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Balder

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An illustration of the blind Höðr killing Bald...

An illustration of the blind Höðr killing Baldr, from an Icelandic 18th century manuscript. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Also known as Baldur or Baldr in Norse mythology, Balder was a noble, gentle and yet powerful god. Much loved by all, he was son of Odin and Frigg.

Reminiscent of Achilles, Balder was invulnerable to harm, except by the mistletoe. He was mistakenly killed by the blind god Hodur, who’d been duped by the trickster Loki into piercing him with a dart crafted from mistletoe.

The ensuing weeping among the Aesir immortals over the death of Balder lead some to liken him to the Norse version of Christ.

The roots of the his name are somewhat unclear. Wikipedia has a good discussion here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baldr#Name.

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