WHAT IS FENRIR IN NORSE MYTHOLOGY: A POWERFUL SYMBOL
March 24, 20213 min read
In Norse mythology, the wolf Fenrir represents the most rude and vile monstrous creature. He was born from a union between the god Loki and the giantess Angrboda. He is the brother of Jörmungand: the serpent of Midgard and Hel: the queen of the world of the dead.
This mythological animal has marked this myth by its violence and its greed for blood. He was even unfaithful to the gods who took care of him.
Let's follow in this article the circumstances of the horrors committed by this mythical monster.
Overview of the Nordic cosmos
The Aesir represent the tribe of Norse gods, such as: Odin, Heimdall, Thor, Frigg, Loki, Blader, Bragi, and Idhunn. They generally symbolize the powers of nature. They founded their kingdom in the center of the world, called Asgard.
Asgard was built in the highest level of the nine worlds of the Norse cosmos. This cosmos is governed by the tree of life: Yggdrasil, which divided the universe into 3 levels:
The upper level: where the gods are located.
The central level: where the dwarfs, the giants and the men are located.
The lower level: where the dead are located.
Fenrir wolf: A little history
The wolf Fenrir was the Nordic legend of fury and aggressiveness, which so terrorized the Scandinavians. The Aesir took charge of his upbringing, in order to monitor his evolution and prevent him from committing disasters.
Fenrir was growing in a fast and surprising way, so the Aesir decided to chain him up, in order to protect Asgard from his relentlessness.
Given his prodigious power, no one could get close to him. To do this, they made him believe that they would test the potential of his strength by binding him with chains.
The Aesir tried the game several times. For the first attempt, the gods overwhelmed him with a very strong chain, which they named "Loeding". But, thanks to his immense strength, this legendary animal managed to break it easily.
For the second attempt, the Aesir chained him with a stronger chain that they called "Dromi". Like its precursor, this giant wolf managed to break it easily, thanks to its extraordinary strength.
For the third attempt, they changed their strategy to trap this monster. To do so, they forged the chain further to make it stronger and named it "Gleipnir", while keeping the appearance of a soft ribbon.
Fenrir became more wary and accepted the challenge on condition that one of the gods put his hand in his mouth to prove their good faith. Tyr (the god of heaven, justice, victory) took the initiative to put his right arm in his mouth.
The monstrous creature made every effort to break the chain, but in vain. On the contrary, the link became stiffer and stiffer as it tried. It finally bit Tyr's arm, after the Aesir refused to release him.
To prevent its aggressive bite, the gods stuck a sword in Fenrir's mouth, which let its slime flow. According to the myth, this slime was the source of the flow of the rivers Van (hope) and Vil (will). Fenrir remained burdened until the battle of Ragnarök, where he managed to break the chains.
The mating of this titan with the giantess Larnvidia gave birth to the two wolves Hati and Skoll.
The Battle of Ragnarök
In Norse mythology, the Vikings foresaw the arrival of a day corresponding to the end of the world and the disappearance of the gods and goddesses. This emblematic day corresponded to the final battle between the gods and the titans, the events of which took place on the plains of Vigrid.
The battle of Ragnarök was littered with very harsh events, such as:
The devastation of the plains by the waves of poison sprayed by Jörmungand: the Midgard serpent and Fenrir's brother. The ruin and massacres committed by the giant Fenrir who, after his emancipation from the bonds that bound him, spared no effort to devour everything in his path. He even killed the god Odin. This deity was a symbolic god in Norse legend and the fundamental member of the Aesir. The etymology of his name evokes fury, wit and poetry. He was the god of the dead, knowledge, victory, magic, hunting and war. The devouring of the moon and the sun by the wolves sköll and hati (the offspring of Fenrir). The intense hatred of Fenrir towards the gods was concluded by the ruin of Asgard. He was the true terror of the Aesir.
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The black wolf is a member of the canidae family. It belongs to the gray wolf subspecies of the gray wolf. This phenotype, with a completely black coat, is the result of a hybridization of the wolf with the domestic dog.