Friday, 21 June 2013

Loki Laufeyson 1. Myth vs. pop-culture: Mythology

  1. Loki in Mythology

Loki Laufeyson (by Audrey Koch)
Loki Laufeyson, a giant, a god and a trickster of Norse mythology mesmerised people since times past. Maybe it is because with his deeds he contributed to the fall of the Norse gods, the Ragnarok, or maybe because he is an unfathomable and enthralling figure of the myths of old. Loki is a person of many aspects which often contradict each other and yet, as I´ll try to show later, precisely this contradiction is among Loki’s most essential traits.

 In the first part I will discuss Norse mythology, because without putting him in a context one cannot really understand Loki. I will pay particular attention to his character as a trickster, as we find him (the trickster) in many cultures in the wide world; and I´ll pose a question if Loki is really evil as often portrayed. In the last part I will turn to his image in modern culture- in literature, film and at last, but not least, pop-culture with the its main representative- comics.

My interest for Loki stretches some 10 years into the past when I first got a hold of a Czech translation of the Edda. The name Edda probably means grandma, old woman, one who recounted tales in Old Norse (although the etymology is really more than uncertain), in this case I´m talking about a collection of Norse myths.

To be more precise, there are two „Eddas“: one is the so called „Poetic Edda“ (known as well as Codex Regius, and in older literature as the older Edda), which contains the eddaic songs or poetry, whose authors remain  unknown. The other one is the so called “Prosa Edda” or Snorra Edda- named for its author Snorri Sturlusson. Snorri was an aristocrat and a learned man of the 13th century Iceland, who collected myths, furnished them with an introduction, arranged and sorted them and he even managed to connect them with the Trojan mythology cycle. Although this sounds probably really odd for a contemporary person, for the Iceland of Middle-ages it meant a legitimisation of the classic aristocratic scholarship, which in Europe was always linked to classical Hellenic culture. In simple words, the significance of Edda for the Norsemen was as great as the value of Illias and Odyssey for the Greeks and later for their cultural heirs in Europe.
The Eddas are not the single, although probably the most comprehensive, supply of myths and tales. There are records from other scholars (Heimskringla of Snorri, Gesta Danorum in latin by Saxo Grammaticus) and a rich source is introduced in  Norse sagas, where we learn not only about the gods, but about the everyday joys and sorrows of plain mortals too (Konnungasögur, Íslendiga sogür, Fornaldasögur, Riddarasogür, Graenlendinga sögur; Flateyjarbók). Further information is found also in  runic inscriptions on runic stones and amulets (Rök Runestone, Möjbro Runestone, Jelling Stone, Kvinneby amulet and many others).

Loki appears in this world, which in its mythology encompasses Scandinavia, a part of Finland, Denmark and the Germanic north of Europe, Iceland and Greenland. Like I mentioned before, Loki is the one full of contradictions. It is he who induces the most ardent disputes among the scholars of Norse and religion studies. None can concur in a uniform definition of Loki: The brothers Grimm are at fault of the false association of Loki with fire. Other scholars asserted, that Loki is only an aspect of Odin, or a variation on the Christian Lucifer and had never existed as an independent entity. Some of them call Loki the archetypal trickster, others deny it, and one scholar is convinced, that Loki was originally a spider. Loki truly is a stranger in the pantheon or Norse gods, a newcomer, neither a giant nor a god (or both at the same). He is never the main protagonist of the myth, but he can be found in many of them and often he is the one who sets things in motion in Midgard and in other worlds.

The mythology recounts usually 9 worlds:
Ásgard is the realm of the ruling gods, the Aesir, where you find Valhalla and the residencies of the gods. Their ruler is Odin, who is the Allfather, the Master of all 9 worlds. He is the god of the warrior nobility and his wife is Frigg (sometimes compared to the Greek Hera). Thor, the god of Thunder is the son of Odin (albeit not the son of Frigg) and he is popular above all among the common people. His attribute is his hammer Mjölnir, which only he himself can lift.
Vánaheim is the realm of Vanir, the agrarian gods- according to a theory they existed before the advent of the warrior Aesir. Upon their advance a great battle took place, in which Aesir were victorious. To secure the peace, hostages were exchanged: Hoenir  to Vanaheim went and Njörd and his children, the twins Freyr and Freya (Freya is often identified as goddess of love) came to Asgard.
Álfheim is the dwelling place of the Álfs, or Elves about which we know but little. It is interesting, that only male elves are known, and often they are guests on the feasts of Aesir. Svartálfheim is the home of the uncanny Dark Elves- if they were dwarves or a separate race is not certain and regarding this matter the myths remain silent.
Midgard, or Middleearth, is the home to humans. It is connected to Asgard through the famous rainbow bridge, Bifrost.
Jötunheim is the realm of the wild Jötnar, frost giants, and originally of Loki as well. In Múspelheim live the fire giants and their leader is Sútr. In Nidavelir live the dwarves and at last (but not least), Niflheim is the dwelling place of the dead and their Queen is Hel, the daughter of Loki. Niflheim is sometimes called Helheim after its ruler, and sometimes it counts as an autonomous realm.
The world of the living and of the dead is separated by Ginnungagap, a huge abyss filled with eternal mists. Encircling these worlds is the sea, where the Midgard Serpent, Jormungandr dwells. He too is a child of Loki. He is so huge and monstrous that he bites his own tail. At the same time, however, it is he who holds all the 9 worlds from falling apart. Central in the mythology is the world tree, the ash Yggdrasil which grows through all nine worlds. At its roots is the Well of Wisdom that is guarded by the giant Mímir and that hides one of Odin’s eyes exchanged for a gulp of the wisdom bringing water. At his roots dwell the Norns as well, or the Fates: Urd, Skuld and Verdandi who ordain the doom of this world and to this even Odin must succumb.
Other gods who often appear in myths are Baldr, the son of Odin and Frigg, who is loved by everyone; Týr god of war; Heimdall the son of 9 mothers and the deaf guardian of Bifrost (but the better he can see), Thor´s wife Sif, and Skadi, a giantess, who is the wife of Njörd for a time.

Loki, Lopt, Loptr, Hvedrungar
Into this world comes Loki as a stranger. Although Jötun by birth, he is counted among the Aesir. His father is Farbauti and his mother Laufey, known as well as Nál: there are theories about her, that she was in reality an ásynja (fem. from Áss, a goddess) who rebelled and escaped into wilderness. For Loki it meant that his very origin was impure, because it was a taboo for goddesses to conjoin with giants (notice that it was not so the other way around! gods often had affairs with beautiful giant maidens and were not rebuked for it). He had two brothers, Byleistr and Helblindi (the latter thought to be Odin, because he was half blind). There exist no myths about how, when and where, but probably at the beginnings of time Loki was made blood Brother of Odin. That meant he got an official status of As and a permit to dwell in Asgard, although he didn’t own a residence. But he married the ásynja Sigyn, therefore it is probable that he lived in her halls, and he had had two sons by her: Váli and Narfi/Nari.
Despite of being a blood brother of Odin the other gods never liked him and always suspected him of lies and underhand machinations. In myths Loki often figures as a fellow of Thor and Odin. It is very important to know that he is a shape-shifter- he is able to change into any person or animal (mare, fly, salmon) and he can even change his gender! He is very shrewd, clever and cunning, he is skilled in magic and has a great rhetoric. He is able to easily go through different worlds and he does so often. Among his bynames are Silvertongue, Skywalker, Liesmith, Scarlip, Father of Monsters, Father of Wolves, Thief of Apples, Mischiefmonger, Trickster of Gods. His appearance is described as handsome, often with auburn (or ginger) hair, a mischievous face and as slender of stature. Unlike Thor he doesn´t rely only on his muscles but chiefly on his eloquence and cleverness.
For understanding Loki one has to know the myths in which he appears. Therefore now follows a short recounting of the most well known stories with further references on the end of this article (or if you click on the link after the title).


Sif´s golden hair, or how Loki came to be called Scarlip

Loki steals Sif´s  hair (by Villy Pogányi)

One day, for some reason or other, Loki came upon Sif sleeping in the garden and thought it would be funny, if he cut her hair. So he did, and when Sif woke up and saw her shorn head in the mirror, she started to weep. When her husband, Thor came home and saw his wife like that, great rage came at him and he wanted to kill Loki, for he was sure he was responsible for the misdeed. However, Odin wouldn´t have killing of gods in Asgard, therefore he decided, that Loki has to somehow recover Sif´s hair.
The dwarves sew Loki´s lips shut (by Audrey Koch)
Loki saw he had no other choice, so he visited dwarves who were famous smiths. He flattered the sons of Ivaldi so much that they agreed not only to smith hair of the finest gold threads for Sif, but they decided to present other gifts to the Gods as well: a spear Gungnir which would find its target no matter what and a ship Skídbladni that could be folded up and fit into the pocket like a piece of cloth. But Loki was not content and he went to other smith-masters, dwarves Brokkr and Eitri/Sindri. He bet his own head, that they wouldn´t be able to create things of greater marvel than the sons of Ivaldi. But lo! The dwarves forged a magical ring Draupnir that would drop other 8 identical rings every 9 days, a golden boar Gullingbursti which could fly through the air, and the greatest thing of all, the hammer Mjölnir. Loki started to worry about his head, therefore he changed into a fly and stung Sindri in his eye just as he was working the hammer´s handle. And that´s why Mjölnir is not perfect, but its handle is shorter than it was supposed to be. In spite of this mistake the gifts of Brokkr and Sindri were judged more wondrous than the other three and the dwarves demanded Loki´s head. But as Loki promised his head yet not his neck, they couldn´t claim their prize. At last, to bring justice, Brokks picked up a needle and a thread and sew together the Liesmith´s lips.  From that time on Loki acquired a new byname: Scarlip.

The birth of Sleipnir (Gilfaginning, Hyndluljód)

One of the most popular myths is that of the Building of the walls of Asgard. After the war between the Aesir and Vanir the walls of Asgard were in ruins. One day a strange mason showed up  and claimed that he could rebuild the walls in no time and the only reward he demanded was Freya for a wife, and Sol and Máni (the Sun and the Moon). The gods were outraged at the giant´s insolence- for the mason was s giant- and wanted to kill him, but at Loki’s advice they at last settled with the giant: if he could build the walls until the summer solstice and if he would do it alone, he should have his reward. So the gods swore. The giant accepted but for one exception: he would need the help of his horse, Svadilfári.
The eight legged Sleipnir
The gods thought no harm in this and it proved a mistake. Svadilfári was no common horse but helped his master so much that it was clear the giant would win. Suddenly everyone started to blame Loki, because it was his advice to accept the mason. Under a death threat Loki had to somehow halter his work and the only way he could think of achieving this was to transform into a mare in heat and seduce the stallion, Svadilfári. And so he did and the mason started to chase them and he did so for three days, but he couldn´t catch them. When it was clear he would lose the bet, he returned to Asgard and started to rampage and yell that the gods broke their oath and so he would claim Freya for his own. Fortunately, in that moment Thor returned and before asking anything, he killed the giant with his hammer.
As to poor Loki, after he seduced the stallion he couldn´t deny his reward and when he returned to Asgard in several months, he lead with him a gray foal that he himself birthed in the form of a mare. It was Sleipnir, the wondrous eight legged horse, which he gave to Odin. At the same time he publicly admitted the greatest shame that could happen to a Norseman- namely giving birth.

Thrymskvida, or Thor the Transvestite. 

One day Thor woke up to find out that someone stole his precious hammer. The culprit was the giant Thrym and he was willing to return the hammer in exchange for Freya as bride. Freya was outraged at this proposal, but Thor was about to throw an angry fit, so the gods and Loki thought up a great plan.
Loki and Thor prepare for the wedding (by Hellanim)
Thor would have go to fetch the hammer himself and because the giant wanted a bride, a bride shall it be: Thor would wear female clothes and a veil and Loki would go with him as his servant maid.
After much persuading the two of them went to Thrym and were seated at a wedding table. Thrym wondered, how could his bride eat so much and Loki answered: “She is hungry because she couldn´t eat for a week, so excited was she to see you.” When Thrym tried to lift “her” veil, Thor shot him a deadly glance and Loki rescued the situation once again: “Her eyes are so fiery because she couldn´t sleep for a week from excitement”. Finally Thrym laid the hammer as a bridal gift into the “bride´s“ lap and Thor shod his dress and acted as usually: he smashed everything to bits. This including Thrym´s skull, that of his mother, sisters and whole family, his hall and his whole house as well.

 Loki, Father of Monsters (Hyndluljód)
Loki, Angdbora and their brood (by Hellanim)

Loki had a consort in Jötunheim as well, a giantess called Angrboda. On her he fathered three unsusual children: a serpent Jormungandr, a half dead- half living girl Hel and Fenrir, a wolf that was the doom of Odin. For some reason Loki took his brood with him to Asgard but soon it was clear, that they couldn´t stay there. The serpent and the wolf grew and grew and Hel was just creepy. Therefore Jormungandr was cast into the sea, where he continued to grow until he encircled the 9 worlds and bit into his own tail, Hel was banished to underworld, where she ought to rule the dead in Niflheim. Finally, the gods bound Fenrir with a magical rope and imprisoned him deep underground, where he should stay until Ragnarok. This happened at the cost of Týr´s right hand. None seemed to ask Loki, what he might think about this.

 Idunn´s apples (Skáldskaparmál)
Once upon a time Odin and Loki went to Jötunheim. They got hungry on the way and decided to slay and roast one cow of the cattle they came upon. However, the meat wouldn´t roast no matter how long they let it hang above the fire. Then Loki noticed an eagle perched on the near tree and knew magic was at the work. The eagle said he would help to roast them the meat if he got a share for himself. They agreed and indeed, the meat was soon ready. But the eagle started to gorge himself hungrily and Loki, afraid that nothing would remain for him, smote the eagle with the spit. The eagle took off and strangely, the rod and Loki as well stuck to the eagle, who flew to his residence, for it was none other than Thjazi, a giant well skilled in magic. He agreed to release Loki, if he brought him Idunn and her apples of eternal youth, and Loki agreed, fearing for his life.
Loki and Idun (by John Bauer)
After he returned to Asgard, Loki lured Idunn out of her garden and as soon as they left the walls Thajzi appeared in the form of an eagle and snatched the goddess away. It didn´t last long until the gods noticed something was amiss. Without Idunn and her apples they began to age like common mortals! They started to blame Loki instantly, because who else could be responsible if not the Mischiefmonger?
So Loki had to return to Thjazi and kidnap Idunn back. To succeed he went to Freya and borrowed her falcon feathers and in this form he flew to the giant. He then changed the young goddess into a sparrow and they both flew back. However, Thjazi noticed their escape and pursued them all the way to Asgard.
The gods noticed what was happening and they started a great fire on the walls. The agile falcon and the small sparrow managed to slip through the flames, but the great feathers of the eagle caught on fire and so Thjazi found his death in the form of an eagle.

Loki´s challenge. 
Thjazi´s death had an aftermath. His daughter, the beautiful maiden Skadi, came to Asgard to complain about the unjust death of her father. To appease her, the gods promised her, that she could choose a husband among them, and so she did. The lucky one was Njörd. Her other demand they couldn´t fulfil- it was to make her laugh. That´s when Loki came in.
He led a goat into the hall, picked up a rope, of which he bound the one end on the goat´s beard and the other end on his own genitals. Then started a thug of war and everyone though it hilarious and finally, even Skadi laughed out with mirth. At last, Loki freed himself from the painful coupling and exhausted fell on Skadi´s lap. This performance didn´t improve his already damaged reputation.

Útgardaloki- Doppelganger? (Gylfaginning)

It happened so that Thor and Loki made a trip into Jötunheim. On the way they encountered a mysterious giant named Skyrmir, who managed to trick them several times, to Thor´s great dismay- he even tried to pacify him with his hammer, but didn´t succeed. At last the arrived in Útgard, where dwelled the king of Jötnar, Útgardloki. It was none other than Skyrmir, and he treated them well, provided they wouldn´t refuse a contest or two. One of them was an eating contest, in which the ever hungry Loki gladly volunteered. He was to compete with Logi in eating meat. Loki, confidently, gorged a whole half of the enormous portion, but Logi, who was fire personified, ate not only the other half, but even the copper cauldron which contained the food. Thor lost as well in three matches; nevertheless Útgardloki was so impressed by his strength, that he acknowledged his might and quickly disappeared together with the whole palace, for he was a master of magic and illusions. This episode is interesting in that it features an alter-ego of Loki, the “Underworld Loki”, who masters magic just like the god Loki. Unfortunately very little is known about him - only that there is some uncanny connection with the Asgard Loki.

Loki and the mistletoe or the Death of the beloved son (Baldur Draumar, Snorra Edda)

It were the following matters that brought the doom upon Loki: Baldr, the handsome, smart and clever god, son of Odin, who was beloved by everyone, began to have nightmares. They were about his own death. Baldr, frightened by them, ran to his mother Frigg and she talked to her husband, Odin. How could they turn fate? At last, Frigg took an oath from everything on the earth that they wouldn´t harm Baldr no matter what: people, animals of all kind, insects, stones, weapons, fire, poison and water, even giants and other creatures, they all swore not to hurt Baldr- because as we already know, Baldr was beloved by everyone.
Loki guiding Hödr´s hand (by Audrey Koch)
After this all the gods rejoiced and they came upon a great idea, namely that they would throw all kind of things at Baldr. They tried spears, arrows and stones, but everything just fell down without injuring him.
However, Loki didn´t like this kind of sport. Maybe he simply didn´t like Baldr after all, or he just wanted to have fun after his fashion. He noticed the blind god Hödr, Baldr´s brother, standing gloomily by side: because he couldn´t see, he wasn´t able to throw things on his sibling. So it came to pass that Loki finally found the minister of his amusement. For what Loki knew, but the others didn´t (except for Frigg) was, that there existed one thing on the earth which didn´t swear the oath, after all: it was the tender mistletoe, which Frigg thought too young to cause any harm.
So Loki crept upon the blind god and whispered to his ear: “Don´t be sad, Hödr. I can help you in such a way that you could amuse yourself just like the others.”
Hödr was delighted and he took from Loki a longish object, which was a mistletoe bough, but he didn´t know about that. Following Loki´s commands he threw the bough on Baldr- and it pierced him and the young god fell dead to the ground.
Hödr couldn´t deny his guilt. Everyone saw him- and he was promptly punished with death. The others knew however, that he was not the only one responsible. Naturally they all suspected Loki, who disappeared immediately after the incident.
Everyone wept while they prepared a funeral ceremony for Baldr. He was to be laid on a ship which was then set afire. The gods wept the more, because he didn´t die a valiant death and therefore he would be denied an honourable place in Valhalla among other warriors. On the contrary, he had to go to Hel in Niflheim, where went women, children and men who died in bed and not on the battlefield. But Frigg wouldn´t reconcile with the death of her beloved son. Therefore they sent Hermodd, another offspring of Odin to Hel to plead for the return of her son. Hel agreed upon one condition: everyone and everything in the world had to cry for Baldr. Frigg rejoiced for she was sure this would happen: who wouldn´t weep for Baldr? He was beloved by everyone!
Well, he wasn´t. As Frigg learned later, a certain old giantess named Thökk refused to shed tears for him. And so Baldr had to stay in Hel.
And who was that mysterious Thökk? It´s your guess (a hint: who liked to shape-shift and mess up the plans of the gods?).

Loki gets drunk (Lokasenna)

Even if Baldr had died, life went on, and so went the feasting. Aegir, a giant who lived on the shore, gave a great banquet one day where he invited the gods of Asgard as well. Mead flew in rivers and plates were heavy with delicious food and the gods had a good time. Only the poor Thor didn´t, because he had a different pastime: he was on the north and east killing giants. Suddenly an unwelcome guest appeared: Loki. He got into a fight with Aegir´s servant, which ended with the death of the latter. Loki made off only to return again. Not wishing to interrupt the feast anymore, Sif offered some mead to him. Loki´s tongue loosened by mead (not that he´d need much of that anyway), he started to accuse each and every god and goddess off some perversity: Freya of incest with her own brother, Freyr, Indunn of infidelity to her husband Bragi, Bragi of cowardice; Heimdall of sexual deviations (enjoying golden rain and such) and even Odin of ergi: that he dressed in female clothes and did woman´ s work (meaning employing magic). Ergi was a very grave insult for brave Vikings because it attacked their very manhood. But Odin repaid with the same currency: Loki too did female work- he milked cows and what worse, he himself bore children and suckled them! The tension grew and it culminated upon Thor´s arrival. Loki immediately accused him of cowardice and taunted him, that he won´t be even able to save his own father when Ragnarok comes. Thor got furious and threatened to smash his skull with his hammer and he had to repeat his menace several times until Loki escaped.

The binding and punishing of Loki and Ragnarok (Völuspá, Snorra Edda)

Loki´s punishment (by sandara)
It was beyond doubt that Loki had to be severely punished. He hid himself in a house in a valley, which he built himself: it had windows on all four walls so he could see if someone approached him. While waiting he amused himself by inventing things, like a fishing net. Meanwhile Thor with a few companions went to search for Loki and soon they discovered him. He tried to escape in that he changed to a salmon and leaped into water. Yet Thor was too swift and packed him by his tail- and since then salmons have a narrow tail paddle.
They dragged Loki back to Asgard and punished him more than brutally: Odin changed one of his sons, Váli, into a wolf, who in that form tore up his own brother Nári. So Loki was bound with the intestines of his own son above three sharp stones, in a cave deep underground. In addition Skadi hung a snake above his head, whose poison dripped directly on Loki´s face and it caused him great pain. His only solace was his loyal wife Sigyn, who held a bowl under the snake to catch the poison. Yet when she had to turn away to empty the bowl, the poison dropped down and in that moment Loki experienced tremendous torments and twitched and shook so badly that he caused earthquakes.
We don´t know how much time went by between Loki´s bounding and the end of the world, but if you asked Loki, I´m sure his answer would be: too much.
In any case, the End of the World came after many earthquakes and a great winter, Fimbulwinter which lasted three years. Then Fenriswolf strained his muscles and finally broke his ties and rescued his father as well. The wolves Skoll and Hati swallowed the sun and the moon and darkness descended on the earth. Loki returned to his homeland and gathered a terrible host: his own kin, the frostgiants from Jötunheim, trolls and other monsters. From the fiery Múspelheim came Sútr, a giant ablaze with glow and with him came the fire giants. Jormungand crawled from the sea and stood by side of his father, Loki, and his brother, Fenrir. His massive body heaved an enormous wave, on which swam up the giant Hymir on the grisly ship Naglfar and brought more giants on the battlefield.
But Odin called upon his einherjar, the fallen warriors, who could finally enjoy their fighting skills long honed in Valhalla. On his side stood the Aesir, Vanir and the Elves and the Valkyrjur bore their shields. After Heimdall sounded his great Gjallarhorn, the battle started on the field of Vigríd. In that terrible war the world tore apart and the sea spilled over the ground. As prophesied the gods lost: Fenriswolf killed Odin and was killed by the god´s son, Vidar. Týr met his fate in the hellhound Garm and they killed each other. Sútr´s sword ended the life of the handsome Freyr. Jornungand attacked Thor and even if he died, the god didn´t rejoice in his victory: he perished from the serpent´s poison. Loki´s adversary was Heimdall and both of them fell. To end it all, Sútr burned the nine worlds to ashes.
The Gods were dead. Long live the Gods! Only Baldr and Hödr escaped the fate, because Ragnarok didn´t pertain to the realm of Hel. And it was Baldr who became the ruler of the new, better world, which arose from the Doom of Gods.

Loki and the Rhinemaidens (by Arthur Rackham)
This is the short summary of the myths with Loki. They are not the only ones, however! You can find Loki entangled in affairs as well, which led to the undoing of the Niebelungs (Reginsmál). Loki was regarded as well as the father of the monstrous race of wolves, the wargs, which he conceived and bore himself after consuming the heart of a giantess (Hyndluljód), and you can find him in many other myths (for example in Fjölsvinnsmál, Skáldskaparmál, Heimskringla).
In the second part I will discuss Loki´s trickster character and consider some different interpretations of the well known myths, and  the question of Loki´s villainess gets particular attentionas as well.

To learn more about  the myths and Loki you can read these books:
Loki, by George Dumézil,  1959
Norse Mythology: A Guide to Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs, by John Lindow, Oxford University Press: 2002
Myth and Religion of the North, by Gabriel Turville Petre, Greenwood Press: 1975
A Dictionary of Northern Mythology, by Rudolf Simek, Boydell and Brewer: 2002
Prolonged Echoes: The Myths, by Margaret Clunies Ross, Odense University Press: 1994

some useful links:
The Baldwin Project  (myths in eglish)
The Iceland Sagas (Íslendigasögur)
The Children of Odin (by Padraic Colum, illustrated by Villy Pogányi) 

A remark on etymology:
As to the gods, there seems to be a lot of misuse of their name. The singular form is an Áss [ah-as], and the plural is Aesir [eh-sir]. People seem to use Aesir for singular, which is wrong, Please, do not do it! Note the difference. The same goes for Vanir- it is a plural form!
The feminine form is Asynja [ah-sin-yah]  for singular, Asynjur [ah-sin-yur]   for the plural. 
Regarding giants, it´s Jötun [yoe-tun]  for sg, Jötnar [yoet-nar] for pl. A seeres is a völva, pl. form is völur.


  1. Bude aj slovenská verzia? Mne sa po anglicky nechce! :D

    Dada / Trojveršie.sk

    1. Som slepýýý, slovenská verzia existuje! :D Tak pardón! XD

      Dada / Trojveršie.sk

    2. hahaha....tak si si vsimla napokon....lepsie neskoro ako nikdy ;)
      len Lokiho som fakt chcela aj po anglicky napisat, aby si to potom precitalo aj viac ludi :)