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This article is about the Finnish mythical queen. For other uses, see Louhi (disambiguation).
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. In true fairy tale form, Louhi sets them difficult to impossible tasks to perform in order to claim such a prize, which leads to the forging of the Sampo.

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] the orchestral work Louhi by the Finnish composer Kalevi Aho, and the wind orchestral work Louhi's Spells / Louhen loitsut by Finnish composer Tomi Räisänen.[5][6] Louhi is the main antagonist of Michael Scott Rohan's fantasy trilogy The Winter of the World.[7]

Louhi is also one of the names of the witch Iggwilv in the Dungeons & Dragons game's Greyhawk campaign by Gary Gygax. In his book Sea of Death, Iggwilv is mentioned as being called Louhi on an alternate Earth.[8]

See also[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. ^ "Music Finland Sheet Music Catalogue". Music Finland. Retrieved 2015-06-03. 
  6. ^ "Louhen loitsut (2012)". Edition TROY. Retrieved 2015-06-03. 
  7. ^ Rohan, Michael Scott (1989). The anvil of ice. New York: Avon Books. ISBN 978-0380705474. 
  8. ^ Gygax, Gary (1987). Sea of death. New York, NY: Ace Books. ISBN 978-0441756766. 

External links[edit]