Loki, the famous trickster god of the Norse mythology, was a cunning god renowned for his numerous plots and lies. Loki was a shape-shifter, and the variety of his forms matched the reasons for his mischief, which included money, women, wisdom, and the pure joy of his knavery. With Loki, things weren't always as they seemed. While Loki's mischief frequently got the gods into trouble, his trickery also regularly helped them get out of it.
Loki, a member of the Aesir tribe of gods, was one of the four supreme gods of Norse mythology, along with Odin, Thor, and Freya. Although Loki's mythology frequently overlapped with that of his divine counterparts, he also had significant distinctions from them. While Thor, Freya, and even Odin (a trickster himself) worked to establish a just order among the gods, Loki's irregular actions made it unclear what his true allegiances were. For instance, it was anticipated that Loki would support the jötnar in their battle with the gods during Ragnarök. Relive the Viking age wearing our Viking Tunics
In reality, Loki was neutral toward the gods. Like other trickster characters from myths, he was neither good nor evil, preferring instead to support disorder itself. He was a figure who pushed the envelope and broke rules. His erratic inconsistency served to remind believers that the line between good and evil was far more permeable than they had thought.
Loki frequently causes difficulties for his new comrades when he first joins the Gods of Asgard because of his antics. For instance, in the story of The Kidnapping of Idunn, he provoked the fury of the goddess Jötunn Thiazi, who then forced him to bring Idunn for him, almost ending the lives of his fellow Gods because she was the only one who could care for the special apples that gave them immortality. He also unintentionally enraged Thiazi's daughter Skadi, who demanded restitution for her father's death in the same episode (when Loki took Idunn back to Asgard in his falcon form, Skadi demanded restitution for her father's death). Thiazi discovered them in the act and pursued them while dangerously invading the Asgardian land of the Gods, causing the guards to immediately slay him. Skadi's conflict with the Gods was settled without violence because she showed to be more reasonable than her father and most of her clan despite her first furious wrath.
Other examples of his antics include annoying Thor by shaving his wife Sif's golden hair clean, impeding the progress of dwarf brothers Brokkr and Sindri in creating the Thunder God's signature hammer Mjölnir (resulting in the hammer's handle being shorter than intended), and allowing a dubious Jötunn the opportunity to possess Freya, the sun, and the moon should he manage to finish the fortification around Asgard despite his apparent treac In the latter occasion, Loki was compelled to swallow his ego in order to ensure that said Jötunn would fail by diverting his horse Svadilfari and mating with it in the process, ultimately giving birth to Slepnir. However, it's all nothing in comparison to what Loki has in store for them.
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After some time, Loki discovered the terrible treatment the Gods of Asgard had meted out to his offspring, including their being either killed, exiled (Jormungandr was cast into the ocean while Hela was given a permanent position as the ruler of Helheim), or imprisoned (Fenrir was bound with Gleipnir by the reluctant Tyr and his fearful brethren through a trick with the promise of freedom under the pretense that it was merely Avenging the death of his ancestor the first Jötunn Ymir, he decided to continue the mission he shared with his true brothers, Jötnar, even if that meant playing his predetermined part in the apocalyptic event mentioned above. Ragnarök's impending arrival infuriated him to the point where he saw no point in maintaining his ties with the Gods further. Even so, he kept up his act until Frigg decided to make him immune to all things but mistletoe since she either forgot about it or thought it was too innocuous at the time when she overheard Baldr having a nightmare about his death. Loki created a weapon out of mistletoe and planned for it to be thrown at Baldr, killing him, while the other Gods tested this out and were astounded. This caused great distress for Frigg, who experienced bereavement. For a good measure, he assumed the form of a female jötunn named Þökk who vehemently refused to mourn Baldr's death during Frigg and Hermod's attempt to negotiate with Hela to bring the deceased deity back under the condition of all objects alive and dead would weep for him. The news of Baldr had to remain in Helheim satisfied Loki, for it being the first step to enact Ragnarök.
As soon as the Gods realized what had actually happened, they started talking about how much they loathed him for his difficulties at the celebration, which they had purposefully refused to invite the trickster God to. Unamused, Loki entered (some sources claim he forced Odin to allow him to join by reminding him of the blood oath they established with one another long ago, while others claim he merely barged in while intoxicated) and revealed his true self as he insulted the Gods, only to realize his error and retreat just as Thor joined the insulting contest.
The Death of Baldur is where Loki is arguably best recognized for his evil character. The mother of the cherished deity Baldur, Frigg, obtains a pledge from every living thing not to harm her son when Baldur's impending death is foretold. Well, almost everything. The mistletoe, which the gods consider to be too little and safe a thing to harm Baldur, does not provide such an oath. When Loki notices this oversight, he carves a mistletoe spear and gives it to the blind god Hod, telling him to hurl it at Baldur. Hod, who is unaware of the weapon's history, complies, and Baldur is impaled and killed. Baldur is begged to be released by Hel when the deity Hermod rides Sleipnir to the underworld, pointing out how adored he is by all living things. If this is the case, Hel responds, it shouldn't be difficult to have everyone in the world cry for Baldur, and if this were to happen, the deceased god would be raised from the dead. The only exception to the rule is a frosthearted giantess by the name of Tokk (pronounced "Thanks"), who is almost definitely Loki in disguise. All living things do truly beg for Baldur's return. Baldur must therefore stay with Hel.
The gods eventually create a chain from the remains of Loki's son Narfi and bind him to three rocks inside a cave as retribution for his numerous crimes against them. He is being poisoned by a deadly serpent that is sitting over him. Sigyn, Loki's ostensibly devoted and loving wife, is seated by his side holding a bowl to catch the poison. Naturally, she must leave her husband's side to empty the bowl once it is full. When this occurs, the venom drops that land on him force him to thrash in agony, and the earthquakes that result from these spasms. And it is in this state that he lies until Ragnarok, when he awakens.
The origin of the name Loki has been hotly contested. The name has occasionally been linked to the Old Norse word logi, which means "flame," although this association does not appear to have a solid linguistic foundation. The name's subsequent Scandinavian variations, however, such as Faroese Lokki, Danish Lokkemand, Norwegian Loke and Lokke, and Swedish Luki and Luku, suggest that the Germanic root *luk-, which stood for loop-related terms like knots, hooks, locked rooms, and locks, is where it originated. This is consistent with expressions like the Swedish lockanät and Faroese lokkanet ('cobweb,' literally 'Lokke's web'), as well as the Faroese lokkigrindalokkigrindalokkur, 'daddy-long-legs' referring to both crane flies and harvestmen, modern Swedish lockespindlar ("Locke-spiders"). However, this is consistent with the *luk- etymology insofar as those dialects consistently used a different root, Germanic *hnuk-, in contexts where western varieties used *luk-: "nokke corresponds to nkkel" ('key' in Eastern Scandinavian) "as lokilokke to lykil" ('key' in Western Scandinavian).
Although it has been hypothesized that Loki's role in Ragnarök's apocalyptic events may be indicated by this relationship with closing, "there is quite an amount of evidence that Loki was regarded to be the origin of knots/tangles/loops in premodern civilization, or himself a knot/tangle/loop. Therefore, it makes sense that Loki invented the fishnet, which is made up of loops and knots, and that the name loki (also spelled loke, lokki, loke, and luki) refers to creatures that spin webs, such as spiders and other such creatures. Although not prominent in the earliest accounts, this description of Loki as a "tangler" could be its etymological origin.
Given his role as a cunning trickster god, Loki is a master shapeshifter who has taken on a variety of guises, including those of a salmon, a mare, a fly, and his feminine counterpart, ökk (Old Norse: Thanks). He may further evade and trick people with this skill, although sufficiently strong individuals can see through his disguises. Loki can change his gender and assume any of his disguises or his native form because to his shapeshifting ability.
He put forth effort in the flyting (insulting contest), and even concealed his more sinister intentions so that the Gods wouldn't suspect him too much, allowing him to keep his true allegiance to Jötnar a secret despite frequently playing both sides. Loki displayed impressive charisma that allows him to convince others to do what he wants. During the Ragnarök, Loki demonstrated his leadership skills to his army of Jötnar brothers and dishonorable undead warriors.
It is implied that Loki can control fire in the same way that Logi, the Eldthur (fire Jötunn), who in some tales is mistaken for Loki, could. If such is the fact, then it follows that Loki is an Eldthur much like the latter and has similar fire-based skills, but much weaker.
Like his fellow Jötunn, Loki is immortal. However, unlike them, he can still be murdered by powerful beings, most notably his destined foe Heimdallr. His immortality is limited to great durability and slowed aging.
His intellect and cunning were among Loki's best qualities. He hardly ever participated in physical battle, thus he didn't carry any weapons. Additionally, he lacked any well-known apparel, vehicles, or charms. The Skáldskaparmál was one source that say that Loki had a pair of magical shoes: "Loki had with him those shoes with which he ran through air and over water" but no other sources made a similar assertion. He once took Freya's magical falcon cloak on occasion, but he quickly gave it back. Despite having no personal accessories of his own, Loki played an extraordinarily important role in obtaining them for other gods.
Loki was a significantly later addition to Norse mythology than most, despite being a widely known figure. Loki is conspicuously absent from the earliest Norse mythological writings, such as the Grimnismal from the Poetic Edda. Some historians have theorized that Loki was a distinct deity who was eventually included into the main Norse religion, while others have put out the possibility that Loki was an alternate identity or persona for Odin. This comes from the fact that Loki is frequently referred to as Odin's "blood-brother". In the context of the stories, it is unclear exactly what this signifies, but some have theorized that the two were once one god who eventually drifted into two different identities while yet maintaining a unique bond.
Loki was the child of a mysterious jötunn named Fárbauti, which is jötunn for "cruel striker." Although she was also referred to as Nál, his mother was typically nicknamed Laufey. The jötnar brothers of Loki were Helblindi and Bleistr.
The only thing that is known about the goddess Sigyn, whom Loki married, is that she bore a son by him who was called Nari or Narfi. Angrboda, a jötunn (perhaps a troll) who was Loki's mistress, gave birth to three children: Hel, who oversaw the titular underworld, Jörmungandr, the sea serpent of Midgard and Thor's archenemy, and Fenrir, the enormous wolf destined to kill Odin at Ragnarök.
Another of Loki's progeny was born by himself. Loki was conceived by a stallion by the name of Svadilfari during an adventure in which he had assumed the form of a mare. Later, Loki gave birth to Sleipnir, an eight-legged horse that would grow to be Odin's preferred mount.