Svein: Good morning, Asgard! Today, our correspondent Leda Skeetersøn brings you a special report – an exclusive interview with Loki Laufeysøn, who is now being accused of the murder of Balder Odinsøn in a shooting incident a few days ago. Over to you, Leda.
Leda: Thank you, Svein. It was a horrible tragedy that shook Asgard to its core – the death of Balder Odinsøn at the hands of his own brother, Hod. But now investigators are claiming that evidence points to another culprit – that Asgard's own Loki Laufeysøn actually guided Hod's hand in the shooting that took his brother's life. I spoke with Mr. Laufeysøn yesterday about these accusations, his troubled past, and what's next for Asgard's resident trickster.
Leda: Good morning, Mr. Laufeysøn. Thank you for being with us today.
Loki: Not at all, Leda.
Leda: So let's get right down to what's on everyone's mind: the shocking accusation that you actually masterminded the murder of Balder. How do you respond to these allegations?
Loki: Well Leda, let me ask you a question. Why would I – Odin's sworn blood-brother, Balder's own uncle – want to kill Balder?
Leda: So you deny the accusations.
Loki: I just think that it's an outrage that someone who has rendered such service to the people of Asgard – who was singlehandedly responsible for procuring Thor's hammer and Odin's horse, who has done nothing but defend Asgard from the giants – should have to face such horrible accusations.
Leda: Let's talk a little bit about your relationship with Odin, which has been strained, to say the least, by the recent allegations. Tell us a little bit about how you and Odin became acquainted.
Loki: Well, from the minute Odin and I met, in Jotunheim, we felt a connection to one another. I think Odin was surprised by me.
Loki: Well, yes. I mean, one doesn't expect to find someone like me – someone so intelligent, beautiful, and talented – among the giants.
Leda: Yes, let's talk more about your Jotun [giant] heritage. Has your unusual background hurt you any way, here in Asgard?
Loki: Well actually, I believe it has helped me. Many giants have the ability to shape-shift, which, as you know, is a particular talent of mine that I have put to great use in service of the gods. For example, I transformed into a beautiful mare, seducing a giant's stallion and birthing Odin's marvelous horse, Sleipnir. Understanding giant culture has also enabled me to serve as a go-between for Jotunheim and Asgard.
Loki: That, among other things. I knew that appealing to Thrym's vanity would be the best way to trick him, probably because of my intimate knowledge of giant culture.
Leda: How would you define yourself? As giant, or Aesir?
Loki: (laughs) I try not to. I mean, from one day to the next I'm a horse, a woman, a fish…there's just no sense in limiting myself!
Leda: Mr. Laufeysøn, Odin has said in the past, most recently after you tricked Thor into venturing into a giant's hall without his hammer, that he regrets inviting you to live in Asgard. What is your response to such statements?
Loki: What Odin feels is his business. I personally feel nothing but affection for my brother, as I do for all my family members.
Leda: Your family has been the subject of some controversy in Asgard, I believe.
Loki: I can't imagine why.
Leda: Your decision to take a second wife – the giantess, Angrboda – was widely criticized at the time. Now some say that the resulting children from that union – Hel, the guardian of the underworld; Fenrir, a fierce and enormous wolf; and the Jormungand the Midgard Serpent – prove the critics right.
Loki: Well, I do wish it to be known that my marriage to Angrboda was in no way a reflection on my loyal wife, Sigyn, with whom I am still close. As for those who criticize my children, there will always be narrow-minded people in the world. I am proud of my children, although they are different. They are all beautiful, talented, and useful.
Leda: How do your respond to rumors that you and your children will be responsible for the end of the world?
Loki: [laughs] Oh, my! I'm flattered! Really, to be considered so powerful! But I really can't control what people say about me.
Leda: Returning to the recent accusations that you were somehow involved in Balder's death: how do you plan to defend yourself before the council of the gods, which meets tomorrow to rule on your case?
Loki: Well, in the past I have been quite successful at returning to the gods' good graces. I mean, really, it's all a matter of proving one's usefulness which, if I may remind you, I have done time and again.
Leda: So you're not concerned about what may happen at the council?
Loki: No, not at all. In fact, Sigyn and I plan to pack a picnic and walk over Bifrost tomorrow evening. This incident will soon be behind us.
Leda: Let's hope so, Mr. Laufeysøn. Again, thank you for joining us today.
Loki: It's been a pleasure.
As you know, shortly after this interview was filmed, Mr. Laufeysøn fled custody. He remains at large. Police ask that any information about his whereabouts be reported to their tip line. I'm Leda Skeetersøn, with Wake Up, Asgard. Back to you, Svein.
Svein: Leda Skeetersøn, everyone, with an exclusive report for Wake Up, Asgard. And now, gods and monsters, for some BREAKING NEWS. Our field reporter, Ingmar Åkerstedt, was able to snag a bit of the wise Odin's time en route to Valhalla:
Ingmar: Thank you so much for your time, great one. Have you seen Leda Skeetersøn's exclusive interview with Loki?
Odin: Yes, unfortunately.
Ingmar: Do you regret having invited Loki to live in Asgard?
Odin: Oh, sure, I guess his time here hasn't been a total failure. He did weasel some marvelous gifts out of the dwarves, like Thor's hammer, and Frey's fantastic fold-up ship. Come to think of it, though, he only got those for us as an apology for stealing Sif's hair.
Ingmar: What do you think will happen to Loki at this point?
Odin: I just don't know. This time, he's really gone too far. I mean, it was bad enough when he took a second wife – a giantess, no less – and birthed those horrible children. Now, though, he's tricked Hod into killing Balder. It was truly cruel. Hod is blind, and didn't realize what he was doing – Loki guided his aim. Now the gods are meeting to devise a punishment, and I'm afraid Loki won't get off lightly.
Ingmar: The gods are meeting to devise a punishment?
Odin: Yes, I'm afraid so. It doesn't help that there's a rumor circulating that Loki's mutant children will destroy our world. No one has any sympathy for Loki now, except for maybe his wife Sigyn. We haven't been able to find him (if I know Loki, he has probably shape-shifted and is hiding somewhere laughing at us).
Ingmar: And what form do you think his punishment will take, sir?
Odin: We'll probably kill one of his sons, use the entrails to tie Loki up in a cave, and position a serpent above him to drip venom on him. What do you mean it sounds cruel and unusual? He killed my son! No, I won't protect him. Not this time.
Ingmar: Thank you so much for your time and insight, wise one. Back to you, Svein.