The Twilight Of The Gods

: Asgard Stories Tales From Norse Mythology

Loki and Fenrir, the wolf, were safely bound, each to his separate

cliff, but still happiness and peace did not return to Asgard, for

Baldur was no longer there, and light and joy had gone from the home of

the gods. The Aesir felt that the Twilight of the gods, which Odin knew

was to come, must be near.

Soon began a long cold winter; surely it must be the beginning of the

Fimbulwinter, which was to come b
fore the last great battle. From the

north came cold blasts of freezing wind; snow and ice covered the earth;

men could not see the face of the sun or the moon. Everywhere there was

darkness; the people grew fierce and unhappy and wicked, for they seemed

no longer to love each other. So the evil deeds of men kept on, and the

fierce frost giants grew stronger and stronger. They killed the trees

and flowers, and bound the lakes and rivers with icy bands.

Even when summer time came, the cold still held on, and no one could see

the green grass or the beautiful golden sunlight. The frost giants were

pleased to see the trouble they had brought upon men, and hoped they

soon could destroy Asgard and the gods.

Three long winters passed, with no light to warm and brighten the world;

after that still three other dreary winters, and then the eagle who sat

on the top of the great world tree, Yggdrasil, gave a loud, shrill cry;

at that the earth shook, the rocks crumbled and fell, so that Loki and

the wolf were freed from their chains.

The waters of the deep ocean rose and rolled high over the land, and up

above the waves writhing out of the deep, came the monster Midgard

serpent to join in the last battle. Now the enemies of the gods were

gathering from all sides,--the frost giants, the mountain giants, with

Loki, Fenrir, and the Midgard serpent.

Heimdall, the faithful watchman, looked from his watch-tower by the

rainbow bridge, and when he saw the host of monsters appearing and

raging toward Asgard, he blew his magic horn, Giallar, which was the

signal of warning to the gods.

When Father Odin heard the blast of Heimdall's horn, he hastened to arm

himself for the battle; once again it is said the Allfather sought

wisdom at Mimir's fountain, asking to know how best to lead the Aesir

against their enemies. But what Mimir said to him no one ever knew, for

a second call sounded from the Giallar horn, and the gods, with Odin at

their head, rode forth from Asgard to meet their foes.

Thor took his place beside Odin, but they were soon parted in the

struggle. The thunder-god fell upon his old enemy, the serpent, whom

twice before he had tried to slay, and after a fierce fight, he at last

conquered and slew the monster; but the poisonous breath from the

serpent's mouth overcame the mighty Thor, and he also fell.

Heimdall and Loki came face to face, and each slew the other. Thus every

one of the gods battled each with his foe, till at last the darkness

grew deeper, and all, both gods and giants lay dead. Then fire burst

forth, raging from Utgard to Asgard--and all the worlds were destroyed

in that dreadful day of Ragnarok.

But this was not the end of all: after many months, and years, and even

centuries had passed, a new world began to appear, with the fair ocean,

and the beautiful land, with a bright, shining sun by day, and the moon

and stars by night. Then once more the light and heat from the sun made

the grass and trees grow, and the flowers bloom.

Baldur and Hodur came to this beautiful new world, and walked and talked

together. Thor's sons were there, too, and with them, the hammer,

Miolnir, no longer for use against giants, but for helping men build


Two people, a man and a woman, who were kept safe through the raging

fire, now came to dwell on the earth, and all their children and

grandchildren lived at peace with each other in this beautiful new


Baldur and Hodur talked often of the old days when the Aesir dwelt in

Asgard, before Loki, the wicked one, brought darkness and trouble to

them. With loving words they spoke of Odin and Frigga; and the brave

Tyr, who gave his right hand to save the Aesir; of mighty Thor; and

faithful Heimdall; of lovely Freyja, with her beautiful necklace; and of

fair Iduna's garden, where they used to sit and eat her magic apples.

"But still," they said, "we know now that this new world is fairer than

the old, and here, also, the loving Allfather watches over his