The Punishment of Loki

Posted by Ms Elly on

The Punishment of Loki

In Norse mythology, Loki was regarded as one big figure whose reputation could only be compared with Odin or Thor. Loki was famous for his mischief and being the leader of the evil side. In fact, in the myth, there were many times that the Gods made Loki make amends for his pranks. However, Loki received his heaviest punishment right before the Ragnarok.

How come Loki got punished?

The most severe punishment he suffered was due to his direct connection to the death of god Baldur. God Baldur was the most beloved God in Norse myth. Being the son of Odin and Frigg, Baldur was the god of light and justice. But he could not live to fight with Gods in Ragnarok as Loki on purpose indirectly murdered him.

As Loki knew only mistletoe could hurt Baldur, he quickly found a mistletoe and turned it into a sharp arrow. Loki gave the arrow to the innocent and blind god Hodr and guided the blind god to throw the arrow into Baldur. Got shot, Baldur died on the spot. As the Gods knew Loki was the one who conspired to kill Baldur, they wanted Loki to face the death sentence.Image of Loki and Baldur's death

Loki and Baldur Death

Loki was punished many times by Norse gods. He got punished by Thor when he deliberately cut the hair of Sif – Thor’s wife. Freya also punished him for stealing her necklace. The Norse gods decided to kill Loki unless he cleaned the mess he made with the giant builder of Asgard wall. He got away with the punishment easily with his intelligence. But not this time!

The Capture of Loki

Loki did not stay still to be bound and got a fatal blow by the Gods. He quickly knew how serious the situation was and escaped. He found a mountain in the middle of nowhere to build himself a house. His new house had four doors so that he could observe who was coming close. Every day he shapeshifted himself into a salmon and hid in the water Franangursfors. When the nights fell in, he turned back to Loki’s appearance. Odin on his high throne could see the place where Loki was hiding. He instantly assembled to Gods and set off capturing the murderer.

Image of Thor caught Loki

Thor catching Loki Salmon

Loki was weaving his own net in his house when he realized the Gods were coming for him. Without hesitation, he threw the net into the fire and shapeshifted into the salmon. With the second-to-none intelligence of Kvasir, the Gods quickly knew where Loki was hiding. They wove the net and started to catch Loki. But Loki was just too smart to be caught easily. Every time the Gods spread the net, Loki got rid of it. Not until Loki made a bold leap to make it to the sea did Thor catch him by his tail.

The Punishment of Loki

The Gods brought Loki to a cave and took three rocks which they bored holes. Sons of Loki, Vali and Nari, were brought there. Vali, in the form of a wolf, killed his brother Nari. The gods took his entrails and bound Loki to the rocks with those entrails. Skadi placed a serpent above Loki so the venom of the serpent would fall on Loki’s face.

Image of loki punishment

Image of loki punishment

Loki and the snake as punishment

A wife of Loki, Siguna, stayed with him in the cave. There, she held a dish to get the venom out of Loki’s face. When the dish was full, she turned away to empty it. At such moment, the venom dripped on Loki’s face. The pain was so real that Loki screamed and writhed. People believed that the earth was shaken every time Loki writhed.

Loki stayed in the cave until the days of Ragnarok.

 Some thought on Loki Punishment

Undeniably, Loki deserved the punishment. No matter how useful he pretended to be to the Gods, he could not make up for what he had destroyed. The Death of Baldur was, for sure, the last straw that ignited the wrath of the Gods, not to mention Loki refusing to retrieve Baldur back from Hel. Prior to Baldur Death, there was a succession of troubles that Loki caused. 

Regarding the reasons why Loki wanted to take revenge on the Gods, there presumably are some reasons. First, the Gods had cast Loki's children, namely Fenrir, Jormungandr, and Hel, to the middle-of-nowhere place when they were little. Second, the deeds of using Loki's son entrails to bind him were somewhat unacceptable. 

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