Baldr is a god in Norse mythology, who is given a central role in the mythology. His precise function is, however, disputed and he is often interpreted as the god of love, peace, forgiveness, justice, light or purity, but he was not directly attested as a god of such. He is the son of Odin and the goddess Frigg. His twin brother is the blind god Höðr, jacob Grimm in his Teutonic Mythology identifies Old Norse Baldr with the Old High German Baldere, Palter, Paltar and with Old English bealdor, baldor lord, prince, king. Old Norse shows this usage of the word as an honorific in a few cases, as in baldur î brynju and herbaldr, both epithets of heroes in general. Grimm traces the etymology of the name to *balþaz, whence Gothic balþs, Old English bald, Old High German pald, all meaning white, but the interpretation of Baldr as the brave god may be secondary. Baltic has a word meaning the white, the good, in continental Saxon and Anglo-Saxon tradition, the son of Woden is called not Bealdor but Baldag and Bældæg, Beldeg, which shows association with day, possibly with Day personified as a deity. This, as Grimm points out, would agree with the shining one, white one. Grimms etymology is endorsed by modern research, according to Rudolf Simek, the original name for Baldr must be understood as shining day. One of the two Merseburg Incantations names Baldere, but also mentions a figure named Phol, considered to be a byname for Baldr and this interpretation is linked to the presupposition that the figure in question is a companion of Wodan, the upper god. In a different interpretation, phol is just another form of folon mentioned in the next line, in the Poetic Edda the tale of Baldrs death is referred to rather than recounted at length. Among the visions which the Völva sees and describes in the known as the Völuspá is one of the fatal mistletoe, the birth of Váli. Yet looking far into the future the Völva sees a vision of a new world. The Eddic poem Baldrs Dreams mentions that Baldr has bad dreams which the gods then discuss, Odin rides to Hel and awakens a seeress, who tells him Höðr will kill Baldr but Vali will avenge him. In Gylfaginning, Baldur is described as follows, Apart from this description Baldr is known primarily for the story of his death and his death is seen as the first in the chain of events which will ultimately lead to the destruction of the gods at Ragnarök. Baldr will be reborn in the new world, according to Völuspá and he had a dream of his own death and his mother had the same dreams. Since dreams were usually prophetic, this depressed him, so his mother Frigg made every object in every realm vow never to hurt Baldr, all objects made this vow except mistletoe. When Loki, the mischief-maker, heard of this, he made a spear from this plant
"Each arrow overshot his head" (1902) by Elmer Boyd Smith.
"Mímir and Baldr Consulting the Norns" (1821-1822) by H. E. Freund.
Baldr's death is portrayed in this illustration from an 18th-century Icelandic manuscript.
"Odin's last words to Baldr" (1908) by W. G. Collingwood.