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Good article Ragnarök has been listed as one of the Philosophy and religion good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
July 20, 2008 Good article nominee Listed
WikiProject Norse history and culture (Rated GA-class, High-importance)
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Twilight in Norse?[edit]

Out of curiosity, does anybody know the norse word for twilight? To compare it with Ragnarok, and explain how the two became mixed up to begin with. (talk) 05:30, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

  • It is a question of rök vs. røkkr or røkr, see the dictionary entries.[1] Haukur (talk) 15:26, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Twiligt = skumring, mørkning, dagen går på hæld (in Danish)-- (talk) 12:07, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

Collaboration notes[edit]

This article is the Collaboration of the Week for the Norse history and culture WikiProject.


I noticed there has been a vast amount of kindergarten disputes about the name of the article and Old Norse spellings and what-nots. My etymological dictionary gives a good entry on the word, and I will try to improve the etymology section in the following days by sourcing it properly and fighting off some strange misconceptions. –Holt TC 14:02, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Article state[edit]

This article could use a treatment like Æsir-Vanir War. Right now it's really a jumble of sources that should be kept apart. I'll sit down and do this sometime soon. :bloodofox: (talk) 15:19, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Indeed, the Æsir-Vanir war shows how it should be done. We don't need or want a bunch of new-age mumbojumbo or lengthy half-prose. Considering how often this article is viewed, it is definitely about time for some action. –Holt TC 16:26, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks and I agree! I am now preparing a new version of the article that will be near a complete rewrite. Any sourced information added in the mean time that is not handled in the rewrite will be added to it. :} :bloodofox: (talk) 01:06, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
Good job! Just give me a note when you need some assistance, and I'll be right at it. –Holt TC 10:38, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
Will do - thanks as always! :bloodofox: (talk) 03:11, 28 June 2008 (UTC)


I wish to applaud you for the great rework you have done here! I will see if I can push in some hours for a theories section, I will do my best. –Holt TC 14:14, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks again! Great! Once we have we a theory section there will be nothing else to add to the article. When time permits, I am currently also trying to gather information about the various theories out there and will put them in a 'theories' section. :bloodofox: (talk) 19:59, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

So far, here some theories I can think of that we ought to expound on: "Volcanic eruptions," "Chaos and order," "Christianity," and "Indo-European parallels" (including the Iranian comparisons). :bloodofox: (talk) 05:04, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Gosforth cross[edit]

If anyone is able to provide a decent shot of the scene from the 10th century Gosforth cross (that is often interpreted as Odin being consumed by Fenrir), it would very good to have here. :bloodofox: (talk) 04:54, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

I don't know if the Gosforth cross has that depiction, but the Andreas cross on the Isle of Man does, as does the Ledberg stone in Sweden, see gallery below.--Berig (talk) 06:12, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
I've mixed the Gosforth cross up with the Andreas cross, though the Gosforth Cross apparently has been interpreted as containing scenes from Völuspá. We should definitely add these to the article with a reference stating the comparison and maybe consider an "archaeological record" section with all three and whatever else is out there. :bloodofox: (talk) 06:37, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
I have a good reference (Jansson 1987) for the Ledberg stone and the Andreas cross.--Berig (talk) 07:35, 3 July 2008 (UTC).
There is evidence to suggest that the scene depicted on the splendid Ledberg stone (Östergötland), with its carvings on three sides, is from the Ragnarök drama. At the top of one side a huge helmeted warrior can be seen. Below the warrior a beast is tearing at his foot. The beast is probably the Wolf Fenrer, the brother of the Midgarth Serpent, and in that case the warrior attacked by the fearsome quadruped must be Odin. The bottom figure on the stone is that of a half-prostate helmeted man. He has no legs and his arms are held out feebly in front of him. A striking parallel to the Ledberg picture is found on a tenth-century cross at Kirk Andreas in the Isle of Man: Odin, armed with a spear and with one of his ravens on his shoulder, is being attacked there in exactly the same way by the monstrous wolf. (Jansson 1987:152)
PS. Here I have an online reference for the Andreas cross, but it should apparently be called Thorwald's cross.--Berig (talk) 08:12, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
While I have found I found a reference in one of Davidson's books that I have not yet been able to get in one of the initial hits here: [2] but it bugs out when I try to open it. I don't remember if it's mentioned in Davidson's Gods and Myths... as my copy is far away from me for a while. So, at the moment, I am writing a description with this as my reference: [3] :bloodofox: (talk) 08:24, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
Ah, okay, that is just what we needed! The reference I found above does mention the Gosforth cross too as containing scenes from Ragnarok. :bloodofox: (talk) 08:33, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Wow, nice work, guys! Haukur (talk) 21:04, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

Thanks! Once we get the "theories" section up and hammered out, I don't think there will be much to add. :} Do you know of anything else that should go in outside of that? I'd like to see if we can get this to featured status as I think we're well on our way. :bloodofox: (talk) 21:32, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

"Crack of Doom"[edit]

Recently a mention of the term "Crack of Doom" has been added to the article: [4]. The addition states that it is the English term for Ragnarök. The is problematic and dubious without an explanation. I can't currently access JSTOR to get direct quotes from the article where the connection is theorized but I have not encountered this before. I'm theorizing that either there's some sort of speculation about a potential connection going on between the phrase and Norse Ragnarök, or there's a theory about it being a similar notion amongst the Anglo-Saxons - in which case it would need to be rephrased to reflect that. Whatever the case, it needs to be rephrased to reflect the theory so we can judge if it needs to go into the etymology section or a "theories" section (with the other theories that should be added). Anyone know anymore about this? :bloodofox: (talk) 00:39, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Ragnarök/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

  • It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
The prose is generally clear except one small thing in Prose Edda, it would be nice to specify who or what High is.
According to the Manual of Style, the blockquote format should not be used for quotations of less than four lines long. There are three blockquotes that have less than three lines within. I'm not sure what's the reasoning behind this since even the example provided in the MOS page contains one line.
  • It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
Well referenced with adequate inline citations.
  • It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
Check. An IPA pronunciation of Ragnarök would be useful in the lead, many people probably wont know how to read ö.
  • It is stable.
No evidence of recent or on-going conflicts.
  • It contains images, where possible, to illustrate the topic.
    a (tagged and captioned): b (lack of images does not in itself exclude GA): c (non-free images have fair use rationales):
All images are free and properly tagged.
  • Overall:
    a Pass/Fail:

The article is well written and on par with GA standards and I greatly enjoyed reading this very interesting topic. The issues I discovered are very minor and do not require a re-write in order to be corrected. I'm placing the nomination on hold until these minor issues listed above are resolved.-- Ευπάτωρ Talk!! 20:38, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for taking the time to look over this! If someone doesn't beat me to it, I'll see what I can do about the IPA guide. I believe I've fixed the issues you've raised - not much information is given about the trio of High, Just-As-High, and Third. I will create an article on them that examines them more thoroughly and the theories around them. Off hand, what recommendations would you make for this article to reach Featured Article status? :bloodofox: (talk) 21:48, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Wonderful. I have passed the article. Congratulations! I would recommend further improving and expanding the lead slightly. In additon, the theories section could also be expanded. The article's size is currently around 28kb. You can expand it until it reaches roughly 35-40kb and then nominate the article for FA status. I'm not sure if this would be necessary, but you might also touch upon the fact Ragnarök has been a theme in popular culture, particulalry metal music. You may also get some extra feedback from the peer review process. Good luck.-- Ευπάτωρ Talk!! 22:18, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the advice! I've considered these things as well, and I will see what I can do. :bloodofox: (talk) 22:53, 20 July 2008 (UTC)


Could someone check the source? I suspect that should be "upphiminn" rather than "upphimmin". Haukur (talk) 16:42, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

That's absolutely correct, it is good you're observant. Uncontroversial correction carried out. By the way, could you check the pronunctiation I tried to put up? I'd appreciate it. Edit: To the contributor of the section, what is the source of the inscription? Rundata gives another translation. (Earth shall be riven and High Heaven.) –Holt TC 20:38, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
Your pronunciation seems fine to me. Haukur (talk) 21:07, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Fenrir's Death[edit]

In the article it says:

Odin's son Víðarr avenges his father by stabbing Fenrir in the heart, killing the wolf.

Is this sentence correct? If I take the book "The Norse Myths" introduced and retold by Kevin Crossley-Holland they state:

At once his son Vidar will stride forward and press one foot on Fenrir's bottom jaw - and the shoe he will wear then has been a long time in the making; it consists of all the strips and bits of leather pared off the heels and toes of new shoes since time began, all the leftovers thrown away as gifts for the god. Then Vidar will take hold of Fenrir's other jaw and tear the wolf apart, so avenging his father.

I have read similar passages elsewhere, but I have yet to read one saying he stabbed the wolf in the heart. Could someone explain this to me? --Purerok (talk) 19:59, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

The reason for this is because Crossley-Holland has based his retelling of Ragnarök off of the prose account found in the Prose Edda, as he states on page 234 of the 2007 edition of his Norse Myths. The Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda sometimes contain differing accounts of events and figures. :bloodofox: (talk) 02:49, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

One or two k's[edit]

There are four manuscripts of Gylfaginning which have independent value; R, T, W and U. The word Ragnarök(k)r occurs four times in Gylfaginning. R consistently has one k. U and W consistently have two k's. T has one k the first couple of times and then two the second couple of times. So what is more original? Who knows. R is usually considered the best manuscript and is the one which most editions are based on. On the other hand it's outvoted here. It's certainly reasonable to give both variants. Haukur (talk) 08:31, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Also, we could spell it Ragnarøkr and Ragnarøkkr (but Ragnarök/Ragnarǫk should not be spelled Ragnarøk). When Snorri was writing, ǫ/ö and ø may still have been different phonemes but they were about to merge. The manuscript spellings, if you're interested, are as follows:

  • R: ragnaravkrs, ragnaravkrs, ragna ravkrs, ragna ravkr
  • T: ragna rokurs, ragna rocurs, ragna rauckurs, RAGNA RAUCKUR
  • W: ragna rokkrs, ragna rǫkkrs, ragna rǫkkrs, ragna rokkr
  • U: ragna ravckrs, ragna ravckrs, ragna ravckrs, ragna ra[v]ckrvm

The first three forms in each manuscript are the genitive. The last form in RTW is the nominative. The last form in U is the dative. Haukur (talk) 08:44, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

I agree with how you solved it. Thank you for the good research, quite informative. –Holt TC 13:23, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
I add my thanks for the careful discussion. Good job! Nordisk varg (talk) 15:14, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, scratch the part above where I say Ragnarök shouldn't be spelled Ragnarøk. The 2007 article by Haraldur Bernharðsson demonstrates conclusively that the original form is røk rather than rǫk. I tried to work this into the article, perhaps somewhat awkwardly. Some of the other conclusions in his article are interesting but not as solid. His thesis that -røk and -røkkr are related seems attractive to me but it's not conclusively proven. His suggested meaning for ragnarök, "renewal of the divine powers" is an inspired suggestion but it's quite speculative. Haukur (talk) 23:38, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Max Payne[edit]

Ragnarok is the name of a nightclub in the first Max Payne video game. It's where a major plotline battle takes place. I'm not sure how to integrate that into the article under the Modern Influence section. (talk) 13:55, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

It shouldn't be. It's a very minor reference. :bloodofox: (talk) 15:32, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Max Payne is full of references to Norse Mythology, because it's a Finnish game, worth mentioning on the Max Payne page, but not here I think. VenomousConcept (talk) 16:13, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Possible addition to the "Modern influence" section.[edit]

Right in that section, we could mention how the Final Fantasy series of video games typically have a very powerful sword called the "Ragnarok". What do the people here think about this? CrashGordon94 (talk) 13:35, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for consulting the talk page. Since the sword is only a minor element in the video game, it is not notable enough to be mentioned in the section. If we allowed items in video games etc. to be added, the section would in the end be a very long list of trivia that has no encyclopedic value. Cheers, –Holt (TC) 14:40, 25 February 2009 (UTC)


A pronunciation I added was removed in a recent mass revert as unsourced. However, the original pronunciation was not only also unsourced, but also, in my opinion, misleading (implying an authentic pronunciation when in fact it recorded merely an anglicization). I readded the information, this time citing the OED, but if an Old Norse expert comes along, he or she may want to verify the transcription given. On a related matter, ǫ (o with a tail) seems to be used rather than ö (o with an umlaut) in many of the sources; I do not know the significance of this, but perhaps it should be noted. Lesgles (talk) 04:31, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

The Old Norse alphabet had the three letters æ, ø and ǫ. In Modern Norwegian those three survived as æ, ø and a common "o", but in Icelandic ǽ and ǿ (long æ and ø) merged into "æ" and ø and ǫ (short vowels) merged into ö. To make it short: Ragnarǫk is the Old Norse spelling (thus the word is spelled Ragnarok in Norwegian) and Ragnarök is the Icelandic spelling. Ö did not exist in the Old Norse alphabet and if the word was spelled with an "ø", this would be the spelling in Modern Norwegian as well. So I agree with you; Ǫ, not ö, is the best character to use. (talk) 18:03, 16 September 2009 (UTC)


the article doesn't state whether ragnarok is supposed to happen in the future or whether it is supposed to have already occurred (talk) 23:10, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

According to the mythological time line, Ragnarok is a future event. :bloodofox: (talk) 15:27, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Will we thus then add this information to the article, and can anyone provide any quotes that show this, despite the obviousness of it. I'm sure any Norse artefact or scroll should provide enough reference, but to be sure and establish the viability of the page! PS: I'm on it as well! Icecooli7 (talk) 19:43, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
The article is thoroughly referenced with solid, first-rate sources. :bloodofox: (talk) 02:45, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

here is another opinion and etymology "The very name is significant. According to Professor Anderson's etymology of the word, it means "the darkness of the gods"; from regin, gods, and rökr, darkness; but it may, more properly, be derived from the Icelandic, Danish, and Swedish regn, a rain, and rök, smoke, or dust; and it may mean the rain of dust, for the clay came first as dust; it is described in some Indian legends as ashes." The book at the link has an interesting explanation of why Ragnarok has already happened valkyree 02:34, 2 August 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Valkyree (talkcontribs) I signed it but am still getting this message that it's unsigned valkyree 02:51, 2 August 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Valkyree (talkcontribs)

After Ragnarok?[edit]

Do you think it would be necessary to include the events after Ragnarok, in which Lif and Lifthrasir find themselves in the 'new world' and how this might be influenced or have influenced modern things somehow? Thankyou, this has concerned me for some time, so I may wish to ask before I get in there and change anything. Icecooli7 (talk) 18:46, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Do you mean more than this? :bloodofox: (talk) 12:12, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Intelligible modern English transliteration[edit]

I take the elements to be Old Norse "Ragn-a-rök" rather than "Ragna-rök" and it sensibly makes a cognate to meaning just simply enough: "reign o' wreck" and such aligns to all other semantic ways that I can ascertain, if there is a way by which this is untenable I'd like one to elaborate how. (I am not vying for inclusion or attempting to circumvent no original research, I am simply trying to better the article by discussing the topic where a priori "being bold" judgements may ultimately be toward the betterment of the article having come across the proper empirical instances of cited works.) (talk) 07:00, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Rising of the world[edit]

I've read in some sources that the part where the world is rising again after ragnarök is added post-christianity or atleast heavily inspired by christianity. Maybe someone could look this up?

Sounds dubious. Consider this:

Rudolf Simek theorizes that the survival of Líf and Lífþrasir is "a case of reduplication of the anthropogeny, understandable from the cyclic nature of the Eddic eschatology." Simek says that Hoddmímis holt "should not be understood literally as a wood or even a forest in which the two keep themselves hidden, but rather as an alternative name for the world-tree Yggdrasill. Thus, the creation of mankind from tree trunks (Askr, Embla) is repeated after the Ragnarǫk as well." Simek says that in Germanic regions, the concept of mankind originating from trees is ancient. Simek additionally points out legendary parallels in a Bavarian legend of a shepherd who lives inside a tree, whose descendants repopulate the land after life there has been wiped out by plague (citing a retelling by F. R. Schröder). In addition, Simek points to an Old Norse parallel in the figure of Örvar-Oddr, "who is rejuvenated after living as a tree-man (Ǫrvar-Odds saga 24–27)".

This is from our Líf and Lífþrasir article. Cyclical time is not a Christian concept and there is also good evidence for the belief in reincarnation among the pagan Scandinavians. :bloodofox: (talk) 02:35, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Future event?[edit]

How do we know that Ragnarök is a future event, and not the Norse equivalent of the Biblical flood myth, or an even older apocalypse (of sort)? No one really knows how old these tales (in Norse mythology) are. (talk) 08:49, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

Read this. :bloodofox: (talk) 13:47, 22 August 2011 (UTC)


In the beginning of the article, the author mentions "reborn gods". In the 3 translations of the Gylfaginning I have (Anderson, Brodeur, Blackwell) this word is neither mentioned nor suggested. I would like to see a link or reference to where the author finds evidence of "reborn gods" in the lore.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) copied from a GA reassessment page AIRcorn (talk) 03:35, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

I've swapped the word "reborn" for "returning". A few gods (Höðr, Baldr) are said to return from the dead after Ragnarök. :bloodofox: (talk) 16:02, 5 October 2012 (UTC)


I've read about Ragnarok quite a few times, but I can't remember ever seeing anything about the goddesses. It talks simply about the gods. I assume since it's the end of the world, nearly everyone snuffs it, but the story seems very particular. So what happened to the goddesses? Did more of them survive than just Sol's daughter?

Grubfisher (talk) 00:16, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

The word.[edit]

What language is the word "Ragnarök"?-- (talk) 15:49, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Jorvik Viking Centre "prediction"[edit]

Editors here may wish to comment at Talk:List_of_dates_predicted_for_apocalyptic_events#Ragnarok_2014_prediction, where the so-called "prediction" is being presented as real. Paul B (talk) 11:41, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

Relation to Christian Theology?[edit]

The tales of Ragnarok seem too similar to Biblical ideas on Armageddon. Was Ragnarok the product of early Christian missionaries in the Norse lands? --IronMaidenRocks (talk) 20:59, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

it's extremely easy to cite references that make exactly this point, so yes, that's probably the mainstream opinion.[5][6][7][8] It's more difficult to cite dissenting views, claiming the thing is autochthonous, but I am sure that view exists too (for the poems, of course Snorri's redaction is ostensibly Christian). I am more familiar with the crucifixion vs. hanging of Odin debate, there I would guess mainstream opinion is overwhelmingly in favour of the latter being adopted from Christianity, but I can also cite serious literature that disputes that. --dab (𒁳) 09:47, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

Etymology section[edit]

The etymology section was garbled by an anonymous edit a year ago[9]; nobody noticed, apparently.

For the record, the salient point is that by the time of Snorri, the distinction ǫ vs. ø was becoming obsolete, giving rise to the single Icelandic vowel now written ö. It isn't extremely helpful to talk about a collapse of "ǫ and ø" and then tacitly transcribe ǫ as ö. People will not know that you are now writing this "ö" for what you just called "ǫ". Such things are the result of parroting poorly understood sources with inconsistent orthography.

The entire thing revolves around the singular desinence -r and not around the typography of ǫ=ö vs. ø, but by garbling the latter you are obfuscating the former. The whole question is, does the word have a singular -r or not, if it does, it has to be read "twilight", but people thought this was a late and very understandable mistake because of the ö thing, but now apparently a 2007 paper argues that no, the thing was intended by the original authors of the poems, i.e. there is a conscious pun on "twilight" and "ultimate fate" going back to when the two words were clearly distinct phonologically. But then this is probably what Zoega meant all along when he listed both forms as valid lexicon entries, so duh. --dab (𒁳) 09:33, 14 October 2014 (UTC)