Loge (Loki) and the gods (mouse over images for details), Das Rheingold by Wagner [Metropolitan Opera, USA 2010+]
After so many productions of Wagner, like Shakespeare, one of the highlights of a new production is in experiencing how creative and fabulous the costumes and production can get. This was directed by Cirque du Soleil director Robert Lepage (and it shows in the visuals!).
Loge is played by Richard Croft, who was apparently inspired by MCU!Loki in his performance after seeing the Avengers. His partner playfully compares him to MCU!Iron Man rather than Loki in looks:
From "The Almighty Johnsons" [NZ, 2012]
Oh, Loki ♥
Loki saves Ullr from a godhunter, because even though they despise one another, gods stick together against ebil Christians.
[Screened earlier this year on SyFy and SPACE. I love this series sooooooooo much and it's funny as hel, but it doesn't look like there's going to be a 3rd series D: Can't compete against cheap US imports fffff. PETITION.]
“We can talk because, O mortal child—do not be afraid—beneath these animal disguises we wear…well, not actual disguises, I mean we are actually a bear and a fox and a big bird, which is a rotten sort of thing to happen, but where was I…?”
“Gods!” screeched the eagle.
“Gods?” said Odd.
“Aye. Gods,” said the bear. “I was just getting to that. I am great Thor, Lord of the Thunders. The eagle is Lord Odin, All-father, greatest of the Gods. And this runt-eared meddling fox is—”
“Loki,” said the fox smoothly. “Blood-brother to the Gods. Smartest, sharpest, most brilliant of all the inhabitants of Asgard, or so they say—”
“Brilliant?” snorted the bear.
“You would have fallen for it. Anyone would,” said the fox.
“Fallen for what?” said Odd.
A flash of green eyes, a sigh and the fox began. “I’ll tell you. And you’ll see. It could have happened to anyone. So, Asgard. Home of the mighty. In the middle of a plain, surrounded by an impregnable wall built for us by a Frost Giant. And it was due to me, I should add, that that wall did not cost us the Giant’s fee, which was unreasonably high.”
“Freya,” said the bear. “The Giant wanted Freya. Most lovely of the Goddesses—with, obviously, the exception of Sif, my own little love. And it wanted the Sun and the Moon.”
“If you interrupt me one more time,” said the fox, “one more time, I will not only stop talking, but I shall go off on my own and leave the two of you to fend for yourselves.”
The bear said, “Yes, but—”
“Not one word.”
The bear was silent.
odd and the frost giants (color) by lunchboxmonkey (dA)
Thor [right] and Loki's [left] journey to Jotunheim, from "Norse Myths" by Kevin Crossley-Holland [Illustrated by Gillian McClure 1992]
Thor said summer was the open season and he announced his plan of making a journey east to Utgard and flexing himself against the giants. "However few they are," he said, "they are too many."
"In Utgard," said Loki, "you'll need sharp wits."
"Sharp wits," repeated Thor seriously.
"And yours are as blunt as your hammer," said Loki, winking at Thor. "Why not take me?"
Thor ignored the insult and accepted the offer. "Evil creature: good companion," he said.
Loki's eyes gleamed, now brown, now green, now indigo. His scarred lips twisted into a wolfish smile.
"Tomorrow, then," said Thor.
(I wish modern retellings more often would accept that the reason Odin and Thor often travelled with Loki once upon a time, was because they LIKED him. He wasn't always unpleasant or angry or malevolent, even if he was That Guy who kept people on their toes by having a giggle at their expense.)
Thorgal #32: La Bataille D'Asgard - G. Rosinski & Y. Sente
As told in myth, Sif gets her golden hair cut off by Loki as a prank. Thor, Sif's husband, is not impressed.
(I slept through most of my French classes at school so apologies for the crap translation:)
Sif: Aaah! But!? Who? Who are you? ...Loki! You! You dare?
Loki: Take it easy, sweetheart. You seemed to enjoy this moment of intimacy. It was well worth it for the hair I need to seduce a pretty goddess, who, so I'm told, has a weakness for... blond men.
Sif: Monster! Demon! When Thor learns what you did...!
Loki: I think he won't learn anything. Do you think he will forgive you for having confused him with another in his own bed? Hahahahaha! *leaves with hair*
Dwarf (to Sif): Mistress! Your husband is back! What will you do?!
Dwarf (to Thor): Have you had a good day, sir?
Thor (to dwarf): No.
Thor (to Sif): I'm not sure what's happening to me, but I had strange dreams. I was about to crush an upstart human. Then my forge suddenly disappeared. Unbalanced, I fell and knocked myself unconscious. And when I woke up, my shield was gone! I think...
Sif: I think you need comfort in the arms of your wife.
Thor: But... What did you do to your hair?
Sif: I noticed that my hair didn't have as much effect on you as it did in the early days. I am a woman. So... I tried something else. What do you think, hmm?
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From "Eight Days of Luke" by Diana Wynne Jones :
"Luke," he said, "I think those girls are stuck."
"Stuck?" Luke said vaguely. "Yes, I expect so. The stairs and the lift have gone. The roof's going in a minute."
The women round David saw the girls too, and began asking one another why somebody didn't do something. David took hold of Luke's elbow and shook him.
"Luke, could you stop this fire if you wanted?"
"Of course," said Luke, but his eyes were fixed on the heart of the building and he was not really attending.
"Then could you stop it now?" David said. "Those girls are going to be burnt."
Luke smiled absent-mindedly. "Little twits," he said. "They went to comb their hair first, then they panicked."
No doubt he was right. David thought they looked just that kind of girl. But it made no difference to the fact that they were hanging on to a chimney in a desperately narrow space between the flames and yelling for help. The firemen had put a ladder up against the next building, but there was clearly no chance of them reaching the girls.
"Luke," David said. "You can't bring the dead to life. Remember?"
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TVTropes on myth!Loki:
♦ Was Loki imprisoned for killing Baldur, or was he imprisoned for calling the gods out on crap they were actually guilty of? Depends on which story you read.
♦ Loki and Heimdall. The very first story they costarred in set them against each other. Like Thor and Jormungand, they are also destined to kill each other in Ragnarok.
♦ Many adaptations (probably thanks to Marvel) tend to set up Thor and Loki as arch-enemies. While they butted heads once in a while (Sif's hair was certainly a Berserk Button for Thor), they were more friends than enemies, and often traveled together.
Cain and Abel:
♦ Thor and Loki become this in Christian retellings of Norse myths (while Loki was Odin's brother in the original myths) as well as in Marvel Comics.
♦ Whenever the gods need to put the blame on someone, they grab Loki and threaten him with torture and death if he doesn't put the situation right. Granted, often Loki was responsible for or at least involved in the thing that went awry in the first place, but still...
♦ In one story, Loki makes a bet with some dwarves and offers them his head as a wager — an expression for "my head's weight in gold" — as his part of the bargain. When they win and claim his actual head, he argues that since they can't take that without also cutting his neck, the deal is void. The dwarves content themselves with sewing his lips together earning him the nickname Scarlip, and the scars remain in his various forms.
Fate Worse than Death:
♦ The gods can't kill Loki for what he did to Baldur on account of Odin having adopted him. Thus, they instead bind him in chains made from the entrails of his son, whom they murdered, and allow a snake to drip venom on his face for eternity. Loki's loyal wife Sigyn collects the venom in a bowl most of the time but she eventually has to empty it, allowing the venom to drip and causing him excruciating pain. His thrashing around caused earthquakes.
♦ Loki turned into a mare (and got pregnant!)
♦ Loki does this to himself when he's faced seemingly-impossible task of making Skadi laugh. He ties a rope to his own testicles, then ties the other end to the beard of a goat. Hilarity Ensues.
Heterosexual Life Partners:
♦ Thor and Loki, at least in some stories. In others, not so much.
♦ Odin and Loki, who are blood brothers.
Hijacked By Jesus:
♦ The story of Loki getting Baldur killed is Hijacked By Jesus. Originally (as shown in Poetic Edda), it was only hinted (in an insult of Frigg by Loki himself) that Loki was guilty. It was when he gravely insulted every single one of the gods they tied him down and fed him poison. The two stories were then merged and expanded by Snorri Sturluson to make Loki look like a Satan figure.
♦ Like Hel, Loki gets associated with Satan. In some myths, he's a contriver of trouble, a trickster, and a total jerkass, but still not all that bad of a guy as he saves the day a few times and once in a great while goes out of his way to be nice. In later, post-Christian stories, he's Handwaved as the cause of anything wicked, with no explanation as to why or how he'd managed it, and then he's the cause of the end of the world.
♦ Sleipnir is the biological child of Loki and a stallion called Svadilfari. Loki was shapeshifted into the form of a mare (a female horse) at the time. A mare who happened to be in heat, to lure away the stallion. However, getting pregnant had not been part of Loki's plans, and it owned him the nickname of "horse-mother".
♦ The unspecified number of children Odin and Njorth accuse Loki of bearing in the Lokasenna.
Hostage for MacGuffin:
♦ This one happened to Loki a lot, even at the hands of other gods, and caused - among other things, the cursing of Andvarinaut, the creation of Thor's hammer, and later on its theft. Thor even did it to Loki over a cute little prank Loki pulled on Thor's wife.
♦ In the Lokasenna, Odin says Loki went around disguised as a milkmaid for awhile, and according to both Odin and Njorth, he's given birth to multiple children. It doesn't get any more elaborate than that.
Pet the Dog:
♦ In "Loka Táttur," after Odin and Honir fail to answer the prayers of a farmer to keep his child hidden from a bad-ass troll, they give up completely. Loki, ever the Determinator, succeeds in protecting the kid and slays the troll, and is rewarded by the boy's parents with a big hug. Awww.
Really Gets Around:
♦ Freya gets around with anyone, while Loki gets around with anything.
With Friends Like These:
♦ You would think that, after a while, the Aesir would actually figure out that perhaps Loki could use some help. No wonder he turned against them eventually.
You Can't Fight Fate:
♦ Some retellings of Loki's role in Baldur's death use this to explain Loki's actions. After devouring the heart of a witch with the power of prophecy, he saw that he was destined to suffer a horrific punishment at the hands of the other gods before dying in Ragnarok. Since Loki knew You Can't Fight Fate, he figured he might as well do something to earn that punishment and make the other gods suffer.
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On Tricksters and Humour:
From "Mythical Trickster Figures" ed. by Hynes & Doty (Tuscaloosa, 1993)
"Why and how and at what people laugh is perhaps the most revealing of human actions." Oscar Wilde's remark about taking ourselves too seriously as the "world's original sin" ought not to be passed over too quickly, since much of American religiosity (whether pop or formal) has trouble with both the comic and the deceitful. Trickster figures graph ways of operating that go against the Western grain. Despite Augustine's dictum that good can come from evil, we are taught to reject almost automatically the suggestion that a deceitful figure - by the definitions of our society, morally bad - can bring about good.
We, who find the trickster's antics amusing, laugh not just at the underhandedness of the tricks, but precisely at their unpretentious straightforwardness. The trickster is sneaky, but overtly skillful about his trickery: if we approve only grudgingly, it is because we lack the respect for the trickster often found in cultures where there is great praise given to the combination of vital survival skill and hunting. For example Luckert suggests that for the Navajo the divine trickster was originally a "shrewd exemplary model for human tricksters" who hunted to survive. Likewise we tend to forget that even earlier, hunting was not a matter of leisure-time sport but of the raw trickery, focused attention, and creativity that is necessary for individual and societal survival, or that for the Greeks, skill in trickery was part of the ideal for masculine success in warfare, love affairs, and commerce.
Our own more recent repugnance toward cleverness and jesting stems from an ideology long regnant in the West. In The Comic Vision, Conrad Hyers cites, as typical of many other moralists, the eighteenth-century German philosopher Georg Friedrich Meier: "We are never to jest on or with things which, on account of their importance or weight, claim our utmost seriousness. There are things ... so great and important in themselves, as never to be thought of and mentioned but with much sedateness and solemnity. Laughter on such occasions is criminal and indecent.... For instance, all jests on religion, philosophy, and the like important subjects". While it is echoed in many familiar moralistic pronouncements, Meier's position represents a strongly contrasting mentality to the tales of trickster figures, who profane precisely the most sacred dimensions.
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