Fenrir, la légende du loup géant

Fenrir, the legend of the giant wolf

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FENRIR, AN UNUSUAL WOLF

Of all the creatures of Norse mythology, only a minor part could compare to Fenrir, the giant wolf and scourge of the gods. He is the result of the union between the giant Angrboda and the ase Loki god.

With his brother Jörmungandr, the giant snake of Midgard, and his sister Hel, goddess of death, they formed a trio reputed to be feared by the gods, because of their destructive potential.

The first time he was mentioned in myth was in the Edda, a collection of myths and poems written by the Icelandic historian and poet, Snorri. In it, he is described as a being so colossal that when he opened his mouth, his lower jaw touched the earth and his upper jaw grazed the heavens. Its eyes were of ember and its dark coat was of a blackness rarely seen.

This image comes to us from the Pinterest Ralph Bode account: www.pinterest.fr/rsbody

A DANGEROUS BIRTH

As soon as he was born, the gods quickly noticed the danger that the wolf Fenrir could represent. So they decided to restrain him. So they made a first bond, Loeding in order to test Fenrir's skills. Fenrir did not shrink from the challenge and broke the bond easily. The Aesir gods therefore decided to make a second bond, this time so much stronger, Dromi. This was apparently not a success as it did not last as long as the first and gave way under the power of Fenrir. Each release made him stronger and more destructive, giving way to a merciless beast.

The Aesir gods, realising that this was impossible, asked the dwarves of Svartalfheim to fashion an unbreakable bond to imprison Fenrir. The dwarves were reputed to have the ability and the forging skills necessary to forge the magical weapons that the gods possessed. As agreed, the dwarves forged a bond, which they called indestructible : Gleipnir. To make this bond, they used ingredients from the old world, among these ingredients could be found:

  • A woman's beard,
  • Mountain roots
  • Cat footsteps
  • A bear's nerves
  • A bird's spit
  • And fish breath

(we can't imagine how they could create a link with that).

ENCHAINING, A SUICIDE MISSION

As Fenrir became increasingly wary of the Aesir gods, it was going to be complicated for them to approach him in order to chain him. In order to let them approach him, Fenrir proposed a deal to the gods. During the course of the exchange, he had to have the arm of a god in his mouth. Of all the gods, only Tyr had the courage to sacrifice himself. When the wolf realised that the only purpose of the exchange was to bind him, he closed his jaw on Tyr's arm. Thereafter, Tyr would be reputed to be the one-armed god.

By this time it was too late, the magical bond had already encircled Fenrir and this which thus prevented him from moving. After chaining him, Fenrir struggled as best he could and tried to bite them. To stop him, they put a sword in his mouth, the point on the top and the guard on the bottom, leaving room for the numerous illustrations of Fenrir, trapped. Fenrir, mad with rage, declared that he would take revenge and devour all those who had dared to participate in this plan. He announced that when the sun moon disappeared, all fetters would give way, and no one would be able to hide from his revenge.  

This image comes to us from the Pinterest Viking Heritage account: www.pinterest.fr/Viking_Heritage

Two Faithful Children

Before he was chained, Fenrir had two children with a giantess, Larnvidia. His two children, Skoll and Hati were also wolf-like, only much less ferocious. When their father was imprisoned, the two wolves fulfilled their destinies. Skoll pursued Sol, the driver of the sun chariot while Hati pursued Mani, the driver of the moon chariot. It is said that when the two wolves reach their target, there will be no more day and no more night, giving way to Ragnarok.

The Final Battle

This image comes to us from the Pinterest Dibujando account: www.pinterest.fr/dibujando/

The bond forged by the dwarves was extremely strong, indeed it lasted until Ragnarok (the end of the world in Norse mythology). Indeed, during this event, all the chains, imprisoning the spoils of war broke, freeing Fenrir and Loki among others. As written in the prophecy, a giant battle broke out, with the giants, led by Loki, fighting the Aesir. Fenrir went to fight Odin, the leader of the Aesir divine family. After a fierce battle, Odin lost his life, but was saved by one of his sons, Vidar, who used his magic shoe to pierce Fenrir's heart and rip out his brain.

FENRIER'S ADAPTATION TO MODERN CULTURE

Without mentioning the Marvel films that are the most well-known, many works of the XXIᵉ century are inspired by Fenrir and his legend :

  • Silmarillion : an inspiration from Tyr since a giant wolf devours the main character's hand during a trial.
  • Warhammer : A world named Fenris, emblems revolving around the wolf and especially an important character : Leman Russ, who fights with two wolves, Freki and Geri, which are the same names given to Odin's wolves.
  • Harry Potter : Fenrir Greyback, one of the most famous mangemort in the saga, he represents a werewolf driven by rage and anger.
  • Saint Seiya : One of the six divine warriors is named Fenrir and fights with a pack of wolves at his side.
  • Berserk : the dark side of the hero Guts is represented by an enraged and chained wolf, strongly reminiscent of Fenrir.
  • High School DxD : Fenrir fights alongside Loki against Gremory in the underworld.
  • God of war : a famous video game based on Norse myths, Fenrir is obviously featured several times, not as a character but as a quote by Mimir.

FENRIR AND ODIN'S HALL

Fenrir, the legend of the giant wolf

At Odin's Hall, Fenrir is one of our favourite deities. A lot of our designs are inspired by the wolf, we love his violent and destructive side. And according to your feedback, you love him too!

Thanks for reading, it's a pleasure to write for Odin's Hall, the reference brand in accessories from Nordic mythology.

You can visit our Fenrir Collection to find a piece of jewellery representing revenge.

To go further, you can continue reading our blogs on Nordic deities by starting Thor, the god of thunder for example.

You can also leave if you wish, but I confess that we prefer you to stay on our site a little longer.

I'll tell you a bit about our logo if you like ! At Odin's Hall we wanted to have our own logos representing the strong symbols of Norse mythology, and Fenrir he has his of course. I'll put it right below.

Fenrir logo

Do you like it? Then wear our colours by taking the Fenrir T-shirt!

SKOOOLL! Hail to Fenrir!

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