Skoll (pronounced “SKOHL”; or Sköll in Old Norse, meaning “One Who Mocks”) and Hati (pronounced HAHTEE; or Hati in Old Norse, meaning “One Who Hates”) are two wolves who are mentioned in passing in Norse mythology.
Mythology of Skoll and Hati
The depiction consists of the two wolves pursuing Sol and Mani (the sun and the moon) through the skies, with the intent of devouring them.
At Ragnarok, as the cosmos falls, skoll and mani inevitably catch their prey, as the world collapses.
It is believed Skoll and Hati were the sons of Fenrir, the arch-wolf.
The Imprisonment of Skoll and Hati
While Fenrir was imprisoned, his parents Loki and Angrboda didn’t interfere or free to free their son, because they knew it would result in destruction.
Skoll and Hati, Fenrir’s two sons were the only ones who tried to free him.
However, they ultimately failed and became imprisoned themselves by the All-father Odin, later forced into the heavens and used to chase the sun and moon, seemingly giving reason to the changes between night and day.
The Prophecy of Skoll and Hati
Although the destruction of the cosmos was ultimately brought about by Fenrir, his sons Skoll and Hati played an important part as well.
After being forced to chase the sun and moon by Odin, inevitably, they caught up with the sun and moon, devouring them, and signifying the beginning of the end.
Soon after, Fenrir joined with his brother Jörmungandr at the battlefield known as either Óskópnir or Vígríðr.
How Accurate is the Mythology?
It’s hard to say which wolf chased the moon, or which one chased the sun. There are a lot of conflicting stories and interpretations involving these two wolves. Some historians, such as Snorri Sturluson, who writes many introductory books on history, claims that Skoll chased the sun and Hati chased the moon, but the Eddic poem ‘Grímnismál’, which was used as a source by Sturluson himself, seems to say the opposite.
Skoll is the name of the wolf
Who follows the shining priest
Into the desolate forest,
And the other is Hati,
Who chases the bright bride of the sky.
However, it does mention Hati as Hróðvitnir’s son.
This is important because Hróðvitnir is used as another name for Fenrir in the Eddic poem, the ‘Lokasenna’.
Another Eddic poem, the ‘Völuspá’, states that the children of Fenrir swallowed the sun during Ragnarok.
Despite the evidence, it is hard to prove the mythology and history of Skoll and Hati due to the many inconsistencies found in the sources.
Many people believe that the reason there are so many inconsistencies is because the Norse religion lacked structure and organization, so there is a lot of conflicting information.
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