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Jörmungandr, or also known as Serpent of the World, is a serpentine Beast Jötunn and one of Loki's children in Norse mythology as well as a major player in the events of Ragnarök, which was the Norse version of the End Times (though unlike monothestic faiths Ragnarok was seen as the end of a cycle rather than time itself, with a new world destined to be born from the old world's destruction).

Role in Myths

Jörmungandr was one of the apocalyptic beasts who would lay waste to the current world and help in killing off the current gods (known as the Æsir), though would also be slain in the process, allowing for new life to form from the ashes of the old. The son of Loki and Angrboða, a giantess who was counted among his wives, Jörmungandr was unfortunate enough to be born as a Beast Jötunn like his brother Fenrir due to being born with monster form where in his case, a draconic serpent. As with his canine brother, he was banished by Odin to the depths of the ocean in Midgard due to the threat he pose on the Gods as told in the prophecy. Though this act can be considered as self-fulfilling since Jörmungandr would eventually fulfill the prophecy of Ragnarök regardless, it can be argued that the Gods of Asgard hardly having alternative given that like Loki, Jörmungandr inherited his kind's burning hatred towards them for their murder on Ymir, a hatred than not even wisest of Gods of Asgard can quell.

The prophetess Volla prophesied that at the time of Ragnarok, the Midgard Serpent would be slain by Thor in battle, but then Thor himself would perish by the serpent's venom.

While in the court of Utgard-Loki, Thor was challenged to lift his cat off the ground, but was humbled when the cat managed to keep at least one foot on the ground at all times. Utgard-Loki then revealed his so-called cat was actually the Midgard Serpent in disguise.

Thor went fishing with an ox-head on the boat of the Jötunn Hymir for the Midgard Serpent. Thor succeeded in catching the serpent, but Hymir grew afraid and cut the line believing he was saving Thor from himself. As the serpent retreated, Thor grew angry with Hymir and struck him. He then departed under the power of his hammer as he told Hymir he ought to be grateful that he was letting him live.

Personality

Although not much is known about this serpentine Jötunn's personality beside being animalistic, the Gods of Asgard correctly deduced that Jörmungandr didn't fare better than his lupine brother Fenrir that they casted him to the ocean in Midgard straight away. Though such decision ironically shaped Midgard Serpent into the very apocalyptic beast they feared to become since it was motivated by the grim prophecy pertaining his future, it must be stressed that Jötnar like him harbor strong, genocidal hatred against the Gods of Asgard in the light of their murder on Ymir and that the Gods don't have alternatives, making it justified at the very least.

Modern Media

Jormungandr is a popular Norse monster, though ranking below his siblings Fenrir or Hela as well as his infamous father Loki — nevertheless the "World Serpent" is a common and frequently seen antagonist in many modern takes on the Norse myths, some of the most popular of which include:

  • Marvel Comics, who adapted Thor into a superhero franchise, has depicted Jormungandr as a recurring foe to Thor - both in original comic book format and in more recent cartoons.
  • One of latest updates of For Honor game is introduction of a cult and hero unit named and themed after Jormungandr himself.
  • Jormungandr appears as one of playable characters in online game SMITE.

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