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Ragnarok - Apocalypse in Norse myth

The Story of Ragnarok, The Ancient Norse Apocalypse

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In Norse mythology, Ragnarok is a series of apocalyptic events that will define the end of the world, where giants of frost and fire will band together to fight against the gods in a final battle that will ultimately destroy the planet, submerging it under water. According to the legend, the world will resurface, the surviving gods will meet, and the world will be repopulated by two human survivors.

 Brothers will fight and kill each other, sisters' children will defile kinship. It is harsh in the world, whoredom rife —an axe age, a sword age —shields are riven— a wind age, a wolf age— before the world goes headlong. No man will have mercy on another.
Dronke (1997:19)

Ragnarok. ( Seahorsevector /Adobe Stock)

Loki’s Role in Ragnarok

Norse mythology is divided in two major groups of gods – the Aesir and the Vanir.  The Giants came before them and lived in in Jötunheimr, one of the nine worlds of Norse cosmology. They were banished there by the Aesir, who refused them entry to their world, Asgard. In the ancient Norse stories, the Giants frequently interact with the Aesir and the Vanir, but they are usually in opposition or in competition with them.

The god Loki was the son of a Giant and was known as a trickster god with the ability to shapeshift. His role in Norse mythology is unique and controversial since he appears to both help the gods and hinder them. He was permitted to live with the Aesir in Asgard. Loki fathered many offspring, including an eight legged horse ( Sleipnir) used by Odin, a dragon, and the wolf Fenrir - who plays a significant role in the apocalyptic Ragnarok (Ragnarök).

According to the story, Loki tricked the blind god of winter, Hod (Hoor), an action that resulted in the death of the god Baldr , son of goddess Frigg and god Odin. Because of this, he was punished and cast into a cliff where he was to remain bound to a rock until Ragnarok, the end of the world. This bears similarities to the punishment of Prometheus in ancient Greek mythology, who was bound to a rock for giving the ability to make fire to humanity.

Loki Punished - J D Penrose. ( Archivist /Adobe Stock) F or his mischief, Loki is hounded by the gods and bound to a rock where a serpent drips painful venom upon him. There he lies till Ragnarok.

Signs of the Apocalypse

Like the Christian apocalypse, Ragnarok sets out a series of signs that will ultimately define the end of times. The first sign is the Fimbulvetr, a long and continuous cold winter with constant snow that will last for a year. A red rooster called Fjalar will warn the Giants that Ragnarok has begun. A second rooster will warn all the dead that Ragnarok has begun. Finally, a third red rooster called Gullinkambi, a rooster that lives in Valhalla, a majestic hall located in Asgard, will warn all the gods about the beginning of the end.

The god Heimdallr will use his trumpet to play a specific tone that will be heard in Valhalla, and this will bring the dead back to life and they will march to the realm called Vigrid (the place of battles), where the final battle will take place. The seas will be torn and the World Serpent, a serpent so large that it surrounds the earth and grasps its own tail, will raise itself from the depths of the oceans to join the battle. The gods Baldr and Hod will also return from the dead to fight in this final battle.

A scene from Ragnarök, the final battle between Odin and Fenrir and Freyr and Surtr. ( Public Domain )

A Battle to End it All?

Loki and his horde, as well as the frost Giants, will sail to Vigrid in order to battle against the Aesir on a ship made of the nails of dead men, like a ghost ship. All monsters and giants, like the flame giant Surtr, Hel’s dog Carm, the wolf Fenrir (Fenris), and the leader of the giants, Hrym, will create a powerful army against the gods.

The result of the war will be that Thor and Odin and most of the gods will die and the dragons will release fire that will destroy all life on Earth.

But this is not the end. Things will start again with a new race; a new world will arise from the depths of the seas. The first two mortals will be called Lif (woman) and Lifthrasir (man) and they will repopulate Earth.

The gods Vali and Vidar, as well as the sons of Thor and Hoenir, who survive the battle, will go to Idavoll, which will not be destroyed in Ragnarok. The gods Baldr and Hoder will be returned to life and a new era will begin.

"Baldur" (1901) by Johannes Gehrts. Baldr stands clasping a hand full of plant matter against a downward-tipped spear. In his other hand is a sun-shaped shield. ( Public Domain )

What Does the Norse Apocalypse Tell Us?

The apocalyptic story of Ragnarok shows the battle between gods - with severe consequences for both humans and the gods. The humans are the ‘collateral damage’ in this war, much like in Hindu mythology. This distinguishes Ragnarok from the Christian apocalypse, in which humans are punished for not being loyal and faithful to God.

Mankind has been fascinated with the ‘end of times’ since as long as history has been recorded. In Christianity, it is the ‘Judgment Day’ described in the Book of Revelations; in Judaism, it is the Acharit hayamim; in Aztec mythology, it is the Legend of the Five Suns ; and in Hindu mythology, it is the Story of Avatars and the Man on the Horse.

Most of these myths maintain that when the world as we know it ends, a new incarnation of the world will be created. Are these myths and legends simply a metaphor for the cyclic nature of change seen in the rotations of day and night, the seasons, and the chains of life and death? Were they possibly based on real events in the ancient past? Or maybe they are meant to be a warning that humanity meet its end in the not so distant future?

Top Image: Ragnarok is a key event in Norse myth. Source: YouTube Screenshot

By John Black

Updated on June 25, 2020.

References

Andonov, V. (2014) ‘The Punishment of Loki.’ World Tales. Available at: http://www.worldoftales.com/European_folktales/Scandinavian_folktale_15.html#gsc.tab=0

Bellows, H. A. (trans.) (1936) The Poetic Edda. Available at: http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/poe/index.htm

Dhwty (2018) ‘Heimdall, Watchman of the Gods, Will Sound the Horn as Ragnarok Approaches.’ Ancient Origins. Available at: https://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends-europe/heimdall-watchman-gods-sound-horn-ragnarok-approaches-009869

McCoy, Daniel. 2016. Ragnarök. Available at: http://norse-mythology.org/tales/ragnarok/

Parkes, V. (2017) ‘Epic Battle Equals Doom or Twilight for Norse Gods? Ragnarök: The Real Message in the Myth.’ Ancient Origins. Available at: https://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends-europe/epic-battle-equals-doom-or-twilight-norse-gods-ragnar-k-real-message-myth-021414

Skjalden (2011) ‘Ragnarok – The End of the World.’ Nordic Culture. Available at: https://norse-mythology.net/ragnarok-in-norse-mythology/

Strom, C. (2018) ‘Denizens of Valhalla and the Transient Afterlife of Norse Myth.’ Ancient Origins. Available at: https://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends-europe/denizens-valhalla-and-transient-afterlife-norse-myth-009953

Winters, R. (2018) ‘Where is Vanaheimr, Land of the Norse Nature Gods?’ Ancient Origins. Available at: https://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends-europe/where-vanaheimr-land-norse-nature-gods-009654

Comments

Hello John,

It seems that everywhere in The Ancient World the quote gods underwent an Apocalypse that signified an end to their rule to their Time.

A year ago this wouldn't have even interest me but, I reacquainted myself with The Bible Book's of Enoch & Jubilees.
Now I'm fascinated by these Biblical Accounts.

Now Ragnarok seemed farther away from me I absolutely couldn't make heads or tails of that Apocalyptic Story; since, I was able to read online Enoch 3 The Book of Giant's I have a better understanding of this specific moment with Asgard.

Enoch describes a intriguing yet terrifying world that thrived in the Pre-Flood Era. It's a Testimony that tells Us Giant's and Monster's that walked the Earth no I'm not referencing the dinosaurs though this period proves we did live beside them.

The Giant's, The Monster's, The Cyclops, The Titan's, The Trolls, and the Ogre's thrived on Earth in The Pre-Flood Era, they were in fact Fathered by Fallen Angel's about 200 of them in this period in Earth's History Enoch called Them Watchers.

Enoch said these beings grew too 3000 feet in Height that they got so big Earth could not sustain them the Giants and their Brethren consumed everything but could not satisfy their hunger so they began to eat Us.

They were tyrannical, their Cruelty knew know bounds they were an oppressive lot who lived. The blood of innocence were shed upon the Earth because of Their Wars that they continually fought.

God in The Bible is A God of Justice although, People tend too not approve on How God chooses to execute that Judgement that Is Not My Problem.

First thing God does is too punish those Rebellious Angels for The Sin of Presumption and for their Carnal Sins and the crimes they committed against Creation, against Earth and Our Ancestors who came before Us.

God has Them bound in chains by the Good Angels where they are immediately taken and thrown into Tartarus in complete utter darkness ( I'm not kidding Tartarus) this is Hell actually there are Two Hells that exist in The Universe which means Hell Is Not On Earth.

I'll share a few names of those Angels in question: in all honesty these are the names Enoch provided in Enoch 1 Book of the Watchers.

1. Abbaddon aka Apollyon
2. Artaqifa
3. Armen well now I know the origins of Armenia.
4. Azazel Ningirsu god of war temple found in Turkey 2020 figure etched in Temple Stone bears Wings the wings resemble butterflies or Moths.
5. Armaros
6. Asbeel
7. Asael
8. Araklba
9. Araqiel
10. Amezarak
11. Batarjal I believe these specific Angel's is the origin of Ba'al.
12. Baraqiel in Hebrew means Giver of Lightening or other translations Lightening Giver and why The baals were considered storm deities I believe Ba'al is their Family Name.
13. Busasejal
14. Baraqijal
15. Ananel
16. Danjal
17. Danel
18. Daniel
19. Ezeqeel
20. Ezeqiel
21. Gadreel seduce Eve in Eden thus Sin came into the World.
22. Hananiel
23. Jeqon
24. Jomjael
25. Kasdeja
26. Kasbeel
27. Kokabiel
28. Neqael
29. Penemue
30. Ramiel
31. Rameel
32. Ramiel
33. Samjaza
34. Simapesiel
35. Samlazal
36. Samsapeel
37. Sariel possibly Ares?
38. Shemyaza
39. Satarel He could be Saturn or Ares too.
40. Shamsiel
41. Satal Greek Name Atlas
42. Taba'et
43. Tamiel
44. Tamiel (Not making it up 2 Tamiels)
45. Turael
46. Turel
47. Tumael
48. Urukibel
49. Yomiel
50. Zaqiel
51. Jetrel led the other 199, Angels to Sin Carnally with Human Women.

All 51 and the other 150 are still bound in Tartarus in chain's God's not letting them out till Judgement Day.

The Angel's Children The Titan's, The Giant's, The Monster's, Ogre's, and Trolls were changed into Demons and Evil-Spirits. Remember They live forever until Judgment Day arrives for them.

Going back to Ragnarok, Ragnarok took place as well The Twilight of the quote gods Because of the Flood.

Remember Thor attacking the giant snake? Thor is the Son of the Fallen Angel Shemyaza his name in Hebrew is Oh ya I may have changed his name a bit so it could be spelled this way Oy ha?

Why don't we stick with Thor? Thor killed The Leviathan henceforth the giant snake mentioned with Ragnarok. The most intriguing thing about this specific Ancient Story is that it indicates that life will go on without Them that New Era in Human History is unfolding in Earth's History.

For me I believe this change to be Noah and his Family to begin Life anew. Which is why the following events involving Thor is so important.

The entire telling is transcribed in Enoch 3 The Book of Giant's.

Thor's fellow Giant's monsters and friends were fighting death they swam in the Waters as the Great Flood raged around them and this was in direct defiance of God's Judgement against Them.

God sent His Servant The Leviathan too Eat the Giants, and the monster's (poetic Justice since they ate Us) those children's Angel Father's were made to watch their Children die before being thrown into Tartarus.

That was to pay the Angel's back for the blood of the innocence shed by Their Son's Hand's; while Human Mothers and Fathers could only look on while their Human Babies were Killed by Them.

Thor wound up killing The Leviathan with his bear hand's, I guess he forgot his hammer.

This feat by Thor son of Shemyaza only served too enrage God.

God said of Thor "He killed My Servant The Leviathan, Raphael bind Him up and throw Him into Tartarus with His Father: meaning Shemyaza.

According to Enoch 3 It was an Epic battle across The Universe but, Raphael turned out too be stronger than Thor He bound Him with chains and threw Him into Tartarus with His Father Shemyaza.

At some point in Ancient History throughout The World you will indeed find Stories of an Apocalypse some similar to Ragnarok.

I think the reason we have so many stories points back too Noah and his Family. Noah was 10th generation from Adam while His Son's and Daughter in laws were the 11th generation from Adam and Eve.

Before The Flood these 8 were witnesses to that World that existed and with it the Stories from Old going all the way to The Garden of Eden when the events with the Tower of Babel took place with the introduction of multiplicities of languages around I believe that The Names of the People who lived Long Ago were changed.

I know from Jubilees that The Language everybody spoke before Tower of Babel was Hebrew.

I feel that examining the players in history we need only too translate their names from the current language into Hebrew and We Will Find Them.

I guarantee its a Blessing Enoch shared the name's of 51 out of the 200 Watcher Angels that Sinned in the Time of Jared.

Alright I had fun with this article looking forward to reading more of your articles thank you for sharing so until next time Goodbye!

RJ Vehemente's picture

I think that ragnarok is the great flood because of the new people repopulated the earth. The gods reffering to are the fallen angels who give life to some abominations in the world.

thanks for sharing infor.. very useful

this site very helpful for reader and get more information here, and i found this blog good infomation and sharing about all

I think of you are right on both counts, yes it is a residual memory, of an actual event and yes it will come again reasonably soon as we are heading back through that very nasty and very big asteroid belt.

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