A Blog about Norse Fantasy, Viking Adventures, and More!

Thor’s Day Alert #31: Ragnarok, part three

Happy Thor’s Day, everybody!

As promised here’s the final part of the Ragnarok tale, as told in the Prose Edda and translated by Jean I. Young. Unlike the first and second installments, this section contains both prose and verse. Witness:

Then Gangleri asked: ‘What will happen afterwards, when heaven and earth and the whole world has been burned and all the gods are dead and all the Einherjar and the whole race of man? Didn’t you say before that everyone will go on living for ever in some world or other?

Then Third answered: ‘There will be many good dwelling-places then and many bad. The best place to be in at that time will be Gimle in heaven, and for those that like it there is plenty of good drink in the hall called Brimir that is on Okilnir [Never Cold]. There is also an excellent hall on Nidafjoll [Dark Mountain] called Sindri; it is made of red gold. Good and righteous men will live in these halls. On Nastrandir [Corpse-strands] there is a large and horrible hall whose doors face north; it is made of the backs of serpents woven together like wattle-work, with all their heads turning in to the house and spewing poison so that rivers of it run through the hall. Perjurers and murderers wade these rivers as it says here:

I know a hall
whose doors face north
on Nastrand
far from the sun,
poison drips
from lights in the roof;
that building is woven
of backs of snakes.
There heavy streams
must be waded through
by breakers of pledges
and murderers.

But it is worst [of all] in Hvergelmir.

There Nidhogg bedevils
the bodies of the dead.’

Then Gangleri asked: ‘Will any of the gods be living then? Will there be any earth or heaven then?’

High One said: ‘At that time earth will rise out of the sea and be green and fair, and fields of corn will grow that were never sown. Vidar and Vali will be living, so neither the sea nor Surt’s Fire will have done them injury, and they will inhabit Idavoll where Asgard used to be. And the sons of Thor, Modi and Magni will come there and possess Mjllnir. After that Baldr and Hod will come from Hel. They will all sit down togather and convers, calling to mind their hidden lore and talking about things that happened in the past, about the Midgard Serpent and the wolf Fenrir. Then they will find there in the grass the golden chessmen the Aesir used to own. As it is said:

Vidar and Vali
when Surt’s fire has died
will dwell in the temples,
Modi and Magni
Thor’s Mjollnir will own
at the end of the battle.

While the world is being burned by Surt, in a place called Hoddmimir’s Wood, will be concealed two human beings called Lif and Lifthrasir. Their food will be the morning dews, and from these men wil come so great a stock that the whole world will be peopled, as it says here:

Lif and Lifthrasir
in Hodmimir’s wood
will be hidden;
the morninig dews
their food and drink
from thence will come men after men.

And you will think this strange, but the sun will have borne a daughter no less lovely than herself, and she will follow the paths of her  mother, as it says here:

Glory-of-elves’ to a girl
will give birth
before Fenrir overtakes her,
when the god are dead
she will pursue
the paths of her mother.

And now, if you have anything more to ask, I can’t think how you can manage it, for I’ve never heard anyone tell more of the story of the world. Make what use of it you can.

A sad but somehow happy ending to the Norse gods and the realms they ruled, no? Sounds like a great place to start a novel!

Having effectively reached the end of Norse myth with the conclusion of the Ragnarok story, this seems like a great place to take a break from my Thor’s Day posts for awhile. (Other writing projects/interests beckon.) I’ll keep up with the Tuesday Althing posts.

Thanks for stopping by! See ya Tuesday the 18th — more Lumsk!


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