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Characters / God of War Series - Jötnar

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The Jötnar (aka Giants) are a race of powerful beings in Norse mythology, separate from the Gods but in a way- still related (since most living beings share a single origin). Despite the name, not all Jötnar are huge in size, though presumably because many of them could assume a human form. Like the Titans of Greek myths, they represent a primordial force of nature, but as the reader may find out, they are quite different and unique in several aspects.

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    In General 
  • Adaptational Heroism: The Jötnar are portrayed in a sympathetic light in the game whereas they are depicted as villains, antagonists, and tricksters in original Norse Mythology.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Subverted, the Jötnar never started the fight against the Aesir but they are willing to defend themselves when the moment arises.
  • Divine Conflict: The Jötnar and Vanir have been at war with the Aesir for centuries after the death of Ymir.
  • Elemental Powers: Plenty of the Jötnar have power over a specific element (particularly ice, fire and rock). But unlike most of the Titans, they are not Elemental Embodiments.
  • Human Aliens: They originate from a different world (Jötunheim) and could assume the appearance of a perfectly normal human being. However, they still had magical powers and superior physical abilties. And that's not getting into other facts, like that many of them were gargantuan in size or could be born and live with extra arms.
  • The Ghost: The Jötnar aren't shown alive in the game. The only named Jötnar that we see is Thamur who's already a corpse preserved in ice and snow. Thamur eventually makes a living appearance when he's resurrected by Freya to stop the fight between Baldur, Kratos and Atreus.
  • Giant Corpse World: Two variants;
    • The realm of Midgard was made out of Ymir's corpse after Odin murdered and supplanted him for the title of "ruler of creation".
    • Thamur's Corpse is named after the corpse of the titular giant. Thamur ran into Thor while searching for his son and Thor killed him with his own chisel. His corpse crushed a village and Thamur's dying breath caused an eternal winter, which killed the remaining survivors. His body was preserved by the cold and the chisel was embedded in the ice. Now, the land is a frozen wasteland inhabited by only the monsters who came to devour his corpse.
  • Love Across Battlelines: Despite their undeserved war with the Aesir. Odin was in fact married to a giant called Fjörgyn who was the mother of Thor.
  • The Magnificent: Jötnar officials are given these types of names.
    • Bergelmir: Bergelmir is called The Beloved because he's the forefather of giants and the only one to have lived a long and happy life.
    • Surtr: Surtr is called The Brave because he selflessly accepted his role as the destroyer of the world.
    • Starkaðr: Starkaðr is called The Mighty because of his extra arms and proficiency with swords.
    • Hrungnir: Hrungnir was called The Brawler because he was an unskilled warrior due to his stone head limiting his intelligence.
    • Skaði: Skaði was called Queen of the Hunt due to being a master huntress.
    • Groa: Groa is called The Knowledge Keeper due to her vast intelligence, collection of knowledge and abilities in sorcery.
    • Laufey: Laufey is called The Just due to being a Jötnar avenger who fought against the Aesir and for being a thorn in their side at every opportunity.
  • Martial Pacifist: The Jötnar never actively looked for fights against the other realms. Only fighting when required to.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The term "giants" is often used interchangeably with "Jötnar", but it's pointed out not all were actually giant. Most were the size of a regular human, it is also believed that the Jötnar could change their size at will through magic.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: There are several types of giants. There's fire giants, frost giants, an eight-armed giant, a stone giant and many more. They're a whole spectrum of giant types, and some of them (such as Laufey) aren't actually all that big.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: They're universally refered to as giants despite their official name being "Jötnar", which is used as a collective noun while "Jötunn" is used when refering to just a single giant. Giant is non-indictive as it just references their ability to change size.
  • Perfect Pacifist People: The Jötnar had no interest in the war and it was actually caused by Odin when he killed Ymir for control. Tyr and Mimir were also fond of Jötnar and had nothing but respect for them. They also had more than enough pity and guilt for the Jötnars suffering at the hands of the Aesir.
  • Posthumous Character: The mentioned giants are long dead or have disappeared by the time of Kratos and Atreus' journey. The only confirmed living Giant from the tapestries is Surtr the Brave, as he is currently in Muspelheim honing his blade in preparation for his role in Ragnarok.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Their original Norse counterparts tended to jerks and villains. Here they're heroic do-gooders who are slaughtered wholesale by the evil Aesir.
  • Seer: Alot of the giants had the ability to foresee the future, a power which Odin wanted for himself so he can escape his fate during the dreaded Ragnarok. This is the reason why he is hunting them down and why they sealed themselves off in their home of Jötunheim from the other Nine Realms, while closing most of the portals to it.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: They fled Midgard and sealed off all entrances to Jötunheim after they couldn't handle anymore attacks from the Aesir.
  • Super Strength: If Magni is any indication. The Jötunns were inherently strong and could possibly keep their strength when they changed sizes.
  • Written by the Winners: In tapestries, the giants are depicted as barbarians and monsters towards the beloved Aesir;
    • Starkaðr the Mighty got the worst of this. Starkaðr had his name run through the mud so the other races would unite with the Aesir to kill him. The most notable part was the belief that he abducted an elf queen but she killed herself before she could be "ravished" by him.
    • Hrungnir the Brawler was also depicted as a monstrous warrior but in reality, Odin pretended to be his friend and got him embarrassingly drunk to entertain the court. Thor was actually unamused with his antics and promptly smashed his head to pieces.
  • You Killed My Father: When Odin killed Ymir for control of everything in Norse mythology. The Jötnar suffered greatly as Ymir's blood drowned all but two Jötnar. This moment triggered the early days of the centuries-long war with the Aesir.

    Ymir 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ymir_god_of_war_2018.png

The creator of nearly everything in the Norse universe and progenitor of all its living creatures. He ruled over all of his creations until he was usurped and killed by his son, Odin. Although he hasn't been alive for hundreds of years, much of the conflicts in the present can be traced back to his death.


  • Adaptational Heroism: Many myths say Ymir was evil from the very beginning or eventually turned evil, forcing Odin to kill him to protect the rest of creation. However the earliest versions of the myth do not call Ymir evil. In the series' backstory, Ymir never became evil and was overthrown by Odin because the latter desired his rulership over all of creation.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Not intentionally, but when he died, he drowned all but two of the giants in the blood that flowed from his fatal wound.
  • Divine Conflict: Unlike Cronos, he did not instigate a conflict that motivated his son to usurp him, but rather his murder by the hands of Odin was so heinous that it lead the Vanir and the giants feuding against Odin and his fellow Aesir for centuries.
  • Foil: To Cronos. For whatever faults Zeus possessed, his usurpation of Cronos was justified because Cronos attempted to swallow him, out of a desire to avoid a prophecy that foretold that he was going to be usurped by his progeny. Ymir never raised a hand against Odin or any of his other creations, but rather Odin murdered him to slake his lust for power, which makes Odin far more evil by comparison.
  • God Is Good: He was admired by both the Vanir and the giants. Even the formerly Aesir aligned Mimir mourns his death and resents Odin for killing him.
  • Hermaphrodite: He's described as being both male and female, but there are no specifics about his actual physical appearance. Most people refer to him by male pronouns.
  • The Maker: The unambiguous creator of nearly everything in Norse existence. The only thing that he didn't create was Midgard which was made by Odin, yet he still played a part in that because Odin used his corpse as its building material.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: Technically a giant, but possessed powers that far surpassed any god or other divine power in the Norse universe. He also gave birth to not just the first of giants, but to every species in creation. In terms of size, he's even bigger than the mountain sized, Cronos, as the entirety of the world of Midgard was created from his corpse.
  • Posthumous Character: Ymir is long dead before the events of the game begin since his dead body was used to create the entire world.
  • Top God: The former ruler of the Norse realms. Everyone seemed to be okay with his rule until Odin grew power hungry and killed him for leadership.

    Bergelmir 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bergelmir_god_of_war_2018.png

The forefather of all the Giants in Jötunheim.


  • 100% Adoration Rating: How he got the title "Bergelmir the Beloved".
  • Adam and Eve Plot: He and his wife are the first Giants couple to spring forth from Yimir's corpse after his death. Eventually, they settled down in Jötunheim and procreated. All Jötnar are their descendants.
  • Decomposite Character: His wife is called Nal. This was an alternate name for the mythical Laufey, however here they are two separate characters.
  • The Good King: Decided to prosper and rule over his kind instead of taking revenge against Odin for slaying his "father".
  • Moses Archetype: As stated by Mimir, Bergelmir and his wife founded Jötunheim and bare many children where they all know no masters but themselves.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: The first male of their kind and their first ruler.
  • The Magnificent: Also known as Bergelmir the Beloved.
  • Surprisingly Happy Ending: Bergelmir became one of the only giants ever known to die peacefully of old age, in the kingdom he founded, with his loving descendants around him. Atreus comments on how rare it seems for a "true" myth to end that way, to which Mimir sadly agrees.
  • Turn the Other Cheek: Rather than take revenge on Odin for killing Ymir and killing all but two giants. Bergelmir avenged his people by being better than Odin, he achieved this by procreating with his wife and spawning a new race of giants.

    Surtr 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/surtr.png

The first fire giant to be born, who is the ruler of Muspelheim and his kind. He is foretold as being a major figure during the events of Ragnarök; carrying his bright sword, he will go to battle against the Aesir, and the major god Freyr of the Vanir. Afterward, the flames that he brings forth will engulf the Earth.


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    Thrym 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thrym_god_of_war_2018.png

A Jötunn King that once stole Thor's hammer.


  • Adaptational Heroism: See Sadly Mythtaken below.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: Tried to persuade the gods into marrying Freya to him. Emphasis on "tried".
  • Bullying a Dragon: As he found out the hard way, pissing off the Norse god of thunder and strength who will gladly use any excuse to kill a Giant was not a smart thing to do.
  • Didn't Think This Through: As Mimir points out, Thrym didn't consider destroying Thor's hammer or killing Thor while he slept. He only stole Thor's hammer so he has something to bargain with when he asked the Aesir for Freya's hand in marriage.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Managed to steal Thor's hammer and almost persuaded the Gods into marrying Freya to him. However, at the same time, this was also a very stupid idea, which cost him his life.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: He wanted Freya to be his bride and stole Thor's hammer so he can use it as a bargaining chip. He didn't expect any Aesir trickery and was caught off guard when Thor revealed himself.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Originally Thrym stole Thor's hammer as a prank and a bargaining chip so he could marry Freya. While Norse Mythology was operating on Blue-and-Orange Morality, this was obviously still a bad thing to do and Thrym was in the wrong. Here while the story is mostly similar, it instead portrays him as a Guile Hero and that his punishment at the hands of the angry Thor was unjustified.
  • Skewed Priorities: He stole Thor's hammer so he can have Freya's hand in marriage. He didn't consider killing Thor or destroying the hammer in retribution for the massacre of the giants. Mimir concludes the story by saying the lesson for Thrym was to keep his priorities straight.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Thrym could have been one of the greatest saviours of Giant-kind had he taken the opportunity to destroy the hammer and rob Asgard of their most sublime superweapon, or failing that, kill Thor in his sleep and end his reign of terror. Instead he decided to hold said hammer for ransom because he had the hots for Odin’s wife and thought he could pull a fast one on the Aesir. Instead, he’s the one who gets tricked and promptly liquidated along with his wedding guests.

    Thamur 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thamur.jpg

A Jötunn stonemason who attempted to build a wall around Jötunheim as a way to protect his people from Thor during the war between Frost giants and Aesir gods before his death.


  • The Ace: Regarded as the greatest stonemason that ever lived, to the extent that he built a working prosthetic head and heart out of stone for Hrungir. Sadly, he didn't apply the same level of care to his relationship with his son.
  • An Ice Person: He was a frost giant, so when he died his dying breath killed any survivors of the village he crushed. When Freya reanimates him he can blow freezing winds. There's a runic attack named "Breath of Thamur", which is essentially a freezing whirlwind.
  • Back from the Dead: Freya reanimates his corpse during the final fight against Baldur.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: His corpse and name are mentioned and seen before your quest to get a piece of his chisel. He is also reanimated by Freya and aids her during the final boss battle with Baldur.
  • Descriptiveville: His location is now called "Thamur's Corpse" after him. This is because when Thamur died, he crushed a village and his dying breath caused an eternal winter that froze the surviving inhabitants to death. The place is now a frozen wasteland and a home to monsters. Since nobody was capable of removing the colossal corpse, they chose to rename the entire location and leave his body to the beasts.
  • Drop the Hammer: His hammer is positively gargantuan, however, it was used both as a weapon and a building tool. Also, Kratos and Atreus literally drop it in order to break the ice sheet preventing them from reaching his chisel.
  • Identical Stranger: He disturbingly looks alot like Kratos.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: His chisel is pierced right through his skull.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: He's a genuine giant, seeing as his dead body is the size of a mountain. Mimir mentions that he was easily among the biggest giants.
  • Post Humous Character: He is long dead before the game's story takes place.

    Hrimthur 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hrimthur_gow.png
Hrimthur before and after he ran away.

Son of Thamur. He is responsible for finishing the Great Walls of Jötunheim and for rebuilding Asgard's walls, the latter which he likely embedded with a weakness only known to him and Freya that could be exploited when Ragnarök begins.


  • The Atoner: Got into a quarrel with his father and ran away from him. After Thamur was killed by Thor, he chose to honor his death and spend his life opposing the Aesir.
  • Bald of Awesome: Shares this trait with his father.
  • I Want to Be a Real Man: His father wanted him to be a stonemason like him, but he had the heart of a warrior instead.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Presumably the weakness he built in Asgard's defences will one day play a bigger role.
  • You Killed My Father: Was devastated by his father's death at the hands of the Aesir and chose to avenge him. He did so by using the guise of a mortal and offering to buid a wall around Asgard with a hidden weakness known only to him and Freya.

    Starkaðr 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/starkar_god_of_war_2018.png

An eight-armed swordsman and the strongest of the Frost Giants. He was slandered by the Aesir and was subsequently subdued by the combined armies of Asgard, Vanaheim, and Midgard. After he surrendered, he was murdered by Thor.


  • Archer Archetype: Averted. When Atreus ask Mimir of the possibility of Starkaðr being able to shoot with four bows at once, the latter states that he was more of a swordsman since he only has two eyes after all.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Gets six of his arms torn off by Thor in his execution.
  • Clear My Name: Starkaðr was branded by Odin as a monster across all the nine realms. When he was put on trial, the Gods used this as an opportunity to kill him.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: He dies from bleeding out after losing six of his eight arms by Thor in his execution.
  • The Dreaded: Even Thor was afraid of him. Ultimately it proved to be his undoing since the Gods decided to kill him.
  • Kangaroo Court: This was led against him by the Aesir when being put on trial, and gets executed by the God of Thunder himself.
  • The Leader: Is apparently good enough to become a general of an army if the Jötnar ever decided to organized one.
  • Master Swordsman: He apparently wields four of them in his fight against the three armies sent to subdue him.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Had eight arms and was quite dangerous.
  • Nice Guy: He was known as a decent person despite his fearsome reputation as the strongest being. It's deconstructed upon being slandered by the Aesir, where he surrendered after a long battle against the three unified armies in order to seek a trial to clear his name, is where he gets killed by Thor.
  • One-Man Army: It took the combined forces of Asgard, Vanaheim, and Midgard to defeat him. And even then, he proved to be a dangerous opponent.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: One with multiple arms.
  • Super Strength: He definitely does have this for surpassing the physical power of all of his kind and the Aesir as well.
  • World's Strongest Man: The strongest of the Giants and any Norse being in terms of physical power. According to Mimir, he had the potential to become a general if the Jötnar ever decided to organize an army.
  • Written by the Winners: Is on the receiving end of this. He was a great warrior and a decent person, but due to being a potential threat to the Gods' rule, they made sure he would be remembered in history as a villain instead.

    Hrungnir 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hrungnir_god_of_war_2018.png

A Stone Giant. He was invited to the Halls of Asgard by the Allfather, but was eventually killed by Thor.


  • Adaptation Deviation: In the original myths, Hrungnir had a horse called "Gullfaxi" and believed it was faster than Sleipnir. After Magni freed Thor from Hrungnir's corpse, Thor gave the horse to Magni as an award (much to the disappointment of Odin). In the game, there is no indication of Gullfaxi's existence but it would have further fuelled Modi's resentment towards Magni.
  • Adaptational Dumbass: In the original myths, Hrungnir was clearly of average intellect (unless he got drunk, obviously). Here he was born without a brain. Even after his fellow Giants made an artificial one, he grew into a complete simpleton.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: In the myths, Hrungnir was abrasive and rowdy, whereas, in the game, he's a naive simpleton who was too trusting towards Odin. He still makes the same comments in the game, but at Odin's request and because of his drunkenness.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: He had a trusting nature before he got drunk in Asgard. He naively believed Odin's gesture of friendship and embarrassed himself by drunkenly boasting of his skills as a warrior. When an unamused Thor came to the court, Hrungnir was too drunk to recognise the danger and be able to defend himself from Thor.
  • Disabled in the Adaptation: Is stated to have been born with neither head nor heart.
  • Dumb Muscle: He was a strong jotunn, but his stone head restricted his intelligence. Causing him to become a "perfect simpleton".
  • Golem: His missing body parts were substituted with ones made of rock. Due to being a stone giant, his body has an elemental affinity towards stone.
  • In Vino Veritas: He was a simpleton with great strength, so when Odin invited him to Asgard to humour his subjects. Hrungnir was given enough alcohol to be convinced to brag about his skills as a warrior. Nobody believed Hrungnir's boasts and an unamused Thor promptly smashed his head to pieces.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: He's a Mountain giant, meaning his element is rock (instead of fire or ice).
  • Sadly Mythtaken: In the myths, Hrungnir and Odin get into a bet over whose horse is faster, which ends with Hrungnir chasing Odin to Asgard. The gods welcome him hospitably, but he soon becomes drunk and rowdy, making threats that he'll kill the Aesir and take their womenfolk back to Jotunheim. Thor is called to deal with him, resulting in Hrungnir's death, with some interpretations saying that they had an honorable duel. Here, Hrungnir is presented as a charming simpleton who Odin met one day wandering Midgard. Finding him amusing, harmless, and gullible, Odin invited him back to Asgard. He gets him drunk and goads him into all manner of boasts and antics, all for the amusement of the court. Drunk, Hrungnir makes the same threats he did in mythology until Thor shows up, who takes one look at the drunken buffoon and strikes him dead.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Not that he is to blame for it though, as his trusting nature and gullibility certainly helped Odin manipulate him.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Described as strong but a "perfect simpleton" by Mimir.
  • Your Head Asplode: Thor killed him by repeatedly smashing Mjölnir into his head, according to Mimir, Thor still has shards of stone from Hrungnir's head embedded in his skull.
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    Thiazi 

Father of Skaði, a Jötunn that could shape-shift into any animal.


    Fjörgyn 

Mother of Thor and one of Odin's great loves.


    Gróa 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gra_god_of_war_2018.png

Wife of Aurvandil and a gifted Seiðr.


    Aurvandil 

Husband of Gróa and a renown warrior.


  • Happily Married: With Gróa. Too bad it ended in tragedy.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: At some point, Thor asked for Aurvandil's help for a quest in Vanaheim. During the quest, he was intentionally killed by Thor (possibly for being a Jötunn). Thor returned to Gróa and made up a story where Aurvandil suffered from a frost-bite during a battle, and had to be carried away, until Thor lost him in a tundra. After that, Odin hid the truth about Aurvandil's death from Gróa's sight with a spell.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger
  • Posthumous Character: Being long dead, his story has turned into a fairy tale.

    Angrboða 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jtnarshrine.jpg

Loki's future wife and the mother of his brood, her current status and whereabouts are unknown.


    Laufey 

A female Jötunn, who ran away from her people and died.


  • Adaptational Badass: In mythology, Laufey's other name is Nál, meaning 'needle'. This is because in Sörla þáttr she is described as being slender and weak. Here, she's some sort of avenging Jotunn guerilla fighter.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: Actually averted, she was normal-sized.
  • Posthumous Character: She is dead before the game's events begin. However she is a main driving force for the story.
  • The Magnificent: Often referred to as Laufey the Just.
  • Two Aliases, One Character: "Faye" is short for "Laufey".

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