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[[caption-width-right:350:"Our tour of Northrend now brings us to Icecrown Citadel... we won't be stopping, though, they're death on visitors."]]

->''"Where its cold, and ice hits your skin''\\
''Few can stomach how harsh it is''\\
''In the woods lies a Great Old One''\\
''Who'll tear the flesh, right off your bones..."''
-->-- '''Music/ThreeInchesOfBlood''', ''[[AnIcePerson God of the Cold White Silence]]''

Whenever TheDarkLord rises to gather his armies and bring destruction upon the lands of men, elves, dwarves, and the race of funny LittlePeople, he always, always, ''always'' does this from a stronghold built in the most [[EvilIsDeathlyCold frigid]], dark, frigid, remote, [[RuleOfThree frigid]], ''[[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment cold]]'', benighted corner of the wasteland that in most cases is simply called "the North"[[note]]In the Francophone world, the band of cold lands northwards of the 60°N latitude are treated as parts of a large biome, which include the boreal forests, tundras and frozen wastelands, named "the Great North" - ''le Grand Nord'' [[/note]].

This trope may stem from how generally inhospitable the North often is to human (and other) life ([[CreatorProvincialism at least in the Northern hemisphere]]). While a gentle cover of snow can imply [[SnowMeansLove romance]], and snow can often be used to create an incredibly beautiful and peaceful otherworldly air, when taken to blizzard-level extremes it becomes an icy hell. As many forms of AlwaysChaoticEvil creatures are somehow protected from extreme cold -- for example, TheUndead simply don't care about temperatures--the North is an environment where the Forces of Good are often at a disadvantage. Savage tribes draped in PeltsOfTheBarbarian often swarm down on the peaceful neighboring lands.

It might also have its roots in Medieval history, as [[HornyVikings the Vikings]] would often come from Scandinavia to the European coastlines to RapePillageAndBurn. [[OlderThanTheyThink Even before that]], one of the constant threats to the [[UsefulNotes/AncientRome Roman Empire]] were the Celtic and Germanic barbarians to its north. History repeats the pattern elsewhere; in Asia, the Mongol hordes were from the frigid steppes and the surprisingly cold Gobi Desert, north of China proper. In Africa, the colonial invaders of the 17th-20th centuries were mysterious pale people from a land far to the north. In the UsefulNotes/ColdWar, the enemy that represented the greatest threat to your way of life was so far north that they were over the pole and on the other side, a bit of geography that's true for American and Soviet alike! (However, in reality the Soviets always imagined America as "in the West").

Northern wastelands being what they are, now and then some [[{{Precursors}} ancient civilization]] or other figures out such an inhospitable place would be perfect for preserving the SealedEvilInACan.

It is interesting to note that while it is true that people living up north on a [[WorldShapes standard-shaped planet]] don't get all that much sun in the winter and tend to be a bit gloomy, people seem to forget that they also don't have a proper night in the summer (assuming an axial tilt). They also tend to forget that the temperature difference has less to do with being Northerly than it does with the distance from the equator. After all, the only reason we Earthlings consider North to be synonymous with cold is that the planet's inhabited continents extend northward to cold parts of the Northern Hemisphere and, on average, very little south of Tropic of Capricorn. The only iced-over landmass of the Southern Hemisphere, Antarctica, is isolated by distance and scarcely habitable.

The roots of this trope could also lie in the fact that most major religions originated in warm locations: the Abrahamic ones in Mesopotamia and the Levant (Judaism and Christianity) and the Arabian Peninsula (Islam); the Dharmic ones (chiefly Hinduism and Buddhism) in India; Taoism, Confucianism, and Chinese folk religion in mostly-temperate China; and Shintoism in temperate Japan. These were all locations where cold weather was associated with winter and [[SnowMeansDeath its connotations of the "death" stage of the seasonal cycle]] rather than being the simple fact of life it becomes when actually ''living'' Up North.

On the other hand, people in those climates tend to portray very bad places -- such as Hell -- as hot. It is the people who live in the North who insist that Hell is [[EvilIsCold cold]].

SantaClaus is unrelated... [[BadSanta usually]]. See also MysteriousAntarctica. Grim Up North is the frigid sister trope of TheSavageSouth. Strictly, this trope requires a warmer region for the North to contrast with; if an entire planet is frozen, it's an [[Main/SingleBiomePlanet Ice World]]. Might also be a case of NorthIsColdSouthIsHot. Contrast FireAndBrimstoneHell where the forces of Evil inhabit a land or dimension of extremely hot temperatures.

The TropeNamer appears to be [[Music/TheKLF the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu]] song "It's Grim Up North", which contains a [[ListingCities list of Northern English cities]]. That said, this trope is not to be confused with OopNorth -- although they can overlap, seeing as Northern England isn't exactly a barrel of laughs either (but at least it's not Luton). For that matter, should you dare venture a wee bit north of OopNorth, ''beware'' the ViolentGlaswegian.

For cultures often portrayed this way, see MotherRussiaMakesYouStrong and HornyVikings. The Swedish conception of ''svårmod'' ("black mood") -- an existentially gloomy Scandinavian mindset, which in popular cliché predisposes Swedes to suicide as they go farther North into endless nights and sub-zero temperatures -- belongs here too, and explains a lot about NordicNoir.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', the fortress of Briggs is the furthest northern outpost of Amestris, defending against the [[FantasyCounterpartCulture hordes of]] [[GloriousMotherRussia Drachma]]. Up North, it's always snowing, and [[IceQueen General Olivier Armstrong]] and her troops are always vigilant and deadly serious because they hold the responsibility of defending the nation with their lives.
* In an arc of ''Manga/SaintSeiya'' and ''Anime/SaintSeiyaSoulOfGold'', the action takes place in Asgard, a Scandinavian-like country far North of Europe.

* ''ComicBook/MuktukWolfsbreathHardBoiledShaman'' takes place in the snow-bound Siberian taiga and uses the grimness of the setting to achieve the same effect that FilmNoir does with rain-soaked cities.
* The comic book miniseries (and movie) ''ComicBook/ThirtyDaysOfNight'' was about a remote town in Alaska attacked by vampires during its long "winter night". Subsequent miniseries in the same setting returned there a few times.

* Tarandroland in ''Fanfic/UnderTheNorthernLights''. It is populated by dour and violent reindeer, one of whom describes the climate as ice four fifths of the year, with the fifth part being mosquitos. While the ponies of Equestria may have to actively [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E11WinterWrapUp wrap up winter]] every spring, the reindeer have to literally ''fight'' winter to make it go away. The story kicks off when [[HornyVikings reindeer in dragonships]] get back into their old habit of plundering northern Equestria. On the other hand, following the AnachronismStew of the original show, this trope is heavily mixed with NorseByNorsewest, and the reindeer follow many stereotypes of modern Scandinavians (the author being Swedish).
* In ''Webcomic/{{Guardian}}'', Lulu is shown to come from a forgotten, snowy island in the north of Spira where life is difficult both because of Sin and because their temple lost its fayth. It also explains Lulu's unusual mode of dress.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* The main villain, Nekron from ''WesternAnimation/FireAndIce'', makes his home up north in Icepeak.
* Inverted in ''Disney/TheLittleMermaidIIReturnToTheSea'', where the villainess Morgana (Ursula's twin sister) actually makes her home underneath Antarctica.
* Being a Fantasy Counterpart Culture to the Nordic Countries, Arendelle from ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'' is very cold but it's a PlayedWith example it's a pretty positive portrayal.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''The Conquest of the Pole'' (1912) by Creator/GeorgesMelies. The North Pole is a desolate area with sharp ice stalagmites and there's a scary ice giant who eats the explorers who dared venturing on his lands.
* Speaking of Hadrian's Wall, the movies ''Film/{{Centurion}}'' and ''Film/TheEagle'' have rather bad things happening north of it as well.
* In ''Film/{{Doomsday}}'', Scotland is sealed off from the rest of the UK (and the world) to contain a zombie-creating plague, and a 50-foot high version of Hadrian's Wall made of steel-reinforced concrete and lined with machineguns and spotlights. A British commando team is sent in years later to investigate after satellite images show signs of life. HilarityEnsues.
* The Swedish horror-comedy ''Film/{{Frostbite}}'' has a similar premise: another town, but much larger, located well above the Arctic Circle with a month long period of darkness. The diffrence? The vampire have been there all the time...
* In ''ComicBook/{{Hellboy}}: Seed of Destruction'', the ancient temple to the Ogdru Jahahd was somewhere in the Arctic circle.
* In ''Film/RobinHoodPrinceOfThieves'', the Sheriff of Nottingham hires thugs from the north--Celts ([[AnachronismStew during the Third Crusade]]), who drink the blood of their dead, and seem to share the Sheriff's (evil) god.
* The vampire horror film ''Film/ThirtyDaysOfNight'' is set in Barrow, Alaska (the northernmost town in the U.S., well above the Arctic Circle), where the sky is completely dark for thirty days in the middle of winter, allowing the vampires to thrive on those residents who stay through this dark period rather than take the only flight south for the duration.
* In ''Film/TheLastWitchHunter'', the Witch Queen's "nest", the Plague Tree, is situated in some cold and snowy place far cry from Kaulder's clearly warmer home.
* ''Film/TheLastWinter'' (2006) Who knows what spiritual forces may be lurking in Alaska's permafrost?

* In ''Literature/LoneWolf'', Kalte (icy wasteland populated with hostile barbarians, malevolent wildlife and as of book 3 an EvilSorcerer), the Darklands ({{Mordor}}), the Drakkarim Kingdoms (evil Vikings with anachronistic gear and occasionally tech) and Ixia (Mordor with more ice, hordes of TheUndead and SealedEvilInACan) fit this trope perfectly, but the heroic northern kingdoms of Sommerlund and Durenor avert it.

* In the Norwegian fantasy ''Literature/{{Phenomena}}'' the BiggerBad lives here. It's never described in much detail and he even has a stronghold in Aldra, the country he wants to overtake.
* In ''Literature/DragonBones'', [[PoweredByAForsakenChild castle Hurog]] was built by an EvilSorcerer in the northern lands, because up there, no one would get in his way. Recent Hurog heir Ward is a nice person, but many of his ancestors ... not so much. The native inhabitants of the country are still known as those barbarians from the north in other countries. There also seems to be a problem with undead creatures in the area, though that is not dwelt on much.
* In the works of Creator/JRRTolkien:
** In ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', Morgoth's fortress of Angband is in the north extreme of Beleriand (the North-West of Middle-Earth). Similarly, his first fortress, Utumno, was in the north of Middle Earth. Apparently, [[EvilIsDeathlyCold this is why North is cold]].
** Also in ''The Silmarillion'', many Noldor emigrants die when they try to cross the Grinding Ice, a sea-strait between Aman and Middle-Earth filled with icebergs. There's no inherent evil fortress there, though; it's just a nasty stretch of inhospitable icecap.
** ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' mentions that Angmar, the former realm of the Witch-king, lay in the far north of the world. However Tolkien placed Mordor in the South to deliberately avert the trope.
** As noted in ''Literature/TheHobbit'', the Grey Mountains are rife with "orcs, goblins and hobgoblins", and the Withered Heath in particular is the home of many vile dragons, including Smaug himself. Durin's Folk used to live in the North after being driven from Moria, but left after their King was killed by a cold-drake with his middle son.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'':
** The North is a vast, sparsely populated region of Westeros where life is hard, and the farther north you go, the harsher it gets. Westeros' years-long winters are felt to a greater degree than in the south, and months of howling blizzards and massive fields of snowbanks that can lock cities and castles shut and grind the march of armies to a halt are considered the ''prelude'' to the real winter. The culture of the North is plainer and less decadent than in the richer, more sophisticated South, and preserves the culture and religion of the ancient First Men and their nameless gods to a greater degree. Ironically enough the rulers of the North, the Starks of Winterfell, are among the most straightforwardly-heroic characters in the series. However this is contrasted with the Boltons of the [[IDontLikeTheSoundOfThatPlace Dreadfort]], who are known for their practice of [[FlayingAlive flaying]] their enemies (their coat of arms is even a flayed man). [[spoiler:Things become worse when Roose Bolton murders Robb Stark and takes control of the North, and Roose's [[BastardBastard bastard]] [[{{Sadist}} Ramsay Snow/Bolton]] goes around committing atrocities.]]
** The Wall protects the people of the North from attacks of savage wildling raiders who reside beyond it amidst endless snow-bound forests and frozen mountains. The forests beyond the wall are also home to creatures long extinct in the south, including direwolves, mammoths and apelike giants. The wildlings are themselves plagued by [[OurWightsAreDifferent frozen demons]] called the Others, as well as by the wights, the animated corpses of their victims (when the series begins the Others haven't been seen in thousands of years, but are waking up again). The northernmost land is called the Land of Always Winter. It is a dark and mysterious place, and so unknown the northernmost part doesn't even appear on the map.
** The Shivering Sea, a cold ocean east of Westeros and north of Essos, is a marine version of this. Its waters are home to leviathans, and legends have it has haunted by ghosts of the drowned and vicious black-scaled mermaids that drag sailors to watery graves and banks of blue mists that freeze any ship they pass over. To its north is the ice of the White Waste, with places like Cannibal Bay, full of ships trapped forever in the ice and home to the cannibalistic descendants of the crews trapped there, and supposed to be home to great ice dragons.
* Durham's ''Literature/{{Acacia}}'' has villains heading from the north.
* In ''[[Literature/TheBible Bible]]'' times, throughout the Old Testament and even some in the New Testament, north was seen as Israel's weak side. Oppression giants became fewer in TheSavageSouth (Egypt) and more plentiful in the north (Assyria, Scythia, etc.) as time progressed.
* In the ''Literature/{{Conqueror}}'' books, the evil Tartars live in northern Mongolia, where the winters are even harsher than the south.
* In Michael A. Stackpole's ''Draconcrown'' cycle, the Big Bad, Chytrine, rules from the frozen wastes far to the north.
* While the plot of Creator/BarbaraHambly's ''Literature/{{Dragonsbane}}'' is situated in the south, the north it starts in is incredibly grim.
* In ''Literature/{{Dwarves}}'', the Perished Land approaches from the north.
* ''Literature/HisDarkMaterials'' subverts this. In the first book, titled ''Northern Lights'' (or ''The Golden Compass'' in some areas), the CorruptChurch sets up camp in a northern fortress called Bolvangar[[note]]which means "[[IDontLikeTheSoundOfThatPlace Fields of Evil]]"[[/note]], but they're only intruding on territory that belongs to the {{witch|Species}}es (many of whom are on the heroes' side) and the panserbjørne (a neutral faction of [[BearsAreBadNews armored polar bears]]).
* According to ''Literature/HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas'', the Grinch actually lives just north of Whoville.
%%* Greg Keyes' ''Literature/KingdomsOfThornAndBone''
* In ''Literature/MemorySorrowAndThorn'', while there are the sympathetic Rimmersmen and Qanuc civilizations in the north, go a bit further and you start running into the deeply unpleasant Black Rimmersmen--and further than ''that'' you come to Stormspike, mountain citadel of the Norns (the AlwaysChaoticEvil variant of the FairFolk) and base of operations for [[BigBad the Storm King]]. Not a nice place.
* Many, many of the villains in ''Literature/{{Redwall}}'' originally came from here. Allusions to the North being war-torn are made in most of the early books, and the later books that take place up there... In Rakkety Tam, we see a shipload of Northerners, cannibals all. A number of the vermin hordes come from there, not surprisingly.
** Also subverted: So did the (chronologically) first hero of the stories, Martin the Warrior.
* ''Literature/TheReynardCycle'': Calvaria is so inhospitable during the winter that its people live underground, and have developed into a [[ANaziByAnyOtherName genocidal race]] of [[BloodKnight Blood Knights]] just to survive. They don't welcome tourists.
* In ''Literature/{{Shannara}}'', the Warlock Lord is based in the North, at Skull Mountain, but in the sequels, the threats come successively from the West, the East, and the South.
** The BackStory and prologue actually begin the base of evil in the Center of the world. That moved North, then East, but while the East was still unpacking a SealedEvilInACan in the West popped open, which lead to the East now being ready to be evil, which jumps back to the West who migrates to the South to be Evil and from there it reaches out to the Far-far West, other worlds, etc.
* JV Jones' ''Literature/SwordOfShadows''. Pretty much the whole series takes place in what the rest of the world would consider to be the grim north, though even beyond that you get to "the Great Want", frozen {{Mordor}} and EldritchLocation ''par excellence''.
* The baddies of ''Literature/TailchasersSong'' set up their little hell-on-earth in the northern forest of Rootwood.
* The [[{{Mordor}} blighted wasteland and Dark Tower]] of the BigBad Torak in ''Literature/TheBelgariad'' are in the far north... east, close enough.
* In Creator/CSLewis's ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'', Narnia was often at war with the evil giants that live in the Wild Waste Lands of the North. (Some of the Northern giants ''do'' seem friendly and civilized, [[ToServeMan until...]]) The north is also where the White Witch built up her power and where the Lady of the Green Kirtle lived and held Prince Rilian hostage. Interestingly, [[TheEmpire the Calormenes]] in TheSavageSouth tend to describe ''Narnia'' as a sinister northern region full of barbarians, monsters, and terrifying demonic lions.
* In Creator/ClarkAshtonSmith's [[http://www.eldritchdark.com/writings/short-stories/28 "The Coming of the White Worm,"]] the titular conquering worm [[EldritchAbomination Rlim Shaikorth]] comes "from spaces beyond the limits of the north".
** He also used the trope for other stories, such as ''The Ice Demon'' and ''The Light from the Pole'', and there are plenty of nasty things to be found North in his "Hyperborean Cycle". Other contributions to the Franchise/CthulhuMythos such as Creator/HPLovecraft's ghost-written Ran-Tegoth, August Derleth's Ithaqua, and Lin Carter's Aphoom-Zhah make the Arctic Circle and especially Greenland home to more {{Eldritch Abomination}}s than anywhere else on Earth, and potentially [[DeathWorld even deadlier than]] [[MysteriousAntarctica Mythos Antarctica]].
* In ''Literature/TheIronTeeth'' web serial the North is considered one of the most dangerous and uncivilized places to live. It is here that the big bad Myagnoir the Greatest Enemy of Man lives as well.
* Even in the Finnish national epic ''Literature/TheKalevala'', the northerners are the bad guys. Well, from the contemporary viewpoint. Most of the bad things they do are in retaliation to the bad things done by the protagonists. They're just the enemies, because they're ''[[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman foreigners]]''. This probably was an echo of the conflicts that the Finns had with the indigenous Sami-folk who they robbed much of their lands from, forcing them to retreat to the northernmost reaches of the land.
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's "Literature/ThePhoenixOnTheSword" this is how Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian describes his native Cimmeria:
-->''"Perhaps it's the land they live in," answered the king. "A gloomier land never was -- all of hills, darkly wooded, under skies nearly always gray, with winds moaning drearily down the valleys."\\
"Little wonder men grow moody there," quoth Prospero with a shrug of his shoulders, thinking of the smiling sun-washed plains and blue lazy rivers of Poitain, Aquilonia's southernmost province.\\
"They have no hope here or hereafter," answered Conan. "Their gods are Crom and his dark race, who rule over a sunless place of everlasting mist, which is the world of the dead. Mitra! The ways of the Aesir were more to my liking."''
** The lands even more to the North than Cimmeria aren't very pleasant places either: Vanir and Asgard are still mostly glacier-covered, home to things like mammoths, saber-toothed tigers and giants, and Hyperborea is home to a mysterious, savage culture both barbaric and sinisterly sorcerous.
* In ''Literature/TheRiftwarCycle'' by Raymond Feist, the (sort-of) AlwaysChaoticEvil race of moredhel ([[OurElvesAreBetter dark elves]]) reside in the frozen Northlands. Justified, however. Firstly, the Northlands have many places that were frequented by the Valheru in times of old, and are sought out by the moredhel as places of power. Secondly, and more importantly, the moredhel ''had'' earlier occupied more hospitable territory, but have been at war with the humans for centuries, and due to inferior numbers (read: slower breeding rate) have been forced back to the Northlands where the land is simply too cold and barren for the humans to even ''want'' to press on.
* Sara Douglass' ''Axis'' and ''Literature/TheWayfarerRedemption'' Trilogies played up with this trope.
* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', The Blight is a huge northern land, home of the Dark One and full of evil creatures and desolation. It's separated from the rest of Randland by [[DoomyDoomsOfDoom the "Mountains of Dhoom"]] and incursions of evil forces are buffered by the border nations.
** Interestingly, a map of the world provided in an encyclopaedia for the series showed that the Blight eventually gives way to the polar ice cap, which isn't considered interesting by anyone at all.
** Subverted in that the Blight proper is a ''[[GardenOfEvil steamy jungle]]'', although the Blasted Lands beyond it are pretty cold.
* In ''Literature/TheWildBoy'', the Lindauzi cities are all in the north. Justifed, because they can't survive the warmer tropical latitudes.
* ''Literature/SecondApocalypse'': The Ancient North, which consists of the northern half of Eärwa, was once just as civilized as the south, but is now a blasted wasteland left inhabited almost exclusively by millions upon millions of [[OurGoblinsAreDifferent Sranc]]. The headquarters of the evil AncientConspiracy are at the northern edge of that.
* In the ''Literature/WarriorCats'' series, [=ShadowClan=], the Clan that produces the most evil cats and that is normally thought to always be plotting something, lives in the northernmost territory. There's even a saying in [=ThunderClan=] that the cold north wind blows over every [=ShadowClan=] cat and chills their heart.
* In ''Literature/WorldWarZ'' and the worldwide ZombieApocalypse, the Arctic Circle actually fares better than most areas as zombies freeze solid in the winter. Mind, "better than most" still means that most evacuees are completely unprepared for winter survival and die anyway. Those who do survive and set up fortifications are able to scavenge unimpeded during the winter and hole up during the summer.
** Later it makes the cleanup process far more difficult than in the south however, as the zombies freeze for winter, and are easily overlooked under the snow. Finland is shown still to be struggling to make itself habitable, while Iceland is one of the worst White Zones (areas completely overrun) on the map.
* The only thing that keeps the North in ''Literature/TheFirstLaw'' from being a straight example is that [[CrapsackWorld it's grim everywhere else too]].
* In Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs' ''Literature/JohnCarterOfMars'' books, the north pole of Barsoom is overrun with apts--six-limbed monsters that resemble some combination of a gorilla and a hippopotamus. Worse still, they are capable of hunting their prey for ''30 days straight''. And up until John Carter invaded the region to rescue Dejah Thoris, it was not safe to travel there by aircraft, as the locals, the yellow-skinned Okarians, used powerful magnets to draw in and capture aircrafts.
* Referenced for atmosphere several times in "Literature/TheBalladOfTheWhiteHorse", first in the description of the "[[EndOfAnAge apocalypse]]" in the first book, then with [[OmnicidalManiac Ogier]] as a sort of personification of it. "[[RousingSpeech For the ice of the north is broken]], [[MassOhCrap and the blood of the north is free!]]"
* The kingdom of Gorhaut from ''Literature/ASongForArbonne'' is cold, harsh, and warlike, in stark contrast to the titular, Mediterranean Arbonne. It is also the FantasyCounterpartCulture of France, which might be the first time France serves as the grim northern land.
* ''Literature/TheHeroesOfOlympus'': The lands northward, specifically Alaska, are beyond the gods' power. This is where Alcyoneus makes his base, holding Thanatos captive and waiting for demigods foolish enough to try rescuing him.
* In ''The Dragon Crown War'', [[BigBad Chytrine's]] [[TheEmpire empire]] of Aurolan is located in the extreme north of the world, and is populated chiefly by nonhuman creatures capable of enduring its harsh conditions. ''Underneath'' Aurolan lies the [[SealedEvilInACan prison]] of [[OurTitansAreDifferent the Oromise]], who fuel Chytrine's wars of conquest with magic and lost knowledge in return for her promise to pop them lose once she amasses the power to do so.
* In ''Literature/{{Frankenstein}}'', the darkest, most evil parts of the story occur in the land simply referred to as "The North." While Walton may see the frozen lands as a prospect of opportunity, they are shown to be nothing but complete wastelands to which Victor chases his monster away from the civilized world. As is commonly believed among scholars of the Romantic period, this land is likely used as a symbol for the desolation caused by Victor's blind obsession with progress. While he may have intended to bring warmth to the world by raising the dead, all he brings are a cold and bitter death to himself and his monstrous progeny and what he finds is loneliness and desolation.
* The Never-Never of Literature/TheDresdenFiles stories is formed by the subconscious myths and legends of humanity, meaning that the Winter Queen's realm there almost literally IS this trope.
* The hagiographic ''[[Myth/StEdmundOfEastAnglia Martyrdom of St. Edmund]]'' by Abbo of Fleury (late 10th century) suggests the 869 Viking invasion of East Anglia is the fulfillment of the biblical prophecy of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38), according to which the end of the world will be preceded by a great army from "the North" attacking the worshippers of God. He also affirms that all the "races of the north" are cruel and barbaric, so as to be incapable of feeling compassion by nature, and that the Danes are instigated to their raids by Satan himself who apparently resides in the North.
* Creator/JackLondon's stories about Alaska come from his personal experience, so no ice giants or other supernatural nasties, but grim it is.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' serial "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS16E1TheRibosOperation The Ribos Operation]]", the locals on the planet Ribos assume that aliens, with their advanced technology, are from The Great North. A local heretic who holds the unpopular belief that the stars are not ice crystals but other worlds scoffs at this, as he's travelled to the north and knows there's no mighty empire there.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** The North is colder, harsher, and less populated than the south and this trope is what most southerners would tell you about the North. The Northmen still love it though, much to the bewilderment of the South.
** House Stark has this reputation. They live in the largest region, the aforementioned North, with harsh climate and subsequently harsh people. They are also the last great house of First Men's line and one of the last who worships the Old Gods and keeps the GoodOldWays, which is a bit looked down by the opulent South. Despite being from the North, Ned Stark is still the only unambiguously good guy in the setting. Played straight however in that he's still hard, cold and stoic.
** The lands of the wildlings beyond the Wall are even worse as there is little vegetation or arable land, along with a number of dangerous animals, and beyond ''that'' is the wintry abode of the White Walkers: the Lands of Always Winter, which is just as treacherous as it sounds.
** While not in The North, the Iron Islands have this vibe, being grey and dreary due to their location, and the people are not much better. They're still well north of most of the rest of Westeros, though. In universe, most scholars agree that the Ironborn and Northmen are basically two branches of the same tribe.
* In ''Series/{{Helix}},'' the story is set in the blistering cold of the Arctic. "Big pharma" company Arctic Biosystems hosts over a hundred {{Morally Ambiguous Doctorate}}s in its ElaborateUndergroundBase, where researchers go to work without interference from regulatory agencies. Then a SyntheticPlague they're developing gets loose, leading to an outbreak of TheVirus as it makes the jump to a human researcher.

* The genre of BlackMetal, owing to its origins in Norway, has a fondness for imagery involving the cold north. A particularly notable example is the band Immortal, whose song titles include ''Grim and Frostbitten Kingdoms'', ''Sons of Northern Darkness'' and ''In My Kingdom Cold''.
** Parodied by the "acoustic black metal" joke band ''Impaled Northern Moonforest'', with songs like ''Grim and Frostbitten Moongoats of the North'' and ''Lustfully Worshipping the Inverted Moongoat While Skiing down the Inverted Necromountain of Necrodeathmortum''. They even have an [[http://www.inm.acousticblackmetal.org/downloads.htm Impaled Northern Moonforest song title generator]] that lets you create your own grim and frostbitten song titles.
** Subverted by Swedish metal band Sister Sin's ''Sail North'' and the music video for ''24/7'', which is "yes, it's grim up here, but we're inviting you to come up anyway and party like a Viking" and "We're snowed in, so we're going to party as hard as we can," respectively.
* [=SnowW.Wwhite's=] entire concept is based heavily on this theme.
* Inverted in the Emerald Sword saga by Music/RhapsodyOfFire, where the main character is called the "Warrior of Ice" or "Nordic Warrior", who calls the forces of winter against the LegionsOfHell.
* Many songs by the infamous Swedish band Music/{{Kent}} are about the coldness (both literally and figuratively) of Sweden.
* Finnish national composer Jean Sibelius set parts of the national ''Kallevala'' mythology to music. One of the most gloomily evocative pieces is ''The Swan of Tuonela'', depicting the black swan representing Death swimming on Tuonela, the black lake of Death which is portal to the Afterlife. Needless to say the icy cold lake of Death and its totemic swan are in the Far North.
* Black swans from the North are also harbingers of doom in Irish mythology; the Music/{{Horslips}} use this theme in the song ''Shadows on our Skin''
--> I see the last black swan/Fly past the sun...

[[folder:Mythology and Folklore]]
* Germanic mythology placed the realm of the giants, the monstrous enemies of gods and men, in the far North-East. This is attested as early as c. 100 AD by Tacitus in his ethnographical work ''Germania''.
* In many of the "Alexander Romances"--legends and folkloric embellishments of the life and exploits of Alexander the Great--a land beset by "unclean" nations to the north is encountered by Alexander during his conquests. Recognizing their need, Alexander has his army construct the "Gates of Alexander" across the mountain pass which served as the border between the peaceful southern tribes and their warlike neighbors to the north; these nigh-impenetrable gates, often said to be constructed of the mythical substance "adamantium", effectively severed the north's capacity to reach the south, therefore preserving the southerners' safety and way of life. ''Note'': in many cases, these barbarous and unclean northern tribes are identified as none other than Gog and Magog--mentioned in the various Abrahamic religions, where they are invariably portrayed as bad or evil or at the least "unclean", and who in extra-Biblical tradition become the BigBad who are said to one day rise up and make war on the rest of the world, bringing about Armageddon.
** In solemn, historical fact, ancient Macedonia (and the northern Greek states in general) was threatened by assorted (probably Celtic and later Germanic) tribes coming down from the Danube region into the Balkans. Alexander's father only succeeded to the throne after two elder brothers were killed fighting, and Upper Macedonia completely overrun. Things stabilised for a while for the successor kingdoms, but the Romans regarded the area as a military, frontier province.
* ''Kylmä kuin ryssän helvetissä''--"Cold as in the Russkie Hell"--a Finnish proverb to describe really low temperatures. Although Russia is east of Finland, not north.
** A more straight example from the Finnish mythology and Literature/TheKalevala: Pohjola (literally "northplace") is the enemy land ruled by the witch Louhi and the place where all evil comes from. Note that the Sámi people have always lived north of Finns and were the natural enemy for a long time until the arrival of Swedes from the west and Russians from the east. (However, Finns[[note]]Finns weren't a single tribe at this point (starting out as one group, some sort of "Proto-Finns", splitting into several tribes, then reuniting through nationalism). The main ones were the Finns (''suomalaiset'', later giving their name to the whole nation), Tavastians (''hämäläiset''), Karelians ('karjalaiset'', who split into several groups themselves (they were VERY expansive) some of which mixed with the others.)[[/note]] claimed much of the former Sámi lands and pushed them further north to Lapland, creating pre-modern Finland and Karelia, so technically the area that was called Pohjola by the first Finns is now Finland: it's even possible that all of Finland is former Pohjola, depending on which theory you believe. It may have been colder back then, though.)
* ''Just like Poles have the Tartars, the Swedes have Finns''--a saying of the 17th century. Not that Sweden is a warm place itself.
* In Navajo religion north is the direction of death and evil, symbolized by night and the color black.
* In Irish mythology, of the five provinces, "Ulster in the north is the seat of battle valour, of haughtiness, strife, boasting; the men of Ulster are the fiercest warriors of all Ireland, and the queens and goddesses of Ulster are associated with battle and death." Which became HarsherInHindsight sometime around the [[UsefulNotes/TheTroubles late twentieth century]].
* In the early periods of Japanese history, northern provinces were noticeably more grim than the rest of the country. Between general lawlessness (you either had a sizable private force... or not very high hopes about your life expectancy) and Ainu raids, there was also unforgiving cold weather. That's what became part of samurai's charm in later eras, though--they were portrayed as hardened warriors from fringes of civilization, as opposed to the soft and decadent court aristocracy (that most people got fed up with at that point).

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Inverted in the Krynn D&D setting, as Ansalon, the main continent for ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' stories and adventures, is in the southern hemisphere. The northernmost land, Nordmaar, is a tropical jungle. [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Icewall]] is to the south of Ansalon.
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** In ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'', the land of Vaasa in the north of Faerun is where the Witch-King Zhengyi created his Castle Perilous and launched an invasion of the neighboring country of Damara. The region known as the North (actually to the Northwest) isn't much better (with the exception of the Silver Marches), what with the rugged terrain, Viking-like raiders on the coast and islands, barbarian tribes inland, and the periodic threat of gigantic Orc invasions from their strongholds in the Spine of the World mountains. This is also the region where VideoGame/IcewindDale is, which isn't a barrel of warm happy sunshine either.
** In the campaign setting ''TabletopGame/{{Midnight}}'', the evil god who was cast down from the Heavens retreats to the North to gather his strength and from there launches his campaign of conquest.
** Denagoth, a suitably-grim northern realm with a spooky history and imperialistic intentions, was added to the ''TabletopGame/{{Mystara}}'' setting purely to play this trope as straight as possible. The rest of the northern lands of the Known World aren't exactly pleasant either for the most part.
** Averted in ''TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}}'', a literal PatchworkMap setting. While one of the coldest regions of the Core (Lamordia) is in the northwest, it's only 200 miles from a tropical island (Markovia) that's even ''farther'' northwest. An even colder island, Todstein, is in the ''southeast'' corner of the Core. Neither it nor Lamordia really fit this trope; the closest Ravenloft has to a GrimUpNorth is Vorostokov, which is too underpopulated and isolated by the Mists to invade anybody.
** In ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' 4th Edition, now this is part of the generic setting. The goddess of death has her citadel in the grim north, where all souls now pass when they die. The darkness and grimness of her frost-bound fortress even bleeds over to the real world from her home dimension, because reality is thin up there. Mildly subverted in that [[DarkIsNotEvil the Raven Queen is not evil]], but then again she is definitely not nice, and quite grim.
* {{TabletopGame/Pathfinder}}'s base setting of Golarion, not to be outdone, has a number of... ''interesting'' places in the northernmost reaches of Avistan, its Fantasy Counterpart Europe.
* The elves of the ''TabletopGame/IronKingdoms'' sealed the heart of the dragon Everblight on the top of the highest mountain they could find. Guess which direction a horde of monstrous BodyHorror dragonspawn is pouring out from?
* The world of ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' has arguably the grimmest up North in fiction. Past the merely inhospitable [[strike:Russia]] Kislev, you get to Norsca and the Kurgan lands (evil Vikings and evil Scythians, respectively), one of the closest of all the realms of men (Besides Hung) to the Powers of [[EldritchAbomination Chaos]], home to the marauder tribes that form the core of the LegionsOfHell and the Champions of Chaos who lead the hordes of Chaos in war. In particular, the Norscans are the vanguard of those hordes as they are fanatically devoted to the Chaos Gods and are perhaps the cruelest and most vicious warriors to stalk the Old World, with a hatred of the South, in particular the Empire, which dates back several thousand years to the age of [[MessianicArchetype Sigmar]]. Further north, through the Chaos Wastes (daemon-infested black deserts where [[RealityIsOutToLunch reality is wearing pretty damn thin]]), where infamous and disgusting race of "Men" (if one can be considered such anymore), Hung nomads live, you eventually reach the Realm of Chaos, which is basically {{Hell}}. ''All'' of these (except Kislev) regularly spew out TheLegionsOfHell to lay waste to the Old World.
** Even Canada gets the GrimUpNorth, being covered in snow or horrible creatures and populated by dark elves, who regularly launch raids for plunder and slaves on civilized lands.
** In true ''Warhammer'' fashion, there's ''another'' wide-open portal to the Realm of Chaos in the South pole of the Old World that ''nobody's doing anything about''. It's only a matter of time until the world is overwhelmed by TheLegionsOfHell from ''both'' sides. (Well, the Lizardmen might since it's their job.)
** ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'''s Fenris is a GrimUpNorth SingleBiomePlanet. It's where the Space Wolves recruit the local tribesmen who become their Viking Super Soldiers.
*** [[ThemeNaming Valhalla]] is likewise a single-biome frost world. The inhabitants here "only" get to be Imperial Guard badasses, though. Valhalla itself is noted to have an ''even grimmer'' Up North, where the climate goes from "unforgiving" to "completely uninhabitable" and worse.
*** In fact, ''40K'' makes the decision to blow up ''Fantasy'''s LeftJustifiedFantasyMap to fit an entire galaxy, with the Segmentum Obscurus (the bits "north" of Earth) including Fenris, Valhalla, and even its own Chaos-Wastes-In-Space, the Eye of Terror.

* ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'''s Bara Magna arc has the villainous Skrall tribe coming from the mountainous north to conquer the planet, though they themselves were driven south by an even nastier group of [[ShapeShifter shapeshifting]] warriors.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Inverted in the ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer'' for the ''Tiberium'' timeline: The element Tiberium, with its extreme mutagenic and toxic properties, has its growth stymied by the cold. Therefore, it is the Good Guys that strike from the North.
* ''Lord of Destruction'', the ExpansionPack to ''VideoGame/DiabloII'', adds a fifth act which sets the barbarian homeland way up in the snowy mountain peaks of Arreat. Subverted as their entire culture is dedicated to battling evil, and Baal invaded their space rather than controlling it from the get-go.
* MMORPG ''VideoGame/{{Dofus}}'' has an entire [[ExpansionPackWorld continent]] called Frigost. Oddly, it's not particularly far north, instead being situated in the middle of the ocean far to the west of the normal world. [[SubvertedTrope It was originally not particularly grim at all,]] [[AllThereInTheManual until the ruler of the island decided it would be a good idea to try and create an eternal summer for the island's farmers.]] This did not go down well with the demon who controls December, and provoked him into freezing the island for the past century.
* ''VideoGame/{{Donkey Kong Country 2|DiddysKongQuest}}'', sort of. Both of the game's ice-themed levels are in the northern-most area of the map. And it is a pretty grim place. And it's definitely "up".
** The villainous Viking invaders from ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountryTropicalFreeze'' come from the frigid seas north of Donkey Kong Island.
* The Korcari Wilds in Ferelden in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' are actually Grim Down South, due to the continent of Thedas being located on the planet's southern hemisphere. They are dangerous swamp-lands, home to Chasind Wilders, fearsome Witches and more recently, the location where the Darkspawn horde came to the surface during the Fifth Blight.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Dune}}'' RTS games feature the sinister House Ordos, which is based on Sigma Draconis IV, an ice world.
** Kind of Subverted in the first Dune game: Evil House Harkonnen's main fortress is near the north pole of Arrakis. Dune being what it is, that's still not exactly a cold place...
** Actually, that's true to the book. The northern lands had less severe winds and were blocked from the sandworms by rock.
* The grand finale of both the original, un-[[ExpansionPack expanded]] ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'' and the ''[[TimeTravel Wings of the Goddess]]'' expansion is in the frozen wastes of Xarcabard, where the [[BigBad Shadow Lord]] masses his armies.
** The finale of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', as well as ''the pivotal'' turning point of the story, takes place in the Northern Crater.
*** There's a hidden cut scene where it is explained that the Northern Continent stays cold year round because the Planet is '''''still''''' gathering spirit energy to heal the wound cause by an ancient meteor strike (Jenova's arrival some 2000+ years before).
* The final dungeon of ''VideoGame/GoldenSun: The Lost Age'' is located on the blizzard-ridden northern continent. Amusingly enough, it's a [[HailfirePeaks fire-based dungeon covered in ice]], demonstrating that the northern reaches weren't always so cold.
** ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'' also subverts it with the Proxians; the story establishes that the villain's race come from the frozen north long before you can go there, but when you actually do you find that the Proxians are a fairly decent people; the thing that makes the north grim is that it is slowly crumbling away into an abyss ([[WellIntentionedExtremist the villainous characters were just a bit overzealous about saving their home]]).
* The final stage of ''VideoGame/GuitarHero: Metallica'' takes place in the Arctic, in the underground lair of an EldritchAbomination. This finale song is "The Thing That Should Not Be", [[Film/TheThing1982 for obvious reasons]].
* Subverted in the MUD ''Imperian'', where the north is home to two different groups: Kinsarmar, magic-users who fight demons, and Ithaqua, forest-dwelling barbarians that fight demons and magic-users.
* In the first ''VideoGame/{{Jak and Daxter|ThePrecursorLegacy}}'', the Green Sage tells Daxter that the only person who will be able to reverse his case of BalefulPolymorph will be no easy matter to reach because he lives to the north--"far, far to the north." He turns out to be the one of the {{Big Bad}}s and the reason the protagonists go there ends up being to bring down his evil lair.
* Online adventure game ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'' has a character class which "hail from the frigid Northlands, [[LampshadeHanging because one character class always hails from the frigid Northlands.]]" The class? Seal Clubbers, appropriately enough.
** Didn't you notice the Seal Clubber is the only player character figure that's frowning? That's 'cause it's '''grim''' where he's from.
* In ''VideoGame/KingdomUnderFireTheCrusaders'', the SealedEvilInACan is found on in the far north of the map... and boy, what a can that was.
* In ''VideoGame/MegaManX2'', the X-Hunters' Lair lies at the North Pole.
* Judging by the map in ''VideoGame/MegaManZero 4'' and the Point Galapagos map in ''VideoGame/MegaManX8'', Neo Arcadia is apparently on the north side of South America; while the sometimes-frozen underground sea in Zero 1 gives away the Resistance Base's location southward...as well as the [[SubvertedTrope trope-subversive]] climate (what with being in the ''Southern'' Hemisphere).
** If the Derelict Spacecraft serves as a base for Omega and Weil in Zero 3, that would actually be [[InvertedTrope Grim Down South]], judging from the above.
* In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', Snake must infiltrate an Alaskan fortress that resides on an island with sub-zero temperatures and snowfall.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'', the source of all the monsters and lair of [[spoiler: Yami, Lord of Darkness]] lies to the far north.
* ''VideoGame/{{Runescape}}'' uses this too many times to count. Whenever ancient evils are [[SealedEvilInACan let out of the can]] they inevitably depart for 'the North'. This is eventually revealed to be an ancient, snow-covered ritual site, where members of a quasi-immortal race gather every 500 years to rejuvenate their powers by sacrificing the weakest one. Players who go north--at least from older parts of the map--are greeted with the Wilderness, a place filled with ruin, hideous monsters, and other players with murderous intent that gets worse the further North you go. This is revealed to be [[spoiler: merely the battleground of an ancient war fought over the domain of a defeated god]].
** The ritual site and Wilderness are on the main continent of Gielinor. The antagonist penguin race hails from even further north, possibly from the as-yet unvisited ice-covered continent of Archeron, which is too cold even for the [[HornyVikings Fremennik people]].
* In ''VideoGame/SkiesOfArcadia'', TheEmpire is headquartered on a perpetually grim and stormy FloatingContinent north of most of the rest of civilization. The actual arctic ice cap isn't so bad, though; it just has one dungeon and a couple of {{Bonus Boss}}es, no worse than the rest of the world. Of course, given that lazy programming makes Arcadia look like a [[WorldShapes torus]] according to the map, it's impossible to tell whether this dungeon is the north pole or the south pole.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'':
** The northernmost continent on Nirn is Atmora, and it fit the trope, at least historically. It very likely ''did'' look a lot like this trope to the [[OurElvesAreBetter races of Mer (Elves)]] during the 1st Era [[ScrewYouElves Man-Mer hostility]] in Skyrim, as Atmoran Men kept emigrating over and supplementing the Mannish manpower. However, it is now ''too'' cold: the last reliable reports indicate that it is frozen over and uninhabited. Expeditions to Atmora in the 2nd and 3rd Eras found it to be nothing more than a frozen wasteland with no signs of intelligent life. According to the Dunmeri PhysicalGod Vivec in his ''[[InGameNovel Lessons of Vivec]]'' book series, he traveled there with [[FounderOfTheKingdom Lord Nerevar]] and "found nothing but [[HumanPopsicle frozen bearded kings]]".
** The continent of [[{{Wutai}} Akavir]] has this going on. The northernmost territory is referred to as "Snow Hell" and is home of the Kamal, [[FantasyCounterpartCulture Mongol-inspired]] "snow demons" who [[HumanPopsicle freeze every winter]] and thaw out every spring to attack the Tang Mo "monkey folk" in a ViciousCycle.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'':
*** The Sheogorad region is the northernmost part of Vvardenfell, and short of [[{{Mordor}} Red Mountain]] itself, is one of the most untamed and lawless regions in the land. It has only one major settlement (Dagon Fel, a small Imperial settlement populated mostly by Nords,) but has many bandit caves, ancestral tombs, and necromancer lairs dotting its scattered islands.
*** The ''Bloodmoon'' expansion adds the island of Solstheim, a mostly frozen and barren hunk of rock inhabited only by the NobleSavage [[BadassNative Skaal]], treacherous Reiklings, and lots of dangerous wildlife. Only after ebony deposits were discovered there did the Empire start caring about it. The soldiers stationed at Fort Frostmoth and the miners at Raven Rock frequently point out just how miserable it is there.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'':
*** About half of Skyrim fits. The city of Windhelm wins the award for grimness, being plagued with FantasticRacism, slums, and a serial killer in the streets. The further north you go, the more dangerous things become, with the wilderness around Dawnstar and Winterhold best being described as an endless parade of irate polar bears, hungry frost trolls, pissed-off horkers, and terminally idiotic bandits. However, the northernmost city in the game, Solitude, is actually fairly nice and not snowy at all, apparently due to warm water currents in coming through the northern sea. Its grim enough that Nord culture has the FourthDateMarriage as the norm. Skyrim is such a harsh and dangerous land even within the civilized areas that Nord culture in general frowns on lengthy courtships, so if you care about someone enough to love them or want to marry them, you wear an Amulet of Mara and just tell them, and if they're favorably inclined they'll accept, you get married, and then everyone can go back to keeping the bear, vampires, trolls, bandits, and dragons at bay.
*** Solstheim makes a return in the ''Dragonborn'' DLC, and seems to be even more grim than it was in ''Bloodmoon''. Raven Rock was abandoned and is now a massive refugee city for the Dunmer who were forced to flee Morrowind following the [[ColonyDrop Red]] [[ChekhovsVolcano Year]]. The southern end of the island is blasted with ash from Red Mountain's eruption and the northern parts are still full of Reiklings and dangerous wildlife. The Skaal still survive, but the return of the dragons has brought even greater threats to Solstheim.
* In the original [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaI first game]] in ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'', Death Mountain, the dungeon home of the BigBad, is located at the northernmost portion of the map, but the terrain isn't snowy, and Death Mountain is a LethalLavaLand in later games. Played straight in ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkBetweenWorlds A Link Between Worlds]]'' with its [[DarkWorld Lorule]] equivalent, which is covered in perpetual blizzard, is swarming with [[DemonicSpiders Lynels]], and is home to the Treacherous Tower, a lengthy monster gauntlet.
* Since ''VideoGame/TooHuman'' is a retelling of Norse myths with science fiction, it comes as no surprise that the whole game takes place during the fimbul winter under heavy snowfall.
* The Lich King of the ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'' fame, whose realm of [[MeaningfulName Northrend]] lies in the far north of the world.
** Minor subversion in that some areas of Northrend are quite beautiful, and in the case of Sholozar Basin, practically tropical (it's [[AWizardDidIt kept that way by magic]]). Played razor straight in the Lich King's main base, Icecrown Glacier, where it seems that the only things that are alive are Vrykul seeking to become the Lich King's undead servants, and soldiers of the Horde, Alliance, and the Argent Crusade who seek to destroy him.
*** The practical reason for this is that the designers thought it would be pretty boring to have an entire expansion covered with snow, so they didn't. The two northernmost areas of the northern continent though both follow this trope in slightly different ways. The aforementioned Undead/Vikings/[[NinjaPirateRobotZombie Undead Vikings]] in Icecrown, and both [[{{Precursors}} Precursor ruins]] and a SealedEvilInACan in the Storm Peaks.
** The northern reaches of the Eastern Kingdoms are also rather grim, having the second largest amount of undead behind Northrend. Northern Kalimdor is dreary and covered in perpetual twilight, but it's not "grim" as such.
* The tundra biome in ''VideoGame/{{Wolf}}'' is difficult to survive in due to the extreme cold. In compensation, you'll have fewer cattle ranchers to deal with, but hunters will still brave the cold (or [[DeathFromAbove hitch a ride in a plane]]) to put a bullet in your hide.
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'', Dhaos and his demonic minions are headquartered on a frigid peninsula northeast of [[CitadelCity Midgard]], reached by travelling through snowy Valhalla Plains.
* Things that can be found in the north in ''VideoGame/SunlessSea'': an incredibly creepy church full of cannibals. A gateway to outer space (please note: Sunless Sea is set ''underground'') which is constantly, absolutely still. A magical ice castle that imprisons fears that you may or may not hallucinate entering. A city that exists[[TimeTravelTenseTrouble (/existed/will exist)]] partially outside time. The only warm place is an active volcano full of old devils. While up north, you can also run into snow flurries that slow your ship down, "lifebergs", which are essentially homicidal living icebergs, and Mt. Nomad, the hardest monster in the game.
** And in ''VideoGame/FallenLondon'' you should [[PressXToDie never, ever go NORTH]].
* Parodied in ''Videogame/SouthParkTheStickOfTruth'', where {{Canada|Eh}} is portrayed as the mysterious frozen kingdom of the north where people speak a strange dialect (French) and is filled with [[DireBeast Dire variations]] of beasts and diseases (most notably Dire AIDS) that are simply described as "Like (X) but Dire". You can even find a set of Skyrim-style barbarian armor while adventuring there.
* ''VideoGame/PillarsOfEternity'' inverts the trope with the continent known as "The White that Wends", which is essentially the Grim Down South.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The setting of ''WebComic/FarToTheNorth'' is this for anyone who isn't Rethuii. Some time ago they cut a deal with the [[OurDragonsAreDifferent dragons]] for protection from Southern slave raids. So now on top of the freezing cold, visitors also have to watch out for dragons and their [[SuperSoldier goblin minions]]. This causes problems for mixed families as well, since the goblins consider any male with dark hair to be a valid target. [[WouldHurtAChild Including children.]]
* ''Webcomic/SnowByNight'' portrays Winter as a humanoid who makes an annual journey down from what is presumably Corthis' equivalent of the Arctic Circle.
* ''Webcomic/StandStillStaySilent'' is actually an inversion: in the [[AftertheEnd post-Illness world]], frigid Scandinavia is the only known place where humans still survive, because the mutated "trolls" have a lower cold tolerance than properly equipped humans. The North European winter provides a respite from troll attacks, and allows ground to be retaken by [[KillItWithFire burning down troll nests]] and leaving the survivors to freeze.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In [[http://www.cracked.com/article_18894_6-real-historic-battles-decided-by-divine-intervention.html 6 Real Historic Battles Decided by Divine Intervention,]] {{Website/Cracked}} alludes to the British Isles being like this:
-->''"Redcoats didn't fear bullets. A grave is way warmer than the English winter."''
* ''VideoGame/FallenLondon'' has something mysterious but incredibly ominous situated in the North. Dreamers and lunatics are driven in that direction by forces unknown. Going North [[spoiler:as part of [[ThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow the Seeking Mr. Eaten's Name quest]]]] is (quite reasonably) considered to be a ViolationOfCommonSense by both [[LemonyNarrator the narration]] and parts of the playerbase, and [[SenselessSacrifice does]] ''[[ContinuingIsPainful not]]'' '''''[[ShootTheShaggyDog end]] [[FinalDeath well.]]''''' Due to [[DoNotSpoilThisEnding the secretive nature of the game's ending,]] [[RiddleForTheAges the mystery of just what lies up North,]] and simple SchmuckBait... people do it anyway.
-->''We must go North! We hunger so!''
** ''Videogame/SunlessSea'' revealed ''some'' of the stuff up North, including a giant gate to what appears to be an EldritchLocation that [[AlienGeometries altered space so that you'll always arrive if you go North long enough]] and the twin castles of Frostfound, which are similarly strange, and perhaps even more dangerous, and it's swarming with gigantic monsters that resemble icebergs. [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking It's also rather cold]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In season three of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' the northern region of Equestria is shown to be a dark, frigid place where the weather consists primarily of dangerous, deadly blizzards entirely outside the control of [[PaintingTheFrostOnWindows pony magic]]. The exception would be the Crystal Empire, which is pretty bright, shiny, and happy behind its shield. When it's not being ground under the shadowy hooves of King Sombra.