Study Guide

Balder

  • Profile

    No one in Asgard is more beloved than Balder. He is so good and so beautiful that he radiates light wherever he goes. He is the god of peace. The bright white mayweed flower “Baldr’s brow” is named after him. Balder is the son of the king of the Norse gods, Odin. When Loki, the Norse trickster god, masterminds Balder's death, Asgard grieves more than it has ever grieved before. It is prophesied that Balder's death signifies the beginning of the end of the world.

    Basic Information

    Name

    Balder

    Nickname

    Baldr / Baldur (traditional Old Norse spellings), Bældæg / Beldeg (Old English), the Dying God, Bright Eyes

    Sex

    Male

    Current city

    Hel, the Norse Underworld

    Work & Education

    Occupation

    The Dying God
    The Bleeding God

    Family & Friends (& Enemies)

    Parents

    Odin and Frigg

    Siblings

    My full brother, Hod (with Odin's wife, Frigg)
    My half-brother, Thor (with Odin's giantess mistress, Jörd)
    My half-brother, Vali (with Odin's lover, Rind)
    My half or full brother, Hermod (from Odin and an uncertain mother)

    Children

    My son, Forseti (with Nanna)

    Friends

    Everybody loves me!

    Enemies

    Loki, who masterminds my death

    Relationships

    Relationship status

    Married to Nanna, an Aesir goddess

    Favorites

    Quotations

    "For certain is death for the born,/ And certain is birth for the dead;/ Therefore over the inevitable/ Thou shouldst not grieve."
    – Bhagavad Gita

    "The fear of death is more to be dreaded than death itself."
    – Publilius Syrus, Moral Sayings

    "Oh hey, I've been travelin on this road too long (too long)/ Just trying to find my way back home (back home)/ But the old me is dead and gone, dead and gone."
    – T.I. and Justin Timberlake, "Dead and Gone"

    "when death comes/ like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,/ I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:/ what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?"
    – Mary Oliver, "When Death Comes"

    Books

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
    When Death Comes by Mary Oliver
    Afterwards by Thomas Hardy
    When I Have Fears that I May Cease to Be by John Keats
    Death be not proud by John Donne
    Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl
    As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

    Music

    It's the End of the World as We Know It, R.E.M.
    Dead and Gone, T.I. and Justin Timberlake

    Movies

    Ghost
    Heart and Souls
    The Sixth Sense
    Bright Star
    Scoop

    Activities & Interests

    Likes

    My hall, Breidablik (the most beautiful in Asgard!)
    My magnificent ship, Hringhorn

    Groups

    World-Enders
    Dying Gods
    Sons of Odin
    Most Popular Gods of Asgard

  • Spotter's Guide

    Before he was murdered, Balder was a favorite in Asgard. He was good and brave, well-spoken and fair-judging, and so beautiful and bright that his face seemed to radiate light.

    Physical Description

    Sex: Male
    Age: 20s-40s
    Build: Muscular
    Complexion: Pale
    Hair color: Usually long, blond or brown hair
    Facial hair: Often has a full beard
    Scars/marks/tattoos: An arrow wound in his chest from a mistletoe arrow
    Jewelry and accessories: An aura of light
    Clothing: Varies
    Armor: Has been known to wear a helmet and breastplate
    Type of weapon: Sword

    Typical Companions

    • Loki, the mastermind of his murder
    • Hod, his brother who accidentally shot him dead with a mistletoe arrow
    • Nanna, his wife
    • Gods of Asgard in mourning
    • Hel, the goddess of the underworld

    Other Notes

    Known hangouts: Since being murdered, Balder can be found with Hel in the underworld. Previously he lived in Asgard in his hall, Breidablik.

    Escape vehicle: A magical folding ship called Hringhorn

  • Sightings

    Dec 20, 1962

    Marvel Comics

    Balder entered the Marvel universe in 1962 in the Journey Into Mystery comics. He continued to pop up in the Thor comics. He's so brave that his nickname is "The Brave," and he's a fantastic swordsman.

    Dec 20, 2019

    American Gods

    Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods includes lots of gods as characters, including Loki and Odin. Balder may be the character called Shadow.

    Dec 20, 2019

    Too Human

    In Too Human, an Xbox 360 game, you get to play Balder (called Baldur) and fight against Loki and his army of machines.

    Dec 20, 2019

    Going Bovine

    Going Bovine is a young adult novel about a teenager named Cameron suffering from mad cow disease. Among other adventures, Cameron must rescue Balder, who has been cursed into the form of a yard gnome.