October 20, 2022 3 min read
In learning about any interpretation of The End of Days, there’s a lot to take in: how would the world, and by extent, humanity, come to the end? What are we to expect? What will happen after that?
Ragnarök, or the “Fate of the Gods” is detailed in many writings, and explains the fate of not only the Norse pantheon, but of all of existence as well.
Ragnarök is set into motion with the death of Baldr, the choice son of Odin.
Because of Loki’s trickery, which caused his favorite son’s death, Odin will bind the ofttimes friend to the gods, a poison serpent above his head, dripping poison on his face, causing him to writhe and produce earthquakes, and sparking his ire, and hatred for the gods. His desire for vengeance is kindled.
Not long after Loki is bound, the two wolves that chase the sun and the moon will catch their prey, plunging the world into a winter like nothing that has ever been seen.
It will be colder, more fierce than any winter before it, and will last the length of three regular winters, with no summer in between. This winter will cause a dearth of raw materials and food and will spur the inhabitants of the world to war without end.
Due to the incessant warfare and celestial turmoil, Yggradsil itself will tremble, causing each world to quake.
This shaking has several consequences: Jormungandr, the world serpent, will release its tail and shake and writhe, causing the sea to swell over the land as it rises and spits venom over the earth.
Fenrir, the terrible wolf son of Loki, will be loosed from his bonds and seek out those who chained him.
The ghoulish ship, Naglfar, cut from its moorings will sail with Jotun to do battle with the gods, and Loki himself will be freed, full of terrible vengeance.
A fiery crack will tear open, from which Sutr, and the inhabitants of Muspel will break forth, joining all the enemies of the Æsir in assaulting Asgard. Sutr and his band will cross the Bifrost, collapsing it behind them.
The gods, knowing their fate, join the battle at Vígríðr, a massive field of battle.
Odin battles Fenrir, and is swallowed, along with his warriors, but is immediately avenged by his son Víðarr, who stabs the wolf through the heart.
Thor does battle with his nemesis, Jormungandr, and while he does slay the serpent, is covered with so much venom, that he is only able to walk nine paces before collapsing, dead.
Tyr fights another wolf, killing it, but dying in the process.
Freyr clashes with Sutr but, having given away his sword, falls before the fire giant, who engulfs all existence in flame.
The Æsir are laid low, and few remain. Truly an end of days.
Ragnarök is an end, but it's also a new beginning!
Víðarr, and his brother Váli survive, and along with Móði and Magni, the sons of Thor, inherit Iðavöllr, a meeting place of the gods where once stood Asgard. They are joined by a resurrected Baldr and Höðr, and they reminisce about the gods that came before.
Land surges forth from the seas, as an eagle flies overhead and two humans, Líf and Lífþrasir, emerge from a concealed wood. Nourished by the dew on the fields, they become the parents of the new human race. A peaceful rebirth, to a violent end.
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