Alas, June came to an end, another month flew by and we couldn’t have asked the gods for a better post to wrap up an awesome month. If that title didn’t get you then all hope eludes you.
Closing the curtain on Pride Month (though, stay tuned—this isn’t it for Pride Nights!), author Lyra Wolf dives into Loki’s queerness, which she explored in her fantasy series The Nine Worlds Rising.
Lyra Wolf is a Swiss-American author of fantasy and mythic fiction. Raised in Indiana, home to a billion corn mazes, she now lives in Central Florida, home to a billion mosquitoes. She enjoys drinking espresso, wandering through old city streets, and being tragically drawn to 18th century rogues. When Lyra isn’t fulfilling the wishes of her overly demanding Chihuahua, you can find her writing about other worlds and the complicated people who live there. Lyra has earned a B.A. in History and M.A. in English.
Loki in Fishnets by Lyra Wolf
When I started writing “Truth and Other Lies,” the one thing that was most important to me, well, besides making Loki a snarky bitch, was being true to Loki’s queerness.
There is not much about Loki that is consistent. I mean, he is a being of pure chaos after all, it only makes sense. But, the one thing that IS consistent, whether that be in Norse mythology or Marvel, is that he is bi/pan and genderfluid (oh, and super hot. Thanks Snorri!).
In my series, I have established a queernorm world for the characters, and so Loki is just livin’ his best trickster life and loving whom he loves. In the mythology, some of the people on the Loki love train include a wife named Sigyn and a Jotun giantess named Angrboda―who could also possibly be another wife/consort/ride or die, we just don’t know. There’s also a stallion, but we won’t get into that here. It’s complicated.
When I was creating the series, researching the mythology for any others who may have also hopped on Loki’s cruise ship of love, there was one verse in the Poetic Edda that made me stroke my figurative wizard beard.
In the poem “Lokasenna,” Loki crashes a feast simply to accuse all the gods of being the worst and then he drops THIS little anvil:
"Remember, Odin, in olden days that we both our blood have mixed; then didst thou promise no ale to pour, unless it were brought for us both."
And they were blood brothers. OMG THEY WERE BLOOD BROTHERS.
You see, this is actually a big mystery in Norse mythology. As in, WHY did Odin make Loki his blood brother? Why did he bring him to Asgard knowing Loki was the cause of Ragnarok? We do not know, as any reference to this blending of blood is only preserved in this one verse.
But in “Truth and Other Lies,” I tried to answer this question of “why”…what if Odin fell in love with the man destined to destroy him? I saw two men who loved each other deeply, but were constantly getting torn apart by their choices and fate.
This is when my series took a turn and started becoming an exploration of love, not just the love between Loki and Odin, but also the love between Loki and Sigyn, and all the shades in-between. How love can hurt us, heal us, damn us, and save us, and…can you tell this gets me excited? I can’t help it. I’m a sucker for good angst and the redemptive power of love.
*Ahem* Ok, reeling myself back in.
I know pairing Loki and Odin together is not the most popular choice, but it’s the hill I’ve chosen to die on. I mean, look at these verses when they charge the other with being “unmanly”:
Odin: "Knowest thou that I gave to those I ought not - victory to cowards? Thou was eight winters on the earth below, milked cow as a woman, and didst there bear children. Now that, methinks, betokens a base nature." Loki: But, it is said, thou wentest with tottering steps in Samsö, and knocked at houses as a Vala. In likeness of a fortune teller, thou wentest among people; Now that, methinks, betokens a base nature."
TL;DR: Odin is like “Oh? You think I treat warriors unfairly in battle? Well, YOU’RE unmanly because you practice magic.” To which, Loki responds: “Oh, I’m unmanly because I practice magic? PLEASE. If anyone here is unmanly, it’s you Ms. I-Do-Magic-Wearing-Women’s-Off-The-Rack-Separates.”
Come on! They are husbands essentially accusing the other of leaving the casserole out on the counter again―and stealing the other’s stilettos.
Another aspect of Loki’s queerness I mentioned earlier is his genderfluidity. Here is the important bit: no matter how Loki presents as a genderfluid person, Loki is always Loki, just as I am always me.
I think there is sometimes some confusion with his shape shifting. This is a magic ability and has no bearing on his sexuality or gender. It’s just a super convenient perk, one I wish I had. Like seriously, how awesome would that be? Again, Loki’s gender can and does change regardless of what “form” he may be in. Presentation does not equal gender. And we all experience genderfluidity differently.
When I write Loki, I can sense when he switches gender, when Loki is woman, male, neither, or all. His language might soften or harden, and body language the same. What clothes he wears―or wants to wear (although, as with presentation, clothes do not equal gender)―will change. His reactions when he’s around other characters might differ. Sometimes you wake up and just want an exquisite set of breasts. Other times you identify as a problem.
“Don’t let this leather fool you,” Elénaril said. “I love a good gown the same as a good blade.”
“Funny, so do I.” [Loki]Excerpt from “Thunder, Blood, and Goats” (Releasing Fall, 2021)
I try to keep it all fluid (ha). These shifts in gender may be subtle, but I’ve written them authentically to my own experience.
Again, genderfluidity is very individual and how I show Loki’s genderfluidity is by no means indicative of the experiences of other genderfluid people. The way Loki evolved on the page, he embraces each aspect of his expression, and is as much genderfluid and queer when he presents male and in a hetero-passing relationship as he is when embracing a killer gown, or delving into the heated sexual tension of his relationship with Odin.
Writing Loki in my “The Nine Worlds Rising” series has been an amazing experience. It’s wonderful to breathe and be free, to explore the deepest parts of ourselves, and at the core, to love others and be loved in return.
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Check out Lyra’s upcoming release, That Good Mischief!
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