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Jötunn (plural: Jötnar) is a race of entities contrasting that of their eternal rivals Norse Gods from Norse mythology and legend.

Mythology

All Jötnar were originated from the progenitor of their kind, the first Jötunn Ymir. Ymir himself was born from mythical substance Eitr, formed by combination of sparks of Muspelheim and frost of Niflheim along with Audhumla, primordial cow that acted as the source of his nourishment. Being a hermaphroditic Jötunn, his body conceived numerous smaller Jötnar when he slept. Things eventually changed when Buri, the first Æsir and progenitor of Gods of Asgard, was conceived from a salt lick consumed by Audhumla. Buri then had a son named Borr, who sired three children with Bestla, one of Ymir's descendants, and named them Odin, Vili, and Ve.

The Æsir's presence sparked a tension between them and Ymir's brethren which soon sparked into a battle that culminated to Odin and his brothers slew Ymir, flooding the whole world with the first Jötunn's blood and killing most Jötnar in process. Only Bergelmir and his wife who managed to survive the ensuing disaster and subsequently repopulate the recovered Nine Realms. Since then, the Jötnar harbored intense hatred toward the bane of their predecessors and their descendants Gods of Asgard, most notably ones hailed from Æsir tribe.

Throughout attestations in the Old Norse records, it is said that the relationship between Jötnar and the Gods is more complex than good and evil, let alone light and darkness. The Gods of Asgard perceived Jötnar as unlikely allies and nuisance at best and bitter enemies at worst as shown through their dynamic with Loki. Loki's mischief and pranks troubled the Gods again and again despite of them accepted him as one of their own. Though some argued his actions were stemmed from mistreatments on both him and his children by the Gods due to prophesied calamities that they would bring to the Nine Worlds, it must be stressed that Loki's inherent bigotry against the Gods IS the major reason of the aforementioned misery they gone through.

Comparison to Giants

Though the term has become a catch-all phrase for any kind of giants as well as troll, ogre, or even orcs in various portrayals of Norse mythology in popular culture, Jötnar in myths are actually more than either — Jötnar are primordial gods not unlike Titans from Greek myths and related to Æsir in many ways yet represent primal, untamed and destructive aspects of nature, and many were more placated than worshiped. What further set them apart from stereotypical mythological giants and their relatives is that they are not necessarily notably large and may be described as exceedingly beautiful or as alarmingly grotesque. The Jötnar are also demonstrate immense mystical abilities beyond those of mortals, most notably shapeshifting and illusion conjuration which can even temporarily fool Gods of Asgard in some accounts.

Variations

Frost Jötunn

Also known as Hrimthur (plural: Hrimthursar). The most ancient of Jötnar race, Frost Jötnar were among the first of the Jötnar created when the world began, symbolizing the time before the gods existed.

Fire Jötunn

Also known as Eldthur (plural: Eldthursar), Fire Jötnar are eager participants at Ragnarok and believe in the fiery destruction of the cosmos. They are arguably descendants of both Bergelmir and Ymir who inhabited Muspelheim and evolved into Jötnar race they were now. The most famous of the fire Jötnar was Surtr, Fire Jötunn who guarded the gates to Muspellheim.

Beast Jötunn

Not all Jötnar are born equal. Some are born as monsters and viewed as such despite their divine lineage. Many of them resemble animals in physiology and appearance, but still as powerful as their humanoid brethren. Examples includes Jörmungandr, Hræsvelgr, Sköll and Hati, and Fenrir.

In Popular Culture

As with well-known figures of Norse Mythology, Jötnar have been described in many films, comics, videogames, and books, as well as traditional lore. Some portrayals of these entities however, depicted them as storybook giants, trolls, and/or ogres as opposed to divine beings in myths.

In Marvel comics universe and live-action adaptations (particularly Marvel Cinematic Universe series), Jötnar also featured with similar role and relationships with the Gods of Asgard as with in myths, though the term solely applied to Frost Giants as the franchise replaced Fire Jötnar with equally powerful Fire Demons (though they nevertheless share many aspects to the former such as being natives of Muspelheim instead of Hell as their name suggested).

In real-time strategy game Northgard, Jötnar appear as in neutral groups living in camps at the titular continent. In the game's story campaign, a horde of Eldthursar appear as main threat summoned by Hvedrung, who may or may not mortal disguise of either Loki or Surt.

In 2017 film, Moder, is a Jötunn who is described as Loki's child.

Navigation

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Notable Legends
Chupacabra | Cyclops | Dragons | Wyverns | Dullahan | Fairies | Gremlins | Grim Reaper | Ghosts | Giants | Headless Horseman | Kraken | Loch Ness Monster | Medusa | Minotaur | Monsters | Mothman | Ogres | Siren | Skeletons | Spiders | Vampires | Wendigo | Yeti | Zombies

Demonology Legends
The Devil | Demons | Fallen Angels
Abaddon | Abere | Abyzou | Andromalius | Angra Mainyu | Aka Manto | Asmodeus | Asuras | Antichrist | Baal | Banshee | Baphomet | Beelzebub | Beast | Behemoth | Behemoth the Elephant | Belphegor | Bifrons | Black Cats | Black Monk of Pontefract | Black Shuck | Black Volga | Bogeyman | Buer | Cerberus | Coco | Crom Cruach | Demiurge | Eight Feet Tall | El Charro Negro | Enma Daio | Erlik | Gargoyles | Hellhounds | Iblis | Kali | Kansa | Kelpie of Loch Ness | Kitsune | Krampus | Kroni | Lamashtu | Lamia | Legion | Locusts of Abaddon | Mahishasura | Malsumis | Mammon | Mara | Mares | Mephistopheles | Moloch | Mourioche | Nure-Onna | Rakshasa | Ravana | Raven Mocker | Sack Man | Samael | Six Demons | Stolas | Succubi | Termagant | Unholy Trinity | The Watchers | Wa Nyudo | Whore of Babylon | Zabaniyah
Disambiguation Pages
Satan | Demon | Pazuzu | Succubus | Antichrist | Baphomet | Krampus | Behemoth

Gods & Spirits
Gods & Goddesses: Apep | Bila | Camazotz | Damballa | Fomorians (Balor, Bres) | Geb | Gods of Olympus (Ares, Atë, Hades, Hera, Limos, Poseidon, Zeus) | Jötunn (Ymir, Loki, Hela, Skoll and Hati, Fenrir, Jormungandr, Surtr, Hræsvelgr) | Kali | Loviatar | Nun | Perkūnas | Set | Tiamat | Titans (Atlas, Kronos, Prometheus) | Veles | Xolotl
Spirits: Dybbuk | El Silbón | Fetch | Hinnagami | La Llorona | La Sayona | La Viuda | Mackenzie Poltergeist | Myling | Poltergeists | Sluagh | Stingy Jack | Umibōzu | Unseelie Court
Disambiguation Pages
God | Jesus Christ | Angel

Humans & Humanoids
Abhartach | Ajax the Lesser | Ame-onna | Antaeus | Atreus | Bandits | Baron Samedi | Black Rock Witch | Blair Witch | Bolster | Cain | Cassiopeia | Christie Cleek | Count Dracula | Creon | Davy Jones | Delilah | Draug | Doppelgangers | Goblins | Goliath | Gomorrahites | Green Knight | Green Witch | Grendel | Grendel's Mother | Hags | Haman the Agagite | Hanako-San | Herod the Great | Herodias | Horsemen of the Apocalypse | Humanity | Iemon | Ixion | Jezebel | Judas Iscariot | King Ahab | King Arthur | King Oenomaus | King Vortigern | Kuchisake-onna | Laius | La Tunda | Lilith | Lord William de Soulis | Louhi | Lucius Tiberius | Lycaon | Marry-san | Meg of Meldon | Morag | Morgan le Fay | Nanny Rutt | Nessus | Orcs | Pandarus | Paris | Phaedra | The Pharisees | Polyphemus | Rich Man | Romans | Santa Compaña | Saul | Sawney Bean | Sciron | Shechem | Sko-Ella | Sodomites | Stingy Jack | Tamamo no Mae | Tantalus | Tereus | Trauco | Tydeus | Yallery Brown | Ysbaddaden

Monsters, Animals & Anthropomorphic Beings
A-mi’-kuk | Akkorokamui | Averesboro Gallinipper | Aye-aye | Basilisk | Boneless | Chimera | Cirein-cròin | Cockatrice | Cuegle | Cuélebre/Culebre | Devil Monkeys | Dip | Dragon | El Comelenguas | Erymanthian Boar | Escornau | Fossa | Fouke Monster | Foxes | Frankenstein's Monster | Giants of Voronezh | Golden Cicada | Groundhogs | Harpies | Herensuge | Hydra | Jackalopes | J'ba Fofi | Kappa | La Cegua | Lambton Worm | Leviathan | Manticores | Madman Marz | Michigan Dogman | Mikari Baba | Monster of Mount Bandai | Morag | Mordred | Morgan le Fay | Ojáncanu | Onamazu | Otesánek | Paparrasolla | Pesanta | Redcaps (Robin Redcap) | River Mumma | Scylla | Sphinx | Stymphalian Birds | Tailypo | Tarasque | Trolls | Tsuchinoko | Undead | Whowie | Will O' The Wisp | Wolves

Common Legends
Amanda the Doll | Black Goo | Bunnyman | Bye Bye Man | Candyman | China Doll | Clown Doll | Cropsy | Crying Boy | Hairy-Armed Woman | Hatman | Homey the Clown | Hook Killer | John and Susan Buckley | Joliet the Haunted and Cursed Doll | La Tunda | Licking Maniac | Melon Heads | Men in Black | Mystery Killer | Nain Rouge | Nameless Thing of Berkeley Square | Old Man Try-By-Night | Peeping Tom | Rain Man | Robert the Doll | Paimon | Patasola | Skinned Tom | Teke Teke | The Killer In the Backseat | The Man Upstairs

Cryptids
Beast of Gévaudan | Black Eyed Children | Black Stick Men | Cherufe | Devil Monkeys | Emela-Ntouka | Enfield Horror | Dog-headed Men | Fear Liath | Flatwoods Monster | Ghosts Goatman | Grafton Monster | Greys | Hoop Snake | Indrid Cold | Jackalopes | Jersey Devil | Kelpie of Loch Ness | Kongamato | Malawi Terror Beast | Mamlambo | Manananggal | Maricoxi | Mngwa | Momonjii | Morag | Nobusuma | Pope Lick Monster | Popobawa | Pukwudgies | Reptoids | Roc | Ropen | Salawa | Sea-Serpents | Shadow People | Sheepsquatch | Slide-Rock Bolter | Snallygaster | Spring Heeled Jack | Tanuki | Thunderbird | Two-Toed Tom | Water Horses | White-Eyed Children | Yowie

Modern Legends
Charlie | Bloody Mary | Bloody Mary (Halloween Horror Nights) | Ghost (Johnny, I Want My Liver Back) | Ghost Trains | Kunekune | Momo | Orie Chef | Aliens (AC) | Martinez Dog Demon | The Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water | Crisis

Possessed Objects
Coffin on Wheels | Ghost Trains | Black Volga | Robert the Doll | Joliet the Haunted and Cursed Doll | China Doll | Amanda the Doll | Clown Doll | Gargoyles

See Also
Cthulhu Mythos Villains | Trevor Henderson Villains | Creepypasta Villains | SCP Foundation Villains

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