The story of Balder is a rather sad one and it is quite long so I will be telling this story in 3 parts. There are some interesting comparisons in the story of Balder and it has been said that after Ragnarok it will be Balder who returns to rule the world. Once you have read all three parts of this story, let me know what you think, and who Balder reminds you of.
Balder was a champion of goodness, innocence and forgiveness, he was loved by everybody.
To Odin and Frigg were born twin sons as dissimilar in character and physical appearance as it was possible for two children to be. Hodur the god of darkness was somber, taciturn, and blind like the obscurity of sin which he was supposed to symbolize. His brother Balder “the beautiful” was worshipped as the pure and radiant god of innocence and light. From his snowy brow and golden locks seemed to radiate beams of sunshine which gladdened the hearts of gods and men by whom he was equally loved.
“Of all the twelve round Odin’s throne,
Balder, the Beautiful, alone,
The Sun-god, good, and pure, and bright,
Was loved by all, as all love light.”
Valhalla (J. C. Jones).
The youthful Balder attained his full growth with amazing speed and was early admitted to the council of the gods. He lived in the palace of Breidablik, whose silver roof rested upon golden pillars, and whose purity was such that nothing common or unclean was ever allowed within its boundries. Here he lived in perfect unity with his young wife Nanna.
The god of light was well versed in the science of runes, which were carved on his tongue. He also knew the various virtues of plants and herbs. Chamomile, was called “Balder’s brow,” because its flower was as immaculately pure as his forehead. The only thing hidden from Balder’s radiant eyes was the perception of his own ultimate fate.
As it was so natural for Balder to be smiling and happy, the gods were greatly troubled when they began to notice a change in his bearing. Gradually the light died out of his blue eyes, a careworn look came into his face, and his brow grew heavy. Odin and Frigg, seeing their beloved son’s depression implored him to reveal the cause of his silent grief. Balder confessed that his sleep instead of being peaceful and restful as it usually was had been strangely troubled by dark and oppressive dreams. Although he could not clearly remember the dreams when he awoke, he was constantly haunted with a vague feeling of fear.
When Odin and Frigg heard this they were very uneasy, but declared that nothing would harm their beloved son. When the anxious parents further talked the matter over they confessed that they also were plagued by strange forebodings. They came at last to believe that Balder’s life was really threatened so they proceeded to take measures to avert the danger.
Frigg sent her servants in every direction with strict charge to prevail upon all living creatures, all plants, metals, stones, every animate and inanimate thing to register a solemn vow not to harm Balder. All creation readily took the oath, for there was nothing on earth which did not love the radiant god. So the servants returned to Frigg, telling her that all had been duly sworn save the mistletoe, growing upon the oak stem at the gate of Valhalla. This they said was such a puny inoffensive thing that no harm could be feared from it.
Frigg now resumed her spinning in great content; for she felt assured that no harm could come to the child she loved above all. No one thought further of the Mistletoe, save one.
The fate of Balder continues tomorrow…