Fenrir (Fenris) (from the swamp) In Norse mythology, a giant wolf, son of the evil firetrickster god, Loki; brother of Hel. When Fenrir opened his mouth one jaw touched the earth and the other reached to heaven. Fenrir is best known as the wolf who bit off the god Tyr’s hand. “When the gods tried to persuade the wolf Fenrir to allow the fetter Gleipnir to be placed on him, he did not believe that they would free him until they put Tyr’s hand in his mouth as a pledge. Then, when the Aesir would not loose him, he bit off the hand at the place now known as the ‘wolf joint.’ [So Tyr] is onehanded and he is not called a peace-maker.” Fenrir was expected to swallow the god Odin at the day of doom when gods, giants, people, and the world would be destroyed. Fenrir appears in the Poetic Edda, the Prose Edda, and a dramatic poem, Fenris the Wolf, by Percy MacKay (1875–1956)


Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow
Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante

Norse Mythology

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Norse Mythology