Ragnarok

I’m really not convinced that we aren’t on the road to Ragnarok this winter. Ask me what the temperature is in July and we’ll come up with a firmer stance then.

I’m joking.

Sort of.

Bear with me, this one is a little complicated and there’s more than a slight chance I’m botching this one. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

Ragnarok is actually a series of events that leads up to the destruction of this world and the creation of a new one in the Norse mythology. Described in the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda (both dating to the 13th centuries but pulling from earlier sources) Ragnarok begins with Fimbulwinter, which is a series of three consecutive winters.  On top of the whole ‘Great Lakes freezing over and there being snow blowing around all the time’ thing, war breaks out and families turn on each other.

We’re probably not going to make it. Two people are said to survive. They go and hide in Yggdrasil, the world tree.

Following the winters, things really heat up. The gods begin to battle each other-including Loki who has been released from the rock he’s been chained to as a punishment for killing Odin’s son Baldr. Jormungandr, the serpent swallowing his tail in the seas of Midgard, starts thrashing around which does nothing good for ocean levels. The worlds begin to bleed together; it’s said that people begin to actually travel into Hel on foot.

Fenrir and the other mythical wolves are set free, and Odin is swallowed whole by Fenrir. Fenris is then torn apart by Vioarr, Odin’s son. Thor enters combat with Jormungandr, who slays it but dies himself. Eventually Freyr falls as well.

Eventually the world is submerged by water and the skies go dark as both the sun and the stars are extinguished. However, the story actually ends on a positive note. A great many of the end times stories end with regeneration and this one is the same. In some versions of the story some of the gods return, and people begin to repopulate. In others, there are new gods yet to come, and people begin to repopulate. Either way, humanity will survive and Midgard will be replaced with a new reality.

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