The word “warg” is an anglicization of the word “vargr” from Norse mythology. The word translates as “wolf,” but has deeper connotations of wolves that chase the sun and moon across the sky. Of course, the most well-known vargr is Fenrir, who is the wolf-child of Loki and a giantess named Angrboða.
Fenrir himself is said to be the oncoming doom of Odin during Ragnarok, and this makes me pity the creature more than hate him. Because of the prophecy that has been placed upon his shoulders, this automatically turns him into a villain (of course, having Loki as a father is a pretty poor start as well). People revile Fenrir in stories just for his origin and his destiny. Then again, maybe I’m reading too much into it?
The fact that there many vargr, but only one popularly-named one, makes me wonder if there are large packs of these giant wolves roaming through mythology awaiting discovery… or have they all been lost to time? I also wonder if there is an opposite to Fenrir in the vargr packs. Is there an antithesis to Fenrir roaming the world of mythology out there somewhere?
Most folks these days know the word “warg” from the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien where he made the wolves so large and monstrous that orcs could ride them into battle. That’s not an unfair use of wargs, but I’m going to swerve away from the ground-based wolves for a moment. Seeing as how vargr chase the sun and moon across the sky, they are certainly celestial bodies. When I first read the description of them chasing the sun and moon, I thought of comets arcing across the sky. Perhaps meteor showers could explain this myth as well.
Very few meteors from space reach Earth’s surface, but what if those that do became vargr that prowled the wilderness in search of sustenance? Wolves that are larger than life and scarier as well. This would be the route I would go with this myth in attempting to modernize it. I’d pelt the surface of the Earth with “vargr meteorites” and have them run amok causing trouble for the other characters in the story.
Touching upon my Fenrir antithesis theory, I also wouldn’t mind seeing there being a pack of vargr who oppose the evil being done in the world. For some reason, I’m thinking of them as all white wolves (again larger than regular wolves) and that the entire pack would be female. I’m wondering what concepts from life led me to this decision, but there is is.
“Warg.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 07 Jun. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warg.