Why God of War and Assassin’s Creed both turned to a ‘horrible and violent’ myth

“Ragnarök defines the Norse mythic cosmos as one that doesn’t just have a beginning, but an end,” Dr Jackson Crawford, a scholar of Old Norse, says, explaining why the story appears in so many games. “All meaningful time for the living will end, and the end will be horrible and violent.”

According to Viking storytellers, when the end times come, stars will vanish from the sky, floods will swallow the earth, and the heavens will burn. After the world wilts from an enduringly harsh winter, giants will invade the realm of Asgard as human civilization is plunged into chaos. Odin will be swallowed by the wolf Fenrir, while Thor and the World Serpent Jörmungandr end each other’s lives in battle. Its destruction is total, marking not only the climax of creation but its final resting place.

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