Loki TV series is coming on June 11 on Disney Plus. Here is an appreciation post for both the Loki of the Norse Mythology and the Loki of Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Loki, TV Series coming on Disney Plus

Everybody loves Loki despite him being the villain who unleashed a terrible army on New York, and killed hundreds of people. A man with clever wit and intelligence is far more attractive than a muscular man. Explains why Loki introduced to Marvel Cinematic Universe  a decade back with the first Thor film became a fan favourite over the years beating even the fans of Thor, Hulk, Iron Man if the Comicon frenzies were the evidence to go by. I would say, actor Tom Hiddleston is also to be credited with the massive popularity of Loki. Hiddleston played the character of this complex Norse God full of wit, charm, elegance, dark humour, mischief, a painful past and a violent rage with perfection. Only a British actor could have played this role so well given that a combination of charm, sex appeal, and brooding melancholy comes naturally to them. Remember how good Hugh Laurie played the genius doctor Gregory House or Benedict Cumberbatch playing Sherlock, or even Daniel Craig playing the James Bond. Ok maybe I am just biased. I, anyway, do a poor job of a feminist when I drool over these male heroes on TV and cinema. Tom Cruise and Johnny Depp in whatever they do, Hugh Laurie as House, Patrick J Adams as Mike Ross, and then the heroes of Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), top on my list being Loki. Whenever I admire them, a feminist ghost admonishes me that I should be celebrating feminist icons more.  

Loki’s own TV series is premiering on 9th June, after the previous two standalone TV series featuring the popular marvel characters who never got a movie of their own, Wanda Vision, and Falcon And The Winter Soldier. The three shows were announced as part MCU’s 4th phase. Of the three Series the Loki trailer and plot line seems the most fascinating to me. Firstly, any time travel is exciting, but time travel with the God of Mischief is another level fun. Oh, the MISCHIEF he can cause by messing up with the timelines of this earth. Don’t forget Loki’s original vision of the earth when he tried to rule the planet:

“An average citizen is miserable weaklings waiting to be subjugated by a masculine authoritarian leader. “It’s the unspoken truth of humanity, that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life’s joy in a mad scramble for power, for identity,” said Loki in the first Avenger film.

Real Loki from the Norse Mythology

The real Loki of the Norse Mythology (the Neil Gaiman version) though had nothing to do with the Earth. He wanted to rule nothing, be nothing, achieve nothing. He didn’t want any riches or power. All he cared about was his tricks and mischiefs, and occasionally he wanted to hurt. Why? We came to know much later and could only have empathy for him. No hate.

In the original Norse mythology from where the characters of Thor, Odin, Loki and Asgard etc are inspired, Loki is not the brother of Thor but blood brother of Odin. He was not one of Aesirs (Thor and Odin are Aesir meaning they are the good guys or the Gods). Nobody knew who Loki’s mother was but his father was a Giant (meaning the bad guys the Gods don’t like). Nobody knew how Loki came to live among the Gods as Odin’s blood brother or how did he become Odin and Thor’s constant companion. Even before eternity, Loki have been living among the Gods but never treated as one of them. He was always the misfit in the land of Gods.

Thor has been depicted as a hot headed hyper masculine God with not much brain in the Norse Mythology. He is actually like the Hulk minus Bruce Banner. At certain points he came across quite the asshole and downright cruel. Thor is seen to be incapable of carrying on anything in life without Loki’s constant companionship for better or worse. Every time something will go wrong Thor will immediately assume it is Loki’s fault. And if it it was not Loki’s fault Thor would rush to Loki for help because he was the most clever of them all, and he could invent things and shift shape, do magic and other incredible things.

But nobody loved Loki. The only reason the God kept him close was because he was useful, says Thor in one of the scenes. “He is tolerated by the Gods, perhaps because his stratagems and plans save them as often as they get them into trouble.” There was too much darkness and wrath in Loki that only came to surface towards the end of Norse Mythology, and Loki ultametly caused the total destruction of the God’s kingdom by causing the Ragnarok.

Throughout Norse Mythology we find many reasons why Loki had all the reasons to turn against the so called Gods who were nothing but cruel power hungry hypocrites who lied cheated and betrayed their own for power.

One by one that night Loki insulted the gods and the goddesses. He told the gods that they were cowards, told the goddesses that they were gullible and unchaste. Each insult was woven with just enough truth to make it wound. He told them that they were fools, reminded them of things they thought were safely forgotten. He sneered and jeered and raised old scandals, and would not stop making everyone there miserable until Thor arrived at the feast.

Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman, Page 154

By the end of the Norse Mythology you weep for nobody else but Loki, his human-wife Sigyn, human-sons Vali and Narfi and his three non-human children from giantess Angrboda – Fenrir, Jormungandr and Hel. The last three where kidnapped by Odin and Thor and banished from their precious kingdom because they were children of Loki and a Giantess, not aesir. Later, they were further tortured.

I can go on with the whole of Norse Mythology and these incredible stories but another day.

Before I go, I must mention my other favourite character from the Norse Mythology, Hel, the Goddess of the dead who rules the underworld.

Half side of her body was all bones and skeletons with blackened rotten flesh and the other half was young, white, pink and beautiful. She didn’t speak much, she was always gloomy. Odin the Asgardian Allfather asked her, “Are you alive? Or are you a corpse?”

“I am only myself, Hel, daughter of Angrboda and of Loki,” she said. “And I like the dead most of all. They are simple things, and they talk to me with respect. The living look at me with revulsion.” ~Hel, Goddess of Death

Be it the mythical Nordic Loki or the Loki of Marvel Cinematic Universe, the power of story telling makes them both so incredible. And I am so thankful that MCU for also creating amazing female characters such as Hela in Thor Ragnarok played by Cate Blanchett.

Looking forward to Disney series.