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the dictionary of norse mythology


JORMUNGAND The giant serpent—also known as the Midgard Serpent, Midgard Snake, or Midgard Worm—offspring of loki and the ogress angrboda. Jormungand is the brother of the wolf fenrir and hel, the goddess of death. The huge serpent was cast into the sea by odin and doomed to encircle the Earth, his tail in his mouth. Jormungand and thor were mortal enemies. On one occasion Thor caught the serpent using an ox-head for bait, but the giant hymir snipped the line and the serpent disappeared beneath the waves. The serpent appeared again at ragnarok and made his way onto the land, spewing venom. Thor killed the serpent but was himself poisoned by the deadly venom.

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