WHAT IT IS
Like the Nokken, the Huldra is a creature of nature, a forest spirit specifically in Scandinavian folklore. Seductive as she is beautiful with long blond hair with a crown of flowers and a cow tail (Sweden), the only differing factor of a Huldra and human from physical characteristics. With lust in her eyes and singing beautiful songs (or by playing the harp), the Huldra attracts young unmarried men to the mountains, keeping them captive until they agree to marry her. Upon marriage, however, the huldra transforms into a hideous creature but loses her tail (as if that would be a bonus point). Refusing to marry her, or any betrayal at all, involves punishments. Reward her and she’ll reward you. Piss her off? You are as good as dead!
Scandinavian, Sweden and Norwegian folklore yet again! This ‘Lady of the Forest’ seems to appear also in Christianity when a mother being visited by God only washes half her children, their fate being sealed as “hulders”. In North Sami, the creatures are referred to as the “Mountain of the Hulders” while Danish tales find the creatures near a bog.
The Huldra has not gone unnoticed, appearing in Neil Gaiman’s short story “Monarch of the Glen: An American Gods Novella”, a few films I’ve included below, stunning inspired artwork and a video game.
- Movie Huldra: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adcKJMJ_cS8
- Movie Thale: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=thale
- Video game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVz_MhMsAvs
Huldra is a great creature to utilize, whether as a protagonist or a murderous creature in the woods while camping. I’ve also seen this creature used in Erotica, but the strength may be in fantasy or horror. Some questions to ask yourself when using this creature:
- Is your main character a huldra?
- As huldras are female, is the story about your huldra, the only male one in the bunch?
- Does the story take place just in this magical community?
- Is your huldra calculating or just a mindless killing machine?
- Is this a love story?