By Eric Zuelch
Trollhunters is a young adult book written by Guillermo Del Toro and Daniel Kraus. The book follows Jim Sturges Jr. who, along with his friend Tobias “Tub” Dershowitz, discovers a civilization of trolls living under their hometown of San Bernardino, California. Some of the trolls Jim encounters are Blinky, a troll that resembles a cross between a hammerhead shark and an octopus, and ARRRGH!!!, a warrior. They abduct Jim to help them fight Gunmar, a troll trying to escape and take over the world and put trolls as the dominant species. Aside from the trolls, Jim also encounters Claire Fontaine, a transfer student from Northern Great Britain, and Steve Jorgenson-Warner, the school’s star athlete and cruelest bully. Jim lives with his father in a house with various military grade security systems, his father being traumatized from his brother Jack’s abduction in the late sixties, and his mother walking out on their family because of it. As the book progresses Jim, who starts out hating himself and his life, gains confidence as he takes down evil trolls.
The book itself is good. It shows a darker spin on what many see as a creature from fairytales. It dives into the insecurities we all had as teenagers. Jim’s growth throughout the book represents how anyone can find themselves by trying new things and discovering what they are good at. Jim’s father’s arc represents overcoming trauma, that it could take years to overcome, but can still be overcome. The book has various characters acting as metaphors for different situations.
The book was adapted into a Netflix series animated by Dreamworks. It is aimed at a younger audience than the book with various changes to characters and the plot, like most Dreamworks adaptations. Jim’s last name is changed to Lake and lives with his single mother after his father walked out on them. Tub’s name is changed to Domzalski. Claire’s last name is changed to Nunes and is changed from being British to Hispanic American, and given a much more prominent role. Blinky’s appearance is drastically altered and ARRRGH!!! is changed from female to male. The series deals with many of the issues and morals as the book does. While altered and changed for a younger audience, it still has the heart of the book.