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According to Wikipedia, The myths of Ragnarok as we know them were compiled in the 13th century, and while describing events in some detail, these were considered to be prophetic, as the events described had not yet occurred.

Moving forward to today, could it be considered that Ragnarok has taken place between the time when the myths were written down and now? The mythological landscape of Europe has largely changed from Norse-influenced to Judaeo-Christian, so could this shift be interpreted as Ragnarok and its aftermath?

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    Is this from a religious point of view or a from a historical one? I.e. are you looking for what could potentially be done with the texts were the taken as true, or if the medieval Germans believe that Ragnarok has occurred? – C. M. Weimer Mar 21 '16 at 4:13
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    @C.M.Weimer, from a mythological point of view, obviously not completely historical. Perhaps, "What would the ancient Norse people believe if they saw today's society?" – Monty Wild Mar 21 '16 at 4:14
  • Interesting related read: Why Ragnarok is not going to happen on February 22th -- Ragnarok has happened. Ragnarok will happen. Ragnarok is happening right now. – DevSolar Jun 27 '16 at 12:09
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    @Monty Wild I'm not going to answer formally because I will be rage voted down, but it seems to me, as a student of mythology and an artist, that Ragnarök has indeed already happened. Yes the world is "destroyed" but it is then renewed and repopulated by humans. It seems quite clear we live in this post-apocalyptic, repopulated word sans Gods and Giants. – DukeZhou Sep 1 '16 at 21:04
  • @cybermike, post it as an answer. I won't vote it down... – Monty Wild Sep 1 '16 at 23:46
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If you want to. The three years without summer, the Fimbulwinter, a portent of Ragnarök, has been speculated by some to have been a memory of the years 535-536, when temperatures dropped sharply and crops failed.

And while the Ragnarök is indeed the end of the known world, as cybermike noted, the earth will rise again from the sea afterwards, renewed and better than before.

  • Thanks for the nod. Great little factiod re Fimbulwinter! – DukeZhou Sep 3 '16 at 21:59
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No. Ragnarok isn't just the fall of the Norse pantheon, it's the destruction of the entire world. The stories vary, but something apocalyptic like the whole earth being set on fire or the sky splitting apart normally happens.

  • True. However, if we could bring an ancient Norse worshipper of the Norse pantheon forward in time, might they conclude that Ragnarok had happened, and that we were now living in a post-Ragnarok world? – Monty Wild Mar 23 '16 at 22:05
  • I guess that depends on how you think about religion? Like, Norse worshippers weren't regularly grabbing dinner with Odin or Thor in reality. Their gods are just as non-existent then as they are now, so if they could believe they were out there then, they could also believe in them now. – vastra360 Mar 23 '16 at 22:14
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    The one flaw with this theory is that the world is subsequently renewed and repopulated. How do we know we're not living in that repopulated world? – DukeZhou Sep 1 '16 at 21:06
  • @CyberMike according to DevSolar's linked article we can assume we are. And there probably never was a "first time". – Spencer Sep 2 '16 at 18:53
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As far as I know this heavily depends on whether you consider later additions to the mythology by Christian missionaries to be canon.

The original idea was to describe the end of the world that hasn't happened similar to the Christian Revelation. Otherwise they'd worship dead gods, there'd be no Walhalla waiting, etc. which would basically screw up everything.

However missionaries used those exact thoughts to mix their original mythology with the Christian Bible to explain and introduce a continuity to convert them. Ragnarok already happened, but two people, a man and a woman survived hiding under Yggdrasil, named Adam and Eve.

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Yes, there might be a chance that ragnarok has already happened and we are living in a repopulated world. But according to what I have read, ragnarok is a cycle that will always occur and replenish the old to make way for the new. So according to me, ragnarok will happen again but this time with new figures of worship.

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It seems to me, as a student of mythology and an artist, that Ragnarök has indeed already happened. Yes the world is "destroyed", but it is then renewed and repopulated by humans. It seems quite clear we live in this post-apocalyptic, repopulated word sans Gods and Giants.

But of course, this is a subjective take.

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