Balder was the god of light in Norse mythology. He was the son of the chief god, Odin, and the goddess Frigg.
Balder was loved by all except the wicked Loki, who, jealous of his popularity, plotted his death.
Balder’s mother had made all things—living and non-living—swear an oath that they would never harm her son. So there was no weapon that could hurt him.
Nevertheless, Loki cast about for a way to destroy Balder. One day he learnt that there was one plant, the mistletoe that had not sworn the oath to Frigg.
He obtained a slender branch of the tree, sharpened one of its ends, and hastened to the great hall where the gods were feasting. They were entertaining themselves by good-naturedly flinging rocks and spears at Balder, knowing full well that nothing could harm him.
Loki stole up to the blind god Hoder who also happened to be Balder’s brother and asked him why he was not hurling things at Balder like the others.
“I cannot see,” said the god.
“Throw this,” said Loki, thrusting the weapon he had made, into his hands. “I’ll guide you.”
Hoder flung the sharpened branch.
It pierced Balder, and he fell down dead.
Loki did not go unpunished. The gods chained him to rocks in a deep cavern. There, he awaits his release. For according to Norse mythology he will eventually break free and take his revenge on the deities who had attempted to bind him for eternity.