We hear of his death through the prophecy of a völva who is raised from her grave by Óðin. He is the second son of Odin's and his mother is Frigg. Other than that, references to Baldur are scarce. While we know relatively little about Baldur due to the fragmentary nature of the sources of our knowledge of pre-Christian Germanic religion, he evidently occupied a position of renown and splendor in the hearts and minds of the Vikings and probably other Germanic peoples as well. p. 28. A son of Odin and the goddess Frigg his death is a great tragedy to the Æsir and a harbinger of Ragnarök . Baldur is the dead God of Light in Norse mythology. âBaldurâs Deathâ by Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg (1817) Baldur was one of the most beloved of all the gods. Baldr, also rendered Balder and Baldur, and known as the Shining One, is the God of Light in Norse mythology. As with nearly all the gods and creatures from Norse mythology, the main source of information we have on Balder comes from the Prose Edda and Poetic Edda. As confused and euhemerized (historicized) as this version is, one of the characteristics that stands out is Baldur’s constant eagerness to engage in battle. From this treatise on mythology and poetics comes the most complete account we have of the primary tale concerning Baldur, the story of his death and resurrection. Baldr's wife is Nanna. Frigg travelled the nine worlds of the Norse realm immediately, begging everything and everyone to cry for the lost god. Balder, Old Norse Baldr, in Norse mythology, the son of the chief god Odin and his wife Frigg.Beautiful and just, he was the favourite of the gods. While Frigg is the wife of Odin, she is not the mother of all his children. Baldurâs father wasted no time in mounting his steed, Sleipnir, and riding to the underworld to consult a dead seeress whom he knew to be especially wise in such matters. When Odin got back and let everyone know, Frigg was desperate to try and save her son. Who is Baldr in Norse Mythology? Omissions? From this position, he could look out on all of the nine worlds. Under the vest is a white undershirt. Norse Mythology. He is one of the Æsir. While Óðin interviewed the sorceress, Frigga struck out to extract oâ¦ Most legends about him concern his death. Baldr was the son of Odin (the King of the Gods) and his wife Frigg. Balldr; Etymology . The Prose Edda. Dictionary of Northern Mythology. Baldr was tormented by nightmares, a sign of impending death, and this disturbed the gods. Baldr (also Balder or Baldur) is a god of light and purity in Norse mythology. Sadly for Balder fans he is famous mostly for being dead. From the adjective baldr (â brave â); compare the Icelandic adjective baldur (â bold â). p. 28. Baldur Ivarsson, the stepson of Ivar the Boneless, was named after him. He is the younger brother of the thunder-god Thor. Myth and Religion of the North: The Religion of Ancient Scandinavia. p. 117. Proper noun .  We can be reasonably certain that the tale as told by Snorri is not only authentic, at least in its general outline, but very, very old. Baldr the Shining, as he was commonly called, was the sweetheart of Asgard. His popularity and innate goodness attracted the ire of Loki, who plotted mischief. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Germanic religion and mythology: Balder (Baldr). His hall was known as Breidablik, which means \"broad splendoâ¦ p. 26. Name Gender Group God of; Baduhenna: Goddess: war and storms: Baldur (Baldr, Balder) â¦ In the 12th century, Danish accounts by Saxo Grammaticus and other Danish Latin chroniclers recorded a euhemerized account of his story. Baldur (pronounced âBALD-er;â Old Norse Baldr, Old English and Old High German Balder) is one of the Aesir gods. After much trouble, Odin determined Baldrâs fate and then took steps to prevent it. Accounts of Nanna vary greatly by source. Heâs loved by all the gods, goddesses, and beings of a more physical nature. The blind god Höd, deceived by the evil Loki, killed Balder by hurling mistletoe, the only thing that could hurt him. Baldr is attested in the Prose Edda, thePoetic Edda, the Merseburg Incantation, the Gesta Danorum, the Utrecht Inscription, and Danish Chronicon Lethrense and Annales Lundenses. But as we’ll see below, Baldur may not have been as innocent and passive as he’s portrayed to be in the late Old Norse literary source that provides the most extensive description of the god and the tales in which he features. Baldr is a youth with fair skin, grey eyes, and platinum, long hair. Loki, the guileful trickster of the gods, sensed an opportunity for mischief. Váli then went after Loki, binding the trickster to a rock with the entrails of Lokiâs son Nari. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica.  Simek, Rudolf. He had no faults and harbored malice toward none. Dictionary of Northern Mythology. There’s one other literary account of Baldur’s death, that told by the medieval Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus. The most straightforward – and probably correct – explanation, however, is that his name comes from the Old Norse word baldr, “bold.” Scholars have been reluctant to accept this explanation due to its implication of a warlike character for Baldur. Norse Mythology: The Fate of Baldr( Balder) the Most Beloved of the Gods #NorseMythology #Mythology #SeeUinHistory #History #MythologyExplained The Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus (c. 1200), however, depicts him as a warrior engaged in a feud over the hand of a woman. The best-known gods of the Norse pantheon are Aesir or live in Asgard: Odin, Thor, Loki, and Baldr. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Balder-Norse-mythology, Balder - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Hermod is the son of the all-father Odin and the Goddess Frigg.When Baldr was killed he was the only one brave enough to ride to Hel and try and bring Baldr back from the dead. Icelandic stories tell how the gods amused themselves by throwing objects at him, knowing that he was immune from harm. Baldur (pronounced “BALD-er;” Old Norse Baldr, Old English and Old High German Balder) is one of the Aesir gods. Most legends about him concern his death. Using trickery and magic against an unwilling Rind, Óðin sired with her a son named Váli. So â¦ Continue reading Baldur â The Norse code of conduct required Óðin to avenge the death of his son Baldr. Translated by Angela Hall. Exhibition Celebrity gossip has linked his name with the similar-sounding God of Goodness Belobog from Slavic mythology, but we are not convinced. Frigg was able to get every living thing to promise not to hâ¦  Simek, Rudolf. Perhaps it will all become clear in Episode 427263. However, whether out of ignorance or a desire to portray Baldur as a martyr-like figure, Snorri likely omitted a key element of Baldur’s character: a warlike disposition. Norse mythology is the body of myths of the North Germanic peoples, stemming from Norse paganism and continuing after the Christianization of Scandinavia, and into the Scandinavian folklore of the modern period. The All-Father asked her what Baldrâs ominous nightmares meant. Son of Odin and Frigg, he was loved by both gods and men and was considered to be the best of the gods.He had a good character, was friendly, wise and eloquent, although he had little power. Beautiful and just, he was the favourite of the gods. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Read more about some of the mythological creatures from sagas and stories in the Norse mythology. Translated by Angela Hall. I will cover this and other questions in this video. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. In the middle of the viking world stands the tree of Yggdrasil. Baldur started to have dreams the night after some sort of grave misfortune happened to him. Some scholars believe that the passive, suffering figure of Balder was influenced by that of Christ. With the giantess, Rindr, he sired a son named Váli who grew to manhood in a single day and slayed poor Hodr. Baldr is the god of beauty, purity, innocence, joy and peace. After Balder’s funeral, the giantess Thökk, probably Loki in disguise, refused to weep the tears that would release Balder from death. Balder is so beautiful that even the most beautiful â¦ He is the favoured, heroic son Óðin and Frigga and is famous for the his death, funeral and resurrection. Baldur was the youngest son of Odin and Frigg, and he was the most beautiful of all the Aesir (sky Gods). â and yet it is the way that Norse cosmology works. Explore the History The mythological world of the Vikings. Faroese: Baldur m; Icelandic: Baldur m Contents  Simek, Rudolf. Everyone in the realm loved Baldr. After he and Frigg had a dream in which they saw his death (with dreams being prophetic in Norse mythology), Frigg asked everything in creation to promise to not harm Baldr, only forgetting to ask mistletoe, as she thought it was \"too young\" to swear an oâ¦ Balder - (Norse mythology) god of light and peace and noted for his beauty and sweet nature; son of Odin and Frigg and husband of Nanna; killed by Hoth Baldr Norse mythology - the mythology of Scandinavia (shared in part by Britain and Germany) until the establishment of Christianity This tale can be briefly summarized as follows: When Baldur began to have dreams of his death, Frigg went around to everything in the world and secured from each of them an oath to not harm her son. Myth and Religion of the North: The Religion of Ancient Scandinavia. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Baldr's death is portrayed in this illustration from an 18th-century Icelandic manuscript. Gylfaginning 49. The anguished gods then ordained that one of them should go to the underworld to see if there was any way Baldur could be retrieved from the clutches of the death goddess, Hel. Baldr (also Balder, Baldur) is a god in Norse mythology, who is given a central role in the mythology.Despite this his precise function is rather disputed. 1993.  Another brief reference to him can be found in the so-called Second Merseburg Charm from continental Germany, which comes from a manuscript that dates from the ninth or tenth century CE. 1964. Meanwhile, Odin pursued vengeance of his own. Dictionary of Northern Mythology.  Snorri Sturluson. Not only did he ooze out confidence, Baldr possessed a calm demeanor that perfectly complemented his good looks and wisdom. His mother and the other gods were nervous for Baldur because he was one of the most beloved gods in Asgard. He inquired of Frigg whether she had overlooked anything whatsoever in her quest to obtain oaths. The meaning and etymology of his name are uncertain and have been the topic of intense scholarly debate. The west Norse sources name another son of Odin. The whole world did indeed weep for the generous son of Odin – all, that is, save one creature. Balder, Old Norse Baldr, in Norse mythology, the son of the chief god Odin and his wife Frigg. His wife was Nanna, the daughter of Nep, and their son, the god of justice, was named Forseti.Baldr had the largest ship ever built, called the Ringhorn, or Hringhorni, which was known as the \"greatest of all ships\". Updates? Loki gave the dart of mistletoe to Balder's blind twin brother, Hodr, so that he, too, could participate in the game. Translated by Angela Hall. Loki intervened, however, and Baldr was killed by a branch of mistletoe thrown by his blind brother Hodr, as had been foâ¦ In the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, Nanna is the wife of Baldr and the couple produced a son, the god Forseti. The giantess ÃÃ¶kk (“Thanks”), generally assumed to be Loki in disguise, callously refused to perform the act that would secure Baldur’s return. Iâve also written a popular list of The 10 Best Norse Mythology Books, which youâll probably find helpful in your pursuit. Sometimes his wife Frigg would sit there, too, but she was the only other god who was so privileged. Icelandic stories tell how the gods amused themselves by throwing objects at â¦ Son of Odin and Frigg, and father of Forseti, Baldr spread goodwill and peace wherever he went, making him one of the best loved of the gods. The Prose Edda. There he met a dead seeress who told Odin that Baldur would soon die. While this site provides the ultimate online introduction to the topic, my book The Viking Spirit provides the ultimate introduction to Norse mythology and religion period. 1964. Odin was the king of the Asgardian gods and the god of both war and wisdom. He’s loved by all the gods, goddesses, and beings of a more physical nature. Odin, the king of the Norse gods, often sat upon Hildskialf, the throne of the Aesir gods, with his companions, the two ravens, Hugin (Thought) and Munin (Memory), whispering in his ears. Baldr m (genitive Baldrs) (Norse mythology) Baldur, one of the Norse gods. Another very important Aesir god in Norse mythology was Baldr (Baldur), the son of Frigg and Odin. So handsome, gracious, and cheerful is he that he actually gives off light.. He was known to be beautiful and was the favorite of the Æsir gods.Most legends about him concern his death. Loki straightaway made a spear from the mistletoe and convinced the blind god Hodr to throw it at Baldur. Frigg was the goddess of marriage, fertility and motherhood, and keeper of the Domestic Arts. He’s the son of Odin and Frigg, the husband of the obscure goddess Nanna, and the father of the god Forseti. In Norse mythology, Baldr was the god of light, joy, purity, and the summer sun. While this account comes overwhelmingly from one source, bits and pieces of it can be found in earlier Old Norse poetry, and many details of the narrative are depicted on pieces of jewelery dating from before the Viking Age. His twin brother is the blind winter-god Höðr. All rights reserved. Balder is the God of light and purity in Norse mythology and all the Gods praise him for his beauty. He is the second son of Óðinn and Frigg and his brother is Hermóðr. © Daniel McCoy 2012-2019. He wears a white, hooded jacket that is golden on the inside with Terra's Mark, a black vest, and black pants with blue criss-crossing straps. That sounds like an oxymoron â a dead God of Light? Hermod (Old Norse Hermóðr) his name means either war-split, warrior or fury of war. Descendants . And so Baldur was doomed to remain with Hel in her joyless realm.. The worlds and beings of Norse mythology. In Norse mythology, Nanna Nepsdóttir or simply Nanna is a goddess associated with the god Baldr. (also spelled Baldur or Baldr), in Norse mythology, the second son of Odin. 1993. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Baldr is a Mythic Age Norse minor god in Age of Mythology. Balder (also Baldr or Baldur) is one of the Aesir in Norse mythology, Balder is so bright that light shines from him. The Old Norse Language and How to Learn It, The Swastika â Its Ancient Origins and Modern (Mis)use. 1993. The projectile pierced the god, and he fell down dead. Gylfaginning 22. Norse Mythology Baldr Edit. She casually answered that she had thought the mistletoe to be too small and harmless a thing to bother asking for such a promise. Numerous possibilities have been proposed, including a derivation from the Proto-Indo-European root *bhel- (“white”), Old Norse bÃ¡l, “fire,” or a hypothesized word for “lord” common to various Germanic languages. If all things on earth would weep and mourn for the dead god, Hel would return Baldr to the surface, allowing him to defeat death. He is often interpreted as the god of love, peace, forgiveness, justice, light or purity, but was not directly attested as a god of such. When he arrived, he found his brother, pale and grim, sitting in the seat of honor next to Hel. This literary source is the Prose Edda of the medieval Icelandic scholar Snorri Sturluson. Baldr's Death, 1817 painting by Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg.. Baldr (also Balder, Baldur) is a god in Norse mythology.. Odinâs famous hall of Valhalla, where his throne may have been located, is in Asgard.  Turville-Petre, E.O.G. He’s even depicted as something of a warlord. They asked Odin what the dream meant, and Odin embarked on a quest to the underworld. Hermod, another one of Odin’s many sons, agreed to make this journey, and, mounting Odin’s steed, Sleipnir, he rode down the world-tree until he came to its dark and damp roots, wherein lies Hel’s abode.  Snorri Sturluson. Old Norse Alternative forms . He’s mentioned in an Anglo-Saxon chronicle (where he’s given the additional name BÃ¦ldÃ¦g, “The Shining Day,” and described as a son of Woden, the Old English name for Odin). Looking for more great information on Norse mythology and religion? The Æsir had no doubt that the giantess was Loki in disguise, seeking in his malice to keep Baldr with Hel. Also known as Balder, he is the Norse god of light, joy, purity, beauty, innocence, and reconciliation.  Turville-Petre, E.O.G. Corrections? p. 115. Highly regarded by the Vikings, Balder was known as Balder the Good; he was the incarnation of beauty, justice, and gentleness. The infant grew rapidly from the first moment of his birth. This, combined with the many kennings that link Baldur’s name with weapons and war in general, suggests that Baldur was much more of an active fighter and less of a passive, innocent sufferer than Snorri makes him out to be.. They have got a son named Forseti and live in a place named Breiðablik. For example, Thor was the son of Odin with the giantess Jodr.Balder had his own family, a wife Nanna and a son Forseti. Hermod implored the dreadful goddess to release Baldur, and after much persuasion, she replied that she would give him up if and only if everything in the world would weep for Baldur – to prove, in other words, that he was as universally beloved as Hermod claimed. According to Norse mythology, Balder was the son of Odin and Frigg. Who Were the Indo-Europeans and Why Do They Matter. He was cheerful and kind, and his smile brought light to everyone in Asgard. The gods also set a poisonous snake above Lokiâs head so thaâ¦ After Baldr's death, Nanna dies of grief. Confident in Baldur’s invincibility, the gods amused themselves by throwing weapons and any random thing they could find at Baldur and watching them bounce off of him, leaving him utterly unscathed. Asgard is depicted as a celestial city of high towers surrounded by a great wall. Heâs the son of Odin and Frigg, the husband of the obscure goddess Nanna, and the father of the god Forseti. As you might imagine, this Scandinavian soap saga is one of the most important of the Norse legends.