Trickster Gods Part Two: Loki

Oh Lokilokilokilokilokilokilokitomhiddlestonloki……

This guy has gotten a lot of recognition since the Thor series in Marvel’s movie franchise. I will be sticking to the Norse side of Loki, however. He can keep his wonky helmet for Marvel.
The Nordic Loki is son to the giant Farbauti “Cruel Striker” and Nal “Needle”. A few of his children include Hel, the chthonic goddess of the underworld; Jormungand, the serpent who slays Thor during Ragnarok; and Fenrir, the wolf who kills Odin during Ragnarok. Ragnarok like the end of the world, not Ragnarok the movie. I haven’t even seen the movie, so you won’t find any spoilers from me, promise!
Anywho, this guy fits the definition trickster to a T (pun not intended). While Hermes was like, “Oh, I’m just an innocent baby, I didn’t do anything. Pranks? What are that?” Loki notoriously puts himself first, and will do whatever grants him the greatest pleasure. Be it aiding the giants and not the gods during Ragnarok or killing another god, simply because he can, Loki is a devilish trickster. Loki may have aided the gods on occasion, and the giants on others, but he chooses no side other than his own.

I’ll tell you the story of this god he killed.

*ahem* ONCE UPON A TIME!

Frigg, wife to Odin and leader of the gods, received a prophecy about her son, Baldur. He was to die. Baldur was beloved by all, and was so happy to the point that he actually radiated light. Naturally, Frigg wanted to prevent her son’s demise. She traversed the world and captured a promise from every living thing that they would not kill her son. Every living thing, that is, except for the mistletoe. Frigg saw the mistletoe and thought the plant too gentle to do any real harm. And maybe, she would have been right.

Had Loki not learned of this withheld promise.

Loki created a spear from the mistletoe’s wood and gave the spear to the god Hod, who was blind. Loki tells Hod to throw the spear when Baldur crosses their path. Hod obeys, and Baldur dies.

Upon learning of the beloved god’s death, Hermod –a minor figure– rides Odin’s horse to the underworld to plead with Hel to return Baldur to the land of the living. Hermod explains how cheerful Baldur was, he explained how much the living loved him. Hel says that if that is true, it shouldn’t be hard for every living thing to weep for Baldur upon learning of his death. She says that if such a thing happened, she would release the god.

Hermod travels back to the land of the living and manages to earn tears from all who learn of Baldur’s death. All but one person.

A frost giantess named Tokk, or, Loki in disguise.

Because this one person wouldn’t cry for the fallen god, Baldur remains with Hel in the underworld.

Loki had no real reason for killing Baldur. It wasn’t petty vengeance or jealousy. Loki killed Baldur because Frigg had tried so hard to keep him alive. This shapeshifter god found a hole large enough for a snake to get through, and he became that snake, simply because he found a space in which to function as the dirty trickster he is.

Creepy cave babies, dirty tricksters! What will the finale to this series hold?!

Tune in next time by clicking the Follow button to the right of the page. I post every other Thursday!

Thanks for reading,

-M

Would you like to read more about Norse mythology? Check out these posts!
Yin Yang Myths Part Two: Sun and Moon
Nordic Beowulf

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