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A certain class of giants were the fire giants, said to reside in Muspelheim, the world of heat and fire, ruled by the fire giant Surtr ("the black one") and his queen Sinmore. Fornjót, the incarnation of fire, was another of their kind.

The main role of the fire giants in Norse mythology is to wreak the final destruction of the world by setting fire to the world tree Yggdrasil at the end of Ragnarök, when the giants of Jotunheim and the forces of Hel shall launch an attack on the gods, and kill all but a few of them. During Ragnarök, the fire giants (or Muspeli) ride on great horses and burn Midgard killing all the people, some of the gods, and all the fire giants themselves except a man and a woman set by Odin in a great forest that did not burn down.

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