The Monsters

There were many dangers in the Norse world, but none were as deadly as the monsters that roamed the nine worlds.

Fafnir [pronounced: fav-near] was once a dwarf but was twisted by Andvari's [Ar-nd-var-ee] riches and became a dragon whose only purpose was to guard its horde of treasure. It moves without a sound, is deadly cunning, and breathes toxic poison.

To hear how Fafnir came to be, click here.

'Fafnir guarding the gold hoard' by Arthur Rackham.

Fenrir [fen-rear] was a great wolf. It was bound by the Aesir [ice-ir] because of the destruction it might bring to the nine worlds if it was allowed to roam freely. It was prophesied, however, that at Ragnarok [rag-na-rock], Fenrir would break his bonds, kill Odin [oh-din] and devour the world.

'Odin and Fenris' by Dorothy Hardy

Jormungand [your-mun-gand] was known as the Midgard [mid-guard] Serpent. It was an enormous, black-scaled snake that lived in the oceans surrounding Midgard.

'Thor and the Midgard Serpent' by Emil Doepler

Garm [gar-m] was a dog with jet-black fur and fangs stained with dry blood. To those that saw it, it was easy to mistake it for a wolf, but Garm was no wolf. It was much, much worse.

Nidhogg [nid-hog] was a serpent that slivered on the bark of Yggdrasil [ig-dra-sil]. It leeched its nutrients and gnawed at its roots.

Skoll [skol] and Hati [hat-ee] were wolves hellbent on chasing down and devouring the moon and the sun. They were relentless, and they never tired.

'The Wolves Pursuing Sól and Máni' by J. C. Dollman

It is also worth mentioning the Draugr [draw-ger]…

The Draugr were the living dead. Their flesh had peeled from their bones, and the stench of decay followed them wherever they went. They usually dwelt in burial mounds guarding treasure troves. They were feared warriors, possessing superhuman strength. Few could slow the pursuit of a Draugr. They felt no pain and, in some cases, were immune to any form of weapon.