In Norse mythology, Jörmungandr (Old Norse: Jǫrmungandr, meaning "huge monster"), is a sea serpent, the middle child of the giantess Angrboða and Loki. According to the Prose Edda, Odin took Loki's three children by Angrboða—the wolf Fenrir, Hel, and Jörmungandr—and tossed Jörmungandr into the great ocean that encircles Midgard. The serpent grew so large that it was able to surround the earth and grasp its own tail. As a result, it received the name of the Midgard Serpent or World Serpent. When it releases its tail, Ragnarök will begin.
Jörmungandr's arch-enemy is the thunder-god, Thor, with the two killing each other come Ragnarök.
In the God of War Series
According to Freya, the Serpent mysteriously appeared one day in the Lake of Nine. At one point, he had a battle with Thor that ended in a stalemate and has remained in the lake ever since, growing so large he's able to encircle all of Midgard. When the Jötnar were hunted down by Thor and the other Aesir, the remaining Jötnar fled to their homeworld, making Jörmungandr and "the Guardian" the last Giants in Midgard. He passes the time by sleeping and protecting Tyr's Temple. A nearby horn can be used to summon him.
According to Mimir, the prophecy of Ragnarök foretells that the serpent and Thor will fight again. In the fight, Thor will hit Jörmungandr so hard that it splinters Yggdrasil and sends him back in time to a period well before his birth (explaining his sudden appearance at the Lake).
Jörmungandr first encounters Kratos and Atreus in the Lake of Nine, rising out of it and causing the water level to drop. He speaks to the pair briefly (though they cannot understand him) before returning to his slumber.
After Kratos and Atreus acquire the head of Mimir (the only person "alive" that knows his language), they summon the serpent to learn how to get to Jötunheim. The first thing Jörmungandr sees upon waking up happens to be a large statue of Thor, whom he despises with a passion. He destroys the statue, tearing off the upper half and swallowing it. He then spots Kratos and Atreus on the realm travel bridge, recognizing Mimir when he introduces himself. He becomes visibly angry when Mimir mistakenly identifies the two as friends of Odin but calms down when Mimir hurriedly corrects himself. After learning of their intentions, he agrees to help them reach Jötunheim and realigns the bridge to make sure they're heading in the right direction.
When Kratos brings a sick Atreus to Freya's house with Mimir, they hear the horn on the bridge sounding in the distance, noting that someone has called the serpent. What transpired is unknown.
Kratos, Atreus, and Mimir later realize that the statue of Thor may have contained Mimir's second eye, which they need to reach Jötunheim. When Mimir asks him about the statue, Jörmungandr responds that he thinks it may still be in his stomach, and reluctantly allows them to enter his mouth to look for it. While they search within his belly, he comes under attack from Baldur, expelling the three next to the corpse of the Frost Giant Thamur.
Later, when under attack by Thamur's reanimated corpse (courtesy of Freya), Atreus calls out for him in the ancient tongue, and almost immediately, the colossal Serpent comes to their aid by attacking Thamur's corpse, allowing Kratos to defeat Baldur.
The serpent retreats after the fight and is not seen again. Kratos and Mimir suggest that it's best to leave the Serpent alone to recover. Atreus will yell out a thank you to the beast. The player cannot interact with him for the rest of the game although he still appears in the background due to his enormous size.
Jörmungandr harbors a strong hatred towards the Aesir gods, principally Thor and Odin, for massacring the giants to near extinction. He hates Thor the most (and vice-versa) and both are destined to slay each other during Ragnarök. According to Mimir, the serpent absolutely abhors the statue of Thor as the latter called him the fat dobber and getting sick of looking at the statue. This hatred extends to their allies as well, since he becomes enraged and nearly attacks Kratos, Atreus and Mimir when the latter mistakenly tells him that they are Odin's friends in the giants' ancient tongue. Tyr was the only Aesir that earned his respect, as he helped to guard his temple and even responded to the horn in the temple's bridge. He also does not hate Mimir, likely as he is aware that the latter had tried his best to stop Odin from massacring the giants and Mimir understanding his dead tongue.
Jörmungandr feels extremely lonely, due to being both the last living giant in Midgard (following Faye's demise) and one of the very few beings who speak his language. However, the serpent does enjoy talking when he can, being described as a "sparkling conversationalist" by Mimir. Due to this, the serpent also sympathizes with those who have suffered the same loss, which made him more than willing to help Kratos and Atreus.
Powers & Abilities
Jörmungandr is one of the most powerful beings in all the Realms, enough so to equal the tremendous might of Thor, physically the most powerful of the Aesir.
- Superhuman Strength: Having managed to stalemate Thor, the strongest of the Aesir and who had killed many Giants, it is certain that the World Serpent is tremendously strong, possibly among the strongest of the Giants, surpassed only by Starkaðr, Surtr, Ymir and his future brother Fenrir. In fact, his strength was so great that a battle between him and Thor broke space-time itself, a feat which Kratos, who had experience traveling through time, regarded as impossible. He was also able to quickly overpower and kill the reanimated Thamur, another huge Giant. Another demonstration of his strength is how he can pull himself forward and hold his heavy head and body almost horizontally and push the World bridge with ease.
- Superhuman Durability: Jormugandr has tremendous levels of superhuman durability, enough so to survive an all-out battle with Thor, who had killed many giants before him. Although he was briefly knocked out by Baldur, it seems to have dealt no damage on him and he was quickly able to recover and aid Atreus and Kratos by killing off Thamur.
- Superhuman Speed: Despite his massive size Jörmungandr is able to move at a tremendous speed as he showed it during the final battle of Kratos and Atreus against Baldur, as he took down the reanimated Thamur in a moment.
- Venom: Jormungandr possesses extremely lethal venom called Eitr, as it's potent enough to kill a God like Thor. He grants some of it to Kratos's axe on his first meeting with the duo, permanently increasing the Runic stat by ~2.
- His Greek equivalent (in terms of being colossal serpent) is Python. Also Ouroborus a serpent or dragon eating its own tail, which the same matter of Jörmungandr that encircles Midgard and he grew so large that it was able to surround the Midgard and grasp its own tail.
- Possibly due to his Titan heritage; Although he is stated to be a Giant he was larger than Thamur and encircled the whole world.
- Atreus picks up on Jörmungandr's language throughout the game and shows knowledge of understanding it when he calls for the World Serpent to help them during their final battle with Baldur possibly create causal loop or bootstrap/ontological paradox, since it is probable that Jörmugandr learn to speak the 'dead language' from Atreus himself.
- However, it was possible that Jörmungandr learned the dead language from Laufey, given that he and the giantess were the only giants left in Midgard at the time.
- Whilst Kratos travelled with Mimir and Atreus back to Freya, the horn was blown. What transpired is currently unknown.
- During Mimir's first conversation with Jörmungandr, he mentioned that the Serpent is familiar with the type of loss Kratos and Atreus are going through. This is possibly due to the fact that he witnessed Thor's bloodthirsty slaughtering of the Giants, leaving him the only one left in Midgard.
- During this same conversation, Jörmungandr tells Mimir that Atreus looks familiar. Mimir believes it has something to do with time travel, to Kratos's disbelief.
- Another possibility is that Jormungandr actually knew Laufey, as upon first meeting him Atreus comments that his mother said the serpent was friendly, meaning that she might have known him before she died.
- According to Mimir, the Serpent likes to be called "Jörmi" by those he considers close friends.
- Given the loop regarding Jörmungandr's appearance, it is likely the younger version of Jörmungandr was sent back in time and the fully grown Jörmungandr is the one who bites Thor and dies in the process.
- Jörmungandr shares similarities with his great-great grandfather Cronos;
- Both were called upon using a horn.
- Both are secondary relatives of Kratos.
- Both played a key role in the history of games they appeared in.
- Both have swallowed Kratos
- Interestingly, the similarities were referenced when Atreus asked Kratos if he's ever been inside the stomach of a giant and Kratos replied "Never one that was not trying to eat me.", referencing to how Cronos tried to eat Kratos.