The Midgard Serpent Picture


Jörmungandr, sometimes referred to as the Midgard Serpent (or World Serpent) is a sea serpent of the Norse mythology, the middle child of Loki and the giantess Angrboða. Its siblings are Fenrisúlfr (Fenrir), a monstrous wolf, and Hel, a female being presiding over the similarly named realm of the dead in Niflheim.

According to legend, Odin took Loki's three children, Fenrisúlfr, Hel and Jörmungandr, and tossed Jörmungandr into the great ocean that encircles Midgard. Midgard is one of the Nine Worlds and is an old Germanic name for our realm, home of the Humans. The serpent grew so large that he was able to surround the Earth and grasp his own tail. It was said that when he lets go, the world will end. It is one of several events that herald the coming of Ragnarök (the end of the world). As a result, he received the name of the Midgard Serpent or World Serpent.

Jörmungandr's arch-enemy is the god Thor and myths have preserved the stories of at least three instances in which the two meet. The last meeting between the serpent and Thor is predicted to occur at Ragnarök, when Jörmungandr will come out of the ocean and poison the sky. Thor will kill Jörmungandr and then walk nine paces before falling dead, having been poisoned by the serpent's venom.

Thank you internet. You'd better not be wrong.

So, this wasn't completely intentional. I always loved Norse mythology (you have to admit, out of all the cool mythologies out there, it has to be one of the more badass ones). But I was actually working on something else when I discovered I needed a little more practice painting (snake) coils. So I just opened a new file, did some sketching and when I got something I kinda liked I slapped on some colour

I then went back to painting Cerberus until I hit a stage where I was getting increasingly unhappy about it. I came back to the snake/serpent sketch in order to distract myself and started working on it some more thinking it'd be nice if I ever finished it. I realized that if I wanted to depict Jörmungandr (sorry, artistic liberty taken with his colours; no myth mentioned anything about bright red and I'm aware of this) I'd need to add a lot more coils and made the picture a lot longer. I left it here, but maybe I could've made it longer still.

I am kinda happy with this seeing as this started out as a simple sketch/experiment. Compared to my other work it might lack a little in detail, but I hope it's interesting all the same.


Time Taken: ~15 hours
Tools Used: Corel Painter Essentials 3, Photoshop CS3, Wacom Intuos 2
Continue Reading: The Myths