Norse Dragons in Norse Mythology tell the story of the day to day life of the Norse dragons and which reflects that of the modern society. The Norse dragons are embroiled in war, and are greedy for wealth to the point of killing their immediate family members. They fight and kill each other because of jealousy, and are deceitful. Norse Mythology revolves around three dragons with different personalities that play the main characters as explicated in the below excerpt.
Norse Dragon Origin- the Norse dragons originate from Germanic mythology, they are snake like legendary creatures with a huge body structure and are dangerously venomous serpents. What is baffling though is that there hasn’t been a logical explanation of the differences between regular snakes and Germanic dragons given that both of them are referred to as Old Norse ormr.
According to the Germanic fork lore and literature, the wingless and legless worms and lindworms evolved, they therefore, developed wings and transitioned into four legged Romanesque dragons. The conception of the evolution of the worms into dragons is believed to be because of the influence of from continental Europe and which was facilitated by Christianization and the translated romances.
Norse dragon meaning- in the ancient times, the Norse dragon conveyed the ideas of strength and bravery. While the dragon symbol was also used to ward off other scary creatures and beasts thus it was considered a symbol of protection. In the era of the Vikings dragons were deemed indestructible thus a Viking who would manage to kill one, was considered to have mighty strength.
Norse dragon Name
According to the Norse mythology it is believed that there were only three figures and which were also believed to be dragons which were Jormungandr, Fafnir and Nidhogg. If you are however, to look at the dragon names from the Vikings world then they referred to them as dreki. And as you read more about the dragons, you will also find other different sources referring to the dragons as Omr.
Notable is that there are other dragons that did not bear much significance in this story thus we didn’t explicate much on them. For example, there was a dagon that was put to death by the mighty Sigurd, and there hasn’t been any literature that had the name of the dragon. There are other dragons mentioned in the story but none that has a name to go with it.
Jormugandr was a son to loki and giantess Angrbroda. He is also a brother to Wolf fenrir and apart from his famous name Jormgandr he also went by the name the Midgard Serpent. His second name was because he could encircle the Midgard with his tail in his mouth. In essence is that the appearance of Jormugandr was a combination of both the serpent and that of a dragon.
Jomugandr story begins with Odin a god that tossed him into the sea, Jomugandr however had a good connection with another god, Odin’s son who was also the thunder god, going by the name Thor.
After being tossed in the deep dark ocean, Jomugandr nevers stayed under instead he rose above the waves and when the days of Ragnarok began, Jomugandr his father and brother teamed up and journeyed to Asgard to slay the Aesir gods.
Jomugandr was however killed in the fight by his mortal enemy Thor by just hitting him with a hammer. Notable also is that Jomugandr did not go down a loser because Thor also succumbed to Jomugandr poisonous venom. Jomugandr and Thor had a history though short, we are informed that the two met in three different occasions. And the first encounter was when he was running errands for King Utgarda Loki. This first instance was to a test of Thor’s strength, he was then asked to lift a colossal cat that he obviously couldn’t do, but to the shock of everyone who was watching, he lifted one of the cat’s paws. Remember that this whole time the colossal cat was Jomugandr.
The second encounter where the two met was on a fishing trip, and the Thor had brought along the giant Hymir, problems emerged when Hymir refused to provide Thor with a bait for fishing. Thor then decided to take one of Hymirs largest ox and as the fishing went on, Thor was obviously not happy with his catch, so he thought that going deeper into the sea would enable him get a better catch. So Thor and Hymir wen deeper into the sea and that is when Thor pulled out Jomugandr from the ocean.
At this point Thor wanted to kill Jomugandr but instead Hymir cut the line and Jomugandr was thrown back into the sea. The last encounter was when Jomugandr went for war and met Thor, he was killed and Thor also died in the fight after just taking 9 steps. According to the Norse myth Jomugandr is considered the most notorious creature and if we were to relate his character to the modern life then, he is perceived to represent the cycle of destruction, he also represents infinity.
Nidhogg was the second dragon, and who is famous for entangling himself with the roots of Yggdrasil also referred to as the tree of life. Nidhogg had very shiny eyes that shone bright in darkness to the point of splaying is jaws. Notable is that after Ragnarok decided to join the giant army as they went to dethrone the gods of Aesir.
Nid in the norse culture meant the loss of status thus the name was used by the social outcasts. The above is the reason why Nidhogg is connected with the lowest part of the society. Since Nidhogg was entangled by the roots of Yggdrasil, he consequently gnawed on the roots and eve ate the corpses. The gnawing was considered as the eating of souls.
The souls would then find themselves in Nastrond and which was a part of hell that only harbored humans who had the works souls in the world of the Vikings. The characters that ended up in Nastrong are such as the oath breakers, adulterers and murderers. In the Norse myth Nidhogg is later mentioned as one of the dragons that come to live on earth, it is however, not clear what his role was in the story.
In most occasions he carried news that the world was about to come to an end but then his actions could contradict this statement, indicating that he might have saved the world. Remember that his main job was to feed on the souls of wrongdoers and we can relate this to a powerful cautionary tale. The giant dragon lived at the root of the tree of life, thus if he cautions against eating a person, then it is a clear warning that the person should stop doing the wrong things.
Nidhogg was a Ragnarok survivor who also bore witness to the new period of cosmos.
The last of the three dragons in norse mythology is Fafnir and who as history records, he had nothing to do with Ragnarolk. He was however the son of a wealthy dwarf king, and as the story started it was clear that he had not taken on the dragon form. What’s even worse is that he had killed his father and took all the wealth and flee into the forest. And it is in this forest that he slowly transitioned into the form of a dragon just so that he could guard his stolen treasure.
From the above you can now understand why most animations and at times movies display dragons as the protectors of gold treasure and in this sense the treasure that the dragons protect is not that of gold alone. But also wisdom and knowledge. To better understand Fafnir his story starts with Odin, Hoenir and Loki, who as they were traversing the lands they met and killed the son of the king of the dwarves also known as Hreidmar.
When the king got the information that his son Otter had been murdered, he took his three son’s with him Fafnir and Regis and went to capture the three gods. He made demands for the release of the three gods, thus he wanted to paid in gold. The information got to Loki, who did not refuse the demands but instead he gave them the Andvari gold. The bad thing about this gold is that it had been cursed, Loki also gave out a ring, the Andvaranaut, the ring was also cursed and it was believed that anyone who wore it would die.
The act of giving out all that gold to the King of the dwarves did not sit well with Fafnir, he became extremely jealous to the point of murdering his father. He then went ahead and took all the gold for himself. And according to the Norse myth Fafnir later changed his form, turning into a creature that looked like a dragon. His new form enabled him to throw fire through his norse and he also spread poison. His greed and desire to keep all the wealth to himself is what enabled him to develop all this abilities. Thus he could breathe fire and even spread poison just to protect the cursed treasure that he had taken from his dead father.
Now things later took a turn as Regis also wanted a part of his father’s treasure, the gold that Fafnir had stolen. Fafnir was however not strong enough, so instead of facing his brother he sent someone that he though could beat his brother, his step son sigurd. His mission was to search for Fafnir and Kill him. Sigurd was well up to the task, he went ahead and found Fafnir, he put up a spirited battle and later killed him.
Before succumbing to the injuries inflicted by Sigurd, Fafnir was curious to find out, who the powerful warrior that had managed to beat him was, he was duly informed that Regis was the one who wanted him dead. And with this information Fafnir was able to foretell that Regis will also kill Sigurd. So greed was then transferred to Sigurd because instead of taking the treasure to Regis, he instead took the wealth for himself.
This move obviously did not sit well with Regis, so he also went on a mission to kill Sigurd and take what he thought rightfully belonged to him. Then came another twist, Sigurd cooked the heart of the dragon, and while at it he decided to taste it, and it is form this point that he began to understand the language of animals. The understanding of the language of animals worked to his favor because it is at this point that he heard two birds saying that his father wanted to kill him.
He then decided to do exactly what his father wanted to do to him, and this time he took the sword that he had used to kill the dragon and went ahead and killed his father. And that is how Sigurd ended up with the treasure, Sigurd turns out to be very arrogant and also not afraid of death, as he was heard saying that he was not afraid of dying just because he kept the cursed treasure, because after all, all men eventually die.
From the story of the Norse Mythology, the greatest lesson that we learn is that wealth for as much as it is good and will provide you with the comfort and luxurious life that you desire, it might as well bring you death. What’s worse is that harboring greed for treasure that you don’t know its source might also bring curses upon your family. Most importantly is that what happened in Norse Mythology can be reflected in the modern society, where family members kill each other because of wealth and treasure. The above is without discrimination as we can see a father sending his stepson to kill and retrieve wealth and the father also wanting to kill his stepson because of the supposed treasure.
The Norse Mythology as seen above also talks about gods, and different types of creatures, there is also the mention of heroes and stubborn individuals. The fight that takes place between the gods, we are also informed that there were different types of gods, in that the various forms of life had their gods. A thing that resonates with the current life where we have different religions, who believe in different Gods.