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Höðr is the God of Darkness and is depicted as being blind, exceptionally strong and adept at combat. He is the son of Odin and Frigg, the twin brother to the God of Light, Baldr. Therefore sometimes seen as a God of Winter and of the cold, since he is of the darker time of year the opposite of his brother Baldr.

He is not mentioned much in the lore and in fact according to Snorri Sturluson, Höðr is never mentioned without connection to his brother Baldr. It is by Höðr’s hands that the greatest tragedy in Norse Cosmology occurs, and despite obvious trickery from Loki, Höðr bears this burden alone, being killed for his unknowing role in his brothers death. Only later does it come clear that Loki played the main role in this tragedy by tricking Höðr into throwing the spear. Thus, Höðr becomes Baldr’s companion in the underworld as an honoured guest of Hela’s.

Höðr can also be considered as a God of the Betrayed.

Saxo Grammaticus tells us a different story of two men in the Gesta Danorum that professes to be historical. According to him, Balderus and Høtherus were rival suitors of the hand of Nanna, daughter of Gewar, King of Norway. Balderus was a demigod and common steel could not wound his body. The two rivals encountered each other in a terrific battle. Though Odin and Thor and the other Gods fought for Balderus he was defeated and fled away, and Høtherus married the princess. Never the less, Balderus took heart of grace and again met Høtherus in a stricken field. But he fared even worse than before. Høtherus dealt him a deadly wound with a magic sword, named Mistletoe, which he received from Mimir, the satyr of the woods; after lingering for 3 days in pain Balderus died of his injury and was buried with royal honours in a barrow. (Davidson, H.R. Ellis (1964). Gods and Myths of Northern Europe. Pelican Books.)

With my own practices, Höðr is honoured and worked with, as a companion deity to Baldr. I find that it is important to pay homage to one when honouring the other, as well as the Goddess Nanna.




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