Netflix’s Ragnarok Is Based On Norse Mythology — Here’s A Primer

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
If you thought Netflix’s new series Ragnarok had something to do with Thor, you wouldn’t totally be wrong — but definitely don’t expect to see Chris Hemsworth. Ragnarok follows a teenager named Magne (David Stakston) who has special powers. He and his brother Laurits (Jonas Strand Gravli) move back to their hometown, Edda, Norway, so that their mom can start her new job at Jutul Industries. Edda just so happens to be the location of Ragnarok — the huge battle of the gods that almost led to the destruction of the world.
“It happened right here. The final clash between Gods and giants,” Magne’s high school teacher says, and then asking the class, “But who were those giants?” We learn that the “giants” who tried to take down the planet are still in Edda, a town that is starting to succumb to bizarre and unnatural weather patterns. At the heart of the impending doom is Jutul Industries and the family that owns the sinister corporation. Magne uses his powers to stop another Ragnarok from happening.
Advertisement
But exactly how close is Ragnarok to actual Norse mythology?

What Is Ragnarok Based On?

Ragnarök means “Fate of the Gods” in Old Norse, according to norse-mythology.org. The story of Ragnarok originates from the Poetic Edda, an ancient collection of poems from the 13th century. Ragnarok brought a “Great Winter” with it, “unlike any other the world has yet seen.” Harsh winds and snow took over the planet and lasted three times longer than the normal winter season. The cold killed all the crops, making humans so desperate for survival, that they turned on themselves, wiping out all of mankind. The deterioration of the planet led to the rise of Loki, who arrived in a big ship called Naglfar with an “army of giants.”
The rest of the gods fought against Loki, including Odin, who gets killed by Fenrir, a gigantic wolf. One of Odin’s sons, Vidar, joined the battle, and avenged his father by slitting Fenrir’s throat. Thor came on as well, killing a gigantic snake with his hammer, the Mjolnir, but was ultimately killed by the snake’s venom. 
Almost all of the gods and giants die in this great battle, except for the few who remain, including Vali (another one of Odin's sons), Baldur (the God of Light), Hodr (Baldur's brother), and Thor’s sons: Modi and Magni. According to Norse mythology, a single man and woman survive Ragnarok, and they repopulate the planet.

Is Magne The Same Thor’s Son, Magni?

Magne’s powers include super-human strength, speed and agility, and sensing weather changes before they actually happen. Thor’s powers were pretty much the same, and at one point in the series, Magne literally throws a hammer. While Magne probably isn’t Thor’s actual son, his character is definitely based on him. 
Advertisement
The Marvel comics actually flesh out Magni’s character more than Norse mythology did (although Ragnarok 100 percent has nothing to do with the Marvel version). In the comics, Magni is close with Thor, who rules over Asgard and Earth. Magni, unlike Thor and Loki, doesn’t wish to rule Earth and when he sees humans being hurt by Asgardian soldiers, he’s actually pained by it. Nonetheless, he’s super loyal to Thor and Asgard — until he meets a mortal named Jordahl, who shows Magni just how terrible humans are treated by the gods.
Magni eventually confronts Thor and challenges him to lift the Mjolnir. Thor is unable to do it, because he murdered someone a long time ago, and this rendered him “unworthy.” However, while son and dad bicker, Desak, a god-slayer, shows up and tries to kill Magni. Thor is able to lift the hammer again in order to save his son’s life. He freezes time, kills Desak and then returns to the past. 

Is The Jutul Family Based On Loki?

Basically, yes. Instead of literal giants and monsters who arrive on a ship with Loki in tow, the Jutul family own a corporation that’s polluting the earth with toxins and such. They’re also pretty powerful themselves and for sure know their way around a javelin. Loki, who?

More from TV

R29 Original Series

Button: Register To Vote