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Surt is the leader of the fire giants of Muspelheim and is said to set Yggdrasil on fire during Ragnarök. He is also said to release Fenris Wolf on the day of Ragnarok and kill Frey, the father of Magnus Chase, the title character.
Surt attacks Magnus Chase on Longfellow Bridge. He first bargains with him, saying he will spare his life if Magnus hands over the Sword of Summer, but when Magnus does not, he threatens him, saying he will incinerate the bridge and everyone on it. He easily defeats Blitzen and Hearthstone, but then is attacked by Magnus in retaliation. Magnus manages to stab Surt with the Sword of Summer, but dies in the process as they both fall off the bridge. Surt is forced back to Muspelheim to regenerate.
Surt next appears on Lyngvi, otherwise known as the Isle of Heather, the prison of Fenris. Gunilla, the captain of the Valkyries, along with two of her lieutenants, Margaret and Irene, attacks Surt while the others face Fenris. The two lieutenants are both killed by Surt, wielding a fiery sword, in quick succession. Magnus tries to help Gunilla, but instead sees her fall by Surt's hand, as well. Surt tries to burn Magnus to death a second time, but Magnus uses his inherited powers and survives. He consecrates the ground to Frey, thus removing the weapons, including Surt's. He is again forced back to Muspelheim .
Surt is described by Magnus on several occasions as being 'Satan's fashion consultant'. He is human-size, and his skin is pure black. His eyes are bright red, and his face inhumanly handsome, seemingly with features carved from obsidian. He supposedly dresses well, although Blitzen, the son of Freya, complains Surt 'stole his designs'. He has a Scandinavian accent.
- Pyrokinesis: As the lord of fire, Surt has extraordinary skills with fire; he is in complete control of it, and the most extreme temperatures/ flames cannot harm him. He is capable of melting cars and asphalt and sending highly controlled blasts of fire towards specific targets. He uses a sword made entirely of fire. He is destined to burn the Nine Worls with his flames at Ragnarök .
- Superhuman strength: Surt displays extraordinary strength, despite his human size, easily backhanding Hearth and Blitz away on Longfellow Bridge and incapactating Hearthstone. He punches Magnus in the gut, making him throw up and temporarily lose consciousness, and also kicks him in the ribs hard enough to send him sprawling across the ground.
- Swordfighting: Surt is very skilled with a sword, using this precise form of combat to defeat three Valkyries at once. He is destined to defeat Frey at Ragnarök and lead the armies of evil.
- Surt is destined to play a key role at Ragnarök, killing Frey with his old sword Sumarbrander, leading the armies of evil and burning the Nine Worlds and Yggdrasil, the World Tree.
- Surt is the inspiration for Balrog, a character from Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkein.
- He caused the Great Chicago Fire.