Loki is one of the most interesting figures in Norse mythology and one of the main characters in the Avengers movies, which are part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Loki is sometimes referred to as a Norse god and other times as a Frost Giant. Which description is true?
Loki’s father, Farbauti, was a giant. His mother, Laufey (also called Nal), was a goddess. In one sense, this makes Loki half-god and half-giant. However, in Norse mythology, a character’s father determines their ancestry, which would make Loki a giant.
Is Loki a Frost Giant in the MCU? Why is Loki Odin’s son in the Marvel movies? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and others.
Also see How Did Loki Become a God in Norse Mythology? to learn more.
Is Loki a Frost Giant in the Marvel Movies?
Loki is a Frost Giant (or “jotunn”) in the Marvel movies, although they don’t fully explore that part of his character. Some fans speculate that Marvel may develop this characteristic of Loki in future movies. Jotunn aren’t necessarily of enormous size:
“Although the term giant is sometimes used to gloss the word jötunn and its apparent synonyms in some translations and academic texts, jötnar [i.e., jotunn] are not necessarily notably large and may be described as exceedingly beautiful or as alarmingly grotesque.” 
In the MCU, when Odin adopted Loki, he raised him in the culture of the Asgardians and was like Thor, his step-brother, because he also knew the culture. However, he concluded that he would never be as strong as Thor no matter how much he tried.
Thor always out-shined Loki, which made him jealous and drove him to magic. He sought Frigga to teach him this lost art, and he got very good at it. In the Marvel movies, Loki was a master sorcerer.
Loki was more inclined towards the mischievous path, which earned him the title “God of Mischief.” He believed that he should be the rightful heir to the throne after Odin.
Contrary to what Loki thought, Odin favored Thor over him. Loki wanted to win the heart of Odin and make him see that he was as good as Thor, but that didn’t go as planned.
On the other hand, Thor was focused, and he grew stronger and better, gaining more recognition as the god of thunder.
As the story goes, Thor let the supposed greatness fuel his pride and started acting strange, which caused problems wherever he went. Odin, who held high expectations for his son, was disappointed and furious.
Odin stripped Thor of his power, which made him more or less mortal. Thor was eventually banished and sent to earth.
Also see Who Are Loki’s Children in Norse Mythology? to learn more.
Why Is Loki Odin’s Son in Marvel?
After Thor’s banishment to earth, Loki, unaware of his true parents at this time, saw this as a great opportunity. With Thor’s absence in Asgard, he saw it as a perfect opportunity to win his father’s heart and ascend to the throne quickly.
Then, Odin revealed to him who his real biological father was: Laufey, the Frost Giant. He took him back in the history of how he fought Laufey and other Frost Giants in a great battle and defeated him.
However, because Loki wasn’t full Frost Giant, he didn’t have an unusually large size as a baby. The Asgardian army took him for dead and abandoned him when they were plundering everything.
Odin later took him as a baby and raised him as an Asgardian prince. His motive was that when Loki was grown, he would successfully unify the Asgardians and Frost Giants and allow them to live in peace and harmony. However, Loki did not take the message as expected.
He was furious as he believed that Odin saw him as a mere tool and not a son-to-father relationship. It made him go rouge to prove that he was more than a pawn but a prince worthy of the throne and, of course, superior to his half-brother, Thor. That is what led to several plot twists in the movie sequels.
Also see How Did Loki Betray the Gods in Norse Mythology? to learn more.
Is Loki a Trickster?
Loki’s character was also more inclined to a deceitful one, which can be attributed to a Frost Giant. His natural intelligence made it easy for him to manipulate almost anyone. Even the god of Thunder, Thor, fell victim to his antics multiple times.
His Asgardian training combined with his magical powers made him a force worthy of recognition. Although people quickly portrayed him as human, he was strong and far superior to any human.
Loki was cunning and he knew how to turn almost every situation, whether good or bad, to favor him. Human and alien technology came easily to him, as he was skilled and knowledgeable in many areas.
He was also a good fighter, as he came in first in any average combat. He could wield several weapons, but he was incredibly skilled in using small blades like knives, which is how Marvel portrays him.
Loki was also a man that liked to act of his own will, as seen in his attitude of betraying and helping Thor at different times. He does whatever suits him.
Also see What Is Loki’s Symbol in Norse Mythology? to learn more.
Frequently Asked Questions
More questions asked about this topic include:
Is Loki Son of Odin?
The MCU depicts Loki as Thor’s step-brother and an adopted son of Asgard’s king, Odin. Loki’s biological father was a Frost Giant named Laufey. However, in Norse mythology, he is not Odin’s son.
What Are Loki’s Powers?
Being a renowned sorcerer, Loki can do things like shape-shifting, mind control, teleportation, and levitation. He is also stronger than humans, while also living longer than them. Loki used these powers to play mischief on others.
Can Loki Lift Thor’s Hammer, Mjolnir?
Before Odin placed an enchantment on Mjolnir, Loki would have been able to lift it. However, since Odin made the hammer to only respond to “worthy’ individuals, Loki could not lift it.
Loki possesses the character traits of both a god and Frost Giant. However, it seems the marvel sequels were inclined to his god-like magical abilities.