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Fenrir is a monstrous creature in the form of a giant wolf, who is said to swallow the sun at Ragnarok, and everything that comes into its path, and even kill the All-Father, Odin, the leader of the Norse Pantheon, before he in turn is slain by another son of Odin.
Fenrir is one of the three children of Loki and the giantess Angrboda, alongside Jormungandr, the Serpent Who Encircles Midgard, and who manages to kill Thor during Ragnarok, and Hel, the goddess of the Underworld.
Fenrir is said to have been the greatest Wolf in Norse Mythology, and the most fearsome one, its legend managed to survive until even modern times. As monstrous as it was, Fenrir was used as a bad omen in Norse history, but through the ages, Fenrir got viewed as inevitable and as a part of the natural order of life.
In modern times, many writers inspired their characters from Fenrir and created beasts with similarity to the wolf that battles the gods at Ragnarok. What became more interesting is the fact that people started getting Fenrir Tattoos on their bodies, as either tattoo that reflects the vitality of the person wearing them, or as homages to the Wolf of War.
Fenrir Tattoo Meaning
Various Norse prophecies predicted the birth of Loki’s children, and as result the Gods of Asgard tried to prevent the end result they would bring. Jormungandr got thrown into the sea by Odin, Hel was confined to the Underworld where she would end up controlling the realm, while Fenrir was entrusted to Týr – son of Odin and the god of law and war, and kept away from Loki. Týr can be said to be similar to Ares, from Greek mythology.
The problem was that Fenrir was growing too fast, so the Asgardians had to confine him, so they tried to chain him, but Fenrir escaped. Twice. Asgardians managed to fool Fenrir twice, saying it was a game to test his strength. For a third time, the Asgardians had the dwarves forge the strongest chain they could, and they succeeded in creating a light chain, but very durable.
Fenrir sensed that something was wrong, so he had a condition if he were to be chained for the third time. That someone who is brave enough should put his hand in his mouth, and nothing would happen to the hand as long as there was no foul play at work on behalf of the Asgardians. No god dared to do so, because they knew Fenrir would bite the hand. Only one was brave enough to do so, and that was Tyr.
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So Tyr placed his hand in Fenrir’s mouth, even if he knew he would lose his hand. So the Asgardians chained Fenrir, so he thrashed and struggled to escape the chains, but he declared that he lost to the chain, and demanded the Asgardians release him. Upon seeing that they refused to do so, he bit and swallowed Tyr‘s hand. The chain was tied to a boulder huge enough to keep Fenrir captive.
But it is prophesied that Fenrir would be free at Ragnarok, and it would run around the world with the lower jaw on the earth and the upper jaw in the sky swallowing everything in its path. He would even kill Odin, but ultimately end up put to death by one of Odin’s avenging sons.
It can be said that Fenrir was a force of nature, one not to be reckoned with, but that does not mean it was an evil creature. That was just its nature, to hunt anyone who he deemed a target. Viking history considered Fenrir and Jormungandr as being one of the natures, and at the same time being a necessary part of Ragnarok, which at the end of the day, it was just a way for the cycle of death and rebirth to repeat over and over throughout the end of time.
It can be said that many of the Norse Myths regarding various wolves are just Fenrir under a different name and while the chaining of Fenrir was a way to prevent the fulfillment of the prophecy, the escape and killing of Odin even if it was a tragic event, in the end, was considered just. Because of this, Fenrir got associated with the symbols of Vitality, Strength, Destiny, Ferocity, Fearlessness, Inevitability
Fenrir is an important figurehead in Norse Mythology, and throughout the ages became one in literature workings, influencing a lot of classic and modern literary works. The influence of Fenrir is present even in video games, such as Dark Souls and movies/tv shows. Fenrir even became a symbol for jewelry, pendants, and rings, and it’s an important fashion statement. What is not surprising is the fact that people chose to do even Fenrir Tattoos, because they feel that Fenrir has a close connection with them.
Fenrir Tattoo Ideas
The Norse lore is filled with enough stories to fill your entire body with tattoos if you so wish, and a lot of your body can be reserved just for Fenrir and its story.
If you feel like the Giant Wolf has a special connection with you, and resonates on a deeper level, then you might consider thinking of getting one or more Fenrir tattoos. A wolf tattoo, and especially a Fenrir tattoo can give a lot of different vibes off, depending on what type of people view your tattoo. Some might get scared of it and its story, while others might admire it and get inspired to get one of their own.
Whatever it might be the case, we are here to always encourage you to do your due diligence, and if you are inclined to do a tattoo based on such rich lore, to read and find elements that might accompany your tattoo. But to always try to create a unique tattoo. Talking with your tattoo artist of choice can bring great yield, as the opinion of a professional can be of great help to you, and the final result can differ from a bad tattoo that you can proudly wear for the rest of your life.
If you have this in mind, then you need to go to the next step, and that is to decide what your Fenrir tattoo would look like, and what stance should the fearsome wolf have. Do you have it ready to attack, do you have it chewing on enemies’ bones? Or do you just have a visual representation of him accompanied by different elements?
What about the style of drawing? Are you feeling artistic, and what a more sketchy tattoo? Or many blackwork should fit your style more? Or many black and white? Maybe you prefer a more colorful approach to it, and want to add color to the myth. Maybe a more traditional approach is your style, or you might prefer a more realistic tattoo that gives more depth to it.
Whatever your style of choice, we think that Fenrir is an integral part of the Norse Mythology and deserves the recognition it gets, and we are happy when we see more Fenrir Tattoos make their way to life, as we can witness a diverse range of techniques and styles which accompany it.
<May your next Fenrir tattoos give you the Fearlessness and Strength to face your trials proudly!>
Fenrir Tattoo Design
If you enjoyed these FENRIR Tattoos then Click on the links below for more amazing galleries of different gods and their mythology.
Which of these Fenrir tattoos are your favorites? Tell us in the comments!
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