Ah, if there’s trouble in the Norse legends, you can probably guess that Loki, the god of mischief is involved. We’ve already seen Loki connected to one dragon, and here’s another.
Ótr (aka Óttar, and a few other spellings) was a shapeshifter who could turn into, appropriately, an otter. Ótr just hung out most of the time, eating fish, but one day Loki wandered by and killed the otter for sport. The legend is pretty adamant that the whole thing was an accident.
What wasn’t an accident was that Ótr’s dad demanded an enormous fine for his son’s death, far more than Ótr’s life was legally worth. Specifically, he asked for Loki to fill the inside of Ótr’s skin with yellow gold, then cover the outside of the skin with red gold. When one inch of whisker still showed, he greedily insisted Loki cover that inch, too.
Loki did it with a smile because the only gold Loki had left was the cursed ring Andvarinaut, destined to bring disaster to anyone who possessed it.
Ótr had two brothers, Fafnir and Regin. They saw their dad’s gold and the curse made them crazy for it. Together they plotted to kill their dad, but Fafnir double-crossed Regin before Regin could double-cross him, and stole the gold.
The cursed gold transformed Fafnir into a dragon and he spent his days just laying on his treasure to guard it (Dragon who lays on gold… Cursed ring… Anyone getting a Tolkien vibe here? You should be. Tolkien’s inspiration for the Lord of the Rings partially came from Norse legend).
Regin, pissed off, hired Sigurd the great warrior to kill Fafnir and bring him the treasure, intending to kill Sigurd after. Armed with a magic sword, Sigurd did the job. But he got some of the dragon’s blood on his fingers, and for some reason Sigurd licked his fingers instead of using a Wet Nap. The blood enabled him to understand the language of birds. He heard from these birds that his employer planned to kill him.
Sigurd then killed Regin and took the gold himself (some hero). He gave the ring to his love, the valkyrie Brunnhilde. Things kind of get complicated after that and there’s no more dragons so I’ll stop here.
Here’s a hint: everyone dies. If you’re listening to Wagner, they do it while singing.