Giants and Nymphs in Mythology

Mythological Giants and Nymphs



Giants can represent powerful, natural forces that frighten and threaten humans. In the mythology of the Native American Lakota people, Waziya is a northern giant who blows the winter wind. In some traditions a giant appears as a symbol of chaos threatening to disrupt the orderly natural world or social community.

The word giant comes from the Greek Gigantes (meaning earthborn), a race of huge creatures who were the offspring of Gaia, the earth, and Uranus, the heavens. These giants were half man, half monster, with serpents’ tails instead of legs. Also related were three Cyclopes each with one eye in the middle of the forehead. The three Hundred-Armed giants each had 50 heads and 100 arms and were the jailors of Tartarus, the underworld’s place of punishment.

Giants hurled huge rocks and mountaintops and brandished burning oak trees, in a great battle between themselves and the mighty Hercules, son of Zeus, who won the battle by picking off the giants one by one with his arrows.


Norse mythology says originally there was a chasm, bound on either side by fire and ice. When fire and ice met, they combined to form a giant, named Ymir. Odin killed Ymir whose blood killed all the frost giants he had created. From his body, Odin created the world and Ygdrasil the World Tree grew.

In native American mythology giants start fights among humans so that in the confusion they can steal the men’s wives. Others steal children, sometimes to eat them. Tall Man, a giant of the Seminole people, smells bad, while giants in Lakota stories look like oxen.

Giants Under the Earth

As the giant Enceladus ran from the battlefield, during a struggle with the Greek gods, the goddess Athena smashed him with the island of Sicily. Thereafter, he lay imprisoned under the island, breathing his fiery breath out through the volcano called Etna.



Nymphs are mythological nature spirits that appear as beautiful young women. The word nymph is related to the Greek word for bride. Nymphs are often shown as lovers of gods and heroes or as their mothers. Dionysos had his wild-eyed Mainades and Bakkhai, Artemis was accompanied by a band of huntress nymphs, Poseidon’s court was attended by sea nymphs, and the Olympian court by nymph handmaidens.

Nymphs were female spirits of the natural world, minor goddesses of the forests, rivers, springs, meadows, mountains and seas. They were responsible for designing the wild beauty of nature, from arranging and overseeing the growth of plants, flowers and trees, and the nurturing of wild birds and animals, to the formation of rocky caverns, springs, wetlands and brooks, with which Water nymphs were associated.




Forest nymphs were connected with woods and forests and in particular Oak trees. Another kind lived inside trees and shared in the trees suffering including death when the tree died. Mountain and meadow nymphs were also common.

In Swedish mythology sea nymphs like mermaids were powerful, dangerous beings. Sailors for example were warned to be very careful to avoid them. Nymphs can cause metamorphoses and women can also be changed into nymphs



Mythological nymphs are depicted as females who mate with men or women at their own volition and are completely outside male control, the term is often used for women who are perceived as behaving similarly…How Naughty!!!

42 thoughts on “Giants and Nymphs in Mythology

  1. Very well done, Wolfie. Being married to a mountain nymph I am well aware of how outside the control of men they are.

  2. That is very interesting Wolfie, as a child I loved reading about the Norse gods of mythology, This blog brings a little of it back to life. well researched.

  3. Heeeey…your comments box was switched off when I first read this…!Super blog, Wolfie…mythology is an inexhaustable subject, and very fascinating…and it’s interesting to see how different parts of the world compare.

  4. Your Blogs keep getting better and better. The Nordic creation of the world reminds me of something we touched on briefly at college, fascinating is it not? I have often wondered why I have been referred to as a Nymph on occasion, now I know. :oS ;o) :oD. xx

  5. Arlene…great to see you! Cup-of-tea and choccie cake on the side of blog page for you…lol…and a biscuit for Tango!!…So no need for you to leave the blog page at all, really, is there? Lol πŸ˜‰ Nordic mythology captures the imagination particularly well…a subject worth pursuing I believe πŸ˜‰

  6. Sandi…WLS switched off the comments! Not Wolfie…lol πŸ™‚ Thanks for the re-visit, you’re always very welcome πŸ™‚ Yes…there’s so much to mythology it could be blogged on forever!! I wonder if there’s a mythology of β€œThe Darkside"?! ;)Natalia…It is fascinating…it’s dangerously absorbing! Too easy to get lost in…lol πŸ˜‰ Btw…Wolfie always knew you were a cheeky little Sea Nymph!! Wolves KNOW!! LOL ;))

  7. Absorbtion is far better than stagnation methinks. Just as long as a body can distinguish between fact and fantasy, a soul can come to no harm. As for Sea Nymph….. some find my odour a little too pungent for the senses. ;o) :op Nighty Night. xx

  8. Yes a most exciting blog this one, I wonder where you get your ideas from Icy… Just kidding I always like to read up on the Mythology especially when there’s some Giants & Nymphs on offer.. Or was it a Giant Nymph? There are lots of wicked entries to follow this I think, hopefully with a follow up regarding The Mythology of the Stars, now that would be a worthy addition..

  9. and of course one that I would like to read next.. Sorry about the two tiered comment it’s this hopeless set up with the ‘Too Many Words Thingy’ but we can easily work around it and comment as before.. I hope that you are having a wicked weekend Icy (Silly Question.. lol) Always-Naughty-Wicked-Not-Timid-Nor-Too-Angelic-Just Very-Very-Naughty-Icewolfy.. Androgoth XXx

  10. Natalia: I have no trouble at all distinguishing between fact and fantasy….I know perfectly well I am an Ice Wolf from the Jovian Moon Europa…so no problem there then ;)Androgoth….can’t begin to imagine where I get my ideas from…lol πŸ˜‰ Last I heard they originated from a certain "Jollie Clever Vampire" from the Gothic Realm! Perhaps a "Giant Nymph" of a credit to this effect would also be a "worthy addition" to the blog pages concerned?!! πŸ˜‰

  11. I notice there’s been a really silly myth going around recently…"The-Myth-That-England-Might-Have-Had-A-Chance-Of-Winning-The-World-Cup!";) I don’t know…now there’s a fine example of not being able to "distinguish between fact and fantasy!!"… Always-Angelic-Innocent-And-Very-Well-Behaved-And-Never-Ever-Wicked-Or-Naughty-Icewolfie ;))

  12. Yes.. Funny That.. It would appear that the rumour started just after The 1966 World Cup, but with all that fangtastic football being waged (In The German Team) I could be mistaken? lol Yes some ‘Giant Nymphs’ next.. Or maybe another Mythtery for us all to enjoy? Have a Wicked Wolftastic rest of evening Icydraws.. Androgoth XXx

  13. Naughty Nymphs eh?……and World Cup?…what’s that?Gods fighting amongst themselves with human beings as playthings, toys worth nothing to their godly, cold gazes…I love stories and Myths and how different races explain the past in their legends passed on by word of mouth, generation by generation, explaining the deadly fierceness of Mother Nature and Gaia itself. (Told to shorten it!! cont’d…..)

  14. Now I’m off to soak my head in a bucket of water…’tis preferable to thinking about something that happened yesterday…just can’t recall what???……have a great week..xLadyPx

  15. Lady Penelope What happened yesterday was an event horrible beyond all comprehension…in the interests of your mental health and emotional well-being…best not to think about it…lol πŸ™‚ Thank you for stopping by…"Enchanting" (!!) of you…;)…And don’t forget the new "war cry"…lol…"Come on BRAZIL!!!!" πŸ˜‰

  16. Thank you for the choccie bisuit and cuppa Wolfie, I enjoyed it while I had another read of the very interesting blog, I think your blogs are getting better, probably because I can understand this one, .slurp from Tango [he who is really a Hampshire giant.

  17. Enjoyed this Wolfie, when I managed to get on your Space, you seem tohave no trouble navigating around Spaces,you need to give me a few tips.

  18. Wot no greeks ?? Cronos would have a word if it wasn’t for his kids….Sadly I’m no Giant, nor a nymph. Good job really- wouldn’t fancy having an Island smacked into me. Sheesh those old ‘gods’ where a rowdy lot !

  19. I shall keep my eye’s open for wood nymphs.Sometimes you see something then their not there…………….I am sure I have them in my garden.LABW LABW xXx Interesting blog BTW.

  20. Rosemary…Good of you pay the humble blog space a visit and show off your suntan! Emailed wolfie WLS info…will be somewhere amongst the 300 emails! I’m here if you need me! ;)Arlene….Oooh! You came back! Tango is a Hamp’ Giant? lol….that’s worrying! lol…I will leave an X-large bone on the side of the blog page in future! πŸ˜‰

  21. TEV LABW LABW…well you navigated to here…well done! πŸ˜‰ I am sure there are many many nymphs to be found in your garden!! Do behave yourself out there pls!! AF EIW xx ;))Simon….Wot you mean "no greeks!" I mentioned them loads of times!! eg nymph…greek word for bride! ;)….giants struggling with greek gods…(before being smashed into islands! lol! )

  22. Hang on a minute Wolfie, Greek for Bride? Moi, a Bride? ——–> Runs faster than wind and dives back in the briney with a very loud splash. Sorry if you get washed out to sea on the ripples. ;o) But Wolfies are strong swimmers.

  23. Rosemary….I always knew I couldn’t keep you down! lol πŸ˜‰ And no turning into one of those yellow-bellies who abandon WLS and go running off to F/bk etc at the first hint of change! Honorary pack members are made of sterner stuff… lol πŸ˜‰ You can easily have WLS/Fbk together and as you said you can’t keep honorary pack members down!Natalia….Pls make a discreet and quiet exit πŸ˜‰ This Icewolf has no wish to be washed out to sea…I do not like getting my paws wet!

  24. aww icey your notes page has gone all wrong hmm hope you got a printer andros pc room upstairs mine down lol he even has his own kettle up there and coffee sometimes i get invited where he jumps ut from the doorway in his cloak lol hmm mad house xxjen

  25. Tango says Thank you in advance for the bone, he needs to be subdued and that’s the best way to do it.

  26. Hi wolfie! I love the images in this blog especialy the nymphs and the one with red hair in particular! As for the giants I have a whole crowd of Jolly Green Giants in my cupborrd, they are lots of fun although a bit corny!!Thanks for your visit to my space and your lovely comments of my photoslove Suki x

  27. Jenagoth…oops πŸ˜‰ my notes page went all wrong? 😦 Humblest apologies on its behalf! I think it’s ok now? Show it a vampy fang or 2 if it happens again…it will know better than to misbehave in your presence then! Printer hunting this wkend…barely time for food shopping last wk/nd…maybe I’ll stop by yours instead! That way I get a coffee too with a bit of luck πŸ˜‰ Before you chase me "ut"!! πŸ˜‰

  28. Arlene…you’re very welcome bone-wise πŸ˜‰ Please do not use it to beat Wolfie into submission tho!! Oh…and there’s a Black Forest Gateau on the side of the blog page for you tonight πŸ™‚ Very good nourishment for a Forest Nymph of your standing! lol! But don’t eat it all at once!

  29. Suki…loved your photos and your blog! More please!!…Red haired nymphs…very dangerous combination…lol πŸ˜‰ I would imagine there is fascinating selection of naughty nymphs and jolly Green Giants in the Wildwood too πŸ˜‰ I trust that you, as a very well behaved Wood Nymph…lol…keep them all firmly in check!! Love Wolfie x πŸ˜‰

  30. That was a very delectable Gateaux, all gone now. and how apt a name, Black Forest, when you have been blogging about these nymphs of the woods, did they make it?Tango says thank you for the bone, far too tasty to use for anything other than scoffing with little Tango teeth.

  31. I have often thought myself to be a mermaid when I lived near the sea. Now I must be a water nymph…I do live beside a mountain creek. Again I am impressed with your blog, enchanting and I am charmed of course. The pics are perfect with the story, good writing too. Peace xox Ravenwood

  32. And Suki X …you make me laugh! For I too have Jolly green Giants in my cupboard LOL. Shall I invite you over to sing Jolly Giant songs with me?

  33. Arlene…Many many wood nymphs were involved in the making of the Gateaux! It was very large so it was very greedy of you to eat it all at once!! As to "little Tango teeth" lol they had taken on the appearance of a hungry Pit Bull last time I risked looking! ;)Rosemary…As if I would ever dare to suggest you were a yellow belly!

  34. Ravenwood…Lovely to see you! And welcome πŸ™‚ Thank your time and interest and for your kind, thoughtful comments…I would love to live by a mountain creek, sounds great, but you do know water nymphs can be very naughty?!! lol ;)) Seems there are a quite a collection of Jolly Green Giants living in peoples cupboards too! Could get very noisy if everyone starts singing…lol πŸ˜‰

      1. And thanks for coming my way in return. You’ve done an ace decorating job on your blog.

      2. Hey thanks! The decorating of this strange new WordPressy world has proved a highly challenging experience! lol πŸ˜‰ You have a very good site here…I like ones that get me thinking and I look forward to investigating further…now if I could just figure out how to add a few more hours to the day that would be even better! I will be back…I know there is lots to explore in the cool world of “blackwatertown world!!” But for now…the hunt is calling and the Full Moon is almost upon us πŸ˜‰ A very exciting Thursday to you!

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