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Wendigo Chimera
Ymir - Mythical Monsters
1566    Dibyendu Banerjee    18/11/2020

In Norse mythology, Ymir, also known as Aurgelmir, the ancestor of all the mythological giants, was created from the drops of water that formed when the ice of Niflheim met the tremendous heat of Muspelheim in the abyss of Ginnungagap. According to legend, long before the creation of the universe, there were two realms in the void of nothingness: the incredibly hot realm of Muspelheim, guarded by a gigantic figure named Surt with a flaming sword in his hand, and the icy realm of Niflheim.


Apart from that, in between the two realms, there was an infinite abyss called Ginnungagap. At some point of time, as the warm air of Muspellheim reached the coldness of Niflheim in the unending void of Ginnungagap, it caused the ice to thaw and drip, which thickened to form the shape of a gigantic figure of Ymir. Later, a giant female aurochs, called Audhumbla, also took shape from the icy droplets who feed Ymir with her milk.

Ymir sucks at the udder of Auðumbla, painted by Nicolai Abildgaard
Ymir sucks at the udder of Auðumbla, painted by Nicolai Abildgaard

On the other hand, Audhumbla, the cow, nourished herself by licking the neighbouring salty, rime-covered stones, and according to legend, as she licked, a human figure began to come out from within the salt. While his hair was uncovered on the first day, his head on the next day, and finally, on the third day, he was completely uncovered and came out from the stones. He was Buri, the first of the Aesir gods. Subsequently, his son, Bor mated with Bestla, one of the descendants of Ymir, to produce Odin, the chief of the Aesir, and his two younger brothers, Vili and Ve, who were known as the rulers of heaven and Earth.


Although Ymir was the father of all the giants, he never married or had any children in the traditional sense. However, he was born with a hermaphroditic body, possessing both male and female reproductive organs, and several other giants were conceived asexually in his body. While he slept, a male and a female were produced from the sweat of his armpits, and his legs produced a six-headed son, Thrudgelmir. Later, this Thrudgelmir gave birth to Belgemir, Ymir's grandson who would subsequently increase the giant race.


Ymir, the first of the Jotunn race, was described as the most destructive of his species. Theoretically, he was the personification of the chaos before creation. He was said to be a ruthless, a savage creature, and a chaotic universal force, motivated only by instinct. To maintain his rule over the pre-universe, he attempted to destroy the Aesir lineage of gods, the gods of the principal pantheon in Norse religion that included Odin, Frigg, Hother, Thor, Baldr, and Tyr. In fact, his evil attitude was responsible for his tragic end.

Eventually, as Ymir completely turned into an evil and became an imminent threat for the Aesir gods, the Odin brothers were forced the kill the frost giant in a battle. His death caused so much of blood that it flooded and drowned almost all of the Jotnars, except his grandson Belgemir, who fled to Jotunheim, the land of giants, with the pledge to avenge his ancestors.

The huge body of the frost giant was dragged by Odin and his brothers and placed it in the centre of the void, the Ginnungagap, where the Odin brothers used his flesh to make the Earth, the seas were made from his blood, mountains from his bones, stones from his teeth, the sky from his skull. While his brain was thrown into the sky to form the clouds, the Odin brothers added sparks and the molten rocks from Muspellheim to create the twinkling stars. As the Earth was flat, Ymir’s eyelashes or eyebrows were used as fence to surround the Midgard, or the Middle Earth, the home for the mankind.

Wendigo Chimera
Author Details
Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.
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