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Giants (Marvel Comics)

The Giants of Jotunheim (Storm Giants) make their first cover appearance. From Journey into Mystery #104
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Journey into Mystery #100
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
In-story information
Place of origin Asgard

There are different kinds of Giants in Marvel Comics. The most popular of the Giants are the Giants of Jotunheim, a fictional race of people based on the giants of actual Norse legends.

Publication history

Giants of Jotunheim

The Storm giants first appeared in Journey into Mystery #100 (January 1964), and were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby; ice giants and rime giants first appeared in Journey into Mystery #101 (February 1964); frost giants first appeared in Balder the Brave #1 (December 1985).

Ymir first appeared in Journey into Mystery #97 (October 1963); the first Executioner first appeared in Journey into Mystery #103 (April 1964); Laufey first appeared in Journey into Mystery #112 (January 1965); these characters were all created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Utgard-Loki first appeared in Thor #272 (June 1978), and was created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema. Fasolt and the second Fafnir first appeared in Thor #294 (April 1980), and were created by Roy Thomas, Keith Pollard, and Chic Stone. The second Hagen first appeared in Balder the Brave #2 (January 1986), and was created by Walt Simonson and Sal Buscema. Grundroth first appeared in Thor #378 (April 1987), and was created by Walt Simonson and Sal Buscema. Siggorth first appeared in Thor #381 (July 1987), and was created by Walt Simonson and Sal Buscema.

Brimer, King of Storm Giants, and Skagg the largest of the storm giants first appeared in Journey into Mystery #104 (May 1964). Nedra, Queen of the mountain giants, first appeared in Journey into Mystery #105 (June 1964). Arkin the Weak and Knorda the storm giant first appeared in Journey into Mystery #109 (October 1964). Ghan the storm giant first appeared in Journey into Mystery #113 (February 1965). Kaggor the storm giant first appeared in Thor #193 (November 1971).

The Giants of Jotunheim received an entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89 #3.

Fictional biography

Giants of Jotunheim

The Giants of Jotunheim are enormous beings that reside in the other-dimensional realm of Jotunheim, one of the Nine Worlds in Asgardian cosmology. They are the traditional enemies of the Gods of Asgard, with whom they have warred off and on for millennia, trying to bring eternal night to Asgard. Each of the giants can range from 20 feet to 30 feet in height.

The first of the Giants was the Ice Giant, Ymir, who existed before any of the Asgardians. He fought Odin but was imprisoned in a ring of flame. Many different races of Giants arose in Jotunheim, including the Frost Giants, the Ice Giants, the Mountain Giants, the Rime Giants, and the Storm Giants.

  • The Frost Giants are the direct descendants of Ymir, and their monarch is Utgard-Loki. The Giant Laufey was another monarch who died in battle against the Asgardians. In tribute to Laufey's courage, Odin adopted the giant's infant son Loki, who often attempted to overthrow Odin and became the God of Evil. Two other giants of note were Fafnir II and Fasolt (both deceased), who built Odin's palace in Valhalla in exchange for a Goddess, and battled over a magic ring and treasure that was given for the Goddess being released, leading to the death of Fasolt. Fafnir became a dragon but was later killed by Odin's grandson Siegfried. Skurge the Executioner is another famous giant who went from being a villain to hero. Skagg was once released by Loki, but defeated and re-imprisoned by Odin, Thor and Balder.[1]
  • The Ice Giants are giants who are made of ice. This is the kind that is associated with Ymir. The Ice Giants are the oldest living beings in the Nine Realms and also the ancestors of the Frost Giants.[2]
  • The Mountain Giants have also frequently battled with the Asgardians during their history. The Mountain Giants were once led into a trap when Odin seemingly banished Thor from Asgard.[3]
  • The Rime Giants are the descendants of Ymir. Most of them had drowned when Ymir was killed. Some of them survived and resided in Jotunheim where they became ancestors to the Frost Giants.[4]
  • The Storm Giants dwell in the mountainous regions of Jotunheim. They have frequently battled with the Asgardians during their history. One of their number, Skagg, was imprisoned in a ring of flame by Odin. He was released with Surtur by Loki and attacked Earth, where Odin was. However he was defeated by Odin despite Loki trying to renew him.[5]

Giants of Olympus

The Giants of Olympus are based on the Giants of Greek Mythology. As in the Greek myths Gaea fertilized them from the blood of Uranus. Following the defeat of the Titans, Gaea sought for a way to make the Giants immortal like the Olympians. To keep Gaea from finding a solution to this, Zeus withheld Helios, Eos, and Selene from the night sky so that Gaea wouldn't find it. The Giants were prophesied by the female Titan Themis to be indestructible and could not be killed by a god or an immortal. Zeus obtained the help of his son Hercules to help fight them. Each of the Giants were killed in the similar way as in the actual Greek mythology.[6]

In recent years, a blind Giant named Zeno and a one-armed giant named Callias encountered Hulk near the entrance to Tartarus where they held a meal to honor their brethren that are imprisoned there. They shared their meal with Hulk until it was interrupted by an attack from Ares. This attack ended up causing Hulk to attack Mount Olympus upon Hulk being convinced by Zeno and Callias that the Olympian Gods were his enemies. Callias and Zeno rallied the Giants into breaking the seal on Tartarus which ended up freeing Cronus. Cronus, Callias, and Zeno then stormed Mount Olympus only to end up fighting Hulk and Hercules. Hercules managed to slay Callias and Zeno before resealing Tartarus after throwing Cronus back into Tartarus.[7]

Some years later, Hulk was invited to Mount Olympus as a guest of the Olympians. He and Hercules later took a path where they ended up fighting some Giants.[8]

Known Giants

Frost Giants of Jotunheim

Ice Giants of Jotunheim

Mountain Giants of Jotunheim

  • Knorda - The Queen of the Mountain Giants.

Rime Giants of Jotunheim

  • Bergelmir - The grandson of Ymir who was among the Rime Giants that survived the flood caused by Ymir's death.
  • Glump - Brother of Kai-Ra.
  • Kai-Ra - Brother of Glump.

Storm Giants of Jotunheim

  • Brimer -
  • Ghan -
  • Grondar -
  • Hrungnir -
  • Kagger -
  • Nedra -
  • Ogre -
  • Skagg -
  • Skoll -

Giants of Olympus

  • Agrius -
  • Alcyoneus -
  • Callias - A one-armed giant that is exclusive to Marvel Comics.
  • Enceladus -
  • Eurymedon -
  • Eurytus -
  • Gration -
  • Mimas -
  • Pallas -
  • Polybotes -
  • Porphyrion -
  • Zeno - A blind giant that is exclusive to Marvel Comics.

Other versions

Ultimate Universe

In the Ultimate Marvel universe, Frost Giants appear once again as Loki's henchmen in Ultimate Comics: Thor. One of the more prominent ones is named Mammoth, who is Loki's half-brother.[9]

In other media


  • The Ice Giants appear in the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends episode "The Vengeance of Loki". Iceman escapes Asgard's Sea of Flame and Surtur with the Ice Queen Zerona and helps her reclaim her throne from Ymir in exchange for information regarding Thor's whereabouts. Despite loving Iceman, she allows him to leave so that ice can find Thor and help to defeat Loki.
  • The Frost Giants appear in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode "Thor the Mighty", voiced by J.B. Blanc and Fred Tatasciore. Loki convinces them that the Asgardians will attack them causing the Frost Giants to attack Asgard when Odin is on the verge of his Odinsleep. Thor defeats them all. During World War II the Red Skull summoned Asgardian creatures to Earth and began summoning a Frost Giant, but was stopped by Captain America and Bucky. In the episode "The Fall of Asgard," the Frost Giants, allied with Loki, fight Giant Man (who was protecting an unconscious Wasp) until Sif saved them.
  • The Frost Giants appear in the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "Field Trip". A Frost Giant attacks a museum and Spider-Man, Power Man, Iron Fist, Nova and White Tiger fight it until Thor defeats it. When they go to Asgard, they find out that the Frost Giants and Loki have taken over. Using the weapons forged by Eitri, Spider-Man's team and Thor managed to defeat the Frost Giants. Some Frost Giants also appeared in the episode "The Avenging Spider-Man: Part 2" along with Ulik and his fellow Trolls, some Ice Dragons, and Fenris Wolf who are used by Loki as part of Doctor Octopus's experiments with the Venom symbiote. They go on a rampage in Manhattan until they are defeated by the Avengers, Spider-Man and his fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. trainees and sent back to Asgard.


  • The Frost Giants appear in the film Thor, and their king Laufey is played by Colm Feore. This version of the Frost Giants stand between 8 and 10 ft., have blue skin, and their eyes are red. Aside from their superhuman physical attributes, they are also capable of creating weapons from ice, such as sheathing their arms in ice shaped like blades or clubs. They fought a war with Asgard centuries ago in which they lost the Casket of Ancient Winters. As a result of losing the Casket, Jotunheim is a desolate wasteland. When Thor travels to Jotunheim, he violates a treaty by attacking the Frost Giants following some infiltrators sneaking into Asgard. Loki, when he is made ruler during the Odinsleep, agrees to help Laufey assassinate Odin. When Laufey enters Odin's chamber however, Loki betrays and kills Laufey. He then tries to destroy Jotunheim, but is stopped by Thor who destroys Bifrost.[10][11]
  • The Frost Giants also appear in a few scenes in the direct-to-video animated film Hulk Vs, during the "Hulk vs. Thor" segment.

Video games

  • The Frost Giants appear as enemies in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. They appear in the Niffleheim level when the heroes arrive to look for Odin before Doctor Doom gets to him.
  • The Frost Giants appear as enemies in Marvel: Avengers Alliance, including Jotun Aufeis, Jotun Berserkers, Jotun Chieftains, Jotun Hoarfrosts, Jotun Ice-Crafters, Jotun Ice-Smiths, Jotun Rimefrosts, and Jotun Warriors.


  1. ^ Journey into Mystery #112
  2. ^ Journey Into Mystery #97
  3. ^ Journey Into Mystery #109
  4. ^ Journey Into Mystery #101
  5. ^ Journey into Mystery #100
  6. ^ Greek/Roman Myth
  7. ^ Hulk Vs. Hercules: When Titans Collide #1
  8. ^ Hulk: Hercules Unleashed #1
  9. ^ Ultimate Comics Thor #2 (Jan. 2011)
  10. ^ Drew McWeeny (July 27, 2010). "Comic-Con: 'Avengers' assemble and 'Captain America' and 'Thor' give first looks". HitFix. Retrieved September 7, 2010. 
  11. ^ Weintraub, Steve (2010-12-10). "Colm Feore On Set Interview THOR; The King of the Frost Giants Reveals All!". Collider. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  12. ^

External links