Loki Norse Mythology

Loki nose mythology represents a very interesting aspect of the Norse history. In Norse Mythology, Loki was considered a cunning trickster with the ability to change his sex and shape. The father is believed to be giant Fárbauti and Laufey, while the brothers are Býleistr and Helblindi. He married Sigyn, and they got a son called Nari or Narfi.

Loki was the companion of great gods, including Thor and Odin. He helped them with clever plans even though, in some cases, caused them difficulty and embarrassment. Loki is represented as the enemy of the gods as he entered their banquet with no invitations and even demanded their drinks.

Loki was the main cause of god Baldur death. Therefore, as a punishment, he was bound to a rock resembling Tantalus and Prometheus Greek Figures. Besides, the gender of Loki is unknown because, at times, it is a male, while in other cases, it is a female.

What is Loki’s Gender?

In the whole of Norse mythology, Loki’s gender keeps changing in different stories. Although in popular culture and myths, Loki is described as male, that is not usually the case. For instance, in Þrymskviða, Loki and Thor pretend to be handmaiden and Freyja to get Thor’s hammer Thrym, a Jötunn king. The event suggested that the transformation to a handmaiden was more as evident in the following excerpt:

Then Loki spake, the son of Laufey:

“As thy maid-servant thither I go with thee;

We two shall haste to the giants’ home.”

26. Hard by there sat the serving-maid wise,

So well she answered the giant’s words:

“From food has Freyja eight nights fasted,

So hot was her longing for Jotunheim.”

Although Loki fathers most of the children, he mothers one of them. In stories narrated by Gylfaginning, Loki turns to a female horse in luring stallion away. When he returns, he is pregnant, and he later gives birth to Sleipnir, an eight-legged horse who turns to be the steed of Odin.

Attributes of Loki

Loki is the creature of mischief. He is a trickster as well as an expert liar. Apart from the negative attributes, he is a joker, helpful, intelligent, and gifted man.

Loki the Joker

The typical version of Loki was portrayed in Lokasenna, Poetic Edda’s poem. The poem commences in Aegir, a god of the sea hall in which the gods were drinking and feasting to their fill. The crowd praised Aegir servants, Elder, and Fimafeng. The issue made Loki take an offence and go-ahead to murder Fimafeng. The issue further made the gods curse Loki, forcing him outside.

After some time, Loki returned with the aim of making mischief:

“In shall I go into Ægir’s hall,

For the feast fain would see;

Bale and hatred I bring to the gods,

And their mead with venom I mix.”

Loki the Helpful

Loki shows a different side of his personality in an episode that involves Mjölnir. In displaying his helpfulness, Loki helped in locating the hammer that was missing. Besides, Loki and Feya made a cloak from falcon feathers that allowed them to discover and fly the hammer’s location quickly.

Later, Loki flew to Jötunheimr, where it approached Thrym. At that point, Thrym declared he stole Mjölnir and hid about eight leagues under the earth. Also, he said he wouldn’t return the hammer till he married Freya. From the event, Loki was dutiful and returned to Asgard in informing the gods of the news:

“Trouble I have, and tidings as well:

Thrym, king of the giants, keeps thy hammer,

And back again shall no man bring it

If Freyja he wins not to be his wife.”

Loki the Shapeshifter

Loki is believed to be the greatest shapeshifter as he utilized his talents in surprising ways. In one of Prose Edda’s books, Loki shapeshifting took a certain dramatic turn. The tale commenced when a master builder and hill giant approached the gods, offering to erect an impregnable fortress in protecting the gods from jötnar, its enemy.

Mischievous Tricks of Loki in the Norse Mythology

Loki is among the notorious creatures in Norse mythology. Loki is considered a trickster god, and some of the tricks that he performed include the death of Balder, Ruining Aegir’s feast and tricking the master builder. He also chose to be the definition of disorder.

The Death of Balder

Balder was Odins son and Thor’s half brother. He was the god of purity and light and is described as an individual whose beauty was unmatched. Most people adore him for his mercifulness as he was the epitome of good and wiseness.

Even though Balder was immortal, a prophecy claimed that he would die someday. In preventing the prophecy from happening, the mother visited each entity in the cosmos in securing an oath so that his son would not be harmed. Unfortunately, she avoided consulting mistletoe as she believed it was harmless to threaten his boy’s life.

The fatal oversight reached Loki, who used the brother in killing Balder. Loki carved an arrow from a mistletoe then gave the blind half-brother of Bader to throw it towards him. Höðr did not hesitate to do what he was asked, as he believed nothing would hurt the brother. Unfortunately, the arrow hit him, making him die.

Ruining Aegir‘s feast

When Aegir was hosting a great feast for all the gods, Loki became jealous of the praise Fimafeng, Elder, and Aegir’s two servants had towards him. The issue made Loki kill Fimafeng. The killing, in turn, resulted in the wrath of other gods that drove him from the hall.

Tricking the master builder

The master builder and a giant approached the gods one day in offering to develop a huge protective wall. It was to be conducted in Asgard, which was Æsir god’s home. In return, he asked for goddess Freya, the Moon, and the sun.  Even though the gods agreed with his terms, they said the job had to be completed on the first day of summer.

The gods believed that Loki would not complete the task within the speculated time. However, to their surprise, the giant, as well as its stallion Svadilfari. Since the gods did not want to lose Freya, they tricked Loki, and it further attacked the gods before Thor crushed him.

Facts about Loki

  • Loki tricked Hod, Baldur’s bling brother in killing him
  • Loki stole Freya amber necklace that Heimdal retrieved after fighting him
  • Loki is Hel’s father
  • Loki means close in the Old Norse mythology
  • Loki lied to dwarfs at any opportunity that they had.

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An avid storyteller and passionate writer with a penchant for letting people know that which they don't know while at the same time telling people more about what they may already have known. At the end, you stay informed, be curious, and get cosy.

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