According to a popular Scandinavian legend, Jack is an elf whom the Norse Vikings named Jokul Frosti, which means Icicle Frost. Believed to possess artistic virtuosity, Jack is said to sneak into towns late at night and make elegant frost designs on the windows and over the winter leaves and grass. Even though the legend of Jack Frost has not been associated with Christianity, yet he is seen to make special appearances in modern day secular Christmas entertainment programs, often as one of the members of Santa Claus's entourage. Jack Frost also appears quite frequently in literature, films, television, songs and video games, portraying a sinister mischief maker. It has also made several appearances in the modern day comic books as one of the Christmas protagonists. Jack Frost, though unrelated to Christmas, has so many characteristics that make him perfect for Christmas, that people have now wholeheartedly accepted him as a Yuletide figure. If you wish to explore more about this mythological character, keep reading.
Jack Frost Viking
In Norse Folklore
Jack Frost, an elf in Norse mythology, embodies crisp, cold, winter weather and was the son of the winds. He has been a popular figure in Anglo-Saxon and Norse winter customs. However, in the Viking lore, he is referred to as Jokul Frosti or the "icicle frost". It is believed that he is the one responsible for the frosty, fernlike crystal patterns on windows on cold mornings (window frost or fern frost). He is often portrayed as an invisible spirit whom nobody can touch or hear. Though basically friendly and jolly, Jack Frost, if provoked, can kill his victims by covering them with snow.
In Modern Literature
In 'The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus', written by L. Frank Baum's in 1902, Jack Frost was depicted as the son of the unnamed Frost King who draws pleasure from nipping "scores of noses and ears and toes". But though Santa Claus likes Jack, he considers him a "Jolly Rogue", hardly trusts him and asks Jack to spare the children. Jack says he will if he can resist the temptation. The character of Jack re-appears in one of the short stories of Baum, "Runaway Shadows". Here, he is depicted as the one, who owns the power to freeze shadows and splits them from their owners, making them their own living entities. Jack Frost also appears in a poem by Elizabeth Bishop titled, "First Death in Nova Scotia". In Rainbow Magic books by Daisy Meadows, Jack Frost has been portrayed as an antagonist who strives to freeze the Fairyland.
In comic books published by Timely Comics (now Marvel Comics) in 1940s, Jack Frost used to be a superhero, covered in ice and could project ice and cold.
Film & Games
A Russian film, made in 1964, was named Morozko - the Russian equivalent of Jack Frost. The character has also featured in two Hollywood films, both of them titled Jack Frost. The character of Jack Frost has also been popular in video games and has appeared in many of them such as Adventure Quest, Guild Wars, Granado Espada, City of Villains, Killing Floor and Rune Scape.
Depicted in many forms and characters, this mythical figure has been immensely popular and despite having no association with Christianity, it can be seen making appearances with Santa Claus's entourage quite frequently.