For a length of time so immense that it is unimaginable to the mind, they have existed. They are one with that cold sea, those snow-capped mountains, and the bright-shining Northern Star. They reign over the order of the very cosmos themselves. In the beginning of time, they were birthed, and still they do not grow old.
Surely, you have heard tales of Asgard's sparkling, towering fortresses; of its victorious battles and the powerful Aesir and Vanir gods: Thor, the mightiest; Odin, the wisest; Freya, the fairest; Tyr, the bravest; or The Einherjar, souls of brave warriors who died honorably in battle. Perhaps you know of Yggdrasil the World Tree, the nine realms it carries on its outstretching branches and the all-seeing eagle who sits atop it, or the serpent Nidhoggr who at the bottom eats away slowly at its roots and sucks life away from all bit by bit.
My dear reader—from Midgard, the world of ignorant reality that you call Earth—I'm here to let you in on the marvelous secrets of these celestial worlds, far older and bigger than the little world you know; thus I tell you a tale of the gods. But the biggest secret of all, you may find, is that the gods were not just made of gold and glory as they are seen in so many of their tales. They, I can tell you, were monsters as filthy as the giants of Jotunheim and as greedy as the dwarves of Nidavellir. The gods would do anything to get their way: Cheat, lie, steal, betray, kill— They were not all honor and oath. And I am one of these gods.
Dinner table noise made a decrescendo from loud chatter and laughter to hushed whispers and silence as a hand raised at the far end of the feast, awaiting attention. Everyone, quiet and listening, was anxious for what they would hear. An unsettling feeling had been following them around for the past several days.
The man with his hand raised cleared his throat. "First thing tomorrow morning," he announced, goblet of mead raised to his long, silky grey beard, "I will leave for the Underworld and consult the seeress about these dreams of Baldur's. It could be a prophecy predicting great disaster, and it is crucial we take action as soon as possible." He took a sip before setting down the golden goblet gently. His name was Odin, and he was the All-Father of Asgard. Odin gazed around at the members of the table, as did his birds, with their beady black eyes; a jet-black raven was perched upon either of his shoulders— one named Huginn, the other Muninn.
Frigga, his wife, and mother of Baldur, nodded eagerly in agreement. "Yes. The seeress will be able to tell us more . . . before it is too late."
"Too late for what?" a young blond woman piped up.
Strangely, there was no response, so someone else asked instead, "And this is not just another Ragnarok prophecy, to clarify?"
"No, Sif," then responded Odin with a dark graveness in his voice. "Ragnarok prophecies do not pass through the Wall so easily the way Baldur's dreams have been." With his one eye, Odin looked at Baldur, who sat to his right. "Perhaps you should tell everyone about your dreams."
Baldur nodded a response and rubbed his red hair nervously. "I . . . Well, I'm having dreams that are showing me the future; my future. And they tell me that in the very near future, I am. . ." he drew an uncertain breath, "going to die."
Several gasps and cries erupted among the gods. "Die?"
Someone banged their fist on the table loudly. "Father Odin!" he exclaimed irritably. "What are you telling us? It doesn't make sense. How could Baldur possibly be foreseeing his own death? And in the near future?" He glanced at Baldur. "This has never happened to any of us before, not even with Ragnarok prophecies. Gods do not die for no reason. What's going on here? Is there something we don't know?" His piercing blue eyes narrowed at Odin.
Odin raised his hand, wishing Thor silence. "That is exactly what we all wonder, son, but we must remain calm until after my consultation with the seeres. I can assure you that prophecy dreams do not lie, and neither do I. We have no idea what is to come in the future. However, I choose to take this warning seriously. And I hope the rest of you will as well." His expression solemn, they knew the All-Father told the truth. Thor leaned back in his seat, looking frustrated.
The gods remained quiet for a while. That is, until a blond, jewelry-draped woman coughed and said, "I think you're forgetting something?"
"Forgetting what?" Thor grunted.
"We're missing so much information that I wouldn't be surprised if there was some other source behind this," said Freya. "There's someone here worth inquiring, if you ask me. You know, someone famous for being one to manipulate dreams . . ." she trailed off, leaving the rest to be inferred.
Instantly, all eyes were on me.
Odin sighed. "Tell the truth, son of Laufey. Do you have something to do with this?"
"Me?" I asked, aghast. "Don't be ridiculous! I have no reason to bother Baldur and his dreams. This is a serious matter, you know. You think me one to fool around about the death of a god?" I was rather offended at the accusation. And, son of Laufey? Really, Odin?
Thor raised an eyebrow at me suspiciously, but he shrugged and reached to pour himself some more mead. "Loki has a point."
"Hm." Freya, crossing her arms, didn't seem convinced.
"I hardly talk to him," Baldur pointed out, "but I'm sure I would know if he was meddling with me."
"But you know Loki is a liar!" Bragi shouted.
"Aren't we running out of time, sitting here talking like this?" someone else pointed out.
"You are right! Baldur will die! This is the fall of Asgard!" cried Nanna, Baldur's wife, in despair.
Her cry made whole feast suddenly erupt into a frenzy of argument, clashing panic and fear as everyone became angry with each other. Bragi was shouting at me, but I couldn't hear him.
"Gods of Asgard!" Odin boomed.
The whole room seemed to shake, the stars tremble. The gods fell silent.
"Whatever the reason behind the prophecy may be," he said, now in a quieter tone, "this will not incite war, and we especially shall not let it incite war amongst ourselves. I must act quickly. Tomorrow—as I have said—I will ride Steed Sleipnir to the Underworld, accompanied by nobody but Huginn and Muninn. That is the end."
The two ravens Huginn and Muninn cawed and echoed, "That is the end!" in agreement as Odin stood up.
Baldur suddenly rose as well, and he was wearing a bright grin, spreading his arms. "Do not worry! My friends, there is nothing we cannot get through. Let us be merry in this feast, and wish Father Odin a safe trip." After a collection of uplifting approvals from the others, he turned to Odin and bowed.
"I thank you for making this journey, Father," said Baldur. "Soon, we hope, this will be long behind us."
"Yes! May Baldur the Beautiful live on!" Frigga followed, standing.
The young man lifted his goblet. "And may we all live grand, under Odin's eye. For Valhalla!" he cheered, and with that, all the gods rose from their seats, echoed those words in a powerful chorus that rang through the realm, and clinked their drinks together in a toast.
If you think they're all about to save Baldur's life and everything rolls on happily like nothing ever happened, you'd better keep reading.
What a completely petty episode it was. And blaming me for his stupid dreams? I could care less about Baldur! I hated Baldur. Oh, or as he was called, "Baldur the Beautiful." His overly-humble voice, his dashing good looks, his need to constantly be pampered and worried over, the way everybody called him a glow of love, prosperity and sunshine— As if he actually did anything! They were making a big deal out of precious little Baldur's dreams about his own doom. Oh, poor Baldur. Holy Girru's beard! Did no one else want to snap at him: Welcome to reality, Baldur! We all die! I seemed to be the only one aware that this whole situation was pure balderdash (Or should I say Baldurdash? Oh . . . dear). Because you know what? None of that love and sunshine would win the war for us. Baldur softened the gods and distracted them. I had to deal with this incompetent, pettifoggery-loving buffoon who did nothing but weaken the powers of Asgard. And that's not good before a war.
The great feast that night continued on, and I, next to Thor, returned to the converse with our friends, but on the inside I was scowling like an angry wolf. How much I'd give to never see that Baldur again.
Of course, I had to do something about my dilemma. Well, I'll tell you this— I never did see Baldur again. It's been centuries now, in fact. Quite a laugh, thinking back on it. It was just so easy! What fools. And then one quick little disguise was enough to trick everyone into preventing Baldur from returning to Asgard, to anywhere, ever—
. . . Sorry, I'll slow down. Here's how it all began.
The only thing Baldur could be injured by was mistletoe. Ever since his bad dreams, his mother Frigga vowed to keep Baldur safe by making him untouchable by literally everything in the universe (so paltry); But, with a bit of ear's luck, I had heard there was one thing she'd forgotten to bless. Whatever it was, it was the only thing in the universe that could harm Baldur. I changed my appearance into that of some old hag and went to Frigga to ask her what it was, and she, suspecting nothing, answered; "Mistletoe. I'd forgotten it, but it is such a small and harmless little plant, why would anyone bother?" She laughed and flipped her hair (that part didn't happen, but I like to imagine so), and I then took this information and now I thank her for her idiocy.
One day, everyone was having a little fun in a game of throwing things at Baldur because he's invincible. They threw rocks, food, whatever they had. Einherjar chucked their most prized weapons at him (Thor even gave his hammer a throw), and even those merely bounced off of Baldur's untouched body as if he were enveloped in an invisible shield. It was funny indeed and Baldur didn't mind at all. He must have felt perpetually safe and even more divine than he already did.
As I nonchalantly entered the busy room, unnoticed, I made my way over to good old Hodr, who was sitting alone and excluded. He was Baldur's brother. Hodr was blind and an old man. (Yes, an old man was Baldur's brother; you know only gods don't age. Those Golden Apples of Youth are delicious, by the way.) Obviously, he couldn't join in on the game for his blindness. "What's going on? Why is everyone having so much fun without me? What are they laughing about?" he kept asking, but nobody answered— except for me, when I told the poor guy what was happening, and that I'd help him play the game too so he wouldn't feel left out. He agreed and I gave him an arrow of mistletoe—I'd crafted the plant into an arrow (but a playful one!), sharp as a needle—and guided his hand, aiming carefully at Baldur. Together, we shot it, then bam, in just the blink of an eye, the mistletoe pierced straight through Baldur and he fell dead on the spot.
Nobody laughed. Everyone stared, frozen, gaping in horror at the mistletoe arrow lodged in their valiant, majestic, beautiful savior's chest. All the Aesir gods were devastated.
After concluding my success, I hurried away before I was noticed, leaving Hodr to take the blame. And, well . . . You can guess what happened to him after that. I wasn't even sure Hodr himself knew what he'd done, that he'd killed his own brother. But, well, it doesn't matter, because the poor guy soon met his own similar fate. Oops!
The Aesir grieved and grieved for this tragedy, and so did the Vanir as soon as the news spread. Nanna just died of grief on the spot when she found she'd lost her husband. They hadn't arranged a funeral yet, but Frigga, who cried and blamed herself for his death (for she hadn't oathed the mistletoe), begged for someone to go to the Underworld, to Hel, the queen and the keeper of death, to, Please, oh please, bring our precious Baldur back! There will be no more light, no more flowers, no more smiles with Baldur gone! Oh, without Baldur we will die vain in darkness— Ugh. You get it. Big deal, right? And then someone did bring him back: the brave son of Frigga and Odin, Hermod. But it wasn't Hermod, it was Odin, disguised as Hermod. Posing himself as this brave young Hermod (it was less suspicious to outsiders than risking being Odin), he traveled to the dark land of the dead, pleading to Hel for Baldur's release from death. He swore that everything in universe longed for Baldur to return.
"Then arrange the funeral," Hel replied, "and everything in the cosmos must weep for him. If you can achieve this, I will send him back to Asgard. But if any refuse, he will remain here with me forever."
Relieved and overjoyed, Odin-Hermod accepted the offer.
My daughter is so good at being the queen of death! She really did mean everything in the cosmos. But the gods were not worried, because they knew everything in the universe really did want Baldur back. Everyone, masses of messengers under Frigga's command, set out to gather everything in the universe; every person, animal, plant and rock, every morsel of any form of being and asked them to cry. Preposterous, isn't it? Imagine making a rock make a promise to cry to you! When the deed was done, everything cried for Baldur. All except for one person.
"No, that Baldur? I shall not cry for him; I do not really care for him. He gave me nothing but troubles, that Baldur!" she scoffed, then turned and walked off. The gods were taken aback by her blatant refusal. Someone didn't want Baldur back?
She was a giantess, and her name was Tokk. What nobody knew was that Tokk was me! Me, shapeshifted into a disguise. I didn't cry for him, and Hel held what she told. And so Baldur was to remain with Hel in the Underworld forever. And then— Guess what? They never even suspected a thing. I got off safe. Like I said before: Too easy.
That's the story of how the most annoying god in Asgard met his end. Can you believe all that? The "most important" Aesir god dead, because of me. There's no doubting that I'm the cleverest there is.
But that doesn't mean I could stop the gods from finding out it was I who killed Baldur. Of course it was me. There was no giantess named Tokk, and no one dared to hate Baldur but me. They were furious, and they probably wanted to kill me. But they couldn't, you see. I was protected by an oath. A very old, important oath. If they hurt me, they broke the oath, and they didn't want that to happen. (Or maybe they didn't kill me because they realized I had done them all a favor, and soon they would be forgiving me and thanking me. No?)
The following day, I must have pushed the gods too far. Much too far. Everything had built up and I was sick of their ridiculous games, so I said some things to them in a rampage during the Autumn Feast— and even if I wasn't drunk, I still would have said it all anyway. I got what I wanted: They wished me gone, those weak and overprotective fools, they'd finally had enough of old Loki; So that's what I did. I left. I'd had enough of them.
All this time, I was their friend, their ally and their family. I was a god, after all, but I hadn't actually been born a god. I came from Jotunheim, the land of the enemies of the gods; However, I was protected by an oath made by Odin the day we became brothers that promised they would never hurt me. And it seems that was the only reason they kept me around all along. Not because I was loved, not because I was clever, or funny, or important— Nothing. And it took me too long to realize that.
So what did I do after I ran away? Well, they were out to get me; I killed Baldur! I couldn't just stay to lounge around in Asgard. I had a plan, and a very fine one, I think.
After some traveling, I reached some mountains and built myself a nice little house, on top of a hill, far, far away from Asgard. But I didn't just hide out in that house, there, no— For most of the daytime, I hid in a lake. I was a salmon, sitting in the depths of the water, out of sight. I turned into a salmon! The gods would never look at a little lake, see a little fish, and think, Hey, that must be Loki!
It was a long while, living in that lake, but I didn't care. Eventually, they'd give up the search and forget all about me, then I would truly be free to my own upcoming plans. You know— Revenge!
As you likely predicted, that's where I was wrong. As much as I was flawlessly exact and careful in all my little antics, it wasn't enough. Here's what happened: I'd crafted a fishing net (no, not while I was a salmon) to catch myself a meal, and after I was done, I carefully burned that net in my home's fireplace to erase the evidence that I was there. Why would a casual object like a net give away that it was Loki living in this little house and not a mere stranger or a mortal? Because I was the god who created the existence of nets themselves, and I was the only person who knew how to make . . . Fine, I didn't create the net. I stole the skill from an old ocean goddess named Ran, who was the original creator of nets. (She also loved to wear them. Like, as a dress. I'll never forget the moment I saw an old woman dressed in nets and seaweed start rising up out of the sea like some wanna-be powerful figure.) And thanks to my cunning, the whole world could then use nets as I spread the idea all around, and now look where your Midgard world is! Don't you use nets to catch all the seafood you eat? Ran probably wouldn't have let anyone in on her secret recipe for nets, so without me, you might still be catching your fish in the masses with spears. No, no, you're welcome.
After throwing away that net, I left the fire burning and, returning to my salmon figure, got back in the lake to hide.
It couldn't have been more than an hour later that I found myself—non-salmon—all slung up in a giant net and being carried down the hill by none other than some of my old pals Thor, Freya, Sif, and Tyr.
"What stupid mistake did you make, then, Loki? You burned the net and hid safely in the lake. Something must have gone wrong." You might ask this. I'll tell you: It was that very net and the fact that I did burn it. When the gods arrived at this loner's house, they not much but half-expected it to be the home of the one they were looking for, that is, until they saw the remains of the net in the fire. It hadn't burned all the way; It still held together in its criss-cross woven pattern, and then they immediately knew it was me. There was my mistake. No stranger or mortal who somehow owned a net would make effort to burn it in a fire for no reason— Only deliberately and guilty of crime would somebody burn their net, and how peculiar it was to the gods.
Still, the house was completely empty. The gods should have lost hope here. I could have been anywhere. I can shapeshift into anything; I could have been a fly on the wall, a bird in the sky, or a flea on their heads, and they'd never be able to tell. But again, the problem turns back to the net.
Apparently, Freya had been observing the net in the fire once more, when she suddenly exclaimed, "The net! Loki is a fish, hiding in water! That's where he is!"
I swear, that woman. Couldn't she choose more useful times to be smart, for once? I, back in the lake at that same moment, knew they were coming for me. With lingering hope that if I refrained from changing form they wouldn't find me, my only option was to escape up the stream that connected to the body of water, and to do that, I had to swim up the waterfall, in the same manner as a migrating salmon. Easy; I was a salmon. I had the instinct in me. The problem was the gods were already beginning to arrive at the lake, and I had to hurry.
But the four of them, as soon as they saw that salmon-me jump out of the water, rushed to the shore like an angry mob. I could feel Thor's thunderous steps shaking even the ground and the water, and soon he was wading into the lake, the others shouting encouragement behind him.
"I know that's you, sly little hog! And I'll catch you with my bare hands!" he roared.
With a massive leap from the surface, I propelled my fish self up the waterfall, but the top was much too far away for my momentum to aid me up to. I splashed back into the water. (What? Why don't you try turning into a fish and swimming up against gravity in a mass of rushing water!)
I heard Thor's muffled voice shouting something that I couldn't understand, but he was getting closer. I tried again, with no luck; the top of the waterfall was much farther away than I had first perceived. I kept trying and trying, and Thor got closer and closer. I was beginning to think this was a bad idea, but it was too late to change form now.
Thor was now right there, peering into the water to try to catch a sight of me— but I still had a chance, I could still jump. Thor couldn't catch me with his bare hands! I was large and slippery, and really, Thor's only strength was his hammer, which he didn't have at the moment. With panic supplying me with a surge of energy, I made one more huge leap, and I swam up, hard, the top getting closer this time—
And then it froze in front of me, stopped getting closer. I was . . . No, something had me by the tail! And what other than Thor's hand!
He had me. I'd lost. The god gave a triumphant howl as he held me up for the others to see, and they all cheered. He tossed me onto shore which I landed on with a hard thump, and I was forced to return to my non-salmon, godly (not so godly) form, wet, clothesless, and exhausted. I didn't bother running because immediately, the gods threw a net over me—one they'd taken from my house, how ironic—and gathered around, laughing and jeering at my defeat.
Thor leaned down, grinning, until his face was level with mine. "Told you I would catch you with my bare hands." I just glared at him, wondering if I should spit at him through the net. Then his grin suddenly faded, and his eyes, intensely blue, seemed to flash with cracks of lightning. He muttered low, his words dripping hate, "You'll pay for what you've done to us, Loki. You'll pay to the ends of Helheim."
I'll admit, that was . . . frightening. Thor was young, he was dimwitted, and he was—well, Thor—but he sure could utter menace that one would only ever expect to hear from a Draugr. A scary, zombie Viking. Try sailing a ship with an army of those guys. Been there.
Ridiculous. Pay to the ends of Helheim? That's what they had to do. They brought it upon themselves, and I was not going to do their job for them.
"Well, we've got to get you back to Asgard," Thor sighed, standing back up straight and stretching.
Asgard? I looked up at the gods, baffled. "Asgard. Why?" Sure, they wanted to catch me, but I never expected they would take me back to Asgard. They threw me out. I belonged there once, but now? I wasn't one of them anymore! Helheim, I didn't want to go back. What was their plan?
"Because," said Freya in a cheerful, singsong voice, "we need to prepare for our upcoming plans, of course! First, we have a few little things to take care of, then we must fetch your lovely family members, Vali, Narfi and Sigyn."
Suddenly alarmed, I thrashed slightly in the net, sitting up. My sons and my wife. That tone of Freya's was never a good sign. "What for? What are all of you planning to do?"
"Keep asking questions, my friend, and we might need to ask the dwarves to have your mouth sewed shut again," Thor chuckled. (That happened hundreds of years ago. Explains the scars on my lips. Being unable to speak was just as bad as having little bearded men crawling on you and sewing your mouth closed. Which is very painful.) He looked around at all the others. "Well? Come on! We haven't got all day!"
Freya, Tyr and Sif hauled me up by the ends of the net while Thor marched ahead and led the way like a champion who'd just won his greatest gold medal. I was hanging in between Freya and Sif holding one side and Tyr the other.
"Don't try anything funny," Tyr warned, looking straight ahead. "Try to escape, and it'll be the last trick you play."
I snorted and crossed my arms, laying in the net, angry and feeling pathetic. I expected it would be a long ride back to Asgard.
And that's just the beginning of the story.
Some certain events occurred. To tell it shortly, I was punished to the ends of Helheim— You know, like Thor said. Now, what I'm about to describe is not for the faint of heart.
With my two sons and my wife with me, the gods took me to a cave deep underground in which they turned Vali into a ravenous wolf. They watched, amused, as he viciously disemboweled his own brother, tore him apart until he was nothing but a bloody rag, and ate him. I saw it all. The gods then took Narfi's insides, his entrails, and turned them into unbreakable binds which they used to tie me to the slabs of rock in the cave, where they left me and planned to keep me trapped for eternity.
My sons were gone, but I wasn't alone. That wretched serpent, with its emotionless black eyes and venom-dripping fangs, was hung above my face, wrapped around a stalactite. And what did the venom-dripping fangs do? They were meant to burn my face with horrid acid with every drop. But fortunately, there was someone else kneeled by my side; my faithful wife Sigyn. She had no choice but to stay, for if she returned to Asgard, she would be shunned. All the time, she held up a small bowl which the gods had given her. The bowl would catch the drops of venom, but eventually, it had to be taken aside to be emptied, and then the venom would fall on me again, which was such agony that I could cause the mountains to tremble.
It almost was eternity. Eventually, Sigyn went mad, as her whispers of love slowly faded away, and she no longer spoke, thought, felt, or did anything but hold up and empty the bowl again and again. She was no longer Sigyn. I didn't know her.
And, obviously, the gods just loved all of my suffering. The loss of my family, the unbearable pain of the serpent's venom, the maddening darkness of the cave's depths, my being trapped . . . Ha, I wasn't trapped. As a god, I can send myself throughout the realms in a non-physical form. Doing this, I revisited the giants. So no, I technically wasn't just suffering in that cave the entire time; I was in Jotunheim. Sometimes, though, when Sigyn moved the bowl aside and the acid came falling onto the real me, I'd be in the middle of a dinner with the giants. So you can assume they heard a fair amount of unexpected screaming.
Jotunheim: My true home. The giants are my new allies. In fact, Angrboda was my first wife, the mother of Fenrir, Hel and Jormungandr. All I need for my revenge against the gods? Every giant in Jotunheim. The giants are not so intelligent, but they're loyal, strong, and reasonable. Those are qualities lacking in the gods, can you tell? It's almost Ragnarok. Fenrir is still bound to an island, impatiently waiting for the day of his escape (also known as the start of Ragnarok) so he may brutally eat everyone he sees, but I suppose what he really wants to do is get his revenge on Odin. Fenrir is full of rage for Odin. I think I relate to him. The gods had cast me away, turned my innocent son into a monster, made him kill my other son, then left my wife and I to die— and what betrayal Odin brought onto our once-loyal Fenrir was just as bad. (I may tell you the story sometime.) I don't care anymore, though. It's all in the past. Now, we focus on what's next.
Now, all the Norse worlds are preparing for the war that would end the world, including me. But I'm in luck. I have the giants on my side. The masses of giants that the gods fear so much, the giants that will win the war! They're under my control, and as of now, I'm preparing the ship. Her name is Naglfar. The ship is made entirely out of the fingernails and toenails of the dead. Awesome, right? Don't ask me why, or how I get them, because the important thing is that is a very beautifully grotesque ship of the dead.
It will be eternities from that day Baldur died that the beginning of the end begins. Life will have withered away; Mountains will no longer be towering, the sun will be too tired to show itself, grass will be gone, cities will have crumbled, the animals will have disappeared, ocean waters will turn gray and dark, and on those gray and dark waters this ship will be the one to arrive at Asgard on the beginning of Ragnarok. In this dead world, the monsters, the gods and the brave souls still thrive.
This ship is feared, it is the ship of doom. And I know, because I've heard them say it. They're terrified of the doom that will come. Why? Because at the helm of that ship will be the giant Captain Hrym with none other than myself, and all the gods will look upon us in terror, for our ship will be laden with the frost giants of Jotunheim and a legion of the dead—an army of the uncountable—and the war will begin; gods, Aesir, Vanir, Einherjar, Valkyries, monsters, giants, all clashing together in a thunderous tempest of evil and honor, blood and glory, and revenge and valiance. The war will be the end of the beginning and the beginning of the end.
They say the war will be the start of a new beginning, literally; An endless loop of time. Come Ragnarok, all the world will die— Or yet, all will be reborn with a faint and new breath, for death is not darkness and blood is not death. The gods will continue to play their golden game of chess until the end comes once again upon the divine life and frail millenia of stories which were birthed ever through time . . . Perhaps it's the way to keep them from dwindling out.
Or perhaps it really is the end of everything.
Nobody can tell the rest of the story except Ragnarok itself.