Loki is the mischief-maker among the Nordic gods. He is also known as the trickster god or father-of-lies. Although Loki lives in the realm of Asgard, he is the son of a giant and full of guile. Loki is related to Odin only because they performed a rite of blood- brotherhood and exchanged oaths. Such bonds were considered sacred. It is through this relationship that evil enters the heavenly region of Asgard.
Loki is a shape-shifter, and his form is always changing so that he can perform his mischief. There is much speculation surrounding Loki's gender. It is thought that Loki was androgynous for he is able to conceive children, animals, and supernatural creatures. He had three offspring by a giantess named Angrboda: the wolf Fenrir, the Midgard serpent Jormungand, and Hel, who reigns over the realm of the dead.
Loki is indeed the most evil among the residents of Asgard. He is called "...Foe of the Gods, Forger of Evil, Cheat of the gods, and Contriver of Baldr's Death...". He is an ambigious character, for he provides others with advice in one occasion and then tries to defy and hinder them in the next. His plan to destroy the gods of Asgard and the universe is no secret for it is foretold that his hideous children will be active in the coming of Ragnarok. There is nothing that the gods can do about this since the destruction of the world is inevitable.
Loki is involved in plotting the death of Odin's second son, Baldr. Loki also plays a role in keeping Baldr in Hel, by changing his shape into a lonely giantess that refuses to cry for Baldr's return.
Loki is punished and bound with chains deep beneath the earth for being a conspirator in Baldr's slaying. Loki's wife Sigyn (not the mother of his offspring) devotes her life to sheltering him by holding a bowl below the serpents that drip venom on Loki's face. It is said that every time Sigyn goes to empty the dish, the venom causes Loki to go into spasms, causing the earth to quake.
Loki will break away from his fetters at Ragnarok to fight against his life long enemy Heimdall. They will kill one another as Loki's vision of the destruction of the universe is realized.
Gods-Table of Contents