Tuesday, November 19, 2013

On what a book called "Loki's Daughters" should be like

[Before I get to the actual post, thank you person to donate number three. You are much appreciated as is your help.  It's beginning to look like all will not come to ruin.]
[Originally posted at Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.]

A book called "Loki's Daughters" that was actually about Loki's daughters would, potentially, be awesome.
"But," you say, "Loki has only one attested daughter. The others are all sons or half mortal people born during Loki's eight years as a milkmaid whose names and genders are not given."
Well, one could always make shit up. Set it in the present day if you like.
For but one possible example:
The protagonists are three young women, twins and their younger sister. As they grow older things get weird and their mother eventually has to sit them down and explain:
Ok, so, my original name was Loki and I happen to be a frost giant though the blood of the all-father flows through my, and thus your, veins. That could mean that growing up for you will be a little... different than it is for most girls.
Also, since I'm coming clean, you have siblings. The mortal ones are long since gone but you've still got half brothers and a half sister. Your brothers are an eight legged horse, a giant wolf, and a serpent that encircles the earth. Your sister is in charge of the underworld.
I didn't tell you this before because I wanted you to have a chance at a normal life. That obviously failed.
Now, I have to go. The cows won't milk themselves.
(But better written and less exposition dumpy.)



  1. From the title, I was thinking "dad raised us to be treacherous and evil like him, but that sounds like a really stupid idea". But I like your approach too.

    1. The problem with any mythology, even Christian Mythology which is that of the dominant culture for the periods our records tend to be from, is that we don't have enough of it. It's fragmentary at best.

      That said, Loki is primarily not evil. That's the end of of the story. For the bulk of the story Loki is a simple trickster figure who generally saves the day. Plus the things done to the Loki and his/her family by the people he ends up opposing are pretty bad in themselves so, if you accept the idea of blood debt (I recommend you don't) he might not be evil at all.

      [content note for gruesome]
      Loki provided the weapon that killed Baldr for reasons we don't understand and is presumed to be the one who stopped Baldr from getting a get out of the afterlife free card. Pretty bad.

      For this sin Loki is eventually bound with the entrails of one of his sons. He's not the one who took the entrails out, people generally need their entrails, one of his sons was slaughtered and torn apart by the other side.

      He just got Baldr killed by a single spear strike. The other side ripped open his son and ripped out his son's guts.

      [/content note for grusome]

      It's not clear when that happened, but the whole kidnapping of his other children, sending one of the them straight to the underworld never to return, binding another so he couldn't move (something we don't even do to people in solitary), and throwing the last to earth (which doesn't seem all that bad although we don't know the details of the landing,) happened first.

      Now, again, we don't have enough of the myth. It has been suggested that this was a sort of hostage transfer, in which case it's not kidnapping though the treatment of the one they bound totally goes against all standards of that kind of hostage. (In a hostage transfer you send some of your people to live in the care of them, they send some of their people to live in the care of you, everyone is treated very nicely, but the fact that there are members of the other side on your side and vice versa makes war unlikely.)

      So it's complicated, but treacherous and evil doesn't really describe Loki in general very well. Especially since the timeline of events is ... screwy. With the exception of the death of Baldr every evil thing that Loki does is after the gruesome murder of his own son by the gods, his imprisonment by the gods, and the treachery of the gods toward Loki and his brood and, moreover, it's all prophecy. Meaning it hasn't happened yet.

      Most of Loki's story is being blood brother to Odin, hanging out with Thor, and generally getting the gods out of messes.

      So unless it's during Ragnarok Loki probably isn't raising kids to be treacherous and evil. Dishonest and tricky, yes, treacherous and evil not so much.

    2. Vaguely related: A Lucifer POV song:


    3. With lyrics: http://adapalmer.com/sassafrass/fall.html

    4. Loki's theological problem is that he's a leftover from the previous iteration of the religion. (Or so some scholars think; there are lots of opinions, which he'd probably appreciate.) The older stories are usually favourable to him, and the newer ones make him out as the Great Evil.

      I've never got on with tricksters and this probably colours my view.

  2. And also, a very nice song about Baldur and Hel:


    With lyrics: http://www.sassafrassmusic.com/songs/norse-mythology/abandoned/