The Web Loki Wove [Part ½ of 4 Tricksters]

If comic books can start their series with – “Issue # ½” – then so can I! Except, I’m not beginning a comic series; I’m beginning a series of posts. Only four – so don’t get your panties in a bunch. 😉

Okay. So, I recently saw “The Avengers”. Loved it! But that’s not what this post is about. Well, not exactly. Okay, maybe a little, but we’ll get to that.

In both “The Avengers” and “Thor”, the character Loki intrigued me. This got me to thinking (always dangerous). This is the aftermath of said thoughts…

There are tons of different tricksters in mythology, according to different peoples.

For example;

  • Spider – Lakota
  • Crow – Aboriginal Australian
  • Rabbit – Cherokee
  • Raven – Alaskan
  • Kupua – Hawaiian

…and so on and so forth. I could go on for a while, here – seriously – Google it! However, I’m going to stick with four of the more prominent ones. They would be:

  1. Loki – Norse
  2. Coyote – Pomo and Miwok
  3. Kitsune [Fox] – Japanese
  4. Puka [or Pooka] – Celtic

Four different posts will now follow. One on each of the above Tricksters in mythology. They’ll be interspersed with other posts, so as not to wear you out on one subject. Even though it’s not really one subject. Just a bunch of different spider webs that combine to feed one spider.

Now, how did a psychotic character like Loki intrigue me, you ask?

This would bring us to the movies “Thor” and “The Avengers”, more so “Thor”. In the beginning of “Thor”, Loki is shown as mischievous. Not evil. His brother, Thor is depicted as an arrogant jerk who doesn’t treat Loki as his equal. After all, in the end of “Thor”, while Major Mental Breakdown on isle Loki was taking place, he did express, albeit quite violently, that all he ever wanted was to be Thor’s equal. By the end of the movie, Thor has learned his lesson, been humbled and realized his mistakes. Bringing him to become a better person.

Loki, on the other hand, hasn’t made that moral jump yet. He has lived his whole life with Thor treating him as if he were lesser. That’s all he’s got. Also, he’s just come to the realization that he’s not truly Thor’s brother. Or Odin’s son. He’s a frost giant; a monster hated and feared by Asgardians. Odin destroyed their attempt to murder all of humanity. They are lesser. These really aren’t issues that Loki’s fragile, acceptance and respect seeking mind needed at the time.

I’m really not sure what intrigues me so about Loki. I’m not too good at putting things like this into words. But for those of you who cannot read minds, I’ll try.

Maybe it’s his troubled state. He’s a character with some redeemability (Hawkeye was originally a villain – and how many of you totally love his character?). Loki’s whole purpose for going postal is needing approval and he has a kind of emotional heartbreak beneath all of the crazed, power hungry, anger. His complexity is intriguing. He has a sense of not belonging anywhere, being unloved, and utter abandonment. He’s majorly damaged.

Besides, he’s the god of mischief and chaos. I can’t help but like that.

But, then you know, he went crazy fascist and tried to get respect incorrectly; through the misuse of power.

I also happen to think Loki is a moron. Even a  little kid knows world domination never works! Have you ever seen an episode of the Power Puff Girls? I think Loki’s arrogance and self-serving demeanor are his greatest weakness – and obviously, character flaws. He talks about humans like our species is lesser, yet he hasn’t figured out a simple but key lesson that most of us already know. I think the Hulk should have thrown him around a bit longer. 😉

Arrogance always contains the seeds of its own undoing. ~Unknown

Still, I can’t help but wonder if he would have turned out differently if different circumstances were to have arisen. What if Thor hadn’t been the way he was? Would Loki have turned out better?

But what really irks me here, is the fact that Odin didn’t tell him what species he was from the beginning. That’s bloody damaging! Tell people the truth right off the bat. Telling Loki the truth when he was younger would have probably saved him a whole psychosis spat. It would have given him the acceptance he needed. He also needed it for his own self acceptance; which he lost once he realized he was the bastard son of the leader of the very monsters Odin’s species so loathed. And everyone knows that you can’t deal with ANYTHING until you have dealt with yourself and figured out who you are and where you stand.

Overall, I think it’s the depth of Loki. The vulnerability that he hides with bitter anger. The tragedy of his soul. His complexity. Redeemability. How damaged and in pain he is. You just wanna hug him. And shake him – but hey. Everyone’s got their little issues. He just happened to have access to different planets and inhuman powers.

I think I just told you that damaged people intrigue me. Greeeeeat. Take this as you will. Just remember that I’m also a multi-faceted individual, k?



Filed under The Odd Bit

11 responses to “The Web Loki Wove [Part ½ of 4 Tricksters]

  1. Pingback: Celtic Puka – 1 of 4 Tricksters | daphneshadows

  2. Hm… I haven’t seen the Avengers movie, actually. I read a lot of Norse mythology, and I’m still a bit cross at how off it is. Where is the bumbling, red-headed, constantly drunk Thor I grew up with?
    I’ve always had a soft spot for mythological Loki, though. For the Aesir, he was a handy tool when they needed him, but they treated him like trash when they didn’t. So I’m sure I’d feel bad for movie Loki too. It’s not easy being disliked for what you are.

    • I DEFINITELY agree with that last statement!
      I’m actually at the exact opposite point of you at the moment – I have seen the movies but haven’t fully researched the mythology yet. That’s next on my to do list. But from what I saw at first glance when searching for sources, I have to say I agree with you on the being used front as well. All was good as long as he was helpful.I think the movies got Loki’s inner struggles down well though.
      As far as the differences go, I believe they’re more following the comics than the mythology. I try to look at the mythology as one thing and the movies as something completely different. That way I can enjoy both. Thank you for your comment! I do believe you and I may be the only one’s who don’t loathe Loki lol. 😉

  3. I think the same can be said for most “villains”. The best villains should all have some redeeming qualities. It helps readers/viewers identify with them. Loki’s experiences helped shape who he is, a boy who only wanted the love of his father and brother. When he didn’t get it, his outlook changed. He decided he didn’t need anyone’s acceptance and love, and he would take it instead. He was going to prove to them how wrong they were for spurning him. In his mind, Loki is just as important as Odin. We can understand why Loki would want to take over the universe and humiliate his siblings. But it doesn’t mean we have to agree with his methods. That’s what makes his failure a cheering moment. He deserved what he got.

    Much of what makes a villain a villain is backstory. As a writer I know why my villain is bad, but can I put it on paper without boring the reader to death. Most writers already know that backstory can be a double-edged sword. Too much and the reader puts your book down, not enough and the reader may be confused or not connect with the character. As writers, we must pay as much attention to our villain as our hero. Without the villain our hero would not have started their journey in the first place. Hopefully you can pick out your villain’s motivations in your own writing, because the reader will.

    • That’s one of the reasons I love picking apart other characters, both written and on the screen. No one is all good or all bad. I can’t stand it when either are portrayed 100% one way or the other. And I totally agree – Loki did get what he deserved. He lost his compassion for others when his family didn’t show him the compassion he wanted. That was a wrong decision on his part.
      Thanks for the in-depth comment! 😉

  4. Unfortunately, I have not seen “The Avengers” yet, but I DID see “Thor”, and I can understand your take on Loki. I guess we are all drawn to tortured souls in one way or another. We want to be the superhero that can “fix” them. 😉

    • I think you read this right after I posted it too. Like I told Commander, who commented early too, I left out a couple of paragraphs when I posted it because I wrote it up in a Word document first. I edited them back in a few minutes ago.
      I think you hit it right on – people want to fix what has the possibility to be whole again. I definitely tend to want to do that. I do think Loki is semi-fixable (I still think he’s a moron though). I’m always wondering after fictional characters though because I wonder how mine will be seen by others, you know?
      Hope you get to see the Avengers soon – it was awesome. 🙂 I hope I didn’t put in any spoilers…

  5. I just found Loki to be arrogant and annoying. He may be complex, and suffer a tormented soul, but I think he is beyond redemption. I see it as his lack of compassion for my reasoning. Admitedly, I haven’t seen Thor since it’s cinema release, and may have forgotten some details. I’m basing my opinion mostly off The Avengers.
    The only hug I would want to give Loki is a great, big Hulk hug! 😛

    • You must have read this pretty early on after I posted it. After re-reading it to check for grammatical errors, I realized I left a few paragraphs out – I typed it up in Word and then pasted it onto WordPress. I got all discombobulated when putting in the images for some reason…
      I agree. I think Loki is a prick! His selfishness and arrogance irk me as well, believe you me. I wish they would have kept in one of the deleted scenes where Loki is acting quite jerk like to another Asgardian. I think that would have painted him less a tortured soul and more an annoying brat. He let what happened shape him into what he became – it was his choice. I loved it when the Hulk through him around! Knocked the pompous right out of him for a while.

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