Tolkien Gateway

William

William Huggins
Troll
Liz Danforth - William.jpg
"William" by Liz Danforth
Biographical Information
Other names"Bill"
LocationTrollshaws
LanguageWestron
DeathT.A. 2941
Trollshaws
Notable forCapturing Thorin and Company
Physical Description
RaceTroll
GenderMale
GalleryImages of William Huggins

William Huggins, also known as Bill, was with Tom and Bert, one of the three trolls encountered by Bilbo Baggins and the Dwarves on their eastward journey to the Lonely Mountain.

Contents

[edit] History

Bill seems to have been the leader of the troll-band — at least, it was he who led them to the woodlands of Trollshaws, according to his companions. It was William's purse that Bilbo Baggins tried to pickpocket as his first act of "burglary", an attempt that brought the entire expedition close to disaster. Luckily, Gandalf was able to trick William and his two companions into arguing together until sunrise, whereupon they all turned to stone.

[edit] William's "pity"

"Poor little blighter! Let him go!"
― William[1]

The troll William twice states that they ought to let Bilbo go rather than eat him, calling Bilbo a "poor little blighter" as in the quote above. This leads to a gorgeous row between him and Bert. William's sentiments have led to some controversy, which has led to some controversy, as trolls are evil by nature, created by Morgoth in the twilight of the Elder Days. William, however, is explained to have "had already had as much supper as he could hold; also he had had lots of beer."[2]

Peter Hastings, manager of the Newman Bookshop (a Catholic bookshop in Oxford), wrote to Tolkien expressing these same concerns. Tolkien responded as follows.

"I do not say William felt pity — a word to me of moral and imaginative worth: it is the Pity of Bilbo and later Frodo that ultimately allows the Quest to be achieved — and I do not think he showed Pity. I might not (if The Hobbit had been more carefully written, and my world so much thought about 20 years ago) have used the expression 'poor little blighter', just as I should not have called the troll William. But I discerned no pity even then, and put in a plain caveat. Pity must restrain one from doing something immediately desirable and seemingly advantageous. There is no more 'pity' here than in a beast of prey yawning, or lazily patting a creature it could eat, but does not want to, since it is not hungry. Or indeed than there is in many of men's actions, whose real roots are in satiety, sloth, or a purely non-moral natural softness, though they may dignify them by 'pity's' name."
― J.R.R. Tolkien[3]

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

William in adaptations

1968: The Hobbit (1968 radio series):

The Trolls are encountered in the second episode, "Out of the Frying-pan into the Fire". Brian Haines plays Bert, Victor Lucas Bill, and Francis de Wolff Tom. The scene is taken verbatim from the book.

1979: The Hobbit (1979 radio series):

The troll's scene is abbreviated but largely adapted without alterations. No actors are credited for the individual parts of the three trolls.

1982: The Hobbit (1982 video game):

The three trolls are the first obstacle encountered after leaving Bag End.

1982-97: Middle-earth Role Playing:

William is a member of the Hugath tribe of Stone Trolls of the Trollshaw. In Hobbit lore he is known as "William Huggins", while his real name is Wûluag Hugath.[4]

1989: Hobit (1989 Slovak radio series):

The voices of William, Bert and Tom are provided by Peter Debnár, Vlado Černý and Ivan Gogál.

1995-8: Middle-earth Collectible Card Game:

William is playable both as a Hazard Creature and as a Minion. The troll is also given the MERP variant name, Wûluag.

2001: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:

Aragorn and the Hobbits rest at the petrified Trolls after Frodo is stabbed by the Witch-king.

2003: The Hobbit (2003 video game):

Bert, Bill and Tom are the first bosses of the game, though they cannot be fought. Bilbo has to sneak around the Trolls, waiting for them to turn or walk away.

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Bert, Tom and Bill, turned to stone, can be found in the wilderness of the Trollshaws.

2012: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

William is portrayed (through motion capture) by Peter Hambleton.

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Roast Mutton"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Roast Mutton";J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, "The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age", "Of Other Races"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 153, (dated September 1954)
  4. R. Mark Colburn, Peter C. Fenlon, John D. Ruemmler, Terry K. Amthor, Jessica M. Ney (1989), Lords of Middle-earth Vol III: Hobbits, Dwarves, Ents, Orcs & Trolls (#8004)
The Hobbit film series
Source material: The Hobbit · The Lord of the Rings
Films An Unexpected Journey (extended editionThe Desolation of Smaug (extended edition) · The Battle of the Five Armies (extended edition)
Music An Unexpected Journey (Special Edition) · The Desolation of Smaug (Special Edition) · The Battle of the Five Armies (Special Edition) · "Song of the Lonely Mountain" · "I See Fire" · "The Last Goodbye"
Tie-in books An Unexpected Journey Official Movie Guide · Visual Companion · Movie Storybook · Annual 2013 · Chronicles: Art & Design · Chronicles: Creatures & Characters · The World of Hobbits
The Desolation of Smaug Official Movie Guide · Visual Companion · Movie Storybook · Annual 2014 · Chronicles: Art & Design · Chronicles: Cloaks & Daggers · Smaug: Unleashing the Dragon · Activity Book · Sticker Book · Ultimate Sticker Collection
The Battle of the Five Armies Official Movie Guide · Visual Companion · Movie Storybook · Annual 2015 · Chronicles: Art & Design · Chronicles: The Art of War · Activity Book
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