Qui est Baldur dans la mythologie nordique ?

Who is Baldur in Norse Mythology?

Beautiful and graceful Norse god, Baldur is the god of love and light . Also known as Balder or Baldr , he is loved by all gods and goddesses. Unfortunately, more than his life, it is his tragic death that is told through the ages.

The etymology of its name is widely debated. In Old Norse, the meaning of Baldr – pronounced “bald-er” – would mean “lord”, or “prince”. Some take the Germanic adjective to give it the meaning of “brave” or “courageous”.

Who is the god Baldur?

Viking God Balder

Baldur is depicted as the most handsome of the gods of Asgard . He is blond and graceful . The god is known for his joy, his kindness, his wisdom and his eloquence . In Snorri Sturluson's Edda, it is written of Baldur that “he is so beautiful and so brilliant that he emits light. [...] He is the wisest of the Aesir and the most able to speak and the most merciful”. It is also written that none of the judgments Balder makes can come true.

God of love and light, Baldur is part of the Aesir . His father is Odin, and his mother is the goddess Frigg. Her blind brother is Hodr. The god Baldur marries Nanna, goddess of joy, peace and the moon. Together they have a son, Forseti, god of law and order.

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The god of Ases Baldur reigns over the Runes and is gifted in magic .

Baldur's possessions

Hringhorn Baldur

Baldur lives in Breidablik , an abode made of precious metals . In Snorri Sturluson's Edda, it is described as being one of the pieces of Asgard. "There is not a more beautiful abode in heaven" , it is written. Evil is banished from this room, which the Ynglinga Saga writes is located in Sweden.

The god of love and light also owns a boat , named Hringhorn . It is described as being the largest of the ships. When Baldur dies, it is on the latter that he is sent to sea during his funeral.

Baldur's Legendary Death

Death Baldur

Baldur begins to dream for long nights that his life is in danger . And these nightmares representing his own death end up truly worrying him. He then talks about it to the other gods and to his parents, Odin and Frigg, without getting any real explanation for it. Worried for the life of the beloved god, Frigg travels around the nine worlds to ask everyone not to harm his son. She thus makes men, animals and the elements promise not to make Baldur suffer. Everyone agrees, of course.

The gods, perfectly confident as to the invincibility of the god of light, began to throw spears, pebbles and other weapons at him that they found here and there. Each time, the weapons come to bounce on Baldur before falling on the ground.

Loki, furious to see this, disguises himself as a woman and then slyly asks Frigg if she hasn't neglected an oath on her journey. The goddess then admitted not having made the mistletoe promise , too small according to her. Without waiting, Loki makes a spear out of mistletoe , going to see Hodr , Baldur's blind brother. Still disguised as a woman, Loki then manages to convince him to shoot the spear at his brother, for fun too. The mistletoe weapon pierces Baldur , and the god crumbles, dead.

The Norse God's Funeral

bald funeral

When Baldur collapses on the ground, the gods who were having fun stop their laughter. Grief invades the world of gods and men, but especially affects Nanna, Baldur's wife. At her husband's funeral , Nanna dies of grief and her body is placed next to Baldur's on the funeral pyre. Also placed there is Baldur's own horse, sacrificed alive.

All want to attempt to resurrect Baldur that day. Hermod, one of Odin's other sons, descends into the underworld to try to retrieve Baldur. At the bottom of the World Tree he sees the God, pale and sinister. Faced with so much sadness, Hel, goddess of death, promises that the god could come back to life if everyone shed a tear of sorrow for him. Yes but now, Loki, always disguised and present under the name of Thokk, sheds no tears that day. Baldur, joined by his wife, is therefore forced to stay in the realm of the dead, Niflheim.

In the Edda, it is written that Vali, another son of Odin, avenges Baldur by killing Hodr. The legend says that the god of light returns to reign over the world of the Gods during the rebirth of the world, after Ragnarök.

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To find out more, you can also discover our article listing all the Viking gods .

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