the dictionary of norse mythology


SERPENT Word often used in mythology, reli-gion, and folklore to denote nonspecific reptiles, such as snakes and dragons and also sea monsters. In Norse mythology, the dragon nithog chewed at the roots of the sacred tree, yggdrasil, and jormungand, the Midgard Serpent, encircled the Earth with his tail in his mouth and spewed poisonous fumes at rag-narok. The great god, odin, turned himself into a serpent to enter the cave where he found the mead of poetry. fafnir turned himself into a dragon to guard his treasure see Otr's Ransom, under otr. The gods placed a serpent over loki's head after they had bound him to a rock.

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