Jump to content


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Hel" (1889) by Johannes Gehrts.

In Norse mythology, Garmr or Garm (Old Norse: Garmr [ˈɡɑrmz̠]) is a wolf or dog associated with both Hel and Ragnarök, and described as a blood-stained guardian of Hel's gate.



The etymology of the name Garmr remains uncertain. Bruce Lincoln brings together Garmr and the Greek mythological dog Cerberus, relating both names to a Proto-Indo-European root *ger- "to growl" (perhaps with the suffixes -*m/*b and -*r).[1] However, Daniel Ogden notes that this analysis actually requires Cerberus and Garmr to be derived from two different Indo-European roots (*ger- and *gher- respectively), and in this opinion does not establish a relationship between the two names.[2]



Poetic Edda


The Poetic Edda poem Grímnismál mentions Garmr:

The best of trees | must Yggdrasil be,
Skíðblaðnir best of boats;
Of all the gods | is Óðinn the greatest,
And Sleipnir the best of steeds;
Bifröst of bridges, | Bragi of skalds,
Hábrók of hawks, | and Garm of hounds.[3]

One of the refrains of Völuspá uses Garmr's howling to herald the coming of Ragnarök:

Now Garm howls loud | before Gnipahellir,
The fetters will burst, | and the wolf run free;
Much do I know, | and more can see
Of the fate of the gods, | the mighty in fight.[4]

After the first occurrence of this refrain the Fimbulvetr is related; the second occurrence is succeeded by the invasion the world of gods by jötnar; after the last occurrence, the rise of a new and better world is described.

Baldrs draumar describes a journey which Odin makes to Hel. Along the way he meets a dog.

Then Óðinn rose, | the enchanter old,
And the saddle he laid | on Sleipnir's back;
Thence rode he down | to Niflhel deep,
And the hound he met | that came from hell.

Bloody he was | on his breast before,
At the father of magic | he howled from afar;
Forward rode Óðinn, | the earth resounded
Till the house so high | of Hel he reached.[5]

Although unnamed, this dog is sometimes assumed to be Garmr.[6] Alternatively, Garmr is sometimes assumed to be identical to Fenrir. Garmr is sometimes seen as a hellhound, comparable to Cerberus.

Prose Edda


The Prose Edda book Gylfaginning assigns him a role in Ragnarök:

Then shall the dog Garmr be loosed, which is bound before Gnipahellir: he shall do battle with Týr, and each become the other's slayer.[7]

Garmr is the namesake and emblem of the Galm Team in the combat flight simulation game Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War. The name "Galm" is a mistransliteration of "Garmr" into English due to the singular liquid phoneme in the Japanese language.

Garmr appears as a boss fight in the 2017 video game Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice and 2022's God of War Ragnarök.[8]

See also



  1. ^ Lincoln 1991, p. 289.
  2. ^ Ogden 2013, p. 105.
  3. ^ Bellows (1923.)
  4. ^ Bellows (1923).
  5. ^ Bellows (1923).
  6. ^ Lincoln 1991, p. 97.
  7. ^ Brodeur (1916).
  8. ^ "God of War Ragnarök - PS5 and PS4 Games". PlayStation. Retrieved 2022-11-28.



  • Media related to Garmr at Wikimedia Commons