Study Guide

Hod (Höðr)

Profile

Life stories just don’t get much more tragic than Hod’s. Sure, as the son of Odin and Frigg, he’s born a prince of the Asgard. But he’s also born with a serious disability: blindness. That makes it kind of tough to join all the other kids in swordplay, archery, hand-to-hand combat—you know, normal kid stuff. Then, as if that weren’t bad enough, Loki guides Hod’s aim in shooting his brother, Balder, with mistletoe, the one thing that can kill him. Balder dies, and we’re guessing Hod dies a little inside, too. Then he dies for real after Dad and his giantess mistress spawn Hod’s freakishly fast-growing half-brother whose sole purpose in life is to kill him as punishment. This sad end to a sad life is enough to make you break out the Kleenex. Or maybe a pint of double-fudge chunk. Go ahead. We won’t tell.

Basic Information

Name

Hod (Höðr)

Nickname

“The Blind God,” “Thrower of the Mistletoe,” “Baldr’s Slayer” (Skáldskaparmal XIII)
Hod the Phone
Ho-d No He Didn’t!

Sex

Male

Current city

Hel (Sent here by my half-brother Vali)

Work & Education

Occupation

Being blind makes it hard to do some of the stuff other gods do. But I’m an important companion to Hel.

Education

Asgard School for the Blind

Beliefs

Political views

Equal opportunities and rights for those with disabilities.

Family & Friends (& Enemies)

Parents

Odin and Frigg

Siblings

Balder and Hermod
Half-brothers Thor, Vidar, and Vali

Children

None—I get sent to Hel before I can reproduce.

Friends

Hel is my constant companion.

Enemies

Loki, Mistletoe, and Vali

Relationships

Relationship status

None. Accidentally killing Balder the Golden Boy doesn’t exactly make me popular with the ladies (or anyone else, for that matter).

Interested in

A kind and gentle goddess who’s not scared off by a difficult past and doesn’t mind moving to Hel. Looks aren’t so important to me.

Favorites

TV Shows

Supernatural (Ah, brotherhood: It is all it’s cracked up to be. Even when you accidentally hurt one another, or are living in a swamp.)
Swamp Brothers 

Quotations

“Don’t make no sense lightin’ candles / There’s too much moonlight in my eyes / I met a blind man / Who taught me how to see . . . yeah / Blind man / Who could change night into day.”
– Aerosmith

“Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there’s a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see.”
– Helen Keller

“They also serve who only stand and wait.”
– John Milton, “When I Consider How My Light is Spent (On His Blindness)”

“An eye for an eye only leads to more blindness.”
– Margaret Atwood

“To be, or not to be, that is the question: / Whether 'tis Nobler in the mind to suffer / The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune, / Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles.”
– William Shakespeare, Hamlet 3.1.55-58

Books

“My Life had stood – A Loaded Gun –” by Emily Dickinson 
“When I Consider How My Light is Spent (On His Blindness)” by John Milton 
“The Garden of Forking Paths” by Jorge Luis Borges 
The Odyssey by Homer 
The Knight’s Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer 
Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe 
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë 
Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner 
King Lear by William Shakespeare 
Planet of the Blind by Steven Kuusisto 

Music

Ray Charles 
Stevie Wonder 
Andrea Bocelli 
Wonder by Natalie Merchant 
One by Metallica (This song perfectly captures how I felt when I discovered I had killed my own brother.)
Spider Web by Joan Osborne (Ray Charles is so famous this artist wrote a song about him.)
The Consequence of Fratricide by Today I Caught the Plague (Killing your brother is never pretty.)
Cain Said to Abel by Bloc Party 

Movies

The Stone Boy (The main character kills his brother by accident, too. It’s heartbreaking.)
A River Runs Through It (A story of two brothers. Proving that it’s not always a cake walk, but the bonds of true brotherhood run deep. Same deal with my next pick.)
Legends of the Fall 
At First Sight 
If You Could See What I Hear (I love movies where the differently-abled prove themselves to be just as able—and often, more interesting—than regularly-abled people!)
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat 
Rain Man 
A Beautiful Mind 
Crossroads 

Activities & Interests

Likes

Bow Control Laws
Eternal Brotherhood
Life after Death
Hel (the person)
Guide Dogs for the Blind
Herbicide
DISlikes Mistletoe

Interests

Archery
Opthalmology
Disability Studies
Weed Control

Groups

Asgard Gods
Sons of Odin
Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI) 
World Blind Union