The Wolf of War
Ghoulish, chops licking at carnage, circling around battlefields giddy at the sight of blood, glorying in cruelty and savagery and pain, celebrating war as a tool for easy gain, delighting in brutality, howling sociopathic at supersteroid animal impulses exaggerated beyond all natural extent, considering trauma to be business-as-usual ... This is the "Dog of War", the Fenris-Wolf, the sadistic beast that the more you feed it, the bigger it gets, until it threatens to swallow everything, including yourself.
To "chain" or "tame" the Dog of War is an old expression acknowledging that this beast must be kept under control or it will devour everything. Who would think one could claim that Viking mythology has anti-war themes in it, yet here it is beyond any dispute that when fed, the dog of war gets completely out of hand and threatens to destroy everything? Would Tyr have given up his hand if the stakes had not been that high? It had to be bound.
And if Tyr was the one who was willing to give his right hand so that the Wolf of War could be bound, then we know that he was something a little bit different than the "God of War", although the Romans tried to identify him with their bloodthirsty and even ghoulish Mars. A fighting man he was, well-trained, seasoned, skillful, but a carnage-god glorying in carnage? If he was ever, he certainly learned his lesson in time, didn't he?
Fenris is the child of Loki and Gullveig-Angrboda, of lies, treachery, deceit, arrogant mocking, adultery, greed, angst, resentment, ill-boding, fear-mongering, and his savagery serves his parents well. And they are happy to induct tribes of men into their active worship, who so readily hear their call of doubletalk and massacres for gain, listening to the fear in their hearts rather than the voices of the Gods. And Loki and Gullveig, who infiltrated the ranks of the Gods and made themselves as if one with them, are also more than happy for tribes to worship them under the seeming semblance of worshipping the Gods, all the while laughing at the Gods, laughing at men mistaking Gullveig for Freya, Fenris for Tyr, Loki for Odin, on and on down the line.
This is the terrible realization Zarathustra had about his own cognate Indo-European tradition. He saw that many of his people were not worshipping the Gods they claimed to worship, but the demons themselves, who had disguised themselves as gods. While claiming to support powers whose good work in the world was to hold back the bloodthirsty monsters, they themselves were engaging in blood drinking fests that would make Colonel Kurtz of Apocalypse Now proud, drinking out of skulls, carrying banners made of the flayed skins of their victims, strangling attendants of chieftains by the dozens at their funerals, behaviours no man could engage in and possibly be called "honorable" by anyone, but rather testaments of men having been turned into monsters, orcs. As the generals say of Colonel Kurtz, "He's out there operating without any decent restraint, totally beyond the pale of any acceptable human conduct." When our ancestors wanted to show that Weland the Elf-Smith had become ghoulish and joined the powers of the orcs, they had no better way of doing so than demonstrating his making cups out of skulls, an actual practice amongst some of the Scythian folk. In so doing, the poet made it quite clear that while the elf may once have served the Gods with his marvelous gifts, he was now a twisted, deformed being.
Zarathustra saw that something had gotten out of hand, that human beings had, in their indelible way, corrupted something once beautiful and noble which had inspired people to bravely take back territory from the monsters into something worthy of worshipping those monsters themselves. Some have compared the Ulf-Hednar to special forces ... if so, did some slide down the slippery slope into worship of Fenris himself? One doesn't have to know one is worshipping demons to be worshipping demons, if one's deeds honor demons more than they do Gods.
Let us not let wolf-worshippers infiltrate our midst. Saxo tells a story of howling wolf-berzerks taking over Denmark and subjecting it to torture, rape, mutilation, brutality, and robbery, and it is clear that these are either jotnar themselves or serving the jotnar. King Frodi, which is an epithet of Freyr, dedicates his kingship to ridding the kingdom of these nidings, so that the people can live in peace and prosperity. May we follow Frodi's bold example and bind up the wolves of war!