Jötunn

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A jötunn [ˈjøːtun], Old Norse jǫtunn /ˈjɔtunː/, anglicized jotunn or jotun, pronounced /ˈjoʊtən/, /ˈjoʊtʊn/, or /ˈjɔːtʊn/,[1][2] is a giant in Norse mythology, a member of a race of nature spirits with superhuman strength, described as sometimes standing in opposition to the races of the tribes of the Æsir and Vanir, although they frequently mingle with or intermarry with these. Their otherworldly homeland is Jötunheimr, one of the nine worlds of Norse cosmology, separated from Midgard, the world of humans, by high mountains or dense forests. Other place names are also associated with them, including Niflheimr, Utgarðr and Járnviðr. In some legends and myths they are described as having the same height as humans.[citation needed]

In later Scandinavian folklore, the nature spirits called trolls (deriving from the term for 'magic') take over many of the functions of the more ancient concept of the jötunn.

The mountain range of southern Norway is likewise called in Norwegian Jotunheimen or the Jotunheim Mountains.

Contents

Etymology

In Old Norse, the beings were called jǫtunar (singular jǫtunn, the regular reflex of the stem jǫtun- and the nominative singular ending -r), or risar (singular risi), in particular bergrisar ('mountain-risar'), or þursar (singular þurs), in particular hrímþursar ('rime-thurs'). Giantesses could also be known as gýgjur (singular gýgr) or íviðjur (singular íviðja).

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