What is the difference between giants, Jotuns and trolls in Norse mythology?

It has three votes as too broad. Here's the review task: https://mythology.stackexchange.com/review/close/254

I don't agree. I don't know the answer, but it likely could be answered quite succinctly, with an answer in the form of:

  • A Giant is blah blah
  • Jotun is blah blah
  • A troll is blah blah

Citation 1, 2, 3

It's a good question. Please leave it open.

  • 3 leave open, 2 close (+1 other) votes. Controversy!
    – HDE 226868
    May 4, 2015 at 21:11
  • 6
    +1. Even if a full description of all these entities feels too long to ask for, the key differences seems like it can pretty surely be covered in well under several paragraphs.
    – Jaydles
    May 4, 2015 at 21:57

1 Answer 1


I'm of the strong opinion that this is a good, answerable question in it's current form.

I understand why it might seem a little broad, but:

  • It has a clear scope. There is a finite list of terms that we are interested in, and it's explicitly limited to Norse mythology.

  • I don't believe it's possible to narrow the scope any further without already knowing the answer to the question in its current form. For all I know, all of the listed terms are the exact same entity, or they may be five totally different races.

On the other hand, I also think it has a little room for improvement, because the question body contains a couple of "tangential" questions like whether these beings are ugly or beautiful. It could perhaps be edited to clarify that those inconsistent depictions merely add to the OP's puzzlement, and the key question is still "Do these words refer to the same race or separate races, and if separate, how do you tell them apart?"

  • I agree. I didn't say it couldn't be improved slightly via edit, but it is no where near in need of such edits to be closed as too broad.
    – durron597
    May 4, 2015 at 22:14
  • I edited the question. Let me know if the part that involved the "tangential questions" is helping now to clarify why I think those names overlap and why I need clarification about these mythical creatures.
    – Kreann
    May 5, 2015 at 2:29

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