Study Guide

Fenrir

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    The giant wolf Fenrir must have been really adorable as a pup. Why else would the Aesir decide to banish Loki's other monster babies from Asgard, but raise Fenrir as a pet? They should have known better. After all, a prophetess warned them that Fenrir would kill Odin at Ragnarök. But Odin and Týr had a soft spot for the wolf, and just kept feeding him until he grew so big they couldn't control him. It took magical dwarvish bindings and gigantic stone stakes to leash him permanently, and Týr lost a hand in the process. Now, Fenrir howls in horrible pain from the sword stuck between his jaws to keep him from biting. He also slobbers a lot, causing the River Ván to flow. And like Loki's other kids, he waits eagerly for Ragnarök, the great battle when he'll finally get his revenge.

    Basic Information

    Name

    Fenrir

    Nickname

    Fenris-Wolf, Hróðvitnir ("fame-wolf") (Skáldskaparmál 75), Vánargandr ("monster of the River Ván") (Skáldskaparmál 16), Fenny

    Sex

    Male

    Current city

    Island of Lyngvi, Lake Amsvartnir, Asgard

    Work & Education

    Occupation

    River-Maker

    Education

    None. Týr and Odin may have wanted to train me like a dog, but I'm a wolf.

    Beliefs

    Political views

    Apocalypticist. I want the end of the world to come now so I can get out of these fetters and kill Odin, already.

    Family & Friends (& Enemies)

    Parents

    Loki and his giantess mistress, Angrboda

    Siblings

    Midgard-Serpent Jormungand, lady of the underworld Hel, and half-brother Narfi

    Children

    Moon- and Sun-swallowing wolf brothers Sköll and Hati Hróðvitnisson

    Friends

    Fellow wolves Geri and Freki.  I used to think Týr and Odin were my friends, but they betrayed me. Jerks.

    Enemies

    All the Aesir gods, but especially Týr, Odin, and Viðarr

    Relationships

    Relationship status

    It's complicated with the Ironwood Giantess

    Interested in

    Alpha Females

    Favorites

    TV Shows

    Game of Thrones
    Teen Wolf
    Wolf's Rain

    Quotations

    "Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?"
    – Frank Churchill (Disney Sing-Along Songs)

    "Another legend claims that we descended from wolves—and that the wolves are our brothers still."
    – Jacob Black, Twilight

    "I wouldn't want to miss a trip to Hogwarts […] not when there are throats to be ripped out… Delicious, delicious…"
    – Fenrir Greyback, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

    "We humans fear the beast within the wolf because we do not understand the beast within ourselves."
    – Gerald Hausman

    "What the hammer? what the chain? / In what furnace was thy brain? / What the anvil? what dread grasp / Dare its deadly terrors clasp?"
    – William Blake, "The Tyger"

    Books

    The Call of the Wild by Jack London
    Julie of the Wolves by Craighead George
    The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
    Howl by Allen Ginsberg
    "Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
    A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
    "The Tyger" by William Blake
    New Moon by Stephenie Myer

    Music

    Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf (Disney Sing-Along Songs)
    Hungry Like the Wolf by Duran Duran
    Born to Be Wild by Steppenwolf
    Of Wolf and Man by Metallica
    Bark at the Moon by Ozzy Osbourne
    Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon
    The Big Bad Wolf by Duck Sauce
    Seven Days to the Wolves by Nightwish

    Movies

    White Fang
    Dances with Wolves
    Underworld
    Never Cry Wolf
    Red Riding Hood
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
    The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
    Wolf 

    Activities & Interests

    Likes

    Fresh meat
    The smell of blood
    The moon
    Other wolves
    Dens
    Wolf Brand chili

    Interests

    Lycanthropy (werewolves)
    Lupophobia (fear of wolves)
    Canine and Wolf studies

    Groups

    The Wolf Pack
    Save the Wolves Foundation
    Fearsome Critters; Giant Man-Eating Canines Branch
    Children of Loki
    Monsters of Middle-Earth

    • Spotter's Guide

      Wolves are a pretty spooky bunch, so it's not easy to find them in the wild. But the gods of Asgard have guaranteed that they'll always know where to find Fenrir: chained to a rock on Lyngvi Island in the middle of Lake Amsvartnir. They've imprisoned him there to make sure he doesn't cause trouble for them during Ragnarök. To make your meeting go more smoothly, you might consider bringing some fresh meat. But be careful when you approach him—he may bite.

      Sex: Male
      Age: Young
      Build: Muscular and Sinewy
      Complexion: Hairy
      Hair Color: Gray
      Facial Hair: Body hair—all over (also known as fur…)
      Scars/marks/tattoos: Puncture wounds in the gums from the sword gods stuck in his mouth to keep him from biting. Ouch.
      Jewelry and accessories: A magical silk fetter, Gleipnir, and a sword that's stuck in his mouth
      Clothing: Fur coat
      Armor: Wolves don't need armor
      Type of Weapon: Extremely lethal teeth

      Typical Companions:

      Týr, before he betrayed him

      Known Hangouts:

      Lyngvi Island, Lake Amsvartnir
      Vigrið Battlefield (during Ragnarök)
      The woods on a hunt (if he could escape)
      At the mouth (literally!) of the River Ván

    • Sightings

      Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

      Thorwald's Cross

      It may be just a rock, but it tells a story. Etched on one side is Odin with his foot in a wolf's mouth. On the other, Christ defeats Satan. These parallel Christian and Pagan stories make this stone "syncretic"—a combination of traditions from both religions.

      Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

      Poetic Edda

      Fenrir's first appearance in this collection of anonymous Old Icelandic poems comes at the end—the end of the world, that is. A wise woman called the Völuspá predicts that Fenrir will kill Odin during Ragnarök. Sorry, Odin.

      Dec 20, 2019

      Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson

      The prophecies that Fenrir will wreak havoc during Ragnarök cause him lots of trouble as a young'un. The gods decide to chain him up, but he's too smart for them. It takes three fetters and Týr's loss of a hand before they finally get the job done. It still doesn't work, though: Fenrir still manages to kill Odin and to produce wolf-pups who swallow the sun and moon. What can we say? Destructiveness runs in the family.

      Dec 20, 2019

      "Om Fenrisulven og Tyr" by Adam Goetlob Oehlenschlager

      This lyric poem about the binding of Fenrir was written by a guy who was kind of a big deal in Danish Romanticism—he was even crowned the "King of Nordic Poetry" in 1829. So we were surprised that we weren't able to find an English translation. (If you find one, let us know.) Anybody speak Danish?

      Dec 20, 1965

      Journey into Mystery #114 & ff (Marvel Comics Universe)

      The comic-book version of Fenrir is kind of like a cross between a werewolf and a vampire. He can take on the human appearance of his last victim, and he grows stronger as he eats more people. That's a good thing, because Fenrir has more enemies here, including Beta Ray Bill and the Incredible Hulk.

      Dec 20, 1999

      Yu-Gi-Oh!, the Card Game

      Fenrir has red eyes and long claws in his incarnation as a playing card. In this dueling game, he's an "effect monster," meaning that playing with him makes something bad happen to your opponent. We're guessing the one-handed Týr would agree.

      Dec 20, 2019

      Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

      Fenrir is the name of a gray wolf that follows the hero around in this CGI film version of the popular role-playing game. But this wolf seems to be just an ordinary wolf, or maybe, as fans claim on the wiki, a symbol of the hero's "loneliness and his guilt for the deaths of two of his greatest friends" (source.)