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Mountain People by humon Mountain People by humon
A fairly quick picture.

The Scandinavian mythology creatures are separated into two groups, Mountain People (Bjergfolk) and Elf People (Ellefolk). The names are a bit deceiving though, because not all Mountain People live in the mountains, and not all Elf People are elves, but the general rule is that Mountain People live in mountain areas or have their homes underground, while Elf People live in the forest/bog/swamp/field (ghosts are their own category, because they're not a people).

As usual there are three trolls because they get bigger and meaner the father up North you get. The biggest has the lightest skin because they turn to stone during the day, so they don't get a whole lot of sun, obviously. Trolls often have magic powers, but it usually involve turning one thing into another, including living things.

Truthfully, the Ogre doesn't really belong in the picture because they're French/English/German, but they're often compared to trolls even though they're completely different species, and the trolls are a good deal older than ogres. Ogres also tend to be a lot meaner than trolls (Shrek not counting of course).

Giants and the trolls far North are often confused with each other, but giants look like ordinary but big humans, and surprisingly trolls are often bigger than giants. They can be either mean or gentle.

Unlike what Tolkien told us in Lord of The Rings, dwarfs are not a warlike people at all in Nordic mythology. They live quietly underground where they dig for metals or steal gold from burial places. They would much rather bribe their way out trouble than fight.

Finally there's the jotuns who are by far the most powerful of the peoples. They can control the wild nature and have magic powers and knowledge not even the trolls can compete with. They're incredibly strong, and back in the day people often dreamt marrying a jotun.
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DarkOmen94 Featured By Owner May 19, 2015
Some jotuns could even rival the power of the norse gods and in fact many of the norse pantheon married jotuns or had ancestral origin from them. It says something about the strength and power the jotuns had. :)
Clutzy101 Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
This is just adorable I like it a lot :D
aceking90 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2015
It's a nice picture but honestly I am little under whelmed by their design. Now I am willing to bet that they are pretty close to the original mythology, but they just look like normal humans with strange facial features and some of them have tails. I'm sorry to say this because I love your work and I think you are an excellent artist, yet these creatures are just not that creative. 
humon Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2015
Yes exactly, they are meant to be close to the original mythology. People are getting to "creative" with these creatures designs these days I can hardly recognize them, so I like to go back to the original "boring" folklore.
aceking90 Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2015
Fair argument, but surly their are more imagitive Nordic mythological creatures? I mean doesn't the Kraken have its roots in Denmark or something. 
svesamikreteni Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That Dwarf is like "Ah, me loincloth got stitches, plebs!" I must say, I love the word "Bjerg". It's so awesome!
Pristichampsus Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2014  Professional General Artist
I heard somewhere that in the original Norse mythology, a long time ago, Dwarves were not even short in stature, just dark-haired, treasure-loving mine-dwellers. Something about the image of Norse Dwarves changing due to Christian influence wanting to de-emphasize traditional religion, thus their image changed in order to poke fun at them, making them short and stumpy.
SirGodspeed Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2015
That's true. There are no references in Old Norse sagas about the Dwarves being small in stature.

On a related note, Jotuns - which are very often translated into English as "giants" - actually come in a wide array of sizes, most actually being human-sized.
Pristichampsus Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2015  Professional General Artist
that's really interesting :)
thelastmatureone Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Lol the dwarf is just like," Hot damn".
lonelynightrain Featured By Owner May 23, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
3892 Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014
Aren't jotuns, giants, trolls and ogres really the same thing, just different names given to them at different time periods?
Lynettedrac Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014
Wohwohwoh No not at all. Jotun are as powerful as the asgardian gods for exemple ! Their name means "those who are great" or "noble". The "god" Loki was a jotun accepted by Odin as his brother (NO no noooooo the Thor movie NEVER EXISTED). Jotuns are the eternal rivals of the asgardian...
Clodiuth-Matrix Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2014  Student Digital Artist
There's also Skadi, ice giant/goddess of winter and hunting. Legit woman.
MoonlightTyger Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Very nice ^^ Nice to have everything laid out so neatly, and explained, too! :)
patrecher Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The far north Troll looks like my grand father. Maybe he really is a troll like my grand mother says... hmmm... Anyway, question, are the Jotun and the giants technically the same? My friend and I kind of got into a disagreement about it. She tried saying that they're exactly the same but I didn't think they were. Any help would be nice. I mean I know they aren't, but she just won't believe it unless she see's it (in this case reads it) from someone who actually knows their facts.
Lynettedrac Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014
this confusion came from the English translation of their name. Jotun means "those who are great" that can be associated with the size and become the "giant" BUT in the original meaning "great" is closer to "noble". Jotuns were godlike people, eternal rivals of the Asgardian wich are what we, in our innocence, call the Nordic gods. Loki was a Jotun accepted in the asgardian court by Odin for example (legend says he was the most beautiful and clever of all, not exactly the Giant archetype right ? XD) Interesting fact ; Jotuns were both male and female. Loki fathered as much children as he gave birth to ^^"
Mossrygg Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Now this looks good! You pictured the Trolls perfectly! :D
Alyndrea Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013
Aww! The far south troll is cute!
murtauge Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013  Student General Artist
The-Next-Heir Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, the jotun is by far the hottest so I wouldn't really mind marrying him either XD.
erikvidmar Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012
aren't jotuns actually giant(giant being a word from greek, like ogre from french)? old english word for giants is ettins, which descended from jotuns
dihitsu Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012
Just curious... i read some factography about dwarves and elves - and there was an interesting topic there. In historic materials, there is nowhere said that dwarves are actually small. Since this is your native mythology (so i assume you know better) i would like to know if you do or do not agree with that.
eshJesusFreak Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2012
*Squees*I like trolls alot!So this makes me happy :D <3
StevenGordonArt Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Reading your Nordic creatures reminds me of this awesome movie called "The Troll Hunter". I enjoyed the naturalistic approach it took, and the end...whoo boy, such epic suspense, and the Jotnar was probably the BIGGEST movie monster I've ever seen.

It was a Norwegian film, but I've heard it's going to be remade in england...hope that doesn't suck!
cherryhobbit Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2012
Im really glad you're posting these (or posted, I should say XD ) I adore mythology and I'll admit with the exposure of movies like Thor and Avengers I'm very curious about Norse mythology. I realize Marvel is far from accurate, so this only helps me understand the true mythos more. Thank you so much :D
Polionster Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That jotun has so much swag. I'm so happy to be Scandinavian! Scandinavian-five!
xarockolipsekittenx Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
people used to dream of marrying a Jotun??!! O.O -lookes at pic mulls it over- hemm . . . suppose everyone has thier fantisies And yes excluding shriek ogers are mean and cunning bullies in all pictures. and whyd you go and make the giant and Jotun incredibly good loking?
DragonDruids Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012
Hope this helps [link]
Spielodia Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2012
I like how they're kinda looking at each other and such XD
I wonder about gnomes and halflings. Some people talk about them as if they're the same creature, and they get compared (and confused as) to dwarves sometimes.

"not all Elf People are elves" mannn this stuff is pretty confusing. Like saying not all latinos are from latin america.
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Samurai-Poet Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Awesome lineup!
SolCannibal Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012
Funny, i thought that jotun/jotnar was another word for giant - looks like i was quite mistaken.
EmmersDrawberry Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That is the sassiest Dwarf I ever did see!
sAkora1 Featured By Owner May 18, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Did you ever thought of drawing changelings before?
Increnublar Featured By Owner May 17, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh god. My boyfriend has the exact body type as the Troll from the Far North. I'll never be able to look at him the same way.
Great fantastic work though!
YetiInPinkBoots Featured By Owner May 15, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Huh. I never thought trolls would be bigger then giants.
sneere Featured By Owner May 13, 2012
This is a subject which interest me. I now feel more educated. Thank you!
Ozraevun Featured By Owner May 5, 2012  Student Artist
HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I just love the dwarf's face xD He looks like he's saying: "Am I the only handsome guy here or what?" xD Great work! (And if the Jotun looks anything like yours. I'd marry him any day!) You should really illustrate childrens books, or stuff like that, I lve the way you draw nordic mythology creatures! :D
arpellias Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
So wouldn't the jotun be our modern elves?
AndersLn Featured By Owner May 6, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nooo the jotuns were the enemies of the Norse gods. they do not perform small time forest/nature magic. they represent the chaotic forces of nature, such as blizzards, volcanoes and earthquakes.. these guys are baaad :)
arpellias Featured By Owner May 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Well of course, but I mean the pointed ears and stuff would be the inspiration for modern elves versus the nordic elves being their inspiration.

Basically they represent entropy? the dissolution and wayward motion present in all of nature.
AndersLn Featured By Owner May 11, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well the old sources are not rich on descriptions on how neither the creatures nor the characters looked. They are nowhere depicted as having pointed ears though. More likely people have thought them looking like monstrous size humans.

we have three divine races in norse mythology; the Aesir, the Vanir and the Jotuns. Should any of these resemble modern elves, it would be the Vanir. They are fertility gods, and are often associated with the elves in the sources...
However we have two races that are both translated into "elves" in English. The oldest - and less known - are the "Alfer"; The ones that are associated with the Vanir. They have been minor deities of fertility, creatures of light, and they were benevolent. Then we have "elvere" which people believed in right up to my great grandparents time. They were beautiful but whether they were good or evil, depended on how people treated them. More often than not, they would drive people insane, kidnap them, kill them or steal their babies.

I believe I read somewhere that Tolkien did use the nordic elves as inspiration, when writing his books. However they did not have pointed ears either. Tolkien researched a lot in indoeuropean mythologies, so it might be, that the "alfer" was the real inspiration.

As to what the Jotuns represent, it is difficult to say. They evolved over a long period og years and a over a wide area, and they are very diverse. You are right, they do represent entropy. They represent the fiercely creative as well as the relentlessly destruktive. They are chaos, but they have society, wisdom and wealth as well as the gods/the order. But mainly I think they must be seen as the chaos of nature, that oppose the order of society.
Hardvaro Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2012
I would have included a human in this picture. You know, as a reference to get an idea of the size of everyone else.
I mean, that giant doesn't look much bigger than my brother. (He's not that corpulent, but he's pretty tall).
He looks like a badass though.
lone-wolf1991 Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2012
looking at the elf people and the mountain people, the jotun looks more like a modren elf than the elves do! and gain i need to fo more research
Keelazalai Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
The dwarf looks so sassy. xD
kisameisahhhhh Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012
This is really helpful for me in creating my own troll character
jalika123 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I can see why people would dream of marrying a Jouton. I like the jouton and the giant.
Barrocco Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You do know that marrying something so huge would probably kill you... and they eat humans. Run away from the forest at night, trust me, jotuns either rape, force you to marry them or eat you...
jalika123 Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
ah, sadness, tis the life i guess, i could just dream or marry a person of my species.
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