In Norse mythology, Loki was the most controversial figure. He was more a burden to gods than a help. Whenever troubles popped up, everyone would think it was Loki who was the culprit. The trickster finally faced his most severe punishment. The punishment of Loki not only put an end to the relationship between Loki and Norse gods but also declared the final war between Gods and giants.
In fact, people often debate who was responsible for the Doomsday in Norse mythology. While many completely attribute the fault to Loki, the other believe gods have to burden the responsibility for treating Loki’s family wrong. The last straw that led to the punishment of Loki was that Loki indirectly killed Baldur Odinsson.
Loki murdered Baldur the beloved son of Odin and Frigg
Baldur was the shining god and everyone loved him for his beauty and kindness. He dreamt of his own death when he became a young man. Baldur’s mother, Frigg, who was a seer, foresaw the death of her son. With the great mother love, Frigg traveled around the world to beg all creatures never to harm her son. Because everyone loved Baldur, Frigg found it easy to ask all creatures to make their solemn vow. But she forgot the little mistletoe tree.
As Loki learnt about the mistletoe tree – the only thing that could harm Baldur, he set out to make an arrow from it. Then Loki joined the group of merciful people who were throwing things at Baldur only to see them bounce off. He gave Hodr the blind god the mistletoe arrow and guided him to throw it to Baldur. The arrow hit Baldur in the chest and the beautiful god fell dead on the spot.
This raged the wrath of god. Because not only did Loki kill their beloved god but Loki also made the Ragnarok about to start. Prophesy had it that Baldur’s death was the first sign of Ragnarok.
Capture and Punishment of Loki
Loki knew Norse gods could not tolerate his crime this time. He ran away from Asgard. He built for himself a house on the top of a mountain. Four doors of the house were open so that he could observe who were coming. He shapeshifted himself into the salmon and hid in the lake in the morning.
But with the High Throne, Odin could see everything, even the small house of Loki. After many attempts to capture this most mischievous trickster, Thor finally seized Loki (in the disguise of the salmon) by its tail.
Loki then was brought to the cave under Midgard. Gods brought in two sons of Loki and turned one into a wolf. This wolf son quickly killed the other son of Loki and spread the entrails of his sibling across the floor. Norse gods then bound Loki with the entrails of his slain son. They bound Loki to the rock.
Skadi the giantess of winter placed a snake above Loki’s face. But Loki had a very faithful wife whose name was Sigyn. She stayed with Loki in the grave to collect the venom of the poisonous snake.
Whenever the bowl became full, Sigyn had to turn away to empty it. At this point, the venom dropped onto Loki’s face. It made Loki hurt so badly that he shook violently causing the earthquake to Midgard above the cave.
Loki endured this punishment for quite a long time. Until one day, he broke himself free from the chain. Then came the day Loki and his children declared war against Norse gods. And then Ragnarok broke on the sky.