Fenris Unbound

“Unfettered will fare the Fenris Wolf
and ravaged the realm of men”


Grant me a challenge, and i shall rise to the occasion. Not sure i said it regarding this specific tattoo, but I have often said it and sometimes i get clients that will try to make me swallow my words by giving me mad projects to grapple with. This one is definitely one of them.


The backpiece itself of course represents Fenrir, but in a form i have never drawn him before. The idea of creating a wolf in a proper nordic style from the front was daunting to say the least, but i had some ideas and actually ended up taking a starting-point using Jeff Gogue’s amazing wolf-tattoo as a reference, to create that Front-on vision.
From there on, i just started weaving Mammen-styled ideas into it. My favourite part is the asymmetric jaw-line representing the chains that bind Fenrir.

The arms are based on the idea of Godmasks, but instead of gods these would be Dwarves of the earth, two of the smiths that created the chain Gleipnir, which binds Fenrir. They are unnamed in the myths, but could easily be the sons of Ivaldi or Brokkr and Sindri. In this case, i have chosen to go with the names Gjöll and Thviti, which are the names of the stones Fenrer is chained to.


Overall, the tattoo took around 10 days of intense work to do, while stormy, wet and thundering weather raged around our house in the Catalunyan mountains, a fitting theme for the project.

Photography by Gavin Jones