For Readers: Ragnarok

Excerpt taken from Matt Thorsen’s copy of the Book of Blackwell (a primer given to all students at Blackwell Elementary School, Blackwell SD):


The Godsof the North, the aesir, are great fighters, so much so that those gods--and heroes who die in battle--have a special afterlife: they will go to Valhalla.   It is an honor to die in battle.

The gods and good Norsemen know how to fight against impossible odds. In the old days, when the world was young, the men from the North raided and conquered. They lived in harsh condition, yet they were strong and survived. Today, in Blackwell, that blood flows through the veins of the descendants of the gods.

One day, a time will come that will be the beginning of the end. The Winter of Winters will come. Families will feud, and crops will die. 

Then, the wolves Skoll and Hati will consume the sun and moon, plunging the earth into darkness. The stars will vanish from the sky, and earthquakes will wrack the world, freeing the monsters that were bound by the wise gods. 

And the sea will writhe as the Midgard Serpent thrashes.  In its thrashing, giants will be freed. From Niflhiem, the dead will come on a great ship, steered by the trickster god, Loki, father to monsters, son of giants, and creator of much trouble for the gods.  Fire giants will join in the battle; the great hound will fight. Loki will lead the monsters.

This is the final battle; it is Ragnarok, when many gods will die. Odin will perish at the hands of the great wolf, Fenrir, who will shake off his fetters to destroy the one-eyed god. Thor will be killed by the Midgard Serpent—but not before he wounds the serpent fatally.