Themes in Norse Mythology: Fate

Posted by Ms Elly on

Themes in Norse Mythology: Fate

One of the most important reasons why many readers find Norse mythology interesting even they have read it multiple times is the theme collection. If we spend time reading and researching Norse myth, we will find out that Norse mythology consists of many themes which surely make us toss and turn. 

As the title indicates, this piece of the article discusses the concept of fate in Norse mythology. 

Long gone the Viking Age, what we have today are only some pieces of artifacts and written texts. Yet, because what Norse mythology once depicted goes well in the modern time, the values forever stay. We somehow find many things in common between the Norse concept of fate and the modern one. 

Fate was the most powerful thing

In Norse mythology, fate was the most powerful thing in the cosmos. It was never the gods to become the most powerful force. Norse gods were only worshipped by the Midgardsmen for their creation of the world. Maybe because the myth revolved around Norse gods, we assume they were the most powerful. The truth is, fate is. 

In Norse myth, there were three women who watched over the fates of all beings. They were known as the Norns living in the roots of the Yggdrasil Tree of Life. Two reasons why I believe Norns were the most powerful are 1. no one could influence Norns' ways of thinking. 2. The Norns watered the Yggdrasil Tree of Life every day. 

Norns in Norse mythology

Yggdrasil Tree of Life was an ash tree standing in the middle of the cosmos holding Nine Worlds on its branches. The tree literally supported life for all cosmos. And it was the Norns who watered the tree every day to keep it alive. That is to say how important the Norns were to the whole cosmos. 

Odin risked his life to learn what his fate was. 

Norse mythology had it that Odin risked many things only to know what was written in his fate and his clan as well. The most sacrifice to learn fate was Odin's hanging on the Tree of Life to learn runes. 

Runes were mythologically written on the trunks of Yggdrasil by the Norns. Only the Norns could understand the meanings of each rune. The runes only revealed its meanings to those whom the cosmos felt deserving. 

Runes were also known as the Wheel of the Cosmos. The rune circle carried the meaning and the fate of all beings in the cosmos. 

Odin the Allfather made the sacrifice by hanging himself on the Tree of Life. He hung himself there for nine days and nine nights without food and without drinks. The Gungnir spear stabbed him in the chest and he refused to take any help from other gods. 

After nine days of sacrifice, Odin finally could read through all the meanings of runes learning what fate had for him and his clan as well. 

" What's coming will come and we'll just have to meet it when it does"

No one could escape fate when it finally came to your house and knock knock. What had to come would come after all. 

No matter how hard the gods attempted to prevent Ragnarok from happening. Ragnarok finally befell Norse cosmos. It would spare no lives. Even if Odin and his brothers created the world, they could do nothing to change the fate of doom. That's why we mention above "no one could influence Norns' ways of thinking".

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