Norse Gods and Goddesses: Loki's Greatest Hits

April 02, 2019 4 min read

Norse Gods and Goddesses: Loki's Greatest Hits

April Fools 2019 has come and gone. Did you play any tricks on family, friends, or co-workers this year? April Fools or All Fools Day did not originate from Norse customs, unlike the names of our weekdays. Its history is very conflicted actually. In fact, many of the historical works that tried to cite its existence were completely made up!

Still, there's at least one person in the Norse pantheon that we know, for sure, would get on the action. Any idea who that is?

It's Loki, of course!

In honor of our favorite trickster god, we've compiled some of Loki's greatest pranks. Read on to get into the spirit of the holiday.

Horseplay
One of Loki's greatest... pranks? Was giving birth to the six-legged horse, Slepnir. He did this by shapeshifting into a mare and sleeping with Svadilfari, the very fast and very smart horse who belonged to the unnamed giant that built Asgard's walls and defenses.  


(Look at this jerk.)

Now, Loki didn't have a horse fetish. He wasn't the ancestor of Bronies. In a rare move, he did this to help the gods of Asgard skip out on their contractor's bill. You see, this unnamed giant had bee promised some pretty big gifts if he finished the wall within a single season. Gifts like the sun, the moon, and the hand of the beautiful Freyja. With horse!Loki tempting Svadilfari, his unnamed owner spent all night trying to round up his horny horse and missed a day of work.

How Do You Like These Apples?
In another tale, Loki falls into the mercy of the giant Thiazi, who, it turns out, is very thirsty for apples. Or rather, he's thirsty for the goddess Idunn, who creates the magical apples that make the gods of Asgard immortal. He threatens to kill Loki unless he brings the goddess to him.



The problem is that Idunn is married to Bragi. And also, the gods didn't really care to have their fellows just carted off. So, Loki is pressured into bringing Idunn back from Thiazi transforming into a falcon to bring her home.

Thaizi is PISSED. He turns himself into an eagle and persues Loki and Idunn as they are flying back to Asgard. The gods of Asgard light fires all around the perimeter of Asgard, which catch Thaizi in them and burn him to death.

That Takes Some Balls
Not long after the Idunn adventure, Thaizi's daughter, Skadi, arrives in Asgard to claim restitution for her father's death. One of her requests is that the gods have to make her laugh.

Loki is a natural for this task. He thinks of the most outlandish thing he can do, and winds up tying a rope to the beard of a goat, and then the other to his own testicles. The goat runs around in a panic, screaming in pain, and Loki is just steps behind him, also screaming in pain. 

In the end, he collapses on Skadi's lap, which cracks her up so badly, the task is completed.

Killing Baldur
This one isn't quite a prank because it ends pretty horribly. But it's probably the finest example of Loki's mischevious and mercurial nature.

When Frigg gives birth to the god, Baldur, he is so perfect and beautiful that she goes to every creature, every flora in the world and makes them promise not to ever hurt Baldur. The only one she foolishly doesn't ask is the mistletoe because she deems it too small and too safe to need to ask.

Of course, Loki finds out about this in no time, and just because he can, he comes up with a plot. All the gods are roughhousing with Baldur because he can't be killed. Hod, the blind god wants to join in on the fun. So Loki crafts for him a spear made of... you guessed it! Mistletoe.



Long story short, Baldur is killed and Hod is held responsible.

One of the gods of Asgard rides to the underworld to request that Hel, Loki's daughter, return Baldur home if he is so loved. Hel tells him if every creature in existence weeps for Baldur, she will let him be free. And every creature does-- except for a single giantess, named Tokk. It is a general consensus in the Norse mythology community that Tokk is, of course, Loki in disguise.


Crafting Earthquakes
As his punishment for killing Baldur (and for his many other crimes besides), Loki is captured and secured with chains made from his son's guts. He's tied down in a cave, where a venomous serpent sits above him and drips venom on to his face. His wife, Sigyn, is allowed to hold a bowl up to catch the poison before it hits Loki's head. But every so often, she must leave to dump out the bowl. 



And when she goes and the poison hits Loki, he trembles in pain, which causes the earth to shake and its crust to crack open and break. That's right, Californians, it's not tectonic plates. It's an irritated god causing all your property damage.

What are the best pranks you've ever pulled? Or heard of? Tell us below in honor of Loki, or share with us on social media!


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Blog

Norse Gods and Goddesses: Ullr
Norse Gods and Goddesses: Ullr

April 24, 2019 3 min read

Ullr is the god of sports. In particular, he is the god of bow hunting and skiing. He is considered to be one of the eldest gods in the Norse pantheon, and because of that, much of the mythology surrounding him is lost to the ages. Here's what we do know.
Read More
Viking Symbolism: Fenrir
Viking Symbolism: Fenrir

April 24, 2019 4 min read

Perhaps the most famous wolf in all Norse mythology (and perhaps in mythology the world over– barring the Big Bad of Western European faerie tale lore) is Fenrir. Read on to learn more about this fascinating pup.
Read More
What Were Traditional Viking Weddings Like?
What Were Traditional Viking Weddings Like?

April 23, 2019 5 min read

We've written before about Viking wedding traditions, but they have all been modernized rituals. What were Norse weddings actually like in the days before PETA and the Christian Church? Read on to find out.
Read More

Subscribe