Who is Balder The Brave? That Loki season 2 episode 3 Easter egg explained

balder the brave
(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

The below article dives into spoilers from Loki season 2 episode 3 so turn back now if you are yet to see the episode! You have been warned...

Somehow we have finally reached the halfway point of Loki, even though it feels like the second season of the hit MCU TV show only started yesterday. Have we been time-slipping like the God of Mischief himself? Maybe...

It's been quite the rollercoaster so far and as ever with the MCU, there are plenty of hidden comic book Easter eggs for fans to uncover. Who can forget the X-Men reference that excited Twitter? Or the nod to the obscure Marvel character the Zaniac? There was even a namecheck for a superhero you have probably never heard of before – the Phone Ranger. 

Well, episode 3 is no different as one particular comic book Easter egg stands out to us – the reference to Thor's half-brother from Marvel Comics, Balder The Brave.

Now, you may be wondering – who on Earth is Balder The Brave? Don't worry, we've got you covered as we dive into the character's history.

Balder The Brave in the MCU


(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Before we get into Balder The Brave's comic book history, we should firstly look at how he's mentioned in season 2 of Loki...

Episode 3 sees Loki and Mobius head to 1893 Chicago in pursuit of Ravonna Renslayer, tracking her via a TemPad. Exploring a local taverna at the world fair, known as the World's Columbian Exposition, they come across not only Renslayer, but a man named Victor Timely too, a Kang variant who we first met during the post-credits scene of Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania.

Of course that is HUGE but that's not what we are analyzing here – we are far more interested in the three statues Loki briefly glimpses at. Standing alongside Thor and Odin is Balder The Brave, as the God Of Mischief informs his friend Mobius, seemingly aghast that the latter has this tribute here. Loki is also shocked at the Thor statue, making a snippy comment that he "isn't that tall". Okay Loki, we will take your word for it...

Whilst Balder The Brave hasn't been referenced in the MCU before, he has popped up in various other media including video game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, direct-to-video animated feature Hulk vs. Thor, and 1980s TV show Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends.

Whether he will properly appear in the MCU remains to be seen, but the character has a rich comic book history that can be drawn from.

Who is Balder The Brave in Marvel Comics?

balder the brave

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Created by the legendary Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Balder The Brave first appeared in 1962's issue #85 of Journey Into Mystery. Based on the deity Baldr from Norse mythology, in Marvel Comics he is the half-brother of Thor being another son of Odin, the ruler of the gods. As one of our hero Thor's most important companions, he is often fighting alongside the Warriors Three which consists of Asgardians Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg.

Balder The Brave is a fierce fighter, hence his nickname, putting to good use his several superpowers which includes strength, speed, stamina, and healing. And that's not all – as the Asgardian God Of Light, he is able to create intense, hot beams of light which can, well, essentially melt things. There's also the small matter of his teleportation powers. Forget the Bifrost, Balder can just teleport himself to Earth from Asgard. He's also quite fond of using a pair of swords as a weapon but then again, who isn't?! In regards to his weaknesses, he is vulnerable to mistletoe – Christmas therefore isn't his favorite time of year.

Since his debut, Balder The Brave has been a staple in Thor storylines, and has even joined Loki on some adventures – hence this Easter egg is a nice nod. One thing that hasn't exactly been consistent throughout though is his family history, with the nature of his parentage causing much confusion over the years. Whilst he was initially depicted as the older son of Odin and Frigga, Balder has also been portrayed as an adopted child of the royal court. However, then it was revealed that the child was actually the son of Odin and Frigga who had earlier abandoned him due to eerie premonitions that Balder's fall would lead to the Ragnarok event. This is something God of Mischief Loki once attempted to take advantage of, hoping the assassination of Balder would result in Ragnarok. 

As a member of the royal family, Balder has also done his fair share of ruling Asgard in addition to Odin, Thor, and even Loki. He was crucially sitting on the Golden Throne during the events of the Siege storyline, where Norman Osborn's Dark Avengers invaded the city. However, whilst he was the first to meet them in battle things didn't end well and Asgard was destroyed, leading Balder to lose faith – however, he didn't give up on leading his people.

There's plenty therefore for the MCU to adapt, as that's just the start of Balder The Brave's journey in the comics. Maybe this Loki season 2 Easter egg is just the start...

Loki season 2 airs weekly on Disney Plus. For more on the show, the Loki producer has teased an "exciting" arc for Renslayer after those major episode 3 reveals 

If that's not enough, we also have guides to:

Emily Murray
Entertainment Editor

As Entertainment Editor at GamesRadar, I oversee all the online content for Total Film and SFX magazine. Previously I've worked for the BBC, Zavvi, UNILAD, Yahoo, Digital Spy and more.