Loki Year 2016: Who is Loki?

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Welcome to another installment of the Loki Year 2016! With a significant delay. Sorry! I moved to a Sherlock Home, and it was a mess. (Don’t try to move while working, it’s a nightmare!) Today we’re going to ask ourselves a simple and yet compelling question: who is Loki? We’re going to navigate the first chapter of Geek Anthropology of Loki’s Army and discover some stuff about Loki.

Do we really know who Loki is? We have different versions of the trickster: Norse Mythology, Marvel comics, the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) and lots of books inspired on Norse Mythology. We’ll take a look at Loki from the MCU, comics and a little bit of Norse Mythology and see some of the differences and what makes Hiddleston’s Loki so compelling.

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The MCU presents us a conflicted character, resented with his family and terribly sensitive; Loki is a timebomb. Adopted by Odin and Frigga, Loki doesn’t fit very well into Asgardian society. His looks are a little bit different (he is paler), or incredibly different if he lets his Jotun colors show up. Odin took him in after a war against Loki’s father. One theory states that this was a fatherly thing to do: Odin would have felt compelled to rescue a lonely baby that was presumably left alone to die. Another theory, however, sees Odin as a mastermind. He takes a hostage in his household and molds a future king: the king of Jotunheim. In giving him a proper education in the Asgardian way, he would then secure another kingdom under Asgardian control. [I personally go with this second theory. Odin doesn’t look like the open type, specially when he decides what to do without even consulting with his wife, the Queen! He commands alone. ]

From what we’ve seen in the extra scenes of the first movie, THOR, we know that Loki has suffered bullying by other folks in Asgard. He isn’t taken seriously because he is not a warrior: he deals with magic. He’s quite of a geek in that sense. Thor would be the example of the perfect Asgardian while Loki would be the shadow. So, the metaphor for geeks and jock in the American way is presented with the clash of these two characters.

But is there something else in Loki’s character that makes him a sensitive personality that might end up on the wrong path? Yes: his daddy issues and his age!

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Let’s start to acknowledge his young age, shall we? Remember that Asgardians live up to 5000 years? In THOR, Loki is around 1047 years old. This makes of him nothing else but a teenager! So, whatever tantrums he is throwing in Asgard, Midgard or elsewhere are due to his teenage years! And since he is super powerful, his tantrums have epic proportions. [Never mess around with him! Or you’ll get burned in no time!]

Now, let’s think about his daddy issues! He has Odin as the ultimate role model, so he wants to live up to his expectations. As we can see, Odin isn’t very open and very demanding. He wants to be the perfect son! Since he might be feeling less in comparison with Thor (remember the dance between jocks and geeks here), he feels that he needs to do something to look good in front of his father. So, he decides to make Thor look bad instead. And he fails. Simply because Odin has his mind already set up for him, and, whatever happens, things aren’t going to change!

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Without Loki, Thor wouldn’t be the hero we all know. Heroes only shine if their nemesis is compelling and have multilayered personalities. Since Loki is intelligent, multilayered, tricky and skillful, Thor is forced to take out his best qualities to surpass the villain. Highly evolved characters that earn a place of honor into our minds are the ones that are timeless and live into our imaginations forever. In THOR, we can see a very spoiled Thor, who does not understand what responsibility is. If it weren’t for the schemes of Loki, Thor would have never had his journey into the light. The same happens in the Avengers. If Loki hadn’t schemed, the Avengers would never have come up to life!

Loki also has identity issues. Think for a moment that you have believed to be an Asgardian for all your life, and suddenly you discover that you’re a Jotun. You’re not really a pink-skin, but a blue-skinned monster. Within Asgardian society, Jotuns are the monsters that come to scare kids at night! Loki has been raised to think of Jotuns as monsters, and in discovering he is one of those monsters, he breaks up in small little pieces. Who is he? A good Asgardian prince who holds all the Asgardian principles, or a monster? [Remember that he has this identity crisis while being a teenager!]

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Loki in the comics is pretty complicated. For starters: there are different versions of the character. We have an Old Loki (a trickster an evil character), a Kid Loki (sweet trickster who is adorable), a Young Loki (trickster who wants to be better and who finally becomes the God of stories). They are gender fluid. We can see that better in his last incarnation. He shifts from male to female when he wants (and for no reason apparently). Just because he feels like it. Old Loki is closer to Norse Mythology while Young Loki is a new interpretation closer to the MCU one (but not quite). He even looks like Tom Hiddleston! He is handsome, alluring and sassy. Maybe Marvel is using Marketing to have more female readers, or maybe it’s just a coincidence. [I think it’s more marketing than an innocent accident.]

So, who is Loki? Loki is who he wants to be. He is a multilayered character, too sensitive and too complicated as to be defined in just a sentence. Suffice to say that he is amazing! Want to know more about him? Read Geek Anthropology of Loki’s Army 😉


Next LOKIsday we’ll be discovering some lessons from the trickster himself! (From the “Gospel of Loki,” Lessons 1 to 3). Join us during this Loki Year 2016! Get Loki!

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What we know so far:

  1. Loki Year 2016: the Intro + downloadable pdf: go here.
  2. THOR, the movie.

Copyright: Images on this post (C) depepi.com (C) Marvel / Memes (C) by their owners.

About pepi

A Geek Girl interested in Geek Anthropology, comic books, books, Superheroes and discovering all about pop culture.

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