Before Ragnarok, Fimbulwinter Befell Midgard
Many misfortunes befell the Nine Worlds before Ragnarok happened. In the prophecy of the volva, the death of Baldur beloved son of Odin would be the first sign of Ragnarok. Then the sun and the moon would be swallowed by Hati and Skoll. And came the Fimbulwinter and the killings of brothers in Midgard. In this blog post, we learn what is the Fimbulwinter in Norse mythology that scared the Midgardsmen so much.
What is Fimbulwinter?
"Fimbulwinter" in Old Norse was "Fimbulvetr" which meant "Great Winter". Indeed, it was great but negatively great for the Midgardsmen.
When the Fimbulwinter took place in Midgard, there came three consecutive winters. There was no summer in between and the innocent people in Midgard had to endure the most severe weather.
Midgardsmen never preferred the cold weather as it would disable them to cultivate which was their major source of living. No summer, no crop, no food, and no life at all.
Brothers killed brothers when Fimbulwinter befell Midgard depriving the Midgardsmen of their agriculture
When the Fimbulwinter befell Midgard, people couldn't support their family with enough food. This made them have to steal from other families which resulted in murder. That's how we have "killings of brothers in Midgard". Blood was everywhere and the Midgardsmen killed each other for food.
Brothers will fight and kill each other,
sisters' children will defile kinship.
It is harsh in the world, whoredom rife
an axe age, a sword age shields are riven
a wind age, a wolf age before the world goes headlong.
No man will have mercy on another.
Fimbulwinter could have happened in Scandinavia
Many scholars believed that the event of Fimbulwinter could have been inspired by a real event happening in Northern Europe. It was the harsh weather in 535-536 which led to a remarkable drop in temperature across Northern Europe.
Also, other scholars put forward ideas that the mythological event of Fimbulwinter could have been associated with climate change that once occurred in Nordic countries around 650 BC.
In Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, people still use the term "Fimbulwinter" to describe the harsh and cold weather.