Study Guide

Jormungand (Jörmungandr)

  • Profile

    If you thought the petrifying basilisk of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was the first slithering serpent to terrorize readers everywhere, think again. Jormungand, the gigantic sea-snake of Middle Earth, has been giving Vikings nightmares for centuries. Jormungand is the spawn of resident Asgard trouble-maker Loki and his giantess mistress, Angrboda. Not a good combo, since he inherits daddy's troublemaking nature and mommy's monstrous size.

    The Asgard gods realize immediately that Jormungand's a problem child. They try to get rid of him by throwing him in the ocean surrounding Middle-Earth. Big mistake. He quickly grows so big on a daily diet of whales that he's able to encircle the whole world and bite his own tail. Yowza.

    Jormungand is Thor's nemesis; the big one that the hero just can't catch. When the waters begin to ripple, watch out: it means that Jormungand has awakened, let go of his tail, and Valhalla—the end of the world—is near. Gulp.

    Basic Information

    Name

    Jormungand (Jörmungandr)

    Nickname

    The World-Serpent, the Midgard-Serpent, "Necklace of the Earth" (Húsdrápa 4.4), "Earth-Girdler" (Hymiskvida 23.4), Thor-Bait, Jormy-Worm (but only my mom calls me that)

    Sex

    Male

    Current city

    Under the sssea

    Work & Education

    Occupation

    Encircling the earth. No big deal.

    Education

    My instincts give me all the knowledge I need: when to bite, when to eat, and how to stay warm.

    Beliefs

    Political views

    Apocalypticist (I believe the end of the world is near. I just wish it would get here sooner so I could swallow Thor.)

    Family & Friends (& Enemies)

    Parents

    Loki and his giantess mistressss, Angrboda

    Siblings

    Fellow monstrousss brother Fenrir-Wolf; sister Hel, lady of the underworld; and half-brother Narfi

    Children

    None.

    Friends

    Nidhögg

    Enemies

    All the Aesir gods, but especially Odin, who threw me into the sssea (what did I ever do to hurt you?); and Thor, who keeps trying to catch me.

    Relationships

    Relationship status

    None. All the lady-serpentsss are intimidated by my size.

    Interested in

    Sleeping

    Favorites

    TV Shows

    River Monsters
    Chased by Sea Monsters
    Snakebytes.tv

    Quotations

    "Rip… Tear… Kill… Soo hungry for so long. Kill…Time to kill. I smell blood. … I SMELL BLOOD!"
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

    "No, snakes are no problem. I'd go to any country, anywhere, any snakes, not a problem."
    – Steve Irwin

    "The serpent, the king, the tiger, the stinging wasp, the small child, the dog owned by other people, and the fool: these seven ought not to be awakened from sleep."
    – Chanakaya

    "And therefore think him as a serpent's egg, / Which, hatch'd, would as his kind grow mischievous."
    – Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

    "It's the end of the world as we know it / And I feel fine."
    – R.E.M.

    Books

    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
    Beowulf (Grendel's mom and I are this close)
    Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
    The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
    The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling


    The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians series) by Rick Riordan
    Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman 
    Giant Snakes: Unraveling the Coils of Mystery by Michael Newton

    Music

    Poison by Alice Cooper 
    Snake Bite (album) by Whitesnake
    Songs for Snakes
    Everything by Cobra Starship, and especially Snakes on a Plane (Bring It)
    It's the End of the World as We Know It by R.E.M.
    Tail Swallower and Dove (album) by These Arms are Snakes 
    Snake Eye by AC/DC

    Movies

    The Jungle Book
    Raiders of the Lost Ark
    Snakes on a Plane
    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
    Creature from the Black Lagoon
    Godzilla
    Lake Placid

    Activities & Interests

    Likes

    Rocks in the sun
    Whalesss (for dinner)
    The water
    Venom
    Fangs
    Snake charmersss

    Interests

    Ophidiophobia (fear of snakes)
    Toxicology (the study of poisons)
    Herpetology (the study of snakes)
    Oceanography

    Groups

    Fearsome Critters, Giant Man-Eating Snake Branch
    Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles
    Monstersss of Middle-Earth
    Anti-Fishing Activistsss

    • Spotter's Guide

      You'll need a boat to get to Jormungand. Odin banished him to the ocean at the beginning of time, and he hasn't moved much since. He's kind of hard to miss, though. First, he's a serpent. Second, he's long enough to wrap around all of Middle-Earth and bite his own tail. So yeah, you can't really miss him. But if you find him sleeping, don't wake him. Not only will he probably sink his poisonous fangs into you, but his movement will churn the waves, setting Ragnarok (the end of the world) in motion.

      Sex: Male
      Age: Eons
      Build: Long, large, and slithery
      Complexion: Green
      Hair Color: You mean scale color?
      Facial Hair: If he has a beard, it looks like this.
      Scars/marks/tattoos: A scar from a puncture wound from Thor's fishing hook
      Jewelry and accessories: Coils
      Clothing: Just the birthday suit
      Armor: Scales
      Type of Weapon: Venomous fangs

      Typical Companions:

      He swims with the fishes. And whales, before he eats them.

      Known Hangouts:

      Under the sea
      On or under a sunny rock
      The reptile house

    • Sightings

      Dec 20, 0985

      Húsdrápa, by Úlfr Uggason

      Húsdrápa is an Old Norse poem about kitchen cabinets (really). But it's actually pretty cool. It describes the scenes carved on three panels: Balder's funeral, a competition between Loki and Heimdall, and Thor's fishing trip for our buddy Jormungand.

      Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

      Poetic Edda

      The Poetic Edda is a whole collection of anonymous poems. In one, the Völuspá, a wise-woman predicts that Jormungand and Thor will fight to the death during Valhalla. But that's not the first time Thor and Jormungand fight it out: in Hymisvitha, Thor hooks Jormungand on his fishing line only to have the monster cause an earthquake before escaping.

      Dec 20, 2019

      Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson

      The story of Thor's fishing trip was so popular that Snorri Sturluson retold it in the Gylfaginning section of his Prose Edda. He added lots of new, juicy details like how Thor struggled so mightily to hold on to Jormungand that he put his feet through the bottom of his boat. According to Gylfaginning, these two already had a history. Giant king Utgardsloki tricked Thor into trying to lift the serpent by disguising him as a cat.

      Dec 20, 2019

      Marvel Tales I #105 (&ff)

      Jormungand first appears in the Thor series in 1952. His story line actually follows Norse mythology pretty closely. This being a superhero story, though, Jormungand gets extra superpowers, like the ability to crush the earth by squeezing it, shoot "fire energy" from his eyes, and shape-shift into a dragon named Fin Fang Foom. Hey, we didn't name him.

      Dec 20, 2019

      Final Fantasy XI

      Jormungand appears as a monster in the first online release of this 25-year-old role-playing game, with cool-sounding abilities like "horrid roar," "glacial breath," and "spike flail."

      Dec 20, 2019

      Magicka

      In this online fantasy game, the city of Hávindr is under siege and you must come to the king's rescue. But to get there, you have to fight off some monsters, including Jormungandr. If the gaming buzz is to be believed, he's pretty difficult to kill.