Fenrir : The Giant Wolf
In Norse mythology, the fearsome beast known as Fenrir was the child of the demoniac god Loki and the giantess Angerboda. Fearing that he would become an evildoer, the gods tied him with a chain made of various elements, such as the sound of a cat’s footsteps, the beard of a woman, the breath of fish, and other occult elements.
When the chain was placed on him, he bit off the hand of Tyr, who was a prominent god in Norse mythology. He was then bound and gagged until Ragnarok, the Norse equivalent of the Doomsday. According to one version of the story, he will fight against the powerful god Odin, swallow him and also consume the sun. In both Iceland and Norway, poets have been talking about the day when Fenrir will break free and wreck havoc.
Like all of Norse mythology, the story of Fenrir is told through a Christianized lens today. There are various wolves in Norse mythology, such as Skoll and Hati, but it is believed that most of them were originally based on actions performed by the fearsome creature Fenrir. Although he is regarded as an antagonist, the story makes it clear that the treatment of Fenrir by the gods contributed to his decision to align himself with the forces of chaos.
The traditional tales speak of Fenrir as being an extremely large wolf similar to the Grey and Black wolves that are known to inhabit the forests of Norway and Iceland.
Fenrir is the son of the god Loki and the giantess Angerboda, which makes him the brother of the serpent Jormungandr and the underworld goddess Hel. A prophecy informs the gods that these three children will one day cause the gods great distress and so Odin either sends for them or leads the expedition that takes them from their mother.
The three children are Fenrir the wolf, Jormungandr the serpent, and Hel, a goddess who is half living woman and half a blue, decomposing corpse. Fenrir is the father of the wolves Sköll and Hati Hróðvitnisson.
The name of the beast Fenrir comes from the Old Norse word which means “fen-dweller.” He is also known as Fenrisúlfr meaning “Fenrir’s wolf” which is often translated as “Fenris-wolf”. He is also referred to as Hróðvitnir meaning “fame-wolf” and Vánagandr meaning “monster of the River Ván”, or Vanargand.
Powers and Abilities
Fenrir is known to be extremely powerful considering that he is the son of a god and a giant, imbibing strength and intellect from his parents. He was very docile and lived in harmony with the gods at Asgard before he was deceived by the very same gods. He was very strong and required special chains made by the master blacksmith dwarves at Nidavellir to bind him until Ragnarok. Even this binding process required trickery and deceit to subdue him.
Modern Day Influence
Fenrir has been a popular character that has been used in multiple movies, stories, comics and video games. In Assasins Creed Valhalla, Fenrir is a major boss level that the players need to clear. Fenrir gained worldwide popularity after the release of the Marvel movie Thor : Ragnarök where Fenrir had considerable screen time during the final battle. Apart from this, Fenrir has regularly featured in the fictional Norse universe in Marvel comics and other novels.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Fenrir the god of?
Fenrir is not technically a god. He is a monstrous wolf who plays a major role in Norse mythology and is the son of Loki, a god in the mythology.
Who kills Fenrir at Ragnarok?
Fenrir battles with Odin at Ragnarok in Norse mythology and kills him. Fenrir is then killed by Vidarr, a son of Odin.
Is Fenrir male or female?
Fenrir is one of the many male wolves in Norse mythology along with Garm.
Why did Fenrir turn evil?
Fenrir was initially a member of the Norse pantheon and was a loyal servant of the gods. As Fenrir grew in size, the gods realised that the would not be able to control him if he grew bigger. This made them imprison Fenrir and this act of deceit by the gods turned Fenrir against them.
In what modern game does Fenrir feature?
Fenrir is an important character in Gods of War : Ragnarök.