God of War, discovering Loki, the god of deception

God of War, discovering Loki, the god of deception

God of War

Although the journey would still be long, we have reached the end of this series of specials dedicated to Norse mythology. There are only a few hours left for God of War Ragnarok to fall into your hands, so it's time to talk about one of the most important characters in the game, as well as one of the most enigmatic.

Follow us one last time , because we will take you to the discovery of Loki, a crucial character in both mythology and God of War.

The mythological origin

God of War: the god Loki reproduced by John Bauer in a 1911 illustration Loki is a highly ambiguous character, perhaps the most ambiguous in all of Norse mythology. Always on the razor's edge between good and evil, his figure is smoky. In the writings we have survived, the god of deception is mentioned very often, making him one of the most relevant narrative elements present within the Nordic myths. Loki is described as the son of Fárbauti and Laufey, a jotun and a goddess. His bond with the Æsir passes through Odin, with whom he has made a blood alliance, and for this reason he is welcomed by such deities. But his relationship with the latter is strongly contradictory: at times he helps them willingly, often proving to be fundamental in the success of some mythical enterprise; others, he proves to be the meanest and most cowardly of his opponents, ready to use subterfuge and deceit without restraint.

His nature as a shapeshifter makes him in himself a fleeting character, difficult to frame (some, today, would label him "fluid"). Both father and mother, it is not uncommon to see the god giving birth to children in the most bizarre ways, such as that time she transforms into a mare to distract Svaðilfœri, a formidable horse who was contributing to the loss of a bet by the gods, of to whom she gives birth to her son, Sleipnir, the equally formidable eight-legged horse that will become Odin's steed. His offspring also includes the predestined proponents of the defeat of the gods, namely Fenrir, Jormungandr and Hel, born from the bond with the giantess Angrboda.

The etymology of an ambivalent name

God of War: Loki and Svaðilfœri according to Dorothy Hardy, 1909 Scholars have debated much about the meaning to be attributed to the name Loki. Most consider it as a reference to the "flame" (logi in Old Norse), something fiery, shy, which can bring refreshment, but also destruction. To give credit to this theory we find a link with the parents. In fact, Fárbauti and Laufey can be considered the personification of thunder and fallen leaves from the trees, from whose union fire would spring. The other theory stands in the opposite direction, thinking that this name is connected to the element of air (loptr), also a characteristic that is found in the god, since he has shoes that allow him to run in the air and on water.

In both cases, it is interesting to note this dichotomy between opposing instances, as if the god were nothing more than the needle of the balance that maintains the balance between good and evil until the advent of Ragnarok. It's a kind of lesser, or necessary, evil that can turn out to be the best asset as well as the worst misfortune.

Loki in myths

God of War: Loki "teases" the other gods in this illustration of Lokasenna by Lorenz Frølich, 1895 As already mentioned, Loki is the protagonist of many myths and poems, most of those that have come down to us. During the course of these specials we have had the opportunity to see him mentioned on several occasions, as in the case of Thor and the time in which he had to hinder the work of a builder who had agreed to build an impenetrable boundary wall within three seasons and without no one's help in exchange for Freya's hand, the sun and the moon. We also found him in the episode dedicated to Svartalfheim, when he made a bet with the blacksmiths Brok and Sindri, which led to the creation of Thor's hammer. But also in relation to Týr in the poem Lokasenna, where, during a banquet, he begins to tease with all the gods, meanly revealing secrets and events of the past, not without receiving sharp lashes in turn. However, we overlooked the final outcome of that episode.

You have brewed beer, Ægir, / but from now on you will no longer have a party; / cursed be whoever is in here, / may the fire envelop you and burn you all.

After escaping from Thor's fury, arriving at the party with a slight delay, the gods track him down and take him to a cave in Niflheim, where they also take the children from his relationship with Sigyn. One of the two, Váli, is transformed into a wolf and forced to tear apart his brother, Narfi. After that, Loki is tied to sharp stones with his son's entrails, while Skaði places a snake over his head from whose mouth drops of powerful poison drip. Forced to this condition, he is destined to remain imprisoned until the advent of Ragnarok.

God of War: "Loki's Punishment" by Loius Huard, 1900 Meanwhile, his wife Sigyn tries to relieve his pain holding a basin over the face of the god, thus avoiding that the toxic liquid drips on the features of his beloved. However, sometimes the container must be emptied and, in these cases, the poison returns to martyr Loki, who writhes and writhes with such vigor as to cause earthquakes.

At the court of Útgarða-Loki

God of War: the group led by Loki and Thor meets Skrymir, Elmer Boyd Smith, 1902 Another great adventure starring Loki is the one involving Útgarða-Loki, a powerful frost giant and lord of the homonymous fortress. During this bizarre journey (too long to be told in detail here), Thor and Loki, along with two young men they received as a pledge along the way, find themselves at the court of this Útgarða-Loki. Along their path they had met a giant, Skyrmir (whom Thor tried to kill several times without succeeding and without even the colossus itself noticing his warlike actions), who had warned them not to exceed in pride in front of their guests. Totally ignoring the warning, Thor is immediately willing to prove his worth to the lord of Útgarðr.

Loki is the first to "take the field", claiming to be able to eat faster than anyone else. In this regard, a large tray is brought, filled with meat. The king calls a certain Logi to compete against the god of deception, positioning himself on the opposite side of the tray. The race begins and the two quickly meet halfway. Loki ate all the meat, but Logi ate even bones and tray. The first challenge, therefore, is lost. Thus, Útgarða-Loki asks the young man that the two deities have received as a pledge what his specialty is. The latter reveals to him that he is very skilled in running. Without further ado, the king immediately puts him to the test, making him compete against a certain Hugi. Three times they ran and all three times, no matter how hard the boy put in, Hugi came in first, knocking him out more and more. At this point, the giant asks Thor how he wants to prove his worth. The god replies that he would like to challenge one of his like to a drinking contest. The king gestures to the cupbearer to bring a mug of ale, saying it usually ends in one gulp, but humans sometimes need two sips. Thor, bold as usual, begins to dig tirelessly, but once he has lowered his mug, he realizes that he has drunk very little.

"Well he drank, but not too much. I would not have believed it if I had been told that Ásaþórr couldn't take a bigger sip. However I know you want to empty [everything] with the second sip.

Then try drinking again, until he is out of breath, but nothing: the mug is even more Full than empty. As the king mocks his talents, Thor tries once more to drink, ingesting mead at will. Once he lowers his mug, he notices that the level has dropped substantially, but not enough to finish it. Angered and doubtful. , he gives up and asks the king to prove his skills in something else. Then the latter challenges him to raise his cat: a big enough feline, sure, but nothing compared to the thousand tests of strength that have seen the god as protagonist. Previously Clinging to the body of the beast, Thor pushes v up, but the cat barely arches its back. Then, he tries harder, but only manages to get him to lift a paw. Bewildered, the god also abandons this test and, angry, asks to fight with anyone who wants to test his strength. Thus, Útgarða-Loki calls her old nurse and asks her to fight Thor. The result seems obvious, but the god, despite the impetus, fails to make the woman stagger, who begins to respond to his attacks in such an unstoppable and powerful way that the god falls to one knee.

I don't see a man in here who doesn't consider it a no brainer to fight you. [...] Let's see though. Call the old woman here, my nurse Elli, and Thor if he wants to fight her. She has brought down men who seemed no less strong to me than Thor is.

Defeated, the guests lie down in the rooms that the king has had prepared. The following day, after a great banquet, the group sets off again, escorted outside the walls by the king himself. Once outside, he reveals that he was not being honest with them. In fact, everything they saw was the result of optical tricks and effects. The king himself was hiding in the guise of Skrymir, so as to study his guests before they arrived at court (Thor had not been able to kill him because he was hitting with his hammer not the giant's head, but a "mountain saddle", creating of the wide square valleys). Once inside the fortress, then, the king also rigged the challenges. Loki, in fact, competed against fire, the young man against the thought of the giant, while Thor first drank from a mug connected to the ocean, decreasing its size by a lot (and thus creating the tides), then he raised Jormungandr in person almost to the point of touching the sky and, finally, he has stood up to old age, even if it is impossible that someone does not fall victim to his pace. The king has done all this to understand the extent of the god's strength and, now that he is aware of it, he orders them never to return. Thor, no more furious than usual, turns to kill the king, but he is gone, and with him the immense palace, leaving the four adventurers alone in the middle of a huge valley.

So it was also of the competitions in which you competed with my courtiers. The first was what Loki did, he was very hungry and ate greedily. But what was called Logi, that was the violent fire, and it burned the tray and the meat at the same time.

In this tale, one of the most compelling of all Norse mythology, we find two of the fundamental elements that characterize Loki and which accredit part of the theories of scholars. We have the connection with fire, Logi, compared directly with the god, but we also find the sharing of the name with the king of Útgarðr, who turns out to be a manipulator of reality, a deceiver, a "trickster", as the god is defined. .

Loki in God of War Ragnarok

God of War: Atreus is Loki in the new saga We have made a bit of the point about the character of Loki in the writings and we have discovered an ambivalence that , in part, it also remains in the vision of Santa Monica Studio. As we discover at the end of the first God of War, Atreus turns out to be Loki, which is also made clear by the fact that his mother was called Laufey (called Faye) and that his father, Kratos, is known among the Æsir as Fárbauti. So, we are dealing with a young, reckless and reckless Loki. The ambiguity underlying the mythological figure is found here associated with a search for oneself and one's own nature through the delicate passages of youth. Loki is not, in the game, a scale that stabilizes the coexistence of good and evil, but is simply a young man discovering what good and evil are.

The vision of Santa Monica is extremely interesting, too because it still tries to follow the red thread traced by centuries of legends and traditions (very often handed down orally until the advent of the writing of these stories), while not sacrificing a contemporary interpretative approach. An example of this we find when Loki helps to break the spell that torments Baldur, making him vulnerable again and, therefore, deadly. In the game it is not an action carried out with malice and wickedness, but a simple eventuality, a fact destined to happen in those ways and those circumstances (as if to underline the impossibility of detaching too much from the sources, even if one would like to everything to tell his version of events).

God of War: Loki has yet to find out what good and evil are In Ragnarok, references to mythology will undoubtedly intensify, especially with the arrival of the end of the world and Loki's contribution to the defeat of the gods together with his "sons and grandsons", from the wolves Fenrir, Sköll and Hati, to the serpent that encircles the world Jormungandr. We are extremely curious to see how the narrative will extricate itself between tradition and adaptation, given that, so far, the result is at least interesting to analyze in retrospect.

We have reached the end of this journey to discover Loki. But we have also reached the end of this series of specials. There would still be many things to say, themes to reveal, characters to plumb, but for the moment it is right to put a point and enjoy, us like you, the new adventures of Kratos and Atreus. Before leaving you to the comments, we remind you that, in addition to the many mentioned in the article, there are many other specials focused on the theme, including those on Mímir, Freya, the Valkyries, Midgard and Ragnarok, as well as the episode entirely dedicated to manuscripts , which physically led us to the shores of Iceland. And who knows, maybe in the future we will return to explore the Nine Kingdoms with you, with equal interest and passion.

Have you noticed any mistakes?

Powered by Blogger.