Muspelheim in Norse Mythology

In Norse mythology, Muspelheim (also known as Múspell or Múspellsheimr), is one of the nine realms and home to the fire giants. It is a place of scorching heat and burning passion, neighboring Niflheim.

What Created Muspelheim?

The primary sources for our understanding of this locality come from the Prose Edda and the Poetic Edda. However, there are also references to Muspelheim in earlier works, such as the Völuspá. While the details vary between sources, they all agree that it was created by the primordial deity Ymir. 

Ymir was a giant who emerged from Chaos at the beginning of time. He then created Muspelheim (and the other realms) from his body. We can see that the area has its origins in Norse cosmology and mythology. The mountain is a special place where trials happen.

Who is the Ruler of Muspelheim?

Surtr (a jötunn).

When attacked, Surtr will lead the fire giants into battle against the gods. He’s said to kill Freyja, the goddess of love and fertility, and he’s also responsible for burning down Asgard with his sword.

Who Lives in Muspelheim?

Muspelheim is the home of Surtr, the giant fire demon located at a mystic gateway, and his loyal followers.


Surtr (Surtur, Surt) is the ruler of Muspelheim and the arch-enemy of the gods. He is a gigantic fiery demon who wields a sword called Twilight. Surtur is responsible for the destruction of Asgard. He is said to be so large that his head bumps up against the sky.

The deity Freyr, who unfortunately perishes at the hands of the giant’s flame sword since he long ago gave his own blade to his comrade Skrnir, is destined to fight with Surtr.

This giant will shake his weapon at the conclusion of the conflict, igniting the primordial fire that will spread to all of Yggdrasil, consume the nine realms, and murder almost every living thing in the universe, including himself and his own species.

As per the Prose Edda, this giant fire demon represents the primordial era just before the universe was created, when the jötnar (giants) served as genuine cosmic forces without a distinct identity. He’s probably the last survivor of his kind.

According to certain versions of his story, Surtr’s victory over Freyr was fairly pyrrhic because, despite his win, Freyr still managed to mortally injure him with his antler-made replacement weapon. The Eldthur’s demise was, therefore, all but guaranteed because his attempt to burn the entire nine realms on fire cost him all of his remaining might.

The Giant with the Flaming Sword,  John Charles Dollman (1909)
The Giant with the Flaming Sword, John Charles Dollman (1909)

Fire Demons

The enormous fire giant Surtr, whose existence is thought to have predated that of the gods, is the progenitor of the fire demons. Although the demons’ looks and heights vary, they often have the same height as the Asgardian gods.

The fire demons are the loyal followers of Surtr. They inhabit Muspelheim and help Surtr carry out his evil deeds. They are made entirely of fire and can control fire with their minds. They are incredibly strong and can shoot fire from their mouths.

Due to their nature as deadly warriors, the demons occasionally go to the other nine realms to wage war. Within their own country, they are a nomadic race. Additionally, fire demons have superhuman stamina, speed, agility, durability, reflexes, and strength.

What Happens to Muspelheim during Ragnarök?

Muspelheim has a key role in the creation of the world and its downfall. According to Snorri Sturluson (author of the Prose Edda and the Heimskringla), fire from Muspelheim and ice from Niflheim meet in the middle of Ginnungagap. This collision created the giant Ymir, from whom the world was then shaped.

During Ragnarök, the fire giant Surtr arrives from the south with a flaming sword to kill all the gods and destroy the world. For Norse people and the Vikings, this means the cosmos begins and ends in fire (and with ice).

Is Muspelheim also a Real place?

There is no evidence that Muspelheim actually exists.

In popular culture, there’s a video game section on Playstation titled God of War Muspelheim. The presence of such games tends to make people believe this place actually existed.


Ana has always been interested in all things Norse mythology, Vikings and tales of ancient Germanic myths. An avid reader of books on Norse mythology, she also enjoys watching movies and TV shows based on Viking culture, and she secretly watched every Norse god-inspired MCU production as well!

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