Balder (bôlˈdər, bäl–) [key], Norse god of light; son of Odin and Frigg. He was the most beautiful and gracious of the gods of Asgard. His mother extracted oaths from all things in nature not to harm her son, but neglected the mistletoe. According to one legend Loki gave a dart of mistletoe to the blind god Hoder and aimed it for him at Balder, who was killed by it. The gods grieved inconsolably over his death. It was prophesied, however, that after Ragnarok (the doom of the gods) Balder would return to heaven. See Germanic religion.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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