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Loki

Loki, Baldur and Ragnarök

June 11, 2018

Loki

Loki, Baldur and Ragnarök

June 11, 2018

The popularity of Norse mythology has grown in recent years, in part thanks to the Marvel films Thor and The Avengers. However, Marvel did not get many things right; Óðinn did not adopt Loki, so Þór and Loki were not adoptive brothers, even though they did consider themselves brothers in many myths. Loki is also perceived as mostly just evil in the Marvel comics, while he was much more complicated in the mythology. He was more often than not the gods' friends, even though in the end he will fight against them during Ragnarök.

Who is Loki?

The trickster and shapeshifter Loki is half-god and half-giant. His father was said to have been the giant Fárbauti and his mother, the goddess Laufey. It is not always clear if Loki is a friend or a foe and many of the times Loki is a friend to the gods it is because he is helping them sorting out a problem he caused in the first place. During the apocalypse Ragnarök, he will fight against the gods with his family. He is married to Sigyn with whom he has the son Narfi, who is Night‘s father. Additionally, he had three children with the giant Angurboði; the wolf Fenrir, the world serpent Jörmundgandur and Hel, the goddess of Hell. Sleipnir, Óðinn‘s 8-legged horse, is also Loki‘s child which he conceived with the stallion Svaðilfari, while he was shapeshifted as a mare.

Loki-_by_marten_eskil_winge_1890

After offending all the gods in Lokasenna and bringing on the killing of Baldur, Loki is bound by Þór with the entrails of his son Narfi. Sigyn stands by the side of Loki, collecting the dripping venom from a poisonous snake curled up above him. Sigyn needs to empty the container regularly and while she does so the venom drips on Loki. Loki‘s shivers and thrashing from it results in earthquakes.

Lokasenna happens during one of the sea-giant Ægir's parties he used to hold for the gods.

Almost everyone was there, including Loki, but Þór was away on travels. A portion of the poem is most likely lost since it is not known why Loki was displeased with the party. He was so annoyed in fact that he killed on of Ægir's servants, Fimafeng.

This prompted the gods to throw Loki out. Loki returned incredibly pissed off and started telling the gods off and accusing them of sexual impropriety, sorcery and bias. This was far from being the worst he had said or done, but it was the straw that broke the camel's back. The poem is too long to rewrite here, but you can read it here.

The Murder of Baldur

Baldur, the god of light and purity, was the son of Óðinn and Frigg. He was so fair that light emitted from him and so beautiful that even flowers bowed to him in awe when he walked past. He lived in Breiðablik, the most beautiful house in Ásgarður with his wife, Nanna. Only the purest of the pure could enter it.

Baldur_by_johannes_gehrts

At one time he and Frigg, his mother, dreamt the same dream about his death. Because her dreams usually came true, Frigg made every object in the world promise to never hurt Baldur. All objects apart from the mistletoe made this promise, but it is believed that she thought the mistletoe so unimportant and non-threatening that she did not bother asking it. Being virtually indestructible, Baldur's family and friends started hurling things at him which all bounced off him.

Witnessing this, Loki decided to make a spear or an arrow from the mistletoe, which he knew did not make the vow. He then gave the weapon to Höður, Baldur's blind brother, to throw. Unsurprisingly, Baldur was killed instantly. As a punishment to Höður, Óðinn slept with the giantess Rindur who then gave birth to Váli, who grew up in a day and killed Höður. Baldur was burnt on his ship, Hringhorni, the largest of all ships. Þór kicked the dwarf Litur onto the ship in frustration, who burnt alive. Baldur's wife, Nanna, threw herself on the pyre to be reunited with her husband. Baldur's horse was also burnt on the fire.

Hel promised to release Baldur from the underworld if everyone and everything, dead or alive, would cry for him. Everyone did, apart from the giantess Þökk, who is often thought to have been Loki in disguise, so Baldur was not released until after Ragnarök. The blind Höður and Baldur would then be reunited to rule the new earth together with Víðar, Váli and Þór's sons Magni and Móði.

Ragnarök – the Twilight of the Gods

Following the events of Loki and Baldur, which were the first steps towards Ragnarök, three long and uninterrupted winters called Fimbulwinters will arrive. During those three long winters, the world will be plagued by wars where everyone is fighting each other. The third step is when the wolves that follow the Sun and the Moon across the sky catch up with them and swallow them whole. This results in all the stars disappearing and strong earthquakes shake the earth so that mountains break, and trees get uprooted. During this havoc, Fenrir's chains break.

The ocean attacks the shore, which makes Jörmungandur angry, so he crawls up on land and spews venom over everything. Fenrir opens its jaws, which is so huge that the upper jaw reaches the heavens and the lower reaches Earth. Fire burns in its eyes and nose. During the brothers Fenrir and Jörmungandur's assault, the heavens rip and the fire giants Múspellssynir arrive with the fire giant Surtur at front. However, when they are going to cross Bifröst, the bridge breaks and they fall to the field where Loki, the frost giants, and Hrymur, the captain of the ship Naglfar which is made from the nails of dead people, already are. Shortly after that Jörmungandur and Fenrir arrive.

When all the gods' enemies have grouped, Heimdallur blows his horn to wake up the gods. In the ensuing battle, Fenrir eats Óðinn in one bite, Þór fights Jörmungandur and manages to kill it but is himself killed by the serpent's venom. The fertility god Freyr fights Surtur but is killed. Týr fights the hellhound Garmur, and they both die. Víðar, brother of Þór and the second strongest god after Þór, fights Fenrir and manages to hew him in two. Surtur then burns the whole world.

At the end of it all, only two humans survive, and they repopulate the Earth. The gods Víðar and Váli, as well as Móði and Magni, sons of Þór, survive and Baldur and Höður return from Hel.

But what happens next? We do not know since it has not been written. Either we are living in times after Ragnarök, or it has not happened yet.

Loki

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Loki

Loki, Baldur and Ragnarök

June 11, 2018

Loki

Loki, Baldur and Ragnarök

June 11, 2018

The popularity of Norse mythology has grown in recent years, in part thanks to the Marvel films Thor and The Avengers. However, Marvel did not get many things right; Óðinn did not adopt Loki, so Þór and Loki were not adoptive brothers, even though they did consider themselves brothers in many myths. Loki is also perceived as mostly just evil in the Marvel comics, while he was much more complicated in the mythology. He was more often than not the gods' friends, even though in the end he will fight against them during Ragnarök.

Who is Loki?

The trickster and shapeshifter Loki is half-god and half-giant. His father was said to have been the giant Fárbauti and his mother, the goddess Laufey. It is not always clear if Loki is a friend or a foe and many of the times Loki is a friend to the gods it is because he is helping them sorting out a problem he caused in the first place. During the apocalypse Ragnarök, he will fight against the gods with his family. He is married to Sigyn with whom he has the son Narfi, who is Night‘s father. Additionally, he had three children with the giant Angurboði; the wolf Fenrir, the world serpent Jörmundgandur and Hel, the goddess of Hell. Sleipnir, Óðinn‘s 8-legged horse, is also Loki‘s child which he conceived with the stallion Svaðilfari, while he was shapeshifted as a mare.

Loki-_by_marten_eskil_winge_1890

After offending all the gods in Lokasenna and bringing on the killing of Baldur, Loki is bound by Þór with the entrails of his son Narfi. Sigyn stands by the side of Loki, collecting the dripping venom from a poisonous snake curled up above him. Sigyn needs to empty the container regularly and while she does so the venom drips on Loki. Loki‘s shivers and thrashing from it results in earthquakes.

Lokasenna happens during one of the sea-giant Ægir's parties he used to hold for the gods.

Almost everyone was there, including Loki, but Þór was away on travels. A portion of the poem is most likely lost since it is not known why Loki was displeased with the party. He was so annoyed in fact that he killed on of Ægir's servants, Fimafeng.

This prompted the gods to throw Loki out. Loki returned incredibly pissed off and started telling the gods off and accusing them of sexual impropriety, sorcery and bias. This was far from being the worst he had said or done, but it was the straw that broke the camel's back. The poem is too long to rewrite here, but you can read it here.

The Murder of Baldur

Baldur, the god of light and purity, was the son of Óðinn and Frigg. He was so fair that light emitted from him and so beautiful that even flowers bowed to him in awe when he walked past. He lived in Breiðablik, the most beautiful house in Ásgarður with his wife, Nanna. Only the purest of the pure could enter it.

Baldur_by_johannes_gehrts

At one time he and Frigg, his mother, dreamt the same dream about his death. Because her dreams usually came true, Frigg made every object in the world promise to never hurt Baldur. All objects apart from the mistletoe made this promise, but it is believed that she thought the mistletoe so unimportant and non-threatening that she did not bother asking it. Being virtually indestructible, Baldur's family and friends started hurling things at him which all bounced off him.

Witnessing this, Loki decided to make a spear or an arrow from the mistletoe, which he knew did not make the vow. He then gave the weapon to Höður, Baldur's blind brother, to throw. Unsurprisingly, Baldur was killed instantly. As a punishment to Höður, Óðinn slept with the giantess Rindur who then gave birth to Váli, who grew up in a day and killed Höður. Baldur was burnt on his ship, Hringhorni, the largest of all ships. Þór kicked the dwarf Litur onto the ship in frustration, who burnt alive. Baldur's wife, Nanna, threw herself on the pyre to be reunited with her husband. Baldur's horse was also burnt on the fire.

Hel promised to release Baldur from the underworld if everyone and everything, dead or alive, would cry for him. Everyone did, apart from the giantess Þökk, who is often thought to have been Loki in disguise, so Baldur was not released until after Ragnarök. The blind Höður and Baldur would then be reunited to rule the new earth together with Víðar, Váli and Þór's sons Magni and Móði.

Ragnarök – the Twilight of the Gods

Following the events of Loki and Baldur, which were the first steps towards Ragnarök, three long and uninterrupted winters called Fimbulwinters will arrive. During those three long winters, the world will be plagued by wars where everyone is fighting each other. The third step is when the wolves that follow the Sun and the Moon across the sky catch up with them and swallow them whole. This results in all the stars disappearing and strong earthquakes shake the earth so that mountains break, and trees get uprooted. During this havoc, Fenrir's chains break.

The ocean attacks the shore, which makes Jörmungandur angry, so he crawls up on land and spews venom over everything. Fenrir opens its jaws, which is so huge that the upper jaw reaches the heavens and the lower reaches Earth. Fire burns in its eyes and nose. During the brothers Fenrir and Jörmungandur's assault, the heavens rip and the fire giants Múspellssynir arrive with the fire giant Surtur at front. However, when they are going to cross Bifröst, the bridge breaks and they fall to the field where Loki, the frost giants, and Hrymur, the captain of the ship Naglfar which is made from the nails of dead people, already are. Shortly after that Jörmungandur and Fenrir arrive.

When all the gods' enemies have grouped, Heimdallur blows his horn to wake up the gods. In the ensuing battle, Fenrir eats Óðinn in one bite, Þór fights Jörmungandur and manages to kill it but is himself killed by the serpent's venom. The fertility god Freyr fights Surtur but is killed. Týr fights the hellhound Garmur, and they both die. Víðar, brother of Þór and the second strongest god after Þór, fights Fenrir and manages to hew him in two. Surtur then burns the whole world.

At the end of it all, only two humans survive, and they repopulate the Earth. The gods Víðar and Váli, as well as Móði and Magni, sons of Þór, survive and Baldur and Höður return from Hel.

But what happens next? We do not know since it has not been written. Either we are living in times after Ragnarök, or it has not happened yet.

The RE blog

Húsavík
Hrekkjavaka
Into the Glacier
Fjaðrárgljúfur
Hestur
Þór
Loki
valholl
Reykjavík
kirkjufell-12x7
Fastelavnsbolle 3 -ubt-
iStock-825267104
Golden-Circle-and-Fontana-Steam-bath

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As probably everyone knows, there are quite a few beautiful places to see in Iceland. However, it can be hard to find a place to start. If you want to look at something different to the Golden Circle, which we totally recommend and say everyone should visit, we have made a short list of beautiful places to see in Iceland.

Read more