Fenrir, also called Fenris Wolf, or Vanagandr (which means “monster of the River Van”) is a mythological wolf in Norse mythology. The legend of Fenrir developed in the 13th century, and he has since been the subject of numerous poems, literary references, and artistic renditions.
Fenrir is among the most fearsome and troublesome creatures in Norse mythology. He was ascribed magical powers of prophecy, but he specialized in detecting bad omens. After his birth, Fenrir grew at an abnormally rapid rate. Because of his unusual growth rate and tendency toward troubling activities, Fenrir was ultimately captured and bound by a group of Norse gods. In retaliation for his torture, Fenrir bit off the hand of the god Tyr. For that action, he was forever deemed a ferocious and troublesome creature.
Fenris Wolf is the son of the god Loki and Angrboda, who is a goddess of the Underworld (or Hel). He is also a brother to the serpent named Jormungand. Loki is one of the most cunning gods in Norse mythology, and he has a reputation for being a trickster. He is a lesser-known god and considered one of the lowest in Norse mythology in terms of power and prestige. Angrboda is referred to as both a giantess and a goddess. She has dominion over the Underworld, which is a place where the dead are buried or hidden underground. She is depicted as a nasty goddess who is greedy, cruel, harsh, and unforgiving.
In Norse legend, Fenris Wolf is very much a product of both parents. He is among the coldest and most cunning of all mythological creatures. Fenrir was devious from the start, and his wayward actions prompted concern among other Norse gods. According to legend, Fenrir was wrested from his parents and raised by Aesir gods, who wanted to raise him from birth to correct his devious ways. However, their attempts to control him failed. After the first unsuccessful chaining, in which Fenrir bit through the strong chain with minimal effort, the gods told him the chaining exercise was merely a game. But Fenrir, who was stronger than the Aesir gods realized, easily broke through the second set of chains. It was only Tyr, the bravest of the Aesir gods, who was finally able to hold Fenris Wolf with a strong enough tether. Fenrir lashed out in anger, and managed to sever Tyr’s arm in response to his actions. Fenrir was then reportedly chained to a boulder, from which he never escaped. Fenrir howled endlessly, and ultimately produced a river of saliva called Van, which flowed uninhibited from his mouth. Fenrir ultimately broke free from his boulder at Rangarok, and proceeded to destroy much of the Nine Worlds, including killing a god named Odin. Fenrir was ultimately killed by Odin’s sons.