"World's end?" In Norse mythology, the name of the fiery realm south of the Ginnungagap and the shadowy figure presiding over it, as well as for the groups that inhabit it.
In Gylfaginning, stanza 4, the figure of Þridi says:
Yet first was the world in the southern region, which was named Múspell; it is light and hot; that region is glowing and burning, and impassable to such as are outlanders and have not their holdings there. He who sits there at the land's-end, to defend the land, is called Surtr; he brandishes a flaming sword, and at the end of the world he shall go forth and harry, and overcome all the gods, and
burn all the world with fire.
Þridi then goes on to tell that the sparks and glowing masses flew out of Múspell into Ginnungagap, where it melted the frozen yeast venom, and life was quickened from the yeast drop. This became Ymir, the first living being. His descendants — Odin, Vili, and Vé — killed him and fashioned the heaven and earth from his body. They then took out of Múspell the glowing embers and sparks and set them in the middle of Ginnungagap, in the heaven, both above and below, to illuminate heaven and earth.
Elsewhere in Gylfaginning the name refers to a person or a group. Snorri Sturluson quotes Völuspá, which says that the Sons of Múspell will sail from the east on the ship Naglfar, which is owned by Múspell and steered by Loki. He further writes that Surtr shall lead the Sons of Múspell and when they ride over the rainbow bridge Bifröst they will shatter it with their combined weight. Then the Sons of Muspéll shall go forth to the field called Vígríðr to do battle with the Æsir. They are also named in Lokasenna.
- Gylfaginning, 4, 5, 8, 11, 13, 37, 43, 51.
- Lokasenna, 42.
- Völuspá, 50.