Odin, the king of Asgard, was plagued by nightmares.
Three fearsome figures haunted his dreams:
a massive, writhing shadow;
a shambling, rotting corpse;
and worst of all, a monstrous beast with a deadly bite.
Night after night, the creatures besieged the king.
And although their true forms were unknown to him,
he could tell they were related to Asgard’s most persistent problem:
Despite having settled down with his wife and sons,
Loki had been sneaking off to visit the giantess Angrboda.
And when the king learned this affair had produced three children,
he was filled with unease.
Odin summoned Thor and Tyr,
two of his bravest warriors,
to travel to Jotunheim to capture Loki’s secret children.
Upon arriving at Angrboda’s home,
the pair were immediately accosted by Loki’s first child,
a serpent named Jörmungandr.
The God of Thunder dodged the snake’s venom
and swiftly bound him to a pine tree.
The second child, Hel,
appeared as a glowing young woman from the right
and a moldering corpse from the left.
Her flesh flaked onto the ground
as she silently submitted to her captors.
Finally, the third child leapt at Tyr.
The small wolf was fierce but harmless.
Tyr playfully cuffed its claws and stowed the cub in his pocket.
Back in Asgard, the warriors presented their prisoners
and fearful recognition seized Odin’s heart.
国王认出了这三者 不由心头一紧 心生恐惧
Though these three were meager reflections of his dark dreams,
the king was determined to dispose of them before his visions came true.
First, he banished Jörmungandr to the sea at the edge of the world.
Then he sent Hel deep below the earth to join her fellow corpses.
But the wolf, named Fenrir, presented a challenge.
He’d already grown strong enough to threaten the gods,
so Odin took a more patient approach.
For months, he supervised the creature,
watching Fenrir grow from a cub to a wolf to a beast
who spoke with the voice of a God.
Tyr visited frequently and found Fenrir to be strong and clever.
But as their bond deepened, Odin’s fear only grew.
One day, Odin forged his heaviest chains
and hauled them to Fenrir with a challenge.
He would bind the wolf to test his growing strength.
Fenrir eagerly accepted the challenge and
splintered the metal like old wood.
Odin returned to the forge,
crafting shackles that no man could lift alone.
These sturdy chains gave Fenrir pause.
But with an encouraging wink from Tyr, he accepted the challenge.
The beast strained for a moment
and then shattered his restraints into a thousand pieces.
Desperate, Odin sought help from the most skilled makers of all:
Rather than metal, they sought the rarest ingredients;
from feline footsteps and fish breath
to the sinews of mountains and mighty bears.
With these, the Dwarves crafted Gleipnir,
an unbreakable chain in the guise of fine thread.
When Odin challenged Fenrir a third time, the wolf laughed.
But as he examined the thread more closely,
Fenrir sensed Odin’s trickery
and began to feel some fear himself.
Fenrir struck a deal.
He would accept the challenge,
but only if a god kept their hand in his mouth throughout.
With a heavy heart, Tyr volunteered.
The gods bound the wolf
and as he strained Gleipnir only grew tighter.
Fenrir felt the agony of betrayal—
not only from Odin, but from his reluctant friend.
With a howl of fury, he bit through Tyr’s wrist
and vowed to destroy Odin for tricking him.
Watching his nightmare come to life,
Odin thrust Tyr’s blade between Fenrir jaws,
releasing a torrent of saliva that became a furious river.
While the beast was not dead, he was bound,
and Odin celebrated his victory over fate.
But in truth, his actions had only sealed his doom.
Beneath the waves,
Jörmungandr grew to encircle the world.
Hel rose to rule the dead as queen of the Underworld.
And every day,
Fenrir strained a little more against his chains,
inching ever closer to his bloody revenge.
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