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!