of Three Billy Goats Gruff and its themes have appeared in literature and
other forms of art. This page provides a small discussion of some of the
better known treatments by authors and other artists.
Yolen, Jane and Adam Stemple. Troll Bridge: A Rock'n' Roll Fairy Tale. New York: Starscape, 2006. Amazon.com:Buy the book inhardcover.
NOVEL: A wicked adventure—or deadly…trollble
For sixteen-year-old harpist prodigy Moira, the annual Dairy Princess event in Vanderby is just another lame publicity “op.” Moira a dairy princess? Get real. Twelve girls have been selected to have their likeness carved in butter and displayed on the Trollholm Bridge. It’s a Vanderby State Fair tradition that has been going on for, like, ever.
As far as Moira is concerned, the sooner it’s over with the butter—er—better.
About the same time and not far away, three brothers—members of the sensationally popular teen boy band The Griffsons—are in the middle of a much needed road trip to relax from the pressures of their latest tour.
In a flash, however, the kids are suddenly transported to a strange and mystical wilderness where they find themselves in the middle of a deadly tug-of-war struggle between a magical fox named Fossegrim and the monstrous troll Aenmarr of Austraegir. At the heart of the feud is a battle for possession of a mysterious magical fiddle--and an ancient compact between Trollholm and the outer world.
Whatever. All Moira cares about is that eleven of her fellow princesses have been enchanted into a slumber and Moira needs to figure out a way to awaken them…and get home.
Unfortunately for Moira and the Griffsons, nothing in Trollholm is as it seems. Finding a way out of Trollholm may be a lot more difficult than they think.
Clough, Brenda W. How Like a God. New York: Tor, 1997. Amazon.com:Buy the book inhardcover orpaperback.
NOVEL: Fantasy. From Amazon.com: "Rob Lewis, an ordinary computer programmer with a wife and two kids, becomes something extraordinary one day after he wakes up and discovers he can read--and control--other people's minds. It's an ability most people dream of having, but for Rob it quickly destroys his life. There is a death, injuries, the threat of warping the lives of his children. Rob flees to New York where, homeless and destitute, he contacts Edwin Barbaross of the National Institutes of Health. Together they travel to Uzbekistan, where Rob will face both the source of his powers and his own inner demons."
Gaiman, Neil. "Troll Bridge." Snow White, Blood Red. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, eds. New York: Avon, 1995. Amazon.com:Buy the book inhardcover orpaperback.
Garner, James Finn. "The Three Codependent Goats Gruff." Politically Correct Bedtime Stories: Modern Tales for Our Life and Times. New York: Hungry Minds Inc, 1994. Amazon.com:Buy the book inhardcover.
Mayer, Gloria Gilbert and Thomas Mayer. "The Three Billy Goats Gruff." Goldilocks on Management: 27 Revisionist Fairy Tales for Serious Managers. New York: American Management Association, 1999. Amazon.com:Buy the book inhardcover.
Vande Velde, Vivian. "The Bridge." Tales From the Brothers Grimm and the Sisters Weird. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace, 1995. Amazon.com:Buy the book inhardcoveror paperback.
Waldrop, Howard. "Our Mortal Span." Black Heart, Ivory Bones. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, eds. New York: Avon, 2000. Amazon.com:Buy the book inpaperback.
Yolen, Jane. "The Bridge's Complaint." Twelve Impossible Things Before Breakfast: Stories. New York: Harcourt Children's Books, 1997. Amazon.com:Buy the book inhardcover or paperback.
I have listed primarily
classical compositions of music using the themes of this fairy tale in
either ballet, opera or some other musical style. I have also provided
links to popular recordings of the music when available at Amazon.com.
The advantage to these links is that you can listen to samples of the
music at no charge.
Billy Goat (2007/8). Jeremy Dyson, writer. Hat Trick/BBC Northern Ireland Production for BBC One.
The fourth fairy tale in the BBC Fairy Tales anthology is Billy Goat. The writer of Billy Goat, Jeremy Dyson (co-creator Funland, The League Of Gentlemen) says:
"I was a big fan of fairy tales when I was younger, they were my first literary love. I had a small collection of the Ladybird editions – the ones with the scary, photo-realistic illustrations of talking wolves and cats and suchlike. Aside from Billy Goats Gruff, I was a big fan of Red Riding Hood – mainly for the wolf."
Jeremy's reworked version brings the story up-to-date and centres on Billy Goat, a boy band made up of brothers Connor (Paul Nicholls) and Dean Gruff (Mathew Horne) and friend Rafiq Bhavani (played by newcomer Nick Mohammed).
They enjoy local success in Northern clubs but crave pastures new and fame and fortune.
"I am an avid X-Factor viewer and when Billy Goat was taking shape I'd just started watching the last series. There's no doubt it fed into the conception of the story," says Jeremy.
However, there is one major stumbling block, their manager is a troll. In this world, trolls live side-by-side with humans and Billy Goat are unfortunate enough to have bagged a canny and threatening troll as their manager, Grettongrat, played by Bernard Hill.
As to the enduring quality of fairy tales, Jeremy comments: "Simply put they endure because they articulate durable truths about the human condition. They are deceptively simple on the surface, but full of richness and complexity underneath. They tend to rewrite themselves for each generation, like all the best stuff does."
"The Three Billy Goat's Gruff is a good example – on the surface a simple story about some goats wanting some nicer grass – but something about it gets under your skin. Has the troll really done anything so bad to deserve being butted into the water (and drowning as he does in the proper version of the story)? Isn't the big Billy Goat a little bit greedy to want all that new grass when there's nothing wrong with the field?"