With predictions of the Norse apocalypse, Ragnarok, all through 2014,Viking Jarl Fastulf from the JORVIK Viking Centre gave us some advice on how to survive the end of the world:
1. Feast like it is the last meal you will eat!
A Viking would never go into battle on an empty stomach, so make sure that you feast like a Norse lord this evening. However, that does not mean consuming too much ale or mead – it would not be fitting to fight alongside the gods with a bad head!
2. Face Ragnarok with courage and conviction!
Polish your armour, sharpen your weapons and show no fear! The Vikings of Jorvik may have become peaceful settlers, but at their heart, they were still bold and brave warriors!
3. Beware the wolf and the serpent!
According to the prophecy, Fenrir the wolf will kill Odin himself, whilst the serpent Jormungandr will bite Thor who eventually succumbs to the poison, but not before he has slain it! So, if you spot wolves or giant serpents, keep your head down!
4. Keep your horn by your side!
It was the mythical Gallerhorn, blown by the god Heimdallr, that started the current 100 day countdown to Ragnarok. However, do not think that sticking horns to the side of your helmet will endear you to your Viking brethren; only a fool would add handles to his helmet as it makes it too easy for your enemy to keep you still whilst he chops off your head!
5. Don’t put all of your eggs into one basket.
Predictions based on legends handed down in the oral storytelling tradition favoured by our Norse ancestors are notoriously unreliable, especially when you factor in the work of Loki, the trickster god! Putting off your homework or cleaning the car until you have seen if the world really does break in two is acceptable, spending all your money and giving away all of your possessions would be rather premature! You may well live to fight another day!
Fastulf led his Vikings in a glorious feast at this year’s Festival.
Visitors to the city of York were able to watch the Viking army muster in the shadow of the cathedra, before they marched through the city streets to the Eye of York, where a recreation of the Ragnarok legend was staged later that evening.
Look back at JORVIK Viking Festival 2014 here.