In the beginning of all known Norse myth, there was a void, and the void was called the Ginnungap, or Yawning Gap. To the north of the gap, there existed Nifleim, the land of fog and Ice, and to the south, Muspelheim, the land of fire. In Nifleim, there existed a spring called the Hvergelmir from which the Elivagar, or twelve rivers, flowed. These twelve rivers filled the northern part of the gap with layers of ice, while from the southern Muspelheim, molten lava and fire flowed into the gap. Where the front of Ice and Fire met in the gap, two creatures were formed, Ymir the primeval giant, and Audlhumala, the frost cow. Feeding off of the mild Audlhumala provided, Ymir slept, giving birth to frost giants from his sweat, a total of four children. While Ymit was busy making babies, Audlhumala contentedly licked the frost northern frost buildup for food, the act of which formed Buri, the first god. Buri somehow gave birth to Bor, who somehow gave birth two the three gods Odin, Vili, and Ve; Their origin is never explained, only the line of descendants. Later, for some unknown reason, Odin, Vili and Ve decide to kill Ymir. The three slaughtered the giant, whose blood killed all of his frost giant children except for two, Bergelmir and his wife, who escaped the flood of blood in their boat. Odin, Vili, and Ve put Ymir's corpse into the middle of Ginnungagap and created the earth and sky from the corpse. This land was known as Midgard or the 'Middle Abode', for it was situated halfway between Niflheim and Muspelheim. From Ymir's bones came the mountains, and from his hair the trees. Then, they created the sun, stars, and moon from sparks coming out of Muspelheim. Together the gods also created their dwelling place, which became known as Asgard 'The Dwelling of the Aesir' , in which each of them had a grand mansion. This land was created above Midgard, so that the gods could keep watch over the world that they were creating. To get back and forth between Midgard and Asgard they created the great Rainbow Bridge known as Bifrost, which was guarded by Heimdall, the god of Bifrost. The gods could not decide on how to populate Midgard, but first they turned the grubs that were rotting the earth into the Dwarves, to lessen the decay of the earth. These Dwarves were made to stay hidden within the earth, as they had been made of Ymir, they should also reside within Ymir. The Dwarves had no women, but were given two Dwarf princes, who were to build new dwarves from the rock and earth, Ymir's body. To create Men, the brothers happened upon two logs lying on the beach and created the first two humans Ask (ash) and Embla (elm) from them. Niflheim was dedicated as the land of the dead (suitable because of it's chilling nature), and the goddess Hel was designated as the ruler of this domain, and her faithful hound, Garm, guarded the entrance to prevent the dead from ever leaving and the living from entering.

Out of the Chaos of the creation of the world, the three Norns, goddesses of fate, came. Their names were Urd (Past), Verdandi (Present), and Skuld (Future). Urd appeared in the form of an old wench, while Verdandi was a women in her prime, and Skuld was a beautiful young maiden. Together the three Norns cared for the Life-Tree, Yggdrasil, until the day of Ragnarok when it was destined to die. The great tree Yggdrasil began to grow and connect the earth and heavens. Its first root formed in the realm of Niflheim, from this root bubbled the spring of Hvergelmir, the source of the twelve rivers, melted from their icy states. The second root of the great tree extended into the land of the giants, covered with frost and ice (This is where Bergelmir and his wife created their new race of frost giants). This is also where the fountain Mimir flowed a source of great wisdom. The third root extended all the way up into the heavens, and issued the spring Urd. This is where the Norns lived, drawing water from the spring at the beginning of each day and sprinkling it on the roots of Yggdrasil so that it would not wither away, but grow and prosper. In the highest branches of Yggdrasil, a golden rooster sat, keeping watch for when the Giants were preparing to attack the gods of the Aesir. Underneath Yggdrasil the Horn of Hemidall was hidden, wating till it would announce Ragnarok, the end of the world, and the final battle between the Giants and the gods of Aesir.

Ragnarok, the end of the world, was told of and preordained at the same time of creation, by the Norn Urd. Before the end, the worlds would be once again covered in three short Ice ages, known as the Fimbultver. In the Day of the End, Ragnarok, the fire giants led by Surt will come out of Muspelheim and Naglfar, the ship made out of dead men's nails, will carry the frost giants to the battlefield, Vigrid. The gods of Aesir and the Giants of fire and ice would clash, and the earth would be torn to shreds the mighty battle. Fierce battles of power and magic would be fought, reducing all life to ashes. Yggdrasil would fall, sending the layers of the world crashing into ruin. The hound Garm, guarding the entrance to Niflheim would flee in terror, and the dead will have chance escape, rising again to the earth as plagues and disease to fight amongst the gods. In the end of the battle, everything would be destroyed; the gods, giants, men and animals would cease to exist. The Poetic Eddas describe the very end of the battle:

Then comes the mighty one
to the great judgement,
the powerful from above,
who rules o'er all.
He shall dooms pronounce,
and strifes allay,
holy peace establish,
which shall ever be.