Who is Fenrir in Norse Mythology?

24/11/2021
     Fenrir is, in Norse Mythology, a monstrous wolf that, in Ragnarok, will be freed from its chains and will cause chaos to everyone in front of him. Discover the History and Myth of this creature below.

Fenrir in Norse Mythology:

     Fenrir, in Norse Mythology, is a giant wolf. Fenrir, along with Hel and the Serpent of the World, is the son of Loki and giantess Angrboða. It is attested to in Edda Poetics, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, in Prose Edda and Heimskringla, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. In both the Poetic Edda and Prose Edda, Fenrir is the father of the wolves Skoll and Hati, is the son of Loki and was predicted to kill the god Odin during the events of Ragnarök, but will be killed by Odin's son Víðarr.

     In the Prose Edda, additional information is provided about Fenrir, including that, due to the gods' knowledge of the prophecies that foretold Fenrir's great troubles and his rapid growth, the gods bound him and, as a result, Fenrir ripped off the god Týr's right hand. Representations of Fenrir have been identified in various objects and academic theories have been proposed regarding Fenrir's relationship to other canine beings in Norse mythology. Fenrir has already been the object of artistic representations and appears in literature.

Fenrir in Prose Edda:

     In chapter 13 of the Prose Edda book, Gylfaginning, Fenrir is first mentioned in the indicated stanza of Völuspá. Fenrir is first mentioned in prose in chapter 25, where the enthroned figure of High tells Gangleri (described as King Gylfi in disguise) about the god Týr. High says an example of Tyr's bravery is when the Æsir was enticing Fenrir to put the Gleipnir fetters on the wolf. Fenrir did not trust that they would let him go until the Æsir placed his hand over his mouth in reassurance. As a result, when the Æsir refused to release him, he snatched Tyr's hand away at a place now called the "wolf-joint" or "Wolf Joint" (referring to the bite fit), causing Tyr to go one-handed, something "not considered to be an appeaser of affairs and things between people and peoples."


Edda in Verse:

     Fenrir is mentioned in three stanzas of the poem Völuspá, and in two stanzas of the poem Vafþrúðnismál. In stanza 40 of the poem Völuspá, a völva (in Norse mythology, "volva" is a woman seer, similar to the Geras in Greek myology) discloses to Odin that, in the east, an old woman sat in the Járnviðr forest, and gave birth to her brood there of Fenris. "One will come, among them all, a troll-skinned mooncatcher." Later in the poem, the völva predicts that Odin would be consumed by Fenris in Ragnarok:

So it's complete grief for Hlín when Odin goes to fight the wolf, and Beli's killer, blaze against Surtr. So should Frigg's friend fall.

     In the stanza that follows, the völva describes that "a tall child of the Triumphant Progeny" of Odin (Odin's son Vidar) will then come to "fight the beast of carnage" and that with his hands he will drive a sword into the son. of "Hveðrungr", avenging his father's death.

     In the first two stanzas mentioning Fenrir in Vafþrúðnismál, Odin posed a question to the wise jötunn Vafþrúðnir:

"Much have I traveled, much I have tried, much I have tested the Powers; where has a sun entered the softened sky when Fenrir will assail this one?"

Heimskringla:

     At the end of Heimskringla, in the Hákonar e góða saga, the poem Hákonarmál by the 10th century scald Eyvindr skáldaspillir is presented. The poem tells of the fall of King Haakon I of Norway; that despite being a Christian, he is taken by two Valkyries to Valhalla, and there he is received as one of the Einherjar. At the end of the poem, a stanza reports that sooner would Fenrir's chains break than such a good king as Haakon would sit on his throne:

Loose will be Fenrir Lobo and he will destroy the kingdom of men, before a prince as good as he comes along, to take his place.

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