I’m not a follower of Loki. I don’t hate him, like many; but something tells me that while Heathen lore probably makes some good points about Loki, it may also be slanted against him in much the same way I feel the lore was slanted to glorify death in combat. To what degree, I can’t be certain; and, since I don’t relate to Loki the way I do to Odin or others, I tend to leave Loki be. My farthest thoughts about Loki’s place among the Aesir places him as the omega wolf among the the Aesir pack (of which, Odin is the alpha). Anyone who has studied anything about wolves knows that the omega wolf is just as important as the alpha when it comes to the overall health of the pack. However, I try to be fair about most things, and I thought I would offer something in Loki’s defence: namely, how the lore would be without Loki in it ….
The Aesir lose the Aesir-Vanir war, and still manage to get the better end of the deal in hostage exchange, as before. Flowers eventually grow over the ruins of the wall that surrounded Asgard. Sif braids her beautiful hair the same way every day, and the gods make due with mundane weapons – not that they even need those, life is utterly
bor … placid in Asgard. Odin makes due with a four-legged horse … if he’s lucky, it turns out like Thor’s goats, and he can kill it and feed it to his wolves every night. If not, then Geri and Freki must remain hungry. Without Loki’s daughter, Asgard gets crowded pretty fast … good thing that the wall was never repaired, Asgard needs to expand! As urban sprawl finds its origin among the Asgardians, no one notices – everyone is too busy admiring the never-ending beauty of Baldr, who never has bad dreams. Hreidmar’s sons never know sorrow, and Hreidmar spends his life without any red gold … his son, Andvari, on the other hand, gets to keep all of his, along with his prized ring. By the time Ragnarok comes – by the time the hosts of Surt find their way to Asgard without anyone at the helm of their boats who knows the way – the inhabitants of Asgard, led by Odin, practically throw themselves on the swords of their enemies, so that their boredom will finally know an end. The gods that survive Ragnarok feel cheated, and go back to playing the same games they’ve been playing since they can remember. Grass and flowers growing back count as about the most exciting thing that happens. The End … no, wait, boredom like that never ends.
…. or ….
Without Loki in Asgard, someone has to fulfil the role Loki would have fulfilled; or else, as you can see above, there really is no story. Any volunteers? Anyone? Anyone? Here, then, might be an interesting exercise for Lokeans … as a way to explore Loki’s role and contribution to the stories of the gods, while also getting to know the other gods a little better … we can call this Stormwise’s Loki Lore Challenge (or whatever else you might want to call it): every month, explore the lore as it is, but switch Loki out with another god. You can make it a random god (this would seem to fit Loki’s sense of adventure); or you can start with Odin. Since Loki isn’t exactly bound by gender, feel free to switch him out with the goddesses, too! Play with the lore a little, and get to know it a lot. If you accept the challenge, and want to blog down some of your ideas and experiences, please feel free to leave a comment here with a link to what you’ve come up with :-)