The End of the World: Norse Apocalyptic Myth

Topics: Norse mythology, Odin, Fenrir Pages: 3 (713 words) Published: October 8, 2008
In the Norse Apocalyptic myth, Ragnarok, meaning “fate of the gods” is the battle at the end of the world. Not only will the gods and giants pass away in this story, but almost everything else in the world will be torn to shreds as well. What is interesting about this is that the gods all know its going to happen and yet they still defy their future until the very end.

The proof to this story is that it is believable. The first thing is the Fimbulvetr (Terrible Winter) in which there will be three winters back to back. Because of their northern geography it is possible that winter could last longer than normal. The three winters would greatly affect them because their food would become scarce, leading to famine, young would be less likely to survive, and fighting conditions would be worsened. There will be wars and brothers will kill brothers as it says in the Sibyl’s Vision:

Brothers will fight
and kill each other,
do incest;
men will know misery,
adulteries be multiplied
an axe-age, a sword-age,
shields will be cloven,
a wind-age, a wolf-age,
before the world's ruin.
"The Prose Edda"

This prose acts as a proof because these things are already known to happen, though they are looked down upon. In Ragnarok, everything is coming to a close and people are at their worst. The line about a wolf-age is also a good proof because in Ragnarok the moon is swallowed by a wolf, this is a “looks-like” etiology because of our modern day eclipses.

A religious truth of the Ragnarok tale explains why Odin was the great god and ruler of Asgard. He was believed to bring heroes and kings to his Hall of the Slain after they had died in battle. The purpose of this was to feast and be ready to defend Asgard when the time came.

This reveals why the sacrifices the Norse made to him were of captives taken in war. Another truth that reveals why the sacrifices were hung could be because of Odin’s sacrifice of himself by hanging on the tree...
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