|Artistic depiction of two Jötnar kidnapping Freya|
|Loki, Nine Realms' most dreaded Jötunn|
|A Frost Jötunn|
|Hrimgandr, serpentine spawn of Jormungand|
The Jötnar (ON: "Devourers" or "Eaters"; pronounced "YOT-nar"; singular Jötunn, pronounced "YO-tun"), erroneously known as Giants, are a race of primordial entities who personify wild, chaotic, primordial forces of nature featured in Little Witch Academia: Witches of Midgard.
Description & CharacteristicsEdit
All Jötnar were originated from the progenitor of Jötnar race, the first Jötunn Ymir. Ymir himself was born from mythical substance Eitr, formed by combination of sparks of Muspelheim and frost of Niflheim along with Audhumla, primordial cow that acted as source of his nourishment. Being a hermaphroditic Jötunn, his body conceived numerous smaller Jötnar when he slept. However, it all changed when Buri, the first Aesir and progenitor of Gods of Asgard, was conceived from a salt lick consumed by Audhumla. Buri then had a son named Borr, who sired three children with Bestla, one of Ymir's descendants, and named them Odin, Vili, and Ve.
First Aesir's presence caused the discord between them and Ymir and his descendants, which culminated with Odin and his brothers killed Ymir in a battle, resulting the first Jötunn's blood flood the world and killed most Jötnar in process, leaving Bergelmir and his wife as sole survivor of Jötnar race. As Odin and his fellow Aesir undo the damage they caused and further shaped the world with Ymir's remains, Jötnar race flourished once more in their new home at Jotunheim before spread to Muspelheim and newly formed Midgard, but with hatred towards the gods where their strife culminated in the devastating Ragnarok. In the aftermath of that devastating war, the surviving gods returned to Asgard for good and entrusted Midgard to the realm's true protectors, Nine Olde Witches and their followers people of Thapoli to protect it from surviving Jötnar.
The appearance of Jötnar vary between one and another, but they usually larger than humans with shortest adult Jötunn around 2,5 metres in height. In contrast of their artistic depictions and human-like Aesir or Vanir, humanoid Jötnar are large, monstrous creatures with glowing horns, jagged mouth reminiscent of fangs in spite of having true set of teeth, lack of visible nose, glowing eyes, and clad in armor made of either rock, ice, or combination of both put together by magic, often adorned with giant bones of large creatures or round shields from fallen vikings.
Like Great Lindworm, their hide can be processed into Solais Metal. However, out of known Jötnar, only Loki whose skin can produce alloys which quality suitable for creating powerful Valkyrie Armors. This partly become reason why Thapoli imprisoned the Jötunn's incapacitated body deep below their palace so they can exploit him as source of core material for Solais Metal production up the means to synthesize the alloy discovered during the Golden Age of Magic.
In addition of regular Jötnar, there are other variations;
Fire Jötnar are eager participants at Ragnarok and believe in the fiery destruction of the cosmos. They are arguably descendants of both Bergelmir and Ymir who inhabited Muspelheim and evolved into Jötnar race they were now. The most famous of the fire giants was Surtr, Fire Jötnar who guarded the gates to Muspellheim.
The most ancient of Jötnar race, Frost Jötnar were among the first of the giants created when the world began, symbolizing the time before the gods existed. They lived in the realm of Jotunheim, one of the Nine Worlds, along with Muspelheim and Midgard.
Beast Jötnar refers to a variant of Jönar race with non-humanoid form and huge proportions. Many of them resemble animals in physiology and appearance, but still as powerful as their humanoid counterparts. Notable well-known Beast Jötnar are Fenrir, Skoll, Hati, and Jormungand.
Old Norse jötunn and Old English eóten developed from the Proto-Germanic masculine noun *etunaz. Philologist Vladimir Orel says that semantic connections between *etunaz with Proto-Germanic *etanan makes a relation between the two nouns likely. Proto-Germanic *etanan is reconstructed from Old Norse etall 'consuming', Old English etol 'voracious, gluttonous', and Old High German filu-ezzal 'greedy'. Old Norse risi and Old High German riso derive from the Proto-Germanic masculine noun *wrisjon. Orel observes that the Old Saxon adjective wrisi-līke 'enormous' is likely also connected.
Old Norse þurs, Old English ðyrs, and Old High German duris 'devil, evil spirit' derive from the Proto-Germanic masculine noun *þur(i)saz, itself derived from Proto-Germanic *þurēnan, which is etymologically connected to Sanskrit turá- 'strong, powerful, rich'. Several terms are used specifically to refer to female entities that fall into this category, including íviðja (plural íviðjur) and gýgr (pluralgýgjar).
Notes and TriviaEdit
"It was a deliberate decision that in Little Witch Academia: Witches of Midgard, I depicted Jötnar as monstrous creatures barely devoid of human-like characteristics as in Norse mythology itself, not all Jötnar have humanoid forms: Some of them greatly resemble humans in appearance but with a number of non-human features (claws, fangs, misshapen faces, extra heads, unusual skin color, etc), while others have a completely non-humanoid form (ex. Fenrir and Jormungand, two sons of Loki with the giantess Angrboda, are born with wolf form and snake form respectively). Also, the reason of my preference to refer these beings as Jötnar (singular: jötunn) both in the myth and in the story itself instead of giants as most people would are because in myth itself, jötnar are not necessarily notably large unlike traditional depiction of giants and may be described as exceedingly beautiful or as alarmingly grotesque, and still related with some Gods of Asgard including Odin himself, making them technically transcendent entities as much as Gods themselves. The portrayal of them clad in armor fashioned from rocks or ice put together by magic is not just to make them cooler, but also both as the proof of their great power and to make them decent to look at, as some portrayals of Jötnar had them clad in sparse set of clothings similar to storybook giants."
— BSoulstone about Jötnar
- The concept of humanoid Jötnar being a giant horned monster with little to no resemblace to either humans or human-like Gods of Asgard was loosely inspired by design of Titan, the giant monster featured in Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade.
- Because of diversity of their forms, Sucy stated that it's inaccurate to refer Jötnar as "giants".