The fact that Norse mythology contains a myth describing their prediction for the end of the world — Ragnarok — very interesting. Most cultures do not have a myth about the world ending, but are rather focused on how the world and everything in it came to be, and life in this world. It seems that either they did not think that one day everything would come to an end, or they chose to ignore it, perhaps because the idea frightened them. None of these tales however entail the end of the world completely — life continues in a new direction following the destruction.

The Norse seem to embrace the idea of the end of the world, even coming up with a detailed narrative prediction of it. Also interesting is that the Norse gods themselves are destroyed in Ragnarok. In the few other tales of destruction, for example the great floods in Mesopotamian mythology and the Bible are caused by their respective gods/God. Rather than being destroyed by a great flood, in Norse mythology the world ends in a great battle between the gods and entities such as the wolf Fenrir and the Midgard Serpent. Here there is a focus on the end of the world being natural, rather than caused by the actions and behaviors of humans.

Perhaps it is because their lives involved so much fighting that death and destruction were constant companions — so much so that death was often embraced and not mourned or feared — that the ultimate destruction of their world was not such a foreign or scary concept.

I stumbled across an article about the world ending (again!) this time with Ragnarok, which got me thinking. Why are apocalyptic predictions such a popular theme in the world today? While the argument presented contains many problems, logical and otherwise, I found this article to be interesting and entertaining. I hope you enjoy!



2 thoughts on “Ragnarok. The End of the World?

  1. Death as said was sort of embraced if only because if they were to die in battle gloriously they would be accepted into Valhalla. Apocalyptic predictions are popular in the world today in my opinion are because of the issues that we are now facing; global warming, lack of oil, new disease. All of these are factors that make us shiver in the face of what we will do when these issues become great enough that we are forced to embrace it and not turn a blind eye.

  2. Pingback: Ragnarök, the “Doom” of the Gods! By Larisa Hunter | The Asatru Community

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