A Month for Baldr – VIII – Variations on a Theme

So here’s where we chat about the different aspects we know of Baldr (based on what remains of our lore).
Yet once again, there’s not much here that we haven’t chatted about before.

We have Snorri’s Baldr, and we have Saxo’s Balderus.
With Snorri’s version, we have a suspiciously Christ-like view of Baldr, and while yes, He is light, joy, and lots of good things, His “character” in the Eddas is very dull and one-dimensional. Not very Person like at all. He seems like some sort of sad sacrifice, and that’s all that’s really talked about.

In Saxo’s version, Baldr is much more rash, wanting what He wants, and not caring about anyone else really, nor Nanna’s own opinion of the situation, which is to say She wanted to be with Hodr. He wars with Hodr, and eventually withers away as he is struck with nightmares after losing to Hodr.

I very much feel if we bring both these stories together (and ignore that their plots are quite different in terms of how Baldr dies), and see these vastly different personalities as truly part of Him, that yes, He was good, He was light, and joy, and wise; as well as having been such a brazen youth, wanting to attain His desires with no care of the consequences, and likely bringing on the consequences that led to His death and departure from Asgard into the realm of Hel.
Writing this, it feels like what Saxo wrote could have been Baldr at His most selfish (He was the only son of Odinn and Frigg, doted on by Both, and groomed to be the next in line), it shows us what lengths He believed was acceptable to go to in order to get what He wanted, again, without even consulting with Nanna Herself. Then we have Snorri’s timeline, Baldr already with Nanna, and already a family with Forseti, already having settled down into Someone Who was more balanced, and wise. Which is also why I believe at that point, when His dreams began, He knew what He was going to have to do, and He accepted it, that was the consequence of His actions.


One thought on “A Month for Baldr – VIII – Variations on a Theme

  1. Pingback: A Month for Baldr – IX – Common Mistakes | The Forest Witch

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