In Norse mythology, Níðhöggr (Malice Striker, in Old Norse traditionally also spelled Níðhǫggr [ˈniːðˌhɔɡːz̠], often anglicized Nidhogg[1]) is a dragon who gnaws at a root of the world tree, Yggdrasil. In historical Viking society, níð was a term for a social stigma, implying the loss of honor and the status of a villain. Thus, its name might refer to its role as a horrific monster in its action of chewing the corpses of the inhabitants of Náströnd: those guilty of murder, adultery, and oath-breaking.

Níðhǫggr gnaws the roots of Yggdrasill in this illustration from a 17th-century Icelandic manuscript.

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