Available as print (full resolution and without watermark). Click picture for buying options.

"From the east comes Hrym | with shield held high;
In giant-wrath | does the serpent writhe;
O'er the waves he twists, | and the tawny eagle
Gnaws corpses screaming; | Naglfar is loose.
O'er the sea from the north | there sails a ship
With the people of Hel, | at the helm stands Loki;
After the wolf | do wild men follow,
And with them the brother | of Byleist goes."

The Iron Age poem Völuspá on Nagelfar - the greatest ship in all of Creation. The ship is moored to the quays of Helheim until the stirrings of the gigantic Midgard serpent breaks it free and Ragnarök - the ending and rebirth of the world - can begin.
As the ship is constructed from the nails of the deceased, it is vital to be well groomed and to have cut your nails at your deathbed, or Ragnarok will arrive the sooner.
As the nail part is only mentioned by Snorri in his Gylfaginning, and since Snorri was active during post-Viking, Christian times, the construction of Nagelfar from the nails of the dead can very well be a misinterpretation. A probable alternative theory would probably be that it was a ship of the dead and that it was constructed using nails ... as in pointy thingies made from metal.

You may also like

Back to Top