The Norse gods: Loki

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The god of mischief and laughter, well known all over the world thanks to Marvel. Loki is a jotunn, a bloodbrother to Odin, the father of Hell, Fenrir, Jormungandr, Sleipnir, Narfi and Nari. His first 3 children were with the giantess Angrboda, Narfi and Nari he has with the goddess Sigyn. As for Sleipnir, Loki is the mother, he turned into a mare to distract the giant horse Svadifari so that his master could not finish the wall around Asgard.

Loki is also the reason why Mjolnir’s handle is so short, as he bothered the dwarves while forging in the shape of a wasp.

He once cut of Sifs beautifull golden hair and was forced by Thor to find a way to solve it or he would kill him. Loki then went to the dwarves and they forged strands of gold so finely that it looked just like hair, making it into a wig. The new wig was so pretty that all the gods instantly forgave Loki for his mischief.

Loki often brings trouble to the gods but he’s also more often then not their salvation when they are in trouble. He brought back the reingold treasure when Odin and Hœnir were prisoners to a sorcerer. He went with Thor to retrieve Mjolnir from the jotonn Þrymr.

He is however also the murderer of Baldr, thought not directly, and was punished as such. His son Narfi was turned into a rabid wolf, who tore out Nari’s guts and killed him. Loki himself was bound onto 3 sharp stones with Nari’s entrails by the goddess Skadi , she bound a snake above his head that would drip poison onto Loki’s brow. Sigyn, Loki’s wife, sat with him holding a bowl beneath the dripping poison, yet when the bowl became full, she carried the poison away; and during this time the poison dripped on to Loki, causing him to writhe with such violence that all of the earth shook from the force, resulting in what are now known as earthquakes.

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During the binding of Loki, Odin goes to see a völva to gather knowledge over the future. When he asks her about it she simply replies:

It sates itself on the life-blood
of fated men,
paints red the powers’ homes
with crimson gore.
Black become the sun’s beams
in the summers that follow,
weathers all treacherous.
Do you still seek to know? And what?

Odin still demands more so she tells him

Brothers will fight
and kill each other,
sisters’ children will defile kinship.
It is harsh in the world,whoredom rife
an axe age, a sword age
shields are riven
a wind age, a wolf age
before the world goes headlong.
No man will havemercy on another

With this the völva foretells the ragnarok.

Loki was able to escape his bonds and formed a bond with the jotunn to kill the gods and so came the ragnarok. Both Hati and Skoll finally achieved their goal and swallowed Mani and Sol, thus creating eternal darkness over the 9 realms. In the battle that follows between the gods and the jotunn, the first to fall is Odin, he is swallowed whole by Fenrir. Vidarr take revenge upon Fenrir for his father’s death by pulling the jaws of the wolf apart and stabbing him in the heart with a spear. The second to fall is Thor, after kill the midgard snake Jormungandr, he succumbs to the venom of the snake. Loki fights Heimdall and the two end by killing each other, Garm the hellhound is in turn the death of Tyr, however the hellhound succumbs to his wounds. Freyr falls to the hand of the jotunn Surtr, this is how Asgard falls and how Loki is the death of the gods.

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In my belief, Loki is badly portrayed and I feel there is more to him then the inducer of the ragnarok. He also tried to amend his mistakes and he made the goddess Skadi laugh so she would be satified with Njord as her husband. He brought sorrow to his wife Sigyn but what man hasn’t brought sorrow upon his wife yet, because of her wedding to him she is now known as the goddess of fidelity and perseverance. That must mean something, there must have been good in the god..

 

The Norse gods: Njord

Since there isn’t much to report on our viking adventures (and this for at least another month) I decided to do a weekly post about the Norse gods and what they mean to me. Starting with the god who is the second most important one to me, Njord.

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Njord is the father of Freyr and Freya, ex-husband of Skadi and lord of the sea, fertility, wealth and sailing. The story of how he got married to Skadi is one of the most popular tales of the edda and one of my favorites, along with the one about Thor and how he dressed up as Freya but that’s for a different post.

The tale goes like this: The gods had slain Skadi’s father and she came to seek restitution, Odin was so impressed that the giantess came all by herself to “wage war” on the gods that he allowed he to pick a husband based on their feet. Skadi chose to nicest looking feet, think she had picked the god Baldr, however she was dissapointed to find out that the feet belonged to the old god Njord.  They married and made a deal to live half the year in Njords halls by the sea (wich Skadi hated) and half the year in Skadi’s halls in the mountains (wich Njord hated). Their marriage was short lived as neither could enjoy what the other loved and they soon parted ways.When Njord left the mountains he said “Hateful for me are the mountains,I was not long there,only nine nights.The howling of the wolves sounded ugly to me after the song of the swans.” to which Skadi responded “Sleep I could not on the sea beds for the screeching of the bird.That gull wakes me when from the wide sea he comes each morning.”

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The main reason why Njord is important to me is that we live by the sea and even thought I might not like it, it has always played an important role in my life. Walking on the beach can calm me in a way nothing else can, it often feels as if my sorrow blows away and even thought I hate sand, the sea will always be my home.

The other reason is that for every job interview I had at my current job, I begged Njord for his assistance and blessing. Must have worked since I got the job, to which I am grateful since its filling the treasury.

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Next week: Loki

A love letter to novels

I love to read and I have loads of books, but I just realized that no matter how long you haven’t picked up a book, it will still be there for you. A book wont hate you for being left behind, it will take you on the adventure it promises all the same. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t picked it up for 1 moth or 3 years, it will still be a portal to a world of adventure, a world you could have never dreamed of and an adventure you would’ve never dared do in a million years.

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I have stood by a red haired daughter of judas, fighting along side an oversexed werewolf, against a clan of Irish banshees. I stood by an English soldier, in Napoleonic times, fighting for the right to keep his dragon. I traveled with a young native American girl, all the way to Greenland and Sweden where she would marry a viking. I have seen a dwarf change from orphan, to hero and fall from grace to become a villain. I have cried with a young woman when she saw her sister die in front of her, but I have also laughed and smiled with the same woman when she realized how much she loved that one boy.

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My point is that no matter how dark this world looks, a novel will always take you on a rollercoaster of emotions. They can be amazingly good or terribly sad, but in this world there is no hatred against you and the heroes of these worlds welcome you with open arms.

Thank you to the authors of such wonderful worlds, you give me a portal to escape reality and go to places I know I will never be able to visit in real life. Thank you for making me laugh or cry with each page I turn. You truly posses a wonderful gift, please never waste it…

 

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