Norse Mythology
A place to discuss Norse Mythology and its abundance of tales to be written about.
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Starlit Stranger

Does anyone think that Loki only went evil because he was treated badly. All Loki, and/or Fenris lovers welcome.

8/7/2010 . Edited 8/7/2010 #1
Indignant Lemur

Technically speaking, Loki was never evil. Good and Evil are Christian concepts which were introduced to Scandinavia only fairly recently, historically speaking -and even then, the concepts were met with heavy resistance. The Nordic peoples believed in Chaos versus Order, rather than Good versus Evil, and Loki was the embodiment of Chaos, as well as several other aspects. Given that, according to many sources, Loki was a Jotun -a race known for embodying chaos themselves- this is unsurprising.

One could say that Loki became more chaotic as a result of his treatment, but even then, that's debatable. Loki's character, if you will, is a convoluted mixture of unbridled curiosity, ingenuity and innovation, duality, mischief, and chaos. Who's to say if he wasn't always so chaotic? The best comparison I can give you is that Loki is like fire -it can help you just as easily as it can hurt you, and while you may think you can control it, you'll quickly find that you're sorely mistaken if you grow too arrogant. You might say that, after the treatment of himself and his offspring, Loki deemed the Aesir "too arrogant."

However, the reasons behind Loki's actions are entirely open to interpretation. My interpretation stems from my Scandinavian upbringing, but that doesn't necessarily mean I'm one-hundred percent correct.

8/24/2010 #2
Valkyrie2000

There's a series of articles about Norse gods and goddesses that has two sections on Loki:

http://www.norsemyth.org/2010/04/gods-goddesses-part-five.html

and

http://www.norsemyth.org/2010/04/gods-goddesses-part-six.html

12/21/2010 #3
Cool Monsters

Loki started Ragnarok by killing Balder. There's one story that says he was only mischievious until he for some reason ate the heart of a murdered witch at which point he became truly evil, but yes he was evil. At the end he sided with the giants. On fanfiction the Thor category is almost entirely made up of stories of Loki being sadly misunderstood and wanting to do good. Lots of him being in love with Sif and Jane Foster, a character Stan Lee created to be Thor's girlfriend in order to have an excuse to have Odin do terrible things to Thor. After a few years he tossed Jane out, brought in Sif, and didn't intend for Jane to be used again after bringing her in once to ask Thor for help against a villain.

5/25/2012 #4
Cool Monsters

Fanfiction's Thor listings include a couple of Thor stories and about a hundred stories of Loki being sadly misunderstood and falling in love with Sif, Jane Foster, Baldur, Iron Man, apparently anyone writers can think of.

2/21/2013 #5
MechaMasha
I've always hated Marvel version of Loki. He was like ice, and I've always thought of Loki being like fire so it just didn't work for me. In fact, the only story I've read that I felt got Loki right was Runemarks.
2/28/2013 #6
Cool Monsters

Loki has been depicted both ways by Marvel. It depends on the writer and the attitude the company has for the character at the time. The company now seems to want him sympathetic, full of angst because Odin likes Thor better. This is a recent change in the character that hopefully won't continue long after the movies have stopped coming out.

2/28/2013 #7
MechaMasha
I know very little about Norse myth but I do know almost everyone hates Loki; which is why Loki stressing out over who Odin favors strikes me as pretty stupid. *Thor* operates on the pretense that Norse myth is mostly true; so everyone ought to act as they do in the myths.
3/1/2013 #8
Cool Monsters

It comes from a few very short stories in the 60s that showed Loki as a little boy angry that Odin loved Thor more because he was his biological son. These were made to show why Loki was trying to kill Thor in the present and weren't taken seriously by Stan Lee, the writer. They were just five page filler stories to pad the back of the comic book Journey Into Mystery that Thor appeared in at the time. Eventually the book's title was changed to The Mighty Thor. One of the stories introduced Sif as a quiet girly girl with strawberry blonde hair. Thor was 18 in the story and Sif was about the same age. When she was introduced to the main series a few years later both Stan and Jack Kirby, the artist, apparently had forgotten they'd used her before, since she suddenly had black hair and Thor said he hadn't seen her since she was a child and he was already an adult. Over twenty years later other writers started using those stories to come up with the whole "poor Loki" idea. Actually Loki was about Odin's age. The comics had made him Thor's age, possibly thinking it would look bad if the hero was beating up an old man. Odin kills Laufey, Loki's father, in combat and adopts Loki. That's a mistake right there since Laufey was Loki's mother, not his father. In the myths Odin was wandering in the wilderness in his youth and came across Loki, a young giant also wandering in the wilderness, and the two of them got into a fight to see who was the greater warrior.The fight was a draw and they became blood brothers.

3/1/2013 #9
redrascal1

Loki's involvement in Baldur's death is debatable - a lot of people think it was actually an invention of the Poetic Edda and/the Prose Edda as an earlier tale featuring Baldur's death didn't mention Loki at all. More likely is that his punishment of being bound was as a result of his gatecrashing a feast of the gods where he proceeded to 'call them out' on past sins - and there was more than an element of truth in his accusations! So ironically Loki Liesmith, as some called him, was condemned to an eternity of suffering for telling the truth.

Most of Loki's deeds were no worse than those of the other gods, and his punishments far outweighed his crimes so in my opinion, yes he became what he was as a consequence of his treatment. I see his action at Ragnarok not an act of evil but the actions of a man who lost his sanity after centuries of torture.

7/12/2013 #10
Cool Monsters
It's impossible to be certain about the original versions of those stories. The earliest tales weren't written down and much was destroyed by Rome. You're referring to the story where Loki laughed at Odin and the others despite their threats and only left when Thor threatened him saying "the rest of you are all talk but I know that Thor actually hits!" It's also known that Odin sometimes mistreated Thor, such as a story where Thor attempted to cross a river and called to the boatman, who was Odin in disguise. Instead of taking him across Odin began shouting insults at Thor, mentioning the time he dressed like the goddess Freya to get his hammer back, and laughed at his threats because they were on the opposite sides of the river so Thor couldn't hit him. This was one part of the myths Marvel got right. Odin took away part of Thor's powers several times to show him who was boss. If Odin treated his son that way who knows how he treated someone that he would have never forgotten was really a giant? Still this doesn't excuse Loki from siding with the villains at the end, or the fact that his children kill Thor and Odin while he and Heimdall were killing each other. Why exactly did Loki choose Heimdall for his final opponent? Is there a story explaining why those two hated each other so much or has it been lost?
7/13/2013 #11
redrascal1

If Marvel made a mistake it was in depicting Loki as hating humanity when he actually liked us!!

I think the Loki seen in the Avengers movie was more like the Loki post torture who brought about Ragnarok.

And let's face it anyone who has endured centuries of agony is more than likely completely insane.

By the way has anyone seen Nick Roble's beautiful Loki artwork on deviantart?

7/14/2013 #12
Cool Monsters
Perhaps you would have liked Loki's portrayal in The Avengers/Defenders War. In the comics he was blinded by Thor's lightning at one point and made a deal with Dr. Strange archenemy the Dread Dormammu to get a magical item called the Evil Eye and merge Dormammu's dimension with Earth's dimension so that Dormammu could invade it. Loki's part of the deal was the Eye would be used to restore his vision. As he listened to Dormammu rant about how he intended to kill everyone once he was on Earth, Loki decided to betray him since he wanted to conquer the world and have people worship him, which was impossible if everyone was killed. He went to the Avengers and briefly considered telling Thor the truth, but didn't want to admit he had anything to do with the plan, so he lied and said Dr. Strange had brought together a mysterious group and were trying to get the Eye for evil purposes. The Avengers knew little about Strange and didn't trust him so they believed Loki and tried to stop Strange and his team from getting the Eye. When Dr. Strange discovered the Avengers were trying to stop him he scanned Avengers Mansion and, sensing the recent presence of Loki, immediately assumed Loki had put a spell on the Avengers forcing them to obey him and never considered any other explanation. The Evil Eye ended up vacuuming up Dormammu's life essence (he was an energy being) then throwing it in Loki's face, restoring his vision and driving him temporarily insane. In his next appearance he attempted to conquer the Earth by killing Thor with the power he got absorbing Dormammu, but it faded away during the battle allowing Thor to defeat him and take him back to Asgard. In an earlier story he took over Asgard while Odin was asleep, made a magical creature to kill Thor, then proclaimed Sif was going to marry him, not because he loved her but because he knew it would infuriate Thor if he knew. When Balder tried to stop him he turned him into a hideous monster because he was sick of everyone saying how good looking he was. Years later he sided with Thor and Odin when Surtur attacked Asgard, although when Odin apparently died he again attempted to kill Thor and take over. Insane with brief bouts of lucidity perhaps?
7/14/2013 #13
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