Jormungand: From the Banished Child to the Fearsome Midgard Serpent

Posted by Ms Elly on

Jormungand: From the Banished Child to the Fearsome Midgard Serpent

Like Odin, Loki had many children. But the most famous of Loki's kids were the trio of monstrous creatures: Fenrir the Wolf, Jormungand the Serpent, and Hel the Half Ghost. While Fenrir was kept up in Asgard land of gods, Hel stayed in Helheim land of the dead, Jormungand lived around Midgard which was the Norse embodiment of Earth. 

Jormungand was not as notorious as his other two siblings. He was the child of Loki and the giantess Angrboda "She Who Brings Anguish". 


Ever since Jormungand was a little child who could do no harm to the world, he was banished into the deep ocean in Midgard. The land of Midgard was surrounded by a vast ocean. And gods cursed Jormungand to forever stay under the vast ocean.

This curse stemmed from gods' fear of Ragnarok the Doom of Gods. According to the prophecy, Jormungand and his family members waged the final war against the gods. The war was to put an end to the glory of the Vikings. 

Jormungand stayed under the vast ocean doing do harm to any creature in the cosmos. But he quickly grew up and became the largest serpent in the Nine Worlds. Jormungand was so huge that he could encircle Midgard with his body. He bit his tail in his mouth lying under the ocean. 


The first time Jormungand emerged from the waves was his first encounter with Thor. Both were the sworn enemies of each other. Thor was going on a fishing trip with a giant and he encountered Jormungand. 

Thor and Jormungand first encounter

Thor first encountered Jormungand on his fishing trip

At first, he thought it was just a small fish. But it turned out to be his sworn enemy and Thor quickly decided to smash the skull of Jormungand with Mjolnir Hammer. 

But the giant accompanying Thor in the trip was so afraid of the prophecy of Ragnarok. The prophecy told that once Jormungand raised from the ocean, Ragnarok began. The fear was so great that the giant cut the fishing line releasing Jormungand into the ocean. Thor, of course, hit the ceiling because of this. 


But no matter how hard the gods tried to prevent Ragnarok, they could not escape their fate. 

The death of Baldur Odinson the most beloved Norse god was the first sign of Ragnarok. Then came three consecutive winters in Midgard and brothers started to kill each other. 

Thor and Jormungand were the sworn enemies in Norse mythology. The two were set to doom each other

Thor and Jormungand were the sworn enemies. The two were doomed to kill each other

Loki broke free from the punishment of Gods. Fenrir the Wolf broke the chain of gods. The father and son ignited Ragnarok. Jormungand answered the call emerging from the ocean. His breath poisoned the sky. 

Jormungand finally faced Thor the sworn enemy in his final battle. The two were set to doom each other. Thor had slain Jormungand with his Mjolnir hammer before the venom of Jormungand put a permanent end to Thor's life. He walked nine paces away from the dead Jormungand only to fall down. 


Indeed, Jormungand is a Norse example of Ouroboros symbol. The Ouroboros symbol depicted an encircling serpent or dragon biting its own tail in its mouth. 

The circling symbolizes the endless cycle of life in the universe. There is no end of the cosmos. If this chapter ends, there comes another. It repeats and things move on. Everything is born, has time to grow up then perishes, and rises from the ash again. 

Jormungand in Norse myth symbolizes the same cycle. He was among the culprits of Ragnarok. He doomed the world to darkness. It was on the verge of destruction. But then everything was reborn again. Though the most powerful gods died in the battle, Jormungand couldn't survive, life went on. 

Jormungand Viking Midgard Serpent Viking Jewelry

Long Spiral Hair Bead inspired by the symbolism of Jormungand the Midgard Serpent

In the modern sense, we would like to observe every Norse character through the different lens. Jormungand is no longer a completely bad person for all of the meaningful message he carried. 

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