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Initial Thoughts About The Magic System Of Ragnarok Manhwa

Wednesday, December 18, 2013
What can you say about the magic system of Ragnarok: Into The Abyss manhwa? One thing I can say is that it's pretty cool (Oops, that's actually 2 words, but, oh well). What else can be said about this topic? And what might be the problem with it?
magic system, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
Yes, I'll say it again: I think the magic system of Ragnarok: Into The Abyss is pretty cool and interesting from what I've seen so far (since I'm still not done reading this manhwa, hence the word "initial" as part of the title of this post). Really, how could it not be interesting or cool when we see such things as magical items and impressive abilities and powerful weapons and the like?

However, there were many other things regarding the magic system to take note of, foremost of which is how does all this work exactly? What does that mean, you ask? I'm talking about the limitations and constraints of the magic system in the world of this graphic novel.

When we read fiction, especially the kind that involves magic and fantasy, there is what is known as suspension of disbelief wherein we don't question why magic exists in the world of whatever we're reading. Instead, we accept that magic is real and that it exists in that world even if it isn't real in our own world.

The same can be said with this comic. So I'm not questioning why there is magic in this world or why they have magical items, cool powers, abilities and weapons. Really, that's all well and good, very much so, actually. So, what is the problem then? The problem is we are, so far, never told how things really work in this manhwa.

ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
We don't know the constraints and limits of the magical abilities of the characters or how powerful their weapons and items really are.

It's not only that I am interested in knowing these things (because this stuff is really cool), it's also how, even if we accept that magic is real and that it exists in the world of whatever we're reading, there still needs to be a method as to how these things can work instead of just telling us that it works because it works.

In other words, even a world where magic exists should still have laws and rules as to how these things work. Besides, if everyone can do pretty much whatever they want, then the characters can appear super powered and as if they can do anything.

If that's the case, then what's the point of the story? Just have the good guys beat the bad guys with their magical super powers that can do anything and everything. With all that out of the way, let's take a look at some of the instances that magic, spells, weapons and the like were used in Ragnarok: Into The Abyss:


Many of the characters in this comic have such interesting and powerful weapons, but, don't you wonder where these items came from? Who made these things? Also, some weapons, like Talatsu, appear to be able to speak, but how? And, speaking of Talatsu, is it that the spirit or soul of a person was locked or imprisoned inside the sword that Skurai carries?

skurai, talatsu, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
Is that why it can speak? Or is it that the weapon can just talk, but it wasn't human before? Furthermore, how are cursed swords made? How did Skurai's weapon become one? Why does it want blood?

And why is the swordsman following his weapon around and listening to it? Is it because he has no choice in the matter or is it that he actually wants to kill all these people?

Even Chaos has a magic sword called Vision, but it doesn't appear to be able to talk. Fenris Fenrir has this staff too and this one appears to be able to talk.

So, what's the criteria in order for a weapon to be able to talk? Why is it that some of them can talk while others can't?

Spells / Rituals

This is one of the more confusing aspects of the magic system in Ragnarok. A lot of the characters seem to be able to effortlessly cast spells or do rituals, but we never really find out exactly how this is done as well as what the constraints and limitations are. To illustrate, let's talk about what some of the characters have done so far with regards to casting spells or rituals:

Fenris Fenrir

In Chapter 1 of Volume 1, she casts some sort of spell in order to get rid of the gargoyles attacking her. She does this by uttering some words. So, is it that spells can be cast simply by chanting some words? Did she make up the chant to the spell she's casting or is this known by other people? Is this the standard spell used to get rid of gargoyles?

fenris fenrir, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
Later on, we see Fenris Fenrir slashing at her hands with a dagger and she appears to be doing some sort of magic ritual or something.

So, it seems that not all spells require the mere chanting of words since the woman had to slash at herself and chant words before she could do this spell or ritual.

How does she know how to do this anyway? Exactly how much blood is needed for her to be able to cast this spell?

When we get to Chapter 5 of the same volume, we see her doing some sort of weird ritual or spell with Balder's sword (known as Guarding Wind). She sets up stuff for this, makes use of the sword and even starts chanting, but how does this work exactly?

Iris Irine

In Volume 1, Chapter 3, Iris Irine says that she will infuse Chaos' sword with the Aesir's powers, but how exactly can she do this? She chants something while moving around and then, seemingly all of the sudden, Vision transforms into a sword of magic. Where did she learn all the things that she knows?


Many different abilities can be found in this manhwa, and, while they are certainly cool, they also bring a whole lot of unanswered questions. Let's take a look at some of these abilities:


Some Ragnarok characters can apparently fly like Lord Irine and even Sara Irine. The question is, can everyone else fly or is it only select characters? How did these characters learn how to fly? Can people fly for long periods of time or is there a limit to how long they can do this?


In Volume 1, Chapter 2, Fenris Fenrir was able to teleport (wind teleportation, she called it) away from the Valkyrie and the Frost Giants. Can everyone else teleport? Can't Sara teleport too? If she can, then why didn't she follow Fenris? What stopped her from following the woman if she can also teleport? If she can't teleport, then why not?

skurai, talatsu, manhwa, ragnarok: into the abyss

Magical Items

The magical items in this graphic novel are really cool, but they would have been much, much cooler if we knew exactly how these things worked. Let's take a look at some of these stuff:

In Volume 1, Chapter 2, Sara Irine uses what she calls a talisman, but how do these things work in the world of Ragnarok? Where did these items come from? Who made them?

In Chapter 4 of the same volume, Iris makes use of some sort of talisman too and she chants some things while using these items and the effect is different from what Sara did so what are these things then?

We also find out that Fenris Fenrir has what is called a Prophet Medallion, but what is this thing? What can it do? How did it help her find Balder? Later, we also find that there are these things called Rune Cards, which appear to be able to cause explosions or something. But what are Rune Cards?


It appears that there are portals in this manhwa too since the Valkyrie and her Frost Giants appeared to have arrived in Fayon by way of a portal. But how do portals work? Who can make them? How do you make one? So, can these be used to travel between worlds? Can you go anywhere by way of a portal, regardless of how far your destination is?

What kind of power or ability does Arkana have (other appropriate questions would be who is she and where did she come from)? She suddenly materialized a pitcher from out of nowhere and then proceeded to fill a glass with water just so she can drink. That's cool and all, but how was she able to do that?

So, what do you think about the magic system of Ragnarok: Into The Abyss so far? Do you pay attention to these things? Should people just accept whatever it is the characters can do even if it doesn't seem to make sense anymore?

- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki based on the image by Rusembell (CC:BY) from deviantArt
- Said image is meant to represent the magic system in the comic as the figure is doing some pretty cool magical stuff, which we know nothing about
- The rest of the pics are enlarged product images from; links shown above via Amazon's Native Shopping Ads widget

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