Kertasnikir, or Kert for short, is the leader of the Yule Lads. He is first seen in "Chapter 10: The Yule Lads". The character does not appear in the graphic novels. He does however appear in the novelization "Hilda and the Time Worm".
Kert has a white beard, and wears a red costume. He is the only Yule Lad that wears red.
Kert can act creepy and will hunt down anyone that is even remotely naughty, but this all comes from his desperation to avoid being eaten by Gryla. Deep down, he knows that his own naughtiness in the past got him in trouble, and he is pretty friendly towards people that show him kindness, like Hilda.
In the novelization, he is less concerned about hiding his own naughtiness, as Hilda spots him stealing candy.
Kertasnikir is the first Yule Lad. Many years ago, he was a human boy that got caught by Gryla when he was stealing candles. She deemed him naughty and threatened to eat him, but Kert convinced her to spare him if he brought her two other naughty children to take his place. He thus brought her Ketkrokur and Stekkjarsaur, who used the same bargain. In time, 13 of these kids thus came to work for Gryla, and where tasked with finding her naughty children during the time of the Trolberg Winter Festival. As the first Yule Lad, Kert was made their leader. Which means he had to work full time while the other lads got to work in shifts.
When first seen "Chapter 10: The Yule Lads", he and his fellow Yule Lads have just arrived in Trolberg, and are found by Hilda, David and Frida. Kert and Hilda quickly get along. She invites him to the market, and even buys him and his fellow Yule Lads some broth. When Trevor and his friends attack them with snowballs, Kert leads a counter attack and drives them off. That night, he and the other lads abduct Trevor and his mother (whom Frida called "The queen of naughtiness") to be sacrificed to Gryla. When the following day Hilda mentions that her mom is being hypocritical regarding Hilda leaving her teabags on the counter, Kert takes this as a sign that Johanna is naughty and abducts her too. Hilda confronts the Yule Lads and calls them out for their own naughtiness (which she read about in a book of folk tales). Kert admits his own wrong doings, after which Hilda offers him to give Gryla the Sparrow Scouts' vegetable broth as a substitue. Kert accepts, and returns the abducted humans to their homes. Gryla accepts the broth, and after she is gone, Kert and the other lads leave Trolberg.
In "Hilda and the Time Worm", his role is largely identical to the animated series. There is however an additional subplot where he questions Hilda if she knows any naughty children. Hilda doesn't want to be a snitch, but still likes to alert them to Trevor, so she gives the lads a riddle to solve. In his attempt to guess the name, Kertasnikir shouts the word "Troll" while in the middle of the market. This causes panic among the citizens, who think there actually is a troll.
Behind the Scenes
Kertasnikir is voiced by famed English actor Andy Serkis.
- His name is Icelandic for "candle-stealer," appropriate as he eats candles.
- However, in "Hilda and the Time Worm" his name is translated as "Candy Snatcher".
- His habit of eating candles may seem odd to modern day viewers, but is understandable since candles used to be made of tallow instead of wax, and where thus edible.