Guillermo del Toro adapted his novel for an animated series titled Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia. A dazzling realm of trolls and magical creatures picturized by Speilberg’s DreamWorks Animation found its way to Streaming Giant, Netflix. Tales of Arcadia was released as a three-part series for Netflix, but in 2021, creators went an extra mile and presented a full-length film, Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans, to allure the fans of the realm.
Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans explores a very riveting question, “Is Trollhunter, Jim of any worth without his magical amulet?” I guess the test of a superhero without his superpower is the fundamental evaluation of his heroism. Like Mr. Ollivander told Harry Potter, “The wand chooses the wizard.” Similarly, Merlin’s mysterious amulet chose Jim for a reason. The Rise of the Titans gracefully explores the idea.
‘Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans’ Plot Summary
A six-eyed four-armed troll, Blinky quickly establishes the world of troll and magical creatures through his prologue narration. A war between peace-seeking trolls and relentless evil trolls disturbed the peace of human land. To stop the bloodshed, the mightiest wizard, Merlin Ambrosius, forged an ultimate weapon, the Trollhunter Amulet. The good trolls won the war and settled in the shadows, beneath the human world, Arcadia Oaks.
In the modern century, former Trollhunter, Kanjigar lost the battle to an evil troll. A human found his magical amulet. James “Jim” Lake Jr became the first human troll hunter, and with the help of his friends, Toby and Claire saved Arcadia and the world at large. However, in one tragic battle witnessed in Tales of Arcadia, the Trollhunter Amulet was destroyed by dark magic.
Malevolent wizards, the Arcane Order saw an opportunity to cleanse the Earth of human devastation and decided to use the Genesis Seals. But before they could fuel their wizardry magic, one of the wizards, Nari (of the nature element), turned to the good side, and the other two started their hunt for her.
Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans begins with Nari’s hunt by the Arcane Order to execute Genesis Seals and bring the Titans. After their magic is finished, the Earth will be reborn, and humans will be wiped off. Skrael (of ice element) and Bellroc (of fire element) kidnaps Nari. The Trollhunters initiate a journey to save Nari and protect the Earth from an upcoming annihilation.
How did the Arcane Order plan to destroy Earth?
Nari, Bellroc, and Skrael were the three super wizards who created everything in the Universe. They were enraged because humans pretty much screwed up the whole planet. Thus, they stole the Genesis Seals to bring upon the wrath of Titans.
Arcane’s primordial energies, three titans (of Nature, Ice, and Fire) were handmaidens to the birth of the Universe. They had been in stasis for millennia awaiting a reckoning. When the three titans combine in the center of the Universe, Earth will be reborn, back to the age of its creation.
However, at the end of the film, when two Titans (of Nature and Ice) were destroyed, Bellroc’s Titans kept moving towards the center of the Universe,i.e., Arcadia. Blinky concluded that if only one Titan succeeds, then the world will be reborn in its element. They didn’t have to reunite with each other but instead unite with Hearthstone. The only surviving primordial Hearthstone was in Arcadia, and that was why Bellroc’s Titan was headed towards it.
What was the Ninth Configuration?
When Douxie’s transmogrification snapped, Nari’s soul moved back to her original body, which was already captured by Skrael and Bellroc to execute Genesis Seals. Before disappearing, Nari spelled out, “Trollhunter make Ninth Configuration. Krohnisfere will make it right.”
Aja Tarron fixed the Trollhunter Amulet but failed to turn it into the Trollhunter. The doubt prepped in, and he gave up hope to solve the mystery of Ninth Configuration. Later, the team brought Nari back to her consciousness, hoping she would reveal the secret. But like Jim, Nari had no idea about the formation of the Ninth Configuration.
When Stuart and others brought Excalibur (stuck in stone) to help Jim fight back Bellroc, Jim failed to pull out the sword. He got depressed, perceiving him as an unworthy hero. He looked around and cherished his extended family of Trollhunters and realized that they together form the Ninth Configuration. With the help of his friends, Jim pulled out the Excalibur. Later, he took out Merlin’s magic stone from the sword and asked Steve to replace it with the amulet’s stone (Hearthstone from Akiridion – 5).
The amulet worked, and Jim transformed into Trollhunter. Toby shot an anti-magic ray that stopped the Titan from bonding with the Hearthstone. Jim defeated a magicless Bellroc and crushed the Titan to the ground. He saved the world but failed to save his friend, Toby.
The Use of Krohnisfere Time Stone
Archie’s dad, a troll dragon, Charlemagne, took the team to Trollmarket in Hong Kong to steal Krohnisfere from the new troll dragon leader, Zong Chi. Krohnisfere held the power of Time infinite and tells of the past and future. The word, “Krohnisfere” (derived from Chronosphere) is an infinite time gateway containing chronological and coexisting past, present, and future timelines. The term theoretical explores the possibility of time travel.
Nari had told Jim that Krohnisfere would make things right in the end. After defeating the Titan and losing Toby, a devastated Jim shutters Krohnisfere and takes out the Time Stone. Jim connected the dots and concluded that if he goes back in time with the help of Krohnisfere’s Time Stone, things will happen differently. In short, the lost ones, Nomura, Nari, Strickler, and Toby, would be brought back to life. However, things could happen much worse too.
The exact moment was Jim’s actual test of character who would have to live with the burden if things didn’t work out for better. Jim underlined, “shouldering burdens is what heroes do” and used the Time Stone.
‘Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans’ Ending Explained
Krohnisfere’s Time Stone sends Jim back to the period before Jim discovered Kanjigar’s rubble and the Trollhunter Amulet. The Time Stone resets the Timeline back to the premise before the inciting incident arrives. In the new Timeline, Jim meets a living Toby, and hence his risk turned out in his favor.
In school, Jim meets Strickler and convinces him to meet his mother for dinner. Jim uses the future knowledge (his past) for a better present, and that’s all journey’s are about, to learn from the experience and become a better human being.
In the end, Jim meets his (would-be) girlfriend, Claire, and signs up for a Romeo Juliet play audition. Before the audition, he advises Toby to take the canal route on his way home. Jim intentionally alters the choices and, in turn, gives Toby a chance to become a Trollhunter. Jim, on the other hand, stays back, hoping for everyday life in the reset Timeline.
In the canal, Toby finds the Trollhunter Amulet. The magic chooses Tobias Domzalski to “become” the next Trollhunter and will begin with a new series/film if the creators wish for an extension. For Jim, hopefully, the hero’s journey comes to an end.
Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans is a 2021 Animated Film directed by Johane Matte, Francisco Ruiz Velasco, and Andrew Schmidt. It is based on the Tales of Arcadia franchise created by Guillermo del Toro.