Lava at Bardarbunga and volcanic gasses (Photo: Ragnar Axelsson/ Morgnebladid)

Fire and Ice by Robert Frost

A scene from the last phase of Ragnarök, after Surtr has engulfed the world with fire (by Emil Doepler, 1905)
A scene from the last phase of Ragnarök, after Surtr has engulfed the world with fire (by Emil Doepler, 1905)

Ragnarok is on my mind a great deal lately. Obviously the trailers for Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok continue to entertain, but the summer in the southern US is particularly oppressive this year, and the global temperatures this year have remained alarmingly warm. Feels like Surt’s striking up the anvil for the end times.

Robert Frost doesn’t need much of a spiel so feel free to do your own research there, but I will point out that despite what you may have heard, Ragnarok isn’t just about Surtr’s fire destroying the world at the end of the fateful battle. Just prior to the prophecied events, three successive winters, one right after the other without intervening summers, bring their own kind of destruction to the realms. It’s called the fimbulvetr, or rendered most often in English as the fimbulwinter, the mighty winter. You might also hear it called the Long Night in a popular television program/series of novels.

Only two humans survive the ice of the fimbulwinter and the fire of Surtr’s flaming sword. They work with the few surviving gods to rebuild Midgard after everything seems to end. Life springs again, even after the worst has come. There’s always hope.

Fire and Ice

by Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
From Thor #337 by Walter Simonson
From Thor #337 by Walter Simonson
From Thor #337 by Walter Simonson
From Thor #337 by Walter Simonson
From Thor #337 by Walter Simonson
From Thor #337 by Walter Simonson
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