Ragnarǫk

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Ragnarǫk (Old Norse = 'final destiny of the gods') is the term for the Nordic eschatology (combination of RAGN and RÖKK).

Several things will happen at Ragnarǫk:

  • Heimdallr blows the Gjallarhorn to warn the gods of the coming events
  • Óðinn asks Mímir's head for advice
  • The gods hold a council
  • The powers of the underworld approach on all sides
  • Naglfar is set afloat and arrives with the giants, steered by Hrymr or Loki
  • Surtr leads the Muspells synir into battle against the gods
  • The Einherjar go into battle on the side of the gods
  • Óðinn fights against the Fenris wolf and falls, but is avenged by Víðarr
  • Þórr kills the Miðgarðsormr but dies from its poison
  • Freyr fights with Surtr but dies becaus he has no sword
  • Týr and Garmr and Heimdallr and Loki kill each other
  • Surtr kindles the world-fire which will destroy everything

The destruction of the world is characterized by four events:

  • The fimbulvetr (Old Norse = Big Winter)
  • The world-fire
  • The sinking of the earth into the ocean which has been whipped up by the Miðgarðsormr
  • The darkening of the sun which has been devoured by the Fenris wolf

These events are followed by earth quakes and falling rocks. The world-tree Yggdrasill shakes and Bifrǫst collapses.

The destruction is not total: A new pure world will arise out of the sea and some of the gods will survive: Víðarr, Vali, Móði, Magni, Baldr and Hǫðr, as well as two people: Líf and Lífþrasir. [1]

References

  1. Rudolf Simek: Dictionary of Northern Mythology (1993)