About The Giants

About The Giants

The Giants, were the chief enemies of the gods, particularly the Aesir.

In the Norse world, a giant was called Jotun or Iotun. There are several different types of giants. The frost-giants were the most common giants; they lived in Jotunheim, one of the nine worlds. The capital of Jotunheim was Utgard, the citadel of the frost-giants and home of Utgard-Loki or Utgardaloki. Often writers just simply called the home of the giants as Giantland.

Giantland or Jotunheim was supposedly large world, but void of actual physical geographical location. All that we know is that Giantland was east of Midgard, separated by rivers and the forest known as Jarnvid (Iron Wood). Jarnvid was inhabited by troll-wives, known as the Jarnvidjur, where they breed giants in wolf forms.

There are many places within Jotunheim other than Utgard. The giant Hrungnir lived in a frontier of Giantland, called Griotunagardar. The giant Thiassi lived on the mountain called Thrymheim, with his daughter Skadi.

The other giants were the fire giants, who lived in Muspelheim. The fire giant named Surt ruled in Muspelheim.

Note that some of the giantesses had become deified because of the their relationship with the Norse gods, like Jord, Grid, Gerd and Rind. These giantesses became Asyniur or goddesses in their own rights, so I have list some of these in this page and some in the Aesir page.

Many of the Aesir also had heritage from the giants, where at least one parent was a giant or giantess. These included Odin, Thor, Tyr and Heimdall. Perhaps the most important of these giant/god was Loki. Both of Loki’s parents come from the race of giants, yet he was considered by most as an Aesir god. Loki became the leader of the frost giants at the time of Ragnarok.

Giants and giantesses were sometimes called troll and trollwives.

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