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

I am a little bit confused by the way the terms giant, frost giant, jotun (or jötunn), ettin and troll seem to overlap in Norse mythology.

I don’t understand if they refer to a single race or multiple (or even variations within the race).

It adds to my confusion that some of the terms seem to refer to strikingly similar beings, but that some of these creatures are inconsistently depicted. The same beings can be portrayed both as both hideous or beautiful (I understand how good or evil characters could vary in appearance, but the physical appearance seems inconsistent for the whole “race”).

Another example: the word “giant” would make you think that beings of this race were of a greater size (greater than average, being this “greater than human size” or “greater than god/Æsir/Vanir size”), but this doesn’t seem to be a problem sometimes in order to interact (intermarrying, procreating, etc.) with other beings. That makes me think that the all those names depict different creatures, and not just one race, still, as pointed above, there doesn’t seem to be consistency for the traits of each of these races..

Could someone clarify if these are different classes of beings, the same class with different names, or clarify what they were an “embodiment” of (like, giant or troll is another way of depict a race as “evil”)?

How are Norse and Celtic mythology related?

I was in a charms shop a while back and they had a section laid out for Celtic Mythology charms and their meanings. I had a look and found Thor’s hammer. I ask my mom and she said the Mythologies are connected. I ignore this with my small mind, thinking, “How?”

Then I get some money and took the family to Barns and Nobles. There I found a Norse Mythology book by Helen A. Guerber (I have yet to read it, but will when I get back from Basic Combat Training and AIT). I look at the cover and ask mom who it is. She looked and suggested the Green Man from Celtic Mythology.

So I now ask, how are the two Mythologies connected/related/compared?

Reference Books for Hindu/Indian Mythology, Culture & Philosophy? [duplicate]

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  • What are some online sources to get unabridged Hindu Scriptures or to learn Hinduism?

    1 answer

What concise classical references do we have in English of Hindu/Indian mythology, religion and philosophy subjects especially from the colonial period by non-Indian indologists? An objective narrative from a non-indian viewpoint may be interesting in this changing world. The following is one such but is not really sufficient on Indian philosophy.

Dictionary of Hindu Mythology and Religion

Reference Books for Hindu/Indian Mythology, Culture & Philosophy?

What concise classical references do we have in English of Hindu/Indian mythology, religion and philosophy subjects especially from the colonial period by non-Indian indologists? An objective narrative from a non-indian viewpoint may be interesting in this changing world. The following is one such but is not really sufficient on Indian philosophy.

Dictionary of Hindu Mythology and Religion

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

I am a little bit confused by the way the terms giant, frost giant, jotun (or jötunn), ettin and troll seem to overlap in Norse mythology.

I don’t understand if they refer to a single race or multiple (or even variations within the race).

It adds to my confusion that some of the terms seem to refer to strikingly similar beings, but that some of these creatures are inconsistently depicted. The same beings can be portrayed both as both hideous or beautiful (I understand how good or evil characters could vary in appearance, but the physical appearance seems inconsistent for the whole “race”).

Another example: the word “giant” would make you think that beings of this race were of a greater size (greater than average, being this “greater than human size” or “greater than god/Æsir/Vanir size”), but this doesn’t seem to be a problem sometimes in order to interact (intermarrying, procreating, etc.) with other beings. That makes me think that the all those names depict different creatures, and not just one race, still, as pointed above, there doesn’t seem to be consistency for the traits of each of these races..

Could someone clarify if these are different classes of beings, the same class with different names, or clarify what they were an “embodiment” of (like, giant or troll is another way of depict a race as “evil”)?