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  1. #1
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    Default Question for Thor fans re: Balder

    Hey guys, so I've been an on-and-off Thor fan since the 90s, but didn't start reading the book regularly until the Aaron run.

    Over the past 6 monthslea or so, I've been playing catchup, reading everything from the Jurgens run forward. I was very surprised to learn that Balder was secretly Thor's brother. Don't remember when that happened exactly, maybe it was the Matt Fraction run? But either way, a couple of questions about this:

    1) Was this a secret that was revealed earlier, and it's just that Balder didn't know about it until Loki told him? Or was that a new reveal for both Balder and for the readers?
    2) Has anything been done with it since? Like I said, I've read the Aaron run, but I don't remember everything about it. And I'm wondering if it was addressed in another series that I might have missed.

    Any insight you've got would be great. Thanks all!

    Grant

  2. #2
    Mighty Member LordMikel's Avatar
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    1) it was a surprise for everyone.
    2) I do not believe anyone else has delved into this plot point. I'm almost thinking it is all but forgotten these days.
    I think restorative nostalgia is the number one issue with comic book fans.
    A fine distinction between two types of Nostalgia:

    Reflective Nostalgia allows us to savor our memories but accepts that they are in the past
    Restorative Nostalgia pushes back against the here and now, keeping us stuck trying to relive our glory days.

  3. #3
    Fantastic Member Alphaxman's Avatar
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    This is so hard to say because both Odin and Balder have died and came back so many times, it's ridiculous. I vaguely remember Balder finding out he was Odin's son during JMS run from female Loki, and it was news to both him and the reader at the time. It was a welcome change because the I love my brother/I hate my brother Thor had with Loki was getting played out and and throwing Balder in the mix brought new light to Loki. but I can't remember what Odin's reaction was if any when he was brought back. Balder was killed again by then.
    The only thing done with Balder was him become king of Asgard and Hel only to lose it by dying and coming back to life. He hasn't been a key factor for more than 10 years.
    Now that he's back, he's supposed to be the king of the Norns but no one is bothering telling that story. Maybe because I am such a casual reader of Thor and haven't read his complete catalog, I almost likely am wrong, but after 50+ years, I don't think Marvel ever really went into great detail about the Karnilla's people and how they differ from the Aesir. There was the 3 witch Norns who were basically the fates and the old hag that was Karnilla's sidekick. But what was the queendom like. Were all of the Norn people immortal? Now that Balder's king, will we see him rule or will he be stuck at the base of Yggdrasil with the 3 Norns as his only company?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alphaxman View Post
    This is so hard to say because both Odin and Balder have died and came back so many times, it's ridiculous. I vaguely remember Balder finding out he was Odin's son during JMS run from female Loki, and it was news to both him and the reader at the time. It was a welcome change because the I love my brother/I hate my brother Thor had with Loki was getting played out and and throwing Balder in the mix brought new light to Loki. but I can't remember what Odin's reaction was if any when he was brought back. Balder was killed again by then.
    The only thing done with Balder was him become king of Asgard and Hel only to lose it by dying and coming back to life. He hasn't been a key factor for more than 10 years.
    Now that he's back, he's supposed to be the king of the Norns but no one is bothering telling that story. Maybe because I am such a casual reader of Thor and haven't read his complete catalog, I almost likely am wrong, but after 50+ years, I don't think Marvel ever really went into great detail about the Karnilla's people and how they differ from the Aesir. There was the 3 witch Norns who were basically the fates and the old hag that was Karnilla's sidekick. But what was the queendom like. Were all of the Norn people immortal? Now that Balder's king, will we see him rule or will he be stuck at the base of Yggdrasil with the 3 Norns as his only company?
    Lol good questions, I'd love to know myself. The only big Norn Witch story I know of was when they manipulated Kelda into joining them and tried to use her connections to help them conquer Asgard. But they were defeated, and I don't think they've been used since.

    Also, they have stones that are capable of doing...whatever is convenient to the plot at the time

  5. #5
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    I just remembered another plot point that came in around the same time. Loki gives Balder a ring and tells him to whisper his (Loki's) name to it whenever he's in trouble and Loki will come to help him. That really got my curiosity going, wondering what sort of awful thing would actually happen when Balder used it. But, AFAIK, he never did. Anyone know about that one, either?

  6. #6
    Extraordinary Member Zero Hunter's Avatar
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    The marvel version of the Odin family tree is a huge cluster. He has so many kids and alleged kids it is not even fun. Thor, Baldar, Tyr, Hermod, Vidar, and Angela. Those are just the ones said to be his actual kids so thats not even counting all the adopted kids like Loki.

  7. #7
    Fantastic Member Alphaxman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zero Hunter View Post
    The marvel version of the Odin family tree is a huge cluster. He has so many kids and alleged kids it is not even fun. Thor, Baldar, Tyr, Hermod, Vidar, and Angela. Those are just the ones said to be his actual kids so thats not even counting all the adopted kids like Loki.
    Too bad they made Balder's twin some old man who was their cousin(?) It would be bad ass to see a blind winter god fight alongside them. Matter-fact, I would love to see a story where Odin kids had to team up to fight some great evil or some such -- and I mean all seven of them. And give Balder, Tyr, Hermod and Vidar some power-ups using the Odinforce, while they're at it. They all should be more powerful than the average Asgardian, being Odin children. Thor still be the most power but it shouldn't be by much.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zero Hunter View Post
    The marvel version of the Odin family tree is a huge cluster. He has so many kids and alleged kids it is not even fun. Thor, Baldar, Tyr, Hermod, Vidar, and Angela. Those are just the ones said to be his actual kids so thats not even counting all the adopted kids like Loki.
    In some ways, that's in keeping with the mythology--according to most traditions, Odin banged just about anything that moved and had more kids than even he was aware of. But the "who's who" of it varies across the times and the different tales.

    In other ways...it's just lazy writing :P

  9. #9
    Extraordinary Member Mike_Murdock's Avatar
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    I always assumed Balder was Thor's half-brother because it's that way in Norse mythology. I always wondered why it wasn't a bigger deal.
    Matt Murdock's cooler twin brother

    I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
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  10. #10
    Extraordinary Member JudicatorPrime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_Murdock View Post
    I always assumed Balder was Thor's half-brother because it's that way in Norse mythology. I always wondered why it wasn't a bigger deal.
    This. But I guess most people don't really follow the original source material, since Marvel has a number of areas where they diverge from the myth. True of the other pantheons as well. The Norse aren't as bad as the Greco-Roman gods when it comes to inbreeding, but yeah, pretty much everyone is related in these godly pantheons.

    Even as I write that it occurs to me that Thor is an uncle to almighty Zeus by virtue of his mother being Gaea. Instead of Marvel using the Norse mythological Jord as a separate being altogether (in the myths Jord's origins differ vastly from Gaea's), the favorable penning started pretty early for Odinson by attaching his lineage to one of the most powerful Elder Gods in all of creation. Must be nice.

  11. #11
    see beauty in all things. charliehustle415's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_Murdock View Post
    I always assumed Balder was Thor's half-brother because it's that way in Norse mythology. I always wondered why it wasn't a bigger deal.
    This was my thinking as well.

    The only cool thing they did, which Aaron never did anything with, was to make Balder the King of Hel.

    I think the most play he got was in Fraction's run

  12. #12
    Extraordinary Member Mike_Murdock's Avatar
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    In Roy Thomas era Thor (and a little bit with Simonson), Balder was probably the second most important character. I feel like his lack of appearance in the movies pushed him away from importance, but I could be wrong.
    Matt Murdock's cooler twin brother

    I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
    Thomas More - A Man for All Seasons

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_Murdock View Post
    In Roy Thomas era Thor (and a little bit with Simonson), Balder was probably the second most important character. I feel like his lack of appearance in the movies pushed him away from importance, but I could be wrong.
    No, you got it right. Kind of hard to cast a black man in the role of someone known for their white hair, which is why Heimdall suddenly became so important (I won't get into the lack of sibling mention with Sif).

  14. #14
    Extraordinary Member JudicatorPrime's Avatar
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    I highly doubt Balder's hair color was a factor. If they really wanted to cast the part, they could have gone in any direction they chose. Happens all the time. Look no further than the Eternals movie cast. Appearance takes a second seat to the greater story. Even Thor's appearance in comics doesn't match how his physical appearance was described in myth.

  15. #15
    Extraordinary Member Mike_Murdock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davew128 View Post
    No, you got it right. Kind of hard to cast a black man in the role of someone known for their white hair, which is why Heimdall suddenly became so important (I won't get into the lack of sibling mention with Sif).
    I think Heimdall is just a character who can have more prominence because he has a clear role. After Sif and the Warriors Three, there's not a ton of room for Balder - especially with Loki taking a role of Thor's partner to a degree. I doubt physical appearance is the main criteria since Heimdall in myth is known as the white god.
    Matt Murdock's cooler twin brother

    I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
    Thomas More - A Man for All Seasons

    Interested in reading Daredevil? Not sure what to read next? Why not check out the Daredevil Book Club for some ideas?

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