"Writing a book is the art of listening to oneself."-Brad Cameron

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Real Loki

It seems that we’ve been inundated lately by the influence of Marvel Comics and Hollywood’s take on the Norse gods. Thor has risen to the top as a super hero, and Loki, incorrectly identified by the movie makers as Thor’s brother, has taken part in the flood-lit stage right beside him. Many movie-goers and comic book readers delight in the entertainment. I’ve even found myself drifting toward the movie theatre for a first hand glimpse at the latest edition to the Avengers, happily finding myself cheering along with the rest of the crowd - it is, with out a doubt, a very enjoyable experience. 
(c) http://thenorsegods.com/loki/
However, avid readers of The Zeke Proper Chronicles, especially those who have read book two, The Serpent’s ship, tend to approach me with the same question: The Loki in your books is very different from the one in the movie. Why is that? The answer is simple. My attempt in writing The Zeke Proper Chronicles is to try and give the reader a glimpse into the mind of a child living in a Danish Village in the year 793 AD. My goal is to allow the reader an opportunity to hear and understand the stories of Odin, Thor, and Loki as they might have been related around a peat burning fire, or within sight of a stone-walled corral where cattle and sheep may have been penned up for the night as protection from wolves and bears. Though entertainment is still my goal, authenticity is a close second.

Abounding in my retelling of the Norse myths are several sections where I take creative liberties. Zeke, Devon, and Taylre often take the place of characters in the myths to give the retelling a focus. Nevertheless, I try to keep it real. In book three, The Gates of Asgard, Zeke finds himself on a quest to locate gold to supplicate the dragon, Nidhogg. The real story, however, features Loki as the raider of treasure as he attempts to find ransom for Otter’s family. Here’s a brief retelling of the actual story:

"Loki came to a silent pool filled with water that seemed to spring from nowhere and flow nowhere.

Loki spread out a finely spun meshed net and cast it into the pool. He pulled it in and there, furiously lashing and writhing, was a large pike snared in the net.

Avoiding its nasty looking teeth, Loki grabbed hold of the pike, shaking it roughly. ‘First,’ he said, looking into its dark yellow eyes, ‘you’ll change shape.’

The pike shivered, quivering in its scaly fish form, when suddenly it changed, the air shimmering around it, and turned into the dwarf Andvari.

'What do you want?‘ whined Andvari.

"What I want is all your gold,’ Loki said. ‘Otherwise I’ll wring you out like a piece of washing.’

Andvari shuddered with fear. He led Loki through a twisting chamber into his smithy. The Dwarf spread out his hands and shrugged.

'Gather it up!’ Loki ordered.

Andvari turned reluctantly and began scrambling around, gathering gold into two large sacks. Then, grunting, he dragged them across the smithy and stood with them in front of Loki.

'What about that ring?’ Loki said, pointing at the dwarf’s tightened fist.

‘Let me keep it,’ Andvari begged. ‘Just this, then I’ll be able to make more gold.’

Loki stepped forward and forced open Andvari’s fist, seizing the ring and stuffing it in the sack. ‘What is not freely given must be taken by force,’ Loki said.

Loki turned and began walking out of the smithy. ‘Take that ring!’ yelled the dwarf, ‘and a curse shall follow it. That and the gold that you forcefully take from me!’

Loki turned around and smiled. ‘If,’ said Loki. ‘If I repeat your words to those who receive this gold, then your curse will come true.’ Then he turned and made his way out of the world of the dark elves into Midgard.”

Loki, a nasty, selfish fellow indeed. But more impish and foolish then superhero. So, take a moment to become familiar with The Zeke Proper Chronicles. Book three will be out soon. When it appears, you’ll have the rest of the story.