Who Are Loki’s Children in Norse Mythology? Get the Facts


Due to the Hollywood film industry, plenty of people are now familiar with the mythical figure Loki. However, the original Loki of Norse mythology bears only a passing resemblance to the movie version of Loki. For example, in the myths, Loki had several children.

Loki’s three most notable children are those he had with the giantess Angrboda: Fenrir, the wolf, Jormungandr, the World Serpent, and Hel, Goddess of the Dead. However, Loki is also the father of Narfi and Vali, whose mother is Sigyn. Additionally, he’s the mother of Sleipnir, Odin’s eight-legged horse.

This article will talk more about all six of Loki’s children and why several of them were not born in human form. Keep reading to find out more. 

Midgard Serpent
Does Loki have a serpent child? See below

Loki’s Six Children

The genealogy and family ties of the Norse gods can get confusing, especially considering some myths contradict others. Moreover, recent portrayals of Norse figures in pop-culture media, like the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), take plenty of liberties with the characters. For example, Loki and Thor are not brothers.

In the most widely accepted versions of Norse myths, however, Loki has six children

Narfi and Vali

Loki had two children with his Aesir wife, Sigyn. Their names were Narfi and Vali, and they don’t play a significant role in Norse mythology or Loki’s own story. Their only real claim to fame is that they were punished for their father’s misdeeds. 

Loki, the agent of chaos that he was, tricked Hodr into killing his twin, Baldr. Baldr was Odin’s most beloved son and one of the most well-loved gods among the Aesir. As punishment for Loki’s part in Baldr’s death, the Aesir turned his son Vali into a wolf

Vali then attacked Narfi, killing him, and the Aesir used Narfi’s entrails to bind Loki to three rocks in a cave. There he would stay, a poisonous snake above him, dripping venom onto his head, until Ragnarok.

Sleipnir

Despite being known primarily as a male god, Loki was also the mother of Sleipnir. Though he lived with the Aesir, Loki came from Jotunheim, the land of the giants.

Norse myths don’t mention much about his parents, Farbauti and Laufey, but some scholars believe his mother, Laufey, was a goddess who may have had witch-like powers.

Some suspect this is why Loki has such astonishing abilities, one of which is the ability to shapeshift

In chapter 42 of Gylfaginning in the Eddas, Loki is forced to use his shapeshifting abilities to save himself from a mess he created. A giant comes to Asgard and agrees to build a wall around Asgard in exchange for the sun, moon, and Freya’s hand in marriage.

The Aesir say no, but Loki convinces them to let him try. The Aesir put a seemingly impossible time limit on when the task must be completed, thinking the giant will never succeed. The giant, however, has a magical horse, Svadilfari, that allows him to work very quickly.

Knowing the Aesir will kill him if the giant succeeds, Loki shifts into a mare and lures the giant’s horse away. When he returns, he brings Odin a gift — an eight-legged horse, Sleipnir — the fastest horse in the world.

Loki gave birth to the horse after luring Svadilfari away and mating with him.

Fenrir, Jormungandr, and Hel

Loki also fathered three more children with the giantess Angrboda, also known as the Witch of Ironwood and the Bringer of Grief.

Their three children, Fenrir, Jormungandr, and Hel, would become three of the most fearsome and terrifying creatures in Norse mythology.

Fenrir Norse mythology
Who is Fenrir to Loki? See below

Why Does Loki Have a Wolf Son?

The eldest son was Fenrir, the giant wolf. 

The myths are unclear as to why Loki’s son Fenrir was born a wolf. However, most scholars believe he was born in wolf form because both Loki and Fenrir’s mother, Angrboda, were magical creatures who could shapeshift. Some speculate that his parents were in non-human forms when they conceived the children. [2]

Fenrir was so large and formidable that all the gods feared him. Eventually, they used his pride against him and tricked him into letting them bind him with the strongest bonds ever forged.

Fenrir bit off Tyr’s arm in the process, but they managed to hold him. He, too, will remain bound until Ragnarok.

Does Loki Have a Serpent Child?

Loki and Angrboda’s second son, Jormungandr, is also known as the Midgard Serpent. He, too, was feared by the gods, and Odin grabbed him when he was just a child and threw him in the sea, where he eventually grew so large that he now surrounds the whole world, holding his tail in his mouth. 

The only other notable mention of Jormungandr in the Eddas is when Thor catches him while fishing and tries to reel him into the boat.

Thor’s fishing companion, Hymir, hurriedly cuts the line before Thor can kill the serpent, and Jormungandr falls back into the sea.

The serpent will wait at the bottom of the sea until Ragnarok. Then he will rise out of the depths, sending a tidal wave to flood the world, and he and Thor will fight.

Thor will eventually kill the giant serpent but then he will die from the venom in Jormungandr’s bite.

Norse god Odin fights Fenrir
Odin fights Fenrir

Who Is Hel to Loki?

Of all of Loki’s children, only one of them is female. 

Hel, the Goddess of Death, is the third child of Loki and Angrboda. She is the younger sister of Fenrir and Jormungandr and the only one of the three children born in human form. She rules over the underworld, Hel, and people who die of disease or old age – not battle – enter her realm after death.

The myths describe her as having a half-body. In the Eddas, she’s described as half blue and half white, with a sad, miserable expression on the blue half of her face and a smile on the white side. Other sources claim that half of her body is lovely and youthful, and the other half is dead and decaying. 

Either way, she, too, has a part to play during Ragnarok. She will send everyone in her realm with Loki to fight against the Aesir.

Final Thoughts

If you’re interested in learning more about Loki and his children, go to the source – the Eddas. Marvel won’t give you much accurate information.

References:
[1] Source
[2] Source

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