Viking Myths: Stories of the Norse Gods and Goddesses - Thor Ewing
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The etin Hrungnir

Viking Myths

ETINS, TROLLS AND GIANTS

The Viking myths talk about ancient enemies of the gods called jötnar or etins. These human-like creatures lived before the first gods, and have been their enemies since the gods created the Nine Worlds. Nowadays, people often refer to them as giants, but the etins are not always big and they’re not much like the storybook giants we meet in folktakes.

As well as jötnar (sg. jötunn), the Viking myths have similar beings called þursar and others called risar. Sometimes these different words were used for the same being. Some of them could be ‘as tall as a risi, as strong as a jötunn, and as stupid as a þurs!’ The word tröll can also sometimes be used for these beings.

Likewise in Modern English, it’s often difficult to say what the precise difference might be between a troll, an ogre, a goblin and a giant.

Etins appear in very many myths. There’s an etin in almost every chapter of Viking Myths: Stories of the Norse Gods and Goddesses.
 

Viking Myths: Stories of the Norse Gods and Goddesses 
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