Aug. 23rd, 2012

loki: Loki, Alberich & Odin (Default)

"Norse by Norsevest" & "Somewhere Over the Rainbow Bridge" from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Season 5 (1998)

Hercules has a bad dream and goes north to save Balder from the scheming Loki. I have a high tolerance for cheese, but this exceeded my wildest expectations. To be fair, the show doesn't take itself too seriously and operates on a seriously tight budget, but there's a reason I always preferred its sister show Xena. The acting was especially terrible in these episodes, and everyone except possibly Hercules seemed to have been hit by the idiot ball. Let's go to town.

Loki is unusually blond in this version, but then, this is the north, where everyone is kinda blond, right?? He gets the bleach blond though, falling soundly into the Blond Guys Are Evil And Kinda Effeminate Too trope. He does some nice eye-rolling at Thor (who's perpetually angry at everything), but he's not a very convincing liar, so, fail. Like with Marvel, he's the jealous brother of Thor (and Balder), scheming to get them out of the way, with the help of frost giants (the budget doesn't stretch to seeing more than some spidery claws onscreen).

Balder is nice to the mortals, but Thor learns a Very Valuable Lesson by the end that he has to as well. The Vikings and Norse Gods are both fond of the practice of hitting one another for fun and Hercules lectures them on how it's terribly uncivilised of them. It's the cold that makes them like that apparently. Oh, and there's the most anti-climactic Ragnarok ever, but don't worry, there's a reset button, because the Norns can't really see into the future. Or something. It's all pretty entertaining anyway.

I think the best line (and the best acted) of the story was Loki's: "I haaaate it when a plan falls apart!" *runs away*

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loki: Loki, Alberich & Odin (Default)
Loki Bound by W. G. Collingwood

Loki Bound by W. G. Collingwood (1908)

Loki's Wife by Ros Barber

I hold the bowl over my husband’s face 
to catch the drip of venom, this drooling snake 
they fixed up over him.  A bitter waste 
of man, my man, for a simple prank.  I ache 
for the god in him, tied down, immovable 
as fate.  For my husband’s sake I give up me, 
for my husband’s sake I stay.  My hands are full; 
my devotion now his only sanity.

I hold the bowl until it brims, then run 
outside and pour the acid through the dust. 
As long as I’m gone, my husband screams and writhes, 
the corrosion eating deep into face and eyes 
I used to know.  But we are both changed:  by sound, 
by sight, by the daily rhythms we know by rote. 
I’m bound by duty, just as he is bound, 
the cords not at my wrists, but in his throat.

I hold the bowl, empty the bowl.  This chore 
that brutalises, sanctifies.  And the dish 
between us shields me too, from glimpsing the raw 
shells of his sockets, his sores, his ravaged flesh. 
But I must face the snake, cold-blooded beast 
that spells it out:  we are all meat beneath. 
What did I do?  How did our lives entwine 
that his eternal punishment is mine?

I hold the bowl.  No one in their right mind 
would do this forever, watching the thrust and twitch 
of muscular flank and spine, one creature’s writhe 
reflecting the other.   Memories flake and itch:
my husband’s hands before they were bound, the slake 
of his lips pre-blister, his shoulderblades, his sleaze. 
All I have left is the soft shank of the snake, 
tormenting me with possibilities.

I hold the bowl.  Each time I go outside 
it takes a little longer to empty.  This 
venom, its milky sweet-sourness.  And the wide 
mouth of the serpent dripping like a kiss. 
But the venom, its acrid scent, remember me, 
it says, remember nights mopping your thighs, 
crying for more?  
The snake hangs patiently,
its mischievous eyes soldering on to mine.

I hold the bowl limp at my side and watch 
its contents scorch into the earth.  What for? 
This is not the life I chose.  I can’t ignore 
the taste in my mouth, the absence in my crotch. 
And suddenly, I’m miles away, my feet 
bleeding with joy, my nostrils thick with musk. 
The wind in my lungs croons to the fading beat 
of his blindness calling, calling, through the dusk.

Source

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loki: Loki, Alberich & Odin (Default)
No figure in literature, oral or written, baffles us quite as much as the trickster. He is positively identified with creative powers, often bringing such defining features of culture as fire or basic food, and yet constantly behaves in the most antisocial manner we can imagine. Although we laugh at him for his troubles and his foolishness and are embarrassed by his promiscuity, his creative cleverness amazes us and keeps alive the possibility of transcending the social restrictions we regularly encounter.

― Barbara Babcock-Abrahams, "A Tolerated Margin of Mess: The Trickster and his Tales Reconsidered," Journal of the Folklore Institute 11/3 (1975): 147
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one hundred and one lokis!

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