Sunday, May 18, 2014

Tricksters on the loose!

I have been taking notes of all the various trickster characters that have popped up in the media lately. I thought it is time to share some of the fresh catch, and the most delicious bites. So, here is the Trickster in some of his new/old faces:

1. Loki
All right, so everyone knows Marvel's Loki these days. I don't even need to introduce him. I'll just note that it entertains me to no end to observe the unbroken popularity the Norse god of mischief manages to maintain through the ages and even today. You know Trickster is on the right track when he has a bigger fandom than all the Avengers together.
Marvel's Loki is an interesting new take on the old stories. I have mused about this at length on my other blog, in the post titled My Loki is not your Loki, and that's OK.

2. Floki
Clearly a play on Loki as a character, Floki does a spectacular job of being the resident Trickster of History Channel's Vikings. Portrayed by the amazing Gustaf Skarsgard (the more talented one of the Skarsgard collection), Floki carries a huge portion of the show's weight and most of the love of the fans. All his mannerisms and his actions are consistent of the archetype of the Trickster, right down to him being extremely hard to kill.

3. Lorne Malvo
Since I am focusing on recent Trickster appearances, this time I mean Fargo the TV show, not the original movie. The character of Lorne Malvo is played by Billy Bob Thorton, who once again does an excellent job (notice how tricksters only get played by good actors? You can't skimp on a character of that magnitude). The character is the True Neutral version of the Trickster, in its purest form: Does things for the sake of chaos, for entertainment, and because "there are no rules." Versatile, volatile, and genius in planning, the Malvo character is a treat to watch, and not very far from true Tricksters all around the world.

4. Gabriel
He appeared first a couple of years ago, but recently made a return on CW's Supernatural. Outright known as "the Trickster" throughout the show, this character was responsible for some of the best episodes of the drama. While he turns out to be an archangel (what? Did I not say spoilers?), he is a true Trickster at heart - not only wickedly smart, but also always hungry, incredibly shift, self-centered, and impossible to kill. One of the highlights in the show's writing, if you ask any storyteller.

So, it looks like Tricksters are living one of their many Renaissances these days. Let's hope it brings more of them out of the woordwork.