Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ymir


Ymir
Artist: Jack Kirby

In honor of my refrigerator collapsing, I've decided to write about Ymir, a primeval frost giant from Norse mythology. Much like my fridge, Ymir's birthplace was a vast area of melting ice flowing from the misty Niflheim, to a huge gaping void called Ginnungagap. The ice melted due to the heat from nearby Muspelheim, a fire kingdom of smoldering embers and rancid margarine. No...wait...the rancid margarine is from my fridge. As Ymir slept on a bed of melting ice, new giants sprang from the sweat of his steaming evil body. A male and female giant appeared from Ymir's left armpit. Though an armpit birth seems strange to me, it worked for Ymir. Later, another male giant emerged when one of Ymir's legs mated with the other. That's even weirder than the armpit birth. Such extraordinary births in mysterious ways and odd places woke Ymir up and gave him an appetite. 

    
Audhumla
Artist: N.A. Abilgaard - 1790 

To sate his hunger, Ymir drank milk from Audhumla, the giant primeval cow. While Ymir ate, Audhumla licked ice and liberated an individual named Buri, who became the ancestor of the gods. He can be seen in the painting above uncomfortably emerging from what looks like rock. Buri had three grandsons named Odin, Vili, and Ve. Those three eventually proved to be the undoing of Ymir. 


Odin and his Brothers Creating the World

As Ymir slept (sleeping again!), Buri's three grandsons crept up on Ymir and killed him. The massive torrents of blood produced by the dead Ymir drowned all the frost giants except Bergelmir and his wife. They hid in a hollow tree and later escaped by ship to found a new family of giants. You just can't keep good evil giants down! At least Ymir's body didn't go to waste, as Odin and his two brothers used it to form the world. They busily transformed his flesh into earth; teeth into pebbles and boulders; bones into mountains; and hair into trees and grass. We're surrounded by bits and pieces of Ymir. The best part is what happened to his brain. The three brothers threw it into the sky and made the clouds. As one final, but very important touch, Odin and his brothers used Ymir's eyebrows to make a wall to safeguard Midgard, the dwelling place of humans.


Frost Giants
Artist: Unknown

After the flood, the new frost giants were angry, and vowed to avenge their ancestors' deaths by destroying the gods on the Day of Ragnarok. I don't entirely blame them for being upset. It can't be pleasant dying in such a nasty way. I'm sure my refrigerator would sympathise


Saturn

On a side note, one of Saturn's moons is named Bergelmir. It must be very frosty there.


3 comments:

  1. Nothing good can come out of an airpit birth.

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  2. The artist who did the Frost Giants piece is Ralph Horsley.

    ReplyDelete