Basic Guide to Loki the Notorious Trickster in Norse Mythology

This upcoming blog post Basic Guide to Loki is all about Loki the Trickster in Norse mythology one of the most complicated figures in Norse myth.

Indeed, starring in one of the most famous heroes in the silver screen, Loki has his reputation rocketed to the stardom and even better than Thor. Maybe we love Loki for his unpredictable and somehow incredible deeds. But the original version of Loki and the modern one are definitely different. Here is the basic guide to Loki.

Background

Many scholars have been arguing whether Loki was truly a god in mythology. Of course, he is in modern movies and books. But the original version’s background stays in mystery.

In Norse mythology, Loki came from Jotunheim the land of the giants – gods’ sworn enemies. His parents were allegedly two giants in pure blood. I do think that if Loki was a pure giant, his crime in Ragnarok was quite acceptable. And if he was a half-god-half-giant figure, he should be a traitor.

Loki was famous for his cunning mind and unpredictable deeds. He persuaded Odin to allow him to live in Asgard and Loki could even accompany Odin and Thor in some journeys.

Basic guide to Loki the Trickster. Image features Thor and Loki in a journey to Utgard-Loki
Basic guide to Loki the Trickster. Image features Thor and Loki in a journey to Utgard-Loki

Children of Loki

Like Odin, Loki had many children. Perhaps those whom we know are a few of them. Among Loki’s children, the most famous trio was kids of Loki and Angrboda, namely Fenrir, Jormungand, and Hel.

Image of Loki Loki's tricks
Loki and Jormungandr the Midgard Serpent
  • Fenrir the Wolf: Fenrir was the most famous villain in Norse mythology. For he was the one who swallowed Odin in Ragnarok. Norse myth described Fenrir stretched his mouth from the sky down to earth and swallowed whatever in his path.
  • Jormungand the Serpent: Jormungand was known as the Midgard Serpent. He was so enormous that his body could encircle the whole Midgard. In Ragnarok, Jormungand was slain by Thor god of thunder and storm. But the venom of Jormungand also put an end to the life of Thor.
  • Hel the Queen: Hel was believed to be among the most powerful women in Norse mythology. She was the ruler of the underworld. Hel was cast into the land of the dead and there, she built her own power. In Ragnarok, many said Hel survived.
  • Sleipnir the Horse: Many people learn the name of Sleipnir because he was the favorite horse of Odin the Allfather. And this Sleipnir was actually the son of Loki. In other words, Loki was the mother of Sleipnir the horse.

What did Loki do?

What we learn of Loki was quite a one-sided outlook. We commonly assume what he did was bad and he only did it because he was jealous of gods. Yes, he was jealous. But some of his evil deeds did help gods to some extension.

The first example should be the occasion when he cut off the hair of Sif the Bride of Thor. One day, Loki found himself bored and he decided that he should do something to lift his mood up. Then he sneaked into the room of Sif the Queen and cut off her hair. Sif woke up only to realize that her famous beautiful hair was gone and Thor was the next to know this bad news. Thor threatened to break Loki’s neck off if he did not compensate for what he had done. There went Loki to the land of the dwarves. His journey seemed to pay off when he brought many treasures back to Asgard. Those included the beautiful hair for Sif, the Mjolnir hammer for Thor, the Gungnir spear for Odin, and the Gullinbursti boar for Freyr.

Thor hammer Mjolnir in Norse mythology
Mjolnir hammer was giftd to Thor by Loki. Basic guide to Loki.

One more occasion when Loki helped gods was during the journey with Thor to Utgard-Loki. What Loki did was helping Thor compete in one competition. The reason why we call it “help” because Loki did show a sign of kindness when he did not commit any crime during this journey to shame Thor. That’s great.

Mystery without explanation

To explain why Loki did that is never an easy task. But maybe this mystery about Loki makes us interested in his character the most. From my viewpoint, Loki wanted attention and recognition from everyone, especially gods. Even Loki could live among them, Loki could never become one of them. Somehow he felt gods looked down on him for being a black sheep. He felt that people disgusted him for being the father of the monsters. He wanted to do something good something to make people realize his presence in Asgard. But whatever he did, he failed. Loki often created something terrible when he tried to do something great. He might feel jealous of Odin who had many great sons. Meanwhile, the sons of Loki were never accepted and his beloved kids were even labeled as monsters, etc.

The jealous Loki made things become more and more complicated. The negative Loki made things become worse and worse to the point of Ragnarok the Doom of Norse gods.

Death

Loki was among the list that could not survive Ragnarok. Before Ragnarok, Loki indirectly killed Baldur the son of Odin the Allfather. This evoked the wrath of gods and they decided to tie Loki up and torture him both physically and mentally. Loki was in great agony and until his time finally came, he broke himself free and triggered off Ragnarok.

He called for his outcast children and Hel from the underworld sent an army of the dead to join battle. Fenrir broke off the magical chain and Jormungand lifted himself off the ocean.

They met up in the gate of Asgard and declared war on gods.

Loki met his sworn enemies in Ragnarok and he was Heimdall the Guard of Asgard. The two hated each other for a long time and they two were destined to die in Ragnarok.

Achievement and Titles

Being among the most famous (not to say notorious) figures in Norse mythology, Loki surely earned himself some honors and titles.

  • Most Cunning Norse Trickster
  • The Weapon Gifter
  • The Shapeshifter
  • Ragnarok Trigger
  • The Joker

One Reply to “Basic Guide to Loki the Notorious Trickster in Norse Mythology”

  1. Williams says:

    I love it when
    folks get together and share views.
    Great blog, stick with it!

    Reply

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