Eldar Heide connects Loki to the late folklore about the Ash Lad, and more.


This article argues that post-medieval material is a key to understanding the enigmatic Old Norse god Loki. It seems that there were two Lokis: the mythological character and a vätte ‘domestic spirit’ living under or by the fireplace. The mythic character derived from this vätte, via the figure of the youth by the fireplace, parallel to the fairy tale Ash Lad who extensively overlaps with the Loki of myths. Loki and the Ash Lad are both indispensable super-providers yet unacceptable to the establishment; they are essentially ‘semi-otherworlders’. Hence there is no real contradiction between their beneficial and destructive activities.