Who Is Balder the Brave? Loki & Thor's Secret Brother Explained

By Klein Felt Posted:
Loki Season 2, Thor, Balder the Brave

Episode 3 of Loki Season 2 introduced audiences to Thor and Loki's secret brother Balder the Brave, so who exactly is he?

The super-powered MCU series is back on Disney+, throwing fans into the time-hopping world of the Time Variance Authority (TVA). 

Thus far this season, Tom Hiddleston's god of mischief has been tasked with finding the villainous Ravonna Renslayer (who has teamed up with the charming AI Miss Minutes) as well as trying to stop a Temporal Meltdown at the TVA.

This led Hiddleston's Asgardian and Owen Wilson's Mobius to the Chicago World's Fair of 1893, where Loki got an unexpected taste of home. 

MCU Fans Meet Balder the Brave

Balder Loki 1
Marvel Studios

Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for Season 2, Episode 3 of Loki.

During Loki and Mobius' visit to the World's Fair of 1893 (which featured the series debut of Jonathan Majors' Victor Timely), MCU fans were introduced to a new member of Thor's family, Balder the Brave. 

Loki Balder 3
Marvel Studios

This secret brother of Loki and Chris Hemsworth's God of Thunder was part of a Norse pavilion Loki and Mobius came across during their time in 1893 Chicago.

The exhibit featured statuettes of Thor, Odin, and Balder, which Loki wryly called something of "a joke" and "completely inaccurate."

Loki Balder 2
Marvel Studios

Tom Hiddleston's Asgardian took issue with the "simple diorama," describing it as a "crass generalization."

Loki Balder 4
Marvel Studios

Loki's bitter tone warrants a response from Mobius who asks if the God of Mischief is "feeling a little left out," to which Loki name-dropped Balder for the first time in the MCU, saying, "Why’d they include Balder? No one’s even heard of him:"

Loki: “This has to be a joke.”

Mobius: “Does it make you homesick?”

Loki: “No, it’s completely inaccurate, first of all.

Mobius: “What, you don’t think that looks like Odin?”

Loki: “It’s embarrassing. It’s a crass generalization. I mean, you can’t reduce an entire culture down to a simple diorama. Such poverty of imagination.”

Mobius: “Is somebody feeling a little left out that they’re not up there?”

Loki: “No. And why’d they include Balder? No one’s even heard of him.”

Mobius: “Sure they have. Balder the Brave. You know sometimes I forget that you’re one of them. You are one of them. Blows my mind.”

Loki: “Thor’s not that tall.”

Balder the Brave Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics

Balder Odinson/Balder the Brave has been a longtime Marvel Comics character, making his first appearance in Journey Into Mystery #85 in August 1965. 

In Marvel Comics (and Norse Mythology) Balder is the brother and close ally to Thor, and, ultimately, his death is prophesized to bring about Ragnarok (aka the end of the world). 

Balder is known for his invulnerability, which is granted to him by Odin and his mother, Frigga, to protect Asgard from any sort of cataclysmic event. 

While Balder the Brave did not appear in earnest in the Disney+ series, this was the first sort of hint toward the third Odinson brother in the MCU. 

Balder the Brave's MCU Destiny

While Balder did not appear in Loki, that does not mean he will never pop up in the MCU. 

He already had a role in a previous Marvel Studios project but was ultimately cut during development. 

Balder was set to appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness with James Bond actor Daniel Craig taking on the role. 

Craig's Asgardian was reportedly going to be a part of the infamous Illuminati lineup seen in the final film.

According to concept artist Darrell Warner, Craig as Balder made it "no further than [his] watercolor [of the character]," with audiences getting just a hint at what the character would have looked like in the super-powered blockbuster. 

Balder MCU Concept
Marvel Studios

Footage was seemingly shot featuring the Asgardian Prince in the Doctor Strange sequel, but he never made the final cut. 

Following reports of the character's Doctor Strange 2 inclusion, Scarlet Witch actor Elizabeth Olsen confirmed Craig was going to be taking on the Marvel role, telling Happy Sad Confused's Josh Horowitz "[she] thought [that] was going to happen:"

Horowitz: "I asked him about playing Balder the Brave."

Olsen: "Yes, that's what I thought was going to happen."

Horowitz: "And where's Daniel Craig?"

Olsen: "Yeah, I saw the art. They made a costume. They had a design."

Balder MCU Concept Illuminati
Marvel Studios

It remains unknown if Balder will ever make his Marvel Studios debut (or if Craig will be the one to play them), but the probability of an appearance from the Asgardian seems to be on the climb. 

If he were to finally pop up in the MCU, it feels unlikely Loki would be the place. While including elements of the Thor mythology, the Disney+ series is much more focused on the science-fiction playground of the Multiverse rather than the Norse gods. 

The most likely spot a Balder debut would make sense would be as a potential plot point in a fifth Thor movie, with Chris Hemsworth's God of Thunder grappling with either the reemergence or discovery of his blood brother, Balder the Brave. 

New episodes of Loki Season 2 will continue to drop on Disney+ every Thursday at 9 p.m. ET. 

- In This Article: Loki Season 2
Release Date
October 05, 2023
- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.