Skoll and Hati: Devourers of Sun and Moon in Norse myth

Hati and Skoll in Norse mythology

When Ragnarok broke the sky and made Yggdrasil tremble, the Doomsday finally came in Norse mythology. The whole cosmos fell in darkness because the Sun and the Moon disappeared on the sky. It was Skoll and Hati who swallowed these shining stars.

Who were Skoll and Hati?

Skoll and Hati were two wolves that played supporting roles in Norse mythology. Skoll (pronounced SKOHL) means “The Mocker” and Hati mean “The Hater”. In Norse mythology, these wolves ran across the sky every day in the hope of swallowing the sun and the moon. Their attempts only succeeded when Ragnarok was about to happen.

Hati and Skoll the Devourers of the Sun and the Moon in Norse mythology
The notorious wolves chased the Moon and the Sun in the sky when Ragnarok happened in Norse cosmos

Although it is not clearly which pursued the Sun and which pursued the Moon, a stanza by Snorri Sturluson mentioned:

Skoll is the wolf’s name
Who follows the shining priest
To the isolated forest,
And the other is Hati,
Hróðvitnir’s son,
Who chases after the bright bride in the sky

“Stanza 39, Grímnismál, The Poetic Edda”

The noun that Snorri used for Skoll’s prey was “priest” which is masculine. And that for Hati’s prey was “bride” which is feminine. In Norse mythology, the moon was male and the sun was female, this suggested that Skoll pursued the moon while Hati chased the sun.

The Devourer of the Moon in Norse mythology

This stanza also mention the father of Hati (surely of Skoll as well), Hróðvitnir “Notorious Wolf”. And in Lokasenna from Poetic Edda, this name appeared too. It was dedicated to Fenrir the Wolf. So it seemed Fenrir in Norse mythology.

Another support to this came from Völuspá which mentioned the children of Fenrir swallowed the Sun and the Moon prior to Ragnarok.

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