Fenrir

The image of Monstrous wolf Fenrir

Fenrir, also known as Fenrisúlfr, was the most monstrous and the most savage wolf in Norse mythology. The word “Fenrir” means “He Who Dwells in The Marshes” or “the Fen-dweller”. In the myth, huge, hairy he appeared. And he got the razor-sharp teeth. Wolf Fenrir was so fearsome for when he opened his mouth, his jaws would stretch from the Earth to the Heaven. Fenrir was the son of Loki the trickster and a giantess Angrboda. This made him become the brother of two other famous villain figures in Norse myth. They were Jormungandr the Midgard Serpent and Hel the Underworld Queen. It seemed that Fenrir and his family got the blood of sin running through his veins.

Image of Fenrir, Jormungandr, and Hel
Fenrir, Jormungandr, and Hel

People also call Fenrir the God of Destruction. This attributed to the foreboding prophecies that told Fenrir would set the whole cosmos in the flame of blood and war and he would slay Odin the Allfather as well.

Image of Odin and Fenrir in Ragnarok
Odin fighting against Fenrir

Wolf Fenrir and his Destiny

Image of Jormungandr
Jormungandr in the sea

Because all of the gods were afraid that the passing of Odin might happen right after the Ragnarok – the end of Gods, they came up with many ideas of separating three children of Loki and supervising them. Specifically, Odin cast the Serpent Jormungandr into the dark ocean where he grew up large enough to circle the whole Midgard (Earth).

Image of Hel the Underworld Queen
Hel the Underworld Ruler

His sister Hel was sent to the underworld where she built up and led her own army of the dead in Helheim. The monstrous Fenrir was the one that worried the God the most so they decided to keep him in Asgard and watch for him. Except for Tyr, no one ever dared to approach Fenrir, not to mention feeding him. When Fenrir grew up at an incredible speed, the gods decided to chain him up. They finally succeeded in fettering him though Tyr lost one of his hands in Binding Wolf Fenrir. The gods sent Fenrir, who was bound with a magical fetter and was stabbed with a sword, to an isolated place where he waited for his times – the Ragnarok.

 

Image of Gods binding Fenrir
The Binding of Fenrir

When the times finally came, Wolf Fenrir broke free and set off burning down the world. He and his father, Loki, spearheaded the war between the giant and the gods. Their army including the giants, the dead from Helheim made their way to the stronghold Asgard. Fenrir fought against Odin the Allfather and swallowed Odin at last. The two armies got the bloodiest battle ever and the world ended up being engulfed in water and darkness. As a revenge for his father’s death, Vidar slew Fenrir with his sword and shoes.

Image of Fenrir being slain by Vidar
Vidar slew Fenrir

Overall

To the ones who admired and praised Odin and gods, Fenrir was obviously a monster and people would never view him as a God. But in the modern sense, Fenrir was not that evil. Many people explain that Fenrir along with the giant and other beings were dissatisfied with the ruling of the Gods who also perpetrated bad deeds such as pledge-breach.