The Punishment of Loki

By Erik Solbakk 0 comments

The Punishment of Loki

The story of Norse mythology is indeed a completely fascinating one. The stories alone are worth being appreciated, based on the epic tales that describe love and romance, war and conflict, family feuds, victories and defeats. It captured the hearts and minds of many. Aside from that, there is also another reason why Norse mythology is so popular - Loki.

Every mythological story has a tale behind it. Each mythological character is given their own responsibility, their own flaws and talents. In Norse mythology, there were several puzzling myths and stories behind which included the punishment of Loki.


What crimes did Loki commit Norse mythology?

Loki is one of the most complex characters in Norse mythology. He's a trickster, a shape-shifter and a master manipulator.

But Loki also has redeeming qualities that make him more than just a villain.

Loki committed many crimes in Norse mythology, but some of his most infamous acts include:

Creating Jormungandr, the World Serpent

Tricking Odin into killing his son Baldr

Helping giants kill the god Baldr

Betraying Asgard by delivering it to the giants' leader, Surtur, during Ragnarok


Why did Loki get his mouth sewn shut?

The most common answer is that Loki was mischievous, and he couldn't be trusted with his words.

But there's another reason why Loki got his mouth sewn shut: so he couldn't tell tales.

The problem with Loki's tongue was that it was too sharp. He could cut people with his words; he could hurt them without even meaning to do so. And when you're a god who lives in Asgard and you've got a reputation for causing trouble, that can make you unpopular very quickly.

So Odin decided to take action: he sewed up Loki's mouth and told him to keep quiet until Ragnarok came along - which wasn't going to be for a very long time indeed!


Is Loki responsible for Odin's death?

The answer is yes and no.

Loki's role in Odin's death is less than clear, but there are hints that he may have been involved.

In Norse mythology, Loki is one of the trickster gods, often acting against the wishes of the other gods. It's no surprise then that Loki's motives are often inscrutable and difficult to predict. In fact, Loki's actions are often selfish or self-serving, rather than malicious or malevolent.

Odin dies during Ragnarok (the end times), which takes place after Loki has freed Fenrir (the wolf) from his chains and released him upon the world as part of a plan to destroy Asgard (the home of the gods). When Fenrir swallows Odin whole during their battle, Thor kills Fenrir by ripping out his heart with his bare hands — but not before Fenrir bites off Odin's forearms at the elbow.

Loki then uses magic to bring back Odin's severed arms so they can be attached to stumps on his chest, allowing him to continue ruling Asgard until Ragnarok comes around again and he dies permanently.


How was Loki tortured?

After being captured by the gods for his crimes (which included murder), Loki was subjected to three different types of torture:

1. He was bound under the roots of a great cliff, which is where he remained until Ragnarok.

2. He was chained to a rock as punishment for killing Baldr, and a serpent dripped venom onto his face. The other gods had to catch the venom in a cup and then empty it into a funnel that led out of Loki’s nose, allowing him to breathe. The serpent would not die or stop dripping venom until the end of Ragnarök, when it would kill Loki.

3. He was bound on top of three sharp-edged rocks while a snake gnawed at his lower body. This torture was inflicted upon him by Odin, who felt that Loki had betrayed him by helping the Jotuns against him during the war between Æsir and Jotunheim.


How long was Loki imprisoned?

The question of how long Loki was imprisoned is a tough one, because there's no official answer. The most popular calculation is that he spent 1000 years, which comes from the fact that the world tree Yggdrasil has an estimated age of about 4250 years and the Asgardians are said to have been around for 5000. If we assume that Yggdrasil was created as soon as the universe began, and that it was roughly around the time that Asgardians were created, then you can work backwards from there to arrive at a figure of 1000 years passing between the moment when Loki entered his prison and when Thor finally released him.

The main problem with this is that there seems to be some confusion over whether or not Yggdrasil actually existed before Yggdrasilheimr. In some texts, all nine worlds are said to have been created at once, while in others they're said to have been built one at a time over an untold amount of time. If this is true, and if Yggdrasil was created alongside Asgard, then there could have been a much longer gap between Loki's imprisonment and his release than what we normally assume.


Who killed Loki in mythology?

In the story, Loki is bound to a rock with metal wire made from his son's intestines (that's some seriously creepy stuff). Every day, a snake drips venom on him, and every night, it's Sigyn who catches it in a bowl. This goes on for quite a while until one day she fails to catch the venom before it hits him, and he dies. That's right: Sigyn let her husband die because she was too busy being considerate of the stupid snake. And here we thought women were supposed to be better at multitasking than men!



The Loki punishment was a direct addition to the stories that were being created. It not only depicted the greatness and prowess of Loki, it also showed the audience why he behaved in such a manner. The story portrays that his punishment was due to a simple trick that he played against the gods. This is what many people took away after they have learned more about this character and his role in Norse mythology.

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