The Midgard Serpent, Jörmungand

The Midgard Serpent, Jörmungand

If you’ve read Unbound, you know who Jormun is. What you may not know is that he is my twist on the famous Midgard Serpent, also known as Jörmungand (and a bunch of other names) from Norse mythology.

Jörmungand is one of Loki’s three children with the giantess Angrboda. His brother, Fenrir appears in Guardian’s Keep. His sister, Hel presides over the region of the dead (also called Hel).

According to The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson, Odin threw Jörmungand into the ocean that encircles Midgard (land of humans). The Midgard serpent, sometimes referred to as a dragon, grew so big that it was able to completely circle the world and grasp its own tail, creating one of many ouroboros from world mythologies. (I use the Midgard Serpent ouroboros on the ouroboros Midgard Serpent as used in Nine Worlds seriestitle page of all of my Nine World stories/books.)

I don’t touch on this in Unbound, but Jörmungand’s arch-enemy is Odin’s son, Thor. Their story begins when Thor pretends to be a normal youth and encounters a giant with whom he goes fishing. The giant tries to stop at his normal fishing spot, but Thor insists on going further, even though the giant warns of encountering the Midgard Serpent. After a bit, they stop and Thor baits his hook with a giant ox head. Immediately, the Midgard Serpent takes the bait, getting the hook stuck in the roof of its mouth. The serpent is so strong that it jerks Thor against the boat. Angry, the Norse god dug in until his feet went through the boat’s hull and into the bottom of the sea. The Midgard Serpent appears, angry as well and spewing poison. Afraid, the giant cuts Thor’s line, freeing the serpent, but before the serpent can disappear, Thor throws his hammer at it. Read the full story of the Thor and the Midgard Serpent here.

The two meet again later, during Norse myth’s version of the end of times, Ragnarok. (Although Ragnarok is more aptly described as the end of a cycle, much like an ouroboros… ending only to begin a new.)

In Unbound, I made Jormun a shape-shifter with designs of becoming a god of sorts of his own.

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