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What Happened 1000 Years Ago In Ragnarok Manhwa?

Saturday, December 21, 2013
manhwa, ragnarok: into the abyss
If you've read or been reading Ragnarok: Into The Abyss, then you must have wondered, even just once, what exactly happened 1000 years ago especially since the manhwa keeps alluding to this event.

Just what can be so frustrating about finding the answer to the post title? To start with, I seriously contemplated titling this post, "Where's Odin (in Norse Mythology, he's the king of the gods)?"

Why? It's because I found myself asking that way too many times as I read Ragnarok: Into The Abyss and saw many of the Norse Mythology characters (like Frigg and Fenris Fenrir), but no Odin. Clearly, this had something to do with whatever happened 1000 years ago since the goddess Freya is apparently the supreme ruler of Asgard now.
ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
With this post, I aim to present the things I've found out regarding the events of a thousand years ago. I still haven't finished reading the manhwa and the information given regarding the aforementioned event is sparse enough as it is, so we still don't know all the details of what really happened.

We first find out that Freya is apparently the ruler of Asgard (the realm of the gods) now (in the present timeline of the comic). The most important question is why? How could she be the ruler of Asgard when, in Norse Mythology, that position is supposed to be held by Odin with his wife, Frigg, as his queen (yeah, I was asking, "Where's Odin?" at this point too)?

Even with the manhwa being loosely based on Norse Mythology, this still warrants an explanation especially since we later find out that Frigg had been the queen of the gods. Why is Freya the enemy anyway? We keep hearing about her, but, so far, I've never seen her and she's never been formally introduced. What is the resident antagonist or evil villain up to? What is she planning?

In Volume 1, Chapter 4 of Ragnarok, we find out that Fenris Fenrir had been reincarnated and that her memories had been sealed. It was only now that the seal had been broken, which was why she only started looking for Balder now and not before.

ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
She apparently died since she was reincarnated. Why did she die then? This clearly has something to do with whatever happened a thousand years ago, but we don't know any of the details.

In Volume 2, Chapter 7, Chaos and Fenris meet up and the latter explains everything to the former. Unfortunately, this explanation isn't shared with the readers, which is really too bad.

It would have been very nice to finally know exactly what was going on. Instead, we have to content ourselves with the summary that Chaos gives.

Apparently, Balder and Fenris fought with Freya a thousand years ago. Why? What reason would those two have to fight with the goddess? Is this fight 2 against 1?

The main protagonist also adds that Balder had been killed and that his body and soul were separated, but he was reborn as Chaos. In Chapter 8 of the same volume, Fenris clarifies that the god wasn't truly dead precisely because his body and soul had been separated.

Is this what happened with her as well? How could the 2 main characters lose to Freya if they were working side-by-side? Did the antagonist have an army to help her win? Didn't the 2 have their own followers and supporters to help them beat the goddess?

frigg, odin, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, norse mythology, balder
In Volume 2, Chapter 14, we are told about yet another event that happened 1000 years ago, which appears to have nothing to do with Fenris, Balder and Freya.

Apparently, 1000 years ago, fire demons wanted to destroy Midgard, but they lost. This was known as the War of the Gods, though why, I don't know.

Midgard is, after all, the mortal realm and the fire demons should have been from Muspelheim (a realm of fire that is one of the many worlds in Norse Mythology).

Surt (or Surtr. He actually appears in Norse Mythology as the ruler of the aforementioned Muspelheim) is the name of the one who wanted to destroy Midgard, but this guy called Tanat shows up to fight him and (surprise, surprise. Did anyone actually expect Surt to win?) the hero wins.

Who is this Tanat? I searched around, but it seems that he isn't a figure from Norse Mythology. Is he a mortal or a god? How was he able to beat the fire lord Surt? Unfortunately, this appears to be the last time we'll be hearing about this fire thing because volume 3 of Ragnarok brings us back to the events surrounding Balder and Fenris with the mention of Frigg.

Chapter 21 from that volume says that Frigg disappeared a thousand years ago, though why, we don't know. And, yes, there's still no mention of Odin even with Frigg's mention or her subsequent appearance (just how likely is it that the very person you're talking about will suddenly show up in front of you?).

So Frigg shows up, and, in Chapter 22 of Volume 3, she explains a number of things to our resident protagonists that is no doubt also for the benefit of the readers. She says that, 1000 years ago, when Fenris Fenrir and Balder were dying-

ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, goddess, freya, norse mythology
Here, I had to interrupt whatever she was saying to ask some essential questions. Why were those two dying? Should they even be able to die? They're both gods, aren't they?

If they were fighting against Freya, then why were they losing? And why were they fighting against her in the first place (yeah, I said something like this before already, but it really bears repeating especially since the manhwa itself says this again and yet offers no satisfactory explanation whatsoever)?

Anyway, Frigg continues her explanation to say that she made a deal in order to save the dying Fenris and Balder from Hel. Let's ignore that deal for now (it really warrants its own post or at least it should go with a post about Frigg) and move on to the comic's next reference to the events that happened a thousand years ago.

That next reference brings us to Volume 4 of Ragnarok, specifically in the story so far portion. Most unfortunately, there is yet more telling in this section of the manhwa and this one just might be the worst yet. Why, you ask? It's because this is where we find some of what happened one thousand years ago.

Apparently, Ragnarok happened at the aforementioned time, which would thus explain all the fighting that appeared to have taken place, but which doesn't explain why Balder and Fenris fought with Freya. So, the gods, men and demons fought, but, according to the story so far, Asgard did not fall.

We don't really get what happened though (which is beyond unfortunate and even highly frustrating and annoying. Really, if we're just being told anyway, why can't we be properly told or at least shown?) since it just says that Fenris and Balder died fighting (even though previously, it had been established that they didn't exactly die. Consistency, where could you be?) on the side of those who want to end the age of the gods.

Even that little tidbit warrants a few questions, foremost of which is why? After all, Balder himself is a god, so why would he want to end the age of the gods?

Just as to be expected, our questions are left unanswered as the only thing we get is that Fenris and Balder have been reborn and that Freya is now the ruler of Asgard (yeah, we knew that already, but apparently the story so far just has to tell us yet again. At least it's telling us about things we already know and not revealing entire plot points to us, which we should have been shown by way of reading the graphic novel).

Don't you wish we would get a proper flashback on what exactly happened 1000 years ago so that it's crystal clear for us? Where do you think Odin is? Do you think we'll ever get the answers to all our questions? What else can you say about what happened 1000 years ago in the Ragnarok manhwa?

- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki based on the image by Friedrich Wilhelm Heine (Public Domain) from Wikimedia Commons
- Said image was chosen because it actually depicts a scene from Ragnarok in Norse Mythology
- The rest of the pics are enlarged product images from; links shown above via Amazon's Native Shopping Ads widget

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