Loki - the Norse God of Mischief

image of norse god of mischief loki

Name(s):

Loki

Rules over:

Chaos, Mischief

Gender:

Male

Symbols:

Mistletoe, Horned Helmet (modern depictions)

Linked Animals:

Two Intertwined Snakes

Parents:

Farbauti and Laufey

Siblings:

Helblindi and Býleistr

Greek Similar:

Atë

Roman Similar:

Laverna

 

One god you could not risk to turn your back on

Loki, known as the god of mischief, or the trickster god in Norse mythology,  is a member of the Aesir tribe and is one of the most well-known Norse deities. Loki’s father was Farbauti, a giant and his mother Laufey, was thought to be a lesser know goddess or giant, it is unclear exactly what she was. It is thought that this potential duplicity may be the cause of Loki’s split feelings towards the gods of Asgard, sometimes choosing to help them, other times, he causing mischief. It was during Ragnarok that Loki put to rest any ambivalence regarding his loyalties, when he led the giants into battle against the Asgardian gods.

Symbols

Loki is typically associated with two intertwined snakes, mistletoe and also a helmet with two horns.

Powers and duties

Being the god of mischief, Loki’s power provided him the ability to shape-shift. In numerous stories he was described as transforming into a seal, fly, mare, salmon and an elderly woman. He was also reported to have taken on the appearance of Captain America himself, at least only in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Coupling this unique talent with his masterful trickery and cunning made Loki a formidable opponent, who often achieved his objectives.

Stories

The first recorded story of Loki helping the gods was when they were building Asgard. The gods had run out of funds and all they had built was a wall. Loki came up with the idea that a giant should finish the job for them. The gods agreed, as did the giant. But, the giant asked for the Sun, the Moon, and the goddess Freya as payment if he completed the job on time. The gods were not sure, but Loki assured them that the giant would never finish on time.

The giant had a huge stallion called Svadilfari to help him, and the gods got nervous. Loki changed shape into a mare and seduced the giant’s horse. As a result of Loki’s trickery, the giant wasn’t able to finish on schedule and tried to kidnap Freya. Before the giant could, Thor cracked his skull with his mighty hammer, Mjolnir. However, Loki, as the female horse, got pregnant and gave birth to an eight-legged stallion named Sleipnir, which he gifted to Odin.

Another time he helps the gods of Asgard is when Thor lost his Mjolnir. Thor asks Loki for help and they work together to find where the hammer is located. Thrymr, the giant, had stolen the weapon and taken it to the home of the giants. He would only return it if Freya would agree to marry him. Loki came up with a plan that involved the two gods disguising each as the other to get the hammer back. It succeeded, and Thrymr was punished.

Other facts

  • Loki typically cheated dwarves at any opportunity given to him. They finally were able to stitch his mouth shut to keep him quiet from insults.
  • Loki is the father of Hel, the goddess of the land of the dead. He is also father of Fenrir, the wolf demon that bites off Tyr’s hand and will eat Odin during Ragnarok. He is also the father of Jormungandr, the Midgard serpent.
  • Loki tricked blind Hod to kill Baldur with mistletoe.
  • When bound until Ragnarok, Skadi places a venomous snake above him, which causes him terrible pain with the poison.

To learn about Loki in even more detail, you can check out Norse-Mythology.net!