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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Hel is initially described with a body half-white, half-black even though modern interpretations make her half-living, half-dead.
  • Broken Base: Over Loki, over whether he's a murderous Jerkass to be avoided or a misunderstood and underappreciated guy who does what has to be done for the greater good, and how big of a role (if any) he actually played in the death of Baldur.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Loki. What's not to love about a genderqueer trickster who gets knocked up by a horse of all things, then eventually gets himself imprisoned and tortured indefinitely for essentially criticizing a corrupt and decadent government?
    • Alongside Odin and Thor he was the preferred of the Norse gods.
  • Fridge Logic: Couldn't they chop Loki's head in half without touching his neck?
    • Apparently not - one version has Loki insisting that by his head, he meant his whole head, so they couldn't leave any of it behind or they'd have forfeited.
    • Despite his selfish, dishonest, violent, morbid, gray-area behavior, in the more Christianized stories, Odin is portrayed as a benevolent god. And when his infamous cunning, wisdom, and habit of breaking oaths raise questions as to why he's so buddy-buddy with Loki, Odin's made out to be a trusting old fool who only keeps Loki around because he swore a blood oath.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Surtur. Probably the Ur Example.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Loki is a jotun, or in other words, a troll. Nowadays, the term "troll" has taken on another meaning, which describes Loki just as well.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Loki
  • Magnificent Bastard: Loki. Need I say more?
    • Odin is just as good as Loki with his constant schemes to delay or thwart Ragnarok completely. In some sources it is implied that he is responsible for every war in human history so that he will have a steady supply of heroes to fill out the ranks of his army in Valhalla so the Gods have a fighting chance at Ragnarok.
    • Worse than that. The valkyries, universally depicted nowadays as hot amazon babes on winged horses just there to lovingly lift up the spirits of the fallen and take them to Valhalla. Well, some sources describe them as far more than just beautiful Psychopomps for the heroic dead. They helped make your heroes dead. A random arrow deflected in flight hits a chink in your armor. A broken lace on your boot makes you stumble and gives your enemy the opening to strike you down. Etcetera. All the work of the Valkyries, invisibly flitting here and there on the battlefield to screw over the finest of warriors so that Odin would have the best of the best on his side come Ragnarok. It was how the Norse answered the question "why do the good die young while jerk-asses live forever?" It was also why the original steeds of the valkyries weren't beautiful winged horses, they were dark and hoary wolves.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Unfortunately, due to the Nazi deification of all things blond and blue-eyed, a disproportionate number of the "fans" of Norse mythology you'll find these days are Wotanists, a neo-nazi white supremacist sect who wish to return the lighter-skinned "to their ancestral religion." How these nutters would react to the fact that Norse mythology is heavily connected to other Proto-Indo-European religions, with such concepts as a world tree and serpent being observed as far as India and Persia.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Loki crosses it when he orchestrates the events leading up to Baldur's death and prevents his resurrection by not weeping for him. The rest of the gods were pissed.
  • Memetic Badass: Thor
  • Never Live It Down: There's something about a guy getting impregnated by a horse that people just don't forget.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Hel
  • Tear Jerker: Loki's eventual punishment and the agony he goes through. (Made worse by the fact that, originally, it was an unnamed woman who didn't cry for Baldur.)
    • Also, there's something so sad about him having his lips sewn shut and all the others laughing at him. Then again, even before he was turned into a Satan expy, he was still kind of a dick, and it doesn't seem to hamper him in later myths.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Loki was, originally, a decent guy. The serfs were particularly fond of him. But after the dwarves sewed his lips shut (after he managed to trick them out of chopping his head off), the other Gods laughed at him, and he began to plot his revenge. He may also qualify as a Jerkass Woobie since being a Jerkass was kind of the reason his lips were sewn together in the first place?
  • Unfortunate Implications: Helheim is ruled by a woman, and it's pretty much accepted that women end up there by default unless they actually die fighting in battle.
    • Anyone who isn't a soldier/warrior who dies in battle and isn't enough of a dick to merit going to Niflheim goes to Hel.