Ginnungagap is the Norse primordial void that surrounds Yggdrasil. It is from Ginnungagap that jotunns reform. Ginnungagap can be traveled through by beings such as Jotunns and Valkyries.

Ginnungagap is deadly to mortals. In the series, it is explained that if one falls into Ginnungagap, they are wiped from existence. Similarly, einherjar who are killed outside Valhalla go to Ginnungagap, where they are permanently killed.

History

Before the creation of Yggdrasil, Ginnungagap was located between Niflheim, the world of mist, and Muspellheim, the world of fire. In Ginnungagap, the two worlds mixed, and formed cosmic glaciers. Eventually, the heat of Muspellheim began to melt these glaciers, freeing the first giant Ymir from within, as well as a massive cow called Audhumla. Drinking Audhumla's milk, Ymir grew to impossible size.

Audhumla licked the cosmic glaciers, and discovered another being inside - this being Buri, ancestor of the gods. Meanwhile, Ymir slept in Ginnungagap, and while doing so they subconsciously created three more beings. These were a male and female jotunn, sweated from his armpit, as well as a six-headed beast, grown from his foot.

Buri eventually matured and took the female jotunn, having a godly child named Bor. The female Jotunn also had a daughter with the male one, whom they named Bestla. Bor and Bestla married and had three children: Vili, Ve, and the future king of the gods, Odin.

Creation of the Nine Worlds

Odin and his two brothers could not enter Muspellheim or Niflheim due to their deadly conditions, but unlike their parents and grandparents they did not want to live in Ginnungagap. Looking into the future, they killed Ymir and used their remains to craft Midgard, Earth. They grew Yggdrasil, a cosmic ash tree, to take Midgard and the other eight worlds into its branches and protect them. Even Muspellheim and Niflheim were herded into its foliage. Ginnungagap grew, surrounding the tree, becoming even larger. When Jotunns die, Ginnungagap eventually resurrects them.

Odin's Sacrifice

In order to understand the runes, Odin impaled himself with a spear and then hung himself from a branch of Yggdrasil as a sacrifice to himself. Being immortal, he did not die, but he was in excruciating pain. He hung for nine days and nights, until finally Ginnungagap revealed the runes to him, making him the most powerful sorcerer in existence.

In the Series

The Sword of Summer

When Samirah brings Magnus to Valhalla, she travels through Ginnungagap on her eight-legged horse. Magnus struggles, and she warns him not to let go, lest he plummet into Ginnungagap and be disintegrated. It is also mentioned several times throughout the book.

The Hammer of Thor

It is mentioned several times.

The Ship of the Dead

Again, it is mentioned several times, including once by Hrungnir, who says that he embraces death, being able to reform from Ginnungagap.

Trivia

  • Ginnungagap holds many similarities with Chaos, the primeval void from Greek mythology. However, unlike Chaos, Ginnungagap is not sentient.
  • The name Ginnungagap translates to Yawning Void or Gaping Abyss.
Locations (MC)
Nine Worlds: Alfheim | Asgard | Helheim | Jotunheim | Midgard | Muspellheim | Nidavellir | Niflheim | Vanaheim
Cities and Towns: Boston | Flåm | New London | Provincetown | York
Administrative Divisions: Connecticut | Massachusetts | New Hampshire | North Yorkshire | Sogn og Fjordane | South Carolina
Countries: Confederate States of America | Norway | United Kingdom (England) | United States of America
Continents: Europe | North America
Other Locations: Alderman Estate | Bifrost | Blitzen’s Best | Boston Public Library | Bridal Veil Falls | Cape Cod | Charles River | Charleston Harbor | Chase Mansion | Dorchester | Fadlan’s Falafel | Folkvanger | Fort Wagner | Ginnungagap | Hotel Valhalla | Loki’s Cavern | Longfellow Bridge | Lyngvi | Morris Island | Nabbi's Tavern | Provincetown Airport | River Oure | Sessrumnir | Svartalfheim | The Thinking Cup | Yggdrasil
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