E is for Eldjötnar


In the old Norse universe, living in the home of primordial flames, Múspellsheimr are the fire giants, or the Eldjötnar. The Eldjötnar are the bringer of doom and destroyers of the universe when Ragnarök (the end of days) comes.

The volcanic fires of Múspellsheimr is said to mix with the ice glaciers of Niflheimr (where the Frost Giants live), making the waters of life which created mankind (and womankind to be p.c.).

The leader of the fire giants is said to be Surtr (meaning “Black” or “Swarthy one”), whose has charred and leathery skin. When Ragnarök comes, Surtr’s armour will shine brilliantly like an exploding volcano. His flaming sword will glow brighter than the sun. Other than Surtr there aren’t many references to Fire Giants in old Norse fables (other than perhaps Sinmara and Logi). In my mind there probably are other fire giants, and that’s what I’ve done for my painting. A none specific fire giant navigating mountains and threatening passes by with his own flaming sword. His skin is leathery and ashen, while his beard and hair are as fiery as his armour and weapons.

Despite being a giant, in my watercolour sketchbook this giant stands 21cm tall and 13cm wide. This Eldjötnar is the E in my A-Z of monsters in this series of themed practise.

I hope you enjoyed this distraction. Please come back and see what waffle I can come up with for the next letter of the alphabet. See you soon. X