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Loki

October 24, 2023 6 min read

God Loki | The incredible story of the god of chaos!

Loki, the God | The Incredible Story of the God of Chaos!

Norse mythology is a reflection of their civilization: rich and unique in its kind. The creatures and deities of Scandinavian folklore all harbor a part of mysticism, and have a hidden influence on the realm of men.

The most emblematic gods of the Scandinavian deities pantheon are God Odin and God Loki. Friend, son, and enemy, the God Loki is at the heart of the greatest Viking legends. His influence on Viking history is such that it has transcended all epochs, making him one of the most popular Viking gods to this day.

In this article, we will explore the story of God Loki, as well as the secret behind his great popularity and his impact on Scandinavian civilization. You will quickly grasp the different facets that have made God Loki such a memorable character!

God Loki: The Viking God of Mischief

Loki the god of chaos

God Loki is the most captivating character in Norse mythology. Mysterious, capricious, and mischievous, he is the subject of numerous stories and legends. His notoriety is so great that he appears in the folklore of different civilizations.

Thus, Loki is often seen as a malevolent and sly being, frequently compared to an incarnation of the devil. However, God Loki is a much more complex character, whose true face can only be understood by piercing through the thick layers of masks he wears.

The most popular modern adaptation of Loki is from Marvel Studios. A main character in the “Thor” comic book and its film adaptation, he plays the role of both a formidable antagonist and an indispensable ally.

This image is the one that comes closest to the true nature of God Loki. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg! To fully understand Loki, you need to delve into the origin of the story of this Norse god.

The Origin and Meaning of the Name “Loki”

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God Loki is actually neither good nor bad. He rather represents the incarnation of chaos and discord in Viking mythology. That’s why he was designated by two names:

  • The first is “Loki”: which means in Old Norse “the mischievous” or even “the fire or the flames” for the great cunning he could display,
  • His other widely used and mentioned name is “Loptr”: meaning “like the wind,” reflecting his quick and cunning spirit.

The name of God Loki also has a hidden meaning referring to his origin as a giant. According to Snorri’s Edda, he is the son of two giants:

  • "Fárbauti", who is his father, whose name means "the one who strikes with danger": a subtle designation of lightning,

  • "Laufey," Loki's mother, is according to some legends a goddess at the origin of Loki's powers. The first part of her name, "Lauf," means tree leaves, and the second "ey" translates to the island. "The Island of Leaves" is a Scandinavian and Viking expression that refers to a tree.

By combining the two, we deduce that Loki means: the fire that is born from the tree struck by lightning

The God Loki: the story of the Viking god of creation and destruction

In Viking mythology, there is not really any good or bad, let alone heaven or hell, only a cycle of renewal. Loki is the perfect embodiment of this paradox, a polymorphic god who can be a man or woman, who can act impulsively to satisfy his needs.

Loki, the incorrigible God

Loki is often mischievous and playful, which has generated numerous conflicts with other Aesir gods. Thor almost killed him once for fun when he cut off his wife "Sif's" hair. To apologize to Thor and Odin, Loki asked dwarves at his service to forge 3 spectacular objects:

  • A golden hair for "Sif" that grows like normal hair,

  • The "Gungnir": the famous Odin's spear, a spear that never misses any target it aims at. It became Odin’s emblematic weapon that earned him many glorious victories,

  • The boat "Skidbladnir": a magic boat that sails even on land and in the highest heavens. It also had the unique ability to change dimensions at will to the point of fitting in a pocket. He offered it to the god "Frey," the god of fertility who controls the sun and rain.


Despite all the times when the god Loki tried to please the gods Odin and Thor, they still did not consider him as their equal. In their eyes, he was rather a servant. Thus, Loki acted impulsively to prove his worth during confrontations, often putting his life at stake. However, being very cunning, he always won his challenges using his deceit.

Loki, the helpful god

The god Loki proved to be of invaluable help to the other gods, and this on numerous occasions. Two events in particular highlight the helpful aspect of Loki's personality:

  • The theft of "Mjöllnir": when Thor's hammer was stolen by a frost giant, Loki volunteered to negotiate with him. The giant's price in exchange for "Mjöllnir" was the hand of Freya, Thor's sister.
    To avoid this disgrace, Loki came up with a plan: he and Thor disguised themselves as Freya and her maid to deceive the giant and kill him. That's how Thor got "Mjöllnir" back.



  • The giant builder: To protect Asgard, the realm of the gods, from their enemies, a giant builder was hired. He claimed he could build a fortress around Asgard in just 3 weeks and asked for Freya's hand in return.

    If he succeeded, the gods were obliged to grant it to him, but they were convinced of the impossibility of this mission. They were unaware that he was sure to win thanks to his secret weapon: a very fast horse.

    Eventually, they realized this strategy. To prevent him from succeeding in his challenge, Loki transformed into a mare to seduce the giant's horse. The furious giant tried to destroy Asgard in revenge, but was killed by Thor.

From this union, Loki gave birth to Sleipnir, the fastest stallion of the 9 worlds, and gifted it to Odin. The gods of Asgard, especially Odin and Thor, had to acknowledge the wisdom and cunning of the god Loki.

Loki, the father of chaos

Loki - Fenrir

The god Loki, despite his integration with the Aesir gods, kept a vile side that flowed in his giant's blood. This often led him into conflicts with the other gods, especially the sons of Odin.

Despite the fact that Loki had a faithful and loving wife: the goddess "Sigyn", mother of his two sons Nari and Narfi,he always wanted more power. In search of more power, he returned to his homeland of giants and took a mistress: "Angrboda," a frost giant who gave him 3 children.

The 3 children Loki had with "Angrboda" are actually monstrous creatures from Viking mythology. They will be the greatest enemies of the gods during Ragnarök. They are:

  • Of Fenrir the Wolf: a giant wolf that even the Aesir gods fear. He is such a destructive creature that they had to chain him up with a magical bond. According to prophecy, Fenrir will break free during Ragnarök to kill the god Odin.

  • Of the giant serpent Jörmungandr: a destructive giant serpent, thrown by Odin into the Midgard sea when it was very small. It has grown so much that it now encircles the entire world. It will cause a massive flood during Ragnarök.
  • Of the goddess of death, Hel: after her exile, she reigns sovereign over the world of the dead "Helheim". She takes care of welcoming the souls of Vikings who have not died in battle and have not had a true warrior’s death.

The 3 children of Loki with "Angrboda," whose name in Old Norse means the bringer of sorrow, will be the enemies of the gods during the Ragnarök, the end of times.

God Loki: the fallen Viking god

Loki the Fallen God

The god Loki was incorrigible. His pranks and mischief knew no bounds, so much so that they led to his fall from the realm of the Aesir. Loki's last trick causes the death of the god Baldur.

Baldur, the son of Odin and the goddess Frigg, was a generous god loved by all in Asgard. One day, he had dreams of his own death. Frigg, fearing for her son's life, went to speak to all the entities of the 9 worlds to get their oath not to harm Baldur.

Unfortunately, she did not speak to the mistletoe, a being she considered innocent. Loki, in a burst of cunning and malice, finds the mistletoe, makes a spear, and brings it to Asgard.

Baldur, boasting of his invulnerability, asks the other gods to throw objects at him for amusement. Loki hands the mistletoe spear to the blind god "Hodr", who pierces Baldur.

Odin and all the gods of Asgard, furious, transform one of Loki's sons, "Nafri", into a wolf to decapitate "Nari", his other son. They use his intestines to tie Loki up in a cave, leaving him to perish in agonizing pain.

The imprisoned god Loki will break free during Ragnarök, when all the chains will be broken. Loki and his other children Fenrir, Jörmungandr, and Hel, will lead the army of giants against the Aesir gods.

Loki thus becomes a fallen god, and the master of chaos.

 


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