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Famous Frost Etins

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Forums -> Norse Paganism -> Famous Frost Etins

Famous Frost Etins
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 1

Not long back I wrote a brief introduction to Frost Etins:

http://www.spellsofmagic.com/read_post.html?post=520028

Now I will list some of the more "famous" and well-known ones. The first two I want to cover are Ymir and Thyrm. After that I will give more examples and short descriptions of other notable frost etins.

YMIR

As you can imagine, Ymir is a very notable frost-etin. This is because he was the very first, and from him come all other etin (except for the fire-etin). If you understand the norse creation story, it tells us that as Muspellheim and Niflheim drew closer to each other, the heat and cold clashed and melted away the body of Ymir. He was beyond gigantic. (Consider that later on his body parts are used to make whole realms- so his size is beyond massive, beyond the size of one planet). When he was uncovered, he was very primal and primitive (though I say the word primitive with respect to him). By this, I mean that he did not move much, did not think much or want for much. He just was. In truth, if the mysterious cow (Audumhla) did not shoot rivers of milk and feed him, he might have simply faded away, as he made no moves to take care of himself on his own.

Now, as the temperature began to rise he began to sweat more and start moving around- as his body was being uncovered from the ice. The friction provoked from his jerking body ended up creating a man and woman (from his armpit region) and another man from his legs. These were the first technical frost-thurses, and they were unlike the ones we are familiar with today. They were massive in form, completely huge, and had multiple heads. From the mating between these three giants comes the entire race of the frost-thurses. They were different from Ymir in several ways. They moved on their own, thought, etc. As the world of Niflheim came periodically closer to the world of Muspellheim in a sort of dance, a bridge would be made of water which thawed and then froze again. Frost-thurses began to cross the bridge and meet with the sons of Surt, and some of them wedded each other and had children. In this way, the race of giants began to increase). Raven K.

As everyone knows from the story, when this is happening, the cow, Audumhla, is busy licking away the ice and revealing Buri. He was the first Aesir, and the only truly pure-blooded one. I say this, because when he came out of the ice he married a frost-thurse, Bestla. They bore sons, and thus came along Odin, Vili and Ve. To sum up things, the three children end up killing Ymir and using his body to create the realms. However, in doing this they murdered kin, and his blood drowned a great number of the jotunfolk. As you can imagine, this causes a lot of high tension between them- even to this day.

THYRM

Thyrm is the Chief and King of Jotunfolk. However, if you want to get technical, his role is a bit ceremonial- as Utgard Loki is also respected just as much as him, and actually has more power to fulfill the role of a chief. If you think of this in political terms, hes not unlike the Queen of England in his role. His main duty is to bring the jotunfolk together and to help make decisions, peace treaties, and so on. His peaceful nature is apparent in his personality. He is often seen as jovial, happy, and incredibly calm. He loves generosity, and likes to give people gifts, as well as invite people to parties and gatherings. Socializing is one of his strong-points. He loves jokes and to be entertained, whether that be through song, dance, whatever. However, as I mentioned about Jotun nature- under the surface he is not all laughs and games. He is very serious, very dedicated to his causes. If you harass him or anger him, you will face his wrath.

I mentioned that politics can become a problem with the Jotun, and this is the perfect example of that. Thyrm has a distinctive and passionate hate for the Aesir, and you would do best to never mention them in his presence, or again youll face his wrath. He was involved in the stealing of Thors hammer. He was in love with the Vanir goddess, Freyja, and wanted to marry her so he went about it this way- and it did not end pleasantly. If youve heard the story, you know that Thor and Loki dressed up as ladies and Thor pretended to be Freyja. Once he got the hammer back, he killed nearly everyone at the event- though Thyrm escaped with physical and emotion bruising. Even if you are the most dedicated person ever, and you absolutely love the Aesir, leave all talk of them behind you when visiting him. He will appreciate you for it.

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Re: Famous Frost Etins
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 2

The next two I want to mention are Mimir and Skadi.

I wrote a whole article for Mimir, which you can read here:

http://www.spellsofmagic.com/read_post.html?post=436305

MIMIR

Mimir has to be one of my favorite Jotun, if not simply because of his story. He had quite an interesting life. His lineage goes back to the first chieftan of the frost-giants, of whom Mimir is his grandson. He was charged with guarding the well that was growing near the root of Yggrasil, touching Jotunheim, and he took that job very seriously. (Yes, this is the Well of Wisdom). However, after a very long time he decided to leave (whether out of boredom or a desire to travel again) and he went to Asgard. Here he was taken in by Odin, who immediately recognized the sheer intelligence and knowledge he possessed. Meanwhile, the war with Aesir and Vanir was taking place. When a truce between the two races of Gods was made, hostages were sent and taken from either side. Njord and his children (Frey and Freyja) were sent to the Aesir as Vanir hostages. But in return, Odin shipped off his brother and Mimir (who disliked being treated as property and was not fond of the entire situation that had occurred).

Because of his resentment towards this whole affair, Mimir became a wise crack and bitter. The Vanir recognized his intelligence, just as Odin had, and wished him to give advice and answers. However, he was not open with them, and he did not like them. Whenever they would ask him a question, he would make sure to make his answer as long and as confusing as he could. This led several times to them misinterpreting it, and ending up in bad positions. They got fed up with him. So they cut his head off, and sent Odins brother back to deliver the message to him. Odin was saddened to see this, knowing the great wisdom of Mimir, and so with magick he brought the head back to life. As you can imagine, when Mimir opened his eyes- curses and cussing of all sorts flew out of his mouth. Mimir, you pottymouth! His resentment had doubled. Not only had he been traded like property, he had been killed, and now cursed to live as only a head. Odin immediately flung the head back into the well which Mimir had guarded- and this is where is today, and where he will be eternally.

As Im sure you can guess, all of these events have made Mimir into a very cranky, often dark and resentful figure. This can be seen in the tale where Odin ventures to the Well to seek knowledge, and in return Mimir demands his eye in exchange. To this day, one of his eyes glows like an underwater star in the Well, providing little light to see into its depths Raven K. Pathwalkers always wish to travel to the Well, for a variety of reasons. One form of divination through seidhr calls for staring into the waters of the well, and finding answers in the images it shows you. However, to do that is problematic and I would say 90% of the people who venture to the Well turn around and flee. This is not a happy place. Heads line the walkway to reach the Well, and when looking into the water there are several heads floating in there as well. It is said by some that the heads turn, watching you and following you as you come to the well, and that is Mimir likes you enough they may even speak to you and share knowledge. If he likes you. This is rare, as seen by the heads, which tend to be heads of people who annoy him or who make the mistake of trying to out-smart him. He does not always come up to the surface of the Well. When he does, he likes to challenge passerbys to a game of questions. Never take him up on his offer. The price for losing is your head.

Isnt he lovely?

SKADI

Down below I will talk of Thjatsi and explain how he died. Regardless, this Jotun was the father of Skadi. She is the most famous Jotun giantess in all of their history, simply because she became part of the Aesir. Her father had apparently owned land in Asgard, due to his relationship with an Asgard woman. After his death, Skadi traveled to Asgard and laid claim to his property there, as well as demanded weregild for her fathers death (weregild is sort of a fine that must be paid to the family of someone who was slain). She actually showed up armored and with weapons, planning to kick butt. However, she claimed the Aesir owed her a husband and they decided that was fair. To make it complicated, she was only allowed to look at the feet of the Aesir and choose her husband this way. She chose the finest feet, thinking it was Baldr, but it turned out to be Njord. Their marriage did not last long, as neither could stand the environment their partner lived in. But it was long enough for Skadi to be given a permanent seat in the Aesir council, making her the most powerful female Jotun in the game of politics.

After this, she and Loki had a bit of a fling. If you want to call it that (though I wouldnt recommend ever asking Skadi about it). She had become depressed and sad, and none of the other Gods could make her smile or laugh. Loki, as always, decided to take up the challenge. He tied his man-parts to a goat and played a game of tug-o-war, until the rope broke and Loki landed in Skadis lap. This provoked much laughter and smiles from her. This was an offering of sorts, between Loki and Skadi, and she took him up on that offer. But it did not last. Loki did not take that relationship seriously, and Skadi felt scorned and betrayed by him. When he was caught and bound, it was she who placed the serpent dripping venom above him. Hell hath no fury like a Jotun Goddess scorned.

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Re: Famous Frost Etins
By:
Post # 3

How do you view Ullr? He is a winter huntsman like Skadi and he is the son of a Frost Etin. However his mother is Sif, who is never mentioned to be god or giantess.

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Re: Famous Frost Etins
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 4

I've never looked much into Ullr, so I don't have much of a formulated opinion on it.

However, due to the fact that he does seem to have frost etin in him- I would go ahead and consider him to be a well-known frost etin.

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Re: Famous Frost Etins
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 5
Two more for the list! Vafthrudnir and Thjatsi.

Vafthrudnir

This is an ooooold frost-giant, who is called Mighty in Riddles and Wise One. He is an extremely intelligent Jotun. And he knows it. In the past, he was so confident of his mighty knowledge that he would challenge other entities to a game of his, in which they would exchange riddles and words- and whoever lost in the battle of wits would forfeit their head to the winner.

One day, Odin decides to match wits with him. He travels to him in a form Vafthrudnir does not recognize. They begin easily, and build their way up, each asking the other questions and each one answering correctly. Odin begins to realize that Vafthrudnir is actually as smart as he proclaimed himself to be, and Odin realizes he must ask a question that Vafthrudnir will not know the answer to or he may lose the best or at least come to a draw (which would probably have hurt his ego a bit).

So Odin asks: What did Odin whisper into his dead sons ear on his funeral pyre?. No one but Odin would know the answer to that. Vafthrudnir immediately realizes that he is dealing with Odin, and submits that he cannot answer and he forfeits his head. The story never goes on to say whether Odin decided to take his head or not, however, some pathwalkers mention seeing him occasionally walking the grounds of Helheim.

Thjatsi

This giant is the son of Olvalde, a frost giant who was called the Ale Emperor. He is most famous for his part in kidnapping Iduna. In a bit of fun, Thjatsi put a spell over the fire Odin, his brother, and Loki were trying to start. Odin agreed to give him some of their meat, if Thjatsi would simply remove the spell- so he did. But the moment the meat was prepared, Thjatsi (being a true jotun) took the majority of it and began to fly away in the form of an eagle.

Loki, not having any of this (the trickster being out-tricked? Pfft) , whacked him with a stick. Unfortunately for the both of them, this stick was actually a wand that had been laying in the grass, and Loki became stuck to Thjatsi, who thought it great fun to fly low enough that Loki smacked into trees, thorns, bushes, and the like. When Loki became tired of this torment, he asked what Thjatsi wanted in exchange for his freedom, and it was Iduna and her golden apples.

Long story short, Loki helps him to get Iduna and her apples but then must fix the situation or face the wrath of the Gods, who were aging due to the immortal apples being taken. He steals them back from Thjatsi and is chased all the way back to Asgard. Thjatsi did not know that the walls of Asgard were enchanted to keep out intruders, so when he flew over them in his eagle form- flames shot out and killed him.

Soon after this, his daughter (Skadi) came to Asgard to demand compensation for her fathers death. As we know, she is now part of the Aesir and considered the Goddess of Winter and the Hunt. So things worked out in the best for her.

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Re: Famous Frost Etins
By:
Post # 6

Are there named Hrimthurse, the rime giants of Niflheim?

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Re: Famous Frost Etins
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 7

I wasn't sure if you are asking if I consider the Himthurs a part of the Frost-Etins or if there are any notable Himthurs. The Himthurs are even more isolated than some of the other Frost-Etins and therefore are even less likely to want to work with people, so there are less known ones. The most famous would be the unnamed one who came to Asgard and offered to build them a wall- which ended with Loki giving birth to Sleipnir, and you know that story.. I consider Vafthrudnir to be a Himthurs, as he is often found wandering about in Niflheim. Outside of that, I don't know any specific ones. The Frost-Etins from Niflheim are largely unknown. The only time you'll find mention of them is when Thor is either bragging about killing some of them or when Odin is talking about a time he ventured through Niflheim. Unlike a lot of the other Jotuns, it's suggested that the Jotun in Niflheim are kind of disbanded, found in small tribes with no particular leader.

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Re: Famous Frost Etins
By:
Post # 8
I would love if you did one of these threads for fire giants
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Re: Famous Frost Etins
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 9

Will do, Ob! I'll work on that next.

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Re: Famous Frost Etins
By:
Post # 10

I was asking for any notable ones as I was curious what it was like to work with any if someone were to actively pathwalk in Niflheim (I know that isn't exactly the most desirable place to pathwalk to for many, but I am curious and it is something I'm getting more into).

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