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The Curse of Fenric: Norse Mythological Connections

By Tavish Fraser

It is obvious that The Curse of Fenric has connections with Norse mythology, but just how much of a connection? Having quite an interest in Norse mythology myself, I decided to see what I could find. And it appears that the connections are quite deep.

The first thing I noticed was that Commander Millington made constant references to Ragnarok, the last battle between Good and Evil. After reading a translation of the Viking runes, he says: "This is it... The final battle between the gods and the beasts... It's now..."

I also noticed that the name given for Evil, "Fenric", is almost exactly the same as that of Fenris Wolf, one of the sons of Loki. Loki's other son, Jormungard (or the Midgard serpent), is also hinted to be the Ancient Haemovore. This is supported by such lines as "Let the chains of Fenric shatter" - Fenris Wolf was bound with the unbreakable chain, Gleipnir, until Ragnarok, when all bonds are loosened (and all chains shatter) - and references to "The Wolves of Fenric".

The Ancient Haemovore was referred to by Judson/Fenric as "the great serpent" - or Jormungard, the Midgard serpent, just before he was going to release the poison into the seas. According to mythology, on the day of Ragnarok "Fenris (Fenric) advances with open mouth, and Jormungard blows venom over sea and air, terrible is he when he takes his place beside Fenris (Fenric)".

However, this does not explain everything. For instance, the Doctor says that at "the beginning of all beginnings" there were only two forces, good and evil. Evil, however, was destroyed, but somehow survived in order to live until when the story takes place. And yet Loki was one of the AEsir, or the good, so how could any son of his become Fenric - evil.

"The beginning of all beginnings" could be Ginnungagap - the yawning void. From this there came forth two beings: Ymir, the father of all giants, was ice frozen from Hvergelmir the well of life, who would be the evil, and Bun, the first of the AEsir, was made from the salt of life mixed with water from Hvergelmir also, who would be the good.

In the story, it states that the curse of Fenric runs in the family - it is passed on from parents to children. Therefore, the evil from Ymir would be passed down from generation to generation through the giant race. The mother to Loki's children was a giantess, and indeed Loki had giant blood in himself. Therefore the curse could have been carried on to Loki, who was always known by the AEsir to be evil and cunning, who passed it in turn on to the eldest and by far the greatest of his sons, Fenris Wolf.

The oriental treasure which Fenric (Fenris) was trapped in, then, would be Gleipnir, the unbreakable chains which would then shatter when the day of Ragnarok came. The chains did shatter, and the Ancient Haemovore (Jormungard) came to his side and readied to blow venom over the sea and the air. However contrary to this, Jormungard did not blow the venom over the world, instead he turned on his brother, Fenric (Fenris) and the battle was won by the gods.

Which leaves us one question... What part does the Doctor play in all this? You may have noticed that in my explanation, the only two of the AEsir mentioned are Bun and Loki. All the others are absent.

Especially Odin, the Allfather...

(If you want to learn more about Norse mythology and the AEsir, try reading Myths of the Norsemen by Roger Lancelyn Green).

This item appeared in TSV 21 (February 1991).

Index nodes: The Curse of Fenric