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9 Things You Didn’t Know About Loki

There’s more to Loki and just being the God of Mischief. Here are a few facts you might not know.

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1. He Can Change Gender

Via sciencefiction.com

According to the Lokasenna, Loki spent 8 years living as a milkmaid (yes, a woman) and bearing children. Little more is known about this time period (such as why) but Lady Loki is real, not just a Marvel storyline.

2. He's not just a shapeshifter, he can literally change species.

mots-koil / Via hellotailor.tumblr.com

I think most people know of this one, but Loki transformed himself into a horse to lure a stallion away from his master. Loki then gave birth to Sleipnir, Odin's 8 legged horse.

3. Marvel portrays Laufey as Loki’s father but she’s actually his mother!

Me and Marvel

His father was Fárbauti. No one is quite sure why Loki is called Laufeyson rather than Fárbautison in the Norse myths, since children took their father’s name. The best guess seems to be that Laufeyson was more poetic.

4. There are more versions of Loki then just a Norse God and a Marvel anti-hero

Via eil.com

In the 18th century, Loki was depicted in many ways. According to Stefan Arvidssen in his book Aryan Idols, "the conception of Loki varied during the nineteenth century. Sometimes he was presented as a dark-haired Semitic fifth columnist among the Nordic Aesir, but sometimes he was described as a Nordic Prometheus, a heroic bearer of culture".

He also appears in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, (The Ring of the Nibelung) where he’s an ally of the gods yet dislikes them, thinking them greedy for keeping the Rhine Gold, rather than returning it to its owners.

5. In Loka Táttur, Loki is a hero, succeeding where Odin and Hoenir failed

Marvel

A peasant farmer calls on Odin, Hoenir and Loki to save his son from a giant. Odin and Hoenit both try but fail. Loki on the other hand, succeeds in saving the boy and killing the giant.

6. He is the speaker of unpleasant truths.

Marvel/SDCC

In Lokasenna, Loki is slighted by the Aesir, then they speak ill of him behind his back, so he spend a great deal of time laying everyone’s secrets bare.

He says Idunn is a loose woman who slept with her brothers killer, and than Gefjon slept with Heimdall for a necklace

He accuses Odin of dressing like a woman to learn women’s magic. Then, after being rejected twice by Rindr, he used magic to turn her insane, disguised himself as a healer, tied her to the bed and raped her, so that he could impregnate her with his son, Bous. Nice!

He next accuses Frigg of sleeping with Odin’s brothers (talk about keeping it in the family!) and Freyja of sleeping with everyone, even her own brothers!

Njord, He reveals, is into watersports (and I don’t mean windsurfing) and had a child with his sister.

To Tyr he reveals that he (Loki) slept with his wife and had a child by her.

Then he informs Skadi, that he (Loki) killed his father in battle.

And finally poor old Sif came up to Loki, believing herself above reproach and that he could say nothing against her, until Loki reminds her that she cheated on Thor with Loki!

The moral of this tale? Don’t insult Loki! He knows where the bodies are buried.

7. Odin is a Frost Giant too!

Marvel

We all know that Loki is a Jotun, and that the Jotun are the bad guys of both mythology and Marvel media. It’s often noted that it is odd for Odin to take Loki, one of their enemies, and make him an Aesir using his blood.

What is not usually mentioned, is that Odin’s mother, Bestla, was Jotun, making Odin half Frost Giant. (Some sources say it was his father Borr who was the giant).

8. Loki’s Castle is a real place on Earth

NPR / Via npr.org

But it isn’t home to a God and it’s very hard to visit.

Located in the Atlantic, near Greenland, Loki’s Castle is a collection of 5 thermal vents, discovered in 2008. Scientists have found organisms here that might explain how we evolved from single celled organisms, to the more complex cells found in plant and animal life.

They named it Loki’s Castle because it looks like a fantasy castle, and Loki because it was so difficult to find.

9. Loki had Odin’s spear, Gungnir and Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, forged.

Marvel

After cutting off Sif’s hair he approached the dwarves to have new hair made out of gold for Sif. He also had them craft other gifts and goaded two dwarf clans into a contest, which is where Gungnir and Mjolnir came from.

There are lots of other stories of Loki, from the comedic Thrymskvitha, where Loki convinced Thor to dress as a woman and marry Thrymr, to the tale of him transforming into an eagle and rescuing Idunn from the Jotun Thiazi.

Loki is a complex and somewhat mercurial character, with dozens of depictions ranging from the misunderstood, to an evil agent of Chaos, to a hero. That's a rich tapestry for anyone to explore.

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