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Loki Laufeyjarson

Also Known As: "Loki", "Loki of Jotunheim", "Loki Laufeyarson"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Jötunheimr
Death: Died in Ragnarök
Immediate Family:

Son of Fárbauti and Laufey or Nál
Husband of Sigyn
Partner of Angrboða and Svaðilfari the stallion
Father of Váli Lokason; Narfi or Nari Lokason; Fenrir the wolf.; Hel, ruler of Hel; Jörmungandr the Midgard Serpent and 1 other
Brother of Býleistr Jötunn and Helblindi Jötunn
Half brother of Helblindi Jötunn

Occupation: Trickster
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Loki

In Norse mythology, Loki is a god or jötunn (giant), or both. Loki's relation with the gods varies by source. Loki assists the gods, and sometimes causes problems for them. Loki is a shape shifter and in separate incidents he appears in the form of a salmon and a mare. Loki's positive relations with the gods ends with his role in engineering the death of the god Balder. Loki is eventually bound by the gods with the entrails of one of his sons. A serpent drips venom from above him that his wife Sigyn collects into a bowl. However, Sigyn must empty the bowl when it is full, and the venom that drops in the mean time causes Loki to writhe in pain. During the events of Ragnarök, Loki is foretold to fight against the gods among the forces of the jötnar. There, he will encounter the god Heimdallr and the two will slay each other.

Loki is the son of Fárbauti and Laufey, and the brother of Helblindi and Býleistr. By the jötunn Angrboða, Loki is the father of Hel, the wolf Fenrir, and the world serpent Jörmungandr. By Sigyn, Loki is the father of Nari and/or Narfi. By the stallion Svaðilfari, Loki is the mother of the eight-legged horse Sleipnir. In addition, Loki is referred to as the father of Váli in the Prose Edda.

Loki is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources; the Prose Edda and Heimskringla, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson; the Norwegian Rune Poem, in the poetry of skalds, and in Scandinavian folklore. Loki may be depicted on the Snaptun Stone, the Kirkby Stephen Stone, and the Gosforth Cross. Scholars have proposed theories about the origins and development of Loki, the implications of the lore surrounding him, a possible connection between Loki and air or fire, and that he may be the same figure as the god Lóðurr.

In stanza 35 of the Poetic Edda poem Völuspá, a völva tells Odin that, among many other things, she sees Sigyn sitting very unhappily with her bound husband, Loki, under a "grove of hot springs". In stanza 51, during the events of Ragnarök, Loki appears free from his binds and is referred to as the "brother of Býleistr"

The poem Lokasenna (Old Norse "Loki's Quarrel") centers around Loki flyting with other gods; Loki puts forth two stanzas of insults while the receiving figure responds with a single stanza, and then another figure chimes in. The poem begins with a prose introduction detailing that Ægir, a figure associated with the sea, is hosting a feast in his hall for a number of the gods and elves. At the feast, the gods praise Ægir's servers Fimafeng and Eldir. Loki "could not bear to hear that", and kills the servant Fimafeng. In response, the gods grab their shields, shrieking at Loki, and chased him out of the hall and to the woods. The gods then return to the hall, and continue drinking

Loki comes out of the woods, and meets Eldir outside of the hall. Loki greets Eldir (and the poem itself begins) with a demand that Eldir tell him what the gods are discussing over their ale inside the hall. Eldir responds that they discuss their "weapons and their prowess in war" and yet no one there has anything friendly to say about Loki. Loki says that he will go into the feast, and that, before the end of the feast, he will induce quarrelling among the gods, and "mix their mead with malice". Eldir responds that "if shouting and fighting you pour out on" to the gods, "they'll wipe it off on you". Loki then enters the hall, and everyone there falls silent upon noticing him.

Breaking the silence, Loki says that, thirsty, he had come to these halls from a long way away to ask the gods for a drink of "the famous mead". Calling the gods arrogant, Loki asks why they are unable to speak, and demands that they assign him a seat and a place for him at the feast, or tell him to leave. The skaldic god Bragi is the first to respond to Loki by telling him that Loki will not have a seat and place assigned to him by the gods at the feast, for the gods know what men they should invite. Loki does not respond to Bragi directly, but instead directs his attention to Odin, and states:

Do you remember, Odin, when in bygone days

we mixed our blood together?

You said you would never drink ale

unless it were brought to both of us.

Odin then asks his silent son Víðarr to sit up, so that the Loki (here referred to as the "wolf's father") may sit at the feast, and so that he may not speak words of blame to the gods in Ægir's hall. Víðarr stands, pours a drink for Loki. Prior to drinking, Loki exclaims a toasts to the gods, while a specific exception for Bragi. Bragi responds that he will give a horse, sword, and ring from his possessions so that he does not repay the gods "with hatred". Loki responds that Bragi will always be short of all of these things, accusing him of being "wary of war" and "shy of shooting". Bragi responds that, were they outside of Ægir's hall, Bragi would be holding Loki's head as a reward for his lies. Loki replies that Bragi is brave when seated, calling him a "bench-ornament", and that Bragi would run away when troubled by an angry, spirited man.

The goddess Iðunn interrupts, asking Bragi to, as a service to his relatives and adopted relatives, not say words of blame to Loki in Ægir's hall. Loki tells Iðunn to be silent, calling stating that she is the most "man-crazed" of all women, and that she placed her washed, bright arms around her brother's slayer. Iðunn says that she won't say words of blame in Ægir's hall, and states that she quietened Bragi, who was made talkative by beer, and that she doesn't want the two of them to fight. The goddess Gefjun interjects, asking why the two gods must fight, and states that Loki knows that he is joking, and that "all living things love him." Loki responds to Gefjun by stating that Gefjun's heart was once seduced by a "white boy" who gave her a jewel, and who Gefjun laid her thigh over.

Odin says that Loki must be insane to make Gefjun his enemy, as her wisdom about the fates of men may equal Odin's own. Loki says that Odin does a poor job in handing out honor in war to men, and that he's often given victory to the faint-hearted. In response, Odin states that even if this is true, in a story otherwise unattested, that Loki once spent eight winters beneath the earth as a woman milking cows, and during this time bore children, which Odin declares perverse. Loki counters that Odin once practiced seiðr on the island of Samsey (now Samsø, Denmark), and, appearing as a wizard, traveled among mankind, which Loki condemns as perverse.

Frigg, a major goddess and Odin's wife, says that what Loki and Odin did in the ancient past should not be spoken of in front of others, and that ancient matters should always remain hidden. Loki brings up that Frigg is the daughter of Fjörgyn, a personification of the earth, and that she had once taken Odin's brothers Vili and Vé into her embrace. Frigg responds that if there was a boy like her now-deceased son Baldr in the hall, that Loki would not be able to escape from their wrath of the gods. Loki reminds Frigg that he is responsible for the death of her son Baldr.

The goddess Freyja declares that Loki must be mad, stating that Frigg knows all fate, yet she does not speak it. Loki claims each of the gods and elves that are present have been Freyja's lover. Freyja states that Loki is lying, that he just wants to "yelp about wicked things", that gods and goddess are furious with him, and that he will go home thwarted. In response, Loki calls Freyja a malicious witch, and claims an otherwise unattested scenario where Freyja was once astride her brother Freyr, when all of the other laughing gods surprised her, and Freyja farts. Njörðr (Freyja and Freyr's father) says that it is harmless for a woman to have a lover or "someone else" beside her husband, and that what is surprising is a "pervert god coming here who has borne children."

Loki tells Njörðr to be silent, references Njörðr's status as once having been a hostage from the Vanir to the Æsir during the Æsir-Vanir War, and relates an otherwise unattested comment about the "daughters of Hymir"having once used Njörðr "as a pisspot"; urinating in his mouth. Njörðr responds that this was his reward when he was sent as a hostage to the Æsir, and that he fathered his son (Freyr), who no one hates, and is considered a price of the Æsir. Loki tells Njörðr to maintain his moderation, and that he won't keep it secret any longer that Njörðr fathered this son with his unnamed sister, although one would expect him to be worse than he turned out.

The god Tyr, who is (according to the prose introduction to the poem) now one-handed from having his arm bitten off by Loki's son Fenrir while Fenrir was bound, defends Freyr, to which Loki replies that Tyr should be silent, for Tyr cannot "deal straight with people", and points out that that the Loki's son, the wolf Fenrir, tore Tyr's hand off. Tyr responds that while he may have lost a hand, Loki has lost the wolf, and trouble has come to them both. Further, that Fenrir must now wait in shackles until the onset of Ragnarök. Loki tells Tyr to be silent a second time, and states that Tyr's otherwise unattested wife had a son by Loki, and that Tyr never received any compensation for this "injury", further calling him a "wretch".

Freyr himself interjects at this point, and says that he sees a wolf lying before a river mouth, and that, unless Loki is immediately silent, like the wolf, Loki shall also be bound until Ragnarök. Loki retorts that Freyr purchased his consort Gerðr with gold, having given away his sword, which he will lack at Ragnarök. Byggvir (referred to in the prose introduction to the poem as a servant of Freyr) says that if he had as noble a lineage and as an honorable a seat as Freyr, he would grind down Loki, and make all of his limbs lame. Loki refers to Byggvir in terms of a dog, and says that Byggvir is always found at Freyr's ears, or twittering beneath a grindstone. Byggvir says that he's proud to be here by all the gods and men, and that he's said to be speedy. Loki tells him to be silent, that Byggvir does not know how to apportion food among men, and that he hides among the straw and dais when men go to battle

The god Heimdallr says that Loki is drunk and witless, and asks Loki why he won't stop speaking. Loki tells Heimdallr to be silent, that he was fated a "hateful life", that Heimdallr must always have a muddy back, and serve as watchman of the gods. The goddess Skaði says that while Loki now appears light-hearted, and with "playing" with his "tail-wagging", he will soon be bound with his ice-cold son's guts on a sharp rock by the gods. Loki says that, even if this is his fate, that he was "first and foremost" at the killing of the Skaði's father, jötnar Þjazi, with the other gods. Skaði says that, with these events in mind, "baneful advice" will always come from her "sanctuaries and plains" to Loki. Loki says that Skaði was once gentler in speech to he (referring to himself as the "son of Laufey") when Skaði once invited him to her bed (an event that is unattested elsewhere), and that such events must be mentioned if they are to recall "shameful deeds".

Sif, wife of Thor, goes forth and pours Loki a glass of mead into a crystal cup in a prose narrative. Continuing the poem, Sif welcomes Loki and invites him to take a crystal cup filled with ancient mead, and says that among the children of the Æsir, she is singularly blameless. Loki "takes the horn", drinks it, and says that she would be, if it were so, and states that Sif had a lover beside Thor; Loki himself (an event that is otherwise unattested). Beyla (referred to in the prose introduction to the poem as a servant of Freyr) says that all of the mountains are shaking, that she thinks Thor must be on his way home, and when Thor arrives he will bring peace to those that quarrel there. Loki tells Beyla to be silent, that she is "much imbued with malice", that no worse female has ever been among the "Æsir's children", and calling her a "shitty serving-wench".

Thor arrives, and tells Loki to be silent, referring to him as an "evil creature", stating that with his hammer Mjöllnir he will silence Loki by hammering his head from his shoulders. Loki notes that Thor has arrived, asks Thor why he is raging, and says that Thor won't be so bold to fight against the wolf when he swallows Odin at Ragnarök. Thor again tells Loki to be silent, and threatens him with Mjöllnir, adding that he will throw Loki "up on the roads to the east", and thereafter no one will be able to see Loki. Loki states that Thor should never brag of Thor's journeys to the east, detailing that there Thor crouched cowering in the thumb of a glove, mockingly referring to Thor as a "hero", and adding that such behaviour was unlike Thor. Thor responds by telling Loki to be silent, threatening him with Mjöllnir, and adding that every one of Loki's bones will be broken with it. Loki says he intends to live for a long while yet despite Thor's threats, and taunts Thor about an encounter Thor once had with the jötnar Skrýmir (Útgarða-Loki in disguise). Thor again commands Loki to be silent, threatens Loki with Mjöllnir, and says he will send Loki to Hel, below the gates Nágrind.

In response to Thor, Loki says that he "spoke before the Æsir", and "before the sons of the Æsir" what his "spirit urged" him to say, yet before Thor alone he will leave, as he knows that Thor does strike. Loki ends the poetic verses of Lokasenna with a final stanza:

Ale you brewed, Ægir, and you will never again hold a feast;

all your possessions which are here inside—

may flame play over them,

and may your back be burnt!

Following this final stanza a prose section details that after Loki left the hall, he disguised himself as a salmon and hid in the waterfall of Franangrsfors, where the Æsir caught him. The narrative continues that Loki was bound with the innards of his son Nari, yet his son Narfi changed into a wolf. Skaði fastens a venomous snake over Loki's face, and from it poison dripped. Sigyn, wife of Loki, sat with him holding a basin beneath the dripping venom, yet when the basin became full, she carried the poison away; and during this time the poison dripped on to Loki, causing him to writhe with such violence that all of the earth shook from the force, resulting in what are now known as earthquakes.

In the poem Þrymskviða, Thor wakes and finds that his powerful hammer, Mjöllnir, is missing. Thor turns to Loki first, and tells him that nobody knows that the hammer has been stolen. The two then go to the court of the goddess Freyja, and Thor asks her if he may borrow her feather cloak so that he may attempt to find Mjöllnir. Freyja agrees, saying she'd lend it even if it were made of silver and gold, and Loki flies off, the feather cloak whistling.

In Jötunheimr, the jötunn Þrymr sits on a burial mound, plaiting golden collars for his female dogs, and trimming the manes of his horses. Þrymr sees Loki, and asks what could be amiss among the Æsir and the Elves; why is Loki alone in the Jötunheimr? Loki responds that that he has bad news for both the elves and the Æsir - that Thor's hammer, Mjöllnir, is gone. Þrymr says that he has hidden Mjöllnir eight leagues beneath the earth, from which it will be retrieved, unless Freyja is brought to him as his wife. Loki flies off, the feather cloak whistling, away from Jötunheimr and back to the court of the gods.

Thor asks Loki if his efforts were successful, and that Loki should tell him while he's still in the air as "tales often escape a sitting man, and the man lying down often barks out lies." Loki states that it was indeed an effort, and also a success, for he has discovered that Þrymr has the hammer, but that it cannot be retrieved unless Freyja is brought to Þrymr as his wife. The two return to Freyja, and tell her to dress herself in a bridal head dress, as they will drive her to Jötunheimr. Freyja, indignant and angry, goes into a rage, causing all of the halls of the Æsir to tremble in her anger, and her necklace, the famed Brísingamen, falls from her. Freyja pointedly refuses.

As a result, the gods and goddesses meet and hold a thing to discuss and debate the matter. At the thing, the god Heimdallr puts forth the suggestion that, in place of Freyja, Thor should be dressed as the bride, complete with jewels, women's clothing down to his knees, a bridal head-dress, and the necklace Brísingamen. Thor rejects the idea, and Loki (here described as "son of Laufey") interjects that this will be the only way to get back Mjöllnir, and points out that without Mjöllnir, the jötnar be able to invade and settle in Asgard. The gods dress Thor as a bride, and Loki states that he will go with Thor as his maid, and that the two shall drive to Jötunheimr together.

After riding together in Thor's goat-driven chariot, the two, disguised, arrive in Jötunheimr. Þrymr commands the jötnar in his hall to spread straw on the benches, for Freyja has arrived to be his wife. Þrymr recounts his treasured animals and objects, stating that Freyja was all that he was missing in his wealth.

Early in the evening, the disguised Loki and Thor meet in the with the Þrymr and the assembled jötnar. Thor eats and drinks ferociously, consuming entire animals and three casks of mead. Þrymr finds the behaviour at odds with his impression of Freyja, and Loki, sitting before Þrymr and appearing as a "very shrewd maid", makes the excuse that "Freyja's" behaviour is due to her having not consumed anything for eight entire days before arriving due to her eagerness to arrive. Þrymr then lifts "Freyja's" veil and wants to kiss "her" until catching the terrifying eyes staring back at him, seemingly burning with fire. Loki states that this is because "Freyja" had not slept for eight nights in her eagerness.

The "wretched sister" of the jötnar appears, asks for a bridal gift from "Freyja", and the jötnar bring out Mjöllnir to "sanctify the bride", to lay it on her lap, and marry the two by "the hand" of the goddess Vár. Thor laughs internally when he sees the hammer, takes hold of it, strikes Þrymr, beats all of the jötnar, and kills the "older sister" of the jötnar.

Loki appears in both prose and the first six stanzas of the poem Reginsmál. The prose introduction to Reginsmál details that, while the hero Sigurd was being fostered by Regin, son of Hreidmar, Regin tells him that once the gods Odin, Hœnir, and Loki went to Andvara-falls, which contained many fish. Regin, a dwarf, had two brothers; Andvari, who gained food by spending time in the Andvara-falls in the form of a pike, and Ótr, who would often go to the Andvara-falls in the form of an otter.

While the three gods are at the falls, Ótr (in the form of an otter) catches a salmon and eats it on a river bank, his eyes shut, when Loki hits and kills him with a stone. The gods think that this is great, and flay the skin from the otter to make a bag. That night, the three gods stay with Hreidmar (the father of Regin, Andvari, and the now-dead Ótr) and show him their catches, including the skin of the otter. Upon seeing the skin, Regin and Hreidmar "seized them and made them ransom their lives" in exchange for filling the otterskin bag the gods had made with gold and covering the exterior of the bag with red gold.

Loki is sent to retrieve the gold, and Loki goes to the goddess Rán, borrows her net, and then goes back to the Andvara-falls. At the falls, Loki spreads his net before Andvari (who is in the form of a pike), which Andvari jumps into. The stanzas of the poem then begin: Loki mocks Andvari, and tells him that he can save his head by telling Loki where his gold is. Andvari gives some background information about himself, including that he was cursed by a "norn of misfortune" in his "early days". Loki responds by asking Andvari "what requitel" does mankind get if "they wound each other with words". Andvari responds that lying men receive a "terrible requital": having to wade in the river Vadgelmir, and that their suffering will be long.

Loki looks over the gold that Andvari possesses, and after Andvari hands over all of his gold, Andvari holds on to but a single ring; the ring Andvarinaut, which Loki also takes. Andvari, now in the form of a dwarf, goes into a rock, and tells Loki that the gold will result in the death of two brothers, will cause strife between eight princes, and will be useless to everyone.

Loki returns, and the three gods give Hreidmar the money from the gold hoard and flatten out the otter skin, stretch out its legs, and heap gold atop it, covering it. Hreidmar looks it over, and notices a single hair that has not been covered. Hreidmar demands that it be covered as well. Odin puts forth the ring Andvarinaut, covering the single hair.

Loki states that they have now handed over the gold, and that gold is cursed as Andvari is, and that it will be the death of Hreidmar and Regin both. Hreidmar responds that if he had known this before, he would have taken their lives, yet that he believes those are not yet born whom the curse is intended for, and that he doesn't believe him. Further, with the hoard, he will have red gold for the rest of his life. Hreidmar tells them to leave, and the poem continues without further mention of Loki.

Loki first appears in the Prose Edda in chapter 20 of the book Gylfaginning, where he is referred to as the "ás called Loki" while the enthroned figure of Third explains to "Gangleri" (King Gylfi in disguise) the goddess Frigg's prophetic abilities while citing a stanza of Lokasenna.


"The children of Loki" (1920) by Willy PoganyLoki is more formally introduced by High in chapter 34, where he is "reckoned among the Æsir", and High states that Loki is called by some "the Æsir's calumniator", "originator of deceits", and "the disgrace of all gods and men". High says that Loki's alternative name is Lopt, that he is the son of the male jötunn Farbauti, his mother is "Laufey or Nál", and his brothers are Helblindi and Býleistr. High describes Loki as "pleasing and handsome" in appearance, malicious in character, "very capricious in behaviour", and as possessing "to a greater degree than others" learned cunning, and "tricks for every purpose", often getting the Æsir into trouble, and then getting them out of it with his trickery. Loki's wife is named Sigyn, and they have a son named "Nari or Narfi". Otherwise, Loki had three children with the female jötunn Angrboða from Jötunheimr; the wolf Fenrir, the serpent Jörmungandr, and the female being Hel. The gods realized that these three children were being raised in Jötunheimr, and expected trouble from them partially due to the nature of Angrboða, but worse yet Loki. In chapter 35, Gangleri comments that Loki produced a "pretty terrible"—yet important—family.

In chapter 42, High tells a story set "right at the beginning of the gods' settlement, when the gods at established Midgard and built Val-Hall." The story is about an unnamed builder who has offered to build a fortification for the gods that will keep out invaders in exchange for the goddess Freyja, the sun, and the moon. After some debate, the gods agree to these conditions, but place a number of restrictions on the builder, including that he must complete the work within three seasons without the help of any man. The builder makes a single request; that he may have help from his stallion Svaðilfari, and due to Loki's influence, this is allowed. The stallion Svaðilfari performs twice the deeds of strength as the builder, and hauls enormous rocks—to the surprise of the gods. The builder, with Svaðilfari, makes fast progress on the wall, and three days before the deadline of summer, the builder is nearly at the entrance to the fortification. The gods convene, and figure out who is responsible, resulting in a unanimous agreement that, along with most trouble, Loki is to blame (here referred to as Loki Laufeyjarson—his surname derived from his mother's name, Laufey).


"Loki and Svadilfari" (1909) by Dorothy HardyThe gods declare that Loki deserves a horrible death if he cannot find a scheme that will cause the builder to forfeit his payment, and threaten to attack him. Loki, afraid, swears oaths that he will devise a scheme to cause the builder to forfeit the payment, whatever it may cost himself. That night, the builder drives out to fetch stone with his stallion Svaðilfari, and out from a wood runs a mare. The mare neighs at Svaðilfari, and "realizing what kind of horse it was," Svaðilfari becomes frantic, neighs, tears apart his tackle, and runs towards the mare. The mare runs to the wood, Svaðilfari follows, and the builder chases after. The two horses run around all night, causing the building work to be stop for the night. The previous momentum of building work that the builder had been able to maintain is not continued.

The builder goes into a rage, and when the Æsir realize that the builder is a hrimthurs, they disregard their previous oaths with the builder, and call for Thor. Thor arrives, and subsequently kills the builder by smashing the builder's skull into shards with the hammer Mjöllnir. However, Loki "had such dealings" with Svaðilfari that "somewhat later" Loki gives birth to a gray foal with eight legs; the horse Sleipnir—"the best horse among gods and men."

In chapter 44, Third reluctantly relates a tale where Thor and Loki are riding in Thor's chariot, which is pulled by his two goats. Loki and Thor stop at the house of a peasant farmer, and there they are given lodging for a night. Thor slaughters his goats, prepares them, puts them in a pot, and Loki and Thor sit down for their evening meal. Thor invites the peasant family who own the farm to share with him the meal he has prepared. Afterward, the peasant child Þjálfi sucks the bone marrow from one of the goat bones, and when Thor goes to resurrect the goats, he finds one of the goats to be lame. In their terror, the family atones to Thor by giving Thor their son Þjálfi and their daughter Röskva.


"I am the giant Skrymir" by Elmer Boyd SmithMinus the goats, Thor, Loki, and the two children continue east until they arrive at a vast forest in Jötunheimr. They continue through the woods until dark. The four seek shelter for the night. They encounter an immense building. Finding shelter in a side room, they experience earthquakes through the night. The earthquakes cause all four but Thor, who grips his hammer in preparation of defense, to be fearful. The building turns out to be the huge glove of Skrymir, who has been snoring throughout the night, causing what seemed to be earthquakes. All four sleep beneath an oak tree near Skrymir in fear.

Thor wakes up in the middle of the night, and a series of events occur where Thor twice attempts to destroy the sleeping Skrymir with his hammer. Skrymir awakes after each attempt, only to say that he detected an acorn falling on his head or that he wonders if bits of tree from the banches above have fallen on top of him. The second attempt awakes Skrymir. Skrymir gives them advice; if they are going to be cocky at the castle of Útgarðr it would be better for them to turn back now, for Útgarða-Loki's men there won't put up with it. Skrymir throws his knapsack onto his back and abruptly goes into the forest and "there is no report that the Æsir expressed hope for a happy reunion".

The four travelers continue their journey until midday. They find themselves facing a massive castle in an open area. The castle is so tall that they must bend their heads back to their spines to see above it. At the entrance to the castle is a shut gate, and Thor finds that he cannot open it. Struggling, all four squeeze through the bars of the gate, and continue to a large hall. Inside the great hall are two benches, where many mostly large people sitting on two benches. The four see Útgarða-Loki, the king of the castle, sitting. Útgarða-Loki slowly turns to greet them, mocking Thor. Útgarða-Loki says that no visitors are allowed to stay unless they can perform a feat. Loki, standing in the rear of the party, is the first to speak. Loki says "I know a feat that I am quite prepared to go at, that there is no one inside here who can eat his food quicker than I.


From Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loki

'In Norse mythology, Loki is a god or jötunn (or both). Loki's relation with the gods varies by source. Loki assists the gods, and sometimes causes problems for them. Loki is a shape shifter and in separate incidents he appears in the form of a salmon and a mare. Loki's positive relations with the gods ends with his role in engineering the death of the god Baldr. Loki is eventually bound by the gods with the entrails of one of his sons. A serpent drips venom from above him that his wife Sigyn collects into a bowl. However, Sigyn must empty the bowl when it is full, and the venom that drips in the mean time causes Loki to writhe in pain, thereby causing earthquakes. During the events of Ragnarök, Loki is foretold to fight against the gods among the forces of the jötnar. There, he will encounter the god Heimdallr and the two will slay each other.'

'Loki is the son of Fárbauti and Laufey, and the brother of Helblindi and Býleistr. By the jötunn Angrboða, Loki is the father of Hel, the wolf Fenrir, and the world serpent Jörmungandr. By Sigyn, Loki is the father of Nari and/or Narfi. The stallion Svaðilfari as the father, Loki gave birth—in the form of a mare—to the eight-legged horse Sleipnir. In addition, Loki is referred to as the father of Váli in the Prose Edda.'

'Loki is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources; the Prose Edda and Heimskringla, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson; the Norwegian Rune Poem, in the poetry of skalds, and in Scandinavian folklore. Loki may be depicted on the Snaptun Stone, the Kirkby Stephen Stone, and the Gosforth Cross. Scholars have proposed theories about the origins and development of Loki, the implications of the lore surrounding him, a possible connection between Loki and air or fire, and that he may be the same figure as the god Lóðurr.'