Did you know that Thor had another half-brother? That’s right: Balder is another one of Odin’s kids and was close friends with Thor, at least according to several Marvel comics issues. Balder was officially revealed to be a part of Odin’s family tree in “Thor #500,” but the details of his childhood remain unclear, as he has always been regarded as a foundling due to being born out of wedlock. As prophecies swirled around Balder’s death, which was believed to be a trigger for the apocalyptic event known as Ragnarok, or Twilight of the Gods, Odin demanded that Balder be invulnerable to any kind of harm. While Balder remains mostly invulnerable, he can still be gravely injured and can die of natural causes.
Marvel Cinematic Universe costume designer Graham Churchyard told ComicBook about the near-inclusion of Balder in all the “Thor” movies, where things did not work out in favor of the invulnerable Asgardian due to one reason or another:
“We got very far designing Balder the Brave and then we were waiting, and waiting, and waiting on casting … Poor Balder the Brave, he almost made ‘Thor 1‘, ‘Thor 2‘, and ‘Thor 3‘ … I’ve seen designs [from] Marvel’s archive book of Balder’s helmet going back to Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Thor.’ So, he’s been a long time waiting and I don’t think he’s gonna make an appearance any time soon.”
While this is a bummer, it is pretty cool that “Loki” decides to dedicate a brief scene to this forgotten Asgardian, reminding us that he does exist (despite being shorter than he is depicted, at least if you believe Loki). While Balder might not ever make an appearance on the big screen, maybe a show like “Loki” can finally make it happen down the line. Justice for Balder!
New episodes of “Loki” stream on Disney+ every Thursday.