Who is Farbauti and what is his role in Norse Mythology?

farbauti lightning

Norse Mythology is a fascinating topic, and there are many different aspects to it.

In this article, we will explore the God Farbauti and his place in Norse mythology.

We will also look at some of the other Gods and Goddesses, and how they relate to him.

Who is Farbauti?

In Norse mythology, Fárbauti is a Jötunn. who lives in Jotunheim, one of the Nine Worlds and is depicted as Loki’s father in all sources, is also known as the husband of Laufey (sometimes called Nal) a Giantess Ásynjar

Fárbauti appears in Snorri Sturluson’s 13th-century Prose Edda as well as kennings of Viking Age skalds.


What does Farbauti mean?

The Old Norse term Fárbauti translates as “dangerous striker,” “anger striker,” or “sudden striker.” It is a compound created by joining the word fár (‘hostility, danger, unfortunateness, falsehood’) to the verb bauta (‘to strike’).


In some skalds Loki is referred to as the “son of Fárbauti” who use the poetic term mǫg for “son” rather than the normal sonr.

Ráðgegninn bregðr ragna

rein at Singasteini

frægr við firnaslǿgjan

Fárbauta mǫg vári.

Fárbauti is mentioned among kennings


Hvernig skal kenna Loka? Svá at kalla hann son Fárbauta ok Laufeyjar, Nálar, bróður Býleists ok Helblinda, fǫður Vánargands, þat er Fenrisúlfr

How should Loki be referred to? So to call him the son of Fárbauti and Laufey, Nálar, brother of Býleist and Helblind, father of Vánargand, that is Fenrisúlfr

loki norse mythology




The famed rain-bow’s defender,

Ready in wisdom, striveth

At Singasteinn with Loki,

Fárbauti’s sin-sly offspring;

The son of mothers eight and one,

Mighty in wrath, possesses

The Stone ere Loki cometh:

I make known songs of praise.



“Also numbered among the Æsir is he whom some call the mischief-monger of the Æsir, and the first father of falsehoods, and blemish of all gods and men: he is named Loki or Loptr, son of Fárbauti the giant; his mother was Laufey or Nál; his brothers are Býleistr and Helblindi.

Karl Axel Lichnowsky Kock (March 2, 1851 – March 18, 1935) was a Swedish philologist who worked at Lund University from 1907 until 1916, teaching Scandinavian languages.

According to him Fárbauti’s name and persona may have been influenced by observations of natural events accompanying the development of wildfire. If Fárbauti means “dangerous striker,” the figure appears to be part of an early nature myth about wildfire (Loki) being caused by lightning (Fárbauti) striking dry tinder-like leaves (Laufey) or pine needles (Nál).

Although only evidenced in a kenning of Völuspá (‘Prophecy of the Völva’) naming Loki as “Byleist’s brother,”some scholars have regarded Loki’s brothers Helblindi and Bleistr to be Fárbauti’s offspring as well.

From Völuspá Stanza 51.

Kjóll ferr austan, koma munu Múspells

of lög lýðir, en Loki stýrir;

fara fíflmegir með freka allir,

þeim er bróðir Býleists í för.


O’er the sea from the east | there sails a ship

With the people of Muspell, | at the helm stands Loki;

After the wolf | do wild men follow,

And with them the brother | of Byleist goes.


Farbauti in Modern Culture

Farbauti, is one of Saturn’s 12 moons. Scott S. Sheppard, David C. Jewitt, Jan Kleyna and Brian G. Marsden announced its discovery on May 4, 2005, based on observations collected between Dec. 12, 2004 and March 9, 2005.

Farbauti has a diameter of roughly 5 kilometers and circles Saturn at an average distance of 20,291 Mm in 1079.099 days, with an inclination of 158° to the ecliptic (131° to Saturn’s equator), in retrograde, and an eccentricity of 0.209.

Originally named S/2004 S9 in April 2007 it took the name Farbauti


In Marvel, Loki’s parents (Farbauti and Laufey) had the opposite sex, with Fárbauti character being his mother.

Farbauti was Laufey’s wife, the Frost Giant ruler of Jotunheim. To her husband’s disappointment, she gave birth to an exceptionally little child named Loki. Laufey kept Loki secret from his people because he was embarrassed by his son’s diminutive stature.

In marvel’s version Laufey charmed Farbauti in the shape of a lightning bolt, Farbauti later gave birth to Loki, Helbindi, and Byleist.


While Farbauti may not be as well-known as some of the other Norse gods, he is nevertheless the father of Loki, the god of mischief. This makes him still an important figure in Norse mythology and his story is worth knowing.

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