There is a pair of inseparable wolves in Nordic mythology whose sole purpose was to relentlessly hunt the sun and the moon in order to devour them. They were known as Skoll and Hati. They are mentioned only a few times in the Prose Edda written by Snorri Sturluson. Then, we don't have a lot of information about these two supernatural creatures apart from the fact that the two wolves were the children of the giant wolf and feared by the gods.
WHO ARE SKOLL AND HATI?
Sköll and Hati are the offspring of the wolf, Fenrir, and the giant, Iarnvidia. In Norse mythology, Hati and Skoll are the two wolves that chase the Moon and the Sun, until the day they catch them and plunge the world into darkness during Ragnarök.
THE SONS OF FENRIR, HATI AND SKOLL
In the beginning, Odin gave to the god of the sun, Sol, and the moon, Mani, two magical chariots to quickly cross the sky once a day and thus bring light to the whole world. What Odin did not foresee was that the two gods were very easily distracted. The sun liked to take the time to watch the waves crashing on the cliffs and nature from the sky. As for the moon, she liked to watch what humans were doing.
However, their actions had a great impact not only on the gods but also on humans. No one knew when to sleep or stay awake anymore because the sun and the moon were out of control and the day and night was completely unbalanced.
Then, Odin, furious, decided to threaten Sol and Mani with his magic spear, but knowing that they were the only ones who could do this job, the Sun and Moon gods did not take his threats seriously. Finally, Loki found the solution to the problem, he went to meet the wolves Skoll and Hati, the child of his son Fenrir, so that they could chase the sun and the moon. As a reward, they could devour them if they managed to catch up with them.
Not wasting any time, the two wolves set off in pursuit of the gods of the Moon and the Sun who, in panic, seeing the two wild beasts melting down on them at full speed, immediately set off on their usual course. Thus, the cycle of day and night finally returned to its normal rhythm.
According to legend, at the end of time during Ragnarök, Skoll and Hati would finally catch the sun and the moon and devour them, while at the same time the world would be plunged into such a cold universe that would freeze the hearts of men and gods. There will be no more light on earth and that is where the beginning of the end will begin.
SYMBOL OF SKOLL AND HATI
The symbolism of the wolf is very present in many cultures. Here are the symbols assigned to Skoll and Hati:
- Chaos: The names Skoll and Hati respectively means “deception” and “hate”, and symbolize the chaotic nature inherent in every human being.
- Time: These two Managarm wolves, sons of Fenrir and Larnsarxa, are also representatives of the passing of time, chasing the Moon and the Sun in perpetual motion around the Viking universe and the Midgard.
- Power: During Vikings age, these two beasts were symbols of chaos but also power and strength. Both frightened and admiring, the Viking tribes forged items in the effigy of the wolves brothers such as this amazing Moon and Sun necklace.
Repulsion: Also, according to Norse mythology, Skoll is also the symbol of repulsion. In Norse or Asian myths, the idea of a dog or a wolf chasing the stars was widespread.
In fact, even today, Chinese people still hit kitchen utensils during eclipses to scare "the sky dog".
SKOLL WOLF, THE SUN DEVOURER
Sköll, of is old Norse name is a giant wolf and Hati's brother. This beast chases the horses Árvakr and Alsviðr, that drag the chariot which contains the sun through the sky of Midgard, trying to eat it.
Skoll wolf would reach the Ragnarök and swallow the Sun who would die in a splendid eclipse.
HATI WOLF, THE MOON DEVOURER
Hati is the giant wolf in constant pursuit of the moon. Like his brother Sköll, he's one of the Managarm wolves. However, Hati wolf is in pursuit of the god Mani (the Moon) whom he will also swallow during Ragnarök.
DESCRIPTION OF SKOLL AND HATI, SONS OF FENRIR
The sons of Fenrir Hati and Skoll are giant wolves, 15 feet tall at the withers. Sköll has a black coat with bright red symbols on his back including a sun on his forehead and red eyes.
Hati has a white coat with bright blue symbols including a moon on his forehead and blue eyes.
ABILITIES OF THE NORSE WOLVES OF SUN AND MOON
These two Norse wolves of sun and moon had incredible abilities that have earned them the title of wolf gods:
- Fangs: Although less powerful than their father's, Sköll and Hati's fangs are extremely dangerous.
- Claws: Sköll and Hati's claws are extremely powerful and can cut through almost any material.
- Immense Speed: They have a speed similar to that of the gods, which makes them particularly dangerous and makes their opponents vulnerable to their fangs and claws.
- Immense Stamina: their skin is very dense and protects them from the most powerful attacks and their powerful legs allow them to cover very long distances without ever running out of energy.
TO SUM UP...
These two northern wolves terrorized the people by bringing the Ragnarök as their father, Fenris, had tried to do in the past. However, Skoll and Hati played an important role in balancing the cycle of day and night. Without them, the days might never have returned to normal.