norse-mythology-vikings

Norse Mythology

Jotuns/Giants

Jotuns in Norse Mythology

Jotun also called a giant. This is the first living being, and the first of them was a Jotun called Ymir, and from Ymir was the world was created. A Jotun is a giant with superhuman strength; their homeland is Jotunheim, which is one of the nine worlds. Jotunheim is a mostly made of mountains, wilderness and dense forests. The giants mostly lives from the fish in the water, and the animals from the dense forests, because there is no fertile land.


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A Jotuns



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Ægir the lord of the sea

Aegir: The Lord of the Sea

Aegir is one of the three jotuns who lives in Asgard, the two others are Loki and Karl. Aegir is married to his sister Ran, and was the father of nine daughters, the waves. Who is said to be the mothers of Heimdall. The names of Aegir's nine daughters are Himminglaeva, Dufa, Blodughadda, Hefring, Ud, Hrönn, Bölge, Dröfn and Kolga. A few stories claim that Aegir is the brother of Loki and Karl.

Aegir is one of the oldest gods, and predates the Aesir, Elves, Dwarfs, Giants and Vanir. His house is under the island of Hlesey "laesoe" or "cat's throat", in the coral caves. The island is between Jutland and Zealand in Denmark. He has two servants Eldir and Fimafeng.


Annar:

Annar is the second husband of Nat "Night", their dauther is Fjorgyn "Earth".


Angrboda:

Angrboda is a jotun and lives in Jotunheim, "the land of the giants" in the hall of Angrboda. The name Angrboda means "the one who brings grief" or "She who offers sorrow" Angrboda is married to Loki, Angroboda and Loki are the parents to Hel, the Midgard serpent and the Fenrir wolf.


Aud:

His name Aud means "Wealth" he is the son of Night "Nat" and Naglefari.


Aurvandil: The Brave

Aurvandil is known as the brave. Aurvandil is the husband of Groa. Aurvandil was rescued by Thor from the giants and carried him across the icy river Elivagar in a basket. One of Aurvandil's toes froze, and Thor broke it off and threw it into the sky, where it shines like a bright star.


Baugi: Ring Shaped

Baugi is a giant and the brother of Suttung. Odin worked disguised as a worker named Bolverk for Baugi to gain the trust of him. Odin worked so well that Baugi agreed to lead him to the mountain where the Mead of poetry was hidden. It was guarded by Gunnlod, Suttung's daughter. Baugi then drilled a hole in the mountain, to allow Odin a sip of the Mead. But Odin changed into a serpent and slithered thought the hole to get the mead.


Beli:

Beili is the brother of Gerda, Freyr's lover. Beli challenged Freyr, and Freyr killed him with a stag horn, because Freyr had given his magic sword to Gymir, Gerda's father.


Bergelmir:

His name Bergelmir means "Mountain yeller" or "Bear Yeller". Bergelmir is a frost giant, and the son of Thrudgelmir and the grandson of Ymir, the first giant. Bergelmir and his wife are the only two survivors of all the giants after Ymir's death and the flood. They used a hollowed out tree trunk to sail on the flood, it was the first boat. Because of Bergelmir and his wife, the race of frost giants were able to survive and live in Jotunheim.


Bestla:

Bestla is a giant, and the wife of Borr. Bestla is the mother of the three gods, Odin, Vili and Ve. Bestla is the daughter of the giant Bolthur.


Borr:

Borr is the son of Buri, who is the father of the gods. Borr is married to Bestla, the daughter of a giant. Borr and Bestla has three sons, Odin, Vili, and Ve.


Bolthur: Thorn of Evil

Bolthur is the father of Bestla, and has a son which name is unknown.


Byleist:

Byleirst is a jotun. He has a brother called Loki and Helblindi. Byleist is the son of Farbauti and Layfey.


Day:

Day is the son of Night. The gods sent Night and Day up in the sky, in a chariot each, pulled by horses Hrimfaxi and Skinfaxi.


Eggther:

Eggther is a watchman of the giants that at Ragnarok "The end of the world" will sit upon a grave mound and play his harp.


Farbauti:

Farbauti means "cruel striker" He is a Jotun, he is married to Laufey, she is also a Jotun and they are the parents of Loki, Helblindi, Byleist.


Fjolsvin:

Fjolsvin is the giant who guards the gate in Jotunheim.


Fornjot: Destroyer

Fornjot is a giant, and the father of the wind.


Gang:

Gang is one of the storm giants, his father is Olvaldi and he has two brothers Thiazzi and Idi. His father Olvaldi has left Gang and his brother's piles of gold to be divided among them.


Geirröd:

Geirröd is one of Thor’s mightiest enemies. Geirröd is the father of Gjalp and Greip. Geirröd and his two daughters Gjalp and Greip are dead. Once Loki had once taken the shape of a hawk and had been captured by Geirröd. The only way Loki would avoid death was to promise to bring Thor to Geirröd’s hall, without his power belt and Thor's hammer. Because Thor trusted Loki, he agreed to come to Geirröd’s hall, without his belt and the hammer Mjölnir.

Fortunately for Thor, they made a brief stop by a giant named Grid, and she warned Thor about the plan while Loki was asleep. She loaned him, her own strength belt, magical iron gloves, and her scepter. Thor fully equipped, he and Loki traveled to Geirröd’s hall the next morning. When they arrived, Geirröd was not home, but they were met by the servant. But it was not long before Gjalp and Greip tried to kill Thor, by lifting his chair and smash his head against the ceiling.

Thor used the wand to force the chair down, so it was instead Gjalp and Greip that was crushed underneath the chair. But then came Geirröd himself, and by using a tong, he picked up a red hot iron ball and threw it at Thor, Thor caught it with the gloves he had loaned from Grid. Furious at this behavior towards him, Thor threw the still burning, red-hot and steaming iron ball back through the hall, directly through an iron pillar, and deep into the belly of Geirröd. Geirröd and his two daughters Gjalp and Greip were dead, and Thor and Loki left the house, and returned to Asgard.


Gerd:

Gerd is extremely beautiful. Gerd is the daughter of the giants Gymer and Aurbode. Freyr fell in love with her, but Gerd would not marry Freyr, but she was forced to do so, otherwise she would be cursed.


Giant master builder:

The giant who build the walls around Asgard. He has a stallion named Svadilfari, which loki stole from him. So he could not make the walls of Asgard in the time frame he was supposed to.


Gilling:

Gilling is a giant and the father of Suttung. Gilling was killed by the two dwafs Fjalar and Galar.


Gjalp: Howler:

Gjalp is the daughter of the giant Geirrod, and sister of Greip. Gjalp tried to kill Thor, but Thor killed Gjalp and her sister.


Grid:

Grid is a jotun and a friendly woman, Grid had a power belt, iron gloves and a magic wand. Her wand is called Gridavol. She was the mother of one of Odin's sons, the silent god VidarGrid made a special shoe, so Vidar can stand in Fenrir yawn.


Groa: Growing

Groa has the knowledge of witchcraft and she was a Völva "Soothsayer". Groa is married to Aurvandil the Brave and the mother of Svipdag. Svipdag visited Groa for advice in Niflheim after her death. Groa also tried to remove the whetstone that was in Thor's skull, after his fight with Hrungnir. Odin used sorcery to raise Groa from the grave, for a short amount of time. Groa then foretold Odin, the prophecy of Ragnarok.


Gunlod:

Gunlod is the daughter of the fire giant Suttung. Gunlod was the woman that protected the Mead of poetry that was made from the blood of Kvasir.


Gymir:

Gymir is a giant and the father of Gerd.


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Hel Queen of the Underworld

Hel

Hel is the daughter of Loki and Angrboda, Hel became queen of the Underworld in Niflheim. Her throne is called "sotte bed". Hel lives in a house called Helheim in Niflheim, the house is surrounded by a tall fence, it is very creepy inside the house. Hel's big hall is called "Icy cold and sleet" and her bed is called sick-bed, and the curtains around it Misfortune. The dining table is called Hunger and the knife is called starvation.

It was Odin who threw Hel, down to Niflheim and made Hel the ruler of the world of the dead. Anyone who dies of illness or old age is sent to Hel. The entrance into Hel, is guarded by a dog named Garm "Hell Hound" He is bound in the Gnipahulen "Gnipacave" and will howl, as soon as new people would arrive. Nidhug (a dragon) will then notice that new blood is on the way. Nidhug will then suck the blood out of all the people who arrive, so they became completely pale. When all the blood has left them, was it easier for Hel, to get them into her army of the dead. The army will then attack, the humans in Midgard, when it is Ragnarok "the end of the world". Ragnarok will come the day, Hel is finished building her ship Naglfar. The ship is built with the nails from the dead.


Helblindi:

Helblindi is a jotun. Helblindi means "Hel blinder" or "All blind" He has a brother called Loki and Byleist. Helblindi is the son of Farbauti and Layfey.


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Hrungnir the giant

Hrungnir:

Hrungnir is tall and stone headed, and the strongest of the giants, hrungnir has a heart and a skull of stone. Hrungnir has a whetstone as a weapon. Hrungnir has a horse named Goldfaxi "Golden Mane", he bet the horse in a race against Odin which he lost. Hrungnir was killed in a duel with Thor.




Hugi: Thought

Hugi is a young giant, who outran Thialfi in a running contest in Utgard. Hugi is an illusion and the embodiment of thought and no one can run faster than thought.


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Thor and Hymir fishing.

Hymir: Dark One

Hymir is a elder jotun a sea giant, who owns a large cauldron that the gods uses to brew their mead.







Hyndla:

Hyndla is a giant who was visted by the goddess Freya. Freya asked Hyndla to reveal the background of her human lover, Ottar.


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Hyrrokkin by Ludwig Pietsch (1865)

Hyrokkin:

Hyrrokkin "Fire-Smoked", is possibly referring to a dark, shriveled appearance. Hyrokkin is very strong; she lives in the iron forest in Jotumheim. Hyrokkin had a horse that could transform into a wolf; she had vipers as horse reins. It is Hyrrokkin who was summoned to Asgard, to help drag the ship with Balder out to sea. Nobody, in Asgard had the strength to do this, except Hyrrokkin who did it with just one hand. Hyrokkin gave birth to several giants in wolf forms, like Sköll and Hati and other unknown giants in wolf forms with Fenrir wolf as the father.


Idi:

Idi is one of the storm giants. Idi is the son of Olvaldi, and he has two brothers Thiazzi and Gang.

Jarnsaxa:

Jarnsaxa has two sons, Magni and Modi with Thor.


Laufey:

Laufey is married to Farbaute. Laufey and Farbaute are parents to Loki, Byleist, Helblindi. Loki was born after she was hit by a thunderbolt from Farbaute.


Logi: Flame

Logi is a young giant who defeated the trickster Loki, in an eating contest, in the great hall in Utgard. It turned out that Logi was an illusion and the embodiment of fire, which can consume anything and everything with great speed.


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Loki: The Trickster

Loki is the son of the giants, Farbauti and Laufey.

Loki has two brothers by the name, Helblinde and Býleistr.

Loki is blood brother with Odin.

Loki is the mother of Sleipnir.

Loki is married with Angrboda. She is a Jotun. They got the three children, Hel, Fenrir Wolf, and The Midgard Serpent.

Loki is married with Sigyn. They have two children together, Narvi and Vali.

Loki is quite beautiful; he is also cunning and is clever. Loki is the god of wildfire and mischief. Loki lives in Asgard. Loki is evil at heart and very fickly by nature. It happens very often, that Loki will bring the Aesir in the uttermost embarrassments, and Loki then often saved them with his cunning character. Loki is also a shape shifter and in separate incidents appears in the form of a salmon, mare, seal, a fly, and possibly also an elderly woman.

Loki as Odin's companion

The Aesir can't chase Loki away; he refers to his old right, by becoming blood brothers with Odin. Do you remember Odin, that we in primeval times mixed our blood. Beer in the cup, you would not have, before they had offered it to us both.


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"The children of Loki" (1920) by Willy Pogany.

Hel, Midgard Serpent, and the Fenrir Wolf.

When the Aesir were told, that these three siblings were born, in the land of the Jotuns, they knew this would bring great evil to the world. Not just because of their mother's origin, but also their father. So Odin decided that a few, of the Aesir should go and get the children.

When the children came to Asgard, Odin threw the Midgard serpent into the deep sea. The Midgard serpent grew so big so that is lies in the middle of the sea, all around the world, biting its own tail. Hel, he threw down in Niflheim, and gave her the power over nine worlds. So she could assign residence to all those who were sent to her. But it is only those who died of illness or old age. They kept the Fenrir wolf, in Asgard.


Menglod:

She is a very beautiful giantess, who has eigth maiden goddesses.


Modgud:

She is a giantess, and the guardian of Gjallarbru, the bridge over the river Gioll, on the way to the Niflheim. Modgud allowed the newly dead to use the bridge to cross, if the soul stated his or her name and business.


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Mokkurkalfi the clay giant

Mokkurkalfi:

Mokkurkalfi is made by the jotuns, from the clay in the river bed in Jotunheim, to frighten Thor. Mokkurkalfi is a giant made of clay, and has a heart from a mare. Although the creature towered far up into the clouds it moved very slowly and its legs where vulnerable to attacks. Mokkurklafi and Hrungnir were fighting Thor and his servant Thalfi on the battlefield.







Naglfari: Darkling

Naglfari is a giant, and the first husband of Nat "Night", they have a son named Aud.


Nat: Night

Night is a beautiful giantess with dark skin and hair as the midnight black. She is the daughter of Narfi, one of the first giants. She has been married three times, her first husband was Aud, her second husband was Annar, they had a daughter named Earth. Her third husband was Delling "Dawn" they had a son named Dag "Day". Nat and Dag were both given a chariot and put into the sky, to ride across the heaven.


Norfi:

He is a giant and the father of Nat "Night", he was one of the first giants in Jotunheim.


Olvaldi:

He is the father of the storm giants, Thiazzi, Idi, and Gang. When Olvaldi died, he left a large amount of gold for his three sons. There was so much gold, that no scales could weight it, so the sons measured it by the mouthfuls.


Ran: Robber

Ran is married to Aegir the lord of the sea. Ran lives in the coral caves under the island of Hlesey "laesoe" or "cat's throat". The island is between Jutland and Zealand in Denmark. Her coral caves is only lighten up by the gleam of her gold. She dragged drowning sailors who have any gold down to her coral caves, in her huge fishing net.


Rind:

Rind is the daugther of Billing "King of the Ruthenians". Rind and Odin have a son named Vali.


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Skadi Hunting in the Mountains (1901) by H. L. M.

Skadi: Destruction

Skadi (Or Skaði) is married to Njord, the Vanir god of wind, seafarers, coasts, and inland waters. She is daughter of the frost giant Thiazzi. Skadi is the goddess of winter, skiers, and hunters. Skadi picked Njord as her husband because of his beautiful feet. But they could not agree where to live, Njord thought that the home of Skadi in the land of the jotuns was to cold and deserted. While Skadi didn’t like the noise and fuss of the shipbuilding around Njords home, Noatun in Asgard. After nine nights at each place, they decided to live by them self. Skadi went back to her favorite interest to hunt on skis, and the weather bitten Njord, returned to the sea. The apparently unbridgeable disconnection between them, likely reflects more their personal tastes. Njord was for certain seen as a fertility god, assuring safe journey to sea, for those who worship him.

But also for wealth and good fortune, in the form of land and sons. Skadi's context was quite another, she came from a mountain with snow on the top. Where heavy clouds hid the sun and the hard rock made the ground feel dead cold. In her wild and inhospitable land where nothing would thrive or grow, here was there hardly anything for people to do.


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"I am the giant Skrymir" (1902) by Elmer Boyd Smith

Skrymir: Master of Illusions

Skrymir is a very large giant, and Skrymir is the strongest and most cunning of the giants. Skrymir lives in Utgard. Skrymir is also known as Udgard/Utgard Loki.

















Sköll_norse_mythology

"Far away and long ago" (1920) by Willy Pogany.

Sköll and Hati Hróðvitnisson

Sköll ”Treachery” is a wolf that chased the horse Skinfaxi. Skinfaxi is the horse that pulls the chariot of Day, across the sky each day. Hati Hróðvitnisson (first name meaning) “He Who Hates, Enemy” chased the moon, which is pulled by Hrimfaxi across the night sky, until the time of Ragnarok, when they will swallow the Sun and the Moon. After which the Fenrir wolf, will break free from his bounds and kill Odin.


Surt_fire_giant_ruler_of_Muspellheim_norse_mythology

The Giant with the Flaming Sword (1909) by John Charles Dollman.

Surt: Black

Surt (In Old Norse "black" or "the swarthy one) is a fire giant with a flaming sword, and ruler of Muspellheim "The land of fire". Surt will at Ragnarok "end of the world" set fire to the world. He will also kill the god Freyr, after a long battle.
















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The Giant with the Flaming Sword (1909) by John Charles Dollman.

Suttung: Heavy with broth

Suttung is a giant, and the son of Gilling. His father was killed by two dwarfs, Fjalar and Galar. Suttung has a daughter named Gunlod, she was the guardian of the Mead of poetry.
















Thiazzi:

Thiazzi is a mighty storm giant that lives in a house called Thrymheim, “Noisy home” it is in Jotunheim. He is the son of the giant Olvaldi, and the brother of Gang, and Idi. Thiazzi has a son named Skadi. Occasionally Thiazzi cloaked himself as an eagle, he also did this once to trick, Loki into helping him kidnap Idun, the goddess in charge of the apples of youth. In the end Loki tricked the giant Thiazzi, and he was killed at the gates in Asgard. Skadi the daughter of Thiazzi, was given to the Vanir god Njord, as a compensation for her father's death. After the death of Thiazzi, Odin threw the eyes of Thiazzi into the sky, so they would stay there forever as lighting stars.


Thokk: Coal

She is the giantess who refused to cry for the death of Balder, so he would remain in Hel, until Ragnarok. Some belives that Thokk might have been Loki, in disguise.


Thrym:

He is a frost giant, and sometimes called king of the frost giants. He once stole Thor's hammer and demanded the goddess Freya as his wife, to give the hammer back. The trickster Loki helped Thor get his hammer back, and Thor killed Thrym wih his hammer Mjölnir.


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While Ymir suckles at the udder of Auðumbla, Búri is licked out of the ice in this 18th-century painting by Nicolai Abildgaard (1790)

Ymir: Confused Noise

Ymir is the first giant Ymir was feed by the giant cow, Audhumla. When Ymir slept, a male and female giants grew from his armpits, and one of his legs paired with the other to create a third, a son Thrudgelmir “Strength Yeller” These were the first of the family of frost giants or Jotuns. It was from these creatures, the race of frost giants came. Ymir was killed by Odin and his brothers Vili and Ve, and they used Ymir's body to make the world.





Author of page content Martin Højbjerg