In Norse mythology, Loki, Loptr, or Hveðrungr is a god, jotun, or both. He is the son of Fárbauti and Pene, and the brother of Helblindi and Býleistr. He generated with jotun Angrboða, Hela, the wolf Fenrir and the serpent Jörmungandr. With his wife Sigyn fathered Narfi and / or Nari. With the Svaðilfari stallion, Loki gave birth to the horse Sleipnir in the form of a mare. Furthermore, Loki is considered Váli’s father in the prosaic Edda.

Loki’s relationship with the gods changes according to the source: Loki sometimes assists the gods and sometimes acts wickedly towards them. Loki is a shapeshifter and in various incidents he appears in the form of salmon, mare, seal, fly and possibly an old woman named Þökk (Old Norse “thank you”). Loki’s positive relationships with the gods end with his role in the plot to kill the god Baldr, finally being bound by the gods with the entrails of one of his sons. In both the poetic Edda and the prosaic Edda, the goddess Skaði is responsible for placing a snake on him while tied. The snake drips venom from above that Sigyn collects in a bowl; However, you must empty it when it is full, and in the meantime the poison makes Loki shake with pain, causing earthquakes. With the start of Ragnarok, it is predicted that Loki will break free from his restraints and fight the gods among the jötnar’s forces, encountering the god Heimdal and they will both be killed.

Loki is mentioned in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources; the prosaic Edda and Heimskringla, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson; Norwegian runic poems, Scandinavian poetry and Scandinavian folklore. Loki may be shown on the Snaptun stone, the Kirkby Stephen stone, and the Gosforth cross. Loki’s origins and his role in Norse mythology, which some scholars have described as that of a trickster god, has been much debated. Loki has been determined or mentioned in various audiovisual sources in modern popular culture


The etymology of the name Loki remains unknown. May be related to Old Norse luka, meaning “end” (potentially pointing to Loki’s role in ragnarok)

In several poems of the Poetic Edda (stanza 2 of Lokasenna, stanza 41 of Hyndluljóð, and stanza 26 of Fjölsvinnsmál), and sections of the prosaic Edda (Chapter 32 of the Gylfaginning, stanza 8 of Haustlöng, and stanza 1 of Þórsrápa) Loki is Referred to as Loptr, it is generally considered to be derived from the Old Norse lopt, “air”, and thus points to its association with air.

The name Hveðrungr (Old Norse: “howler”) is also used to mention Loki, appearing in names for Hela (such as Ynglingatal; hveðrungs mær) and in reference to Fenrir (As in Völuspa).

History of loki the Norse God

Loki was known as the cheat maker and the one who could take any form. Although, his origin was that of the frost giant, since he became Odin’s blood brother, Loki was a very important member of the Aesir (there is some confusion and discussion, whether he was a god or not. If he was a god if he was an Aesir or not). None of the gods liked him, but he was allowed to attend the banquets held in Asgard, since Odin and Loki were blood brothers. He was the cunning and inventive god, often helping Odin and the other gods, though he often caused more damage than he remedied. Originally, he was a somewhat hurtful god but was not considered an evil god. However, Loki was a god who had the pleasure of playing pranks on the gods and the human being. Like when he cut the beautiful golden hair of Sif, Thor’s wife. Loki also appeared in the Völsunga Saga, when he killed Hreidmar’s son, the otter. Odin and Hoenir were held hostage until Loki was able to find the ransom to free the two gods. Loki forced the dwarf, Andvari, to give him all his treasure.

Once they were going to build a wall around Asgard. A giant named Hrimthurs was offered to build it in exchange for the goddess Freya, plus the sun and moon. The gods accepted as long as the wall was finished in 6 months, just as Loki had advised them. The giant accepted on condition that he be allowed to use his Svadilfare horse. The project started and progressed very quickly. As the 6 months were approaching, the gods began to worry. They did not want to lose Freya, nor the sun and the moon, and they demanded Loki to find a solution. Loki became a mare that distracted the Svadilfare horse, without which the giant was unable to meet the deadline. Then Loki gave birth to a horse with eight legs and gave it to Odin, who named him Sleipner. With the giant Angerbode he had three monsters, the most terrible in the universe: Fenrisulven (the wolf Fenrir), Midgardsormen (the snake of Midgard) and Hela, the queen of hell.

His role later became darker and more sinister, depicting the evil god opposing the Aesir, gods of good. Loki was implicated in Balder’s death, as explained below.

The good Balder had horrible dreams about his death, which he communicated to the Aces, who gathered in an assembly decided to protect him from all evil, and at all costs. Frigga, his mother, took an oath to all things to respect Balder: to water, fire, iron and all metals, stones and earth, trees, diseases, birds, animals, poisons, snakes, etc … everything that could hurt him. When this was done and it became known, the Aesir were amused, minus Loki, putting Balder in the Thing (the gathering place) and throwing all sorts of Objects at him. Stones and arrows were thrown at him and nothing seemed to affect him, they hit him with the sword, and whatever they did they did not harm him, all of them were amazed. More Loki, he was disgusted to see this and went to Frigga’s house in Fensalir in the form of a woman to ask him if he knew what the aces were doing in the Thing. “Neither weapons nor wood will harm Balder, I have sworn all of them,” “All of them?” Asked Loki, the cunning divinity. “To the west of Valhalla a magic branch grows which they call mistletoe.

He seemed too young to ask for an oath, “Frigga innocently revealed, giving the key to kill Balder to that apparently” harmless “woman. Loki took the mistletoe and dug it up. He went to the Thing with him. There was Hödr, out of the circle for being blind. Loki encouraged him to do the honors to Balder by throwing something at him, he gave him the mistletoe branch and indicated where Balder was, who fell dead to the ground when hit by the branch. When Balder fell dead the Æsir lost the He speaks in fright, and they looked at each other sad and with tears in their eyes, and they knew immediately who had done it, the evil Loki, but they could not take revenge because it was a place of truce.

The Æsir, meanwhile, took Balder’s body and carried it to the sea, along with their ship Hringhorni, the best of all, which they planned to use as their pyre by throwing it into the sea. but the ship did not move. So they sent a message to Jötunheim to come a giant named Hyrrokin, who came riding a wolf and using a viper as a bridle. He jumped from his mount that had to be held by three berserkers (warriors / bear possessed of uncontrollable fury) because of his fury. The giantess launched the ship into the water with the first push. Thor wielded his hammer and tried to kill her, but the gods called for a truce for her, as she had helped them. The body was brought to the ship along with that of his wife, Nanna, daughter of Nep, who broke in pain and died. Then Thor got up and consecrated the fire with Mjölnir, the powerful magic hammer, and at his feet a gnome called Litr ran out and Thor kicked him and threw him into the fire, dying. People from all walks of life attended the funeral: Odin, with Frigga and the Valkyries and with their crows, Frey with his cart pulled by the boar Gullinbursti, Heimdall riding his horse Gulltopp, Freya driven by her cats, because of Loki’s actions . Odin put his gold ring, Draupnir, on the pyre, which eight heavy rings dripped from it every nine nights, and also Balder’s horse, which was taken to the pyre with its harness.

Hermod rode nine nights through dark valleys until he reached the Gjall River and crossed the gold-covered Gjallarbun Bridge. Modgud, the maiden who watches over the bridge asked him why he was riding towards hell, if the bridge did not resonate under him, revealing that he was not dead. He indicated that Balder, whom he was looking for, had crossed the bridge and “down and north goes the road to hell.” Hermod rode to the Gates of Hell, there he dismounted, cinched the horse, mounted and pitted spurs, and the horse leaped so high above the gates that he never went down again. Hermod arrived at the palace, dismounted and there he saw his brother Balder sitting on the highest seat. He spent the night there and in the morning begged Hel to let him ride Balder with him back, telling him of the mourning he had raised. Hel said he must prove that Balder was loved by everyone as they counted; “If all things in heaven, alive and dead, mourned him, Hel would release Balder, but if only one refused he would stay in Hel forever.” Balder dismissed Hermod and returned Odin to Draupnir, and Nanna sent Frigga linens and the Fulla ring.

Immediately the Æsir sent messages to all things to mourn Balder, men and animals, stones and metals, trees and plants; but back the messengers found in a cave a giantess (again Loki in disguise) who refused to cry him: Thökk will cry dry tears for Balder’s pyre; Neither alive nor dead did the son of man serve me, let Hel keep his. And that is why it is said of Loki that he has caused the most damage to the Æsir.

To punish Loki, the gods lock Loki in a cave. The venom of a snake would drip onto his head, causing him enormous agony and spasm so great that the entire earth would shake. His loyal wife Sigyn stayed with him, picking up the poison in a cup. However, Loki’s rest was short, as Sigyn had to empty the cup whenever it filled, causing the poison to drip into her head again. In Ragnarök (Ragnarok, the fate of the gods), Loki escapes from his imprisonment, and leads the war against the gods. Loki manages to kill Heimdall, but this in turn also kills him. Snorri compared Loki to Ulysses (Odysseus), the Greek hero, for his cunning and wit characteristics.


In the Eddas he is described as the “origin of all fraud” and he freely mixed with the gods, coming to be considered by Odin as his brother until the murder of Baldr. After this the Æsir captured him and tied him to three rocks. He will break free from his restraints to fight the gods in Ragnarök.

Archaeological record (loki the Norse God)

Snaptun stone

In 1950, a semicircular flat stone showing a representation of a mustached face was discovered on a beach near Snaptun, Denmark. Made of soapstone from Norway or Sweden, the representation was carved around AD 1000. and shows a face with scarred lips. Due to his lips, he identifies with Loki, as it is considered a reference to a legend told in Skáldskaparmál where the children of Ivaldi sew Loki’s lips. loki the Norse God

The stone was identified as a fireplace stone; the bellows nozzle would be inserted into a hole in the front of the stone and the air produced would push the flame through the upper hole, while the bellows was protected from both heat and flame. The stone can point to a connection between Loki, the smithy, and the flames. According to Hans Jørgen Madsen, the Snaptun stone is “the most beautifully crafted fireplace stone known.” The stone is found and displayed in the Moesgård museum near Aarhus, Denmark.

Kirkby Stephen stone and Gosforth cross

A fragmented cross from the late 10th century located in St Stephen’s Church, Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England, shows a figure bound with horns and a beard. It is sometimes postulated to show Loki. Discovered in 1870, the stone consists of a yellowish-white sandstone that currently stands opposite the Kirkby Stephen Church. At Gainford, Durham County, an equally horned and round-shouldered image was discovered and stored in the library of Durham Cathedral. loki the Norse God

There are several possible characters from Norse mythology that may be represented on the Gosforth cross from the mid-11th century and, like the Kirkby Stephen stone, it is also situated in Cumbria. The lower portion of the west side of the cross shows a long-haired woman kneeling and holding an object over another bound and prostrate figure. Above and to his left is a coiled snake. They have been interpreted to be Sigyn alleviating Loki’s punishment. loki the Norse God

Scandinavian folklore loki the Norse God

Loki’s idea survived the modern period in Scandinavian folklore. In Denmark Loki appeared as Lokke. In Jutland, the expressions “Lokke slår sin havre” (“Lokke is harvesting his oats”) and “Lokkemand driver sine geder” ((“Lokkemand directs his goats”) are recorded at the beginning of the 20th century, the latter being a variation of “Lokke.” In Zealand, the name “Lokke lejemand” (“Lokke the playful”) was used. In his study of Loki’s appearance in Scandinavian folklore in the modern period, Danish folklorist Axel Olrik cites numerous examples of Natural phenomena explained by Lokke in popular tradition, including rising temperatures An example from 1841 reads as follows:

‘’The expressions: “Lokke (Lokki) sår havre i dag” (Lokke (Lokki) today sows oats) or “Lokke driver i dag med sine geder” (Lokke grazes his goats today), are used in various regions of Jutland, by Example in Medelson County, the Diocese of Viborg, etc … and they present the arrival of spring, when the sunlight generates steam from the ground, which can be seen as fluttering or glowing air on the horizon of a flat landscape, similar steamed over a kettle or burning fire.’’

And in Thy, from the same source: “… when you look at the horizon in clear weather and sunshine, and the air seems to move in tremulous waves, or like a layer of water that seems to rise and fall with the waves.” Olrik continues to cite several different types of plants named after Loki. Olrik detects three general themes in the testimonies of folklore; Lokke appears as an “aerial phenomenon”, related to “home fire”, and as a “mocking creature of the night”.

loki the Norse God

Loka Táttur or Lokka Táttur (Faroese “legend —or þáttr— of Loki”) is a Faroese ballad from the Middle Ages depicting the gods Loki, Odin and Hœnir helping a farmer and a boy escape the wrath of a jotun betting winner. Legend has it that Loki is a benevolent god, though his cunning