God of War Ragnarok: The Mythology Behind Yggdrasil

The God of War Ragnarok World Tree, also known as Yggdrasil, is at the heart of the game world, and its place in mythology is just as great.

The God of War The series is absolutely rooted in mythology, whether it’s covering Kratos’ murderous past with the Greek pantheon or Atreus’ journey through Asgard in the New Norse Saga. In each moment that passes in a God of War title, a new piece of mythology or lore is unearthed, ranging from monsters like Nidhogg to allies like Mimir to enemies like Odin. But by far one of the most mysterious yet integral aspects of Norse mythology in god of war ragnarok it is the same World Tree, Yggdrasil.


Although it has many names, god of war ragnarok it primarily refers to the World Tree as Yggdrasil, which comes directly from ancient Norse mythology. Roughly translated to “Odin’s Horse”, Yggdrasil serves several purposes in the mythological universe, the most important being its place as a gateway between the Nine Realms. While Yggdrasil plays an important role in god of war ragnarokit barely scratches the surface of the tree’s mythological roots.

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Yggdrasil Mythology Explained

Inside Yggdrasil God of War

In God of War 2018, players will first encounter Yggdrasil a few hours into the game when they need to travel to Alfheim to clear a path back to Midgard. This is how Yggdrasil is pretty much used throughout the rest of the saga, with Kratos and company using the World Tree primarily to access the rest of the Nine Realms. While this is the main purpose of the tree in mythology, there are a few more details about it that have been left out. God of WarThe norse saga of .

One of the most intriguing details about Yggdrasil is that it has three gigantic roots that sit at the center of the world. These three roots extend to three of the Nine Realms, those found in Helheim, Jotunheim, and Asgard. Each of these roots is buried deep in the ground and is surrounded by a well of mythical power. Nifleheim’s root is surrounded by the Hvergelmir well, often referred to as the Poison Well, though it is said that the first Norse being was born from its waters. The root in Jotunheim is surrounded by Mimisbrunnr, also known as Mimir’s Well, where the philosopher offers great knowledge and wisdom in exchange for a sacrifice. The final root in Asgard is surrounded by the Well of Urd where the prophetic Norns reside.

In addition to being home to the Nine Realms, Yggdrasil is also home to a handful of mythical creatures, each playing their own role on the World Tree. At the top of the tree lies a nameless eagle that watches over Yggdrasil. At the bottom of the tree is Nidhogg, in the form of a dragon, which gnaws at the roots of the tree whenever provoked. A small squirrel named Ratatoskr runs between the eagle and Nidhogg, fanning the flames of their rivalry to fuel his own joy. Yggdrasil is also home to a deer and a goat named Eikthyrnir and Heidrun respectively. Situated just above Valhalla, Heidrun eats the leaves of the World Tree and provides mead for the immortal soldiers below, while Eikthyrnir eats the fallen branches of the tree and transfers water to the three wells.

As Ragnarok gets underway, Norse mythology says that Yggdrasil will begin to fall. At first, the tree will grow cold and lifeless, starting Fimbulwinter. Following this, Nidhogg’s chewing of the World Tree’s roots will cause him to tremble, throwing him off balance and ushering in an era of chaos. This will lead to the end of the Nine Realms, and according to some interpretations, it could be the end of them forever. However, some interpretations of the mythology believe that Yggdrasil will grow again after Ragnarok, leading to a new world.

god of war ragnarok is available on PS4 and PS5.

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