Copyright © 1994 by The Troth.
Son of Odin and Frigga, he is shown in the Prose Edda as a rather pallid heathen imitation of Christ, but other sources, notably the Danish chronicler Saxo Grammaticus, portray him as a doughty and aggressive warrior. Today we often think of him as the shining young hero who embodies the hope of an age. After his death was foretold, Frigga got everything in the Nine Worlds to swear not to harm him, but neglected the mistletoe, which she thought was too small and weak to harm him. Making a game of his invulnerability, the gods cast weapons at him; meanwhile, Loki made an arrow of mistletoe and put it in the hand of Balder's blind brother Hod, aiming it for him. After Balder's death, Frigga sent a messenger to Hel to ask for him back. Hel answered that if everything would weep for Balder, she would return him. Only one old hag, who some think was Loki and others identify as Hel herself, refused to shed a tear; and so Balder stays in Hel's realm yet. After Ragnarok, he and Hod will come back to inherit Odin's seat. Balder is seldom called on, but is remembered as the hidden seed of the new world to come after the final battle. Old Norse Baldr, Old English Bealdor.
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