Voodoo Hoodoo Remind me of the Babe


You remind me of the babe
What babe? The babe with the power
What power? Power of voodoo
Who do? You do
Do what? Remind me of the babe

David Bowie, Labyrinth- lyrics so profound, thought provoking, challenging. Such a deft use of the question mark. So sad he was totally out acted in the film by a bunch of muppets – but it happened to Michael Caine in the Muppets Christmas Carol as well so it happens to the best of them. But David leads us nicely into my third study of the religions in WoW (and can’t you just tell I’m a Theology graduate – the weight of all those years of research shines through every word of my blog – my supervisor would be so proud). We have covered The Cult of the Forgotten Shadow and The Church of the Holy Light and now … well it just has to be Voodoo – if only because I’ve got that bloody David Bowie song dancing around my head & I’m forced to take it as a sign from the gods (the Voodoo gods – they are very supportive of us bloggers) that I need to get this down.Ok so Voodoo in Azeroth- what is it, where did it come from and is a shrunken head soon to be the height of fashion on the Paris catwalk. There is only one answer to all that – it’s the Trolls mon, look to the Trolls.

It’s best to think of the Trolls and their Voodoo religion as a slightly darker version of the shamanistic beliefs of the cuddly Orcs and the “only one evolutionary step away from cattle” Tauren. The Trolls don’t need all that “harnessing the power of the elements” nonsense. They harness the power of beings who use the elements as cheap home help and pay them less than minimum wage. Yes Trolls and their spirits are that hard.

It is said by some that the spirits Trolls worship are malign – I would rather call them “darkly cranky” which to be fair is no different to how I get everytime I see the milk left out on the counter. Yes there is some sacrifice and cannibalism – but jeez the milk will go off if left out for too long. But I digress. For the trolls it is important to get the spirits they worship on side and to do this they need to give them a bit of what they fancy –  unfortunately this tends not to be a glass of juice and a cupcake. Troll spirits like some death, blood and burnt offerings. But this just means in fact they would not feel out of place at any UK summer BBQ.

The spirits are often dead ancestors who are rather jealous of the living. So remember how cranky Gran used to get when she was alive & her bunions were hurting & she couldn’t quite hear the TV & she thought you were silly for going out without a jumper. Well give her sharper teeth and a real taste for blood sacrifice and you have your classic Troll spirit. Aww isn’t it nice to see Gran again (will be your last thought from on top of the burning pyre).

The Darkspear Trolls did try to mend their sacrificial & cannibalistic ways ways in front of Thrall because they knew he didn’t like that sort of thing (“Troll guy what’s in your mouth?” “It’s a stick Thrall, I’m chewing on it, thought it would be all cool & Clint Eastwood-like”,  “It’s got a finger nail… Troll, are you sure that’s a stick”, “Jeez yes Thrall it’s a stick, you’re in the wild here mon, our trees have nails and stuff, and …and what’s that…(spits) ..um …wedding rings…..”). To placate Thrall they tried to switch to animal sacrifices (because of course animals like being killed so much more …don’t get me started on Thrall’s double standards), corpse eye removal (what?) and head shrinking (double what?!!).

Yes headshrinking – it is the ultimate Troll calling card except instead of being out to the shops when they call you’re dead and decapitated. What they do to your head after death does not bear thinking about. Suffice to say that even if you managed to come back from the dead and reattach your head  your  hats would no longer fit & you’d look rather ridiculous in a turtleneck. Which of course is their dastardly plan. I think I’d rather be eaten.

Senior Troll leaders are the priests and the witch doctors.

First the priests  –  these are closely associated with the Loa they worship – powerful and scary primal gods. Indeed priests can take on the shape of their personal Loa – becoming its avatar. This tends to mean taking on the appearance of  things like snakes, bears, felines and birds  – although there are some rather cuter Troll priests who prefer to become avatars of the bunny, puppy and kitten primal gods. These priests tend to be rather mocked in most Troll circles but they don’t half have some fun with a ball of string, a discarded slipper and a carrot.

Then there’s the Witch doctors – PhDs in hexes, head resizing and boils, but absolutely useless at dealing with colds, flus or fevers (they always suggest fluids, paracetemols and bed rest – where do they learn that stuff?). There are some female witch doctors but they tend to only be allowed to deal with “Troll women troubles” and  family planning (which for contraception usually involves a variant of the head shrinking hex directed at another part of the anatomy. It’s also employed as a playful mood improver during periods of “women trouble” too – you’re in discomfort so why shouldn’t he suffer being the general philosophy.)

Witch doctors are also well respected for their fortune telling abilities & will be consulted before any battle. They will carefully interpret the signs around them (enemies in the village, troll warriors dead at their feet, buildings burning) and usually cautiously offer the view that victory is assured. They are a glass half full race after all.

And that’s about it on the Troll Voodoo religion. I just  bet after all that you’re keen to meet some Voodoo practising Trolls. I mean who wouldn’t be? Well get yourself along to Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman then and say howdy. Don’t bother taking a hat though.

7 thoughts on “Voodoo Hoodoo Remind me of the Babe

  1. I always liked the troll mythology in Warcraft, particularly since I find South American and island mythologies (particularly Aztec) to be so compelling in ways very distinct from the more popular Norse and Greek. There is always elements of both highest veneration and definite fear that run throughout things like Aztec mythology, where as the goodness of Norse gods or the humanity of Greek ones seems to really undercut a lot of their brutality and viciousness.

    In the troll mythos, there is always a veneration of the fear itself that any particular god-figure generates. This same respect is rarely challenged by stories of Hakkar going on picnics with the Murlocks or being the one force to save the trolls from the completely evil frost dwards. The trolls worship primordial forces and despite their ability to mimic the powers of these forces by becoming their avatars, you see time and time again that trolls have no real control over their gods.

    Definitely a nice write-up. I am sad I have missed this series. Definitely going to go back and read your other entries.

    1. Thank you for your comment. The other posts were more tongue in cheek I have to confess, but the Voodoo one is less so as I found myself really fascinated by the beliefs. I agree with your comment about the recurring theme being that trolls have no real control over their gods. So true.

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