Ragnarok approaches!

Oh terrific, another APOCALYPSE. I have plans this weekend!

Ragnarok Viking apocalypse due to occur over the weekend.

In advance of the predicted Ragnarok Viking apocalypse over the weekend, “Norsemen” have started to arrive in York in anticipation of the bloody battle that is supposed to happen on Feb. 22 and end the world.

Attendees at the 30th Jorvik Viking Festival will find out on Saturday if the prediction of Ragnarok will come true.

If the world doesn’t end, the festival will be over on Feb. 23. On Saturday, about 300 warriors will gather at the Eye of York to battle.

“Our celebrations also mark Jolablot, the Viking feast to hail the coming of spring which, to many people, is the annual rebirth of the world,” festival director Danielle Daglan told the York Press.

Ragnarok, the end of the world according to Norse mythology, will start when Loki’s son, the wolf Fenrir breaks free from imprisonment, start a chain reaction that also releases the Midgard snake, Jormungard, onto the world. At some point Fenrir also eats the sun. At the end there’s a huge between the Gods, where most of the gods will die.

So all in all, should be a damn good show!

The children of Loki by Willy Pogany

The children of Loki by Willy Pogany

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  11 comments for “Ragnarok approaches!

  1. February 19, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    The festival looks like an awesome excuse for some cosplay fun. I doubt the attendees actually take the “apocalypse” bit seriously – would be interesting to partake (pass me the mead!).

    • spookyparadigm
      February 19, 2014 at 10:40 PM

      I don’t know about the attendees. But it is worth noting that the festival is attached to the York Archaeological Trust, which is involved in substantial research and public outreach. Which puts creating their own 2012 phenomenon into something of a different light.

      • Rich
        February 25, 2014 at 10:44 AM

        I read quite an interesting blog post on that aspect of it, written by an academic in the field of medieval literature. It expressed exactly the concerns you suggest;

        “The idea of staging a Ragnarok event is perfectly fine, but to publicise it by saying something which is untrue – the Vikings believed the world would end on 22 February – is deceiving people who don’t know better, people who trust you to tell the truth.”

        http://aclerkofoxford.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/a-rant-about-ragnarok-2014.html

    • David H
      February 20, 2014 at 12:58 PM

      Should be lots of fun.
      However, if you go you might want to avoid saying “cosplay.” While that term may be suitable for all the Batman or Darth Vader wanna-bes at the local comics con, these guys are reenactors. Their clothing is pretty close to authentic; the weapons are real steel (albeit blunted); the helmets and maile are steel; and the shields are heavy and made of wood. And preparing for it may include encampments living as the viking age folks did.
      While no one may die, the bruises, contusions and occasional broken bones are real. A good whack to the head with Danish axe will make you think your personal Ragnarok has come.
      A great way to spend the day.

      Oh, and as a bonus, the mead and ale is real too!

  2. Chris Howard
    February 19, 2014 at 10:34 PM

    Been sacrificing to Loki and Woten for ages. I think I’m covered.

  3. Rex Dart
    February 20, 2014 at 9:06 AM

    Eh, there’s nothing to fear from Ragnarok. According to my personal holy texts (the collected works of Marvel Comics), Ragnarok has already occurred at least thrice, yet the world did not end….

  4. Jon O
    February 20, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    So far as I can tell, this museum just arbitrarily picked a date for Ragnarok to occur, then blew a horn 100 days before that date. There is no mystical viking prophecy.

  5. RayG
    February 20, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    I would only be worried if John Hodgeman appeared in the sky carrying his jar of Mayonnaise and the Ragnarock survival kit.

  6. February 20, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    Is Dethklok scheduled to play? Seems like their sort of gig…

  7. Sally Barnes
    February 20, 2014 at 7:40 PM

    Hate to tell them with the changes in the calendar and all but the Vikings didn’t HAVE a date for Ragnarok.

    The only true reference was written in the Poetic Edda, the first book called Voluspo:

    Hard is it on earth, | with mighty whoredom;
    Axe-time, sword-time, | shields are sundered,
    Wind-time, wolf-time, | ere the world falls;
    Nor ever shall men | each other spare.

    And that’s all it says about when it will happen. Love the way the neo-worshippers twist things to suit.

    • David H
      February 21, 2014 at 12:29 PM

      Snorri Sturlson’s Poetic Edda only dates from about 1220 ( oldest extant manuscript dates from ca. 1300).
      Völuspá (Prophesy of the Seeress) was part of the Codex Regius manuscript, ca. 1270, and also appears in Haukr Erlendsson’s Hauksbók (Haukr’s Book) Codex, ca. 1334. Many of its stanzas are quoted or paraphrased in Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda, composed ca. 1220.
      With Iceland’s conversion to Christianity,known as the kristnitaka (“the taking of Christianity”)in 1000m the last of the Nordic pagans were pretty much extinct.
      Bottom line: by the time Ragnarok predictions were written down, they were “old news.”

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