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Baldur Odinson

Baldur Odinson The God of Light


Omega (God of War 2018)

This article contains lore based on real-life sources from Norse mythology as introduced from the God of War Norse era.


I spent the last 100 years dreaming of this moment. I’ve rehearsed everything I ever wanted to say to you, every word, to make you understand exactly what you stole from me. But now I realize… I don’t need you to understand anything. I don’t need you at all.

–Baldur to his mother upon their reunion.

Baldur (Old Norse: Baldr, Nordic: ᛒᚨᛚᛞᚢᚱ), also known as Baldur Odinson (Translation: Baldur, son of Odin), and also known as the Stranger, was the Norse Aesir God of Light and Peace. He is a member of the Aesir Royal Family, being son of Odin and Freya, paternal nephew of Vili and , maternal nephew of Freyr, younger half-brother of Thor, and uncle of Magni, Modi and Thrúd.

Baldur is introduced in God of War (2018) as the main antagonist of the game. Having been tricked by Odin into believing that the Guardian would have the remedy to his curse, his relentless hunt eventually brought him into direct confrontation with Kratos instead, only to get his neck brutally snapped by an opponent stronger than expected. Having survived the ordeal thanks to his invulnerability, he summons his nephews Magni and Modi with the mission to capture the Spartan and his son and bring them to Asgard.

This proves to be yet another failure as Kratos and Atreus narrowly escape his clutches once more. As Baldur later crosses the path of his mother and enemies, he engages them in another brutal confrontation before being finally freed from his curse. Far from bringing him back to reason, this drives him completely mad instead as he unleashes the full might of his powers, while begging Kratos to inflict him even more pain out of sheer pleasure. The God of Light is ultimately overwhelmed by the Ghost of Sparta and his son, but is spared by a reluctant Kratos. Having learned nothing from his mistakes and attempting to murder his mother nevertheless, Baldur meets a quick but brutal end by having his neck promptly snapped by an infuriated Kratos, killing him for good. His demise marks the start of the devastating Fimbulwinter, the prelude to Ragnarök.

Description[]

God of War (2018)[]

Baldur. He's one of the Aesir. Odin's son, Thor's brother. He came to our house and fought father and father killed him...or so we thought. Supposedly he can't feel pain, and now he's hunting us with his nephews, but we don't why.

-Atreus

God of War Ragnarök[]

I do not regret Baldur's death. Had I allowed him to kill Freya, he would not have abandoned his pursuit. His fate would have been the same. I do not expect Freya to accept what happened as necessary. She will likely pursue us until one of us is dead.

-Kratos

Norse Mythology[]

Baldr was the son of Odin (the King of the Gods) and his wife Frigg. He was known to be beautiful, kind and emanate pure light. He was the favorite of the Æsir gods.

Most legends about him concern his death. After he and Frigg had a dream in which they saw his death (with dreams being prophetic in Norse mythology), Frigg asked everything in creation to promise to not harm Baldr, only forgetting to ask mistletoe, as she thought it was "too young" to swear an oath. Icelandic stories tell how the gods amused themselves by throwing objects at him (knowing that he was immune from harm). The blind god Höðr, (Baldr's twin brother) deceived by Loki, killed Baldr by hurling mistletoe, the only thing that could hurt him.

After Baldr's funeral, the messenger Hermod was sent to Hel, the goddess of the land of the dead also known as Hel, to ask for Baldr's return. Hel asked that every being in creation weep for Baldr, and every being did, except the giantess Thökk (who was Loki in disguise), who refused to weep the tears that would release Baldr from death.

Baldr's death was the start of Ragnarök: The Death of the Norse Gods and end of the Nine Realms.

However, it is known that after Ragnarok, Baldr, along with Hod, would come back to life and become the new ruler of the peaceful land.

In the God of War Series[]

Early life[]

What you did to me... WHAT YOU DID TO ME!!

–Baldur's past in Helheim

Baldur was an Aesir born to Odin and Freya and was the younger half-brother of Thor. At his birth, his mother learned from the runes that he would die a "needless death". Determined to prevent his death at any cost, Freya at some point placed a spell on him that made him invulnerable to all threats, physical or magical.

The spell had one weakness, however: mistletoe. To make sure no one figured out the spell's weakness, she also cursed Mimir to prevent him from speaking about it. However, the spell had a side-effect of removing Baldur's ability to physically feel anything. He could no longer feel pain or pleasure, or even the temperature of wherever he stood. Baldur's pleas to Freya to lift the spell fell on deaf ears, and Freya insisted that Baldur would thank her for it. An outraged Baldur was consumed with hatred for his mother and initially attempted to kill her. With the faintest amount of love for his mother still left, he let her live, citing that he never wanted to see her again. It was probably during this period that Odin and Thor imprisoned Týr in a prison on the horizons of Asgard.

After abandoning his mother, he spent 100 years in Asgard with his father, Odin, his brothers, Thor and Heimdall, and nephews, Magni and Modi, only to consider that his entire family was "fucked up". Years of being under his mothers' spell soon took its toll on Baldur, and he was driven to insanity due to his sensory incapabilities. As such, he soon came to deeply resent his mother, and wished nothing more than to kill her for the decades of suffering she had inadvertently caused him, later regretting sparing her life. During this time, Baldur also became a slave to his father, hoping that his continued service would eventually bring him freedom from his curse, though Mimir believes that Odin was simply lying about being able to fix his condition to get his son to do anything he asked.

At one time, Baldur made all the archers of Asgard fire arrows on him, taking bets alongside Mimir to see how many arrows it would take to weigh him down to the ground. A total of 460 arrows had been fired and lodged into Baldur's invincible body before he fell down, laughing all the while, though Mimir laughed the hardest.

God of War (2018)[]

Baldur came to visit

Baldur in Kratos' hut

Baldur heads out from Asgard to hunt down the Jötunn Guardian, one of the two remaining Jötnar in Midgard who had been foiling the Aesir's plans for centuries. With the sudden disappearance of the protection spell around the Wildwoods, Baldur decided to investigate, eventually finding the cabin where the Guardian lived.

Mistaking the Guardian's husband, Kratos, for the Guardian, Baldur confronts him, who in turn thought Baldur knew of him as one of the Greek deities; specifically their second God of War, the Successor to Ares. Unbeknownst to Baldur, the Guardian had died mere days before and had been cremated minutes prior to his arrival. Kratos is at first unwilling to fight, even though Baldur continuously taunts and punches him, but eventually gives in and punches Baldur to the ground. When Kratos tries to tell him to leave, Baldur punches Kratos clear over the house. Breaking a hole in the roof, Baldur spotted two beds inside and demanded to know who he was hiding. The two start to brutally fight and Kratos is able to overpower Baldur, but the latter seems unaffected by any damage taken, with Baldur subsequently revealing that he doesn't feel anything being done to him. Kratos seemingly kills Baldur by snapping his neck, throwing him over a cliff edge and into a chasm opened by their fight.

Due to Freya's spell, he was simply incapacitated by Kratos' attack. Gathering his nephews, Magni and Modi, they visited the imprisoned ambassador of the Aesir, Mimir, assuming he knew where "the tattooed man" and "the child" were. However, their interrogation is fruitless, as Mimir doesn't know who the two are and refuses to help the Aesir, pointing out that Baldur's offer to convince Odin to free Mimir would be useless, as are death threats since Odin won't allow anyone to kill him. Baldur leaves with his nephews in tow when Mimir demands that he take his two "worthless wankers" with him.

Baldur hits Altreus

Baldur hits Atreus

Later, when Kratos, Mimir, and Atreus prepare to go to Jötunheim, Baldur ambushes them, gaining the upper hand against Kratos and goading Atreus into attacking him. He dismisses Kratos as "just meat" and assumes Atreus was the mastermind behind the Guardian's attacks on the Aesir. Atreus tries to fight Baldur, feeling that he is ready for the confrontation. Kratos tries to stop him, only to be shot with an arrow by Atreus. Baldur grows amused upon seeing the boy strike at his father when he attempted to keep him out of the fight, stating "and here I thought my family was fucked up." An overconfident Atreus attacks Baldur but fails to kill him, and he knocks the boy unconscious before departing on a dragon. Kratos jumps off the mountain, intercepts them and fights Baldur, who eventually makes it to the realm travel room and locks in Asgard as the destination, hoping to bring the full weight of the Aesir down upon Kratos. After another brutal fist fight, Kratos alters the destination to Helheim, sending them flying into the Realm of the Dead. Baldur comes across an illusion taking the form of his memories, specifically the time he confronted his mother, Freya, over the spell she placed on him. However, when he spared his mother, he called his vision self a coward. Baldur angrily lashes out at his mother and tearfully called himself a coward, despite her reasons and motives. Kratos, Atreus, and Mimir, in hiding, witness Baldur act irrationally towards the illusion and learn of his connection to Freya.

After finding a way to escape Helheim, Baldur learns of the trio's journey into The World Serpent's stomach and fights the giant serpent in order to make it expel the three next to the colossal corpse of the Frost Giant Thamur. Emerging from the icy waters of the lake, Baldur meets his mother for the first time in years. Despite his time away, Baldur is still consumed by hatred towards his mother. He tries to attack her but Kratos gets in his way, leading to another fight between them while Freya tries to intervene by entangling the two with roots, but her spells are ineffective as they continue to fight.

During a small lull in the fight, Kratos is ensnared by vines conjured by Freya, but Baldur, witnessing Kratos' plight, manages to avoid another conjuration of vines meant for him. Fixed on killing Kratos, Baldur approaches him, but Atreus places himself in Baldur's path. Irritated, Baldur strikes the boy square in the chest. Kratos is horrified, believing that Atreus is wounded, but he tells him that it isn't his blood; in fact, it is Baldur's blood. It is shown that Baldur's hand was pierced by the mistletoe arrow that Kratos had strung onto Atreus' quiver after the strap was broken during their journey. Baldur then revels in his newfound senses as a horrified Freya watches on.

Being vulnerable once again, Baldur resumes his battle with Kratos. He thanks the pair for their assistance, claiming that not even Odin himself was able to remove his "curse". Enraged, Kratos overwhelms Baldur and he and Atreus brutally beat the Aesir god, but Freya intervenes again by manipulating Thamur's corpse, who attacks Kratos and Loki with his icy breath. Freya's efforts end in failure as Atreus calls the World Serpent to attack the reanimated Giant. An utterly defeated Baldur goads Kratos to kill him, but after some convincing from Atreus and Freya, Kratos spares him and warns him not to come after them again nor lay a hand on Freya.

Baldur's demise

Baldur's death

Baldur confronts his mother once more. Freya implores her son to find understanding in her actions in an attempt to make peace with him. Baldur refuses to forgive her, and Freya allows her son to strangle her as proof of her remorse, but Kratos intervenes again. Quoting his father, Kratos claims that the cycle of patricide that they all follow must end, and he snaps Baldur's neck in front of Freya, and he crumbles to the ground. A snowflake lands on his cheek, which he acknowledges before dying.

Aftermath[]

Freya is left devastated and enraged upon his death, despite Baldur's attempt on her life. She swears revenge upon Kratos before taking her son's body with her and disappearing.

Despite her tragic fury, Mimir believes that given time, Freya will come to accept that Baldur's death was for the best and that the Nine Realms are better with her alive. However, Baldur's death triggers an occurrence over the realms. Mimir believes that the Fimbulwinter, the terrible winter that lasts three years, has been triggered. To make matters worse, the winter preludes the coming of Ragnarök, something that the Aesir believed wasn't going to happen for at least a hundred more years. However, the Giants knew the full events of Ragnarok and that Baldur was always meant to die by Kratos' hand when he did. Kratos soon realized that Baldur was never meant to look for him as Baldur was tracking down Kratos' wife, Faye, but was unaware she was only ashes by then.

When their journey ends, Atreus has a prophetic dream of many years later: He and his father are confronted outside of their home by a cloaked man with a mystic hammer; it's Baldur's brother, Thor, likely coming to avenge his half-brother and fallen sons.

God of War Ragnarök[]

Baldur's death would continue to haunt Freya three years later into Fimbulwinter. She continued to try and avenge his death by killing Kratos but nevertheless fails every time. Much later, when she was sought out by Atreus, she managed to retrieve the mistletoe arrow that made Baldur vulnerable. After regaining her valkyrie wings, she once again fought Kratos. Though she was nearly successful in getting her revenge, she spared him nevertheless, when she knew that he is more valuable alive rather than dead. After she reverse the curse that was put upon her by Odin, she makes amends with Kratos, though she still didn't forgive him for killing Baldur.

When Kratos and Freya sought out the Norns, the goddesses of Fate decided to toy with them, by conjuring an illusion which took the duo back to Thamur's Corpse where Kratos and Atreus battled Baldur. There a hallucination of the God of Light appears and recite the same line after he was punctured by Atreus's mistletoe arrow. When Freya tries to get him to listen to her, a hallucination of herself, under her Aesir name Frigg, stops her and demands her on why she brought her son to the place where he was killed before stepping back into a cloud of mist along with Baldur. While Kratos and Freya were fighting off numbers of Legions, Baldur's voice can be heard cursing his mother over being bestowed with invincibility, along with the inability to feel. The hallucination of Baldur eventually reappears and was neck-snapped in the same manner by Frigg ending the illusion.

When Kratos and Freya come across Baldur's frozen dragon Dagsetr, the former would tell the latter of how he and Atreus fought the latter on it all the way through Helheim. Kratos, however, acknowledges that Baldur is not at fault for his attacks towards him and son, saying the blame was solely on Odin, as he gave the command.

Appearance[]

Baldur is of average height and has an extremely lean, hard physique. His build is unique, as it makes him seem small in comparison to the other male gods in the series, who are generally of towering height and sport broad, heavily muscled builds. His most striking features are his woad-blue tattoos of Norse runes, which coat large portions of his limbs and torso and his eyes, which are distinctly icy blue, particularly noticeable when the camera is close-up.

He has handsome (if haggard) features, with a beaded but unkempt dirty blonde beard and a shaggy, beaded horse-mane hairstyle. He wears a reddish belt, the Knotted Belt of the Aesir is a special accessory from Asgard, given to Baldur by his father, he also wears an elite tracking hip pouch where he carries important hunting items to better track his prey, and a thin string of charms over a torn tanned apron made from a nasty ogre, which he repurposed, which is worn over loose, black cloth pants, bound at the calves with brown leather straps, Bladur also wears a Twilight Pendant, a unique ornament Baldur carries that he hopes will foretell his eventual fate. He wears no top and no shoes, Baldur’s worn linen breeches over his legs and feet help keep him fairly nimble in battle.

Personality[]

I'd hoped that you, of everyone I’d faced, would finally make me feel something. But you can't.

–Baldur to Kratos

Unlike his two fellow Aesir nephews, Baldur presents himself with a more restrained, albeit equally ruthless demeanor. Years of invincibility and lack of sensation from his curse of protection have thoroughly worn his personality and mental state away, and his primary mode of operation combines the fearlessness of someone spoiled by invulnerability with a lack of human connection lent by being starved of physical sensation to create a toxic mixture of complete, high-functioning derangement. In short, Baldur's personality is a foul and deeply poisonous mixture of arrogance, hatred, self-loathing and psychopathy, a combination that is dangerous at the best of times, and a harbinger of existential doom at the worst.

Underneath this lack of external satisfaction, he is a font of internal dissatisfaction as well, his unresolved issues with his mother and what he views as cowardice for being unwilling to kill her serving as a bell of resentment and self-hatred over his head, which inevitably spills into his interactions with all things.

As a tracker and combatant, Baldur is informed by his invulnerability. Rightfully unafraid of the consequences of any fight, he is often in no explicit hurry to catch those he has been assigned to track by Odin, nor is he concerned with quickly killing those he inevitably catches up to. From the way he treats his first encounters with Kratos, he commonly mocks and toys with his quarry, is generally unconcerned with diplomacy and is accustomed to getting what he wants through sufficient amounts of bullying and force. This spoiled nature is most clear when something doesn't explicitly go his way - anytime Kratos uses his Spartan Rage, or when Kratos does not relent in the final fight, any unpleasant surprise always gives way to rage, and instead of growing or improving as a fighter, only fosters a growing resentment towards Kratos as they encounter each other more and more.

Baldur has a deep hatred for his mother Freya for what she did to him, angrily attacking her illusion self from Helheim and crying by calling himself a coward.

A large part of the blackest parts of his personality can be traced to his curse of protection, given to him by Freya. As a child, Baldur, in Freya's words was very much like Atreus, being normal, kind and innocent, giving a beaded necklace and a bracelet, presumably crafted by himself, to his mother as gifts. He even respected and adored his father greatly and felt disappointed on not being able to please him. When the curse was given to him, it took away his ability to feel anything, in addition to granting him near-total invulnerability and regeneration, resulting in his mental decline. His self-hatred also stems from this, as his desire to kill his mother stemmed from his need for vengeance, and his failure to do so is why he sees himself as a coward.

Underneath all of these things, Baldur is ultimately suffering; Unable to experience both the pleasures and woes of life due to sensory deprivation, unable to experience a legitimate and fair challenge with an non-disadvantaged adversary due to invulnerability, unable to exact the revenge he desires due to his mother's absence, and unable to even indulge in his self-loathing nor with serious self-inflicted harm due to his curse. He lives a life of joyless, empty limbo, endlessly sustained by the curse, his status as an Aesir, and his inability to even end his own life. This most clearly manifests when he is finally defeated and at Kratos' mercy - there is no hesitation as he demands Kratos to "do it," and end his life. His resentment at Freya's part in ultimately staying Kratos' hand only reinforces this.

What is this? I can feel this... I can feel everything!

–Baldur after getting impaled by the Mistletoe arrow when he punched Atreus's chest

On one occasion, Baldur demonstrates somewhat of a change - when the curse of protection is broken, he enters a state of manic sensory euphoria at the rush of sensations after years of complete deprivation. All sensations, but in particular, extreme ones such as pain, brought an ecstatic rush - serving to make him even more aggressive and unafraid of fighting than before, relentlessly seeking to pummel Kratos during this fight, craving the sensation of both delivering and receiving blows.

Before you die, I want to thank you. Both of you. You've done what even the Allfather himself could not. I've never felt more alive! Ironic, isn't it?

–Baldur to Kratos and Atreus for freeing his curse

After freed from his curse, Baldur appeared to be genuinely thankful to Kratos and Atreus for achieving what even Odin himself couldn't do, despite the fact he still wanted to kill them both. Even before death, his final moments were one of joy in the pleasure of being able to feel the snow on his face.

Relationships[]

Odin[]

The father of Baldur, Odin ,deceives and manipulates Baldur with apparent regularity, dangling a cure for his condition as a carrot to persuade him to track and find those he seeks, such as Kratos and Laufey - this is in addition to Freya's seminal lie, that there is no cure for his curse. Three years later, Odin shows a callous disregard for losing Baldur as his son, even casually agreeing that his sanity was indeed gone, merely expressing disappointment that that his best tracker and closer was dead, even trying to offer peaceful terms to Baldur's killers, demonstrating that in terms of family, Baldur meant nothing to him, this is evident when according to Freya, Baldur, as a child, adored his father greatly and wanted to impress him, only for that latter to not give him any sense of approval. However, as implied by his half-brother Thor, Odin seemed to have held a tiny degree of respect for Baldur and seemed to somewhat favor him, as Thor expressed jealousy over it when Odin claimed he and Atreus made a good team. Though it is determined throughout the game that Odin doesn't respect any of his children, he only sees use for them to his own benefit.

Freya[]

How I feel? How I feel?! I spent the last one hundred years dreaming of this moment. I rehearsed everything I would say to you, every word to make you understand exactly what you stole from me. But now I realized... I don't need you to understand anything. I don't need you at all.

–Baldur to Freya before attempting to kill her

The most significant member of Baldur's family is his mother, Freya. While Baldur fosters disdain towards nearly all things, his deepest hatred and resentment is reserved for his mother, Freya. Between giving him the curse of protection and multiple refusals over the years to remove it, Baldur sees Freya and her penchant for "interfering with [his] life" as the source of all of his life's problems. A vision in Helheim reveals that Baldur's greatest regret was not killing Freya years ago. He angrily attacks the vision of Freya then, and after reuniting with her, he does not hesitate to rebuke her attempts at reconciliation, berate her, and ultimately attack and attempt to kill her.

And here I thought my family was fucked up...

–Baldur when Loki attacked Kratos

Aside from his animosity towards his mother, Baldur also holds contempt for his family at large, aware of its dysfunctionality and stating it's "fucked up."

Thor[]

I'm not my brother.

–Baldur to Kratos that he is not like Thor

He is on good enough terms with his older brother Thor that Magni and Modi are assigned to him. Baldur recognizes his brother's penchant of destruction, bloodlust, and genocide however, and is glad enough to use this as a point of differentiation between them. Despite Thor trusting Baldur enough to assign his sons to him, it is hinted that there was a rivalry between them for Odin's affection. When Thor notices the growing bond between Odin and Atreus in their quest to rebuild the mask, Thor bitterly compares it to Odin and Baldur, hinting that Baldur was the favoured son between them and Thor was jealous of him for it. Nevertheless, Thor still resented Kratos for killing Baldur, even making the first blow of his "blood payment" to the God of War in tribute to Baldur.

Týr[]

While not much is known about Baldur's relationship with Týr, Týr's particular affinities with the Jötnar - the very archenemy of the Aesir - certainly got him on the wrong side of the God of Light.

Heimdall[]

He doesn't seem to have a good relationship with Heimdall. When Atreus claimed Baldur's feat of taming Dagsetr was greater than Heimdall's feat of taming Gulltoppr, snapped that Baldur could only do so due to his curse, while Heimdall did so "fair and square", showing that Heimdall had a low opinion of Baldur's skill. Despite this, during his fight with Kratos, whenever the Ghost of Sparta tried to gain distance between him and Gulltoppr, Heimdall became incredulous that Kratos had managed to kill Baldur. While this was likely just another taunt, it hints that Heimdall's opinion of Baldur was not completely negative as long.

Magni and Modi[]

Oh shut up, you idiots. Let's go.

–Baldur to his nephews after their conversation with Mimir

He does not hesitate to call his nephews, Magni and Modi, "idiots," despite their strength and skill, and working with them as his lackeys. Likewise, while Magni loyally follows Baldur, though merely due to Thor's faith in him, Modi openly expresses his doubts about his uncle, noting that he hadn't been sane in years, nevertheless, he follows Baldur's orders like his brother.

Powers and Abilities[]

As a son of two chief gods Odin and Freya, Baldur was one of the most powerful gods, with Odin and Thor being the only known Aesir to surpass him. He was one of the few gods powerful enough to tame a dragon[1]. Baldur's power was great enough to pose a difficult challenge to Kratos, though the Ghost of Sparta ultimately proved to be superior.

Powers[]

  • Superhuman Strength: As a son of Odin, Baldur possessed immense superhuman strength, far surpassing that of any mortal or monster. He had enough physical aptitude to temporarily knock Jörmungandr unconscious, easily throw and smash a giant boulder, jump high into the sky, and, despite his skinny and shorter body, proved quite a challenge for Kratos. In their first battle, when Baldur and Kratos have a test of raw strength, the ground begins to collapse, leaving a progressively larger and deeper fissure beneath them. Even after losing his invulnerability, Baldur still proved to be a difficult challenge and once managed to pin down Kratos and choke Atreus with one arm each until the former escaped using his Spartan Rage, showing his strength remained just as great as after the curse was broken. However, he was ultimately weaker than Kratos, and this, along with his deteriorating mental health, proved to be his undoing.
  • Superhuman Durability: As he ranked among the strongest of the Norse Gods, Baldur was extremely durable, even without his invulnerability. Hence, after his mother's spell was broken, Baldur was still able to take extreme punishment, even what would be mortal blows, such as being chopped twice in the shoulder by the Leviathan Axe, being stabbed in the stomach by the Blades of Chaos and getting shot multiple times by Atreus' arrows, even so continuing to fight seemingly unhindered. Large falls had seemingly no effect on his body, as he recovered quickly after hitting the ground. It was only upon Kratos breaking his neck that he finally succumbed.
  • Superhuman Stamina: As a god, Baldur has near-limitless stamina, showing no signs of fatigue during his fight with Kratos or his tracking.
  • Immortality: As an Aesir god, Baldur was immortal, and could only be killed by other Immortals or special weapons.
  • Regenerative Healing Factor: Despite losing his invulnerability, Baldur still has a certain degree of regeneration, such as taking an immense amount of punishment from Kratos and Atreus and recovering from it quickly, including getting stabbed by the Blades of Chaos and slashed by the Leviathan Axe. After the death of Thamur when was beaten to a pulp by Kratos, Baldur managed to recover from his injuries.
  • Photokinesis: As the God of Light, Baldur was capable of using light in combat. The runes on his body, as well as his eyes, will light up when he uses his power. He could use light to move at extreme speeds, send a shockwave through the ground, cause an explosion of energy, throw balls of deadly, shining energy; or increase the force of his attacks.
    • Superhuman Speed & Agility: Baldur, perhaps due to his power over light, can move at extremely high speeds much faster than Kratos and Atreus. He uses this to effect in combat, darting around enemies before striking them. His reflexes are similarly fast and is able to block or counter Kratos before he can react.
  • True Invulnerability: Baldur's greatest and most infamous attribute was his invulnerability to almost anything, even Kratos' Blades of Chaos. While he can be harmed, his injuries are only temporary, as the curse enhanced his existent supernatural regenerative abilities to heal him almost instantaneously. Despite his invulnerability, Baldur can be dazed and incapacitated for brief periods, such as when his neck was snapped when he first faced Kratos.
    • Immunity to Sensations: He also cannot physically feel any injuries, nor any amount of physical exhaustion, enabling him to continue to fight without being slowed down. For instance, he was able to easily attack the World Serpent, a creature that gave his brother Thor a challenge and walks out of the cold depths of the lake within which it resided without any noticeable exhaustion or discomfort. He could also survive in Hel unharmed despite the immense coldness of the realm. However, his invulnerability came at the cost of robbing him of most of his senses (touch, smell, taste, and pain), ultimately driving him insane. Also, despite his invulnerability, Baldur can be dazed and incapacitated for brief periods, such as when his neck was snapped when he first faced Kratos. His only true weakness was mistletoe, which voids this ambiguous advantage. Upon striking Atreus and stabbing his hand with a mistletoe arrow, the spell was broken, and Baldur was not only vulnerable but able to feel everything, causing a sensory-overload and euphoria, even claiming he hasn't felt "more alive".
    • Immunity to Magic: Baldur's curse also made him invulnerable to death by any form of sorcery, even if they were spells cast by other gods. However, magic could like how weapons or physical combat couldn’t kill Baldur or cause him to feel still worked in the way that it could be used to fight him. Magic still affected him as when Freya bound him with her vines like Kratos.
    • Self-Resurrection: Thanks to the curse, even if Baldur was "killed", he would only be temporarily incapacitated. When he faced Kratos for the first time, Kratos snapped Baldur's neck and he had managed to revive himself and fully recover from a broken neck by the time Kratos left the wildwoods with Atreus.
  • Additional Elemental Affinities: In addition to his light-elemental abilities, Baldur could gain the power to control any element he was exposed to by absorbing them, as shown when Kratos had struck him on the shoulder using the Leviathan Axe and Baldur, by grabbing it, was able to gain the power to control ice, allowing him to infuse ice into his fist to increase his strength, send out blasts of ice, and also cause icicles to erupt from the ground. Later, after Atreus had detonated the undead Giant's ring on top of Baldur during the final battle with him, Baldur acquired power over the fire by absorbing the explosion, allowing him to cause eruptions of fire around the ground and perform a fire-enhanced kick as well as summon a wave of flame.

Abilities[]

  • Master Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Most likely because of his physical abilities and invulnerability, Baldur does not use or need weapons in combat. He favors his own physical fighting capabilities above all else and is extremely skilled, despite having no known formal training in combat. He can quickly strike, utilizing punches and kicks. He also uses his elbows, knees and even some grappling techniques, in fact, he is noted to be especially good at wrestling, even supplexing Kratos in their first and last fight. His skill in pure hand-to-hand combat is almost unmatched, capable of easily fighting against and even at times overwhelming Kratos in melee combat despite the latter's immense training, experience, and prowess, losing only due to Kratos' superior strength and weapons. He can couple his moves with his immense speed, strength, agility, durability, stamina, and control over light to decimate enemies, and is one of the very few individuals capable of equalling Kratos in a straight match-up without help.
  • Expert Tracker: Mimir stated that Baldur was Odin's best tracker. As such, his ability and persistence in finding a given target exceeded that of the other Aesir. Baldur managed to find Kratos' home and attack him, then again find Kratos when he opened the gate to Jötunheim. Despite being stuck in Helheim, across the bridge, from which there was "no way back" according to Freya, Baldur still found a way out and managed to track down Kratos and his son when they in were in the World Serpent's stomach.

Runes Translation[]

Note: Translations are done by fans and are subject to error, as well as the developers' use of the runes.

  • The red runes on his back and across his shoulders, "ᚲᚢᚱᛊᛖᛞ", are in English and translate directly into Cursed, referring to Freya's spell and his inevitable death.
  • On his left pectoral, "ᛖᚲ ᛖᚱ ᛞᚨᚢᛞᛁ", written in Latin script as Ek er dauði, means "I am death", possibly a reference to the fact that his death marks the beginning of Ragnarök, the death of the Gods.
  • On the circle on his lower abdomen, "ᚾᛟᚱᚾᛁᚱ·ᚠᛚᛖᛏᛏᚨ·ᚢᛏᚦᛖᛏᚨ·ᛒᚢᚾᛞᛁᚾᚾ" Nornir fletta utþeta bundinn; literally: "The Norns strip out this bound", roughly: "The Norns weave out this bound".
  • The two triangles on his back may stand for the alchemical symbol for neutrality/balance, called aether or, in Greek, αἰθήρ (aithḗr), the personification of the "upper sky" in Greek mythology. Additionally, in earlier physics, the aether was the hypothesized medium above the terrestrial sphere through which light could propagate.

Gallery[]

Screenshots[]

Concept Arts[]

Cosplay Guide[]

Trivia[]

  • Baldur's personality in God of War (2018) drastically contrasts with his Norse Myth counterpart, who was said to be gentle, eloquent and kind to all living beings. However, Freya mentions that Baldur was very kind as a boy, indicating that the curse placed on him is responsible for making him such a violent and arrogant god.
  • Like his mother, Baldur goes around barefoot.
  • While he is unable to feel anything physically, he is still capable of emotions.
  • According to the Art Book for God Of War, Baldur is roughly 5'11/6 feet tall.
  • After Kratos defeats Baldur for the first time and dumps his body into the chasm created by their fight, going out of bounds with the camera reveals Baldur giving the middle finger from within the chasm.
  • Unlike just about every other God in the series, including Kratos himself, Baldur has a clearly defined age from the time of his birth to his death. In the God of War: Lore and Legends Tome, it is stated that Baldur was born 144 years before the events of God of War IV. This makes him one of the youngest gods that Kratos has killed, as all the other Greek Gods were millennia old at the time of their deaths.
  • His comments before reuniting with Freya, as well as Mimir's comment after the fight suggests that Odin promised Baldur that he would remove the spell. It is unknown whether Odin actually had the power to remove the curse or if he was lying.
  • His Greek counterparts (in terms of attributes) are Apollo and (in terms of his speed) Hermes as well. Some guesses at its etymology suggest a link with "Dagr", the personified day, so he can be seen as a counterpart to the primordial day goddess Hemera.
  • Baldur is also similar to Hermes in the following ways:
    • Both possess superhuman speed, though in Hermes' case it was his natural and main attribute.
    • Both seem loyal to their fathers, as Hermes aided Zeus in protecting Olympus, whereas Baldur followed Odin's orders to track down Faye.
    • Both tend to talk when they fight Kratos, and both were also given chances to step aside by Kratos, though, in Hermes' case, he was killed willingly, whereas Kratos was forced to kill Baldur in order to protect Freya.
    • Both taunt Kratos over his failures.
  • It's likely that Kratos sees a lot of his younger self in Baldur as a completely psychotic and unreasonable mass murderer that won't be swayed from his path no matter what. Kratos attempts to talk him out of killing his own mother, mentioning that vengeance feels empty since he didn't find peace after killing Zeus - especially since unlike his own father, Freya is a legitimately loving parent that only wanted what was best for Baldur. When forced to put him out of his misery, Kratos repeats the same words Zeus told him before killing him, "the cycle ends here" and says that the gods must become better than this. In fact, they share a lot of similarities, like:
    • Both being half-brothers of gods of war (Kratos being the half brother of Ares, while Baldur is the half brother of Týr)
    • Both were accursed by the gods with immortality.
    • Both became servants of the gods in a desperate attempt of releasing themselves from their endless suffering and in both cases neither got what they wanted from their masters.
    • Both were loved by their mothers though Freya's love and over protectiveness of Baldur would eventually lead him to want her dead.
    • Both were deceived by those they sworn to serve, as neither the greek gods were able of releasing Kratos of his nightmares and nor Odin knew to break Baldur's curse.
    • Both of their deaths led/ will lead to the destruction of the gods of their respective mythologies.
    • Both were killed by gods right after these gods quoting the cycle ends here.
    • Both tried to kill their parents (while only Kratos was successful).
    • Both own tattoos, Baldur's tattoos are blue in opposition of Kratos' red tattoos.
    • Both, by coincidence or not used the same line "You cannot stop me. Nothing can". While Kratos used this line before fighting Erinys, Baldur used it before fighting Kratos again.
    • Both were killed by the gods of war right after achieving their goals (Kratos being killed by Ares shortly after obtaining Pandora's Box and Baldur being killed by Kratos shortly after being freed from his curse)
      • He's also not too different from Atreus and is what Atreus could have potentially became if Kratos didn't mature or tell him of his godhood. Both Atreus and Baldur have blue eyes and have issues with a parent who did more harm than good in an effort to protect them.
  • Given his psychotic reaction, such as gleeful joy at being hit, after being able to feel again it is possible that if he had killed Freya and lived, he would not have found peace as Kratos had warned. He would instead continue to spread murder and mayhem in a hedonistic rampage.
  • Some Norse texts describe him as the god of love and beauty, which would make him equivalent to Eros; however, he didn't show any type of amokinetic abilities in the game.
    • In Helheim, his illusion mentioned that he is unable to gain pleasure from women thanks to the invulnerability spell his mother placed on him.
    • In Gesta Danorum, Baldur is depicted as a jealous, lustful, arrogant braggart and highly malevolent warlord, possibly setting precedent for the game's characterization. However, the entire text is written for both a pagan and a christian audience of the time, so it is not intended to depict accurately reflect some of the beliefs of the pre-Christian Nordic peoples but rather to provide a certain commentary about the moors of the day.
  • Baldur's invulnerability was somewhat similar to the Greek curse of Achilles. However, Baldur's curse is far worse than Achilles, as he is unable to feel but at the same time is more effective, as his curse makes his entire body invulnerable, unlike Achilles' weakness in his heels.
  • Baldur's mythological wife, Nanna, is briefly referenced by Brok as he proclaimed surprise at Kratos' foreign weapons, though it is unknown at this time if she will fulfill this role in the series.
  • Baldur never introduced himself to Kratos, and he immediately attacks him in Kratos' home as the moniker stated in the Codex: "The Stranger". When Kratos and Atreus discuss Norse Gods while navigating across the Lake of Nine, Kratos indirectly mentions Baldur: When asking Atreus about "one who could feel no pain", he replies "that sounds like Baldur". Later, during their journey atop the Mountain where they were eavesdropping on the Stranger asking Mimir to reveal Kratos' whereabouts, the Stranger was revealed to be Baldur, and the name was added to the Codex.
  • In all of Baldur's battles with Kratos, he had a distinct advantage against the latter god: In the first two battles, he had the element of surprise, while in the final battle, he had, though unwanted, the interventions of his mother.
    • Baldur's final battle with Kratos ended the same way their first battle did, with Kratos snapping his neck.
  • In Norse mythology, Baldur's death was the beginning of Ragnarök, the end of many gods like Odin, Thor and Loki.
    • This may be hinting that future games will include not only other gods but also their deaths (similar to the original trilogy where the death of Ares symbolized the end of the Greek Gods).
  • At the conclusion of the game when Faye is revealed to be a Jötunn, Kratos realizes that Baldur didn't actually know who he was, but had mistaken him for a Giant due to the fact he was tracking his wife, whose ashes he was carrying throughout the journey.
  • Interestingly enough, Faye's true origin was foreshadowed by Baldur's conversations towards Kratos during their first encounter when he mistake Kratos for being a Giant. Such as "I thought you'd be bigger, but you're definitely the one" is hinting the Giants in general, and "Long way from home, aren't you?" he was talking about Jötunheim, the Giants' realm.
  • In an ironic twist of fate, Freya's attempt to prevent Baldur's needless death could be argued to be the very reason for it, as this led to Baldur's desire for revenge. Kratos only killed him to protect Freya herself.
  • During their third and final battle, before Kratos snaps Baldur's neck, Kratos says "the cycle ends here", the same phrase Zeus said when killing Kratos in God of War II. The cycle refers to the Cycle of Patricide, although, in this case, it would be matricide.
  • Baldur had a pet dragon named Dagsetr, which he used to travel to Kratos' home in their first encounter and was seen when Baldur kidnapped Atreus.
  • A notable difference between mythology and the game is that, in the original mythology, Baldur was made invulnerable after he dreamt of his death. Since dreams were considered prophetic, this caused distress to him. His mother, Frigg, made every single thing, living and lifeless, swear an oath never to harm him, except for mistletoe, because she believed it was too young to swear an oath. In the game, his mother uses Vanir magic to cast invulnerability on Baldur, which, as any Vanir spell, has a weakness; in this case, that weakness would be mistletoe.
  • Revisiting Freya's cottage post-game will have Mimir reveal that, although she is capable of it, Freya is not likely to revive Baldur, as being reanimated is a torturous experience. However, in Norse mythology, it is said that Baldur's mother does indeed attempt to retrieve him from Hel, and, due to failing this, Baldur is one of the few gods to return regardless following Ragnarök.
  • Strangely, in Norse mythology, despite his violent death, Baldur was stated to have ended up in Helheim instead of Valhalla. Whether or not this holds true in the game is currently unknown.
    • This not only contradicts the very real world beliefs stating that the Vikings had that all warriors go to Valhalla but also Mimir's own that states that the Aesir have their own ways of getting to Valhalla.
    • It also states that after Ragnarök, Baldur would rise up from Helheim and become the new ruler of the Nine Realms. Again, whether or not this will happen in the games is currently unknown.
    • It should be noted, however, that to die and go to Valhalla one has to die fighting. Baldur was not involved in a fight when he was killed, but rather was letting the other Gods throw weapons at him for their own amusement, since he believed nothing could harm him which can be considered a form of cowardice.
  • He is the second main antagonist of the series that Kratos kills not out of a personal vendetta but because he was forced to do so. The first was Persephone.
  • Similar to Magni and Modi, the death of Baldur didn’t cause a massive explosion or cause a plague like the Greek Gods, despite being a full god and not demigods like the former and latter. However, it could be argued that Fimbulwinter is a result of his death which is supposed to cause widespread death and famine as well as setting the events for Ragnarök, the twilight of the gods.
  • Throughout the entire course of the game Baldur never truly discovered Kratos' true identity as a Greek God (or Ghost of Sparta). He believed that Kratos was a Jötunn.
  • The Twilight Pendant is a unique ornament Baldur carries that he hopes foretells his eventual fate.
  • The Knotted Belt of the Aesir is a special accessory from Asgard that Baldur wears, given to Baldur by his father, Odin.
  • Baldur has fought many foes and treasured one in particular, a nasty ogre, which he repurposed as a tanned skin apron.
  • Baldur carries important hunting items in his elite tracking pouch to better track his prey.
  • Baldur’s worn linen breeches help keep him fairly nimble in battle.

References[]

  1. The Art of God of War (2018)
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