What is the Norse Mythology Behind the MCU’s Loki?

Loki sits on Odin's throne in Asgard
Credit: Marvel Studios

Loki sits on Odin's throne in Asgard
Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel’s Loki is technically not an original character from the billion-dollar franchise. From the comic books to the big screen, Loki originally came from the Norse Mythology bearing the same name.

That said, here’s all you need to know about the MCU Loki’s origins in Norse Mythology and how they changed his character to be more suitable in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

What Does ‘Loki’ Mean?

Loki picks up the Tesseract into his scepter
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Credit: Marvel Studios

Loki is likened to the Old Norse term ‘Logi’ which means fire. While Loki has always been depicted to have black hair in the Marvel Universe, in Norse Mythology, he had burning red locks because of how destructive his acts of mischief are.

In modern times, his name could easily relate to German words for ‘knot, loop, or tangle’, all of which hold similar meanings behind everything Loki does when using his powers for trickery.

Every single prank and trick he’d pulled off would naturally lead to his entanglements with the gods, hence, the ‘knot’ in question here behind his name.

RELATED: Loki the God of Mischief’s Origins, Goals, and More Explained

What is Loki the God of?

Loki has been using Odin as a disguise
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Credit: Marvel Studios

Loki is the God of Mischief, which he had earned from his practicing of magic in the MCU. However, did you know that Loki’s origins are not that far off from the MCU’s version?

In Norse Mythology, Loki is indeed an actual God of Mischief (contrasting with the MCU, given that their God titles are mere titles, they just happen to have superhuman abilities that their strength surpasses the average human’s).

Given the meaning of his name, at one point, Loki has also been considered to be the God of Fire, which is close enough to what being the God of Mischief ensues, really.

As the God of Trickeries, Loki’s main goal (and purpose) was to wreak havoc amongst the gods, which is similar to how the MCU depicted him. Except MCU Loki revolved around wanting to be accepted and loved for who he is.

Are Loki and Thor Brothers?

Loki and Thor reconcile their brotherhood
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Credit: Marvel Studios

The Marvel Cinematic Universe surely depicted Loki and Thor to be brothers, but the franchise didn’t say that they were blood-related.

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In fact, Loki is the adoptive son of King Odin and Queen Frigga who raised him as their own in Asgard alongside his brother, the God of Thunder.

However, in Norse Mythology, Loki and Thor are not blood-related in any way. They are not even half-brothers. But they have been referred to as ‘blood brothers’ despite not being related to one another.

This closely ties in with how the MCU brought about their character development. Apart from Loki learning how to be less selfish in achieving his ‘glorious purpose’ of becoming a ruler, he has at last fixed his relationship with Thor before his eventual death in Infinity War.

READ MORE: Who Else Can Lift Thor’s Hammer in the MCU?

Are Loki and Odin Brothers?

Odin encourages Thor he doesn't need his hammer
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Credit: Marvel Studios

While this might appear to be a silly question for MCU fans, for those who are aware of Norse Mythology, Loki’s relationship with Odin in the original story extends beyond being his adoptive father.

Remember that one of Loki’s most prominent powers is to shapeshift. In the myth, Loki had shapeshifted into a salmon, a mare, a seal, a fly, and an elderly woman.

At one point, he turned into a female mare and gave birth to an eight-legged stallion named Sleipnir, which he gave to Odin to ride into and lead the battle during Ragnarok, the big war fought between the Norse Gods.

The more we dig deep into Loki’s history, the more obscure and blurrier his line of being a hero and a villain becomes. But as far as the Loki series goes, he has been trying to become the hero he wanted to be.


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