“When a real battle starts, you’ll always find that there is no bravest man.”
- The Poetic Edda
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"Jötnar" is the plural form of "Jötunn". It is a rather difficult task to define the nuances and differences between jötnar, etins, þursar, thurs, jättar, giants, titans, so on and so forth that are mentioned throughout the surviving lore and sagas. This is especially true given that my culture and tradition is oral based and the sagas were not put down onto paper until a great deal of time later, and even then it was by someone not of our own heritage and customs. The Jötnar that I offer for companionship are a race of great 'giants', although they are not notably large in size but rather in repute. They are an ancient and chaotic race. Most of the Jötnar are descendents of Ymir. There are several varieties of Jötnar: Rimtursarna (translated as “the Rhyme Giants”), better known as Frostjättarna (translated as “the Frost Giants”) are perhaps the most well known of their kind. They hail from Jötunheim, the true home of the giants. There are also Havsjättarna (translated as “the Sea Giants”), Eldjättarna (translated as “the Fire Giants”) who hail from Muspelheim, the realm of fire, and various other elemental Jötnar (Åskjättarna “the Thunder Giants”, Vindjättarna “the Wind Giants”, and so on).
The Jötnar are a vastly diverse race, and it is difficult to summarize them as a whole. Some have shape shifting abilities, such as those who live in the Järnskogen and take on the form of gigantic wolves. Some have physical deformities, others possess great beauty. Most are inherently magical, and despite their rather primitive culture many have amassed great wealth and live incredibly lavish lives. Some Jötnar are excellent seers, able to see and sometimes even manipulate the future. Others use magic as a weapon, able to cause horrific nightmares and distort the vision of their enemies.
As a whole, the Jötnar are very chaotic and have an incredibly archaic culture based on brute strength. They are therefore rather aggressive by nature, and have a hard time showing weakness. Their leaders constantly are in need of proving themselves worthy and defending their territories lest they be overthrown.
Their home, Jötunheim is one of the nine realms, and is known as the realm of the giants. Mímisbrunnr (Mimir’s well) lies here beneath one of Yggdrasil's roots, as does the feared dark forest Järnskogen, and the mysterious fortress of Utgård.
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