Loki - Hero or Villain
Loki was the most complicated and unpredictable figure in Norse mythology. He was famous both for his mischievous pranks and clever ideas. Without his direct connection with Ragnarok and the death of Odin’s son, God Baldur, Loki could have been a good Norse character. But the matter is that he was not. It opened a question as to whether Loki was a villain or a hero.
Loki as a Hero
There were many cases that Loki proved himself useful to the Norse pantheon.
Loki offered the Norse gods many treasures. For example, the Mjolnir hammer was given to Thor by Loki. In fact, Loki traveled to Svartalfheim land of dwarves and asked the dwarves to create a powerful weapon. Odin’s ring and the horse were also from Loki. Sleipnir was the child of Loki and Loki gave Sleipnir the eight-legged horse to Odin the Allfather. Loki likewise gave a marvelous ship to god Frey, Gungnir spear to Odin.
Loki and Heimdall came up with solutions to retrieve Thor’s hammer. And their plan was successful. Loki also helped the Aesir gods outwit the giant builder of Asgard Wall and as a result, they did not lose Aesir treasures to the hand of a giant.
Loki as a Villain
There are many accounts telling that Loki was not a god. He was the son of the giants and he came from Jotunheim land of the giant. With his cunning and fast talk, he persuaded the gods to allow him to live in Asgard. Up in Asgard, he caused many troubles to the Aesir gods which sometimes put them in the most annoying embarrassment.
He cut off the beautiful golden hair of Sif, Thor’s wife. He lied to Idun the guardian of youth apples, resulting in her kidnap. Loki also stole the beautiful necklace of goddess Freya.
The most terrible conspiracy of Loki was when Loki planned to kill God Baldur. The story was that Frigg, who was the wife of Odin and mother of god Baldur, tried to protect her son from his foretold death. She asked everyone in the cosmos to swear never to hurt Baldur, except for the mistletoe which she thought was too small to harm anyone. When Loki knew that Baldur could only be harmed by the mistletoe, he started making a mistletoe arrow. He tricked the blind god Hodr and guided him to throw the arrow into Baldur. Baldur fell and died on the spot. On top of that, Loki refused to help retrieve Baldur from Helheim land of the dead. As prophesied, Baldur Death was the first sign of Ragnarok and this ignited the wrath of gods. Norse gods set off punishing Loki for what he had done.
Moreover, Loki occupied the leading role in waging wars against the Norse gods. After he set himself free from the binding of Norse gods, Loki and his children started to destroy the Norse pantheon. In consequence of Ragnarok Twilight of Gods, many Norse gods were slain and the world sank into the darkness.
Whether Loki was a hero or an anti-hero depends on the point of view people may take. The truth was that Loki did cause trouble to others and he also solved the problems he created to have the heroic feeling.
Loki was originally a giant but he still befriended the Gods. He did help the gods many times but he could never get rid of the giant blood running through his veins. He once was the ally of Norse pantheon but finally, he chose to take the side of the giant and battle against the Aesir gods. The exact reasons for his crimes were not given but we can assume that it was both because of his being descended from the giant and the severe punishment the Norse gods imposed upon him and his children.