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Ragnarok Manhwa - Thoughts About The Beginning And Balder's Temple

Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Myung-Jin Lee, manhwa, ragnarok: into the abyss, balder
Have you read Volume 1, Chapter 1, of Ragnarok: Into The Abyss? What did you think about it? What were the things you noticed about this manhwa that gave you several questions to ponder?

For me, there were quite a number of things that I've noticed and observed as I read the beginning parts of this comic. And these things gave me a lot of questions and things to think and wonder about.

Perhaps some of these things will be answered in the later volumes as I continue to read this graphic novel. I sure hope so as these things certainly appear to warrant answers.

Let's now take a look at these questions as well as the events and scenes that happened in the beginning of Ragnarok: Into The Abyss.
balder, manhwa, ragnarok: into the abyss
The manhwa begins with a woman going inside a temple and battling gargoyles and the like. A few pages later and we find out the identity of this woman to be that of Fenris Fenrir's reincarnation, which answers the question of exactly who this woman is.

Another question is why she was in this temple and what she was up to. This will be answered later on, so let's not focus on this now. Instead, let's turn our attention to one of the more important questions in this part of the comic. And that question is where exactly is Fenris Fenrir right now?

With that question, I mean which world is she at right now? Which world or realm is the temple she is at located? This question is important because of the fact that this manhwa is supposed to be loosely based on Norse Mythology.

In Norse Mythology, there are actually a lot of worlds including Midgard, the realm of the mortals, and Asgard, the realm of the gods. We already know that Fenris Fenrir has been reincarnated and that she is apparently human or mortal, which indicates that she should be in Midgard.

guarding wind, valkyrie, sara irine, balder, fenris fenrir, manhwa, ragnarok: into the abyss
As such, the temple she was at should have been in Midgard. However, she soon says, no doubt for the benefit of the readers, that she was actually in the temple of Balder and that it used to be the holiest place in Asgard.

This thus appeared to indicate and imply that she was currently in Asgard. But this revelation doesn't make sense at all and just serves to make things rather confusing for the readers.

Why? It's because how could she be in Asgard if she is mortal? Isn't it that only gods should be allowed in Asgard? How did she even get there anyway? Why wasn't this clarified and explained further?

There was also the question of how she would be able to get back to Midgard if she was really currently in the realm of the gods. Yeah, I wonder if anyone knows or has the answers to these questions? But, anyway, let's just move on to the next thing to ponder about before the previous matter confuses us even further.

Fenris Fenrir soon reveals that she went to Balder's Temple to get Guarding Wind, a sword which apparently belongs to Balder. She plans to use this sword to locate said god. But before we can even wonder how she's planning to do this or why Balder would even have a sword, a Valkyrie by the name of Sara Irine suddenly shows up.

It seemed like she came from out of nowhere since her appearance was rather abrupt. But the more important thing to wonder about is how exactly did Fenris know right away that Sara was a Valkyrie even before the latter revealed that she was? Is there something that indicates that she was a Valkyrie? If so, what is it?

sara irine, valkyrie, freya, goddess, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
Anyway, Sara Irine tells Fenrir what she came to Balder's Temple for. The goddess Freya has apparently ordered her to make sure that Fenris is not able to get Guarding Wind.

That's all well and good, but that's not really the point here. Let's look at the many questions that the Valkyrie's statement about Freya's orders makes us ponder and think about:

  • Fenris Fenrir had only just been recently searching for Guarding Wind and so the sword had been untouched for a thousand years (since even Balder wasn't around to get to his sword)
  • This indicated that both Fenris and Balder were out of the way for quite a long time, so neither of them could protect the sword from their enemies
  • As such, why was it that their enemies didn't take advantage of the fact that the main characters were out of commission?
  • Why didn't they go to Balder's Temple to get Guarding Wind before either Fenris or Balder could get to it?
  • Way before Fenris showed up at the temple to get the sword, why is it that Freya didn't order Sara to go to there, get the sword and bring it to her?

In this way, when Fenris did get to Balder's Temple, she wouldn't find the sword and she'd have ended up coming there in vain. What was the reason why the villains had to wait for Fenris to show up at the temple before they decided to do something about the sword? It's like they were giving Fenris Fenrir a chance to get to it, but why? That doesn't make sense at all.

If they had gotten the sword long before, they would have been more than one step ahead of the protagonist. So when she did show up at the temple to find no sword, the Valkyrie could still appear and attempt to fight with her. Even if Fenris manages to escape, it wouldn't matter all that much since she wouldn't have the sword with her.

freya, goddess, manhwa, ragnarok: into the abyss
Besides, we'd later find out that it was actually the work of Fenris' enemies that had filled Balder's Temple with monsters to try and stop her from getting Guarding Wind.

So why couldn't they have just gone to get the sword or even just replace it with a fake one when they went to plant all those monsters there?

Another thing to ponder is how Fenris Fenrir appears to be apprehensive and worried at the arrival of Sara Irine along with a bunch of Frost Giants.

It seems that she's not quite strong enough to take Sara and the giants on and she even mentions that she is badly outnumbered. However, contrary to all that, things seem to be going extraordinarily well for her.

And she was even able to get Balder's sword with seemingly no problems at all, not to mention, she was able to succeed in escaping and even destroying the Frost Giants. But how is this so when we're also told that Sara and the Frost Giants are quite capable and powerful themselves?

So, what do you think about all of these? Did you notice these things too when you were reading this chapter and volume of the manhwa? Do you have any idea as to the possible answers to these questions?

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki (CC:BY-SA) based on the image by zbyg (CC:BY-SA) from deviantArt
- Said image is meant to symbolize the temple of Balder
- The rest of the pics are enlarged product images from Amazon.com; links shown above via Amazon's Native Shopping Ads widget

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