"Each arrow overshot his head" by El...

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Balder, Odin and Frigg‘s son, was bothered by nightmares, and when they learned of it, Odin and Frigg decided they have to do something. They knew that their son was destined to die, and with all their powers they decided to prevent his death.

Frigg extracted an oath to every living and non-living thing: the oath is not to cause pain and even death to Balder. Almost everyone had said their oath, however, Frigg neglected the small shrub called mistletoe, for she thought it’s too small to harm her beloved son.

When the gods and goddesses heard of this, they rejoiced, for they believed that their beloved Balder was saved.

Loki, the famous trickster disguised as an old woman, went to see Frigg. Upon doing so, he learned that only the mistletoe was discarded. So, Loki helped himself by cutting a small twig of mistletoe, sharpened its tip and proceed with his trick.

Loki found the gods and goddesses throwing swords, aiming arrows and other things to the invincible Balder. These weapons brought Balder no harm. Far from the crowd stood Balder’s brother Hod, a blind god. Loki went and ask him why he’s alone and not joining in. Hod replied bitterly that obviously, he’s blind. Loki told him that he must join the group in throwing weapons to Balder, and that he would guide him, too. Hod agreed and Loki handed him the sharpened mistletoe, aimed it at Balder’s heart, and let it go.

The twig went straight to Balder’s heart and everyone was shocked and horrified to see Balder dropped dead.

Such was the story of the mistletoe.

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