Fenrir is a monster in Norse mythology and one of several monstrous offspring born to the traitorous god known as Loki. Fenrir was born an abnormally large and powerful wolf with great intelligence but an evil temperment and became a formidable enemy of the gods until they arranged for mystical chains to be forged to contain the monstrous beast until the day of Ragnarok. Upon which Fenrir would be released alongside all other evils in order to engage in Ragnarok. He was prophesied to kill Odin, the Lord of Asgard.
Role In Myths
For destined to help end the world, Fenrir was bound as a child with a chain made of impossible things, had a sword stuck in his mouth and was abandoned in the middle of nowhere. The chain's links were:
- The stomping of cats
- The beards of women
- The roots of mountains
- The spit of birds.
- The breath of fishes
- The nerves (ie nervousness) of bears.
Far more law-abiding than one might expect, Fenrir agreed to test the chain as long as they swore to let him go afterwards. When the gods broke heir oaths he bit off the hand of Tyr the war god in recompense.
Anything that might be expected of a wolf whose gape reaches the sky, and whose puppies (Skoll and Hati) are destined to eat the sun and moon someday.
Fenrir is among the most popular of the Norse monsters, alongside Loki, Hel and Jormugandr - as such he is depicted in many modern media outside his original Norse mythology, some well-known examples are:
- Marvel comics, who adapted Thor into a superhero franchise, has Fenrir appear frequently in both the original comics, cartoons and most recently in the live-action film, Thor: Ragnarok.