Surtr: Ruler of Muspelheim, Slew God Freyr, and Burnt the World

Posted by Ms Elly on

Surtr: Ruler of Muspelheim, Slew God Freyr, and Burnt the World

Fire was among the most important elements in Norse mythology for it helped create the Nine Worlds. In Norse mythology, Muspelheim was the land of fire and it was ruled over by Surtr the giant. 

Who was Surtr?

No one really knew when Surtr the giant came into being. Ever since the creation of the cosmos, Surtr was simply there. The word "Surtr" in Old Norse meant "black" that may illustrate his physical trait of being burnt by the fire. 

Ragnarok battle in Norse mythology

Ragnarok battle in Norse mythology

Although he was not mentioned much throughout the course of Norse mythology, Surtr surely dominated an important part. In the Creation of the World, two basic elements (fire and ice) met creating the very first creature from which things were born next.

That is to say, fire is an important element in the Norse world. As Surtr was the ruler of fire, he was also of importance. 

Surtr in Norse mythology

In Voluspa, a volva (seeress) revealed the prophecy of Ragnarok the event in which Odin was swallowed by Fenrir the beastly wolf. The volva said that Surtr would come from the south with the blazing sword in his hand. 

Surtr moves from the south
with the scathe of branches:
there shines from his sword
the sun of Gods of the Slain.

Then Surtr would meet his sworn enemy in the battlefield. God Freyr was Surtr's enemy. The two fought and Freyr who joined battle with an antler only finally lost to the hand of the giant Surtr.

Freyr and Surtr encountering in battle

Freyr and Surtr the Giant of Fire in Norse mythology

Later in the poem, Odin asked the seeress who would inherit the possessions of gods after Surtr had wielded the blazing sword to set the whole world on fire. Magni and Modi - sons of Thor - were the answer. 

Older Post Newer Post

Recent Articles


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published