The Binding Of Fenrir

By Jeremy R 0 comments

The Binding Of Fenrir

 

Fenrir (Old Norse "fenris"="fen-dwelling, fen-wolf.") is a gigantic wolf in Norse mythology. He is the son of Loki and the trickster god's mate, the giantess Angrboda (angrboda = angr + bóða). The gods had a hard time trying to contain Fenrir because he grew so big. Eventually they had to chain him up with a magical ribbon called Gleipnir which he had been tricked into wearing.

 

What is the binding of Fenrir?

In Norse mythology, Fenrir is a monstrous wolf that is prophesied to kill Odin at Ragnarok. He has super-strength and speed, and is actually the son of Loki, which makes him the brother of Jormungandr (the World Serpent). He's also listed as the son of Angrboda, a giantess.

The binding of Fenrir is a key part of Norse mythology because it's one of the major factors in why Fenrir gets to be so powerful. The gods know that Fenrir will be most dangerous if he ever got loose from his bindings, so they devote tremendous effort to keeping him tied up while they prepare for Ragnarok.

In fact, the binding itself takes up three whole days in an attempt to keep Fenrir contained. What exactly are they doing? It varies based on what version of the story you read—in some versions, they're using things like fire and iron as restraints, while in others they're using things like magical runes and Gleipnir. Gleipnir is particularly interesting because it represents one of the only instances in Norse myth when trickery was used instead of brute force to overcome a problem.

 

How long was Fenrir bound?

There are two versions of the story of Fenrir's binding in the Prose Edda, both of which tell us that he was bound for a long time.

The first, found in Gylfaginning, tells us that he was bound for a long time—but doesn't say how long.

The second, found in Skáldskaparmál, tells us that he was "bound until the time of Ragnarök." So we know that he wasn't bound forever but only until Ragnarök—which makes sense, because the gods (or perhaps one specific god) had to build Gleipnir in order to bind him, so they must have known beforehand how long it would take. We can safely assume that it took quite some time for Fenrir to get loose from Gleipnir. How long? There is no exact answer to this question. But if we consider how much time passed between when Fenrir was first bound and when Ragnarök took place (and we can assume that these two events were separated by a significant amount of time), then we can estimate how long Fenrir was bound—and thus how much time passed between his binding and the final battle of Ragnarök.

 

Where was Fenrir bound?

Fenrir was bound by the gods in the land of Vanaheim, with a chain made of six impossible things: the sound of a cat's footfall, the beard of a woman, the roots of the mountains, the breath of fish, the spittle of birds, and a woman's spindle. They were brought together by four dwarves named: Iron-sides; Eitri, auger of rocks; Rock-cleaver; and Reginn, who is called Svafnir.

Fenrir was bound in Vanaheim because he had been prophesied to kill Odin at Ragnarok. The gods needed to both keep him from having any sort of weapon or anything he could use to break free. The chain was mainly used as a warning device, but if he did manage to break free it would take all six impossible things for him to do so.

 

How big is a Fenrir?

You've probably seen the Nordic god Fenrir in a few forms of media. Sometimes he's as big as a horse, sometimes he's gigantic enough to swallow the sun. So how big is he?

In Norse mythology, Fenrir is one of Loki's three children with the goddess Angrboda—the other two being Jormungand and Hel. In the Prose Edda, he is referred to as being of a very great size.(far greater than any other wolf), with a large head, piercing eyes, and a tail that sweeps through both heaven and earth. His upper jaw touches heaven while his lower jaw extends all the way to Niflheim.

The Prose Edda also mentions that it is said "no fetter will ever hold him". In later legends, this eventually became the idea that no one could kill him except for one specific prophecy-defined person.

 

Who fed Fenrir?

There's a lot we don't know about this Norse version, but we do know that Fenrir was raised by the gods themselves, who fed him only meat and bones for fear of what he might do if he got loose—but eventually, they grew tired of his aggressive nature and decided to chain him up. They didn't go through with it, though. Instead, they got a giant to do it—a huge guy so strong that he could even hold up the sky itself. It didn't end well for Fenrir's captor; after accidentally getting Fenrir riled up, he found himself swallowed whole.

 

The moral of this story? You should be careful who you feed (and how much you feed them), because you never know how they'll react. If you give someone too much attention or dish out too much praise, they might become unruly as a result—and no one wants that kind of liability on their hands.

 

What does the Fenrir symbol mean?

Fenrir is the wolf of Norse mythology who was bound by Odin until Ragnarok came around. Fenrir means 'The One Who Can't Be Controlled'. Originally, he was supposed to be this incredibly dangerous being, but instead of being a monster, you see these tattoos with a lot of love and warmth behind them."

It's a powerful, but bittersweet design element that represents the struggle between wanting to keep someone close and needing to let them go.

This is why there's such an emotional range when it comes to the Fenrir symbol. Think about how difficult it can be to let someone you love go on their own journey. You want to keep them close and make sure they're safe—this makes sense, right? But sometimes you need to let that person fly free on their own because they need room to grow on their own or they just need some time without you hovering over them all the time.

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