Balder the Brave, wearing a gold helmet and standing in a snowy landscape.

Who is Balder the Brave in ‘Loki’ Season 2?

Loki season 2 seems to have fully drifted away from Loki’s Norse roots. However, one scene in episode 3, which has just been released as a promo clip, not only reminds us that Loki’s actually a bonafide Norse god. It potentially introduces a new character to the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Balder the Brave.

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Who is Balder the Brave? Does he have any connection with the MCU so far? Here are the basics!

Spoilers for Loki season 2 ahead!

Who is Balder in Marvel Comics?

Balder the Brave in Marvel comics, holding two swords. He's wearing a sylver helmet and cape, a purple leotard, and yellow sleeves and leggings.
(Marvel Comics)

In Loki season 2, episode 3, Loki and Mobius come upon wooden statues of three Norse gods at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair: Odin, Thor, and Balder. Loki, annoyed that he’s not on the diorama, scoffs at Balder and claims that “no one’s ever even heard of him.”

However, dedicated Marvel fans have definitely heard of Balder—because he’s a character in the original Marvel comics. First appearing in Journey Into Mystery #85 (1962), Balder is an Asgardian god and half-brother to Thor. He has a long and complicated history: throughout various storylines, Balder dies, gets resurrected, abandons the life of a warrior, embraces it again, and goes on numerous adventures.

Like other Asgardians, Balder has superhuman strength, speed, stamina, and healing abilities. He’s also a trained warrior and magic wielder. For a time, he’s invulnerable to all harm, thanks to Frigga’s magic.

That last attribute—not to mention Loki’s jealousy—happens to be taken directly from Norse myth.

Balder in Norse mythology

In the Norse Eddas, Balder is the son of Odin and Frigg, and the most beloved of all the gods. Frigg, wanting to protect him, journeys the land to make everything in the universe promise not to harm him. However, thanks to Loki’s scheming, things go awry.

Frigg secures promises from every single object in the universe, except the humble mistletoe. Loki uses some mistletoe to fashion a dart, and then approaches the blind god Höðr while the rest of the gods are throwing things at Balder and marveling at how they can’t harm him. Loki tricks Höðr into throwing the dart at Balder so that Höðr can join in the fun. However, the dart kills Balder.

Later, Frigga gets Hel, the goddess of the underworld, to promise to release Balder if everything in the living world weeps for him. Loki thwarts this plan, too, by disguising himself as an old woman who refuses to weep.

Is Balder in the MCU?

Not yet—although his statue in Loki season 2 could be hinting at an eventual debut.

In the meantime, Balder almost made an appearance in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The Illuminati, a secret group of superheroes on Earth-838, almost included Daniel Craig in a cameo as Balder. The idea was scrapped, but not before concept art of Craig in costume found its way to the internet.

Could Craig join the MCU as Balder after all? Anything could happen, given the multiverse.

(featured image: Marvel Comics)


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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>