Viking apocalypse called Ragnarok predicted

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn-- First Y2K, then the Mayans, and now another end of the world to worry about?

If you have plans this Saturday, you might want to hold off. A predicted Feb. 22 Vikings apocalypse is one perhaps our Scandinavian state can appreciate.

According to the Vikings, Ragnarok has been brewing for about 100 days as a series of events leading to the end of the world, including the final predicted battle that results in the death of a number of major gods. Odin, Loki and Thor are just a few that make an appearance, along with giants and wolves, even serpents and then various natural disasters follow.

"Already here at the beginning of time they know that Ragnarok is coming. The good warriors and courageous heroes are already preparing for Ragnarok," said Dr. Lena Norrman, senior Swedish lecturer at the University of Minnesota's Scandinavian studies department who teaches a course called "The Vikings: Sagas, History, and Lore."

Other signs Ragnarok is coming – the key sounding of a horn and three consecutive cold winters – something we know here in Minnesota. As part of more disasters that follow, the skies will split, the sun and moon will swallowed by wolves and in a fierce battle, only a few of the gods will survive.

"Thor is going to have to come to earth to fight," said freshman Zach Schmitt. "Guess everybody could if that's a real thing. Try to help the good guys, be a good person. It's all you can do."

Rest assured, the students studying this Nordic prophecy promise it isn't like the others.

"Ragnarok is different than some of the apocalypse – at the end of it is sort of a rebirth afterwards rather than everything being destroyed," said senior Tatiana Hakanson.

"So we can be optimistic about Ragnarok, we have a lesson to learn," said Dr. Norrman. "We need to have the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega, it's important. The interpretation is free. What is the end and what is the beginning? We have the beginning of something that is implied in this end because it's not over there."

So, sure it could be the end of the world as Vikings know it, but Norrman says in this story gives way to a new paradise. Hopefully, we'll all be fine.

"We are not making plans for Monday," she told her students with a smile.

As part of Ragnarok, believers in York, England will hold a festival Saturday.


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