Are there more Norse in Australia than in Sweden? That’s what the results of the Worldwide Heathen Census show so far. There are also more self-described “heathens” in Brazil than in Sweden. Curious. Brazil is a country that many Nazis moved to after World War
Part of Byatt’s use of Ragnarok is as an ecological warning of the human destruction of life on Earth. That’s all well and good, but this ecological interpretation seems itself to be a metaphor for a deeper, more honest mourning of the open fields of childhood, and its relevance to the eventual devolution of the pure and beautiful into a black inky nothingness.
They told Fenris they would play a game with him, to see how strong he was, and Fenris agreed, and so the Aesir tied Fenris up with a magic cord made by the gnomes. “Try to get out of that, Fenris,” they said, “and if you can’t, we promise we’ll set you free.”