Ragnarok, the Viking Armageddon is almost upon us. Some plank has wasted part of their precious time on the planet calculating the date on which the final battle between the Norse Gods and the forces of darkness will take place. And it is on February 22 this year. yes folks just ten days away, only a week and a half left to eat Spam, drink beer and swive flaxen haired maidens (if you can get hold of any – if not, bleached blondes will do).
In case you didn’t know Ragnarok is the final, bloody battle between gods and heroes, and the assorted baddies or north European myth including trolls, goblins, elves (not cutesy pie ones with wings but nasty pieces of work like dragons like Nidhogg which will emerge from Nifleheim, the nether world and chew through the sapwood of Yggdrasil, the tree of life. Oh and the Midgard serpent will eat its tail.
According to that unimpeachable source the tourist brochure published by the Jorvik Viking Centre in York, Ragnarok is due in just a few days. Makes one wonder why they bothered with a brochure for the 2014 summer season when Skoll the ice wolf is going to swallow the sun and refuse to sick it up.
Ragnarok does promise to be quite a spectacle however, Angrbodr, the she demon, mother of all evil with have a really bad bout of PMT, the Earth will split open, releasing the inhabitants of Hel. As they attack the ice giants of Jotunheim come crashing over the horizon, the dead heroes of Valhalla led by Odin and his twelve berserkers and including my ancestors Erik Bloodaxe and his best mate Thorfinn Skullsplitter will rush down from heaven to fight them.
There will be among other highlights a giant serpent writhing out of the sea, the aforementioned Skoll eating the polar ice cap because he’s learned that swallowing the sun was an extremely bad idea, Himinhrjot the giant man eating Ox eating giant men, Garm the hellhound will escape and my favourite, a ghost ship made from toenail clippings will attack cities and villages. It all sounds like the auditions round of The X Factor.
Just like classical mythology, the Bible and Shakespeare, the Norse myths can be traced like a thread running through Western culture and yet nobody has ever thought of teaching them in schools. Not surprising in this politically correct era, all the raping, pillaging and plundering would have bleeding hearts in a right old tizzy and the goblins, elves, wizards that Wagner and the Nazis adored makes it a tad embarrassing for the rest of us to admit an interest. As J RR Tolkien said, “that bloody little ignoramus Hitler ruined the Norse myths for everyone”.
The best revenge against The Fuhrer then is to reclaim the myths he hijacked and return them to their true place in cluture. Or at least get to know them before Ragnarok. Happy swiving.
Enjoy a Viking feast with Monty Pythons Flying Circus:
Link to video: http://youtu.be/g8huXkSaL7o
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