I know that the Thor and Avengers movies, aided by the undeniable charm of Tom Hiddleston, have driven the popularity of Loki to gigantic heights. I hope I’m not breaking any hearts, however, when I tell you that Loki is married and had been married more than once. How many wives did Loki have? That gets a little tricky.
His latest wife and the one that stood beside him during his punishment is Sigyn. The Eddas list her as one of the Aesir, specifically calling her Asenjyur which is the goddess form of the Aesir. (The simplest way I have heard of describing the difference between the two groups of Norse gods is that the Aesir tended towards the power/war side of the spectrum and the Vanir tended towards the nature/fertility side.) The sagas also tell us that she is married to Loki. The language is quite clear “Sigyn, Loki’s wife…”She is the faithful wife who catches the poison that drips down from a serpent before the venom can harm her husband. Unfortunately, when the bowl she is using to catch the venom is full she must step away to empty it and Loki suffers incredible torment during those times. This story was fairly widespread and the skaldic poem Haustlong even uses “the burden of Sigyn’s arms” as a kenning for Loki.
Now it gets a little murkier. We know that Loki had three children with Angrboda but she is NOT mentioned as his wife in any references I could find. It is possible they were married at an earlier time period – marriage was not a “til death do us part” thing for the Norse but they also could have just been fooling around with each other. Like the gods of Greece and Rome, the Norse gods had some very human characteristics and were not always the most faithful of mates. Until I see some good research indicating otherwise I am going to operate under the assumption that they were fooling around.
H.A. Guerber made it even more confusing when he wrote “Loki’s third marriage was with Sigyn, who proved a most loving and devoted wife.” The loving and devoted wife part is fine, the part that has me scratching my head is “third marriage.” Especially since Guerber never mentions who the first or second wife were. I even did a word search on Loki and wife and could find no mention of either earlier mate.
While I wish that we had a clearer picture of the women in Loki’s life, a part of me imagines the Trickster himself would be quite pleased at the confusing state of this subject matter.