Baldur - the Innocent Aesir God

Name(s):

Baldur

Rules over:

Light, Joy, Summer.

Gender:

Male

Symbols:

Ringhorn (Greatest of all ships)

Linked Animals:

Parents:

Odin (Father) and Frigg (Mother)

Siblings:

Hod, Hermod; Thor, Vidar, and Vali are half-siblings

Greek Similar:

Apollo

Roman Similar:

Apollo

 

The Norse god of innocence, goodness and beauty

Baldur is a member of the Aesir clan and is known as the shining one. Baldur is also regarded for his invulnerability, yet ironically, he is most well-known for his death. He is the son of Odin and Frigg, and his siblings include Hod, Hermod and Thor, with half-siblings Vidar and Vali.

Symbols

Baldur is commonly associated with the Ringhorn, the greatest ship ever made, according to Norse literature. After Baldur’s passing, his body was cremated on the deck of this mighty vessel.

Story of Baldur

It is not known exactly when, but Baldur began experiencing harrowing dreams, which caused him, his mother and other gods to fear his safety. They asked Odin what they could mean, at which point Odin took it upon himself to find out, by travelling to the underworld, to seek answers from a seeress, who informed Odin that Baldur would soon perish. Odin returned to Asgard and informed Frigg of his findings, which drove her to desperation to try and save her son.

Frigg travelled far and wide across the nine realms, obtaining promises from every living thing to not harm her son, this resulted in Baldur achieving invincibility. This newfound power made Loki jealous of Baldur, driving him to find a weakness, which he ironically found from Frigg, who admitted that she did not obtain a promise from mistletoe, as it was too small and weak to harm him.

During a party, Baldur was showing off his invulnerability by having everyone throw sharp objects at him, and they were all having a great time, until Loki gave Baldur’s blind twin brother Hod a dart, fashioned out of mistletoe. Hod unwittingly threw the dart at Baldur, killing him instantly.

Frigg then pleaded for someone to travel with her to the underworld and offer the goddess of death, Hel, a ransom for Baldur’s life. Baldur’s brother, Hermod agreed to make the trip. When they arrived in the throne room of the land of the dead, there they saw an anxious Baldur on a seat next to Hel. Hermod successfully bargained for Baldur’s release, but only if he could get everyone in the world to weep for him. Everybody did indeed weep, except for one old hag called Thokk, who accused Baldur of never having done anything for her. This hag turned out to be Loki in disguise, who once caught, was chained up as eternal punishment.

Baldur’s death was not to be permanent, however. Despite his death triggering the cascade of events which would lead to Ragnarok, his resurrection would signal the end of Ragnarok, and the beginning of a new life cycle for the world. Baldur would eventually return to the land of the living, where he would bless it and its inhabitants, bringing with him light, joy and hope to the new world. To discover more about Baldur, click here to access a world of Norse literature.