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Questions About The Norns In Ragnarok Manhwa

Tuesday, January 14, 2014
The Norns are characters that appear in Ragnarok: Into The Abyss manhwa. What do you think of these three women? What is so mysterious about them and what questions should we ask about Urd, Verdandi and Skuld?
norns, urd, verdandi, skuld, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
Actually, the Norns also appear in Norse Mythology though they are rather different from how they are in the manhwa. In the graphic novel, the Norns are first mentioned in Volume 1, Chapter 4 wherein we see Arkana reporting to Zenobia (not that we know who these 2 are or what their significance is to the story at that time. Come to think of it, we don't really get the answers to that even as the comic progresses).

Anyway, Arkana mentions what Skuld (one of the Norns) had predicted. Regardless of whatever Skuld predicted, the question here is how in the world does Arkana know about this?

  • Would the Norns just tell people whatever they know?
  • What's so special about Arkana that they would deign to tell her about these things?
  • What reason would they have to tell her anything at all?

Unfortunately, none of our questions are answered as the Norns don't appear again (they're never even mentioned, so you'd think they'd been forgotten or something) until Volume 4, specifically in Chapter 30. Only one of the 3 women appears though and that appearance brings forth a whole lot of new unanswered questions.

skuld, norns, chaos, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
Skuld is the Norn who shows up, in Chaos' dream no less, and she engages our resident protagonist in conversation. Let's take a look at some of the things we can ask and ponder regarding this conversation:

  • How was Skuld able to enter Chaos' dream?
  • Where are her sisters, Urd and Verdandi?
  • Why is she alone?
  • Why isn't she with her sisters?
  • It seems so odd to see her by herself since the Norns are usually seen together
  • Speaking of odd, what do you think of Skuld's outfit?
  • I find it pretty odd and weird actually and I wonder what it's supposed to mean (if it means anything)
  • Perhaps, there's something sort-of futuristic about it or something since Skuld is the Norn of the future

Here's something to really ponder about as Skuld tells Chaos that his destiny has been determined, but his future is not: do you think these two are really different? How can your destiny be determined but your future not? Sounds pretty philosophical and deep, doesn't it?

More than that though, what might be the most important question of all is this: what is the whole point of this scene? No, really, why is it necessary that Skuld show up and talk to Chaos and tell him things like this? This doesn't advance the plot at all as all we see, so far, is the Norn saying pretty pointless things that makes this particular scene appear to be useless.

Much as I like the Norns (really, it's too bad they don't appear more often), if they (or one of them, in this case) aren't here to give some important information or useful item or something, then they shouldn't be here at all and we could have been shown another scene that would help advance the plot and bring on the action (even a flashback to what happened a thousand years ago would have been very welcome indeed).

skuld, norns, chaos, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
In fact, this incident just brings us even more questions regarding the Norns. Skuld alludes to the fact that they (Urd, Verdandi and her) are apparently in hiding, but why are they in hiding?

She even implies that Freya is apparently more powerful than her and her sisters, but why?

How could some goddess be more powerful than the women who are associated with the past, present and future and who are also said to be able to decide the destinies and fates of men (they are even compared and associated with the Greek Fates, the Moirai)?

There are some myths which even suggest that the Norns hold more power than the gods and goddesses (again, this might be because of their close association to the Fates as well as how they are also said to be older than the gods).

Anyway, even if this isn't the case at all (since the manhwa is only loosely based on Norse Mythology), what exactly is Freya going to do if she finds out that Skuld is talking to our protagonist? What can the resident antagonist do to hurt these three women?

If the comic is different from how it is in mythology, it really should have said so and explained its canon better so we can easily understand these things and we won't have to wonder if there's something that we've missed or if there's something wrong about all this.

skuld, norns, loki, chaos, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
A few pages later and we finally find out that this scene does have a purpose though I can't say I'm pleased about this so-called purpose.

It appears that the only reason Skuld showed up was to be able to tell Chaos that the one he's looking for wants to kill him.

I have to wonder why our resident main character couldn't just find this out for himself when Loki (because we all know that he's the one who is human and not) confronts him.

Why does the Norn have to tell him about this? What's wrong about him finding out when he's being attacked? Don't you think this would take out any suspense the confrontation scene between Loki and Chaos might have had?

After all, we, as the readers, know the truth. We know who really killed the Assassins' Guild and we know the hero of the story isn't to blame for this. We know Loki and Chaos have this huge misunderstanding going on between them.

As such, it would have been very interesting to see how this can possibly be resolved because there are a number of options and scenarios that can play out:

  • Would Loki try to kill Chaos as soon as he sees him or would he ask the latter for explanations?
  • Will Chaos be given the chance to prove his innocence?
  • Will the two manage to hurt each other before the truth comes out?
  • How will the truth come out?
  • Will Loki believe Chaos even if he explains his side of the story?
  • Will Chaos just think that Loki is one of his enemies sent by Freya?

norse mythology, freya, goddess of love and beauty, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
Anything can happen, really, and it's interesting to think and wonder about what will happen. However, if one of the party (in this case, the hero) is told that the one he seeks wants him dead, then how can this be as interesting as it would have been had our protagonist not known this?

After all, we already know that those two are going to end up as friends (it's pretty obvious, isn't it?). so the only question now is how this can happen.

What do you think of all this? Do you think the Norns should have been given more screen time and that many more things should have been explained about them? Were you disappointed that the only reason Skuld showed up was to tell Chaos all about the one who wants to kill him when the latter could have easily figured this out by himself when he's attacked by Loki?

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki based on the image by Ludwig Burger (Public Domain) from Wikimedia Commons
- Said image was chosen because it depicts the Norns from Norse Mythology
- 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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