"Once upon a time," the way most famous most Norwegian folk tales start. Although “Soria Moria Castle” states “There was once a couple who had a son, the idea is basically the same. The people in Norway are used to long and harsh winters and have had to find something to pass the time for centuries. One of their more prominent methods of passing the time has been the re-telling of folktales. Possibly the most famous, “Soria Moria Castle” is one of their favorites. In the following pages a brief description of this most wonderful tale will be presented, along with an analysis of the function the tale and a summary of archetypal values, characters, and ideas expressed throughout the story and how they relate to the culture of Norway.
The folktale, “Soria Moria Castle”, involves a young male named Halvor, the folktale hero of this story. All he ever wanted to do was rake in the ashes no matter what his parents did to try and get him interested in other things. Then one day he left with a skipper to go out at sea and see foreign parts. After a while a storm caused the boat to end up on an unknown coast. Halvor went ashore and found a path which led him to a great castle. Upon entering the castle, he found a beau
He represents "the hero" that is present in so many cultures throughought the world. But Halvor said the Troll does not scare him, so the princess told Halvor to get the Troll's the sword and when the Troll came Halvor chopped its four heads off. Now the stories are written down and published in books, but before they were all told by word of mouth, much the same way "Soria Moria Castle" was. Many of these include various forms of art and music, but their favorite has always been telling and listening to stories. Like many folktale heroes Halvor is scoffed at by his parentswho think he will never do anything with his life. After killing this one troll and rescuing the princess he held captive, he decides to kill two more trolls, and rescue those two princesses too. He is walking along for the sake of walking along, gets hungry, decides to stop and ask for food, and ends up killing a troll. This may be why this folktale survived for so many years through oral telling, long ago, by family firesides and at social gatherings in villages and country places through the whole of Norway. His mother described him as "lazy, he would never do anything, and his cloths were always in rags and tatters. Halvor kept up with the West Wind because the old woman had given him magic boots that cover fifteen miles in ever step in return for Halvor's horse. It contains many common traits offolktales, such as a folktale hero, a quest, and magical items. Inside he found the youngest and most beautiful princess. Tales like this traveled through Norway during the Middle Ages and were absorbed into the existing lore. They were primarily told for entertainment, and the storytellers themselves were highly esteemed if they were good, each one having his own style of telling a story. Although short and sweet, "Soria Moria Castle" does a good job of expressing the Norwegian culture, along with archetypal characters, ideas, and values.