Fenrir, the monstrous wolf: His role in Ragnarök and his relationship with the gods

A legend among legends, Fenrir occupies a feared place in Norse mythology. A gigantic wolf of unrivalled power, he is the son of the mischievous god Loki and the giantess Angrboda. This article plunges you into the fascinating story of Fenrir, exploring his impact on the destiny of the gods and his cataclysmic role in Ragnarök, the end of the world according to Scandinavian traditions.


Birth and childhood of Fenrir

Origins of Fenrir

  • Descent from Loki
  • Meaning of the name Fenrir

Fenrir was born in the icy depths of Jotunheim, the fruit of the disturbing union between Loki and Angrboda. His name reflects his devastating nature, meaning "he who lives in the marshes" in Old Norse; bearing witness to his link with the primordial, savage forces of the world.

Growth and power

Growing at an astonishing rate, Fenrir's size and strength never cease to alarm the Norse gods, who anticipate his power as a threat to their very existence.

Prophecy and the gods' fear

Prophecies predicted that Fenrir would play a major role in Ragnarök, leading the gods to adopt an early defense strategy in an attempt to subdue this mythical creature.

Fenrir and the Aesir gods

Relationship with Odin and the other gods

Mistrust between Fenrir and the Aesir gods, particularly Odin, is mutual and fueled by a prophecy foretelling disastrous events. Odin, father of all the gods, feels Fenrir's shadow looming over his destiny.

The gods' reaction to Fenrir

Frightened by his boundless growth, the Nordic gods decide that it's time to act.

Attempts to subdue him

  • The first two chains
  • The Gleipnir magic link

With cunning, they first try to bind Fenrir with massive chains, which fail in the face of his colossal strength. Then they resort to magic, creating a fine but indestructible thread link called Gleipnir - made from ingredients that don't exist.

Fenrir's role in Ragnarök

The start of Ragnarök

  • Fenrir's liberation
  • The rampage and destruction

Ragnarök begins. In an apocalyptic din, Fenrir frees himself from his bonds, ready to engulf the sun and devour the foundations of Yggdrasil, the World Tree.

The final battle

  • The fight against Odin
  • The consequences of their battle

The confrontation between Fenrir and Odin becomes inevitable, and it's a battle that will alter the course of the universe, echoing the fears and hopes of the Vikings.

Fenrir's posterity after Ragnarök

Although Fenrir is destined for destruction, his role in the cycle of end and renewal is crucial to the metamorphosis of the cosmos.

Representations of Fenrir in modern culture

Literature and poetry

Fenrir inspires works from ancient Eddas to contemporary poems, capturing the collective imagination.

Film and television

Filmmakers and TV series take up the Fenrir figure, bearing witness to its visual and narrative appeal.

Video games and comics

From "God of War" to "Marvel Comics", Fenrir hunts his prey through pixels and illustrated pages.

Symbolism and modern interpretations

The wolf continues to symbolize uncontrollable savagery and the force of nature, reflecting human fears and fascinations.

Comparison with other mythological creatures

Similarities with other mythical wolves

Fenrir is not the only wolf to have left its mark on the world's mythologies; his figure compares with that of similar creatures in other cultures.

Fenrir in the context of world mythology

The comparative study of myths shows Fenrir as a global archetype of the destruction necessary for regeneration.

The wolf as a universal symbol of strength and destruction

Powerful and lightning-fast, the wolf remains a symbol of primitive instincts and uncontrolled power in cultures throughout the ages.


Summing up Fenrir's importance

Fenrir embodies the inescapable destiny that no chain can prevent. A myth that still resonates powerfully today.

Fenrir: between myth and symbol

At the crossroads between ancient history and symbolic narratives, Fenrir operates as a lesson in the cyclical nature of existence.

Fenrir's legacy in Norse mythology and influence

The wolf of the end of time continues to haunt our imaginations, proving the indelible influence of Viking legends and Norse mythology.


In conclusion, this article has been designed for mythology enthusiasts and history buffs, and for all those seeking to understand Fenrir's place in the great fabric of Norse mythology. It hopes to serve as a reference to both informative and engagingly narrated, for exploring the depths of these ancient tales.