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The most beautiful and well-loved of the Norse gods, Balder's name means 'the shining god'. His son was Brono, the day light, and his abode was called Breidablick. Balder was also the most innocent and naive of the Norse gods, and as such met his death in the following way: Freya, wife of Odin, fearing a prophecy that foretold Balder's death, traveled the world, extracting a solemn promise from all the living things of the earth never to hurt the beautiful young god. All the living things of the earth gave their promise gladly---all except a sprig of mistletoe, which refused to take the oath. This was in fact Hel, goddess of death, and working in concert with her, Loki, god of mischief, planned Balder's death. Having received from everything (except the mistletoe) the promise that they would never harm the Bright One, the gods threw a great contest, where everyone hurled every damaging and potentially fatal weapon or thing they could find at Balder. Having taken the oath, nothing hurt the beautiful god. However, Loki compelled blind Hodur to throw the sprig of mistletoe he gave him at Balder, and this killed the young god.

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