When we think about the Asgardian royal family, the first names that often come to mind are Thor, Odin, and Loki. As we know, Asgardians are a different race altogether, as the Nine Realms themselves are filled with various types of creatures and races, making an effort to co-exist peacefully. Since Loki has always been different from his brother and the rest of the family, we weren’t all that shocked to find out that he was actually a Frost Giant, a member of a highly violent and destructive race stuck in perpetual war with Asgardians. Let’s see how Loki, a Frost Giant, found himself living among Asgardians.
Loki is a Frost Giant because he was born as a son to Laufey, the King of Frost Giants. Due to unknown reasons, Loki was born smaller than the rest of the Frost Giants, which led Laufey to abandon him and Odin to adopt him and raise him as his own son. The reason why Loki was born smaller than the rest of his kind was never explained, but it certainly didn’t stop him from developing into a powerful character and significant threat, both to Frost Giants and Asgardians alike.
Why was Loki abandoned by Frost Giants?
Frost Giants, also known as Jötuns, are one of the most brutal races in the MCU, Comics, and real-world mythology. They are a proud warrior race, and their identities and worth are extremely tied to the amount of might and battle proof they are able to accomplish.
Frost Giants often wanted to invade the Nine Realms, which led them to clash with Asgardians on numerous occasions. Laufey led the cruel race, and he was known to be among the greatest warriors of their kind.
This is why Laufey was extremely embarrassed when his son was born. Namely, Loki was born significantly smaller than the rest of Frost Giants. It was obvious that he was the “runt of the litter,” and this is why Laufey decided to abandon Loki and leave him to die. Laufey thought that he would never grow up to be worthy and strong enough to lead the Frost Giants, so it was perhaps best to leave him to faith.
In the comics, different accounts about how Loki was abandoned are told. In older versions of Loki’s origin story, he is found abandoned in a temple as a baby, just like in the MCU, by Odin.
According to some legends, his mother, Frost Giant Queen Farbauti, committed suicide after seeing him stabbing herself in the heart with an Ice Dagger. Some stories also told how Laufey was the one to kill her, blaming their son’s poor growth on her.
New and revised origin stories tell us how Odin actually adopted Loki as an older child. Laufey never abandoned him, but he kept mistreating the child forever, reminding him how he was basically an abomination among their race because he was physically more similar to Asgardians than Frost Giants.
Why doesn’t Loki look like a Frost Giant?
Loki never looked like a Frost Giant because Odin put powerful spells on him, including bone protrusions and blue-tinted skin, so his true Frost Giant heritage wouldn’t show.
If you’re wondering why Loki was born smaller than the rest of his kind, we don’t have an answer for this, as it was never explored. I mean, these things kind of happen. Genetics and various disorders are pretty common factors in determining how you’re actually going to look, and a lot of stuff can happen that is out of your control.
Frost Giants are known to be much more muscular, taller, stronger, and sturdier than regular humans and even Asgardians. They are recognizable for various ridges and bone protruding from their bodies in random patterns.
They also have bright red eyes and usually have narrow ridges on their face or a unique pattern across their body. When Odin found Loki abandoned, Loki was completely blue and had a pattern running across his face, notably his forehead. Loki had all the visual qualities of a Frost Giant, but his features were rather soft and definitely smaller.
Despite Loki’s looks being “softer” and his body physically being “smaller.” He would still never be able to pass for an Asgardian baby. This means that Odin had to use powerful magic to hide his true heritage.
Still, Asgardian magic wasn’t enough to keep Loki’s parentage a secret forever. At the end of the day, Loki was a Frost Giant, which meant he didn’t have regular weaknesses to his kind as the rest of the Asgardians.
In the movie ‘Thor’ while Loki was fighting Raze, he was the only one who could tolerate the touch of another Frost Giant without doubling over in pain. In fact, Raze’s touch seemed to negate Odin’s magic a bit and forced Loki to temporarily turn into Forst Giant once again.
Later, while Loki was in contact with the Casket of Ancient Winters, he turned blue completely, but even when he grew up and Odin’s magic disappeared momentarily, he still didn’t look as savage and hard as the rest of his race. His features were still softer even if he had a ridged face and blood-red eyes.
In the comics, it’s explained that Loki looks the way he does because this is the form that he choose to adopt. Loki can shapeshift in pretty much anything and anyone, but for some reason, he always returns to his “default body.” Most likely because he prefers it to all other forms and because he finds the effort of retraining a different form physically taxing.
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