As the god of cunning and deception, Loki was very intelligent and treacherous. He had three children from different mothers. Jormungand was a giant snake that slept on the ocean floor, covering the whole earth with his rings. Hel was a girl whose one half of the face looked beautiful, and the second half was terrible, like death itself. Fenrir was a huge wolf. God Tyr loved to play with him when Fenrir was a cub. But he grew and became bigger and stronger. The gods realized that Fenrir was too dangerous and could kill all of them. They decided to tie the wolf so that he could not harm anyone. But which chain on earth would be able to hold such a monster? The gods went to the dwarves who made the hammer of Thor and lots of other incredible things.
This is the story of Loki’s children, and what happened to them. The god Loki had three children, but these were not ordinary children.
Loki’s children were a snake whose name was Jormungand, a scary woman whose name was Hel, and a wolf whose name was Fenrir. At first they lived in Jotunheim, the country of the giants, but then they all came to Asgard, where the gods lived, and the gods were very worried.
‘I don’t like Loki’s children!’ said Odin, the most important of the gods. ‘Loki is a dangerous man. He’s always playing tricks. His children will be as dangerous as he is!’ The goddess Freyja did not think the same thing. ‘But sometimes Loki is good,’ she said. ‘He has helped us lots of times. I think his children can live here in Asgard, with us.’
‘But they’re a snake, a strange-looking, scary woman and a wolf!’ shouted Odin. ‘They can’t live here!’
Thor thought the same thing.
So first they took Jormungand the snake. Jormungand was so big the gods needed all the strength of Odin and Thor and two other gods, Tyr and Balder, to pick him up. Then, they threw him out of Asgard, which was at the top of the world, all the way down to Midgard. With a big, loud noise, the snake fell into the world of the humans. In Midgard, Jormungand started to grow and grow and grow. In the end, there was no space left for him there, so he went into the sea which was all around Midgard. When he was in the sea, he grew and grew until he made a circle around the entire world. His tail went into his mouth.
‘Now then,’ said Odin, ‘What about Loki’s daughter, Hel?’
The gods all looked at Hel, and even they were frightened. Her head was the head of a normal woman, but the rest of her body was like a skeleton, only bones and dead skin.
‘I know what do with her,’ said Odin, who was very clever. ‘This woman is half-alive and half-dead. She can’t live with us, because we’re gods, and she can’t live with the humans in Midgard, because she isn’t human. We’ll send her to Niflheim!’
‘To Niflheim!’ shouted Freyja. ‘But that’s a terrible place! That is the place where people go when they have died!’
‘Exactly!’ said Odin. ‘Hel will be the best queen for Niflheim. I’ll give her a city there, and the name of that city will be Hel, too!’…