Well, this is exciting: Loki and his minions, the ice and fire giants, the great wolf Fenrir, the Midgard serpent Jormungandr, the unworthy dead pouring out of Hel, and the rest of the gang are just cresting the Hill… and they’ve got that maddened “We will destroy you” gleam in their eyes.
Ok, yes, it’s the actual end of the world – but what a great turnout, right?
Now, a few of us might be feeling those creeping tendrils of despair. And, ok, fair enough – we are definitely doomed. BUT there is strength in our collective defiance. We knew this was coming, and we are not backing down. On one hand, it is not in the better part of our natures to quail and run away. We are warriors, gods, the valiant dead: we stand, we fight. On the other hand, this one final battle is not exactly a localized event. It is the end of all things, so there is actually nowhere to run. We will most certainly all die, whether we fight or run or hide under the covers and binge Gilmore Girls.
As long as we choose to stand and fight, we are still free. Our defiance of Loki’s clownish megalomania and the soulless vengeance of his goons is a kind of freedom. We may lose the fight, but we will win the overarching war of history & legend.
Plus, that name: Ragnarok. Whoever was on the naming committee for this thing, that is great work. Assured destruction notwithstanding, doesn’t it sound like something you want to be a part of? RAGNAROK! That is just top notch.
So, we’ve compiled this handy little last minute checklist, to help everyone put their best foot forward. They are just recommendations, but the savvy warrior is not going to just “wing it”. Let’s go down in style, okay?
1. Eat a good breakfast. And yes – indulge a little, because this is it.
2. You can stop doing “morning pages”. If you don’t know what you’re about by now, then… I don’t know. Maybe picking up a battle ax and wading into the fray might help.
3. Just because it is the final battle does not mean Ragnarok will necessarily be short. Ergo, bring snacks, and bring enough to share. If the folks watching your flanks falter from hunger, you’re in trouble, too.
4. As far as dress code, you can absolutely wear anything you want. You may want armor of some type. Totally fine. Or you might go for mobility, like a track suit a la Bruce Lee or Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. Whatever you’re comfortable with is fine. For example, Thor has said he is going to wear his “humping unicorns” t-shirt one last time. Probably a good idea to bring a jacket, as there will be lots of ice. Also, sunglasses might be a good idea, on account of Sutr the fire giant’s flaming sword. Word is, it’s not just bright, but very bright. What we’re saying is, there is no dress code, just best practices: warmth, protection, etc..
5. If, during the course of the battle, you find yourself within earshot of Loki himself, do not under any circumstances believe a word he says. He is the uber-Trickster. It’s all smoke/mirrors. And mute his Twitter.
6. Speaking of smoke/mirrors, since it is the end of the world, you can let go of your FOMO. Ragnarok is the final event of any kind, and you are definitely invited, and so is everyone else. Further, there will be no one to see your posts and instagrams and such afterwards, so don’t bother trying to impress anyone with how “about town” or “adventurous” you are. We are all going to be at the battle, and we are all going to die, together. In fact, if everyone at the battle (which is literally everyone) posted the same group photo of all of us, and then tagged everyone in all of those individual photos, then… we might actually achieve The Singularity. Which, you know, might be a better way to go.
7. We highly encourage you to come in groups and work in groups. However, if you are planning to meet up with anyone at the battle (your gamer group or book club, for instance), figure it out before you arrive. It will be pretty chaotic, and cell reception is not great.
8. There’s been a rumor going around that throwing boxes of dog biscuits at Fenrir will distract or even appease him. This rumor is untrue. The insatiable, jagged maw of the great wolf stretches as high as the moon and as deep as mountain roots, and his gut is a black hole of emptiness that no amount of dog biscuits could ever fill. Mighty Odin the All-Father has a bold plan that might work: he will face Fenrir in single combat. We’ll start with that, and see what happens. (Ditto mice for the Midgard serpent.)
9. Please: if you’re going to throw a snowball at someone, make sure it is not an iceball. Those things really hurt. Tightly packed snowflakes are hard as rock. No one wants to die with a sore noggin.
Okay, gang – the registration tables will be near the Rainbow Bridge. Registration is optional, but you get a t-shirt and a sense of solidarity.
Stick together, take one opponent at a time, and most of all: live like you’re about to fall into eternity, because you are!
In case you missed our review, you should know that Neil Gaiman has this brand new book, called Norse Mythology – a retelling of the great stories of the North. It’s really good.
…and from under the charred remains of Yggdrasil crawl two shivering survivors who, with the help of the resurrected gods Balder the Beautiful and Hod the Blind, will start over. Because HOPE is indestructible.