Louhi

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The Defense of the Sampo, by Akseli Gallen-Kallela, shows Louhi in the form of a flying, winged creature

Louhi (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈlouɦi]) is a queen of the land known as Pohjola in Finnish, Karelian and Lappish mythology.

In mythology[edit]

Louhi is described as a powerful witch with the ability to change shape and weave mighty enchantments. She is also the main opponent of Väinämöinen and his group in the battle for the magical artifact Sampo in the Kalevala.[1] She has a number of beautiful daughters, whom Ilmarinen, Lemminkäinen and other heroes attempt to win in various legends. Louhi, in true fairy tale form, sets them difficult to impossible tasks to perform in order to claim such a prize.

As many mythological creatures and objects are easily conflated and separated in Finnish mythology, Louhi is probably an alter-ego of various other goddesses, notably Loviatar.

In popular culture[edit]

Louhi was the main antagonist in the Finnish-Soviet film Sampo,[2] and was also an inspiration for a foe of Conan the Barbarian's in the Marvel comics version of the character (no such foe ever appears in Howard's stories),[3] the Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light boss character Louhi the Witch of the North, the Final Fantasy XI item Louhi's Mask,[4] and the orchestral work Louhi by the Finnish composer Kalevi Aho. Louhi is the main antagonist of Michael Scott Rohan's fantasy trilogy The Winter of the World.

Louhi is also one of the names of the witch Iggwilv in World of Greyhawk campaign by Gary Gygax for the Dungeons & Dragons game. In his book Sea of Death Iggwilv is mentioned as being called Louhi on an alternate Earth.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Asplund, Anneli; Mettomäki, Sirkka-Liisa. "The Kalevala's Contents". Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura: Kalevala. The Finnish Literature Society. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  2. ^ Sampo (1959) - IMDb
  3. ^ "Louhi (Hyborian era, Conan foe)". Marvunapp.com. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  4. ^ "Louhi's Mask". FFXIAH.com. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  5. ^ Gygax, Gary. Sea of Death. Delavan, WI: New Infinities, 1987.

External links[edit]