Baldr, beloved son of Odin.
Baldr is the shining son of the all-father
Odin, and his wife The all-mother Frigg.
He is the shining one, the bright one.
The god of light, life, joy, purity, and
sunshine. He is the brother of the dark,
blind and sulking Hodr. There are many
tales of Baldr! Baldr is of the Æsir, his
parents being Odin and Frigg, he had
at least one brother, the blind Hodr.
(Thor is his half-brother.)
Baldr was beloved by almost everyone (save Loki and maybe a few others). He was the brightest of the Æsir and was beloved by all, especially his mother. In his possession, Baldr had the largest ship that was ever made, it was a gift from the dwarves (just as Mjolnir and Grungnir were) he could even fold it up and keep it in his pocket! Soon, Baldr began to have dreams of his own death.
After telling his mother Frigg of his dreams, she feared so much for his safety (as did everyone for he was the most beloved of the Æsir) that she extracted an oath from all things that they would not harm him. All save the mistletoe for it was too young of a being to worry about. All sorts of beings would take entertainment from testing Frigg's enchantments.
Throwing things at Baldr, attacking him with normally deadly weapons. Nothing could harm him, arrows would bounce off and swords would do no damage. Then Loki, being the lord of chaos, knew that mistletoe was the only thing that could harm Baldr. He crafted an arrow, or spear, or something of the like from the small plant. Then, seeing Hodr upset because he could not take part in the fun and games, gilded his hand (Baldr's) in throwing the missile. It pierced Baldr's chest, killing him. But his tale was not over..
The gods were terribly depressed for many reasons. One, they lost their favorite, shining Asa-Man. Second, they knew that this was a sign that Ragnarok was no where near as far as they wished it was. So, the Aesir
gathered together for the great funeral, where Baldr was burned in his great ship. He passed into the realm of Hela in Helhiem, and was honored as Hela's greatest possession. Not being able to continue living in a world with out the
shining god, Odin and the other gods decided that they would try to get him back.
Baldr's soul immediately departed for Hel, and the gods dispatched Hermóð (the messenger of the gods and a son of Odin) to visit the goddess Hel, Queen of the Underworld, and demand to make ransom for Baldr. As Hermóð headed for Hel, Vali, a son of Odin by the giantess Rinda from the Western Mountains avenged Baldr by hunting down and killing Hoðr. Vali was but one day old, and had neither washed nor cut his hair when he accomplished this deed. Baldr's funeral was held in Asgard with much reverence. When Nanna saw her beloved husband's body lying in his ship, ready to be burned, she died of a broken heart, and so joined him in death.
Before putting the torch to the pyre, Odin leaned over the body and whispered something in Baldr's ear. No one knows what Odin said to his dead son in that hour, nor shall anyone save Odin. This had become, by the Viking Age, a common expression for the unknowable.
Hermóð reached Hel and the ransom that was demanded was that every living thing should weep for Baldr, and that if a single thing did not, then he would remain in her keeping until Ragnarok (the "End of the World"), when he will return to live in Valhalla once more.
Hermóð returned to Asgard with the ransom demand, and the gods scattered across Midgard asking every living thing to weep for Baldr. Soon was the Earth awash in the tears of living beings for the passing of Baldr. But deep in a cave the gods came upon the Hag of Ironwood, who, unbeknownst to them, was Loki in disguise. She refused to weep, thus was Baldr condemned to remain in Hel until Ragnarok.
In summary he is the most beloved of the gods. He was glowing, shining god of love, light, innocence and purity. He was in charge of sunshine, and thus in a way fertility.
“Each Arrow Overshot His Head” by Elmer Boyd Smith (1902)