He may not be a werewolf, but no werewolf site can leave out the biggest and baddest of all wolves – Fenrir! One of the most famous of all the deities in Norse mythology is Fenrir (also known as Fenris), son of trickster god Loki and the giantess Angroboda.
Fenris was an absolutely massive wolf; a wolf that the gods had learned from a prophecy would one day bring about Ragnarok (the end of the world). The fear of the prophecy caused the gods to put the little pup in a cage. Only the god of war, Tyr, had the courage to feed and take care of the wolf.
But as time went on Fenrir grew into the giant wolf we know him as, and when the gods saw this they decided they needed to render him harmless. However, none of the gods had the guts to face the colossal wolf, so instead they tried to trick him. They told Fenrir that he was weak and could never break free when chained. He accepted their challenge and let them chain him. But the wolf had more power than the gods could ever imagine and he broke every chain they used on him.
The gods soon realized that something drastic needed to be done. They told the dwarves to make something that could hold Fenrir. So the dwarves created a material called Gleipnir, a substance that was very soft, but could never be broken. The Gleipnir was made from some pretty weird items – the beard of a woman, the roots of a mountain, the footstep of a cat, the breath of fishes, the sinews of a bear, and the spit of birds.
With this the gods planned to bind the Fenrir forever, but, the wolf was sick of the chain game. To makes matters worse for the gods, when the wolf saw the weak-looking Gleipnir chain they wanted to use on him he said that there was no pride in breaking such a puny chain. Eventually, he agreed to it, thinking that otherwise his courage and strength would be doubted. But he wasn’t stupid, he suspected their trickery so he only agreed to be chained on one account, one of the gods would have to place their hand into his jaws. Tyr was the only god to agree.
Fenrir was then bound by the Gleipnir, and even though he used every bit of his strength, he could not break free. In revenge, he bit off Tyr’s hand. The gods then chained Fenrir to a rock called Gioll in the underworld, forcing a sword in between his jaws to keep him from biting on anyone. And this is where Fenrir waited for Ragnarok, the end of all things.
As time passed the Gleipnir weakened, and when Ragnarok arrived, Fenrir broke free and attacked the gods. He killed Odin and brought about the end of the universe as it was prophesied. He was eventually killed by Odin’s son Vidar, but he was too late, Fenrir had already brought on the end.
To the ancient Norse, Fenrir represented strength and destruction.