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Post  Admin on 10/27/2008, 1:08 am


by Micha F. Lindemans
In Norse mythology, Jormungand is one of the three children of the god Loki and his wife, the giantess Angrboda. The gods were well aware that this monster was growing fast and that it would one day bring much evil upon gods and men. So Odin deemed it advisable to render it harmless. He threw the serpent in the ocean that surrounds the earth, but the monster had grown to such an enormous size that it easily spans the entire world, hence the name Midgard Serpent. It lies deep in the ocean where it bites itself in its tail, and all mankind is caught within his coils.
At the destruction of the universe, Jormungand and Thor will kill each other.


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Re: Jormungand

Post  Admin on 10/27/2008, 1:09 am


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Thor goes fishing for the Midgard Serpent in this picture from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript.

Jörmungandr is a sea serpent of the Norse mythology, the middle child of Loki and the giantess Angrboða. According to the Prose Edda Odin took the three children, Fenrisulfr, Hel and Jörmungandr. He tossed Jörmungand into the great ocean that encircles Midgard. The serpent grew so big that he was able to surround the Earth and grasp his own tail.
Jörmungandr's arch enemy is the god Thor. There are three known myths detailing their encounters.
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Lifting the cat

In one, Thor encounters the serpent disguised as a colossal cat by the giant king Útgarða-Loki. As one of the tasks set by Útgarða-Loki, Thor must lift the cat, and though he is unable to lift such a monstrous creature as Jörmungandr, he comes so close that when the deception is revealed by Útgarða-Loki it is still an impressive feat. This myth is only found in the Prose Edda.[edit]

Thor's fishing trip

Another encounter came when Thor went fishing with the giant Hymir. The two did not get on, and when Hymir refused to provide Thor with bait, Thor struck the head off Hymir's largest ox to use as bait. They rowed to a point where Hymir often sat and caught flat fish, and he drew up two whales. Thor demanded to go farther, and so they did. Hymir told Thor that the part they were at was unsafe, because of the Serpent, but Thor ignored him, and to Hymir's horror they rowed out further.
Thor fighting the sea serpent, Henry Fuseli, 1788.

Thor then prepared a strong line and a large hook, and Jörmungandr bit. Thor pulled the serpent up; the two faced off, Jörmungand dribbling poison and blood. Hymir went pale with fear, and as Thor grabbed his hammer to kill the serpent, the giant cut the line, leaving the serpent to sink beneath the waves.
This encounter seems to have been the most popular motif in Norse pagan art. Four picture stones can be definitely linked with the myth. Thor's foot goes through the boat as he struggles to pull up Jörmungandr in the Altuna picture stone.


The final battle

Their last meeting will come at Ragnarök, when Jörmungandr will drag himself from the Ocean and poison the skies. Thor will kill Jörmungandr and then walk nine steps before falling dead from the serpent's poison.[edit]


The major sources for myths about Jörmungandr are the Prose Edda, Húsdrápa, Hymiskviða and Völuspá.
Less important sources include kennings in skaldic poetry. For example in Þórsdrápa, Faðir lögseims, "father of the sea-thread", is used as a kenning for Loki.
There are also image stones from heathen times depicting the fishing encounter.[edit]

See also


Familiar forms

Jörmungandr is also sometimes referred to as the Midgard Serpent (Miðgarðsormr) or the World Serpent. His name is sometimes anglicized as Jormungandr, Jormungand or Iormungand.


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