Loki often found himself in unpleasant situations and was considered the enemy of the gods. He would sometimes appear uninvited at big feasts and banquets and demand drinks from gods. 

Loki was also rather unpopular because he caused the death of god Balder. Balder was the son of the principal god, Odin, and his wife, Frigg. 

Balder, their beautiful son, was loved by everyone. It is quite easy to imagine the hatred Loki faced after causing the death of such a beautiful and beloved god.

Loki's offspring

Loki and the giantess Angerboda were parents to Hel, the goddess of death, to Jörmungand, the serpent that surrounds the world, and Fenrir, the monstrous wolf. 

According to myths, on Ragnarök, Fenrir was supposed to devour the sun and fight against Odin - swallowing him as well. 

Loki is also considered to have given birth to Sleipnir, Odin's famous eight-legged horse. Yes, Loki gave birth - due to his ability to change his form and sex, he is considered the mother of Sleipnir. 

According to Norse mythology, Loki shifted into a mare, courted the stallion Svaldifari, and thus Sleipnir was conceived.

In Norse mythology, the ravens Huginn and Muninn fly all over Midgard and bring information to Odin. Photo: asa-tru / Pixabay

Was Loki a "typical" god?

It is difficult to pin down Loki's personality. He is treated as one of the key gods in Norse mythology, but due to his nature, he often changed his positions, taking on different roles among giants and gods. 

Loki often accompanies two very important gods in Norse mythology, Odin and Thor. He often serves them by helping them with his clever plans, only to turn the tables on them in the next moment and create havoc for everyone involved. 

At other times, he shows a complete lack of concern for the well-being of gods and engages only in shallow pleasures and cares only for himself. 

Odin and Thor both ended up being killed by Loki's children – Odin was killed by Fenrir, the mythical monster-wolf, and Thor was killed by Jörmungandr, the serpent who slew him; both were killed during Ragnarök.

The death of Baldur is by far one of the biggest crimes Loki committed, and as a punishment, he was bound to a rock. This image resembles Greek mythology figures, Prometheus and Tantalus. 

According to some theories, like Prometheus, Loki is (also) considered the god of fire.

The meaning of Loki's name

There are many explanations of Loki's name. One of the theories is that the meaning is "a knot," "a tangle," or "a net." 

The metaphorical nets and knots he created among the gods were often at their peril - he would create them to entrap the gods and land them into danger and difficulties. 

In this sense, he can also be seen as an antithesis to some other Nordic gods, mostly positively described.

We get to provide readers with original coverage thanks to our loyal supporters. Do you enjoy our work? You can become a PATRON here or via our Patreon page. You'll get access to exclusive content and early access.

Do you have a tip that you would like to share with The Viking Herald?
Feel free to reach out to discuss potential stories that may be in the public interest. You can reach us via email at hello@thevikingherald.com with the understanding that the information you provide might be used in our reporting and stories.