Loki is a very complex and interesting god in the Norse mythology who is connected to lots of symbolism. He is mostly known as a trickster with a sinister nature, dubious, though smart, handsome and graceful looking. Besides this, he is the god of fire, heat and lightning. His name comes from the icelandic word “loki” which means raging flames, fire. His name origin also explains his double nature: sometimes benevolent, sometimes evil. Fire as a controlled, helpful power and tool and on the other hand uncontrolled, chaotic and destructive.
“Beneficial is the might of flame, when through human hand guarded, tamed… but dreadful is heavens force and strength, when teared and ripped from its chains.”
(Sorry for bad translation here, couldn’t find anything really fitting)
The symbolism continues with Lokis origin, though there are different versions of his race. Most suggest that his parents were giants and that Loki gained entrance to Asgard by winning Odin’s friendship by becoming blood-brothers. Some sources also call Loki the evil half of Odin. His father’s name is Farbauti (the dangerous beater) which would be the lightning. His mother is named Nol or Laufey (the needle from a tree/ dry leaf). When the lighning hits the dry leaf of a tree, fire is born. This origin also explains that Thor and Loki are often depicted as companions: Thunder and lighning. Loki has excellent magical powers of shape shifting; not only into any beast but he is also able to change genders. A giant demanded the sun, the moon and the beautiful goddess Freya for building a wall around Asgard. So Loki took shape of a mare to distract the giant’s stallion Swadilfari who carried his supplies, to prevent the wall to be ready at the deadline. Thereafter Loki, still being the mare, bore Odin’s swift steed Sleipnir.
Other children of Loki have a more evil nature. The giantess Angrboda (bringer of sorrow) bore him Hel - the Queen of the Dead, the Midgard serpent Jormungand and the wolf Fenrir. In the final battle, Ragnarök, Loki reveals his true nature, which is chaotic and evil and he and his enemy Heimdall kill each other. There is no direct proof of the worship of Loki, though - after Odin and Thor - most of the songs and poets deal with Loki.
Since Loki is such a complex figure I left out a good deal about him, if you want to know more about him, just go ahead and ask.
FOR ANYONE WHO WANTED THE TRANSLATION OF WHAT ODIN SAID IN THE UPDATE!!
What seems to be happening is Odin is speaking in his native language after being woken up, which seems to be a mishmash of anglosaxon runes and english letters. (headcanon confirmed nice)
Jotun is the ancient Norse for giant, and Modir was the mythological figure who gave birth to the Jarls, so Odin’s saying Giant Mother??? EDIT: It’s PROBABLY Odin saying it like an exclamation i.e “mother of god…” or something like that, you know aye, he’s had a rough week to be fair.
“Oth’s Bride” is the Goddess Freya. This verse is about how the Giants often clamored for Freya and sought to win her as a prize.
On a more personal level this piece is about the feeling of being desired or wanted by other people, those who “like the giants” are outside your tribe, outside your inner circle; be it sex, art, business, or otherwise. It’s about the obligations we choose and those we do not. Sometimes it feels like everyone is grabbing for you and if you’re not careful you could be left stripped bare.
It’s Mythological Throwback Thursday! This week we’re cracking the case of one of the most fearsome sea monsters of all time. In the icy waters of the far north, we seek the Kraken!
The Kraken (from the Norwegian word krake, an approximate translation of which would be ‘twisted creature’) is a gargantuan and mysterious aquatic beast. The first clear record we have of this legendary creature is from Örvar-Oddr, a 13th-century Icelandic saga, in which it was referred to as the hafgufa. It is said to be large enough to swallow whales and ships; indeed it was claimed to be possible to sail through its mouth.
Early scientists speculated that the Kraken was incapable of reproduction, for their numbers were so small. Compared to an island in size, it was said that they lured in vast shoals of prey-fish by regurgitating part of their previous meal, and then swallowed them up. Eugh. This disgusting tendency was nevertheless also a lure for fishermen, who sought the bounteous hauls of such a swarming.
Tales of the Kraken may have been influenced by the story of the Greek sea monster, Charybdis. Both creatures are told to generate vicious whirlpools that could easily sink ships, and both have gigantic, monstrous forms and appetites.
Norwegian Erik Pontoppidan, 18th-century bishop of Bergen, said that the Kraken could pull down even the largest warship with its tentacles. The consensus among 18th-century investigators was that it was a type of gigantic cephalopod, a colossal octopus or squid, but earlier descriptions pitched it as more of a crab-like or whale-like being.
Tales of gigantic sea monsters have petered out as we have learned more about the ocean depths and the areas in which they might hide from us have shrunk. This hasn’t diminished their presence in fiction though: the Kraken had a prominent role in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and features in works by Tennyson, Melville, Jules Verne and China Miéville. As a mysterious, powerful and deadly being of alien intelligence and shape, it seems the appeal of the Kraken will not soon disappear to the depths…
Thanks for taking the plunge with us! We look forward to seeing you again next week for another Mythological Throwback Thursday!
The gods had arranged a lavish feast with Ægir (“Sea”) and Ran (“Robber”), two gracious and hospitable giants who dwell beneath the sea, and who are two of the most mentioned giants in Norse mythology. Ægir and Ran offered to host the banquet, but only if the gods could provide them with a kettle big enough to brew mead for all of the invited guests. The gods knew that, of all the beings in the Nine Worlds, only the giant Hymir possessed a cauldron large enough for this purpose. Thor, the brawniest and bravest of the gods, as well as the one most accustomed to dealing with the giants — not all of whom are as friendly to the gods as are Ægir and Ran — volunteered to go get this cauldron from Hymir.
Upon the god’s arrival at his house, Hymir slaughtered three bulls for provisions for the two during Thor’s stay. The giant was shocked and dismayed, however, when Thor ate two of the bulls in one sitting to assuage his legendary hunger, just as Thrym was when Thor ate nearly all of the food at a wedding feast. “Because of this,” the angry giant declared, “we will need to go fishing in the morning for food for tomorrow.”
In the morning, Hymir sent Thor to go get bait for their hooks. Thor went to Hymir’s pastures and slaughtered the biggest of the giant’s remaining legendary bulls, intending to use the head as bait. Hymir was now more irritated than ever at the rash youngster, but he hoped Thor’s strength and daring would be of help on their deep-sea fishing trip.
The two got into the boat, with Thor in the stern. The god rowed them out to Hymir’s usual fishing grounds, where the giant, to his delight, caught two whales. But then, Thor began to row the boat further out from land. His companion grew fearful and demanded that they row back at once, “because,” he reminded Thor, “Jormungand lurks below these wild waves.” Thor, the age-old enemy of that monstrous sea serpent, refused to listen to Hymir’s reason.
At last, Thor dropped the oars and cast his line into the water. After an ominous silence and calm, Thor felt a mighty tug on his line. As he reeled it in, a violent rumbling shook the boat and whipped the waves. The giant grew pale with terror, but Thor persisted. His feet were planted so firmly in the bottom of the boat that the planks gave way and water began pouring in.
When the serpent’s head, with the hook in his venom-dripping mouth, at last came up above the water, Thor reached for his hammer. At this moment, Hymir panicked and cut the line. The howling snake slunk back down into the ocean. Thor, enraged at having missed this opportunity to end his greatest foe, heaved Hymir overboard.
Thor, with the two whales slung over his shoulders, waded back to land, picked up Hymir’s cauldron, and returned home to Asgard to prepare for the feast.