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Jormungandr (The Midgard Serpent)
General Info
Mythology Norse Mythology
Parents Loki and Angrboda
Sibling(s) Fenrir, Hel
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Literature Wiki: Edda Prose Edda

Jörmungandr (sometimes called the Midgard serpent or snake) is a giant beast in Norse Mythology. Jörmungandr is the middle child of Loki and the giantess Angrboða. It is said Jörmungandr will be killed by Thor at Ragnarok , but Thor will only walk nine paces before dying himself, of the serpent's poisonous venom. 

Stories and Myths

Lifting the Cat

In one adventure, Thor encounters Jörmungandr in the form of a colossal cat, disguised by the giant king Útgarða-Loki's illusionary magic. As one of the challenges set by Útgarða-Loki, Thor must lift the cat, and though he is unable to lift such a monstrous creature as the Midgard snake, he manages to lift it far enough that it lets go of the ground with one of its four feet. When Útgarða-Loki later reveals he deceived him it seemed like an incredible heroic feat.

The Fishing Trip

Long ago, Thor decided to catch Jormungandr, and kill him. This would prove difficult as the Midgard Serpent reached almost around the whole world and lay in the deepest depth of the ocean. But Thor did not despair. He took his trusty hammer and went to the giant Hymir, who went fishing. Hymir was friendly, and let Thor sleep in his house, and said he could go fishing with him the next morning. The next morning, Thor, who had to provide his own bait, went to Hymir's cattle pen, and took the largest ox's head with him to use as bait. He got into the boat with Hymir, and started rowing. Soon they had reached where Hymir usually went fishing, and wanted to stop, but Thor rowed on. "This is enough!' the giant soon said. "We may even chance upon the Midgard Serpent here, and we will go no further.' Thor threw out his unbreakable line, and the ox's head sunk to the bottom, right in front of the Serpent, who greedily devoured it whole. Immediately it pulled so hard on the line that Thor broke his knuckles upon the edge of the boat, and got very angry. He pulled up the Midgard serpent, thrashing and well, from the bottom of the sea. He had almost reached the surface, and Thor was readying his hammer to strike it, when the scared Hymir cut the line. The serpent sank back to the bottom of the sea, and Thor threw his hammer at it. Then he punched the giant so hard he fell overboard, and waded back through the sea to the far-away shore.

See Also



Norse mythology articles
Major Deities Odin | Thor | Freyr | Freya | Frigg | Loki | Balder | Tyr | Njord |
Races Æsir | Vanir | Jotnar | Elves | Dwarves | Valkyries | Einherjar | Norns
Worlds Asgard | Álfheimr | Midgard | Jötunheimr | Vanaheimr | Muspelheim | Niflheim | Svartálfaheim | Helheim
Locations Bifröst | Utgard | Valhalla | Fólkvangr |
Topics Yggdrasil | Ginnungagap | Ragnarök | Poetic Edda | Prose Edda | The Sagas |

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