Loki’s Family in Norse Mythology: 5 Facts You Should Know


Loki is one of Marvel’s most popular and mysterious characters. With his new show and popularity, many people are beginning to question his origin, but finding more information about Loki’s family requires a deep look into Norse mythology. 

Here are 5 facts about Loki’s family in Norse mythology: 

  1. Loki wasn’t adopted. 
  2. Loki had siblings.
  3. Loki was married to Sigyn.
  4. Loki had children.
  5. Loki isn’t related to Thor.

Though Loki’s history can be as complicated as he is, there is a lot more information out there than what is seen in the trickster god’s Marvel appearances.

Loki Norse god
Who was Loki’s wife? See below (image: Loki’s punishment)

Loki Wasn’t Adopted

Marvel comics indicate that Loki was adopted by Odin and became Thor’s brother. However, according to Norse mythology, that never actually happened. 

Loki was the son of Farbauti, the giant, and Laufey who was also known as Nal. Not much is known of Laufey, but research has suggested she may have been a goddess or a giantess. 

The trickster is a god and is therefore considered part of the Aesir tribe, which consists of gods like Loki. 

Other notable Aesir tribe members include Odin, Thor, Frigg, Heimdall, and Baldr. While Odin never adopted Loki and never considered him family, they did have a relationship because of this tribe. 

Asgard was the main location for the Aesir tribe, which was where Loki stayed for a long time. Though they weren’t family, Odin, Thor, and Loki often worked together, using Loki’s cunning to their advantage. However, it didn’t always work out the way they planned. 

Loki would often get Asgard into trouble with his antics. Often it caused embarrassment for Asgard and its people, but sometimes Loki’s lies would lead to death. 

Loki Had Siblings

Loki is not Thor’s brother, adopted or otherwise, but he did have two brothers. Little is known about his brothers, but there are stories of two confirmed brothers named Byleistr and Helblindi

The only mention of Byleistr’s origin is that Loki is occasionally referred to as his brother.

Beyond that, it is only assumed that he is also the son of Farbauti and Laufey because he is called Loki’s brother. Nothing else is known of him in Norse mythology

When it comes to Helblindi, his name is the nickname of Odin. It is assumed that being Loki’s brother, his father is Farbauti, but the nickname has caused many different theories that Loki is somehow tied to Odin through blood. 

None of these theories have been confirmed by Norse mythology. So, it is purely speculation. 

Loki Was Married to Sigyn

Loki was married to a fellow member of the Aesir tribe known as Sigyn. Not much is known about her personality, although she was very devoted to Loki even throughout his tricks. 

One example of her devotion to Loki was when he was being punished for Baldr’s death

During this time, the trickster god was chained with a snake held over his face, and the venom from the snake would drip on his face causing him a lot of pain.

While he was suffering, Sigyn held a basin above his head to catch the venom so he wouldn’t be hurt. However, there were still times when she would need to empty the basin and leave Loki in pain before returning. 

There isn’t more information about their relationship, but her willingness to stand by him through his punishment indicates they had a strong bond. 

Loki depiction
Was one of Loki’s children a wolf? See below (image: possible depiction of Loki)

Loki Had Children

Loki had four children, according to the legends, though there is a reference to another possible child. With his wife Sigyn, Loki had a son named Nari or Narfi and possibly another son named Vali. 

Though Vali is referred to as Loki’s son, he is also referred to as Odin’s son. 

So, it is unknown who is actually Vali’s father. Vali was turned into a wolf by the Aesir tribe and killed his possible brother Nari. Afterward, it is said that Loki was bound in the entrails of his dead son Nari. 

Loki had three other children with a giantess named Angrboda

She was called the mother of monsters because she gave birth to many different types of creatures. Each of their children was kidnapped by the gods out of fear of what they could become. 

Their first child was Fenrir, the wolf. Fenrir grew so large that he was feared among everyone in Asgard, and because of this fear, the gods decided to chain Fenrir. He broke many different chains until Odin found a rope laced with magic that held him into place. 

By rule, he was to remain chained until Ragnarok, when he would be released to wreak havoc. 

Their next child was Jormungand, otherwise known as the World Serpent, who was taken by the gods when he was young and kept in Midgard, where he grew to be so large that he could stretch entirely around the world. 

For most of his life, Jormungard would remain in Midgard though he did come across the other gods from time to time. 

The youngest child of Loki and Angrboda was Hel. She was half alive and half dead, with a half beautiful face, while the other half was scary. Like her brothers, she was kidnapped by the gods, and taken to Niflheim, where she was to look after the dead and help take care of them. 

Loki Isn’t Related to Thor

It can be confusing because the Marvel cinematic universe calls them brothers, but according to Norse mythology, Loki and Thor are not actually related. 

They are both gods and part of the Aesir tribe. 

At times, they both resided together in Asgard, which acted as the home of the Aesir, but they are not related to each other in any way. Loki’s only brothers were Byleistr and Helblindi, and since Loki was never adopted by Odin, he had no familial connection to Thor at all. 

Loki and Thor often worked together as acquaintances for the protection of Asgard, but that was the extent of their bond. 

Final Thoughts 

While much is still unknown about Norse mythology, Loki had a different life than the one we have come to know in the Marvel universe.

References:
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