Fenrir also known as Fenrisúlfr, or "Fenris wolf", was known as a monstrous black wolf..
Fenrir is the son of the god Loki, and the giantess Angrboða..
And the brother of Hel (His sister) and Jörmungandr (his brother)..
At birth, Fenrir and his siblings were taken from their parents, and then separated from one another..
Fenrir's Serpent brother Jörmungandr was tossed into the great ocean that encircles Midgard (a realm outside of our earth & space..)
And Fenrir's sister Hel was thrown into literally hell.. (Where she ended up ruling over..)
As for Fenrir himself, he was brought to the home of the gods, where he could be watched over, and hopefully tamed..
As a young cub, all the gods thought Fenrir was extremely cute and would always stroke him affectionately, they'd even give him tasty pieces of meat, and laughed at his cuteness..
But as time passed and Fenrir quickly grew older, his cute cub's body was replaced with muscle and his milk teeth were replaced with razor sharp fangs.. And his claws could slice nearly anything into ribbons..
At this point the gods began to fear Fenrir, they started to keep their distant from him, and at one point took away his freedom by trying to contain him in a cage..
As time passed Fenrir easily out grew the cage and could not be confined in it any longer..
The only god whom was brave enough to come near Fenrir was the god "Týr" (The Norse god of war..)..
One day Týr went to see Fenrir, at his surprise Fenrir was as big as a ox, Tyr than offered to play a game with Fenrir..
The game was that Týr would chain Fenrir up with a chain called "Leyding", this was a game of strength, to see if Fenrir was strong enough to break from it..
Simple enough Fenrir flexed his muscles and Leyding shattered to pieces..
Afterwards, Týr went to the king of gods "Odin" and explained about Fenrir's strength..
Odin then went to see the Norns..
Now, the Norns are female beings who rule the destiny of gods and men, a kind of dísir comparable to the Fates in Greek mythology.
The thing about the Norns is that they can prophesize a future, but most importantly they're very tricky and tell things in a riddles.
In simple to sum up the Norns, making a deal with one of them doesn't always end exactly well..
ANYWAYS! When Odin went to see the Norns, they prophesied that one day Fenrir would be the reason for the end of the gods, as well as the end of the world!
(But remember what I said! They talk in riddles and they never did quite say why or how he ended up doing so..)
On hearing this prophecy, Odin gathered the gods and together they decided something needed to be done to Fenrir to ensure this did not happen!
They then said that Týr was probably exaggerating about Fenrir, and that he just probably didn't chain Fenrir up properly..
And so they got a much stronger/thicker chain easily twice as strong as Leyding, called "Dromi".
This time all the gods came a long to see Týr bind Fenrir, to ensure he did it right..
This time, Fenrir had grown to be as big as a Viking Battle ship!
The gods watched while keeping their distance from the great wolf..
The gods asked Fenrir to try the new chain, and that should he break this, Fenrir would achieve great fame for his strength. Fenrir considered that the chain was very strong, yet also that his strength had grown since he broke Leyding, and so Fenrir allowed himself to be chained..
Fenrir laid there relaxing while the gods chained him up, once they were all done, Fenrir stood up and shook himself, once again Dromi shattered to pieces..
The gods were shocked, and for accomplishing this, Fenrir gave a smirk and walked off..
The gods started to fear that they would not be able to bind Fenrir, and so Odin sent Freyr's messenger "Skírnir" down into the land of Svartálfaheimr to "some dwarfs" and had them make a fetter called "Gleipnir". The dwarves constructed Gleipnir from six mythical ingredients.
- The sound of a cat's footfall
- The beard of a woman
- The roots of a mountain
- The sinews of a bear
- The breath of a fish
- The spittle of a bird
Anyways The Dwarves told the messenger Skírnir to come back in one month, in which the new chain would be complete..
After one month the messenger Skírnir returned, what he was given, surprised him!
The Dwarves gave him a soft silky Ribbon!!!
Skírnir was outraged, saying "ARE YOU KIDDING? YOU EXPECT US TO BIND FENRIR WITH THIS.. THIS RIBBON?!"
The Dwarves let him go on for a little, before telling him to shut up and explained that it was a special magical ribbon!
Having nothing else he could do, Skírnir returned to the gods, and on returning all the gods started to say that the messenger Skírnir was conned!
A big argument broke out between the now panic filled gods, as they argued with one another..
At this point Odin stepped up and told them to silence themselves.. For Odin knew the reputation of the Dwarves and knew that they were famous for their work..
The gods then went to Fenrir and asked him to come along with them to the lake "Amsvartnir"..
To their surprise Fenrir was now bigger then a massive Dragon!
Ignoring their surprise of his size, they told him they were going to have a great feast! And that the food there was extremely delicious!
At this point, Fenrir felt that he had grown so big and powerful that he didn't need to fear any god, and so he agreed to come along..
Fenrir to accompany them, and continued to the island called "Lyngvi"..
True to their word, they started cooking meat and drinking wine, Fenrir turned to them and said he preferred his meat raw and not burnt, and so he went to hunt his own..
The gods watched in shock to see Fenrir stalk and eat down over 20 cows (or some kind of cattle that lived on that island..)
When the gods and Fenrir finished eating for the most part, the gods then showed Fenrir the ribbon Gleipnir, they then told him that they came across this ribbon and that none of the gods can break it, and then asked Fenrir if he'd be up for playing another game?
Fenrir looked at Gleipnir and said, "This would hardly be benefiting to my reputation, so I'll pass.."
The gods then tried to tease him, saying that he's just afraid that he can't break it..
Fenrir could sense that the gods were up to something and hesitated, but then Odin stepped in and said "Oh come on Fenrir be a sport! If you can break this, you'll prove to be stronger then any god, and if you cannot break this little ribbon, it will give the gods a reason not to fear you, and so if you cannot break free, we'll free you.."
With his pride on the line, Fenrir hesitatingly agreed..
But said "On the condition that one of you, would place their hand in his mouth as a pledge that this is done in good faith, and that I will be released afterwards.."
With this statement, all of the gods look to one another, finding themselves in a dilemma. Everyone refused to place their hand in Fenrir's mouth until Týr put out his right hand and placed it into the wolf's jaws.
After the gods finished binding Fenrir with Gleipnir, Fenrir tried to break free, but the more he struggled the more Gleipnir got tighter and bit into his flesh!
The pain was so intense at times, Fenrir ended up giving out a whimper.. After a few minutes of trying to break free, Fenrir gave up, and asked to be released..
On seeing that Fenrir could not break free the gods laughed at him and patted one another on the back, all cheering except for Týr whom knew what was coming next!
Fenrir Bit off his hand in a instant!
When the gods knew that Fenrir was fully bound, they took a cord called "Gelgja" which they attached to Gleipnir, then inserted the cord through a large stone slab called "Gjöll"..
The gods then fastened the stone slab deep into the ground. Afterwards, the gods took a great rock called "Thviti" and thrust it even further into the ground as an anchoring peg.
Fenrir reacted violently; he opened his jaws very widely, and tried to bite the gods. He even tried howling for help, but as he did this, the gods took a massive sword and plunged it into the top of his mouth piercing through and pinning his mouth shut so that he could not bite at them or call for help!
Fenrir "howled horribly," saliva ran from his mouth, and this saliva formed the river "Ván"..
Fenrir stared at the gods with pure hatred! He had a look in his eyes that could instantly kill a mortal!
The gods then left Fenrir there, where he would stay until Ragnarök (The end of the world/end of the gods..)
It was later asked why they did not just kill Fenrir there since they expected great malice from him. It was replies that "so greatly did the gods respect their holy places and places of sanctuary that they did not want to defile them with the wolf's blood even though the prophecies say that he will be the death of Odin."
Anyways, when Ragnarök rolls around, Fenrir end up's growing so big that he is able touch the heavens with his upper jaw and have his lower jaw be underneath the earth, and with one swift bite, he could easily bite the earth in two!
With such strength and power, he breaks free from Gleipnir and joins up with others who wage war on the gods..
Fenrir ends up fighting Odin, and kills Odin..
Also I'm not too sure when or where, but Fenrir has two wolf sons named "Sköll" and "Hati"..
During Ragnarök Sköll will eat the sun and Hati will eat the moon.. Plunging the worlds into darkness..
It is said that After Fenrir kills Odin, Odin's son basically gets a sucker punch and kills Fenrir..
In the end, the worlds are reborn a new, free of the gods..
Anyways, when hearing the story, the Norns definitely did foresee the future, but remember they didn't explain how or why this came to pass..
In my opinion, Fenrir was not bad at all, and it was only natural he would be filled with so much hatred and seek revenge..
It was the gods who betrayed him, the gods to were so cruel to him, and because of what they did, it ultimately caused the events to play into motion..
I mean if Fenrir would have continued to get the love he had as a cub, and if they never treated him with such cruelty, wouldn't he have been loyal? After all it is very much in a wolf's character to be loyal.. And so I think there is a very important point to this story.. Don't you?