From Iceland — Gods of Iceland: Höður, The Forgotten Emo Kid

Gods of Iceland: Höður, The Forgotten Emo Kid

Gods of Iceland: Höður, The Forgotten Emo Kid

Published June 4, 2021

Alina Maurer
Photo by
Adobe Stock x Hannah Jane's Photoshop skills

Strengths: Being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Weaknesses: Blind, naive, gullible and, again, naive.
Modern Analogy: That forgotten emo kid in the basement, always in the wrong place at the wrong time.


Who the Hel is Höður?

Well, let’s not discriminate.

In the sagas, Þór is busy roaming through all over Yggdrasil with his sexy ginger beard flowing in the wind and his best hammer-companion Mjölnir in hand. Höður is not. But he also has another brother, his twin Baldur, the darling of Ásgarður, who some might think arrogant but was actually, in fact, pure of heart, brave, moral and, most importantly, hot as Hel.

So Höður was the “emo version” of his twin brother Baldur, who was no doubt the golden mama’s boy in Frigg’s eyes. While his family went around fighting monsters and doing good deeds, Höður was probably busy playing FPS games in his pungent basement. (Spoiler: He was preparing for his big moment!) But along with being ignored, forgotten and depressed, our dark Höður is also extraordinarily unlucky. Who could see that coming?

In fact, Höður is so unlucky he is basically only mentioned in the Sagas once for the time he actually killed his own womb-mate. But what sounds like a family drama is rather a good ol’ prank by our master of trickery Loki.

The tale of dark Höður fighting his oppression

“Höður finally steps out of his dark gaming basement to yell at Frigg, ‘It’s not a phase, Mom!’”

After needy Baldur had some frightening nightmares of being killed, Frigg—the super mom—took an oath from every creature in the nine worlds to not harm her favourite son. This made Baldur practically unkillable—practically. See, the only problem was that Frigg found it too unimportant to take an oath from the Mistletoe, which she apparently deemed not a threat. Tell that to the brokenhearted holiday lovebirds among us, eh?

Then, one day, as Höður took a step out of his dark gaming basement to yell, “It’s not a phase, Mom!” his mischievous uncle Loki had the hilarious idea to ask him to shoot a mistletoe dart at his twin brother. Blind Höður, who had definitely had enough of his stuck-up beloved brother always claiming to be the first-born twin, went for it, using his matured gaming skills and tip-top hand-eye coordination to unleash his true emo side and lance the mistletoe at Baldur. (In Höður’s defense, according to the Sagas, shooting stuff at the ‘unkillable’ Baldur was one of the Gods’ favourite hobbies, whenever they were not on a Jötunn-killing-spree, of course)

So Frigg messed up, the mistletoe slayed Baldur and Höður’s goal of being the favourite son was finally within reach, as he was now an only child. That said, poor Höður had not intended to kill his brother and could not in his wildest dreams see what consequences awaited him. Pun intended.

Life sucks

Instead of grounding him back to his smelly basement as a punishment for his fratricide, super dad Óðinn schemed something of a darker nature. Presumably out of rage, Óðinn quickly procreated with a Giantess, birthing Höður’s new baby brother Váli, who then grew to adulthood within a day. So poor Frigg—not only did she lose her favourite son but her husband Óðinn also cheated on her as well. Rough day.

Óðinn’s new favourite son promptly slayed our favourite forgotten emo hero, Höður. So while Höður tried hard and got so far, in the end, his whole scheme to be loved by his parents didn’t even matter.

Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Life sucks.

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