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Jörmungandr - The World Serpent

You've probably heard of the snake that encircles the world, but do you know its story? The Jörmungandr is a fearsome creature from Norse mythology. This giant snake was so large that it could coil around the entire world.

Although Jormungandr may seem like a scary creature, there's a lot to learn from this mythological figure. In fact, this mythical snake has a lot to teach us about life, death, and rebirth. 

Some say he represents the destructive power of nature, while others see him as a guardian of the natural order. No one knows for sure. What we do know is that Jörmungandr is a fantastic creature with a rich and fascinating story. Keep reading to learn more!


Jormungand is one of the oldest entities in Norse mythology. His name means "huge monster" or "great beast," and Jörmungandr pronunciation is YOUR-moon-GAN-dr. Jörmungandr is a giant serpent who is so large that he encircles the entirety of Midgardsomr, the human world. He was born from the union of Loki and the giantess Angrboda and is the brother of Hel and Fenrir. 

There are several theories about the origin of Jörmungandr. One theory suggests that Loki created him as a weapon against the gods. Another theory is that he is the child of Loki and Angrboda (a giantess). It is also possible that he is the son of Odin and Bestla (a giantess).

Jörmungandr, the Midgard serpent, was mentioned in Skaldic Poetry, spanning back to before the 9th century CE. The oldest skaldic poem we have today, Ragnar’s Poem by Bragi Boddason, references Jörmungandr specifically.


Jörmungandr is a very powerful and feared creature. He is very aggressive and will often attack without warning or provocation. He is also said to be immensely strong, and his coils are unbreakable. 

In addition to his physical might, Jörmungandr is also said to be highly intelligent, and he is known to be a master of strategy and deception. He is a cunning opponent who often uses trickery and deceit to defeat his enemies. Overall, Jörmungandr is a fearsome creature that should not be underestimated.

Why Was Jörmungandr Banished From Asgard?

The three great beasts of Norse mythology - Fenrir, Jörmungandr, and Hel - were said to be the children of the giantess Angrboda and Loki, the trickster god. According to legend, they grew up in Jotunheim, the realm of the giants, until the gods of Asgard received a prophecy that they would cause trouble in the future. 

As a result, Odin removed them, Fenrir was chained up, Hel was banished to the underworld, and Jörmungandr was thrown into the sea, and he grew so large that it eventually encircled the entire world. While their mother mourned their loss, the three beasts grew into fearsome creatures that would one day play a role in Ragnarok, the final battle between the gods and giants. 

Jörmungandr And Gods’ Relation

Jörmungandr loathes the Aesir gods, Thor and Odin in particular, for nearly exterminating the giant race. He is considered to be the arch-enemy of Thor, the Norse god of thunder. 

First Encounter Of Jörmungandr And Thor

In one story, Thor encounters the giant king Utgarda-Loki and has to perform difficult tasks for him, including a challenge of Thor's strength. Útgarða-Loki lures Thor into trying to lift the World Serpent, who is camouflaged as a large cat by magic. Thor lifted the cat by its midsection, but only high enough for one of its paws to dangle in the air. 

After Útgarða-Loki explains his deception, he compliments Thor on lifting the cat, as it elongated the serpent and made it come close to touching the sky. The boundaries of the universe would have been altered had Thor succeeded in lifting the cat entirely from the ground.

Jörmungandr Will Cause Ragnarok

Jörmungandr is said to be the cause of Ragnarok, the end of the world. He is fated to kill and be killed by Thor during the Ragnarök. 

It is said that when Jörmungandr releases his tail, the world will collapse into the sea. The sea will rise, and the serpent will lash onto the ground. It will advance, spitting venom to fill the air and water beside Fenrir,  a gigantic creature with eyes and nostrils that blaze with fire. His mouth is opened so wide that it stretches to the sky. The sons of Muspell will join forces with Loki's children to fight the gods on the Vigrid plain. The final encounter between the serpent and Thor is anticipated to take place here.

In Norse mythology, Ragnarok is the final battle between the gods and giants, which results in the death of many gods and heroes. We don't know why, but it's safe to say that Thor and Jörmungandr hate each other because of something Thor said when he tried to lift the serpent from Utgarda-Loki. Jörmungandr is said to fight against Thor and eventually kills him. Although victorious in slaying the serpent, Thor succumbed to Jörmungandr's poison and took nine steps back before succumbing to death. 

How Will It Take Place?

At the end of days, the great wolf Fenrir will break free from his bindings. Hel will supply him with an army of the dead, and Jörmungandr will release his tail and rise from the seas. The forces of chaos will then descend upon the gods and their heroes in a final, apocalyptic battle known as Ragnarök.

This great conflict will see many of the most powerful beings in all existence fighting and dying. In the end, however, it is prophesied that only one side will remain standing: the victorious side of chaos. Ragnarök is an important event in Norse cosmology and marks the end of Asgard as we know it.

How is Jörmungandr the Symbol of Transformation?

There are many interpretations of Ragnarök, but one common thread is that it is a cycle of death and rebirth. It is consistent with the symbolism of serpents often seen as agents of transformation. In many ancient cultures, serpents were associated with death, destruction, and regeneration. Therefore, some scholars believe that the Jormungandr symbol is of transformation in many belief systems of the ancient world.