Fun Facts About Norse Mythology – Fenrir

The gods were so delighted that they began to laugh.Fenrir the wolf was born under a dark star.   The son of the infamous Loki and a giantess, Fenrir was the subject of ominous prophecies.  After kicking the subject around the table awhile, the Æsir came up with a brilliant plan to contain the threat.

The Æsir appealed to Fenrir’s vanity, and asked him to test his strength with some nifty shackles.  Breaking out of the first pair was too easy for the enormous wolf, so the gods made a second pair twice as strong.  Fenrir took that challenge too, and won.

Hmm, what to do?

The gods appealed to the smithy dwarves to forge something impossible to break.  They fashioned a ribbon-like shackle called Gleipnir, woven of impossible items (see recipe, below).  Fenrir, suspecting a trick, refused this challenge.  The gods pinky-swore to release Fenrir if he couldn’t break out.

Fenrir was unimpressed.

But he offered the Æsir a deal.  If one of the gods would put his or her hand in Fenrir’s jaws as an act of good faith, he’d take The Gleipnir Challenge.

The brave and heroic god Týr volunteered.

When Fenrir was unable to break free from Gleipnir, the gods rejoiced. All except for Týr, of course, who could no longer clap. 😦  Hats off to Týr, by the way, for taking one for the team.  He had the Right Stuff.

~ S.G. Rogers

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6 thoughts on “Fun Facts About Norse Mythology – Fenrir”

  1. So, 1 through 3 and 5 and 6 are easy. But I have no idea what a bear’s sensibility would be. I don’t know any bears, I think.

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  2. I think the Norse values are alien to our modern way of thinking and it is a shame. I’m glad you put down these tales in entertaining ways (pinky swear–haha) and in modern terms because theY noble values of these people need to be heard by our generation. Think about how many HONEST people that you know who would actually say something and MEAN it and stand by on their promises. Their word is their bond. How many people are like that today? Sadly, very few. Of those noble peope who you know show high credibility would be willing to risk life and limb for the community. Keep in mind that Tyr knew that he was going to lose an arm but went and did it anyway.

    That is the price one pays when they stand up to evil and corruption in the real world. I could show an example every day in the news. You get bit. You get trampled. It hurts. And there are few people today who are willing to stand up for what is right regardless of the personal cost. For me, that is the daily Gleipnir Challenge that we all face. Do we stand up for what is right or mouse up and hope the wolf eats us last? Tyr stopped the bloody rampage of Fenris because he was the only one Fenris trusted. That was the virtue expected of the Norse man and woman of the time: to stand up and face the heat, to live honestly, and to boldly confront evil even at personal cost. If you ask me we could learn a thing or two from the Norse and our world would be a better place.

    Thank you for the fun story. I look forward to more of your posts.

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  3. No Don, While it is easier to equate to our modern terms “a pinky promise” etc this has little to do with a price to pay for stamping out corruption or doing what is right… Actually it is the exact opposite if you actually pay attention to teh story line.

    Fenrir was monstrous in strength and size but still an innocent whelp. In reality they were merely affraid of him due to this simply because he could put up a decent fight and may provide a strong contest of strength if there were to be a fight with no uncertain winner.

    Due to the gods hearing a prophecy of the chaos that Fenrir would do they acted in fear and bound him essentially against his will and kept him bound despite saying they would release him. The GODS LIED to him. Notice how he was not malicious or shy to help them test the other chains. He had no ill will towards them untill they lied to him and bound him for a life sentence.

    In short if you really pay attention the prophecies of Fenrir causing chaos was self fufilled by the hasty and fearing gods ill judgements. There would have been no problems or chaos if he was not tricked, Nor would Tyr lost his hand, and the prophecies would have been falsified should they not acted the way the did and instead allowed things to continue as normal.

    It is a time paradox philosiphy. We know the events of the future but not why it is the way it is. So to stop the bad events from happening we do something that we usually wouldnt have if we hadn’t know of the future events. Our new actions in responce to the future event is what causes the future event to occur ultimately fullfilling the prophecies. If we ignored them entirely or simply didnt know about them we would have acted differently and in this case the events shown wouldnt have happened and fenrir would still just be a strong big wolf instead of as seen as an evil monster.

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