Johanna (/dʒə ˈhænə/ juh-HAN-nuh) is a principal character in the Hilda graphic novels, television series and Hilda Tie-In Series; she is Hilda's mother. She is a protecting mother to Hilda, who loves her very much.
Johanna is an adult woman with 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. In Season 2 of the animated series, she has actually grown fond of Tontu; she allows him to have dinner with them, and in return Tontu uses Nowhere Space to help keep the house organized.
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 anybody else. She never mentions Hilda's father in any way, leaving it unknown what her exact relationship with him was.
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 were married) divorced. "Chapter 9: The Deerfox" reveals that a few years prior to the series, she and Hilda met Twig when the latter saved Hilda from an eagle.
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 afterward 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 advertising 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 afterward 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 in her car. Jellybean, however, are 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 sent 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 Season 2, Hilda and Johanna slowly begin to grow apart due to Hilda's desire to go out on adventures, and keeping secrets from Johanna. It begins in "Chapter 2: The Draugen", when Hilda accidentally lures a Draugen-ship to Trolberg, and it follows her to her home. Johanna is visibly annoyed when the ship passes through their house and leaves her covered in ectoplasm. In "Chapter 6: The Old Bells of Trolberg", Hilda convinces Johanna to go to the official ceremony where Erik Ahlberg will activate the new mechanical bellringers, but this is just a ruse so Hilda and her friends can sabotage these bellringers. Hilda thus makes up an excuse, and doesn't return until after the ceremony is over. Finally, in "Chapter 7: The Beast of Cauldron Island", Hilda lies to Johanna about having to go to a Sparrow Scouts meeting, while Johanna planned for them to go on a picnic. In reality, Hilda and friends go to Cauldron Island to investigate why ships keep disappearing there. When Johanna finds out about the lie after calling Raven Leader, she grounds Hilda for the first time in her life.
In "Chapter 8: The Fifty Year Night", a time-traveling Hilda gets to see her mum just after she left the house, and overhears Johanna asking herself if she is doing the right thing. After seeing this, Hilda apologizes to Johanna and they reconcile.
In "Chapter 9: The Deerfox", Johanna has her first major role this season. When Twig runs away from home after feeling neglected by Hilda, and because he longs back for his own herd, Johanna takes Hilda to the wilderness to find him. They visit the ruins of their old house, and since Johanna has signed the proper paperwork in the meantime, she can now see the Elf village there for the first time. The episode reveals that Johanna, like Hilda, is capable of some impressive feats, like scaling rocks, due to her years in the wilderness. They eventually find Twig, and have to fight a Red wolf. For a moment, it seems that Twig will leave with his herd, which deeply saddens Hilda, but ultimately decides to stay with her.
In "Chapter 10: The Yule Lads", Hilda and Johanna celebrate their first Trolberg Winter Festival. Hilda plans to give Johanna a snow globe as a present. The two have another argument when Johanna scolds Hilda for leaving her tea bags on the counter, but the following morning Hilda catches her doing the same thing. Unfortunately, when Hilda tells the Yule Lads leader Kertasnikir about this, he interprets this as a sign that Johanna is naughty and has her captured to be sacrificed to Gryla. Hilda is able to prevent this by convincing the Yule Lads to give Gryla the Sparrow Scouts' vegetable broth as an alternative. At the end of the episode, thanks to David, Hilda is able to give Johanna the snow globe.
Johanna also plays a mayor role in "Chapter 13: The Stone Forest". In the episode, she and Hilda have an argument (Hilda wants to go back to Frida's house after dinner, while Johanna wants a night for just the two of them) that ends with Johanna sending Hilda to her room. Hilda tries to blackmail Tontu into letting her into Nowhere Space and taking her to Frida that way, but Johanna catches her in the act. In the struggle that follows, Hilda and Johanna are warped to the Stone Forest. Here, they have to work together to escape the various trolls and other dangers, the most prominent one being a Two-Headed Troll, but get unexpected help from a female troll and her child Baba. With their help, and that of Alfur, Frida and David, they are able to escape and return to Trolberg, where Hilda decides that she has had enough adventures for now.
The troll, however, has seen how Johanna cared for Hilda, and uses a changeling spell to make her daughter and Hilda swap places. Hilda thus becomes a troll back in the stone forest, while Johanna finds the now human Baba in Hilda's bed.
In the Graphic Novels "Hildafolk" through "Hilda and the Stone Forest", 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 their move to Trolberg. The events from "Chapter 4" to "Chapter 11" of Season 1, and "Chapter 1" (minus the scene at the start of the episode) through "Chapter 12" of Season 2 never happen in the graphic novels.
Johanna does have a major role in the final two graphic novels. Her role in "Hilda and the Stone Forest" is for most part identical to that in the animated adaptation. Some mayor difference include the reason she grounds Hilda (she catches Hilda sneaking out with the Great Raven), and their rescue at the end of the story (where the Great Raven comes to their aid rather than David, Frida, Alfur, and a white Woff).
In "Hilda and the Mountain King", the only story so far not adapted into the animated series, Johanna tries to find Hilda, who is now a troll. She almost gets caught by trolls while searching at night. Eventually, she turns to Erik Ahlberg for help and asks him to come along. When they find Baba's mom and Hilda, Ahlberg thinks the troll is a threat to Baba and threatens to use his torch gun. This forces Johanna to step in and disarm him. When both Hilda and the now human Baba are reunited with their real mothers, the spell is broken and they become their old selves again. After the adventure, in which Hilda and the Safety Patrol save the city from the Mountain King Trundle and introduce The Night of the Trolls, Johanna allows 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 10 - 13 of Season 1 + all episodes of Season 2 except for 11, 12, and the main story of 9, 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. Some other differences include:
- The adventure with the Tide Mice does not happen in this version.
- The adventure where Twig runs away and Johanna accompanies Hilda to the Wilderness to find him likewise does not happen in the books.
- Like in the graphic novels and animated series, Hilda is grounded by Johanna, but here it happens because Johanna found out Hilda was responsible for sabotaging the mechanical bellringers instead of the adventure with the Kraken.
- The adventure with the viking clans happens while Hilda and her friends secretly go camping in the Great Forest instead of them going on Sparrow Scouts camp, and Johanna finding out about this is what leads to her and Hilda's argument prior to their adventure in the Stone Forest.
Behind the Scenes
Johanna is voiced by Daisy Haggard.
- 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.