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Louhi, Mistress Of Pohjola, was an evil witch from the North in the Finnish National Epic Kalevala, who serves as the main antagonist of the piece and rules over the realm of Pohjola.

It is stated by some versions of the myth that Louhi is in fact an alter ego/human Incarnation of Loviatar, a dark goddess of death and the blind daughter of Tuoni (Which is the ruler of the Underworld)

Biography

Background

Louhi is an corrupt witch who rules Pohjola, a cold, dark and unpleasant community up in the north. She often referred to as the Mistress of Pohjola. She is known to be married to the Master of Pohjola and has at least two daughters, who are considered among the most beautiful women in the realm.

Making a deal with Väinämöinen and Seppo Ilmarinen

After the wise and old sorcerer Väinämöinen, leader of the town Kalevala, was stranded on the shores of Pohjola, Louhi agreed to get him back home if he could create her the Sampo, a powerful magical artefact that brings wealth and fortune for whoever owns it. Väinämöinen, despite being a powerful and wise sorcerer, could not design such it, so he decided to get his friend Seppo Ilmarinen, a famous blacksmith, to do it.

Ilmarinen manages to forge the Sampo, and Louhi promises her daughter, the Maiden of Pohjola, as his bride. After the Sampo is forged, the Maiden though refuses to marry him.

Lemminkäinen

Soon after this, another suitor comes for the Maiden, known as Lemminkäinen. Louhi demands him to accomplish several tasks for this, such as take down the Moose of the Hiisi, and kill the swan of Tuonela (the Finnish underworld). Lemminkäinen though is slain in Tuonela and resurrected by his mother, and he does not get to marry the Maiden.

Her daughter's and husband's death

Later Seppo Ilmarinen arrives again to propose and the Louhi again demands him to accomplish several tasks, this time four: cultivate a field full of adders, slay the Bear of Tuone and the wolf of Manala, as well as get the great predatory pike from Tuonela. Ilmarinen achieves this, and he married the Maiden.

Lemminkäinen, still angry of his failure, attacks the ceremony, where he slays the Master of Pohjola. Angry over the death of her husband, Louhi and her army follow Lemminkäinen, who manages to escape. Louhi still has his house burned down, presumably killing his family in the process. Lemminkäinen decides to avenge this by teaming up with Tiera, another warrior, and invading Pohjola. Louhi manages to freeze the sea over, which stops the conquest.

Stealing the Sampo

The Maiden of Pohjola is then killed by Kullervo, a house slave, and Seppo Ilmarinen steals another of Louhi's daughters. The daughter offends him, which leads to him conjuring her into a seagull. He also notices the high standard of life the people of Pohjola enjoy, thanks to the magical Sampo. Väinämöinen, Ilamrinen, Lemminkäinen and several others team up to steal the Sampo, in which they succeed by conjuring all in Pohjola to sleep by playing a magical Kantele, made of the jaws of the great Scaled Pike. They take the artefact and sail off.

Louhi is then woken up by the cry of a crane. When she noticed that the Sampo was stolen, she conjure a massive fog and storm on the sea, and summons the great Iku-Turso, a primeval sea monster. Väinämöinen manages to sing the bad weather away and defeat the sea monster. Louhi then transforms herself into a giant eagle and carries several of her soldiers on her back towards the thieves. A fight ensues, which leads to the Sampo breaking and then falling into the sea, leaving both sides empty-handed.

Later Events

Sometime after this Louhi decided to stormed Väinämöinen and the people of Kalevala a little more: she causes disease on the people and summons a bear to kill all the cattle, she hides the moon and the sun, and steals the fire from the townspeople. Väinämöinen and Ilmarinen still manage to stop her and return their town back to how it was.

Trivia

  • It is possible that the villain of Final Fantasy 4: Heroes of Light Witch Of the North is inspired By Louhi.
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See Also
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