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Jotuns and the Æsir. 
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Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2014 7:43 pm
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A friend and I just discussed the Jotuns and Æsir. We agreed that the Jotuns are not inherintly evil, and to think them so would be to dismiss the fact that they are just part of the story, and to reject an entire part of how they are intertwined with us and our people. It seems to me like our ancestors would have also thought this. I think that most people think them to be evil because of their conflict with the Æsir, but this sparked a question: what actually caused the feud? All we could come up with was that Odin killed Ymir and Mimir, and a couple other interactions the gods had with the Jotuns. For the most part though, from what i know of the lore, the interactions were peaceful and without tension. I'd love to hear what you all think.


Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:03 am
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Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2014 6:39 pm
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I read that the ON 'jotunn' comes from the proto-germanic word 'etunaz' and also the OE 'oeten' which in fact translates to 'devourers' not to 'giants'. The translation into giants came from the OE oeten being substituted with the French 'geant' during the Norman invasion when a large number of french words entered the English language. The word geant came from the giants of Greek mythology, a tribe of spiritual beings who, like the Norse jotunn, were the enemies of the gods. Hence the translation moving from devourers to giants. As to the meaning of 'devourers', they are seen as the being who are trying to continually drag 'civilisation' back to it's primordial chaos. They were originally (still?) feared but they have a necessary and important role to play in the universe and it's rebirth. It is good to remember also that the gods are descendants of the jotunn, Odin being half devourer. Perhaps the gods do not seek to annihilate the jotunn but merely to keep them in check - as this keeps the universe in balance - calm and chaos - and they are ultimately those that will be responsible for the universe's survival.

Jarnsaxa is a lover of Thor's and begat Magni with him. She is also named as one of the Nine Mothers of Heimdall.

Skadi is the estranged wife of Njord.

Hyrokkin is a giantess who pushed Baldrs funeral ship out as it was too heavy for the gods to move (*speculative?).

I do not see the jotunn as 'evil', in order to keep the universe and all it's inhabitants in check, they have a vital role to play in our lives and existence. Perhaps I am biaised as I am drawn to Skadi.

Storm.


Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:45 am
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Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:10 am
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It the Eddas yes most of the enemies were jotuns. But there is also the story of thor and loki and thialfi's journey through jotunheim. They met peaceful jotuns and even participated in some games when they made it to Utgard. No real ill will was had except when thor could not open skrymir's wallet and tried to bash his head.


Sat Jul 09, 2016 4:45 pm
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Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:25 am
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red6joker wrote:
It the Eddas yes most of the enemies were jotuns. But there is also the story of thor and loki and thialfi's journey through jotunheim. They met peaceful jotuns and even participated in some games when they made it to Utgard. No real ill will was had except when thor could not open skrymir's wallet and tried to bash his head.


The Edda's of Snorri are simply one small historical account written by a Christian looking through the lens of monotheism. Many of the Aesir themselves are Jotunr such as Tyr and Skadi.


Sun Jul 10, 2016 3:27 am
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Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:39 pm
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As Tyrienne stated Monotheism may have coloured his perception (the black and white absolutes) whereas other beliefs hold no such notions


Sun Jul 10, 2016 3:37 am
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