The old stories of the Norsemen tell that at first there were two worlds, one of burning heat and one of icy cold. The cold world was in the north, and from it flowed a river of dangerous and poisonous water. The other world in the south was on fire with bright flame, a place of horrible heat.

These two worlds of heat and cold were all that once existed – and then they began a fierce combat. Heat and cold met and strove to destroy each other. As a result, chilly water drops became alive; and turned into a huge frost-giant. He was the ancestor of all the giants who came afterwards. It was a bad and cruel race.

At that time there was no earth nor sea nor heaven, nothing but an icy abyss without bottom, from where Ymir the frost-bite giant had sprung. And there he lived, nourished by the milk of a cow which the heat had formed.