Almost everyone knows the story of Thor and Loki by this point. The heroic and beloved Thor must stop the schemes of his mischievous and jealous brother Loki. The mythological Norse tale entered the mainstream with Thor in 2011, and the complicated sibling relationship has been at the heart of the franchise ever since. But originally, that relationship was going to have an extra wrinkle in the form Balder the Brave-- the less well known third brother. It seems Balder was originally planned to appear in Thor, but ended up on the cutting room floor early on.
Thor and Loki's rivalry is a huge part of the MCU and both character's specific story (especially Loki), but what would it have been like if another brother was added to the mix? That was the original plan for the first Thor movie. As revealed by Charlie Wen (the co-founder of Marvel's Visual Development department) on his Instagram, Balder was originally included in the script. It looks like Balder only ever made it as far as the design process, before it was decided that three Asgardian brothers were one too many. Still, it's interesting to think of what could have been.
Like his half-brother Thor, Balder is a figure from Norse mythology. A son of Odin, Balder's main deal is that he was made invulnerable by magic, meaning that no harm can ever come to him. The character made the jump to Marvel Comics way back in 1962 as a companion to Thor, but as far as comic book characters go, he's somewhat obscure. The character was MIA for a while before resurfacing just recently as the King of Hel. The Norse version of the character should also be familiar to God of War fans. He served as one of the primary antagonists of the new PS4 game.
As far as the MCU is concerned, it's probably a good thing that Balder didn't make it into Thor. He adds an interesting dynamic, but when the meat of the conflict is between Thor and Loki, it doesn't do much good to have a third guy getting in the way. Plus, almost every minor character from Thor is dead now, so, you probably got off lucky there, Balder.
Balder not being in the MCU just means that there's room for him to appear at some point in the future, though, maybe not as another long lost sibling. we don't quite know what the future holds for the Thor franchise after Avengers 4, but stick with CinemaBlend and we'll be sure to keep you updated with new information as soon as it becomes available. In the meantime, keep track of everything coming to Marvel with our Phase 3 movie guide.