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In the late 80s I read a fantasy trilogy base around Norse mythology. Its main character was the magician Surt and book 3 ended with Heimdall blowing the horn to signal Ragnarok and the start of a new world. I think it would have been written in the 80s, maybe the 70s.

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  • Can you remember anything more specific than this. Any of the smaller plot lines or things that happen in the other books. If you remember anything else to add please edit it into your question.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Jan 25, 2021 at 19:30

3 Answers 3

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This is a very long shot, but I wonder if this could be the Twilight of the Gods series by Dennis Schmidt. I only have the first book, and I cannot find much information about the other two books, so this is at best a tenuous identification but it does seem to match your description in many ways.

The series spanned the years 1985 to 1988 so the dates fit, and it is heavily Norse themed. Surt and his sidekick Jormungand feature heavily in the first book, The First Name, though Surt is a warrior rather than a wizard. What little information I can find about the third book, Three Trumps Sounding, suggests that it does indeed end with Ragnarok (or Schmidt's thinly disguised equivalent). I cannot find a copy, and the copy on Google books does not have the ability to search it so I can't check whether it ends with Heimdall blowing a horn.

I'm sorry this is so vague, but your mention of Surt immediately reminded me of the first book, which I do have, and given the similarities it's just possible this is the trilogy you remember.

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Yes, this is indeed The Twilight of the Gods trilogy. I would not characterize Surt as the main character. The main antagonist certainly. The series begins with Surt and his cutthroats teamed up with Borr Skullcracker and his Aesir raiders. They are bandits raiding on the Vigrid plain and neither side trusts the other (not should they as neither can be trusted). They attack a heavily guarded caravan that even has a wizard. Whatever the treasure is must be valuable indeed, they assume so they agree to attack the caravan despite the obvious risk. There is als a mighty warrior guarding the caravan named Jormungand the Serpent. Borr confronts him and finds Jormungand to be the mightiest warrior he has ever faced. Borr manages to defeat Jormungand by feinting with his battle axe and striking the Serpent on the side of his head. Even after this mighty effort, they find they are no match for the wizard (who is warded). Borr cannot engage him in melee and is forced to make a desperate attempt to hurl his battle axe at the wizard. This somehow succeeds. When Borr opens up the wagon to claim the great treasure inside he finds...a woman. All of this death for a woman?! He is extremely upset and decides that if she is worth all of this then he will have her...and he does and decides that he is going to keep her for himself. Her name is Vestla Ravenhair. Borr fathers his son Voden (who is the actual main character of this trilogy) upon her. Surt is wounded and unable to ride so Borr decides to leave him reasoning (correctly) that if their places were reversed Surt would do the same to him. Surt curses Borr and all of his kin and his descendants. Borr is unconcerned. Aesir don't fear anything and after all what power does a dying man have over him? Surt at his point is nearly dead and powerless, but he drags himself and claims a talisman which the now dead wizard wore around his neck that the Aesir left behind which turns out to be the most valuable thing they looted. In exchange for his life, Surt makes a dreadful pact with Nergal. In exchange for his life he would serve Nergal and enact his revenge on Borr and all his kin as promised. After this he places his mouth upon the mouth of the corpse that is Jormungand and brings him back to life. This is something that Jormungand had no say in and more than likely would have refused. Alas, he had and has no choice but to serve Surt.

This is just the prologue. As i stated, Voden is the main character. What this series does is take various mythologies and presents the deities as human beings. The Jotun for example are not giants they are actually horsemen akin to the Huns who are always on horseback so they tower over men like giants. I enjoyed the trilogy.

The first book is The First Name and it details how Voden took his first name. Second book is Groa's Other Eye and the third is Three Trumps Sounding

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    Hi, welcome to SF&F. You have a lot of nice detail here; can you give us any details about how Ragnarok is portrayed?
    – DavidW
    May 19, 2022 at 11:08
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Ragnarok is a World War amongst humans. Of course, the world in question is Yggdrasil. Voden leads the Aesir, the Vanir, the Alfar in the struggle against Surt and the Sons of Muspel and the Jotun and the Svartalfar. Hrodvitnir is the leader of the Jotun and though he and Voden are blood brothers, there was never any doubt that the Jotun and the Aesir would end on opposite sides. The problem with the Aesir and the Vanir is that they have spent the majority of the trilogy as enemies. Ragnarok takes place just as the mythology. Heimdal is the closest thing to a god that there is, but everyone else is merely a mortal. Some wield more power than others. Tror is the shield of the Aesir and he matches up with Jormungand and the two fell each other. The age comes to a close just as Ragnarok predicts. However, there are a few who survive to become the parents of the next age. Heimdal survives because it is his curse to see nine worlds born and die.

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    Hi. If you want to add more text a previous answer, you should click on 'edit' button directly beneath that answer to edit it, rather than posting the text as a separate answer. Also, please use more paragraphs to break your text up into smaller chunks. It makes for a much more pleasant reading experience for other users. May 19, 2022 at 23:55

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