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Excersus LIII: Tricky Tricky


The death of Baldur is one of the, less heroic, moments in Norse Mythology. Remember the scene in Zoolander where everybody died in the middle of jovial gasoline play? It was basically that. Balder was invulnerable to everything in the world except Mistletoe, the one object in the entire world that hadn't sworn never to harm Balder. So, naturally, the first thing the Norse gods decided to do when they learned of this invulnerability was to have a grand old time hurling deadly objects at him and watching him not die. Just standing around him, throwing swords and morning stars and cows and arsenic and whatever pretty much was at hand and potentially lethal. Yup. But Hodur the blind couldn't play in these games, being blind, and was off moping. Loki, who had found out about Baldur's weakness and crafted a missile from mistletoe, convinced Hodur to join the game, putting the mistletoe spear in his hand and directing him where to hurl it. It struck home, and killed Baldur instantly. Loki nearly got away with it (Hodur was eventually slain by Vali, a son of Odin's by Not Frigga, in retribution), but his behavior at Baldur's funeral proved his undoing, and sent him into flight from Asgard. There's a lesson in there somewhere, probably.

- Count Dolby von Luckner