Just how many seasons of Netflix Ragnarok can run for will be tricky to determine. Binge watchers who finished viewing season two will no doubt want the next set to broadcast sooner than later. The end times will come, and the question I have concerning this rebirth of the old gods is how often does this apocalypse happen? This series may have been influenced by the writings of Matthias Gardell’s book, Gods of the Blood: The Pagan Revival and White Separatism (Amazon USA link).
My guess is that whenever Loki’s spirit is truly locked up for good and he cannot be reborn. Laurits embodies this trickster god and Jonas Strand Gravli is simply amazing in giving this modern reinterpretation a lot of soul. He’s struggling with identity (“Brothers in Arms”) and becomes a goth mid-season. Much like Marvel Entertainment’s version played by Tom Hiddleston, his agenda is multifold. He wants to be loved by his blood parents, but they use him (Vidar seemingly comes around in “Power to the People”). His loyalty to his half-brother is half-hearted despite Magne (the reincarnation of Thor) always coming to his aid.
In this modern take of the myth, I’m still wondering how the Norse gods can be reborn. My theory is in the fact these gods exist in spirit until required to manifest for a greater good (instead of seeing the apocalypse happen again). The questions I had from the first season (article can be read here) get answered. Wenche, the old shop lady, is indeed a seer. Her wisdom helps Magne accept that he has the soul of Thor within. This town is a home to other people who have the spirit of an old god within. Although only three of them have been found, I’m hoping there’ll be more in upcoming seasons.
In this chapter, the giants (the Jutal family, pictured left) are caught with their pants down. Fingers are pointed as one of their manufacturing factory’s facilities is not up to code and the toxins has been spilling into the local water table. Everyone is up in arms, and is involved in wanting to remove them from the town of Edda or accepting they have brought a bit of economic renewal. The environmental issue is a detail to appreciate, as it asks the bigger question of whether it’s best to sleep with the devil anyway, despite the love-hate relationship with this beast.
In the meantime, Magne (David Stakston) accepts that he is an embodiment of Thor. He finds two other gods, Týr, Freyja and Odin and has a hard time dealing with them. They don’t do too much but be supportive of Thor’s story. “All You Need Is Love” isn’t enough to see these other characters shine, even though it has the best line for the season concerning how to make Mjölnir. The classical Dwarves of yore don’t exist in this modern world…
Magne defeats his first foe, but the boy struggles with the fact he’s killed and renounces his powers. As with all hero’s journeys, he has to figure out who he is and accept his destiny.
The subplot here is Laurits exploring his sexuality and figuring out what his powers are. His immortal genes don’t get activated until Vidar offers him deer meat, and he injects himself with the blood of an awakened Odin (“God Is God, Though All Men Death Had Tasted”). This alternate origin story makes the mythical version pale in comparison. This episode also reveals how the Jörmungandr, the Midgard Serpent, came into being and it’s a rather smart idea to keep it connected to the myths and sets up what’s still to come in the next season (or the one after).
Even Fjor is on the act. This son of Vidar (the main villain) rejects his heritage and is about to turn good before something snaps in him to accept that he’s the new boss of Jutal Industries. He commands his surviving kin in how to go forward. The old ways must be preserved, and I suspect this theme is part of why Ragnorak is fated to happen again. After all that’s been destroyed, the utopia still to come will have the township of Edda truly self-sustaining (instead of where it is now).
Technically, the Jutals simply want to destroy humanity by allowing one of their operations to pollute the local water reservoir. Since they’re long lived anyway, the wait may well be a blip in their lifetime. But for viewers wanting to see how this modern retelling might end, the environmentalism message says it all. Jutal Enterprises may eventually be replaced by an environmentally conscious corporation to come in to clean up their mess and that’ll be it.