A summary/translation of an article by Håkan Lindgren in SvD (Svenska Dagbladet) 24 april 2013
In Norse mythology the Fimbulwinter is connected to the Fenris devouring the sun. Many sources speak of the year 536 as a strange year when the sun was veiled. (actually , i would argue it is his son Sköll devouring the sun.).
All this seized in the mid 500´s.Less finds, the sun discs, assumed to be connected with a sun cult, disappear from stones at Gotland and instead the stones are filled with warlike Aesir, as if the sun had fallen from grace.
Picture stone from Hablingbo, Havor. Dated to Iron Age.
There is not enough written or archeological material to make any final assumptions about the reactions of the people of the 500´s according to Gräslund.
Did they co operate or did it start an all out war on all fronts?
The Edda songs speak of “axe times” when not even parents or siblings spared eachother.
According to Anders Andrén, proffessor of archeology at the university of Stockholm several people from Norse mythology where historical people.
Sigurd Fafnirbane was the Burgundian king Sigibert, dead 439.
Tjodrik from the Roek stone is the Ostrogothic king Theodrik, dead 526.
Perhaps the time before 536 appeared as a lost golden age and its old kings became mythic heroes.
So where was the actual eruption?
The latest theory is Ilopango in El Salvador.
If this happened today we would at least have the benefit of understanding what happened. In those days it was understood as “the sun might never regain its power” according to Mikael Syriern quoted by Gräslund.
What known volcano is most likely to produce similar results if it erupted today. A number of Swedish geologists all answered “Yellowstone, U.S.A.”.
Four stags or harts (male Red Deer) eat among the branches of the World Tree Yggdrasill. According to thePoetic Edda, the stags crane their necks upward to chomp at the branches. Their names are given as Dáinn, Dvalinn, Duneyrrand Duraþrór. An amount of speculation exists regarding the deer and their potential symbolic value.
Ratatoskr (Old Norse, generally considered to mean “drill-tooth” or “bore-tooth”) is a squirrel who runs up and down the world tree Yggdrasil to carry messages between the unnamed eagle, perched atop Yggdrasil, and the wyrm Níðhöggr, who dwells beneath one of the three roots of the tree. Ratatoskr is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. Scholars have proposed theories about the implications of the squirrel.