Catch and Release

“In a way the Midgard Serpent is the central character in my story,” A.S. Byatt states in her “Thoughts on Myths” postscript to Ragnarök: The End of the Gods. That was certainly my impression. It may have something to do with reading it during the course of a weekend in which we visited the Living Planet Aquarium and were introduced to Peaches the anaconda, but Jörmungandr rose up distinctly in this retelling of Ragnarök. A serpent large enough to wrap around the Earth is too vast to comprehend, but Byatt’s chilling account of the snake’s growth in size and malevolence was so thoroughly realized she brought the serpent to the surface. That may as well be her on the cover, rather than Thor!


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