Ragnarök la bataille finale de la mythologie nordique

Ragnarök: The Final Battle of Norse Mythology

In Norse mythology, Ragnarök is a series of events, including a great battle, which leads to the end of the world . Ragnarök is told in the Poetic Edda and in the Edda of Snorri Sturluson. The word Ragnarök, from Old Narrese, is interpreted as the “final destiny of the gods”.

What is Ragnarok?

ragnarok story

Ragnarök is the final battle of Norse mythology , the one that marks the end of the world . The first harbinger of the coming of Ragnarök is the death of the god Baldr (Balder) , son of Odin. Then, after a three-year sunless winter named Fimbulwinter , the wolves Sköll and Hati swallow the sun and the moon .

Finally, Ragnarök is announced. It is the red rooster Fjalar who is in charge of warning the giants that the battle is beginning. Another warned the dishonored dead of Hel , and yet another named Gullinkambi warned the Gods in Asgard .

Viking Ragnarok Bracelet

The confrontation takes place on the plain of Vigrid . In the Poetic Edda we read: “Brothers will fight and kill each other, parents will defile their own bed; Harsh weather in the world, universal adultery, time of axes, time of swords, shields are split, time of storms, time of wolves, before the world crumbles; No one will spare anyone. »

On the plain of Vigrid, on one side the gods and the Ases - led by Odin and supported by the warriors who died in battle, the Einherjars - clash, on the other the god Loki , accompanied by the sons of Muspell, the ice giants and other monsters such as the Jörmungand . The unworthy dead, straight from hell, also come to help them.

At the start of the battle, the Midgard monster rises from the water and splashes its tail so much that immense waves crush the land. For his part, Sturtr, a fire giant, sets Asgard, the house of the Gods, on fire . The Fenrir wolf frees himself from his chains and leaves to kill.

Gods and men die there

Many perished during Ragnarök. The gods Odin, Thor, Tyr, Freyr and Loki died there.

Odin's death

Death Odin Fenrir

During Ragnarök, Odin rides his horse Sleipnir and wields his spear Gungnir . At the head of his army, the God is killed by the wolf Fenrir that he had imprisoned years ago. Facing the giant beast, Odin throws his spear towards his target's eye. But Fenrir swallows it and sneers. In a second snap of the mouth, Odin disappears. The son of the God, Vidar, then wants to avenge his father . He thrusts his sword into the heart of the wolf.

Tyr's Death

Tyr fights Garm , the watchdog of the gates of Hel, the realm of the dead. In their battle, the two kill each other .

Thor's Death

Death Thor Jormungand

Thor fights the serpent Jörmungand , which he manages to kill. But he dies in his turn, after having taken nine steps, from the venom of the beast which had bitten him during the fight.

Freyr's death

Death Freyr Surt

The god Freyr dies against Surtr , the fire giant. In the Edda, it is stated that "the cause of his death will be that he will lack the good sword which he gave to Skirnir", when he sent him to seduce Gerd.

The death of Loki and Heimdall

Eventually, Loki and Heimdall fight each other and end up killing each other .

The world after Ragnarök

Idavoll Ragnarok

The land emerges again from the sea and recovers its greenery. Crops grow back without even being sown. Odin's sons – Vidar, Vali and Hoenir – survived the great battle . The same goes for Thor's sons - Modi and Magni -, and the two humans - Lif and Lifthrasir - who had taken refuge in the Yggdrasil tree during the fight. They will be able to repopulate the world. The god Baldr, meanwhile who died long before Ragarök, returns from the world of darkness.

The survivors of Ragnarök build their new homes in Idavoll , the center of Asgard which was untouched. The largest of them has a golden roof and is called Gimli. This is where people now live. In the Edda it is stated: "She sees a hall rise up fairer than the sun, covered with gold, at Gimli: there the faithful troops shall dwell, and for eternity shall enjoy happiness." . Another house is built : Brimir.

The world of Naströnd, or the shore of corpses, is still present after Ragnarök. In the Edda it is written: "On the On the shores of the Nastrandir rises a great and sinister hall, the doors of which face north. It is entirely braided with the backs of serpents, and their heads, which are all turned inward, spit venom, so that along the hall flow rivers of venom, in which the perjurers and the murderers walk . .

Studies about Ragnarök

Some specialists assure that Ragnarök is inspired by biblical stories . We then think of the Apocalypse , the Last Judgment or even Ecclesiastes. It is true that we notice many similarities between the Bible and Ragnarök. Lif and Lifthrasir, the only survivors able to repopulate the world, can be compared to Adam and Eve . In Ragnarök they are hidden under the Yggdrasil tree , in the bible they are under the apple tree . Baldr , who also returns after Ragnarök, is reminiscent of the resurrected Christ . For others, Gimli may represent what Heaven is for the Christian religion.

Some scholars claim that Ragnarök is inspired by entirely real facts , and partly from the veil of dust of 536. This natural disaster arrived in Scandinavia in the 6th century. It is a volcanic eruption which at that time leaves a thick and persistent fog in the air. In fact, the summer seasons have been shortened for several years. If the sun shone sometimes, the luminosity remained however weak. It is said that almost 75% of Swedish villages, in some areas, have been abandoned. More than 85% in Norway. Are you making the link?

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