The anarchist Picture

One more god doodle, then I'll stop. Loki again, this time on his way to meet his death at Ragnarok. I admit it, I have a real soft spot for Loki. I love trickster figures anyway but gah, he's just so ambiguous! Everything about him is fascinating and difficult to pin down; his morals, his motivations, his skills, his background, his relationship with the Aesir, his sexuality... And, credit to him, he's bloody good at his job; you can barely mention his name without someone starting an argument, whether its scholars, flaky neopagans (like me) or comic fans, someone somewhere is arguing about him... and he's probably pissing himself laughing because of it!

I've always imagined him as a scrawny, scruffy little bastard. I dunno why, I mean, descriptions differ from story to story and tend to boil down to "ginger shapeshifter with scars" and illustrations tend to either depict him as a generic burly warrior type or a puckish waif. But I figured, if I was a shapeshifter I wouldn't take much care of my natural form and he's probably not going to look his best after being bound for so long, so yeah, this is pretty much how I imagine he looks (well, maybe without the red eyes). And yes, he wears earrings. Because a guy who's been pregnant really shouldn't care about gender norms.

The brooch is the Bjarkan rune, which is associated with him through a Norwegian rune poem. As for the (badly drawn) scars: the ones around his mouth are left over from getting his mouth sewn shut; the scars around his eyes are from his infamous punishment for orchestrating the death of Baldr, he's been tied to a rock with the entrails of one of his sons under a serpent whose venom drips into his face (ouch, seriously, Norse gods are hardcore). The fire is because he's known to conjure it in the myths, and some people think he might have started off as some sort of fire deity (but like any scholarly debate on the subject of him, it's a matter of contention. Other people see him as an air spirit or even as a spider, like Anansi).

I was trying to make him look mischievous and sneering without looking too evil. I know it's trendy in the English-speaking world to use him as a Viking stand-in for Lucifer, but, eh, I never really got the "evil" vibe from the myths. Deceitful, insidious and cunning? Yes. Jealous and puerile? Quite probably. Cruel and vain? On occasion. But evil? Nah. I see him more as a figure of chaos, like Set or Eris, but also as an agent against hubris. He often serves to take others down a peg, no matter how powerful or venerable they are. You think you're strong and manly? Well, he'll put you in a dress. You think you can outsmart him? He's already one step ahead of you. Think you're invulnerable? He'll find your weakness and destroy you. He's not a particularly NICE deity, but I wouldn't say he was evil. Chaotic neutral, maybe, if we're going to be nerdy about it.

All that chatter about one crappy drawing! I'll shut up now. And I know the hand is wrong. Dammit.

EDIT shaded it a bit more cos the light was bugging me. Everything needs more dark!
Continue Reading: Eris