Hodr

 

Hodr, (Also spelled as Hod, Hoder, Hodur) is the blind twin

brother of Baldr, and son of Odin and Frigg. "Hoder is one

of the less well-defined of the Norse Aesir gods whose chief

claim to notoriety lies in that he is responsible, in two

separate narratives (Snorris' and Saxo's), for the death of

the god Balder, In Snorri's Icelandic version Hoder is

persuaded by Loki to hurl a piece of mistletoe at Balder

(the only thing from which is not protected): it turns into

a lethal spear. According to Snorri, Hoder may even

represent an agent of HEL. Saxo's Danish account has

Hoder and Balder contesting the hand of the goddess Nanna. She eventually weds Hoder, who then slays Balder with a magical sword. Hoder himself is slain by his arch-enemy, the god Vali."

 

Dictionary of Gods and Goddess by M. Jordan, Page 127. 

 

He is the polar opposite of Baldr. Where Baldr was referred to as the 'shinning god', Hodr is a often referred to as the god of winter, the cold, and darkness.   

 

Hodr plays a pivotal role in the Death of Baldr. Within the Edda, Baldr's death had been foreshadowed to Odin and also to Frigga. Despite the efforts of parents, Baldr decided to take part in an unusual sport. He allowed all the gods to throw weapons at him, because he believed he could not be hurt by any weapon.

However, little did he know, he could be harmed by mistletoe, which conviently

got left out of Friggas motherly protection due to (in part) Loki. In the story, Hodr gets left out because he cannot see, so because of this impairment in his vision he decides to just sit off to the sidelines. Loki however, takes this as an advantagous moment to complete his role in the Death of Baldr and thus encourages Hodr to take part. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Hod, because of his blindness, was standing at the outer edge of the circle.

Loki asked him why he too was not shooting at Balder.  I have no weapon,”

answered Hod. “Nevertheless, you ought to follow the example of the others,”

said Loki, “and thus pay equal honor to Balder. Take this wand and shoot at

him; I will show you where he is standing.” Hod grasped the mistletoe, took

his position according to Loki’s bidding, and let fly at Balder; the bolt sped

directly through his body, and he sank down dead. Thus came about the greatest

mischance that ever befell gods and men. When the Æsir saw Balder fall to the

ground, they were speechless with fear, and none" Norse Mythology, Legends of

Gods and Heroes by P. Munch, Pages 81 

 

Hodr seems to get overlooked and only listed as the accomplice in the death of his brother, as many ancient twin myths go, it is common for one twin to get more venerated than the other.  

  

Baldr was the shining god, the most beloved of all the Aesir for his goodness, his purity, and life. Hodr on the other hand, was the opposite, always left out of things and rejected due to his solemnity and lack of eye site. During feasts and other various events, Hodr would be the one sitting in the corner, quiet and keeping to himself. His personality is said to be cold, not mean, but depressed and solemn. 

 

Now Baldr is not evil, he is just calm, quite and depressed. Now I am 

not presuming, nor do I even think Baldr and Hodr were once one 

being. I just thought that it was an interesting way to show how 

opposite the two are. Besides what I have said above, there is not 

much known about Hodr, save his most well known, and important 

story. A story that put into motion things that would lead to Ragnarok. 

  

"In Norse mythology, Hodr (sometimes also spelt Hod) was the blind god of darkness and winter. Born to Odin, king of the gods and Frigg, Odin's wife, there are not a lot of stories about him, and the most famous one is where he mistakenly killed his own brother Balder, god of light. 

Balder, the god of light, had through the efforts of his mother Frigg, obtained protection from all types of objects. The gods had devised a game where they would throw projectiles at him, delighting in the fact that time and again the objects would fall short or veer away. However, Loki the god of trickery, had managed to trick Frigg into revealing the one thing in the world that could possibly harm Balder, the mistletoe, a plant which Frigg had thought was too small and weak to harm Balder. 

  

Loki harvested the plant, and fashioned a dart from it. He then approached Hodr during one of the games, asking him why he did not participate. Hodr replied that he had no dart, and could not see to guide his throw even if he had one. Loki offered him the dart, fashioned from mistletoe and said that he would guide Hodr's arm. Guided by the Trickster, Hodr threw the dart with such great strength that it pierced through Balder's heart, and he died on the spot. 

  

The slaying of Balder by Hodr signified long winter nights replacing the sky once covered by the sun, which had seemed so strong that nothing could chase it away from the sky during spring and summer. 

 

Though Hodr was manipulated into slaying Balder, his was still the hand that did the deed and Norse customs declared that a death must be avenged. Thus, Odin used trickery and magic to trick the giantess Rind into siring a son for him, the god Vali. 

  

The infant Vali grew rapidly, and when he was just one night old, came to Midgar and slew Hodr with an arrow, never washing his hands or combing his hair until he had done the deed. 

Loki too did not escaped unpunished. Though he had escaped from Midgar after the deed was done, the gods hunted him down, and chained him to three boulders, placing a snake above his head in such a way that venom constantly dripped down upon him. His wife Sigyn remained faithful to him and stayed by his side, where she caught the dripping venom in a bowl. She has to turn away to empty the venom when the bowl is full though, and it is then that the venom splashes on Loki's face, causing him to writhe in pain, which the Norse say is the cause of earthquakes." (1) 

  

Well, that is all Ive got for Hodr! Do you have more information? Please share it with us! 

Hail Hodr! The victim of a series of unfortunate events!

 

 

 

 

Sources:

 

1: http://www.helium.com/items/1561012-the-history-and-significance-of-the-god-hodr

 

Baldr

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