Ragnarok, a Norwegian fantasy series, takes place in the fictional town of Edda, in Hordaland, the home of the mythological Norse god of thunder, Thor. This modern day Ragnarök follows the story of the Norse mythology of the god Thor. Ragnarok stands for the end of the world and the twilight of the gods, with natural disasters leading to a battle between the gods (Thor) and giants (Jutuls). In this reimagining of the myth, Ragnarok is environmental disaster due to climate change from corporate giants. Edda is owned and controlled by the Jutul family, the fifth richest family in Norway, and the owners of much of the town’s economy as well as responsible for its rampant industrial pollution.
Magne Seier, a reincarnation of the thunder-god Thor, is a teenage boy who has recently moved to Edda with his younger brother and single mom, recently widowed. The mom has returned to work for her former classmate and lover, Vidar Jutul, the patriarch and corporate power that dominates Edda. In a duplicitous scheme, Vidar is advertising the town as a nature destination while polluting it with company effluents.
Slowly Magne begins to realize he has the superpowers of a god, which becomes evident and threatening to the Jutuls. Magne’s first and only friend at school is an environmental activist, a sort of Greta Thunberg, with a YouTube channel she uses to expose pollution, glacial melt, and mutant trout guts. One teacher asks Magne to make sure his whole project isn’t about how “old white men” are destroying the world. Magne’s comeback: “Well, aren’t they?”
Can Magne, this awkward, , dyslexic, good-natured teenager save the world against some formidable enemies? And how is this teenage hero going to handle his newfound power? Magne soon discovers that the illness and death arising in the town is due to the toxic waste from Jutul Industries.
Ragnarok is a novel approach to the Norse legend story, fun to watch, and a break from the Marvel comic blockbuster version of Thor and his superpowers.
Availability: Premiered on Netflix streaming on January 31, 2020.