Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

The Trickster god among the Norse Aesir, associated with fire, malice and betrayal. Despite being Odin's blood brother, Loki is fated to fight on the opposing side in Ragnarok; he is a recurring Antihero figure in Nordic Fantasy. His visit with Thor to the Giant Utgardaloki – who outwits them with Illusion – is adapted as an episode of L Sprague de Camp's and Fletcher Pratt's The Incomplete Enchanter (1941). John James's Votan (1966) retells some of Loki's exploits as Rationalized Fantasy. Diana Wynne Jones's Eight Days of Luke (1975) sees him freed from his traditional imprisonment Underground (where a Serpent drips venom in his eyes) to become the grateful, charming, yet still dangerous Companion of the modern boy who accidentally releases him; the Loki in Neil Gaiman's The Kindly Ones (graph coll 1996) seems truer to the original, being driven by corrosive malice to destroy his liberator rather than remain under an obligation. [DRL]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.