Baldur (Balder, Baldr) in Norse mythology is one of the Aesir gods and the son of Odin and Frigg, the King and Queen of the legendary city of Asgard. He is more prominently known for his handsome looks and is loved by all for his cheerful and courteous demeanor.

When Baldur began having dreams foreshadowing his death, his mother Frigg visited every living creature on Earth and secured an oath that no one would ever do harm to him. This rendered Baldur virtually indestructible, and the other gods mused as they would throw weapons and random objects at him to find him completely intact. Roused by an opportunity, Loki, the god of mischief was intrigued by Baldur’s invulnerability, and so asked Figg if there were any creatures she had forgotten to collect the oath from. Frigg conveyed that she did not bother to ask the mistletoes because they were small, harmless, and were the least likely to be a danger to Baldur. Immediately, fashioning a projectile weapon made from mistletoe, Loki convinced the blind warrior god Hodr to throw it at Baldur during a banquet, and upon piercing his body, killed him instantly.

Distressed by his untimely death, the other gods came to the conclusion that one of them should travel to the underworld to retrieve Baldur from the grasp of Hel, the goddess of death. Odin’s other son and twin brother to Baldur, Hermod decided he would make the journey and traveled to the roots of the world-tree on Odin’s eight legged horse, Sleepnir, where he would find the once handsome and radiant god pale and forbidding seated next to Hel.

After Hermod’s endless attempts of pleading and persuasion to the Hel, the goddess of death finally agreed to release Baldur only if every living creature wept for his death to prove that he was truly loved by all. Every living creature did indeed weep for his loss; however, Loki disguised himself as a giantess named Thokk and vehemently refused to mourn for Baldur claiming that he had done nothing for her. This ultimately sealed Baldur’s fate to remain with Hel for all of eternity until reality is destroyed by the events of Ragnarok.

Now being hunted by the other gods, Loki fled to the mountains where he fashioned a house with four doors to watch for his those hunting him from all directions. By night he would customize nets for fishing and by day, he would transform into a salmon fish and hide under a nearby waterfall.

His efforts proved to no avail as the all-seeing Odin eventually located him and sent the other Gods in his direction. Wittingly, he threw his fishing net into the fire he used for cooking and transformed into a Salmon once more. The gods arrived and quickly ascertained by the smoldered fishing net that Loki was present nearby. They began repetitively casting the net in the stream in hopes to catch the shapeshifting Loki, with each attempt failing as Loki barely escaped each time in his salmon form. In the final moments, Loki made one more leap to downstream to swim to an ocean. However, his attempts were thwarted by none other than the god of thunder, Thor as he caught Loki by the tail in mid-air. Thor’s grasp of the salmon tail fin is often an explanation for why the Salmon’s tail is thin in appearance today.

Loki was taken to a cave in his original form where he was met by his two sons. Odin turned one of his sons into a wolf that devoured and tore the innards from the other while Loki desperately watched. The innards where fashioned into chains and bound Loki to three rocks found in the cave. A snake was placed above his head that would drip venom on Loki’s face causing him to shake violently, in turn causing earthquakes throughout Midgard, the realm of man.

Loki’s dedicated wife, Sigyn remained by his side to catch as much of the venom as she could in a bowl to spare Loki the poisonous effects, however, the two had eventually abandoned all hope of freeing him from the enteral prison. This remained so until the fateful occurrence of Ragnarok, where Loki would break free and assist in the destruction of reality.