Relationship Between Norse Gods and Giants

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Relationship Between Norse Gods and Giants

The oral traditions of the earliest European ancestors depict a realm in which gods and giants are at a constant battle, fated to destruct their universe. As the Norse Myths retell the driving force of divine power and influence between giants and gods, their opposing relationship provides an insight to understanding the dynamics of Yggdrasill. The Norse Myths seek to prove that the gods are morally advanced whereas the giants are naturally stagnant, providing an antagonistic relationship through interactions of fertile gods overcoming sterile giants.

The Norse account of the creation of the universe provides the first detailed explanation of the natural characteristics of giants and the origin of opposition between gods and giants. Life within the realm of Yggdrasill, spawned from the giant Ymir. “Ymir was a frost giant; he was evil from the first” (1: The Creation, p. 3) Ymir’s son Odin recognized the evil of Ymir, and slaughtered him; his corpse shaped the geography of the natural world with “mountains from his unbroken bones” and “blood to make lakes and to make the sea”(1: The Creation, pg. 4). The gods are forever linked to the ancestral lineage of giants. With the inclination of inherent evil, stemming from Ymir, gods are forced to progressively take action and stray away from doing wrong, becoming morally advanced. Therefore Odin, the Allfather of the Aesir, recognized maleficent Ymir and created the natural world. Due to the inherent evil of Ymir, the features of the natural world are also connected with evilness. As the myths progress, there is a reoccurring theme of giants connected with nature. There is the giant, Suttung, who dwells with his giantess daughter in the rocks of the mountain Hnitbjorg. There is the giant Hraesvelg, when in eagle shape, “flaps his wings, wind moves” (15: Lay of Vafthrudnir, p. 77). There is the giantess Skadi who is happiest in “a frozen world as still as...
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