Loki then and now: the trickster against civilization

Helena Bassil-Morozow*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Loki, one of the most mischievous of the Norse gods, is a classic Trickster figure. This mythological character is difficult to define but is an archetype that Jung himself explored. The Trickster can be understood not only as a part of the Jungian individuation process, but also, from an anthropological perspective, as a metaphor for change, embodying the dynamics between the personal and the systemic. Mythological narratives featuring Loki portray him as a figure that frequently challenges the civilising forces of society, a challenge that can lead to either destruction or renewal for the society in question. More recently, however, the character of Loki has been revived as part of a Hollywood film franchise featuring a number of the comic book giant Marvel’s characters. This highly profitable enterprise, includes contemporary versions of other members of the Norse pantheon including Thor, Odin and Frigg, but Loki, as played by Tom Hiddleston, has proved a particularly popular character with the fans. This paper examines the history of Loki in the Icelandic Edda as well as the Hollywood commodification of the character in order to explore the psychological importance of the Trickster for the contemporary individual.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-96
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Jungian Studies
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2017

Keywords

  • The trickster
  • Marvel
  • Loki
  • The Avengers
  • Edda
  • individuation

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