Norse mythology and culture have been inspiring our daily lives for over a thousand years (our days of the week, for example, are actually named for the Norse Gods: “Thursday” actually comes from “Thor’s Day”). Pop culture is immersed in Nordic myths. You can see their influence in things Marvel comics and movies, the TV series Vikings, and even anime properties like Fafner, Ah! My Goddess, and Jormungand. No doubt some of you went to go see Thor: The Dark World over the weekend and enjoyed Tom Hiddleston’s Loki.
Loki’s an interesting character—not just in the Marvel universe, but in the actual Norse myths as well. Many accounts depict Loki as having three children with the Giantess Angurboda: the wolf Fenrir, Hel (who acts as host to the dead), and the world serpent Jormungand. Jormungand grew so large that it encompassed all of Midgard (aka “Middle Yard” or “Middle Earth”), the land where humans dwell. It reached such length that it encircled the earth, until it was able to bite its own tail. This is an example of an ouroboros that Fullmetal Alchemist fans will no doubt find familiar. In Old Norse mythology, there are stories of contests and feats of strength and struggles between Thor and Jormungand. In fact, legends said the serpent would wrap its way around Earth until the end of days and the last, great battle at Ragnarok.