Baldur's death

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Baldur's death

Post by Darkamber on Sat Jan 31, 2015 4:33 am

There are a least three versions of Baldur's death, and Loki only features in one of them:

The Poetic Edda, Voluspa:

32. I saw for Baldr, | the bleeding god,
The son of Othin, | his destiny set:
Famous and fair | in the lofty fields,
Full grown in strength | the mistletoe stood.

33. From the branch which seemed | so slender and fair
Came a harmful shaft | that Hoth should hurl;

But the brother of Baldr | was born ere long,
And one night old | fought Othin's son.

34. His hands he washed not, | his hair he combed not,
Till he bore to the bale-blaze | Baldr's foe.
But in Fensalir | did Frigg weep sore
For Valhall's need: | would you know yet more?


The Prose Edda, Gylfaginning (Snorri Sturluson):

The beginning of the story is this, that Baldr the Good dreamed great and perilous dreams touching his life. When he told these dreams to the Æsir, then they took counsel together: and this was their decision: to ask safety for Baldr from all kinds of dangers. And Frigg took oaths to this purport, that fire and water should spare Baldr, likewise iron and metal of all kinds, stones, earth, trees, sicknesses, beasts, birds, venom, serpents. And when that was done and made known, then it was a diversion of Baldr's and the Æsir, that he should stand up in the Thing,[1] and all the others should some shoot at him, some hew at him, some beat him with stones;
but whatsoever was done hurt him not at all, and that seemed to them all a very worshipful thing.

"
But when Loki Laufeyarson saw this, it pleased him ill that Baldr took no hurt. He went to Fensalir to Frigg, and made himself into the likeness of a woman. Then Frigg asked if that woman knew what the Æsir did at the Thing. She said that all were shooting at Baldr, and moreover, that he took no hurt. Then said Frigg: 'Neither weapons nor trees may hurt Baldr: I have taken oaths of them all.' Then the woman asked: 'Have all things taken oaths to spare Baldr?' and Frigg answered: 'There grows a tree-sprout alone westward of Valhall: it is called Mistletoe;
I thought it too young to ask the oath of.' Then straightway the woman turned away;
but Loki took Mistletoe and pulled it up and went to the Thing.

"
Hödr stood outside the ring of men, because he was blind. Then spake Loki to him: 'Why dost thou not shoot at Baldr?' He answered: 'Because I see not where Baldr is;
and for this also, that I am weaponless.' Then said Loki: 'Do thou also after the manner of other men, and show Baldr honor as the other men do. I will direct thee where he stands;
shoot at him with this wand.' Hödr took Mistletoe and shot at Baldr, being guided by Loki: the shaft flew through Baldr, and he fell dead to the earth;
and that was the greatest mischance that has ever befallen among gods and men.


"
Gesta Danorum"
by Saxo Grammaticus


"
Woden had a son Balder, rival of Hother for the love of Nanna, daughter of King Gewar. Woden and Thor his son fought for him against Hother, but in vain, for Hother won the laity and put Balder to shameful flight;
however, Balder, half-frenzied by his dreams of Nanna, in turn drove him into exile (winning the lady);
finally Hother, befriended hy luck and the Wood Maidens, to whom he owed his early successes and his magic coat, belt, and girdle [there is obvious confusion here in the text], at last met Balder and stabbed him in the side. Of this wound Balder died in three days, as was foretold by the awful dream in which Proserpina (Hela) appeared to him."


Hodther (Hod) had a sword called "
Mistelteinn"
or "
Misteltoe"
, with which he slew Baldur.

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