Today's Your Last Day On Earth, Say the Vikings

by Nuzha Nuseibeh

Ok, cancel your weekend plans. Or maybe just prioritize them a little. Because today, according to the Vikings, is Ragnarok. What is Ragnarok, you ask? Oh, just the cataclysmic, epic battle of the Norse gods — you know the ones, Thor, Loki, Odin, all those sweaty, muscly, half-naked men — which will cause the world to plunge beneath the sea and end all life on Earth. According to the Jorvik Viking Center in York, England, at least.

If this is all feeling a little abrupt, well, that's on you. Apparently, it's been a'comin for a while. In fact, one of the signs is a three-year winter (remember that whole pesky polar vortex? It all makes sense!). And, in case you missed it, the Gjallarhorn was blown last year — a hundred days ago, to be precise — a clear-cut prediction that the apocalypse was nigh.

"Ragnarok will begin when the wolf, Fenrir, son of Loki, breaks free of his imprisonment. This will lead to a chain reaction of events including the Midgard snake Jormungand rising from the sea and a wolf devouring the sun," the Jorvik Viking Festival organizer explain on their site. "Everything will come to a head in a huge battle that draws in the Gods, men and all the races of the nine worlds."

According to the mythology, in roughly two hours (according to the Jorvik Viking Festival's nifty countdown timer), Odin, the Allfather of the gods, Loki, the "trickster" god, Thor, the god of thunder, Freja, the goddess of love, Heimdallr and Tyr, will all be clashing in the fight to end all fights. And when the battle is over, the entire earth will sink underwater, and all humans will die. All except two, that is — Lif and Lifthrasir (otherwise known as Life and Lust), who will single-handedly repopulate the earth.

Said the festival's director, Danielle Daglan: "This really is an event that should not be underestimated. In the last couple of years, we've had predictions of the Mayan apocalypse, which passed without incident, and numerous other dates where the end of the world has been penciled in by seers, fortune tellers and visionaries."

As it happens, Ragnarok 2014 coincides with last day of York's Jorvik Viking Festival, one of Europe's largest Viking festivals, so there’s a big chance some half-naked dudes will be fighting somewhere, at least. (It also happens to fall on National Margarita Day — a sign I'm personally taking to mean that a little end-of-life day drinking is appropriate.) But, if you're sadly unable to prepare for the apocalypse, and having FOMO about #Ragnarok2014, don't worry. The Twittersphere has got it covered: