Hemulens, great lovers of rules and responsibility

The hemulens all share certain character traits: they like order, believe in duty, and strongly feel that rules and regulations should be followed – to the letter...

They are prone to obsess over collecting things (whether that be plants, stamps or insects) and tend to be a bit bossy. Most of them lack a sense of humour, but they can also be surprisingly convivial and high-spirited!

Being great lovers of order and authority, hemulens often do well in serious roles as park wardens, policemen, and caregivers. (Although those in the care of the Hemulen Aunt might ask for fewer multiplication contests and a little more fun…) They particularly like positions that come with uniforms, so it’s no surprise that the Hemulic Voluntary Brass Band has so many members.

“Hemulens can surprise!”

Sometimes their desire for everyone to follow the rules precisely results in them being rather bossy and not necessarily the nicest to be around. They are certainly not known for taking other people’s opinions into account. But hemulens can surprise. Despite not usually being good listeners, only the Hemulen could understand Thingumy and Bob when they first arrived in Moominvalley. And the Hemulen who loves to ski has altogether different ideas about fun!


Hemulens love collecting things and are very serious about this pastime which gives them great pleasure. The trouble only comes when they have collected every last specimen available and don’t have anything else to search for. Without a purpose, they can become quite dejected.

Luckily, they can usually find something new to obsess about – that is how the Hemulen who collected stamps became the Hemulen who collects plants. 

Hemulens look a little like Moomintrolls in that they have similarly large noses, but they are slightly taller and slimmer, with no ears and hair that grows in tufts. They almost always wear dresses. 

Hemulens first appear in the first Moomin book, The Moomins and the Great Flood (1945).

A little-known fact about hemulens:

  • Snufkin’s arch-enemy is a Hemulen park keeper who put up signs all over the park saying things like ‘DO NOT SIT ON THE GRASS’ and ‘LAUGHING STRICTLY PROHIBITED’.

Hemulen quotes:

  • ‘The Hemulen always wore a dress that he had inherited from his aunt. I believe all Hemulens wear dresses. It seems strange, but there you are.’ (Finn Family Moomintroll, 1948)
  • “This is the two-hundred-and-nineteenth specimen in my collection!” (Finn Family Moomintroll, 1948)
  • ‘Hemulens are generally a bit slow at grasping an idea, but they are very pleasant if you don’t annoy them.’ (Comet in Moominland, 1946)
  • “I’m the Hemulen’s aunt and I know only grown-up and sensible people.” (The Exploits of Moominpappa, 1950)
  • “There’s only one person in the whole world whom I really dislike and that’s the Park Keeper. I’m going to pull down all his notices about Forbidden Things.” (Snufkin in Moominsummer Madness, 1954)


Stinky, a loveable rogue

Stinky is a small creature with a fuzzy body and a penchant for causing trouble in Moominvalley. Even if he is a rogue, he is still beloved.