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.
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 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, allowing Kratos to defeat Baldur.
Jörmungandr despises the Aesir gods, principally Thor and Odin, for hunting the Jötnar to near extinction. Both the Serpent and Thor have a deep hatred for each other and are destined to fight until death in Ragnarök. 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. Due to his massive size, he clearly possesses immense strength and durability, as he was the only Giant able to survive fighting against Thor (who is reputed to be the strongest of the Norse gods) in battle.
- In original Norse mythology, he is the son of Loki and the Jötunn Angrboða.
- His Greek equivalent (in term of being colossal serpent) is Python.
- 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. This, and the possibility Atreus becomes fluent in it explains why the future Jörmungandr knows this supposedly 'dead language', thus becoming the bootstrap/ontological paradox or a causal loop.
- 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.