Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Norse Gods Blogfest

I have to admit while I've long studied Greek and Roman mythologies, it's only recently that I've become interested in that of the Scandinavian (or Norse) descent. It's an interest sprung from my love of Marvel's Thor (comic books and movie) and my father's recent interest in Vikings culture. But when I saw that there would be a Norse Gods Blogfest hosted by Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh to celebrate the release of Secrets of the Ash Tree by blogger Siv Maria Ottem, I wanted to get in on the action. 

I figured that most people would choose to talk about Thor or Loki, the two most popular Norse gods, so instead I thought I'd write about Baldr, the god of light, joy, beauty and innocence. The son of Odin and Frigg, he was the brother of Loki, and much beloved. When Baldr had a dream about his own death, his mother asked every creature to take an oath not to harm him. Every creature apart from mistletoe that is, whom she'd thought too small and weak to cause him harm. Thinking him invincible, the gods then gathered to celebrate by throwing darts and spears at him, knowing he could not be harmed. 

When jealous Loki heard of this, he travelled into the woods and retrieved a branch of mistletoe. Returning to the festivities and gave the branch to Baldr's blind brother Hod, who was not participating in the game because he couldn't aim. Loki offered to help guide Hod's hand, and together they threw the spear at Baldr, who died instantly. 

It was a tragic death, taking from the world the god of light and joy, as well as leading to the death of Hod as punishment for unknowingly killing his brother. I've always thought it a sad tale, and one that stayed with me for years. 

I hope you enjoyed the tale of Baldr, Hod and Loki. What are your favorite Norse gods? And don't forget to check out my Halloween Howl-Fest!


16 comments:

  1. A fascinating choice. You're right that most people (including myself) chose Thor, but I've seen one other post on Baldr

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  2. I hadn't heard this story before. Sad, I agree. Man, those gods had a thing with behaving badly.

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  3. I, too, wanted to find a god or goddess who was less known. It's the showy gods that get talked about all the time. I liked this post and didn't know that story. So mistletoe even has its dark side.

    Liked your post!

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  4. What mythology wouldn't be complete without tragedies. Somebody has to die. But that;s what makes for a great story.

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  5. Glad my brother never did that to me!

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  6. I have the Marvel limited series Balder the Brave. It was one of my favorite mini-series back in the 80s.

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  7. I learned something today! Thanks for sharing Baldr's tale with us.

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  8. Everyone forgets about Baldr. Great choice!

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  9. Learning a lot today from this blogfest.

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  10. Good choice! I have this story in my book and Baldr's son Forseti is my MC's love interest. Thanks for joining the blogfest today!

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  11. I really like Baldur too. There's an interpretation of this story that says that Odin worked with Loki secretly to ensure that Baldur would be saved and resurrected after Ragnarok, which I'm not sure what to think of or how I feel about. It totally plays into the idea of Baldur as Odin's favorite, though, which is an idea I find totally believable! Poor Thor. He'd never be able to live up to Baldur's brilliance!

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  12. I don't know a lot of Norse mythology--I tend to research Greek and Sumerian more--but Baldr is one of the few gods I have a knowledge of from that pantheon. Great pick!

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  13. Yeah, I picked Loki. Sorry, Baldr. ;(

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  14. Loki is my favorite - I'm a fan of the anti-hero - but it really is hard to chose just one. Even among the giants, dwarves, trolls, and other creatures.

    ......dhole

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  15. Great choice! My fave is Frigg. Sorry I'm late making rounds on the hop.

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  16. Circle back to my April A-to-Z this year and you'll see a whole lot of Norse Mythology.

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