Baldr's wife Nanna: Her grief and tragic death

In the weavings of Norse mythology, stories of gods, heroes and often interconnected mortals illuminate the dark Scandinavian skies with a dramatic glow. One of these starry figures is Nanna, the goddess whose fate was linked to that of the beloved god Baldr. The impact of Baldr's death on Nanna is a poignant account of loyalty and deep sorrow.

Who was Nanna?

Origins and genealogy

Nanna is a figure embedded in the complex family tree of Norse deities . Although sources are not unequivocal, it is common to link her to the Æsir, the main race of gods in Norse mythology. Her family ties extended to other famous figures, such as Baldr's wife and mother of Forseti.

Character description

Nanna is portrayed as a woman of great beauty, whose presence was synonymous with gentleness and compassion. Her name evokes ideas of courage and determination - qualities less sung about but essential to her mystical . His attributes are not clearly defined in the sagas, although his love and loyalty to Baldr are at the heart of his character.

The myth of Baldr

Baldr, the beloved god

Baldr, son of Odin and Frigg, was revered for his beauty, kindness and wisdom. His relations with the other gods were mainly harmonious and tinged with mutual respect, making him one of the most cherished celestial beings in Norse mythology.

The fateful dream

Baldr's dreams foretold his imminent death, prompting his mother Frigg to obtain an oath from all things that nothing would harm him. All except one, the mistletoe, considered too young to pose a real threat, nevertheless precipitated the drama to come.

Nanna's drama

Baldr's death

The prankster Loki made use of the mistletoe, guiding Baldr's blind brother Hodr to throw the fatal object. The blow was fatal, transcending Baldr's luminous existence into the shadows of death.

Nanna's grief

Nanna's reaction to this tragedy was heartbreaking. Her heart, like a funeral boat, collapsed under the weight of loss.

  • Manifestations of grief: She wept, fainted and expressed her distress in all the ways known to those who endure the loss of a loved one.
  • Funeral rites and customs of the time: Guided by Nordic funeral practices, she attended the preparations for Baldr's final journey.

Nanna's tragic death

In an act of eternal devotion, Nanna succumbed to the force of her grief and died. Her death is a testament to pure love, where she joins Baldr, on celestial journeys unified in pain and tenderness.

The afterlife and remembrance of Nanna

The journey to Hel

Together, Nanna and Baldr descended to the kingdom of Hel, where the goddess of the same name reigned, welcoming the souls of the dead.

Legacy and commemoration

The memory of Nanna endures through the generations, her stories being woven into Nordic cultural heritage and reinterpreted through various literary and artistic works.


The figure of Nanna, intimately linked to that of Baldr, represents an epic with deep echoes in Nordic mythology. This story, woven from sorrow and tragic death, underscores the unfailing love and struggles of the gods, which resonate curiously with our own humanity.


  • The Eddas
  • The Scandinavian Sagas
  • Academic research on the Nordic pantheon


  • Nanna
  • Baldr
  • Nordic mythology
  • Grief
  • Tragic death
  • Loki
  • Hel
  • Nordic goddesses
  • Æsir
  • Funeral rituals
  • Scandinavian sagas
  • Mythological literature
  • Nordic cultural heritage