Loki stamp by Anker Eli Petersen
In Norse Mythology Loki is called the Trickster God but what exactly did Loki do to earn that title? Here, in ascending order of impact, are some of his biggest tricks. We won’t call them his best tricks because some of them were more than a little mean.
5. Ruining the feast
One day the sea god Aegir gave a feast. His two servants, Fimafeng and Eldir, welcomed all of the guests. making sure that they heaped tons of praise on every one of them. This annoyed Loki, so he killed Fimafeng. The gods were angry and drove him away. Loki comes back after a bit and brings up an oath he swore with Odin that they would drink together. The gods are forced to let him back in. Loki is grateful and contrite. No, he’s not! He proceeds to start trash-talking almost everyone else at the feast, calling them cowards, whores, unmanly, and everything else he can think of. Loki even goes so far as to insult Odin. The thing that finally gets him to shut up and leave is the sudden appearance of Thor who threatens to knock Loki’s head clean off his shoulders.
4. Loki cuts off Sif’s hair.
One day Loki was walking along when he happened to spy the goddess Sif lying asleep on the ground. Seeing this as the perfect opportunity to make some mischief, he cut off all of her hair. We’re never told any more of his motivation, that’s just apparently the way Loki works. Of course, he was caught. Sif is the wife of Thor, so you can imagine the Thunder god was not happy when he found out what happened. Once again Loki is about to be killed and swears an oath to make everything right. He eventually had the Dwarves make new magical hair for Sif, forged from a piece of gold.
3. Loki transforms himself into a female horse.
A builder was promised the sun, the moon and the goddess Freyja if he could build the walls of Asgard within a specific period of time. With the help of his magic stallion, the builder was dangerously close to completing this job. Loki transformed himself into a beautiful female horse and lured the stallion away. Without the horse’s help the man realized the only way to complete the job was by assuming his true identity – that of a mountain giant. Unfortunately, giants and Thor do not mix. The Thunder God used his hammer to smash in the giant’s skull. As a bonus, Loki then gave birth to Sleipnir, the eight-legged horse.
2. Messing with Mjolnir
This is a bit of a double-whammy since Loki pulled this trick in the process of making up for #4. Loki had the Dwarves create magical hair out of gold to replace the hair he had cut off of Sif’s head. While he was there he had them make some gifts for the other gods as well, including Odin’s spear Gungnir which always hits its target. Then, because he is the Trickster God, he brings these magical items to a different set of Dwarves. He bets them that they can’t make anything better. He is so sure of this that he bets his own head. These Dwarves are working on some wonderful things. Loki starts to worry and turns himself into a fly. He starts biting the Dwarf on the arm to distract him. The first item comes out of the forge and it is fine. While the Dwarf works on the second item fly-Loki bites him on the neck twice as hard. The Dwarf soldiers on and the second item is fine. While working on the third item fly-Loki bites the Dwarf on the eyelid drawing blood and making the Dwarf stop working for a minute. As a result of this the third item, Mjolnir, has a short handle and can only be used with one hand.
1. The death of Baldur
Baldur the Good was having terrible dreams that his life was in danger. His mother Frigga, being a goddess, “exacted an oath from fire and water, from iron, and all other metals, as well as from stones, earths, diseases, beasts, birds, poisons, and creeping things, that none of them would do any harm to Baldur.” Pretty impressive achievement, huh? Loki thought so and it made him mad. He put on a disguise and went to Frigga. There he learned that she had not extracted an oath from Mistletoe, thinking it was too young and feeble to harm her son. Loki runs off and makes a dart out of Mistletoe. He gives the dart to Baldur’s brother Hodur. Since Hodur is blind, Loki is even helpful enough to point him in the right direction. Hodur throws the dart, striking and killing Baldur.
What do you think? Did Loki earn the title of Trickster? Have I left out any tricks that you love? Chime in and let me know.