Dream Interpreter: Negotiating with a troll at CIBC

The Journal’s dream interpreter analyzes a dream about interpersonal conflict

Journal File Photo

I’m Meryl Sleep, Queen’s resident dream interpreter. I analyze dreams in an effort to decode the symbols in each Queen’s student’s subconscious. Today’s dream involves banks, Harry Potter and bargaining trolls. 


I dreamed I was waiting in line at the bank when a gigantic troll, straight out of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, burst in. He had a club and started threatening people while trying to rob the place. The exits were blocked and I was with a bunch of civilians, who were all older people I didn't recognize from real life. I crouched, hid in corners and behind counters, and teamed up with the people who were getting picked off one by one. 

The bank started to change from looking like CIBC to a straight-up medieval dungeon. At some point, a girl was about to get attacked so I decided to come out of hiding and distract the troll. I started negotiating with him (it?), and he began explaining why he was robbing the bank and what he needed. Then I woke up.

Dear Dreamer,

Dream interpretation is a unique process of inquiry that seeks to determine what you want from life, what your values and priorities are, and what your personal obstacles may be. It doesn’t serve as a confirmation of facts about your identity, but rather as guidance for understanding what exactly is going on in your subconscious. 

This dream seems to represent a situation where someone is mistreating you or someone you care about. In the dream, you recognize this is occurring and, while you may not understand its causes, feel like you have some control over how the situation can be resolved.

The primary symbol that jumps out here is the troll, which can be interpreted as a physical representation of an adversarial person you’ve recently encountered. You identified the troll as being a specific one from the first Harry Potter movie, indicating your adversary might be someone you interact with in your daily life because they appeared as a familiar symbol within your dream. Trolls tend to be viewed as grotesque creatures, suggesting it’s a physical manifestation of this person’s ugly actions or behaviour.

Trolls tend to be viewed as grotesque creatures, suggesting it’s a physical manifestation of this person’s ugly actions or behaviour.

When the troll first entered the bank, your immediate reaction was to hide. As the dream progressed, you decided to intervene in the conflict to protect other people from the threat. If you recently noticed someone close to you being mistreated, did you experience hesitation before confronting the aggressor? Have you recently been in the position of standing up for someone else?

In this case, your eventual attempt to negotiate further suggests you respect your aggressor because you’re willing to discuss your differences in pursuit of finding a solution. 

However, the dream ended before the troll was able to explain itself, which leads me to believe you don’t yet know what the reasoning behind its actions is, or you haven’t actually opened that discussion at this point. Did this dream come in advance of an interpersonal confrontation? Are you secretly hoping to address an uncomfortable situation or dynamic in your life? 

The progression of this dream suggests you have a strong desire to resolve a conflict within your life. By the end of the dream, you made the decision to take control of the situation and seek a resolution by talking to the troll. In changing your approach from a passive to active course of action, your subconscious might be encouraging you to speak up about what’s on your mind. 

Sweet dreams!

—Meryl Sleep

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