What Does “Ragnarok” from “Thor: Ragnarok” Actually Mean?

Being the movie fanatic that I am, not to mention a huge fan of the mythological character, Thor, I was excited to hear that the next installment in the Thor franchise was on the way to theaters. In fact, my 15-year-old daughter (has a major crush on Chis Hemsworth) are going to see the movie this weekend. I must admit, however, that I was a more than a little stumped by the term Ragnarok in the title. I was like, “what is the world is a Ragnarok and why is it the title of this movie.

Fortunately, I am an avid researcher and it did not take long for me to uncover the meaning of the word as well as its influence on the theme and plot of the movie.

As it turns out, Ragnarok’s etymology can be traced back to ancient Norse mythology, wherein the Old Norse, the word means “the fate of the gods” — with Ragna meaning “gods” and “rok” meaning fate. As the word’s etymology develop it would make a progression through several different varying meanings, including “the twilight of the gods” and eventually it would come to mean the end of the death (doom) of the Gods.

The pre-Christian Norse society used the word to identify the end of a story cycle that normally consisted of seven distinct tales that progressed along a continuum.

I have not viewed the film in its entirety as of yet. I wanted to enjoy that experience with my daughter, for two entirely different reasons, but with the same focus and intensity nonetheless. With this in mind, I can’t speak with certainty as to how the word will influence the movie in its entirety. Does it spell the end of the Franchise? Are the Gods doomed? What does it mean for Thor and all of the other characters in the movie? These are answers that I will not have until later tonight, but I can tell you that a good Thor movie is not replete without Thor being pushed to the very end of his capacity.

What should also be understood is the fact that in ancient Norse culture the end of a cycle does not necessarily mean the end as in the finality of something. There is always a new story and many of the characters from previous stories tend to appear in the new stories or tales.

In this movie, Thor must battle his sister and her evil plans for the universe, and the prophecy which presents the revelation that Thor would create Ragnarok and in the process destroy his evil sister is Thor’s goal in the movie. How Ragnarok will impact Thor, but based on the expanded trailer it seems that Thor will lose some of his powers and be disarmed, while it is not certain for how long.

While some of the film’s plot appears to be predictable, there will likely be twists and turns that are not revealed or suggested in the title or the trailer. I still don’t know I feel about Thor not having his hammer. Heck, it already as me going through an identity crisis.


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