With my first post on the forums (huzzah!), I'd like to point out a shred of evidence which seems to have gone overlooked. It was mentioned in the first post of this thread, but the idea was never revisited. Here's how I came upon this theory:
Some of my friends find it amusing to send impossible questions to that KGB texting service. If you haven't heard of it, you text them a question and they answer it for you (for $0.99). I thought of a question that would really stump them, and on a whim texted to them, "Is there truly a creature in the laybrinth inside Navidson's in Mark Z. Danielewski's of Leaves?" It took them a while to get back to me, and I thought I had stumped them, however I get a text saying simply, "The laybrinth and the book are the same. If the book is Yggdrasil, the creature must be the Nidhogg."
The Nidhogg ate the roots of Yggdrasil, and P. eludes to this with the "ceaselessly nibbling worms": worm being a common synomym for a snake or a dragon around the time that these myths were created.
Originally Posted by Pelafina, page 623
Consider also, changing that last word slightly: "ceaselessly nibbling words" I believe that the Nidhogg, or the words, are destroying the roots of Yggdrasil, or the narrative. I will explain further:
Yggdrasil's roots reach into three wells. The first is the well of Wisdom, which I take to represent old man Z. I believe this not only because he is the oldest and supposedly the most wise of the narrators, but also because of the link between Odin losing his eye at this well and Zampano's blindness.
The second well is the well of Fate, which is fed by the past, present, and future. I take this well to represent Johnny, because of all of the characters, it is his past and present (even glimpses of his future) that are most revealed to us, it is to him that the story seems to be most strongly tied, and in Johnny's fate lies the fate of the narrative.
The last well, known as the "roarring kettle" supplies the rivers of the nine worlds. Similarly Pelafina weaves herself into both Johnny's world (most obviously) and Zampano's ("My dear Zampano, who did you lose?" as well as similarities between TWL, The P. poems (which Z has read), and many other subtle hints within Z's writings). Also, Pelafina erodes Johnny's world (maybe Zampano's?) like a river slowly eroding the earth on which it flows.*
These three wells, or narrators, feed Yggdrasil, or the story/book/narrative itself.
Now, to expand on the link between the worm (Nidhogg) and the words. The main thing weakening the story/book/narrative is the words themselves. This is because it is within the text that we find so many errors, undermining the legitimacy of the story/book/narrative, and weakening it considerably. Not only does the Nidhogg feed on the roots of Yggdrasil, but at the end of the world, the Nidhogg brings about the end of the ancient tree. Thus, the words/text eat away at the legitimacy of the story as it is presented, and once a story/book/narrative can not be trusted, it dies.
Yggdrasil -(eaten by/contains)- Nidhogg
Labrynth -(haunted by/contains)- Creature/Minotuar
of Leaves [Z,P, and J's stories together] -(weakened by/contains)- it's own words
What do you all think?
*More ties between the Yggdrasil story and Pelafina that are unfinished ideas of mine. I don't know how to better support them as evidence, but they are just things to think about: The roots leading into the "Roaring Kettle" (which I linked to Pelafina) is where the Nidhogg spends most of his time (Pelafina is the main source for the lack of legitimacy? Pelafina = Nidhogg [in the respect that I envision P to be Johnny's monster/creature]?) Lastly, the Yggdrasil reference on the last page is typed in 'Dante'. Connection?