Nídhögg or Níðhöggr in Old Norse ("He who strikes fiercely ") is a dragon or snake in Norse mythology. He lives under Yggdrasil.
Nidhogg The rodent of the roots of Yggdrasil
According to the Grímnismál (35), Nídhögg gnaws at Yggdrasil from below. Snorri Sturluson specifies (Gylfaginning, 15) that it is the third root of Yggdrasil that the serpent gnaws, the one above Niflheim and the spring Hvergelmir.
Through the squirrel Ratatosk, Nídhögg exchanges messages with the eagle that lives on top of Mount Peymisse (Gylfaginning, 16; Grimnismál, 32, only mentions the eagle's messages to Nídhögg, but not their nature or the dragon's answers).
Nidhogg The Corpse Devourer
In the Völuspá (39), Nídhögg is presented as living in Náströnd, where he sucks the corpses of perjurers, murderers and adulterers. Snorri repeats this information, with the difference, already mentioned, that Nídhögg lives in Hvergelmir (Gylfaginning, 52).
Nídhögg at the time of Ragnarök
The last stanza of the Völuspá (66) describes the arrival of Nídhögg flying over the plain, carrying corpses in his wings. The meaning of this scene is disputed: for some3 , it closes the episode of Ragnarök: the dragon carries away the bodies of those who died during the events; for others4 , it announces on the contrary its beginning. In the version of the Poetic Edda corrected and translated by Genzmer, the author sees it as a possible last gasp of the dying world: "at last the waves swallow him up", with him the old order ends.
Nidhogg In popular culture
- In Michael Scott's The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series, Niddhog has been released from his Yggdrasill prison and the Dises are launching him into Paris.
- In Rosinski and Van Hamme's Thorgal comic book series, "Niddhog the Snake" appears several times as an antagonist. He represents a deep and powerful form of evil.
- In the manga Soul Eater by Atsushi Ōkubo, Nídhögg is the name of a soul-eating ghost ship sailing the Baltic Sea and devouring coastal villages.
- In the manga To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts, by the mangaka duo Maybe, John William Bancroft is referred to as the Divine Nídhögg.
- Nídhögg is used, in sometimes approximate forms and names, as an evil adversary in many video games, including Aura Kingdom, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, World of Warcraft, Megami Tensei, Final Fantasy XI, Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy XIV, Age of Mythology, Fire Emblem or Titan Quest: Ragnarök.
- In the video game Nidhogg, each level ends with a sequence where the character is devoured by Nídhögg, in the form of a huge flying worm.
- The Pokémon Zygarde, which appeared in Pokémon X and Y, is also inspired by Nídhögg. In Odin Sphere, the character Melvin's real name is Nidhogg. In Borderlands, a rocket launcher, designed to attack from the sky, is named after Nidhogg.
- In the video game Love Nikki, the main antagonist in the first volume is called Nidhogg.