Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Creature Feature: The Brothers of Nidavellir!

Today my awesome readers we take a look at the brothers of the macabre underground city of Nidavellir which is in the Norse inspired world of Grizzleheim.

 Let's start with the most well known of the "Giant Trio" and most important in my opinion Jotun! Jotun as you know is the leader of the trio and most consider the Lord of Nidavellir. Jotun as we see him is characterized by his grotesque appearance like his brothers hulking, pointy noses, with spike like protrusions on their back and, carrying large bones. Many similarities can be found from the giants of Norse Mythology which Jotun and his brothers I believe are derived from.

  The only thing I believe is truly out of place is the nose why add it? then again it might be just there to attribute to their overall ugly appearance.It might just be my own interpretation but I often see pointy noses like that being attributed to tricksters or malevolent joke type creatures/gods but this is merely speculation. Now we turn to his name Jotun which in fact comes from Jotunn or Jotnar the ancient race of giants in Norse Mythology which throughout time plagued both the gods of Asgard and humans of Midgard being directly involved in the events of Ragnarok or Norse Apocalypse. The name jotun has many meanings however all seem to allude to the size of the giants or the fact they were known as Man-eaters. 

  Now let's take a ride off the creatures and into the location -Nidavellir. This confused me greatly the Jotunn (Giants) which they are inspired from home world was Jotunheim (Literally meaning Gian Land or Home of the Giants) which was said to be heavily mountainous and forested this natural environment also separated their land from the human world of Midgard. Here is the odd part Nidavellir is the home of the Norse Dwarves and it means "Dark Fields". There is some connections though Norse dwarves were often associated with Deadliness and their lands name was also connected death. Now the Jotun we see in the game are rulers of a Dead City that's underground. Now also interestingly enough the Jotunn in Norse Mythology were often intermingled with other races even the gods whom they were often seen as enemies with. So although it's a stretch it's nice to think hey what if the designers of W101 saw this and intermingled various mythos from each race into the creatures we fight beneath the earth in the game cool right?

  Also consider Grizzleheim which is characterized by it's large icy mountains and forests see the connection? Maybe sometime in the past Grizzleheim was ruled by Jotun and his brothers or their ancestors. Nidavellir also seems to have an cold climate about it that can also allude to that in the mythology when the world was in chaos a Giant was born named Ymir (Ice wizards should be familiar with that name Lvl 48 spell quest hint hint) who from his armpits and feet (Eww gross!) birth 3 Jotunn children. Who in turn created creatures who dwelt in Niflheimr which surprise! was a land of mist and ice and would later become Hel or the Underworld for people who did not die a heroic death or in battle.

 Now for the other two brothers they seem to be based on the giants as well in particular the story I just mentioned where Ymir created 3 Children however one of these children was a monster with six heads I don't think KI wanted to add a crazy monster born from feet with six heads ;) we initially were already startled by their immense health hehehe. This is what I could find from various books I've read and of course the internet it's so fun to find out what stuff we see in games (and in books for those who still read) are derived or inspired from. I implore you readers to go forward and research there is no telling what interesting things you'll discover. 

Until next time your friend,
Alric Ravensinger

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