Fornjot (Old Norse: Fornjótr) is a giant in Norse mythology.
He is the father of Kári, the symbol of wind, Logi, the symbol of fire, and Aegir, the symbol of the sea. He is also said to have been the founding father of Finland.
In the second section of the Song of Humil in the Old Edda, Aegir is called "a rock-dweller (giant) who resembles the child of Miskorblindi," and it is thought that this Miskorblindi may be another name for Fornjot.
The meaning of the name "Fornjot" is not clear. Perhaps it is "forn" (old) + "jótr" (Jute), or more likely than Jute, "giant" (both Finnish "jätti" meaning giant, and ancient Scandinavian "jotunn"). Alternatively, it could be derived from "forn (once)" + "njótr (destroyer)".
Fornjot is furthermore, according to a peculiar legendary genealogical tradition, the earliest identifiable direct ancestor of William I. In addition, he is considered to be the ancestor of a branch of a number of noble European families, as well as of modern Icelanders traced through other imaginary descendants.
Fornjot in Literature
Fornjot is mentioned only twice in old poetry.
The first is in the Yngling Saga, verse 29, where Fornjot's son, Logi is used in reference to a flame.
The other is Snorri Sturluson's "Prose Edda," Part II, "Poetic Language," a passage taken from another source.
The son of Fornjot, brother of the sea (Aegir) and fire, destroyer of wood, grievous to wood, sail, and rigging, he who kills, he who kills, he who calls dog, wolf.
Svein sings this in his "Hymn to the Colony of the North" (Nordrsetu-drápa). Fornjot's ugly sons (i.e., the wind) have begun to blow."
Fornjot sometimes appears as a frost giant (jötun) in one of the verses included in the editions of the Poetics. This is to be expected, since Aegir, who is supposed to be Fornjot's son, is identified as a giant in various references.
In the "Saga of the Orkney Islanders" and "How Norway is Dwelt", both preserved in the Flirt Island Book, Fornjot appears as a king who ruled Finland in ancient times.
The account in "How Norway Dwells" goes on to say that Aegir ruled over the sea, Logi over fire, and Kari over the wind.