He is best, and all praise him; he is so fair of feature, and so bright, that light shines from him. He is the wisest of the Æsir, and the fairest-spoken and most gracious; and that quality attends him, that none may gainsay his judgments. He dwells in the place called Breidablik, which is in heaven; in that place may nothing unclean be.

Prose Edda

God of Bravery, Light, Peace, Innocence, Purity, and Prophecy

The second son of Odin and Frigg, with various half-brothers including Thor and Váli. His twin brother was the blind winter-god Höðr, with whom he shared a close bond but also a brotherly rivalry. In fact they both competed for the fair Nanna’s hand, with her initial affection being for the more austere Höðr, leaving Baldr in a deep depression at the rejection. One can only assume some outside manipulation prompted her ultimately contrary decision, for it was Baldr she actually married, with no explanation as to her sudden change of heart.

It is said that Höðr, in his grief, was afterwards plagued by nightmares, and blinded himself in an effort to be free of them.

Baldr was known for his great courage and honour, being a respected and skilled warrior, but more importantly one remembered for his noble and kind disposition. He was associated with spring, joy, and purity, and was one of the most beloved of all the gods.

With his wife Nanna he had a son, Forseti, a god of justice and a law speaker.

Dreams of Death

Despite being described as the best of all the gods, no stories of Baldr’s heroics survive in Norse mythology. His most important role is, in fact, dying.

Amongst the Æsir dreams had great importance attached to them, and when Baldr began to suffer dreams of his own demise the gods were greatly disturbed. His mother set out to procure oaths from all beings that they would swear to bring no harm to her son, while Odin traversed realms seeking the truth of prophecy. When he journeyed to Helheim he discovered its wintery halls being garlanded in gold and made feast-ready to welcome Asgard’s golden son.


By an oversight and with Loki’s scheming trickery at hand, Baldr’s foretellings ultimately became reality. Loki manipulated blind Höðr, Baldr’s own twin, into throwing the mistletoe spear that banished him to Hel’s domain.

Not willing to accept the death of the most beloved of the gods, Hermodr, another son of Odin, was sent to the underworld to speak with the goddess Hel and bargain for Baldr to be returned to them. After much negotiating, Hel in fact agreed — on the condition that everything both alive and dead weep for Baldr, proving that he was universally loved.

Everything in the world did indeed weep for Baldr, except for one witch Thökk, who refused to shed a tear. Most accounts suggest that this was Loki in disguise, thwarting the plan to return Baldr.

Thus he remained imprisoned in the gloomy depths of Hel’s abode.

The gods mourned deeply. In retribution, Höðr was slain by his brother Váli. The search to locate, capture, and punish Loki also began.

Baldr was ceremonially burnt upon his ship Hringhorni, the largest of all ships. As his body was carried out by his father, it is said Odin whispered a secret into his ear, and some say a promise. Nanna, dead from grief, was laid out beside him. The burning pyre was blessed by Thor’s Mjǫllnir before it was pushed out to sea by the giantess Hyrrokin, who some suspect was Angrboða in disguise.

And so it was the gods’ brightest light was extinguished. His death was the first omen of Ragnarök, and marked the beginning of an endless winter.



Baldr’s joy was something Hel had never before experienced, and she found it intoxicating. In the flesh it was especially potent, especially after a lifetime of starvation. He was friendly and gentle and kind, and one of the first beings Hel had encountered who did not naturally shrink away from her in fear, no matter what appearance she wore for him. Even better, he could not leave.

She did not want to give him up, yet to bargain is intrinsic to the nature of a Finn. Baldr was present for the negotiations, and gifted Hermodr with the ring Draupnir as proof of the bargain made.

The nature of their relationship is vastly unknown, other than Hel was deeply obsessed and possessive. It might be speculated that Loki and Angrboða conspired to gift their daughter Odin’s favourite son in revenge of Hel’s incarceration, much as Loki encouraged Tyr’s friendship with Fenrir or watched over Jorm’s bloodthirsty adventures.

A Corrupted Thread

When Loki came to throw the doors of Helheim wide, and sailed away with his army to Ragnarök, it does not appear that either Hel or Baldr ever left. Or if they did, they were never seen again.

Hel’s Finn soul, starving even between Ages, never let Baldr go, and due to her unusual nature he remained trapped with her, his very thread in the Pattern corrupted as she fed upon all the things that had made him pure and good. Only Hel’s rebirth finally released him, but his soul was much changed as a result.


1st Age: Bastian, from the line of Völsung

2nd Age: Bayrd Bal Lenitonir, acclaimed Aes Sedai

3rd Age: Baldragos, Forsaken



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