“A lot of people don’t realise this, but the texts we usually consider “canon” about the Nordic myths were actually written 200-300 years after the vikings, by Christians who put a christian spin on the stories.
Before the Christians people didn’t believe that warriors went to Valhalla and the sick/old/women/children to the underworld Hel. The vikings seem to have believed that everybody went to Hel, but Christians turned Valhalla into a kind of Heaven and Hel into Hell.
The jotuns (giants) didn’t seem to be evil either. There is evidence to suggest that people worshipped jotuns alongside the gods, and some even claimed to be related to jotuns. The gods ruled culture, and the jotuns nature. But the Christians were obsessed with the idea of good vs. evil, and turned the jotuns into devils.
And then there’s Loki. The few texts written by the vikings themselves never call Loki evil, just a trickster who acted first and thought later. Even the later christian texts can’t agree on how evil Loki was. For example, in two versions of Balder’s death Loki isn’t even mentioned, while he is the big evil mastermind behind it all in another. Christians wanted a Devil, and Loki was an easy pick.”
Nordic! Loki was my first love… And along came Hiddles! Loki, and everything was shot to hell.
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.
[ tumblr entry ]
Seeing lydia livestreaming her Sleipnir drawing last night drawing made me want to draw Norse!Loki. When I was like 10 and reading about norse mythology this is what my mind conjured up for him and it’s stayed about the same in my mind since then. Androgynous ginger kids woo!
ANYWAY i guess I’ll go draw other things now siiigh
I like this Loki very, VERY much.
There’s something about his nose, his eyes, even about his pose that makes him seem inhuman, that brings the wilds and the woods to mind, and that is the Loki I know, that is the one I see.
I love this so much. Nice work. ♥
The wilds and the woods!
I love how kid!Loki is trying to be a force for good in this lifetime, but basically lies, cheats and tricks his way through achieving these goals, which often have negative side-consequences. Making enemies of former allies, and, well, enemies of former enemies. I think Volstagg is coming around, though.
What do you do when you have, on the face of it, a clean slate to begin afresh, but a dark past that won't go away? Is it tempting sometimes?