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Hodr is the blind god of winter and warriors. He is often depicted with his bow and arrow, or the spear that Loki used to trick him.

Hodr has very little appearances in Norse mythology, but he does play a vital role in one tale. Hodr was the son of Frigg and Odin, and he was blind. Baldur, his brother whom everyone loved, began to have dreams of his impending death. Frigg, in a panic, went out into the world and to get assurances from everyone and everything that they will not hurt her son - everything except for mistletoe. When Loki found out, he fashioned a spear from mistletoe. He brought it to Asgard where other gods were having fun throwing objects and weapons at Baldur and watching them bounce off of him. Loki brought the spear to Hodr, and tricked him into joining in the fun. The spear Hodr launched at Baldur killed him instantly.

While Frigg tried to find a way to convince Hel to send Baldur back to the land of the living, Odin conceived a child with the giantess Rindr named Váli. Váli grew quickly into a formidable giant and killed Hodr the following day. He seemed to have been conceived exactly for the purpose of killing Baldur’s unwitting murderer.

Another tale which is less well-known but somewhat similar, pitted Baldur and Hodr against one another over a maiden named Nanna. Hodr went to Hel to ask for a magical weapon that would defeat Baldur, who had been eating magical food of invincibility. Hodr was able to murder his brother, but he was killed by a god named Bous a day later in retaliation. At some point, Baldur and Nanna did have a child together named Forseti.


Be sure to look at our lesson plans on the Norse myths!

Hodr Quick Reference

Parents

Odin and Frigg


Domain / Power

Winter and warriors


Symbols

  • bow and arrow
  • mistletoe spear

Notable Myths

  • Baldur vs. Hodr
  • Death of Baldur
  • Conception of Váli

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