the dictionary of norse mythology


VALKYRIES The wizard promised to help Hermod if he could be freed from the rope. Hermod loosened the ties. Rostioff chanted spells until the sky grew dark then the sky reddened into a vision of blood—the blood of Balder. Out of it rose a beautiful woman with a boy-child in her arms. The boy leaped to the ground and immediately started to grow into a man. He shot an arrow into the gloom and then the vision disappeared.The wizard explained that the woman was Rinda, daughter of King billing of the Ruthenians. She was to be the mother of Vali, who would slay Hodur with his bow and arrow. Hermod took the news back to Odin.Then Odin disguised himself as an ordinary man and set off to find and win Rinda. He easily won favor with King Billing, but beautiful Rinda was strong headed and resisted Odin through many of his clever-est disguises. He won her in the end by using magic runes, and she agreed to marry him.Nine months later Vali, a newborn with hands as yet unwashed and hair uncombed, walked over bifrost into asgard. To everyone's amazement he started to grow and grow, until he was as big as a man. Odin realized that the boy was his son Vali. Vali drew an arrow from the quiver that he would always carry and shot it at Hodur, who died instantly, and Balder's death was avenged.Vali became one of the youngest warrior gods, a god of light, and was one of the few to survive Ragnarok.

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