Lokadottir ©2014 Eliza Murdock

Lokadottir ©2014 Eliza Murdock

Now Hel’s abode was beneath the second root of Yggdrasil,
There cast down by Odin, where a portion of the dead are taken.
In winter’s maw she dwelt, within the hall of Éljúðnir.
Her countenance eclipsed, her weeping rose
Even to the ears of her father
Who desired to know the source of such grief.

Then spoke Loki, “What has turned your eyes to seas,
Oh daughter?  What your brow to blackness?”
Hel replied, “For the face of he, oh father,
Who is counted fairest, whom I am denied.
For the company of my heart’s desire,
Barren in my breast as my bed.”

Then spoke Loki, “Be still, oh daughter, and quell your rivers.
Call your servants to array you in dresses and jewels
Your heart’s desire shall be fulfilled, but in time.”
Then upon her father’s cheek Hel gave her offerings of obedience
And her servants bore away her tears in vials of glass,
To make of them jewels upon wires of sunlight and threads of moonlight.

But Loki returned to Ásgarðr, purposed already in his mind
For what father could be blinded to such sorrows?”
Then taking upon him the appearance of an old woman
And in disguise, he persuaded Frigga to tell him Baldr’s weakness;
For the mistletoe alone had she not secured the promise
Of bringing no harm upon her son.

In this was found the chance Loki needed,
And from the plant he crafted a spear.
Giving it to Baldr’s brother to throw
So that it pierced him and instantly he fell dead,
Thus would the fairest of the gods be sent
To the Grave-warden’s halls upon flaming ship.

As Odin banished Hel, so Loki sent Baldr, also,
And to her bosom he was received, fairest of the gods.
When the Æsir came with supplications for his return
She replied that unless the whole of creation grieved –
Even as she had grieved for his absence –
Then he would not be released from the grave.

All creation grieved, save for one alone;
Who, being Loki in disguise, ensured his daughter’s joy.
What father is there who would do more?
As Odin banished Hel, so Loki sent Baldr, also,
To bind them until Ragnarok.
For as Odin does, so too shall Loki Laufeyson.

In Norse Mythology, Loki has a child called Hel whom Odin banishes to a realm of the same name.  She is allotted a portion of the dead, though there are differing accounts as to whether this portion is of evil men (possibly a change of perspective brought by Christians) or whether these were those who died of old age or sickness, or whose deaths were not heroic or notable.

Loki is also responsible for the death of Baldr, the most beloved of the gods (think the modern Marvel version of Thor is much closer to Baldr), by tricking his brother into killing him with a weapon made from the mistletoe, the only thing in all creation from which Frigga did not extract a promise of no harm.

The connection of these two ideas is entirely my own, however, as I was thinking the other day that there is far too little in the Eddas about Loki interacting with his own children, and that as much as he was a trickster, he never struck me as particularly evil or was there really any indication of why he would want to kill Baldr.  Because the Eddas were written after the Christianization of Scandinavia, I’ve often wondered how much of the original stories were lost, changed, or reinterpreted through this lens.

It seems the evolution of Loki in the later Eddas was one more of becoming closer to a satan figure rather than merely a mischievous and trickster figure.  Thus this prose/poem is an attempt to reconcile the Edda story of the death of Baldr with a possible motivation on the part of Loki.

TL;DR: Loki’s a good dad, he did it for his daughter. 😀  Hope you like it.

2 thoughts on “Lokadottir

  1. Great! I like it! The Nordic mythology is something I would like to know more about. I did download a book about it but it is still waiting for me, I prefer paper rather than electronic stuff. 🙂

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