In Scandinavian myth, Ragnarok is a terrible final battle in which the gods are destroyed, along with most of creation and mankind.
According to the story, Ragnarok is preceded by lawlessness and anarchy. There are only two survivors of the cosmic catastrophe : The descendants of Lif and Lifthrasir.
The tale comes to us from two main sources.
- The 13C Poetic Edda (a compilation of earlier traditional sources)
- The 13C Prose Edda by historian, writer and statesman Snorri Sturluson (which makes frequent reference to the Poetic Edda)
The story is by no means some lost fable. Marvel comics has reimagined the Ragnarok cycle in The Mighty Thor¹ and other Thor comics. Several blockbuster films have also merged Thor with other more contemporary heroes like Captain America and The Avengers.
I always find it ironic when some Europeans claim that we have a dearth of culture in North America. These backward folks pride themselves on their crumbling old buildings and statues, turning a blind eye to what’s happening in arts and culture today.
The Ragnarok myth continues… very much alive for those with eyes to see.² And with weapons of mass destruction becoming increasingly sophisticated in the 21st century, this myth is even more relevant now than in the past.
² Two days after writing this I became aware of a new Thor: Ragnarok film slated for release November 2017.