Baldur - Perna Studios Classic Mythology Picture

Norse Mythology – (Balder, Baldr, Baldur or Balderus) Balder was the son of Odin and his wife Frigg in Norse Mythology. Balder's wife was Nanna and their son was Forseti. Apart from this description Balder is known primarily for the story of his death. His death is seen as the first in the chain of events which will ultimately lead to the destruction of the gods at Ragnarök. He had a dream of his own death and his mother had the same dreams. Since dreams were usually prophetic, this depressed him, so his mother Frigg made every object on earth vow never to hurt Balder. All objects made this vow except mistletoe. Frigg had thought it too unimportant and nonthreatening to bother asking it to make the vow (alternatively, it seemed too young to swear). When Loki, the mischief-maker, heard of this, he made a magical spear from this plant (in some later versions, an arrow). He hurried to the place where the gods were indulging in their new pastime of hurling objects at Balder, which would bounce off without harming him. Loki gave the spear to Balder's brother, the blind god Höðr, who then inadvertently killed his brother with it (other versions suggest that Loki guided the arrow himself). The Prose Edda contain numerous references to the death of Balder as both a great tragedy to the Æsir and a harbinger of Ragnarök.


Writing at about the end of the 12th century, the Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus tells the story of Balder (recorded as Balderus) in a form which professes to be historical. According to him, Balderus and Høtherus were rival suitors for the hand of Nanna, daughter of Gewar, King of Norway. Balderus was a demigod and common steel could not wound his sacred body. The two rivals encountered each other in a terrific battle. Though Odin and Thor and the rest of the gods fought for Balderus, he was defeated and fled away, and Høtherus married the princess. Nevertheless Balderus took heart of grace and again met Høtherus in a stricken field. But he fared even worse than before. Høtherus dealt him a deadly wound with a magic sword, named Mistletoe, which he had received from Miming, the satyr of the woods; after lingering three days in pain Balderus died of his injury and was buried with royal honours in a barrow.
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Baldur - Perna Studios Classic Mythology
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