In Norse mythology, Lofn (Old Norse, possibly "comforter,") "the comforter, the mild," or "loving" is a goddess. Lofn is attested in the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson and in kennings found in skaldic poetry. In the Prose Edda, Lofn is described as gentle in manner and as an arranger of marriages, even when they have been forbidden. Scholars have proposed theories about the implications of the goddess.
She is Goddess of forbidden loves, and little is known from lore beyond the Prose Edda quote above. She appears in many kennings for ‘woman’ in skaldic poetry (a kenning is a literary reference used to avoid repeating the same word, such as using “hammer wielder” for Thor). In modern times she is mostly prayed to for forbidden unions such as same-sex marriage and alternative relationships. She shares patronage of marriage between different ethnic groups with Frey and Gerda.
Who is Lofn?
Lofn is the most fun-loving, low-protocol, easygoing Goddess you’ll ever find in Asgard. No matter how silly the offering rite you think up, she’s cool with it. Didn’t have time to send her a formal invitation and prior offering? No problem, just let her know she’s wanted, and to show up whenever she can. No food available except delivery pizza and soft drinks? She likes those just fine. Got a silly, sexy, or irreverent card game? She loves games, invite her as a ghost player and draw cards for her. Her name means permission, and that’s what she’s all about.
Lofn is a rule breaker and risk taker willing to gamble everything on love. How else could she bless forbidden unions? What relationships she aids depends on that society’s rules. If they’re illegal or frowned upon by many, then it’s worthy of interest to her. These can include couples of different ethnic backgrounds, age groups and social classes, taboos of sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and body shape, extra-marital sex, multiple partners, kinky and other alternative life styles. Most of these she’s tried and many she’s enjoyed. The rest are fine by her as long as they’re life affirming, loving and mutual, no matter what it looks like to an observer. There is however a thin line beyond which it becomes destructive to both that must not be crossed. She wields a bow with great accuracy, but even in her cruelest aspect she will not take a life. What secrets to keep and which to reveal is often a difficult choice — she has suffered the consequences of sharing too little and too much, yet still favors bringing truth out in the open.
What is Lofn’s Role in Asgard?
Lofn and Sjofn are the two love Goddesses of Frigga’s court — Freya is not under Frigga’s rule as such and Frigga herself is Goddess of marital love. Sjofn’s domain is affection (that’s what her name means). She encourages people getting together to express their feelings and work through any of their issues, in Asgard and beyond, as she promotes friendship and intimacy. She’s especially keen about helping children’s friendships and organizing games for them.
Lofn on the other hand, is the party planner that makes fun happen for adults. The men of Asgard (and some of the women) like contests of prowess, strength and skill, and so she organizes those for them, praising each participant for their exploit whether they win or not. As for trophies, Asgardians generally prefer prizes of the edible sort over medals and statues, so she makes sure someone with good cooking skills prepares special reward dishes. When Lofn cooks for herself it’s generally a quick and dirty affair so she can get back to whatever she’s planning, but for others she likes to make foods that are a work of art such that it’s almost a shame to eat them.
For the women and men who are into it, she organizes games where wit and cunning will win the prize, such as treasure hunts, as well as more cooperative games. With Gefjon she organizes dances, and with Frigga cooking and crafting competitions. Hlin helps her with games of combat skill and Saga with storytelling evenings. Gná plans out racing events with her, and Skadhi does so for hunting. Fulla assists in riddles and guessing games. When people are bored, it’s Lofn they usually call.