Loki is the epitome of duality. He’s creator AND destroyer. He’s a father AND a mother. He’s male AND female. He’s good AND evil. To the core. While Loki is definitely modeled after humanity, he can never be held to human rules and logistics. He’s a god. He’s an idea. An archtype. While he has human characteristic, he also has ALL human characteristics. He’s much more than any one person could ever actually be.
He fathered and gave birth. He had children he loved and cared about. He also cheated on his wife. Stole. Lied. Played cruel and merciless tricks on people. He cut off all of Sif’s hair; her prized possession, because he thought it would be funny. Sure, he took one for the team, and turned into a mare to lead away a workhorse of a giant, to keep that giant from winning a bargain Loki struck with him. So, again, cheating and lying, to get out of a mess HE created. And someone suggested he was raped by the horse. I see no evidence anywhere suggesting that he didn’t willingly turn into a female horse and led that workhorse away for a good time, had by all. If I’m mistaken, PLEASE, show me where it says Loki was raped. Because Loki, who able to switch gender at will, who is selfish and manipulative, saw an opening where he could get out of this deal he made AND get him some. Win-win for Loki.
Loki is good and evil in ways human beings can’t be. He doesn’t follow the same rules. He can murder, steal, cheat, lie, and enjoy every single minute of it, and still go home at the end of the day to his wife and kids and tell them stories and kiss them good night like a good father.
Don’t get me wrong, Loki could certainly be lead by the way others treated him. In fact, I think this is driven more by his good side than his evil. In Lokesenna, he’s driven by jealousy and envy. Here he was, just being Loki, doing what Loki does, and all the sudden everyone is upset at him. So he lashes out. He gets nastier.
Things that happened after Baldur’s death were more of a reaction to how people treated him.
Cheating on Sigyn was not.
Claiming war on Asgard, leading the unhonored dead, is a reaction to how he was treated after doing, what he felt, was just what he does.
Killing Baldur just because he saw the opening to do so was not.
While none of this instances I’ve used as examples are that cut and dry – nothing ever is – and there are extenuating circumstances that surround these events – there always are – it really IS that simple. He CHOSE to make these decisions. He knew he was going to kill Baldur. He saw a prank to play, and he played it. And it was fatal.
If you think Loki is solely driven by the way other people treat him, you’re making him out to be shallow and superficial. If you think Loki only reacts to the way others treat him, you’re denying him the chaos and cruelty and malice that is just as much a part of him as the mischief and trickery and laughter. His element is fire; Loki can be productive, useful, and even beneficial. He can also wreak wanton destruction and chaos to everything he touches.
Loki isn’t human. You can’t say that being evil negates him being good. He can, and is, both. If you take away his ability to be chaotic, destructive, and evil for no good reason, then you only understand half of Loki.
And this applies to the comic books, movie, and mythos. For a couple years or more now, we’ve had Kid Loki. And Kid Loki has struggled with the fact that he is also evil. He wants to be better. He wants to be good more than evil. But that evil is still a part of him. It still whispers in his ear and pushes him in subtle ways. Loki CAN be good. And he is ALSO evil. In the movies, he was still cruel as often as he was nice. He let those Jotun into the palace with complete disregard for the lives that were going to be lost. He didn’t care that Jotun and Asgardian alike could be, and were, murdered because he wanted to disrupt his brother’s ceremony. Loki wasn’t a good kid that was mistreated and abused and forced to become evil to survive. He was evil to begin with, as well as good. Duality. To say he’s only good inside and only acting evil because he was mistreated is watering down the character to the point that all you have left is a spoiled, selfish, bratty child inside the body of a full grown god, lashing out because he feels he didn’t get the attention and adoration he deserves. What a boring, two-dimensional, superficial character. How would that appeal to anyone outside of spoiled, selfish, bratty children who feel they’re not getting the attention and adoration they deserve? I guess that’s why there’s so many teenage girls as Loki fans these days…
Or perhaps, the biggest trick Loki’s ever played was getting all these rabid fangirls to believe he was the victim…