Presentation on theme: "The reason why Ragnarok interests me is because in all other religions or cultures, they don’t go into much detail on the end of the world. Norse mythology."— Presentation transcript:
The reason why Ragnarok interests me is because in all other religions or cultures, they don’t go into much detail on the end of the world. Norse mythology goes into much detail on how the world ends, and I’ll be writing down the basic rundown.
The most dramatic foretelling of Ragnarok is the death Baldur, son of Frigg (wife of Odin, goddess of the heavens and married love). The Aesir, knowing that the death of Baldur would mean Ragnarok was coming, they tried to protect him. His mother Frigg would make everything and everybody from all nine worlds swear an oath not to harm him in any way. This meant that anything trying to harm him would not hit him, and the gods made a sport out of throwing things at him. This sport plays a major part in his death. Loki, never liking what Frigg did, turned himself into a old lady (Loki’s a shapeshifting mischaevous god) and asked Frigg about the oaths. Frigg tells him that she made everybody/thing swear the oath except the mistletoe plant because she thought it was too young and innocent to do any harm. Loki fashions a dart out of mistletoe and finds Hod, who is blind and also the brother of Baldur.
Getting him to throw it at Baldur, his aim guided by Loki, hits Baldur and he falls over dead. His wife also dies, stricken by grief. The two are put on a funeral pyre built by the gods, and then pushed out to sea. Frigg, who wants her son back, pleads for Hermod to venture down to Helheim (Hel’s domain) and beg for Hel to resurrect him. Odin also gives him his eight-legged horse, Sleipnir. He makes it to the Hel-gate, and Sleipnir jumps it with no problem. Hel says that if they want Baldur back, they’ll need everything in the world to weep for him. So, the Aesir ask for everything to weep. People wept, animals wept, trees wept, even rocks wept.
Only one thing in all existence refused to weep, and that was a lone giantess in a cave going by the name of Thokk. She said, “Alive or dead, the old man’s son has been no use to me. Let Hel hold what she has!” And so, Hel keeps Baldur in Hel. The Aesir, thinking it was Loki in disguise, captured him and bound him across three flat stones (using the entrails of his son Narfi) beneath a serpent with venom dripping from its fangs. They position him so that the venom falls on his face. Loki is destined to stay in the cave until Ragnarok, where he’ll break free.
Ragnarok is said to come about when humanity hits rock bottom and loses all virtue. Brother kills brother, kinfolk commits incest and no act is too shameful. It actually begins when Gullinkambi, the Aesir’s rooster with a golden comb, crows to awaken Odin’s heroes to the death of the gods. Gullinkambi’s crow is echoed by Fjalar, a red cock in Jotunheim, and a black cock in Helheim. Starts with Fimbulvetr, the great winter that lasts for 3 years. After Fimbulvetr has passed, Skoll (a wolf that chases the horses Arvakr and Alsvior who drags along the moon and sun) will swallow the sun and Hati (also a wolf) swallows the moon, and the stars die out, leaving the whole Nine Worlds in deathly darkness. Massive earthquakes shake the earth, uprooting trees and leaving whole towns decimated. There shall be no hope for humanity. The bonds holding Fenrisulfr and Loki break, releasing them both. Jormundangdr heads for land, and the sheer size of his body sends the seas flooding into the earth.
Loki rides Naglfar (a mighty ship made out of dead men’s nails) over the floods and his crew are the damned of Niflheim. The giant Hyrim leads the frost giants out of Jotunheim. Eyes burning with hate, Fenrisulfr chews on the world. His upper jaw touches the heavens, and his lower jaw touches the earth. While Fenris chews on the world, Jormungandr (the serpent so long it can wrap itself around Midgard and bite on it’s tail) spews venom into the skies and the seas. While that happens, Heimdall (guardian of Bifrost, the rainbow bridge connecting Asgard to Midgard) sounds the Gjallarhorn to alert the gods of the beginning of the end.
The fire giants of Muspelheim ride from the south, lead by Surtr with his flaming sword. They ride over Bifrost, and break the bridge to Asgard beneath them. Fenris, the Midgard Serpent, Loki and the frost giants break into Asgard, heading for the Plains of Idavoll. Brandishing his magnificent spear, Gungnir, Odin leads the Aesir into battle. He and Thor duke it out against Fenris, but Jormungandr got in Thor’s way. Freyr, swordless (his amazing self-fighting sword was given away to get his wife), rode against Surtr, while Tyr (god of victory), fought off Garm who’d broke free of his fethers and Heimdall fought Loki. Thor fought amazingly against Jormungandr and killed him with a resounding blow with Mjolnir, though he only walked 9 paces before faceplanting into the dirt and dying from the serpent’s venom. Odin is swallowed by Fenris, and Vidar (Odin’s son by giantess Grid), jumped into Fenrisulfr’s mouth, pinned it lower jaw with his shoe, and ripped it’s head off apart, killing it.
Tyr and Garm kill each other, and the same happens with Heimdall and Loki and Freyr is slain by Surtr’s brilliant blade, as bright as the Sun. Surtr envelops Midgard and Asgard, and the rest of the Nine Worlds with burning fire. Everybody that doesn’t die in the battle died in the flames, gods, dwarves, elves, everything. Although as Surtr’s fires burn, they consume all evil. A green, fertile World rises out of the sea. The children of the Sun and Moon are just as bright as their parents and give new light to the World. Lif and Lifthrasir, humans who’d survive Surtr’s flames by hiding in one of Yggdrasil’s branches, replenishes the World. The remaining Aesir; Vidar, Vali, Modi, Magni and a few others—assemble on the Plains of Idavoll. Baldur and Hod return from Helheim, and Hoenir leaves Vanaheim to join them. They make their home in the plains where Asgard once stood.