Have you met Moomintroll yet?
He’s an agreeable fellow who’s interested in everything he sees. The world is full of exciting things to investigate, but Moomintroll particularly loves collecting rocks and shells. He also loves the sea, as does the whole Moomin family.
Many visitors pop by the Moominhouse, and Moomintroll is always happy when he’s spending time with his friends. He has great faith in his friends and gets worried if one of them is unhappy. Moomintroll is very sensitive himself, but he never bears a grudge.
Moomintroll thinks that Moominvalley is the safest and most interesting place in the world. That’s why he’s so curious and brave – he can fulfil his desire to understand strange things and weird creatures without the need to fear them. The only thing that makes Moomintroll feel bad is being left alone.
Moomintroll is a dreamer and a thinker, and the maverick vagabond Snufkin is his best friend. Every November, when Snufkin goes south for the winter, he leaves Moomintroll a special letter. In it, he promises to return to Moominvalley on the first day of spring.
Moomintroll loves Moominmamma and his family above all else. There’s no problem that Moominmamma can’t solve. And when Moominpappa invents a good excuse for an adventure, Moomintroll is always eager to tag along. When Snorkmaiden becomes his girlfriend, Moomintroll learns that love can sometimes make you feel wistful and even downright sad.
We meet Moomintroll right away in the first Moomin book, The Moomins and the Great Flood. Moomintroll doesn’t reach adulthood during the Moomin stories, but he does grow up a lot in the book Moominland Midwinter.
Moomintroll is easily recognisable from his gentle, round appearance and the tuft on the end of his tail. All Moomins have large eyes and small ears.
Snufkin is a philosophical vagabond who wanders the world fishing and playing the harmonica. He carries everything he needs in his backpack, as he believes that having too much stuff makes life overly complicated.
Snufkin is easygoing and carefree, and enjoys thinking about things. He always comes and goes as he pleases. He has plenty of admirers in Moominvalley, especially among the smaller and more timid inhabitants. Moomintroll is his best friend and Little My is his half sister. Snufkin is also the son of the Mymble and the Joxter.
Snufkin meets every new person and event with curiosity and a warm heart. He enjoys spending time with the Moomins in Moominvalley, but in November he always goes south for the winter, only returning to Moominvalley in the spring.
The enigmatic Snufkin does not avoid other people’s company, but he does prefer to travel alone. On his journeys, he explores new places and tries his luck at fishing. Snufkin loves to go wandering at night and especially in the moonlight. He never asks the names of the new places he visits, but simply enjoys the journey itself.
Snufkin always wears a dark green hat with a wide brim and a similarly coloured, shabby old coat. He first joins the Moomins on their adventures in the book Comet in Moominland.
Moominmamma is a calm and collected mother who never lets little things get on her nerves. She ensures that the Moominhouse is always a safe and loving place – both for her family and for visitors.
Moominmamma brings up her family so deftly that they barely notice they’re being parented. She wants everyone to be happy and values everyone’s individuality, but she will intervene if someone wrongs someone else. She isn’t bothered by others’ tomfoolery, as she believes that people learn a lot from their mistakes.
No-one is ever unhappy in Moominmamma’s company: she’s always ready to help and console. The residents of Moominvalley trust her, as Moominmamma never reveals their secrets. Whenever visitors pop by the Moominhouse, Moominmamma wants to know when their birthdays are. The birthday boy or girl always gets to choose dessert.
It’s thanks to Moominmamma that everything runs so smoothly in the Moomin household. She finds solutions to even the most difficult dilemmas and can always see the silver lining in every cloud. When Moominpappa accidentally breaks a plate, Moominmamma says: I’m glad it’s broken, it was pretty ugly. When Moominmamma wants a moment to herself, she goes out collecting shells or makes bark boats.
Moominmamma wears an apron and carries a handbag. Her life gets turned upside down when she loses her handbag, as it contains all kinds of important things in case of emergency, such as wire, stomach powder and candies. When her handbag is found, she arranges a huge party complete with speeches and fireworks.
Moominmamma appears in almost all of the Moomin books.
Moominpappa is boyish and adventurous, but still proud of being the head of the family. He enjoys philosophical thinking and always wants to be on the scene whenever something surprising happens in Moominvalley. Moominpappa considers himself to be very knowledgeable and an expert in many fields, and is always willing to offer advice to others.
Moominpappa is ready to do anything for his family. He enjoys living in Moominvalley, but is also curious and ready to try new things. Adventures are always welcome – and luckily they often come his way. Moominpappa loves secrets, even though sometimes he accidentally lets them slip out.
Moominpappa is also a dreamer who likes whisky and the company of dubious friends. He enjoys pondering life’s big issues and often makes notes of his observations. Writing is very important to Moominpappa. He truly loves the sea and believes himself to be a skilled sailor and fisherman.
In his youth, Moominpappa went on some great adventures, which he always loves to recount whenever the opportunity arises. One day, he takes up his quill and starts writing his memoirs.
You can recognise Moominpappa from his top hat and walking stick. We meet Moominpappa in the first Moomin book, The Moomins and the Great Flood, and he tells us all about the great deeds of his youth in Moominpappa’s Memoirs.
Snorkmaiden is Moomintroll’s friend and playmate. They like each other a lot and love hanging out together. Snorkmaiden is happy and energetic, although her habit of suddenly changing her mind can sometimes irritate people a bit.
Snorkmaiden is a daydreamer and often imagines what her prince charming will be like. She is also a little vain and flirtatious, but can be very resourceful when she’s in a tight spot. In the book Comet in Moominland, Snorkmaiden comes up with a way to get rid of the octopus that is threatening Moomintroll.
Snork is Snorkmaiden’s brother. They are both Snorks, a species that differs slightly from the Moomins. One special characteristic of Snorks is that they always change colour according to their mood. When Snorkmaiden is upset, she turns light green.
Snorkmaiden has a fringe, which she always keeps neatly combed. She also wears a gold anklet. We first meet the Snorkmaiden in the second book of the Moomin series, Comet in Moominland, and she appears in almost all of the following books.
Little My lives with the Moomins in the Moominhouse, even though she isn’t related to them. Little My is brave and fearless, and is eager to join the Moomins on their adventures. Sometimes she really seems to love small catastrophes.
Little My is fiery and irritable – but also happy and friendly. Small things may easily annoy her, but she never does mean things on purpose. Sometimes, when others are being overly sentimental, she brings them quickly back to earth with her acute observations.
Little My always wants to decide things for herself. Mess and untidiness don’t bother her at all: in fact, life is much more exciting that way. Being quite small, she can hide in a milk jug or amongst the ladles and whisks in a kitchen drawer. Sometimes she goes to sleep in Snufkin’s pocket.
Little My likes to find out people’s secrets, but she never reveals them to others. In spite of her wild and reckless acts, Little My is honest and reliable. She’s at home in every situation – she’s prepared for anything.
Little My was born on midsummer night. The Moomin family took her in when she was still very young. The elder Mymble is her mother and Snufkin is her half brother. She is also sister to the younger Mymble. Little My wears her bright, copper-red hair in an onion-shaped bun on top of her head and usually wears a red dress. Little My first appears in Moominpappa’s Memoirs.
Sniff is not a Moomin, but he lives in the Moominhouse just like Little My. Although he’s eager to join in with whatever the Moomins are up to, his timidity means that he won’t do anything dangerous. He’s very good-natured and sometimes a little cowardly.
Sniff loves all valuable things and gets excited whenever he encounters some. Shiny, sparkly objects in particular fascinate him. Sniff makes many plans to get rich, even though they usually don’t succeed. Owning things is, however, very important to him – and he’s something of a gourmet, too.
Many of the Moominvalley residents couldn’t live without the sea, but Sniff is terrified of water and doesn’t even dare to go on the jetty. Sniff loves to investigate new things with others, but he soon gets tired and is always the first in the group to quit. Sniff is selfish, lazy and easily bored, and so can’t be bothered to stick at anything for very long.
It was chance that brought Sniff to the Moominhouse: his parents,The Muddler and The Fuzzy, lost him when he was little, and the Moomins found him while they were searching for Moominpappa, who had gone missing. The Moomins then took Sniff in to live with them.
You can recognise Sniff by his large, pointy ears and long tail. He first joins the Moomins on their adventures in the book The Moomins and the Great Flood.
Stinky is a small and irate creature who is always playing practical jokes on the other residents of Moominvalley. He does this out of spite – he really enjoys fooling people and pinching things. But he always gets found out.
Stinky’s other hobbies include eavesdropping, vandalism and duping the police. Stinky is very proud of his reputation as a crook and will go to any lengths to maintain it. Due to his pranks, people don’t tend to invite Stinky to parties or to join in with other activities, but he shows up uninvited anyway.
Stinky is a little simple and thinks only about himself. Stinky will steal anything, but he prefers valuable objects. Although he causes a lot of trouble, the Moomin family find it rather charming that they know a real rogue.
This black hairball appears in the first comic strip about Moomintroll.
The Groke is an ominous creature whose frightening presence scares everyone wherever she goes. She turns up uninvited and rarely says anything. A chilly aura surrounds the Groke and the ground freezes beneath her.
Little is known about the Groke’s life, as she likes no one and no one really likes her. Usually, she simply stares threateningly with her round eyes and disappears as soon as she gets what she came for. Although the Moomins fear the Groke, they also pity her desperate loneliness.
The Moomins encounter the Groke for the first time in the book Finn Family Moomintroll. The Groke is also after the same King’s Ruby that the Hobgoblin is seeking. Thingumy and Bob steal the ruby, and the Groke only disappears when she is given the Hobgoblin’s hat in its place.
The Groke always travels alone. You can recognise her from her staring eyes and the long row of shining teeth under her large nose.
Too-Ticky is a dear friend of the Moomin family. She is wise woman who knows how to solve all sorts of dilemmas in a sensible and practical way. Too-Ticky is like a little whirlwind and always dives straight into action, cleaning up and helping the Moomins to keep everything in order.
Too-Ticky stands out from the rest of the Moominvalley crowd, as she doesn’t hibernate. She spends the winter in the Moomin family’s bathhouse. Here, she makes herself as comfortable as possible and the invisible shrews keep her company.
Although Too-Ticky is able to repair anything, she believes that sometimes you just have to accept that not everything that gets broken can be fixed. She doesn’t want to tell others how to live, as she believes that everyone learns through experience.
Too-Ticky wears a striped shirt, dark trousers and a bobble hat. We first meet her in the book Moominland Midwinter, in which Moomintroll wakes up in the middle of hibernation and learns to understand winter with Too-Ticky’s help.
Mymble is Little My’s sister and Snufkin’s half sister. Their mother is also called Mymble, but being an amiable and helpful big sister, Mymble soon took responsibility for looking after all her younger siblings.
Despite having the same parents and similar looks, Mymble and Little My differ in many ways. Mymble is much calmer than Little My and often dreams of finding the love of her life. She easily gets infatuated and has romantic daydreams about policemen in particular.
Mymble often wears a pink dress and does her hair in the same kind of bun as Little My. She is first mentioned in the book, Moominpappa’s Memoirs.
The Hattifatteners are silent beings that are forever wandering around in large herds. The only thing that interests them is reaching the horizon – and once they reach it, they continue on their journey.
The white, faceless Hattifatteners are deaf and dumb. They don’t need to eat or sleep. They pack themselves tightly together in large herds, and stand there trembling. Nothing except roaming interests them.
The Hattifatteners resemble thin mushrooms. Their large, unfocused eyes change colour according to their surroundings. During thunderstorms, the Hattifatteners become highly charged with electricity and it’s a good idea to avoid them. You can sense their presence as an electrical charge in the air. At other times they’re harmless.
On Midsummer day, the Hattifatteners gather on their own island for an annual meeting, after which they set out roaming once more. The Moomins first encounter the Hattifatteners in the book The Moomins and the Great Flood.
THINGUMY and BOB
Thingumy and Bob are inseparable and almost always walk around hand-in-hand. They speak in such a strange way, that initially only Hemulen can get to the bottom of what they’re saying. Sniff thinks they speak some foreign language.
This tiny and curious duo likes to hide in cramped places – under rugs or in drawers. They’re always friendly towards each other, but when it comes to other people, they don’t always reveal what they’re up to.
In the book Finn Family Moomintroll, Thingumy and Bob steal Moominmamma’s handbag so that they can sleep in it, but they return it as soon as they realise how much she needs it. However, they aren’t so willing to give up the King’s Ruby that they take from the Groke.
Although Thingumy and Bob are identical twins, you can tell them apart, as Thingumy wears a red cap.
The Muddler is an anxious, scatterbrained collector who chooses to live in a coffee tin. He stores away all the buttons he finds, but is hopelessly careless with his collection. The Muddler is always forgetting and losing things.
The somewhat shy Muddler has a tail, wears a pan on his head and dresses in ragged clothes. The Muddler met his wife, The Fuzzy, while on an adventure with Moominpappa. Sniff is their child, although he lives with the Moomins.
The Muddler, who is a nephew of the inventor Hodgkins, appears in the book Moominpappa’s Memoirs.
THE MOOMIN HOUSE
The Moomins live in a round, blue house that’s the same shape as a ceramic fireplace. The house originally had only two storeys, but the numerous visitors soon made it feel cramped. The Moomins extended the house, which now has three storeys and a cellar.
Moominpappa is very proud of this house, which he built with his own two hands. It has weathered storms and earthquakes, and is big enough for everyone – Moomin, his family and the friends that live with them – to have their own room.
The kitchen, salon and bathroom are on the ground floor. The first floor houses the Moomin family’s bedrooms and the guestrooms. When Moominpappa wants to write his memoirs, he heads for his study on the second floor.
You can study the rooms in the Moominhouse in more detail using the map you’ll find in the book Finn Family Moomintroll. You’re probably also wondering why the house looks like a ceramic fireplace. Legend has it that, in the old days, the Moomins used to live behind Tove’s ceramic fireplace.
Source: official Moomin site (www.moomin.com)