Polish your horned helmets* and sharpen your axes, freonds, because this Saturday only is the end of the world! I mean sure, we lived through Y2K, the Mayan Apocalypse, the Rapture, death by fire, and heck… Zorp returns every year! What makes the Ragnarok so different from all of these other ends of the world? Well, uh… um…
According to Norse mythology, Ragnarok (which roughly translates to “Twilight/Fate/Death of the Gods”) is the battle to end all battles. On the plains of Vigrid, the Aesir and the warriors of Valhalla shall meet the Jotun and their allies for one final conflict to end their eternal war. The fire giant Surt will set fire to the walls of Asgard and to the Bifrost while the Midgard Serpent, Jormungand, rises from the sea to engulf Vigrid in the waves.
With all of this going on, the Fenrir wolf will break free from his chains to meet Odin on the field of battle, where he will end up devouring the Allfather. Fenrir’s children, Hati and Skoll will devour the sun and moon, plunging the nine worlds into darkness while Thor and Jormungand battle each other to the death. Tyr and Garm, the watchdog of Hel, will do battle as well, leading each of their deaths. As the battle draws to a close, Surt will kill Freyr and set the nine worlds aflame, where they will sink into the sea for eternity. Fear not though! With the mutual destruction of the Aesir and the Jotun, a new, green world will rise from the ashes of the old! Before the battle, Lif (translation: a woman) and Liftraser (translation: a man) will have taken shelter from the carnage and will emerge into this young world to populate it anew! With the image of what is to come clearly in your mind, I’m sure you are thinking, “Saturday? Really? But there is so much I still want to do! How do we even know this is coming?”
Worry not, freond, researchers at the Jorvik Viking Centre have worked out all the details for us! The first sign of the coming storm is a long, cold winter that lasts for three years with no summer in between. In an interview with the Dailymail, Danielle Daglan, who is a researcher at the Viking Centre, said, “There are predictions that we are heading into a mini-ice age thanks to a fall in solar flare activity – what is a mini-ice age but several winters rolled into one?”
Another of the signs, as mentioned earlier, is that Jormungand will free itself from its tail (which it grasped after growing so large it encircled earth) and rise from the sea. For evidence of this beginning, Ms. Daglan poins to the two huge Oarfish that washed up in California in October. The fish were believed to have come to the surface to die due to some distress caused in their natural habitat thousands of feet below the surface of the ocean. The most convincing evidence, though, comes from November 14th of last year when the Gjallerhorn was sounded in York, signaling 100 days until Ragnarok. I mean, that couldn’t have just been coincidence, right? So with the end of the world nigh, it is with the sincerest of hopes that I wish you the best in the upcoming battle, and I pray the Valkyries smile upon you! Let’s Ragnarok and Roll! *Vikings didn’t actually wear these… Giving your enemy something to hold on to is a bad idea.