character:baldr

At the top are Hades and Persephone, and below them are Baldr and Hel.

Baldr and Hel aren’t lovers in the old myth, but it’s a modern interpretation (got popular with the comic Valhalla) that I think is pretty cute, the idea being that Hel wouldn’t let Baldr leave the underworld because she had fallen in love with him, and Baldr didn’t want to leave anyway because the feeling was mutual.

That version gives it some similarities with Hades and Persephone’s relationship, so I had to draw them too.

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Figures of Lore | 

Baldr, god of light, joy, purity, beauty, innocence, and reconciliation. Son of Odin and Frigg, he was loved by both gods and men and was considered to be the best of the gods. He had a good character, was friendly, wise and eloquent, although he had little power. His wife was Nanna daughter of Nep, and their son was Forseti, the god of justice. Baldr’s hall was Breidablik (“broad splendor”).Most of the stories about Baldr concern his death. He had been dreaming about his death, so Frigg extracted an oath from every creature, object and force in nature (snakes, metals, diseases, poisons, fire, etc.) that they would never harm Baldr. All agreed that none of their kind would ever hurt or assist in hurting Baldr. Thinking him invincible, the gods enjoyed themselves thereafter by using Baldr as a target for knife-throwing and archery.

The malicious trickster, Loki, was jealous of Baldr. He changed his appearance and asked Frigg if there was absolutely nothing that could harm the god of light. Frigg, suspecting nothing, answered that there was just one thing: a small tree in the west that was called mistletoe. She had thought it was too small to ask for an oath. Loki immediately left for the west and returned with the mistletoe. He tricked Baldr’s blind twin brother Hod into throwing a mistletoe fig (dart) at Baldr. Not knowing what he did, Hod threw the fig, guided by Loki’s aim. Pierced through the heart, Baldr fell dead.While the gods were lamenting Baldr’s death, Odin sent his other son Hermod to Hel, the goddess of death, to plead for Baldr’s return. Hel agreed to send Baldr back to the land of the living on one condition: everything in the world, dead or alive, must weep for him. And everything wept, except for Loki, who had disguised himself as the witch Thokk. And so Baldr had to remain in the underworld.

Funeral Of Baldr

The fairest, the finest, beloved by all,
Banished from Breidablik, the most beautiful hall,
In death given Draupnir, in Hringhorni to hel,
Words whispered by the wisest that we never will know,
A blind man, a brother, a game gone wrong,
A mistletoe arrow didn’t swear to no harm,
A tricksters deceit, bound to settle the score,
Baldr will return as the earth rises once more.

Words by hedendom
Artwork by galhad