Norse Myth Dragons

Who were Norse Myth Dragons?

A dragon is a long, enormous, and serpent-like creature that appears in much mythological folklore. The legends of such majestic creature have by far stretched beyond tales and into the hearts and minds of artists, storytellers, and poets. The dragons are famous for their splendid and sometimes fearsome appearance. Moreover, they are in possession of extraordinary prowess which words could barely explain. The dragons in the modern sense are not totally evil, though in the sense they embodied it was something related to danger, natural chaotic forces, and unpredictable thoughts. Norse Myth Dragons represent the powerful forces of destruction and a great force of evil.

Three dragons that appeared in Norse mythology were Jormungandr, Nidhogg, and Fafnir. Though Fafnir had an unclear connection with Ragnarok, the Doom of Gods, Jormungandr, and Nidhogg closely connected with such disasters.


Nidhogg – the Corpse Gnawer

According to the myth, Nidhogg was a dragon that lives under the roots of Yggdrasil the Great Tree connecting the Nine Worlds. Deep down there, Nidhogg ate corpses. As Yggdrasil was rooted in Helheim– the place of the Dead, Nidhogg was sometimes considered to be the symbol of death. In many depictions, Nidhogg was a giant dragon with evilly shining eyes in the darkness. His body encompassed the roots of Yggdrasil with its deadly jaws open and intending to eat corpses and roots.

Image of Nidhogg under Yggdrasil Norse Myth Dragons
Nidhogg under Yggdrasil

 

Image of Ratatosk Squirrel and the Eagle
Ratatosk Squirrel and the Eagle

Through a squirrel Ratatosk as a communicative means, Nidhogg and an eagle flying on the top of Yggdrasil sent insults and ridicule to each other. However, Nidhogg stayed harmless until the days of Ragnarok finally arrived. And the historical and mortal days were looming large. Nidhogg joined the evil side, carrying the corpses within it wings to partake the final combat with Gods and human.

After all, Nidhogg was of few figures that survived Ragnarok and it carried the ever-present threat to the new beginning of the cosmos.

 


Jormungandr – The Mortal Enemy of Thor

Jormungandr was the son of Loki the trickster and a giantess. This made him become the brother of Wolf Fenrir and Hel the God of Death.

Image of Jormungandr Midgard Serpent Dragon
Midgard Serpent Jormungandr

The Jormungandr figure in Norse myth was illustrated as a serpent-like creature, his appearance resembled a dragon a lot though. Odin the Allfather cursed this dragon into the deep ocean where he grew huge enough to encircle the whole Midgard. In the dark and deep ocean lay the dragon who was waiting for the days of Ragnarok to come. Finally, the moment Jormungandr released his tail was a harbinger of Ragnarok. On doom days, Jormungandr accompanies his father and brother to come to Asgard. Jormungandr used his terrible breath to poison the whole sky. Thor and Jormungandr fought each other. The god finally slew Jormungandr but he too was killed by the venom of the dragon. What made his name was his connection with the death of Thor the powerful God of Thunder and Storm.

Image of Thor and Jormungandr in Ragnarok Norse Myth Dragons
Thor and Jormungandr last battle

Both of the dragons had a direct link to the most draconic disaster in Norse myth; however, the ending of the myth was not so much bitter. Because after all, there were still signs of reborning and beginning again.


Fafnir – the Greedy Guardian of Gold

In the beginning, Fafnir was actually a dwarf as he was the son of Hreidmar the King of the dwarves. Fafnir then was cursed and killed his father for his gold treasure. He slowly transformed himself into a dragon form and guarded his stolen treasure in the forest. Eventually, his brother, Regin, convinced Sigurd to kill Fafnir and avenge his father’s murder. Overall, while Jormungandr and Nidhogg symbolised death, beginning, and ending, Fafnir represented the bottomless greed and chaos. Nonetheless, to some extent three of these Norse Myth Dragons posed deadly threat to the others.

Image of Sigurd killing Fafnir Norse Myth Dragons
Sigurd killed Fafnir

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