R is for Ragnarök

R

R is for Ragnarök: In the world of Gossamer Steel the apocalyptic events caused by a massive Coronal Mass Ejection are seen as Ragnarök by some in The Country (Scandinavia).

In Norse mythology, Ragnarök is a series of future events, including a great battle foretold to ultimately result in the death of a number of major figures (including the gods Odin, Thor, Týr, Freyr, Heimdallr, and Loki), the occurrence of various natural disasters, and the subsequent submersion of the world in water. Afterward, the world will resurface anew and fertile, the surviving and returning gods will meet, and the world will be repopulated by two human survivors. Ragnarök is an important event in the Norse canon, and has been the subject of scholarly discourse and theory. However, Ragnarök does not mean “Twilight of the Gods”; that phrase is the result of a famous mistranslation. “Ragnarökr” or “Ragnarøkr” means “doom of the powers” or “destruction of the powers” (where “powers” means “gods”).

A scene from the last phase of Ragnarök, after Surtr has engulfed the world with fire. The surrounding text implies that this is Ásgarðr (Asgard) burning. ~ detail from Walhall, die Götterwelt der Germanen by Emil Doepler. ca. 1905. Photographed and cropped by User:Haukurth.

A scene from the last phase of Ragnarök, after Surtr has engulfed the world with fire. The surrounding text implies that this is Ásgarðr (Asgard) burning. ~ detail from Walhall, die Götterwelt der Germanen by Emil Doepler. ca. 1905. Photographed and cropped by Haukurth.

R is also for Rakshasa – Sanskrit (male) Rākṣasa, or (female) Rākṣasī – in Hindu mythology, a type of demon or goblin. Rakshasas have the power to change their shape at will and appear as animals, as monsters, or in the case of the female demons, as beautiful women. They are most powerful in the evening, particularly during the dark period of the new moon, but they are dispelled by the rising sun. They especially detest sacrifices and prayer. Most powerful among them is their king, the 10-headed Rāvaṇa. Pūtanā, a female demon, is well known for her attempt to kill the infant Krishna by offering him milk from her poisoned breast; she was, however, sucked to death by the god.

In Gossamer Steel the destroyers of the world are called Rakshasa by the people of Bhārata (India sub-continent), although in The Country (Scandinavia) they are known as Jötnar, as in the race that destroyed the world in Ragnarök.

PREVIOUS A TO Z POSTS:

A is for Array ~ B is for the Blood-Marked ~ C is for Corylus Avellana ~ D is for Duskweald ~ E is for Energy ~ F is for Feeniks ~ G is for Garuda ~ H is for Herders ~ I is for Ithaka ~ J is for Junk ~ K is for Kitsune ~ L is for Lorelei ~ M is for Mojave ~ N is for Native~ O is for Outcasts  ~ P is for Punk ~ Q is for Quisling

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The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behaviour.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 3 is “C,” and so on. Please visit other challenge writers.

My theme is ‘The World of Gossamer Steel, the SF-fantasy setting for a series of short stories and novellas that portray the tales behind the MMORPG that is central to my crime novel ‘Wyrm Bait’.

A2Z-BADGE-000 [2014] (1)

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11 thoughts on “R is for Ragnarök

  1. Pingback: S is for Seiðr | Writing Wings

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  9. Pingback: Welcome to the Gossamer World | Writing Wings

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