An illustration of Odin and the jötunn Baugi who bores through the mountain with a drill, from an Icelandic 18th century manuscript
A Jotun, in Norse mythology, is a giant, one of a mythological race with superhuman strength, described as standing in opposition to the gods, although they frequently mingled with or were even married to them. Their stronghold is known as Utgard, and is situated in Jötunheimr, one of the nine worlds of Norse cosmology, separated from Midgard, the world of men, by high mountains and dense forests. When living in worlds other than their own, they seem to prefer caves and dark places.
Jötunn had the original meaning of "glutton" or "man-eater." The word "jotun" survives in modern Norwegian as giant (though more commonly called trolls).
It is said that the Jötnar were from Finland, according to the Nordic sagas, as well as the present knowledge of ancient Finnish history, Finns were known to have chains of manned watchtowers ready to signal possible dangers from enemy attacks over vast distances.
List of giants and giantesses in Norse mythology
The King of the Frost-Giants. Loki comes flying to Jötunheimr where King Þrymr sits and tends to his dogs
Thor's duel with Hrungnir
- Gjálp and Greip
Jotun in popular culture
Jotuns were six feet, orange-haired, trolls in "The Sea of Trolls"
- Jotun is the name of a giant in the game HeroScape
- Jotun is the first song off of the Swedish band, In Flames album.
- A nine-headed Jotun Troll is Monster in My Pocket #12. He is allied with the good monsters and is generally comic relief, as his heads can never agree with one another.
- The name "Jotun" is a type of "Gigas" monster in Final Fantasy XI
- Giants of similar description are present in a series titled The Wizard Knight by Gene Wolfe. Some of the giants names match with names of the Jotun.
- Jotuns were six feet, orange-haired, trolls in Nancy Farmer's "The Sea of Trolls"
- Jotunheim is a playable nation in the Dominions I, Dominions II and Dominions III game series.
- Frost Giants and Fire Giants are both enemies of the Marvel Comics version of Thor.
- In the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett, the gods of Dunmanifestin have an ancient rivalry with the Ice Giants. In Sourcery, the portents of the end of the world include the Ice Giants driving their glaciers across the plains.
Images for kids
10th-century picture stone from the Hunnestad Monument that is believed to depict a gýgr riding on a wolf with vipers as reins, which has been proposed to be Hyrrokkin.
The word eotenas in the manuscript of Beowulf
The Gotlandic image stone Stora Hammars III is believed to depict Odin in the form of an eagle (note the eagle's beard), Gunnlöð holding the mead of poetry, and Suttungr.
Figures of Grýla and her husband Leppalúði on the main street of Akureyri, Iceland