Ratatoskr, the Messenger Squirrel of Yggdrasil: His role in communication between different worlds

In Norse mythology, messengers play a crucial role, racing across worlds to share news, warnings or rumors. Ratatoskr, the nimble squirrel of Yggdrasil, stands out as a fascinating and picturesque figure. At the heart of this mythological tale is the World Tree, Yggdrasil, which links the nine worlds through its branches and roots. This article explores the myths surrounding Ratatoskr, his impact on mythic communication and his persistence in popular culture.


Yggdrasil: The World Tree

Description of Yggdrasil

Yggdrasil is a gigantic entity in Norse mythology, an eternal ash whose enormity stretches across the different worlds. It is the symbol of universal connection, a pillar of the mythological universe Nordic.

The nine worlds of Yggdrasil

Around Yggdrasil are organized the nine worlds, home to different beings, from gods to humans to giants and dwarves. These worlds reflect a cosmic and cultural diversity.

Yggdrasil's symbolic meaning

Beyond its materiality, Yggdrasil embodies many themes such as creation, interdependence and resilience. It is the pulsating heart of Norse mythology, a backbone that supports the architecture of Scandinavian stories.

Ratatoskr : The Squirrel of Discord

Mythological origins of Ratatoskr

Ratatoskr's origins are shrouded in mystery. Few primary sources detail his genesis, but his presence is a colorful element in the tapestry of Nordic legends.

Physical description and attributes of Ratatoskr

Ratatoskr, by nature a squirrel, is depicted as agile and lively. The liveliness of his movements enables him to thread his way through the branches of Yggdrasil to accomplish his mission as a messenger.

Myths and legends associated with Ratatoskr

The Norse sagas mention Ratatoskr mainly as a bearer of words, often sowing discord. His adventures reveal intriguing aspects of the Nordic psyche and society.

Ratatoskr's role

Communication between worlds

Messages between eagles and Nidhogg

Ratatoskr serves as courier, passing messages between the eagle, perched atop Yggdrasil, and the serpent-dragon Nidhogg, who gnaws at its roots. This role evokes the complexities of diplomacy and the spread of conflict.

Interaction with other Yggdrasil creatures

In addition to his exchanges with the top and bottom of the World Tree, Ratatoskr rubs shoulders and converses with other mythical creatures, extending his influence through storytelling and inter-species relations.

Ratatoskr's function in the mythological ecosystem

In this narrative ecosystem, Ratatoskr embodies not only the messenger, but also an agent of dynamism and change. He enlivens the World Tree through his information and mischief.

Ratatoskr : A symbol of discord or cohesion?

The figure of Ratatoskr is the subject of much debate: is he a veritable vector of discord, or an entity that reminds us, by contrast, of the importance of harmony? This duality provides a rich vein for interpretation mythology.

Ratatoskr in modern culture

Appearances in contemporary literature

The charismatic squirrel finds his place in the pages of novels and poetry, setting himself up as a literary figure that lends itself to a smile while carrying a deeper symbolic dimension.

Ratatoskr in visual media (films, series, video games)

In modern visual works - whether on the big screen or in the interactive worlds of video games - Ratatoskr is clad in new finery, appealing to an ever-wider audience.

Symbolism and modern interpretations of Ratatoskr

The filigree of Ratatoskr in contemporary art and thought embodies a diversity of interpretations, from mischief to wisdom, reflecting the polymorphous character of Nordic oral tradition.


In summary, Ratatoskr remains a central element in Nordic mythology, playing an indispensable role as the bearer of news and discord. His influence is felt far beyond the Nordic mythological corpus, extending into our cultural heritage and paving the way for new narrative and symbolic perspectives.


  • The Eddas, compilations of Norse mythology and poetry
  • Academic articles and analyses of the Norse tradition
  • Contemporary works inspired by Norse mythology


Glossary of Norse terms

  • Yggdrasil : The World Tree
  • Nidhogg: The serpent that gnaws at the roots of Yggdrasil
  • Midgard: The world of humans

Comparison with other mythological messengers

Hermes from Greek mythology, for example, poses as an intriguing analog to Ratatoskr. Both serve as messengers, but operate in different cultural and symbolic contexts, reflecting the nuances of their respective mythologies.