Norse Mythology: Jotun
Norse Mythology: Jotun

Norse Mythology: Jotun

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Giants, the main enemy of the Aesir gods. In the Norse world, giants are called Jotun or Iotun.

There are several types of giants, but the most common is the Frost Giant. They live in Jotunheim, one of the nine worlds.

The capital of Jotunheim is Utgard, a giant fortress of ice and home to Utgard-Loki or Utgardaloki.

Jotunheim is a large but empty world, devoid of physical geography. What is known about this land of giants is that Jotunheim is located east of Midgard, separated by a river and a forest called Jarnvid (Ironwood).

Jarnvid is inhabited by a troll wife known as Jarnvidjur, a descendant of a wolf-shaped giant.

Jotunheim consists of many places besides Utgard. The Hrungnir giant lived on the border of Jotunheim, which was called Griotunagardar.

The giant Thiassi lives in the mountains called Thrymheim, with his daughter, Skadi. Another type of giant is the fire giant who lives in Muspelheim. The fire giant Surt is the leader there.

It should be noted that some female giants were later deified because of their association with the gods. They include Jord, Grid, Gerd and Rind, among others. This female giant later became an Assyniur.

Most of the Aesir gods were descendants of giants. At least one of their parents was a giant. For example Odin, Thor, Tyr and Heimdall.

Perhaps the most important or famous about this is Loki’s existence. His parents were both giants, but he himself became the god of Aesir. Loki then becomes the leader of the giants when Ragnarok arrives.

The First Generation of Giants:

  • Ymir

The first giant. The ice giants call it Aurgelmir. Ymir is the first being created in the universe.

Ymir is the father of the Frost Giant race. The ice giants were born from the sweat that came from Ymir’s armpits.

First of all, Ymir became the father of an unknown giant whose six heads were fed by the giant cow, Audumla.

Audumla found food by sucking on rocks. This stone was then shaped like a human, then became the first god, Buri.

Buri became the father of another major god, Bor. Bor and Bestla later became parents to three gods, Odin, Vili and Ve.

Odin and his two brothers then killed Ymir. They used Ymir’s body to create the world.

His bones were used to create the sky and his eyebrows were used to make Midgard or Middle Earth, the home of mankind. Ymir also became the father of Thrudgelmir and the grandfather of Bergelmer.

  • Thrudgelmir

Thrudgelmir is the first Frost giant, the son of Ymir and the father of Bergelmer, Thrudgelmir died during a great flood caused by Ymir’s blood shed by Odin and his friends, when they killed Ymir.

  • Bergelmir

Son of Thrudgelmir and grandson of Ymir. When Odin and his comrades killed Ymir, his blood flooded the world, drowning all the frost giants except for Bergelmir and his wife.

Surviving the great flood, Bergelmir later became the progenitor of the frost giants race.

  • Surt

The fire giant. Lives in Muspelheim (land of fire) which is said to be in the south.

There Surt became the leader. During Ragnarok’s time, Surt was the oldest Jotun and the one who killed Freyr, the first god to die. Surt ends the war by burning Yggdrasil. Almost no living things have survived.

Next generation of Giants:

  • Vafthrudnir

The wisest giant, according to one of the Poetic Edda poems, Vafthrudnismal (Vafthrudnir’s Sayings).

Despite the information that he is the son of giant Im, not much is known about him. Vafthrudnir is not mentioned in any of the poetry.

Vafthrudnir was once involved in a question and answer game between himself and Odin.

At that time, Odin disguised himself as a traveler who called himself Gagnrad and challenged the wisdom possessed by Vafthrudnir.

The giant accepts the challenge and only realizes that his opponent is Odin at the end of the game, when he can’t answer Odin’s question.

  • Suttung

Frost Giant. Suttung (Soup Heavy) is the son of the giant Gilling. When two dwarves, Fjalar and Galar killed his parents, Suttung intended to kill the two dwarves as a form of revenge. Suttung is willing to give up both, but the reward is Mead Of Poetry.

Suttung then ordered his daughter, Gunnlod to guard the heirloom. But Odin managed to seduce Gunnlod into drinking Mead Of Poetry.

When Odin fled to Asgard, Suttung chased him in the form of an eagle, but Suttung was unable to catch up with Odin. He also couldn’t return Mead Of Poetry to its original state.

  • Hymir

He was Thor’s fishing companion when Thor accidentally hooked him on Jormungandr, the owner of the mystical cauldron.

  • Utgardaloki

As Jotun, the guardian of the city of Utgard, after Thrym’s death he became the leader of Jotun, it is said that Utgardaloki is a master of illusions and Deception, utgardaloki has tricked Thor into testing his strength, but the intelligent Utgardaloki makes a test that Thor can’t win.

  • Hrym

In the Norse mythology Ragnarok, Hrym is a giant who captains and directs Naglfar’s ship. Naglfar is made from the nails of the dead that have not been cut. Hrym will carry the Frost Giants from Jotunheim to the plains of Vigrid.

The Jotuns who died before Ragnarok:

  • Hrimthurs

The giant who built the walls around Asgard in the guise of a human named Blast. The owner of the magic horse, Svadilfari.

Hrimthurs said he could finish his job in just six months. If she is successful, then Freyja must be his wife. Likewise the moon and sun must submit to it. As a result of Loki’s actions, he lost the bet. Thor then killed him.

  • Thrym

The leader of the giants in Jotunheim. Once upon a time Thrym stole Thor’s magic hammer, Mjolnir.

He said that he would return the hammer to Thor if Freyja wanted to be his wife (Why is it always Freyja?).

Thor then disguised himself as Freyja and went to Jotunheim. There he was accompanied by Loki.

There, Thrym and the other giants were stunned when they saw this fake Freyja. He ate one beef, eight salmon, and three large tankards of mead.

Loki makes a sneaky excuse by saying that the fake Freyja hasn’t eaten for eight days because she was so shocked about marrying a giant king.

Thrym then tried to peek under Freyja’s hood. Once again Thrymn was shocked by the flames that spilled out of the eyes of the fake Freyja (Thor).

Once again Thrym asked for an explanation, Loki replied that Freyja was very fascinated by the marriage.

As Thrym put Mjolnir on the lap of the bride, Thor came out of his disguise and attacked Thrym. He killed the king of the giants and all the giants in that place.

  • Hrungnir

The giant from Griotunagardar, the border area of ​​Jotunheim. Hrungnir stated that he was the strongest giant in the world.

Head and heart made of stone. Hrungnir has a horse named Gullfaxi (Golden Mane), the fastest horse in Jotunheim, but Odin said that his Sleipnir was greater.

Odin’s words caused Hrungnir to declare that he would come to Valhalla from Jotunheim, destroying Asgard and all the Aesir gods except Freyja and Sif, who he would take as concubines.

Thor then challenged him to a duel. Hrungnir then came to Asgard unarmed. He said that Thor should meet him at Griotunagardar.

There, the other giants make preparations to face Thor by making a giant from the mud named Mokkurkalfi. They hoped to use this artificial giant to frighten Thor.

Mokkurkalfi was enormous in size, nine leagues high and three leagues wide. Armed with a large whetstone, Hrungnir threw it at Thor. Even though Mjolnir smashed the whetstone in half, one of the shards stuck in Thor’s head.

Mjolnir also crushed Hrungnir’s stone head so that the giant died and fell on Thor’s neck. Thor was unable to move Hrungnir’s body away from his, but Magni succeeded. Then Thor gave Gullfaxi to Magni.

  • Thiassi

The Frost Giant. Is the eldest son of Olvaldi or Allvaldi and brother of Idi and Gang. His father was very rich and lived in Thrymheim.

When Thiassi’s father died, the land was divided among three brothers. Thiassi has the ability to turn into an eagle. He also has a beautiful daughter named Skadi.

Thiassi is the Jotun who built Valhalla and demanded Loki to hand over Idun and his youthful apple as payment, but after Loki helped kidnap Idun.

Loki was then forced to save Idun. Thiassi then followed Loki to Asgard in the form of a giant eagle, but was instantly killed by Aesir as soon as he crossed the walls of Asgard.

Skadi who wants to take revenge for the death of her father but she gets an offer of peace from Aesir. She can choose a husband from among the Aesirs. Odin also took Thiassi’s eyes and threw them into the sky and two new stars were created.

  • Geirrod

Frost Giant who is the father of two female giants Gialp (Yelper) and Greip (Gripper). Geirrod and his two children tried to kill Thor.

Although Geirrod had tried to prevent Thor from carrying his weapon with Loki’s help, Thor obtained another weapon from Grid which was used by the god of thunder to kill Geirrod and his two children.

Furthermore, these are the female Gygur or Jotun:

  • Bestla

Female giant. Is the daughter of the giant Bolthor. Bestla later married the main god named Bor, the son of Buri. She is the mother of Odin, Vili and Ve.

  • Angerboda

Frost Giant. Through Loki, she is the mother of Hel, Midgard Serpent (Jormungand) and Fenrir, the giant wolf.

  • Gunlod

Female giant. Gunnlod or War Summon is the daughter of the giant Suttung. Gunnload is the keeper of Mead Of Poetry. When his father got the heirloom, he asked Gunnlod to guard it in the cave.

When Odin made it into the cave, Gunnlod allowed the god to drink Mead Of Poetry, but on the condition that Odin had to want to sleep with him (What the hell?). So, Odin slept with Gunnlod for Three nights and Odin got his wish.

  • Skadi

Frost Giant. Skadi is the daughter of Thiassi from the Thryheim mountains. When her father was killed by Aesir, Skadi was about to fight with Aesir.

The Aesirs then make a peace treaty only if they can make Skadi laugh and Skadi can choose a husband among the existing Aesir gods.

Loki easily made Skadi laugh but choosing a husband is a more difficult situation. Therefore, Skadi will choose her husband based on his feet.

At first Skadi thought he chose Balder because of his beautiful legs. It turns out that her new husband is Njord.

The marriage between Skadi and Njord did not last long due to differences in their favorite places of residence, one in the sea and the other in the mountains. That’s why they divorced.

Skadi then married Ull. Just like Gerd or other female giants, Skadi later became Asyniur, the goddess of the mountains. Sometimes Skadi is considered the mother of Freyr and Freyja. Actually she is just their stepmother.

  • Gerd

The female giant who became Freyr’s wife. Gerd is the daughter of the mountain giants Gymir and Aurboda.

Gerd had an anonymous brother who was killed. Freyr fell in love with Gerd after the god sat down on Hlidskialf. Odin’s throne in one of the halls, Valaskialf.

This throne allows everyone to see the entire world, no matter how far. Freyr then sent his servant, Skirnir, to seduce Gerd into marrying Freyr.

Initially, Skirnir offered Gerd various gifts. But all refused, even when Skirnir threatened to cut off her head using Freyr’s sword.

Gerd only agreed to accept Skirnir’s offer when Skirnir said he would curse Gerd by turning himself into an ugly woman.

Gerd promised to meet Freyr in a small forest called Barri. Although the story never explains whether the two were married, many writers say that the two later had a child named Fiolnir.

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Gerd later became the goddess of light, an Assyniur, just like the female giant Skadi who also became an Assyniur.

  • Grid

Frost Giant. Grid (Peace) is a friendly female giant who warns Thor of Geirrod’s betrayal.

Once upon a time Thor went to Geirrod’s house unarmed, because Loki had advised Thor to leave Mjolnir in his palace.

Grid then gave Thor her wand (Grídarvol), as well as an iron gauntlet (Jarngreipr) and a belt (Megingjord). Thor used this gift given by Grid to defeat Geirrod and his evil daughter. Grid was the mother of Vidar via Odin.

  • Jarnsaxa

Female giant. Jarnsaxa or Iarnsaxa is the mother of Magni and Modi through Thor. Little is known about this one, except that she is Sif’s rival in the battle for Thor’s love. Her parents are unknown. The name itself means Iron Sax and appears on the list of female giants Sturluson.

  • Nine Waves

Sea Giants, the nine giants who became the mother of the Heimdall who consisted of Himinglaeva, Dufa, Blodughadd, Hefring, Unn, Hronn, Bylgia, Drofn, Kolga.

And here are the other giants:

  • Aegir

Giant Sea, is the lord of the oceans of giants, he married his own sister named Ran, and is the father of the Nine Waves, and of course Grandpa of Heimdall.

In some stories it is said that Aegir is the brother of Loki and Kari. Aegir was the first giant that existed (in the same era as Surt).

Aegir is described as an old man with long white hair with clawed hands, Aegir lives in an underwater area called Hlesey, his loyal servants are Eldir and Fimafeng.

In Scottish mythology, Aegir is usually called Eagor, when a high wave comes, they shout: Beware, Eagor is coming !

And for that they usually sacrifice one person for Ten prisoners must be sacrificed to Eagor so that they can return home safely.

  • Logi

The fiery giant who defeated the Deceiving God Loki in a eating competition held in jotunheim by Utgard-Loki. Loki lost because Logi has the form of fire that can scorch anything with incredible speed.

  • Thokk

The Frost Giant, which is a female giant who is famous because she is the only living thing that does not mourn or cry over Balder’s death, as a condition for Balder to come back to life. some mythology experts believe that thokk is Loki’s disguise.

  • Ran

The wife of Aegir, she lives with Aegir under the sea in a region called Hlesey, where her shining residence is covered with a golden sheen, it is said that she often drowns sailors who carry a lot of gold.

Ran has a net that is used to drown sailors, this net was once borrowed by Loki to catch Andari’s dwarf.

  • Skrymir

The enormous giant is found by Thor and Loki on their way to Utgard.

Skrymir was so large that Thor and Loki thought his crotch was a large cave and spent the night there.


Thank you for reading this episode of Norse mythology.

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