This article contains spoilers for God of War: Ragnarok.
God of War games liberally borrow from different mythologies. Back in the PlayStation 2 and 3 days, God of War wove together a world crafted from various Greek myths and legends, while the God of War soft reboot from 2018 and Ragnarok take stories and characters from Norse mythology. However, one mythology reference in the most recent entry has even Norse legend buffs confused.
Throughout God of War: Ragnarok, players once again receive aid from the Huldra Brothers, Brok and Sindri, and when it comes time to visit Alfheim, Sindri tags along to improve Kratos’ armor. This strikes Atreus as odd since Alfheim has been transformed into a vast desert and Sindri is a bit of a neat freak. He hates grime, blood, and sand — it’s coarse and rough and irritating, and it gets everywhere. However, Sindri is willing to brave the desert since Brok has been banned from Alfheim for teaching the Elves about something called a “Juicy Nokken.” The punchline is that Sindri is hesitant to even mention it, and when Atreus asks what a “Juicy Nokken” actually is, Kratos cuts Sindri off before the dwarf can elaborate. Atreus and players are left in the same boat: Wondering just what the Helheim is a “Juicy Nokken?”
A quick Google search should tell you that a Nokken (or Nøkken, Nixie, Nekker, or Neck, depending on what country you’re in) is a Germanic or Scandinavian water spirit. Essentially, Nokken are supposed to be shapeshifting river mermaids with a penchant for attracting people by playing music in a river — and then usually drowning them. Also, it’s not uncommon for Nokken to be naked. In other words, they sort of play the same role as the Sirens from Greek mythology, who use enchanting songs to lure sailors to their destruction.
At its core, the concept of a “Juicy Nokken” is no different from a Samoflange joke from ThunderCats. The term sounds funny, and nobody in the audience knows what it does or even what it looks like, but characters who talk about it do and play the conversation straight, which makes the joke even funnier. Plus, we can use context clues to make an educated guess. Currently, the three most convincing theories (via Reddit) are that a “Juicy Nokken” is another word for skinny dipping, a sexual act involving water (and possibly a Nokken), or Brok’s nickname for his reproductive organ. However, one Redditor came up with a fourth theory that turns the entire joke on its head.
As previously stated, Sindri claimed that Brok is banned from Alfheim for teaching the Elves about a “Juicy Nokken.” However, Sindri only said that the Elves know about the mysterious term thanks to Brok. Redditor Collector_2012 theorizes that Brok was banned for merely explaining what a “Juicy Nokken” is. If true, Kratos saved Sindri from the same fate by cutting him off. But that could also mean a “Juicy Nokken” could be virtually anything. For all we know, it’s a dwarven delicacy that Brok loves, and he wanted to share it with some Elves, but when he described it, they were so disgusted they decided to ban him from their home.
We might never know what a “Juicy Nokken” truly is, but that might be a blessing in disguise, especially if we ever want to visit Alfheim.
God of War: Ragnarok is out now on PlayStation 4 and 5.