Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
×




Details

Submitted on
October 9, 2012
Image Size
474 KB
Resolution
900×624
Submitted with
Sta.sh
Link
Thumb
Embed

Stats

Views
92,968 (5 today)
Favourites
3,450 (who?)
Comments
191
Downloads
148
×
Gods on the run by humon Gods on the run by humon
My site [link]

Random Æsir god, Vanir goddess, and Jotun. They're not supposed to look like any specific people from the Eddas.

This is not meant to be an illustration of how they are usually portrayed, but simply how they look in my mind after having read about the old Norse religion and the many speculations surrounding it.

The Æsir represent culture, tamed nature, order, and the male sex. They were at the very top of the godly hierarchy, so I put him in blue which was the color of the rich because it was very expensive to make.

We know very little about the Vanir, but because the only Vanir with any significant roles in the Eddas are fertility gods, they are considered to be connected with fertility. This is why I have started drawing them more or less plump because classic fertility statues are often depicted so.
It used to be a common belief that they represented an older religion, but that has since been dismissed by most experts. Still the idea lingered with me, so I tend to portray them more shamanic looking.

Finally a Jotun. Even though they were the oldest and wisest of the races, they were the lowest in the hierarchy, which is why I have given him clothes with the lightest colors. In Viking culture you could tell a person's place in the social hierarchy by how dark their clothes were, from the rich blue, to the slaves' white.
Jotuns represented chaos, wild nature, magic, and the female sex. Their roles as chaos and femininity gods can be seen by how male Jotuns were able to give birth. The first jotun Ymir gave birth in his sleep, Loki birthed quite a few children (most as a woman, but also as a man), and Odin who was king of the Æsir but originally a Jotun himself, also birthed children in the form of a woman.
Men who could shapeshift into women was a special Jotun ability.

The rainbow in the background is of course Bifrost, the bridge that connected the worlds.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconnekoshen:
Nekoshen Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i really like your designs, especially the jotun one. im reading the edda, too and your designs are perfect for this mystic people
Reply
:iconroseserpenthelm:
RoseSerpenthelm Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Nyan gods
Reply
:iconrebelfrost:
RebelFrost Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013   General Artist
I thought for a moment that the woman in the middle was the Norse goddess, Skades. XD Any chance you could draw her at some point?
Reply
:iconprimalis-vii:
Primalis-VII Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Is there some place I can find all this information about them & the other creatures like the trolls I've been looking at your stuff for awhile & wanna start a story with 'em in my own way?
Reply
:iconmoonlighttyger:
MoonlightTyger Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
This is really cute :) I really like your art style and how you have depicted everything, all of the symbolism that went into this picture :)

Also some really interesting stuff, especially about the Jotun! I had surmised that shapeshifting and sex-changing were unique to the Jotun (Loki being the most famous, of course), however, I had thought that the giants were also all hermaphrodites; I didn't realize that only the males were able to both sire and give birth. (Is there a book or something you might recommend where I could find these little facts? Google isn't always the most reliable source and Norse mythology is fascinating!)

Anyway, again, awesome picture. The Bifrost in the background was a nice touch, too! :)
Reply
:iconjust4fun02:
Just4Fun02 Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Student Artist
I love your style and I love the time you take in explaining the individuals/creatures that you create. i have always been fascinated by the mythology...I'm a nut :dummy: Kudos ma'am!
Reply
:iconhojimak:
Hojimak Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012
Love it!
Reply
:iconyokogreyword:
yokogreyword Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
I do so enjoy your style.
Reply
:iconlionluver2005:
lionluver2005 Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The middle one looks like you x3
Reply
:iconmysteriumhex:
Mysteriumhex Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2012
*laughs* The Jotun hardly had any connection to femininity. I also think people misinterpret "order" and "chaos" when in truth men are the embodiment of chaos.
Reply
:iconkaffebonden00:
Kaffebonden00 Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012
I want to know more about Jotuns and their connections with feminity. I mean Ymir did not really give birth, it just was one man and a women who just started to GROW from from his left hand and a six-headed guy that his FEET gave birth to. Not really feminine if you ask me. And where did you hear that Odin was a Jotun? True true his mother was a Jotun but his father was a Æsir and his grandfather was also Æsir. And apart from Loki i have not heard about any Jotun who used to shapeshift genders. I hope you will find the time to answer me.
Reply
:iconshiranuiokami:
ShiranuiOkami Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012
Någonstans (hittar inte vilken) på dina bilder har du skrivit om att kristendomen hade ändrat en hel del av våran mytologi, t.ex med att Loke inte alls är ond utan bara gör saker utan att tänka sig för. Vad jag läst stämmer det ju att han inte riktigt är ond men med tiden hade jag faktiskt också trott lite på att han hade en ond sida.
Vad jag undrar, vilka böcker har du läst för att veta den SANNA mytologin? :) Förresten älskar jag när du gör bilder som har med vikingar, Skandinavien och våran mytologi att göra! Med kära hälsningar från en svensk granne :)

Ps, det där med att kristendomen haft ett stort inflytande här visar sig i skolorna med. Jag har aldrig fått lära mig om vår mytologi eller historia i skolan, bara kristendom och andra länders historia. Men det betyder förstås inte att det är så i hela Sverige, men i alla fall.
Reply
:iconunigirl13:
unigirl13 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012
So, does wearing black mean anything?
Reply
:iconkaffebonden00:
Kaffebonden00 Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012
Black was wery,wery expensive and most "black" was more like dark dark brown, since the it was nearly impossible to make true black from the wool they had.
Reply
:iconunigirl13:
unigirl13 Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012
Oh, why thank you!
I actually meant status.
Though, this little tid-bit is gonna come in handy for a character's development, so thank you for that!
Reply
:iconbunni89:
Bunni89 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, I'd heard purple was the rarest dye that was associated with kings.. or maybe that's just locally? (would make sense different dyes were rarer in different countries) Us celts did have the uberblue woad for everyone, though that was body paint XD
Reply
:iconkwenos:
Kwenos Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012
Purple was obtained from little seashells (Murex) and it was very expensive due to the amount of raw materials needed to obtain a little quantity of dye. It was so expensive than most people couldn't afford it, especially during Middle Age, so the aristocrats stuck to blue, another expensive dye gotten from glastum (a grass) or some minerals, but it was expensive, nevertheless, until 17th century in which indigo plant became a cheap source.

Note that I'm referring to the Mediterranean. Out of it, I have no idea what I'm talking about :meow:
Reply
:iconoperaticanimenimue:
OperaticAnimeNimue Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2012
Why not mix blue + red dye, get some purple? Always wondered why that didn't work. Blackberry juice seems to dry purple.
Reply
:iconbunni89:
Bunni89 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah so purple was SO rare that not even nobles had it? That makes a lot of sense.. would it have been used by kings or was it not feasable for anyone? Cos I SWEAR I'd heard purple was the colour of kings..
Its good to have my facts set straight though XD
Reply
:iconkwenos:
Kwenos Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012
The cardinals at the Vatican, the emperors at Byzantium... Yeah, some (powerful) kings and nobles could still afford it despite of the recess in trade and crafting after the fall/invasion/division/whatever-you-want-to-call-it of the Roman empire =D
Reply
:iconnarutofangirl1213:
narutofangirl1213 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Heimdall protects the bridge :D

But it was from my understanding that Aesir were Light Elves, or transcended humans(after death) who became more powerful beings....I just read some information and it says that elves were linked to the Aesir. So I had misinterpreted what I had previously read. I like Norse myth, but it's fucking difficult to weed out the true old beliefs from the newer accepted beliefs. So many different things I've read @_@
Reply
:iconkaffebonden00:
Kaffebonden00 Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012
No the Æsir was Æsir, but a powerful human COULD after death become a elf. They were kind of small nature spirits. And they were not linked to the Æsir but to the Vanir.
Reply
:iconbunni89:
Bunni89 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Light elves were a separate species who were allied with the aesir. They do indeed have tales of humans being able to transcend and become one, and of kings and such just being called elves as a sign of awesomeness.
Aesir aren't humans or elves and can't be them. You may have got confused because brave warrior souls did go to LIVE with the aesir in valhalla and join Odin's army. They just didn't turn into aesir, they became einherjar- superpowered undead infantrymen, basically.
But yeah there's a lot of contradiction in the myths XD
Reply
:iconnarutofangirl1213:
narutofangirl1213 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh my god, my head is full of fuck lol
Reply
:iconbunni89:
Bunni89 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Glad to help :rofl:
Reply
:iconmagnusharvest:
MagnusHarvest Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Ehmm.. Aesir aren't evles..
Reply
:iconnarutofangirl1213:
narutofangirl1213 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I realize that, I stated that I read more and found that they weren't.
Reply
:iconkwenos:
Kwenos Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012
Trivia no one asked for: and that's why the princes from fairy tales are "blue", because it was the folkloric way to say "rich as shit".
Reply
:iconchuchkit:
Chuchkit Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012
D:
Reply
:icongrazatt:
grazatt Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012
So if the vanir were not the remnants of an older religion, what were they then? Why did the Norse have 2 sets of gods?
Reply
:iconraygreens:
Raygreens Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012
I find it kind of interesting that while the gods of male sex is the top of the Hierarchy and the gods of the female sex are the lowest, but the culture dictates that the woman was the head of the house-hold . I don't know, I just find it interesting.
Reply
:iconhumon:
humon Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012
Well, the Vanir were very female as well, though in a different way. They were the inventors of sejd, a type of magic only women were allowed to (or could) preform.
And by the end of times the jotuns takes revenge and kill the gods, which you can interpret however you want.
Reply
:iconraygreens:
Raygreens Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012
I think I'm starting to understand everything now.
Reply
:iconbloodvalkyrie:
BloodValkyrie Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012
Weird. I thought blue dyes were the cheapest back then. Oh well. :p
Reply
:iconlittle--grasshopper:
little--grasshopper Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012
I love learning about Norse mythology with your pictures! It would be nice to see more of these :D
Reply
:iconemperornortonii:
EmperorNortonII Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Your Jotunn looks a bit Oriental.
Reply
:iconarcanumtwilight:
ArcanumTwilight Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012
Awesome.
Reply
:iconjettebarnet:
Jettebarnet Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
.. my brain on the other side, see them all doing the Nyan Cat impression.
- what has the world come to?

On the other hand, i love the plump Vanir.
Reply
:icondarkkittenangel:
darkkittenangel Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is really awesome! :)
Reply
:iconannikayna:
Annikayna Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012
Your art is stunning, your captions/comments always fun and quircky AND we always get to learn something new. You are the best!
Reply
:iconkaminoneko:
KaminoNeko Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012
Odin was originally a jotunn?

Since it's not always easy to tell in this context, do you mean 'in the earliest versions of the myths that we know of, the proto-Odin figure was a jotunn', or 'in the myths as we know them now, Odin was a jotunn who nonetheless rose to kingship of the Æsir'?
Reply
:iconludovicia:
Ludovicia Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012
I guess what she means is that Odin was the first of the Aesir, and thus he had to be a Jotun, since there wasn't anything else there before that? (there's hardly anything known about his father or his father's father, other than their names; the Edda begins with Ymir and the creation of the world, after all)

It's a bit like how Jesus was technically Jewish, because he was the first of the Christian religion and there simply were no Christians before him
Reply
:iconmagnusharvest:
MagnusHarvest Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Ymir is the first living being. A jotun whose dead body formed the whole world.
Reply
:iconludovicia:
Ludovicia Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012
Then please explain to me how Odin happens to have a father, who had a father again, who was 'licked out of stone' by the cow Audhumbla, when Odin and his brothers were the people who formed the world by killing Ymir.

Honestly, I read the Edda... I know what I'm talking about.
Reply
:iconmagnusharvest:
MagnusHarvest Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Audhumbla licked Bure out of stone. Bure became father of Bur, who with Bestla got three sons: Odin, Vile and Ve. What you said was right, so what's the problem?
Reply
:iconludovicia:
Ludovicia Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012
I think we got a misunderstanding here or something. I took your first comment as a sort of negation of my statement that Odin, as the first of the Aesir, actually was born as a Jotun (what with Jotun representing the primal force of nature; which also lines up with humon's comment). Bestla at least is confirmed to be a Jotun.
Reply
:iconmagnusharvest:
MagnusHarvest Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
The only real difference between the aesir and jotun is that they call themselves differently
Reply
:iconludovicia:
Ludovicia Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012
Interesting theory, but honestly, do you have any proof for that? Otherwise you can also just say that the Vanar and the Aesir were the same thing, and just called themselves differently. (A proof against this theory would be that Jotun are frequently connected with magic, female and male alike, while Aesir are not, with exception for Loki and Odin, who are both at least half Jotun)
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconsnigepippi:
Snigepippi Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Love it.
So many people outside Scandinavia have this misconception that the Jotun folk are enormous and/or monstrous.
Nice that someone like Humon can help changing this weird idea.
Reply
:iconsplitpea202:
splitpea202 Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Hobbyist
Whoa... whenever I go on your page I learn something new... cool info! Now I can impress my friends with fascinating tidbits! :D
Reply
Add a Comment: