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What The Drinking Song In Loki Episode 3 Really Means

Drinking songs, across most cultures, are all basically a blending of two emotions: merriment and melancholy. If you don't think about them too much, they're bawdy, brash, and they make you want to drink more. But if you actually listen to the words, they are usually depressing, dark ... and they make you want to drink more.

This is true both in real life and in fiction. Case in point — the drinking song that the Loki variant (Tom Hiddleston) sings in "Lamentis," the third episode of his titular Disney+ series. There's at least one very good reason to drink — and feign merriment while also being deeply sad — on Lamentis-1, where Loki and his fellow variant Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) are stranded: There's a moon about to collide with the planet, killing everyone.

But of course, that's not why Loki is singing an Asgardian drinking song. No, he's singing that song after regaling Sylvie with his tragic adoption story, the terrible fate of his fellow Asgardians at Ragnarok, and about how the one person he loved most of all, his mother Frigga (Rene Russo), was horribly murdered by Dark Elves on another Loki's watch.

Loki sings his drinking song, entitled "Jeg Saler Min Ganger," in Asgardian — and Asgardian is basically just Norwegian. And wouldn't you know it, if you translate the lyrics from Norwegian to English, they weave a pretty specific and sad story — Loki's.

Play it again, Loki

"Jeg Saler Min Ganger" was composed specifically for "Loki" by Erlend O. Nødtvedt and Benedicte Maurseth. In an interview with Bergens Tidende, Nødtvedt revealed that there are actually four verses to the song (which will eventually be available in its entirety), and he also translated into English the lyrics we did hear:

"In storm-blackened mountains I wander alone

Across glaciers I travel forth

In the apple orchard the fair maiden stands

And sings, 'When will you come home?'

When she sings, she sings, 'Come home.'"

These lyrics speak pretty specifically to all those depressing adventures that this Loki variant has yet to experience. "Storm-blackened mountains" is a pretty apt description of Svartalfheim, where the Dark Elves from "Thor: The Dark World" hail from. And those "glaciers" one might travel forth from could very easily be the icy world of Jotunheim, home of the Frost Giants — aka the world Loki is originally from.

Then there's the fair maiden; sure, we know that Loki is a sweet, chaotic bisexual who's dated princesses and princes both, but none were ever home to him. Loki does speak at length with Sylvie about Frigga, though — the woman who taught him magic, taught him to be powerful, and the only person who ever truly seemed to feel like home to Loki. 

But Frigga is dead; so is the original Loki and so is Asgard. There is no one singing this Loki home. And if you manage to live long enough, the one thing you learn for sure is this: no one can ever truly go home again — and arguably no one in the MCU knows that quite like Loki.

New episodes of "Loki" stream on Disney+ every Wednesday.