and Raven Leader send all the scouts home.
In "Chapter 13: The Black Hound", she discovered Hilda had earned no badges during the badge ceremony, but immediately afterwards the Black Hound attacked Scout Hall. Tontu, a Nisse that Hilda has befriended, helped Hilda escape through Nowhere Space. Eventually, they ended up back in Hilda's house, where another Nisse recognized the hound as his lost pet Jellybean, and calmed him down. Johanna arrived home not much later, and with a lot of convincing from Hilda agreed to help the Nisse lure Jellybean out of the city with her car. Jellybean however caught up with the car, jumped on the roof, and blocked Johanna's view, causing the car to go out of control. To prevent a crash, the two Nisse send the car into the nowhere space of the outside world. This resulted in the car with Hilda, Johanna and Tontu in it ending up outside the city walls, while Jellybean and his owner vanished.
After this adventure, Johanna allowed Tontu to come live in their home. She also apologized to Hilda for pushing her to earn badges, knowing full well how brave and selfless she is. To make it up to her, Johanna created her own unofficial badge for Hilda.
In the Graphic Novels "Hildafolk" through "Hilda and the Black Hound", Johanna is a supporting character with a smaller role than the animated series. Like in the animated series, she has been with the Sparrow Scouts in her youth, hence why she signs up Hilda for them after the their move to Trolberg. The events from "Chapter 4" to "Chapter 11" of the animated series never happen in the graphic novels.
Johanna has a mayor role in the final two graphic novels. In "Hilda and the Stone Forest", she wants to spend more time with Hilda, but Hilda keeps going out on her own. Johanna quickly grows suspicious of the excuses Hilda keeps using to cover up her adventures. It cumulated in Johanna grounding Hilda after catching her sneaking out with the Great Raven. When Hilda 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. Thus, in "Hilda and the Mountain King", Johanna found the now human Baba in Hilda's bed the following day. After learning from Tontu what had happened, she tried to find Hilda, who was a troll now, but almost got caught by trolls. Eventually, she turned to Erik Ahlberg for help and asked him to come along. When they found Baba's mom and Hilda, Ahlberg thought the troll was a threat to Baba and threatened to use his torch, forcing Johanna to step in and disarm him. 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. After the adventure, in which Hilda and the Safety Patrol saved the city from the Mountain King Trundle and introduced the Night of the Trolls, Johanna allowed for Baba to come to their house every now and then, and for Hilda to visit Baba in the Wilderness.
In the Hilda Tie-In Series, which adapts Chapters 1 - 7 and 11 - 13, Johanna's role is largely identical to the animated series, except the adventures happen in a different order. She and Hilda also argue a little more than in the animated series. The adventure with the Tide Mice does not happen in this version.
- The name Johanna was created specifically for the animated series. In both the graphic novels and the tie-in series, Hilda's mom so far remains unnamed.
- In the animated series and novelization, she has signed the paperwork necessary to see elves. In the graphic novels, she did not.
- Luke Pearson stated that Hilda's dad is around somewhere just not currently living with Hilda and Johanna. It is unknown what exactly his relation with Johanna was.