The Last Insult

After the Aesir found out that the giant Tok, who did not mourn Balder and thus remained in the Underworld, was in fact Loki, he himself inflicted the last insult. At a big party he attended, because he was Odin’s blood brother after all, a big feast was there. The beer was poured, masterfully prepared and served dishes, and all by two servants Eldir and Fimafeng. Loki didn’t like it at all and just killed Fimafeng.

After the Aesir drove him furiously into the forest, he returned to the palace and began to insult all right: the goddesses are light women; Idunn, Gevun, Frigg, and Freya looked like trolls; Frey, Tyr, Heimdall, and Odin were cowards. Swore everyone, in their faces, to the gods themselves. Thor threatened to smash him with a powerful blow to Mölnir, and Loki made another insult and fled.

Punishment of Loki

He fled to the mountains, where he built a house with four doors, so that he could watch from every direction of the world if anyone was chasing him to avenge him. As he thought, he watched the pond in which he transformed into a salmon, diving. Inspired by fishing hooks, he figured out how to weave a new device – a fishing net. This was the first fishing net. He thought of ways to get out of it, what tricks to use if they tried to catch him in the form of a fish. When he had finished plotting, Loki threw the fishing net into the fire.

Punishment of Loki, Mårten Eskil Winge (1890)

The Aesir had already decided to take revenge on Loki. Odin from Hlidskjalf throne traced where he lived and the gods marched on him. Loki saw them, turned himself into salmon, and dived into the stream. The Aesir entered the hut, but did not find the god of cunning and deceit. However, Kvasir found the remains of a fishing net that had not burned completely. He figured for what purpose it was used, and had the gods weave more from it to catch the scoundrel.

They threw the nets into the stream, one with weights, another with hooks, and Loki nimbly dodged, even jumping over the water. He was very agile and skilful in swimming and avoiding, but the next time he jumped over the water, Thor was ready and grabbed Loki, with the gods on both sides stretching one of the nets and catching the salmon. However, Loki started swimming deep, but stopped and jumped straight into Thor’s arms.

They dragged Loki to a cave. Then they captured Loki’s sons, Vali and Nari, turned Vali into a wolf and turned him against Nari – the wolf tore Nari apart. Then the gods took Nari’s intestines and tied Loki to three stones, which they ordered earlier: through the shoulders, through the hips and through the knees. The intestines were as strong as steel ropes, and the giant Scadi caught a snake and placed it over his head. The venom of the snake dripped right onto Loki’s forehead.

His faithful wife, Sigyn, could not watch her husband’s suffering and took a bowl with which she stood over Loki’s head and collected the snake’s venom. As the bowl filled, Sigyn had to pour it out, and then the dripping snake venom fell directly on Loki’s face, eating away his eyes, nose, and lips. The suffering was great, the torture cruel. Every drop of poison was a confirmation of the great anger and revenge of the Aesir.

He did not escape punishment. Why – is unknown. Maybe his guilty conscience, maybe he didn’t want to be the deity of insidious deeds anymore, or maybe he was just waiting for the final battle of Ragnarok. One thing was for sure, Loki endured the wrath of the gods.