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Hod (Höðr)

Hod (Höðr)

 Table of Contents

Hod (Höðr) Photos

The Fatal Shot
I didn’t know it at the time (Loki tricked me, the jerk), but at this moment, I was about to kill Balder with a mistletoe-tipped arrow. [MS AM 738 4to, 39r, Árni Magnússon Institute, Iceland, 1643]


Loki Was Behind It All
As you can see, it was actually Loki who aimed the arrow that killed Balder, not me. [“Höðr and Loki” in The Poetic Edda, ed. Fredrik Sanders, 1913.]


Another Version…
It’s not what I want to be remembered for, but the killing of Balder is about the only story Middle Earthlings know about me. Here’s another version of his death. [MS SÁM 66, 75v, 18th Century. Photograph by Jakob Sigurðsson]


How It All Got Started
I wasn’t the only one shooting things at Balder that day. Everyone wanted to see if he was really invincible to everything in the world, so they gathered at the Thing to test him. [Elmer Boyd Smith, “Each Arrow Overshot his Head,” in In the Days of Giants: A Book of Norse Tales. Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1902. p. 232]


The Worst Moment of My Life
When I heard everyone begin to scream and wail, I knew something had gone terribly wrong. Poor Balder was dead! But I couldn’t understand how it had happened. [Arthur Rackham, “There Broke Forth a Wailing and Lamentation,” in The Land of Enchantment. Cassell & Co, 1901. p. 137]


If I Had Been a Danish Prince
In the Gesta Danorum version of my story, Balder and I are rivals fighting for the same woman. I would actually prefer this version of the story. At least no one tricks me into killing my own brother… [Johannes Wiedewelt, in Nordisk Oldtid og Dansk Kunst, 1907. p. 31]


Sacrifice of Balder
Some people have compared Balder to Jesus. This artist certainly does. But unlike those guys who killed Jesus in the Bible, I didn’t mean to kill Balder, I swear. [W.G. Collingwood, “The Death of Balder,” in The Elder or Poetic Edda, ed. and trans. by Olive Bray, 1908. p. 239.]


Return at the End of the World
Finally, somebody remembers me for something other than killing Balder. The Faroe Islanders celebrated my and Balder’s return from Hel after Valhalla by putting it on a postage stamp. [Anker Eli Petersen, “The Return of Balder and Høður.” Stamp FO 437 of the Faroe Islands. Issued February 24, 2003]


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