Issue 22nd April 2022 Stories and Myths

Stories and myths are the theme of this year’s Europa stamps. Here in Norway, we have rich traditions in this area, with lots of stories about encounters with both trolls and forest nymphs!

Legends, or myths, are said to differ from fairy tales in that the narratives appear to be true. This does not necessarily mean that the narrator believes the story is true, but as the storyteller, he must present it as the truth. Unlike the fairy tale, where the hero wins over the opponent, legends mostly end with defeat for the main protagonist. While fairy tales are not linked to specific locations and take place in an indeterminate time, the legend’s attachment to reality is reinforced by how the events often unfold in a named place, with named persons. This serves to reinforce the credibility of the story.

NK 2071 Troll

The two Norwegian folklore collectors Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe created the collection of the most famous Norwegian folktales. From the mid-1830s, Asbjørnsen gathered tales and legends, and began his collaboration with Jørgen Moe a few years later. The results of their journeys around Norwegian to collect stories were presented and published in booklets from 1841. This was a major contribution to Norwegian culture that drew international recognition. Moe was the most critical when it came to retelling the stories, and he also best mastered the folklore style. On the other hand, Asbjørnsen had a more versatile epic talent. This was expressed in his independent retelling, or re-creation, of Norwegian legends, Norske Huldre-Eventyr og Folkesagn (a collection of Norwegian fairy tales). 

NK 2072 Forest nymph



  • NK 2071-2072
  • Motifs: Troll, forest nymph
  • Photo: Filmkameratene
  • Illustration: Wictoria Nordgaard
  • Design: Camilla Kvien Jensen
  • Denominations: NOK 28 (Europe 20 g) x 2
  • Issued in: Booklet of 10 stamps
  • Print run: 340.000 of each stamp
  • Print: Offset from Joh. Enschedé Security Print, The Netherlands