Real Name: Louhi
Occupation: Monarch, Sorceress
Legal Status: Citizen of Ancient Finland in the First Millennium BC
Identity: The general populace of Earth is unaware of Louhi except as a mythological character.
Other Aliases: None known
Place of Birth: Unknown
Marital Status: possibly Widowed
Known Relatives: father, mother (names unrevealed, possibly deceased), Manala (possible brother), Tuonetar (possible sister-in-law), Kalma, Loviator, Kiputytto, Vammater (possible nieces), Kaleva (possible husband, possibly deceased), Pohjan, Paha, Penitar, Undutar (daughters), Lempo (son), Turso (possible son), Hiisi (grandson), nine grand-daughters (names unrevealed),
Group Affiliations: None
Base of Operations: Pohjola (now part of modern Finland)
First Appearance: (historical) "The Kalevala" by Dr. Elias Lonnrot, (modern) The Day the Earth Froze (1963)
History: Not much is known about Louhi. She is somehow connected to the Kalevalans, an extra-dimensional race of beings who were worshipped as gods by the ancient Finno-Ugrian tribes of Eastern Europe. Although she was basically human, her parentage is unknown, but at least one of her parents may have been a member of the Kalevalan race, making her by birth a demigoddess. She is sometimes referred to as a sibling of Manala, the god of the underworld among the Finnish Gods. Manala lent his name to the underworld of Manala, and took the goddess Tuonetar as his wife. At times, he was also known as Tuoni, a name he shared with the river descending into the underworld where the shades (spirits) of mortals retreated after death.
It is not known as to how Louhi acquired the throne of Pohjola, north of Kalevala, the ancient name of Finland. Kalevala was possibly named after Kaleva, the Finnish god of the north, who was either the father or husband of Louhi. After he departed Earth, he left the throne of Pohjola to her and the throne of Kalevala to a succession of mortal rulers and chieftains who accepted the Kalevalans as gods. Louhi seems to have irrationally hated the Finnish Gods and learned dark arts to make herself a powerful sorceress or witch. Under her rule, Pohjola became known as a frozen land of the dead. Under unknown circumstances, Louhi became enemies of Antero Vipunen, the god of the earth.
Sometime in the First Century BC, the body of the sage and musician known as Vainamoinen drifted north to Pohjola after his craft was destroyed by the treachery of Joukhainen. Louhi found him barely alive and nearly frozen in the icy sea and nursed him to full health. Upon regaining his health, he offered Louhi gold and silver to help him return home, but she refused all. Desiring a wife, Vainamoinen fell in love with Louhi's daughter, Pohjan, the goddess of the hunt. In turn, Louhi promised him the hand of her daughter in marriage if he could create an enchanted mill for her to survive the cruel winters of the north. According to myth, he was to forge it from a swan's feather, cow's milk, a grain of barley and sheep's wool. However, such a feat was beyond even Vainamoinen's skills, and he departed Pohjola, returning with his brother, Ilmarinen, a craftsman, to created a device called the Sampo. The Sampo had the mystical power to grant great prosperity to anyone who owned it. Once it was created, Louhi locked it away beyond nine locks, mystically bound it to the Earth and reneged on her promise to allow Vainamoinen take Pohjan as his wife. Lemminkainen, another brother of Vainamoinen, also competed for Pohjan's hand in marriage. Louhi had challenged him with three impossible tasks in order to claim her daughter, and Lemminkainen completed each of them, but Louhi still refused to release her daughter. Louhi then cast a spell that banished the three brothers from her realm and they returned without their efforts back to Finland.
In order to break Louhi's spells, Vainamoinen sought to create a new grand craft capable of breaking through her banishment spells. He began construction on a new ship to return to Pohjola and gained the help of Antero Vipunen, Louhi's old enemy to acquire the spells to protect it. On his return to Pohjola, Pohjan used deceit to marry Ilmarinen for the secrets of the sampo. Ilmarinen turned her into a sea gull to punish her. Using a spell, Vainamoinen lulling Louhi to sleep and then he and his brothers stole the Sampo to take back to Kalevala. Louhi, however, awoke and instructed her daughter, Undutar, the mist goddess conjure a fog that they would confuse them, but Vainamoinen banished it with a spell. Louhi then gave chase after using a spell to turn herself into a great bird. (In some versions, she uses the ruins of wrecked ships on the shore to create wings to fly after them.) During the battle, however, the Sampo was struck by a lightning bolt conjured by Ukko, the sky-god, and lost when it fell into the sea. According to later myths, the Sampo became responsible for producing the salt in sea water. However, Vainamoinen saved enough of the pieces to bury in Finland and insure prosperity to the land.
Louhi continued to cast spells that terrorized humanity. She conjured a great bear that attacked the herds of cows of Finland, and after Vainamoinen slew it, she created a mystical incantation that she sang to grieve over it. As Louhi sang, Kuu and Beiwe, the gods of the sun and the moon, came to grieve with her, and she used a mystical net to imprison them. Upon taking them captive, she mystically plunged the Earth into darkness. Ilmarinen then forged an iron collar to restrain her. Returning to Pohjola, Vainamoinen, Ilmarinen and Lemminkainen once again battled Louhi and rescued Kuu and Beiwe, using the chain and collar to imprison Louhi in the underworld. Louhi has not been returned to Earth since.
After their mortal deaths, Vainamoinen, Ilmarinen and Lemminkainen were accepted as gods in the Finnish Pantheon. In later myths, Louhi has been considered a goddess of evil and to a lesser extent a goddess of the dead. Kalevala was subsequently invaded by the Swedes and named Finland after the Finnish tribes living there. In 1157 AD, King Eric IV introduced Christianity to the region, replacing worship of the Finnish Gods who retreated from Earth for Celestial Kalevala, a dimension created by Ukko, the ruler of the Finnish gods. The stories of the Gods of Finland remained oral tales until 1849 when Dr. Elias Lonnrot collected the stories and published them.
Strength Level: Unrevealed. Louhi possibly possesses the normal human strength level of a woman of her size, height and build who engages in minimal physical exercises.
Known Superhuman Powers: Louhi possesses the ability to tap into and manipulate mystical energies. Like all earthborn magicians, her abilities are based upon three sources: powers based on the psychic powers of the mind/body/soul (clairvoyance, telepathy, precognition...), powers based upon tapping the ambient cosmic energies of the universe and employing them for specific spells (teleportation, illusion-casting, transmutation...) and powers gained by calling upon beings of power through the recitation of spells, either ritualized ones or by original spells invoking extra-dimensional beings of power living in worlds tangent to Earth, such as Gaea. However, due to her status as a potential demigoddess, her potential to practice magic is superior to most Earth-born mystics except perhaps for the most adept magicians, like Merlin, and gods like Zeus and Odin.
Among her powers, Louhi can tap into and control elemental energies enabling her to control and manipulate the weather. She can create fog and mist and can generate violent snowstorms. Louhi can force several years worth of snowstorms on her foes within a few seconds, freezing water, deteriorating wood and burying villages and mountainsides in several feet of snow, frost and ice within minutes. She can control the wind to give herself flight and blow around objects at speeds of 100 to 150 feet an hour, sometimes mentally crafting objects together into gliders to better control her flight and conjure temporary structures. The limits of her power may be confined to the frozen north; it is known if she can summon thunderstorms or control lightning.
Louhi also has mental powers over certain animals and can place her will and desires into beasts of the north, such as bears and predators. She could call upon the serpent Iku-Tursas who might have been a serpent or a god trapped in animal form as a worthy ally against her enemies.
Louhi can also create and conjure spells of negative psychokinetic force which can cause hexes or "bad luck" to the people who encounter them. She can cause psychokinetic forces to appear in the form of poltergeist activity and even materialize small objects. She can also teleport others from her presence to appear elsewhere; the specifications of this spell are uncertain. It is unknown if she can summon and teleport whole armies to her presence or if she is just limited to exiling others from her presence. She can conjure binding spells to keep those persons she exiles from returning, and in Vainamoinen's case, he was definitely able to create counter-spells to over-ride these enchantments preventing him from returning to Pohjola.
The full range of Louhi's mystical powers are unrevealed.
Comments: Louhi has yet to appear in Marvel or DC Comics; she has been depicted in the Finnish motion picture, "The Day The Earth Froze," which appeared on the TV-Series, "Mystery Science Theater 3000."
Clarifications: Louhi is not to be confused with:
Last updated: 09/05/12
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