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Eventually, these fairly peachy worldly conditions snowball into chaos and culminate in the Ragnarök, the ‘final destiny of the gods’, for which our main source is the 10th-century CE saga. The earth sinks into the sea, the wolf Fenrir (often referred to as the Fenris-wolf) breaks loose and devours the sun, and, as the icing on the already crumbling cake, mighty Yggdrasil shakes and the bridge Bifröst – the express-way between Asgard and Midgard – collapses.
Understandably rattled, the gods hold an emergency council to prepare for battle against the powers of the Underworld, who are closing in.
Ancient Scandinavia was a world in which belief in divine powers abounded, and all of these had their own attributes and functions.
The World Tree Yggdrasil, the axis of time and space, stands in the gods’ home realm of Asgard while its roots encompass all the other realms, including Midgard, where the humans reside, and the giants’ abode Jotunheim.Peeling back the layers of history in order to form a properly detailed and accurate picture of the myths, beliefs, and customs as they actually were in the Viking Age is no mean feat, especially for an overwhelmingly oral society, as Scandinavia mostly was at the time.As such, we only have the "tips of the narrative icebergs" (Schjødt, 219) when it comes to the Norse gods.The Prose Edda heralds that: Brothers shall strive | and slaughter each other; Own sisters' children | shall sin together; Ill days among men, | many a whoredom: An axe-age, a sword-age, | shields shall be cloven; A wind-age, a wolf-age, | ere the world totters. Odin fights Fenrir but falls, after which the god Vidarr avenges him, while Thor destroys the Midgard Serpent but succumbs to its poison.The gods and their foes die left, right, and centre, until the giant Surtr goes pyromaniac and kindles the world-fire that destroys everything.