Norse Mythology and Loki

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LOKI: God of Lies, Chaos, and Trickery

By: John Sargent
HUM 2310
Tue/Thur. 4:00-5:15

In Norse mythology, the evil trickster, deceptive, mischievous, and scheming, is one of the most well-known characters in Norse mythology. He was a trickster figure, as well as a shape-shifter. He could become any animal that he wanted to. That is how he can be the mother of Odin’s 8 legged horse Sleipnir. He was the father of two sons, Nari and Vali, by his wife Sigyn. He also fathered the monsters Hella, Fenris, and Jormungard the world serpent with the giantess Angurbooa as their mother.

In the references I checked out, Loki's name is mentioned more than that of any other god, although Odin and Thor seem to be the most well known in modern times. He was a participant in many of the god’s adventures, often accompanying Odin, or Thor, on their travels, though he was always stirring up trouble.

There are different stories on whether Loki was a god or not. In a lot of Norse stories Loki was not a god but a giant, the son of the Farbauti and Laufey. Although he was usually an antagonist to the gods, he sometimes lived in Asgard, the realm of the gods. The gods and the giants were enemies, but some stories have Loki had taken an oath with Odin that made them blood brothers, and because of these ties, the other gods enjoyed his company and tolerated his excesses and schemes Loki was always thinking up new angles, sometimes these worked to the advantage of the gods, but often they led to disastrous consequences.

One of the better outcome stories when Loki hatches a plan to cheat the architect and builder of the wall around Asgard, a giant, out of his payment. Assuming the shape of a mare, Loki seduced the giant's stallion Svadilfaeri. The horse was essential to completing the work on time, and this delayed the giant's task by not allowing him to finish the wall in the time he agreed to. In this case, the gods were grateful for Loki's intervention, for had...
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