All of the other stories in this section tell of what has already happened. This story tells of what is yet to come.
Ragnarök is the doom of the gods, and the end of the world.
It begins with three winters of wars in Miðgarð. Then Fimbulvetr follows, the winter of winters, with bitter frosts and biting winds. Three such winters will follow with no summer between them.
Then the end will begin. The wolf Skoll will seize the sun and swallow her, spattering Ásgarð with gore. The wolf Hati will catch the moon and mangle him. The stars will vanish. The earth will shake. Every bond and fetter will burst.
Cocks will crow to raise the dead in Hel's realm and the giants in Jötenheim. Jörmangandr will work his way towards dry land. The ship Naglfar, made from dead men's nails, will sail, packed with giants. Loki, free from his bonds, will sail with the dead from Hel. The sons of Múspell will advance from the south, led by Surtr, the flame giant. All will converge on the field Vígríð: giants and the dead from Hel and Fenrir and Jörmangandr and Surtr and the blazing sons of Múspell.
Meanwhile, the gods, roused by Heimdall's horn, will meet in council. Óðin will ride Sleipnir to Mímir's spring to take advice from Mímir. Yggdrasil will shake and moan. All of the Æsir and all of the Einherjar in Valhöll will arm and prepare themselves and follow Óðin to Vígríð.
the field of battle, Óðin will engage Fenrir, while
Þór will be attacked by Jörmangandr. Freyr will
fight Surtr. Freyr will rue the day he gave his sword to Skírnir;
Surtr will kill Freyr with a single stroke. The hound Garm from
Gnípahellir will leap at the throat of Týr, and
they will kill each other.
Loki and Heimdall will meet again and cause each other's death. Þór will kill Jörmangandr with a single stroke from Mjöllnir, but will drown in the venom spewed by the serpent. Fenrir will seize Óðin between his jaws and swallow him. At once, Víðar, Óðin's son, will press one foot on Fenrir's lower jaw and grab his upper jaw, tearing the wolf apart and avenging his father.
will fling fire in all directions. Ásgarð and Miðgarð
and Jötenheim and Niflheim will become furnaces. The worlds
will burn and the gods will die. Men, women, and children will
die, giants will die, monsters will die. Birds and animals will
die. The earth will sink into the sea.
The earth will rise again out of the water, fair and green. The eagle will fly and catch fish under crags. Grain will ripen in fields that were never sewn.
Víðar and Váli, sons of Óðin, will still be alive and will make their way back to Iðavöll, the shining plain where the halls of the gods once stood. Móði and Magni, sons of Þór, will join them there, and they will inherent their father's hammer, Mjöllnir. Baldr and Höðr will come back from the world of the dead to Iðavöll, along with Hnir. They will talk and will build new halls.
Two humans, Líf and Lífðrásir, who hid themselves deep within Yggdrasil, will see light. For although the sun was eaten by Skoll, she will give birth to a daughter no less fair, who will follow the same sky-path and light the world. Líf and Lífðrásir will have children; there will be new life everywhere on earth.
With the rebirth of the world after Ragnarök,
the golden age of the Norse gods will return. A radiant hall will
rise up which no flames of perdition can touch. In that hall,
the noble warriors who fought along side the gods will live on
in joy. The ignoble will be carried away by a dragon to be eaten.
The gods will find the golden playing pieces of their board game
in the shining meadow, and they will build on the triumphant foundations
laid down by Óðin.
©1999-2023 William R. Short