Norse Mythology

A lot of Ars Magica lore is built around the idea that the Norse gods are of faerie and bound the Jotnar in the same Tianomachy as the Greek Titans were bound in- the major problem with this is that I can't find any reference to a Norse Titanomachy- though a few Jotun were killed, and Frenis was bound along with Loki, but the majority of the jotun were simply going about their business until Ragnarok... does anyone have any information as to where this "norse titanomachy" came from?

Possibly back when Odin and his brothers killed Ymir and created the world from his body.
Other than that I can't really think of anything in Norse Mythology matching the Titanomachy.

The fortification of Asgard, the residence of the Norse gods and sign of their rule, involves the tricking of giants.

See it as a titanomachy of minds.

hardly binding them and stealing their powers

They bound some giants by treaties and thus used their powers.

As ErikT pointed out above, the murder of Ymir caused a flood (of his own blood) that genocided the giants. The gods kill their progenitor and fashion themselves as the masters of creation as they create Midgard from his corpse.

You could also argue that the "Norse Titanomachy" is still ongoing, as gods and giants keep duking it out in subsequent myths.


Which stories? Which Jotun?

still duking it out is the opposite of having bound the Jotum, and ragnarok, which is the end of said fight, is supposed to end with the Gods being destroyed, so that is hardly parallel.

It does occur to me that if the Scandinavian lands are under the golden chain described in Dies Erie because their Jotun were not bound that could go a long ways towards explaining the myth of the order of Odin...
although it would not explain why the Norse gods were worshiped in the first place... the cosmology just breaks down.

Fenrir is defeated and bound. Loki is bound following the death of Baldr. Garm is chained before the mouth of Hel even in the Völuspá. The Midgard-serpent is cast into the sea by Odin to gnaw its own tail until the twilight of gods. Arguably Hel and all the dead are confined to their realm. It's unclear to me whether Surtr is bound to guard Muspelheim, but it seems pretty clear that for whatever reason he can't leave that post until the Twilight, either.

I mean, it's obviously not a perfect match, but there seem to be quite a few 'enemies of the gods bound until the end of days' in Norse myth?

1 Like

Frenis and Loki I mentioned, yes they were bound.
Garm belongs to Hel, and serves her, he was not bound by anyone.
Surtr was guarding his homeland, he too was not bound in any sense of the word, and Ragnarok would begin when he decided to lead the armies of that realm out to fight the Gods- again not breaking free, just taking a stroll.
So no, there are not a lot of enemies of the gods who are bound, in addition to which there are a great many Jotun who are allies with the Gods- in fact compared to the Greeks who had two titan allies and the rest had been bound the Aesis bound two jotun and had numerous allies...

The two myths are rather different, so I do not think a Titanomachia really exists in Norse myths. There is the battle with Ymir, but not a full scale Titanomachia.

Personally, I happily take great liberties and fashion my own myths/history. My current saga's backstory is heavily based on a titanomachia between nine jotun/titans, each representing a Form and the eight major Olympian gods, with lots of totally made up stories. For example: at some point, the faerie living-god Horus sacrificed the first-born of Egypt, mummiying them with Infernally-wrought oils and entombing them beneath the Great Pyramid. As their spirits traveled to Hel, the Infernal oils smeared onto its gates, creating an Infernal regio that shut the realm of the dead (Hel) from the mundane world, effectively imprisoning the jotun Hel/Heaven, along with Fenrir/Typhon, and Freya/Gaia (who were lured there by Orpheus). So, yeah, not very faithful to the old myths :slight_smile:

The battle with Ymir is more of a chaoskamph, similar to the battle between Marduk and Tiamat, in which the body of the previous chaos/deity figure is divided to make the universe.That story really hasn't been tapped into in AM due in large part to the commitment to Christian theology as the underlying truth.

This depends on the version of the myths, surely. The Prose Edda says explicitly that the hound Garm is bound until the wolftime: "then shall the dog Garmr be loosed, which is bound before Gnipa's Cave: he is the greatest monster; he shall do battle with Týr, and each become the other's slayer".

The Ragnarok is also explicitly described as a time when all bonds shall be broken and fetters slipped. The Gylfaginning immediately then elaborates by describing the release of Fenris, Jormungand, and the ship Naglfar (which shall be 'loosened', presumably from its moorings, but similar imagery to the slipping of bonds and placed alongside in the narrative!) which is, in this telling, captained by the Jotun Hrymr, who presides over many frost giants.

Of course a Norse titanomachy is a bit of a reach, because, as you point out, there are tons of unbound Jotunn, but I don't think it's an absurd one, especially if you're willing to be a bit creative about what counts as a defeat and a binding!

References to ArM material/lore?

"All bonds being loosed" is a common theme in all apocalyptical prophecy, including Christian and Aztec (which does not have an enemy for its apocalypse, just ticking off the turn of the calendar) . I doubt that makes hell equal to titans bound by a faerie heaven.