An overview of the balder myth in the norse mythology

He gained most from his uncle Mimir, who guarded the Well of Knowledge, but he had to sacrifice an eye to drink from the Well. Having determined to obtain the potion, Odin put himself in bondage to a Giant, whom he persuaded to blast a hole to the underground dwelling where the substance was kept. Then he flew back to Asgard as an eagle, destroying Suttung in the process, and dispensed the potion to human poets. The gods were subject to aging, and they rejuvenated themselves by eating magic apples kept by the goddess Idun.

An overview of the balder myth in the norse mythology

The world was created when Odin and his brothers slew the primeval Frost-Giant Ymir, and it will come to an end when the Giants rise against Odin and his comrades and kill them in battle. Love in the Norse tales was often accompanied by murderous passions, and treachery was commonplace. The world here is a hard, cold, bitter place in which to live.

Despite the starkness of this picture the Norsemen took intense pleasure from such things as friendship, drinking and eating, making love, outwitting strangers, avenging wrongs, and fighting bravely. They were a fierce, hard-headed race, and their myths take no pains to conceal it. We will examine the creation and destruction of the universe, some tales of the gods, and the epic stories of Beowulf, the Volsungs, and Sigurd.

These will give a more vivid and detailed version of how the Norsemen saw the world and what they valued. They lived in Asgard and held temporary power over the cosmos. Aging like mortals, these gods renewed their youth by eating magic apples.

Their reign would end and they would die at Ragnarok, when evil overcomes good in a final battle. The Vanir were a secondary race of gods, not essentially different from the Aesir.

In ancient times the Vanir and the Aesir battled one another until a compromise was reached in which the Vanir were admitted into Asgard. Among these gods were Frey and his beautiful sister Freya.

The Dwarves were a subterranean race of craftsmen.

Background and Sources

The Valkyries, "choosers of the slain," were female warriors who selected brave mortal fighters who died in battle to live in Valhalla in Asgard. Attendants of Odin, the Valkyries were also immortal waitresses that refilled the drinking cups in Valhalla. They were visible only to men about to die fighting.

A protector of courageous noblemen in war, he was also the god of the slain. Odin was blind in one eye, wore a golden breastplate and helmet, carried a magic spear, and rode an incredibly swift, eight-legged horse named Sleipnir.

On his shoulders perched two ravens, Hugin and Munin thought and memorythat flew throughout the world and reported everything to him each night. She protected brave warriors whom Odin neglected.

Both Frigga and Odin had extramarital sexual encounters. Thor was the god of thunder, a powerful deity, upright in character but fearsome to his enemies. Tyr presided over public assemblies, legal matters, and battles. His hand was bitten off by Fenrir the wolf, a monstrous enemy of the gods.

Frey was the god of vegetation and fertility. Freya, his sister, was the goddess of love and beauty. Heimdall was the watchman of the gods, stationed on the rainbow bridge, Bifrost, that led to Asgard.

His trumpet would announce doomsday. Loki, although allowed in Asgard, was the son of a Giant. Full of malice and cunning, he perpetrated much mischief until the gods bound him in a cavern with a venomous serpent to torment him.

He fathered three mighty monsters, including Fenrir the wolf and the Midgard Serpent.

An overview of the balder myth in the norse mythology

Hel was goddess of the netherworld, and half her face had human features while the other half was blank. She ruled the dead. Creation and Catastrophe At first there was only a great void. But to the North of this void there formed a region of mist and ice, while to the South grew a region of fire.

Niflheim was the name of the North, and Muspellsheim of the South; and the heat from the latter melted some of the ice of the former, which shaped Ymir, the Frost-Giant with a human form.

This cow in turn was fed by salt contained in the ice. One day it licked the ice and hair emerged, on the next day a head, and on the third day Bur emerged, fully formed.

Bur had a son, Buri, who had three sons — Odin, Vili, and Ve. These three were a new race, not Giants but gods. They banded together and murdered Ymir.The Death of Balder Everyone Swears an Oath Except Mistletoe. Share Flipboard Email Odin, the king of the Norse gods, often sat upon Hildskialf, the throne of the Aesir gods An Argument on Behalf of Norse Mythology.


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Part Seven, Introduction & Chapters I–II Summary: Introduction. The only two original sources of Norse mythology are two Icelandic texts, the Elder Edda (first written around a.d. but containing earlier tales) and the Younger Edda (written by Snori Sturluson at the end of the s).

The Norse myths are bleaker than the Greek and Roman tales. Balder: Balder, in Norse mythology, the son of the chief god Odin and his wife Frigg. Beautiful and just, he was the favourite of the gods. Most legends about him concern his death.

Icelandic stories tell how the gods amused themselves by throwing objects at him, knowing that he was immune from harm. The. A summary of Part Seven, Introduction & Chapters I–II in Edith Hamilton's Mythology. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Mythology and what it means.

Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. Baldr (also Balder, Baldur) is the god of light, joy, purity, and the summer sun in Norse mythology, and a son of the god Odin and the goddess Frigg.

He is the father of Forseti, and He has numerous brothers, such as Thor and Váli. In the 12th century, Danish accounts by Saxo Grammaticus and. Apr 30,  · This week, we're headed north. To check out the gods of the Northmen. Or the Norse. That's right, we're talking Thor, Loki, Freyr, Freya, Odin, Frigg, Baldr, and Tyr.

Norse Mythology: A Brief Synopsis | The Norse Gods