A wolf of remarkable size and strength, Fenrir has one major story recorded in the Norse sagas, yet this singular story paints a picture of bravery for one god and an omen of death for the rest of them. According to Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda, Fenrir's tale begins, as any tale should, with his unlikely and terrible birth. Fenrir, however, posed a much more dangerous problem. Public Domain.
Containing the Wolf
He is attested in the Poetic Edda , compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda and Heimskringla , written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. Depictions of Fenrir have been identified on various objects and scholarly theories have been proposed regarding Fenrir's relation to other canine beings in Norse mythology. Fenrir has been the subject of artistic depictions and he appears in literature. There will come from them all one of that number to be a moon-snatcher in troll 's skin. High says that Odin sent the gods to gather the children and bring them to him.
The End of the Æsir
His importance for the pre-Christian Scandinavians is demonstrated by his being depicted on numerous surviving runestones , not to mention his ubiquity in Old Norse literary sources. As is recounted more fully in the tale The Binding of Fenrir , the Aesir gods raised Fenrir themselves in order to keep him under their control and prevent him from wreaking havoc throughout the Nine Worlds. He grew at an astonishingly fast pace, however, and eventually the troubled gods decided to chain him up. Their first two attempts were unsuccessful; while the cunning gods convinced Fenrir that it was only a game, a test of his strength, he broke through the fetters easily. For their third attempt, the gods had the dwarves forge the strongest chain ever built, which nevertheless gave the appearance of being very light and even soft to the touch. When the gods presented Fenrir with this third fetter, he became suspicious, and he refused to be bound with it unless one of the gods would stick his or her hand in his mouth as a pledge of good faith. Only Tyr was brave enough to do this, knowing that it would mean the loss of his hand. At Ragnarok , he will break free and run throughout the world with his lower jaw against the ground and his upper jaw in the sky, devouring everything in his path.
He was the son of the demoniac god Loki and a giantess, Angerboda. When the chain was placed upon him, Fenrir bit off the hand of the god Tyr. Fenrir figures prominently in Norwegian and Icelandic poetry of the 10th and 11th centuries, and the poets speak apprehensively of the day when he will break loose. Article Media. Info Print Cite.