Could Ragnarok be considered to have occurred?

  • According to Wikipedia, The myths of Ragnarok as we know them were compiled in the 13th century, and while describing events in some detail, these were considered to be prophetic, as the events described had not yet occurred.

    Moving forward to today, could it be considered that Ragnarok has taken place between the time when the myths were written down and now? The mythological landscape of Europe has largely changed from Norse-influenced to Judaeo-Christian, so could this shift be interpreted as Ragnarok and its aftermath?

    Is this from a religious point of view or a from a historical one? I.e. are you looking for what could potentially be done with the texts were the taken as true, or if the medieval Germans believe that Ragnarok has occurred?

    @C.M.Weimer, from a mythological point of view, obviously not completely historical. Perhaps, "What would the ancient Norse people believe if they saw today's society?"

    Interesting related read: Why Ragnarok is not going to happen on February 22th -- Ragnarok has happened. Ragnarok *will* happen. Ragnarok is happening right now.

    @Monty Wild I'm not going to answer formally because I will be rage voted down, but it seems to me, as a student of mythology and an artist, that Ragnarök has indeed already happened. Yes the world is "destroyed" but it is then renewed and repopulated by humans. It seems quite clear we live in this post-apocalyptic, repopulated word sans Gods and Giants.

    @cybermike, post it as an answer. *I* won't vote it down...

    This is by far the weirdest question I have ever seen and I'm just going to come out and say that either you all or roleplaying or by the far the craziest people I have ever seen... Unless Ragnarok was a prediction of the Norse being conquered by some other people or something leading to their religion being disowned, this has a very solid NO attached to it....

    As it happens, my own childhood introduction to Norse myth, as to Greek & Irish, was via the retellings for young readers by Padraic Colum; and in his *The Children of Odin,* he does treat Ragnarok as an event long past, largely I suppose in the interest of forestalling potential conflicts with the Christian upbringing of at least a significant portion of his readership.

  • If you want to. The three years without summer, the Fimbulwinter, a portent of Ragnarök, has been speculated by some to have been a memory of the years 535-536, when temperatures dropped sharply and crops failed.

    And while the Ragnarök is indeed the end of the known world, as cybermike noted, the earth will rise again from the sea afterwards, renewed and better than before.

    Thanks for the nod. Great little factiod re Fimbulwinter!

  • No. Ragnarok isn't just the fall of the Norse pantheon, it's the destruction of the entire world. The stories vary, but something apocalyptic like the whole earth being set on fire or the sky splitting apart normally happens.

    True. However, if we could bring an ancient Norse worshipper of the Norse pantheon forward in time, might they conclude that Ragnarok had happened, and that we were now living in a post-Ragnarok world?

    I guess that depends on how you think about religion? Like, Norse worshippers weren't regularly grabbing dinner with Odin or Thor in reality. Their gods are just as non-existent then as they are now, so if they could believe they were out there then, they could also believe in them now.

    The one flaw with this theory is that the world is subsequently renewed and repopulated. How do we know we're not living in that repopulated world?

    @CyberMike according to DevSolar's linked article we can assume we are. And there probably never was a "first time".

  • As far as I know this heavily depends on whether you consider later additions to the mythology by Christian missionaries to be canon.

    The original idea was to describe the end of the worlds that hasn't happened, similar to the Christian Revelation. Otherwise they'd worship dead gods, there'd be no Valhalla, Jotuns, Valkyries, etc. which would basically screw up everything.

    However missionaries used those exact thoughts to mix their original mythology with the Christian Bible to explain and introduce a continuity to convert them. Ragnarok already happened, but two people, a man and a woman survived hiding under Yggdrasil, named Adam and Eve.

  • Yes, there might be a chance that ragnarok has already happened and we are living in a repopulated world. But according to what I have read, ragnarok is a cycle that will always occur and replenish the old to make way for the new. So according to me, ragnarok will happen again but this time with new figures of worship.

  • It seems to me, as a student of mythology and an artist, that Ragnarök has indeed already happened. Yes the world is "destroyed", but it is then renewed and repopulated by humans. It seems quite clear we live in this post-apocalyptic, repopulated word sans Gods and Giants.

    But of course, this is a subjective take.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM

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