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In Norse mythology, a trickster who was able to change his shape and sex. His father was the giant Fárbauti, but he was included among the Aesir, a tribe of the gods. A companion of the great gods Odin and Thor, Loki helped them with his clever plans but sometimes embarrassed them. He also appeared as the enemy of the gods, entering their banquets uninvited and demanding drink. After causing the death of the god Balder, he was punished by being bound to a rock. Loki created a female, Angerboda, with whom he produced three evil progeny: Hel, the goddess of death; Jörmungand, the evil serpent surrounding the world; and Fenrir, the wolf.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Loki, visit Britannica.com.