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 Heaven and Hell

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Morwen
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Join date : 2014-05-18
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PostSubject: Heaven and Hell   Tue May 20, 2014 11:51 pm

Valhalla (Heaven)

(from Old Norse Valhöll " the hall of the slain") is a majestic, enormous hall located in Asgard, ruled over by the god Odin. Chosen by Odin, half of those who die in combat travel to Valhalla upon death, led by valkyries, while the other half go to the goddess Freyja's field Fólkvangr. In Valhalla, the dead join the masses of those who have died in combat known as Einherjar, as well as various legendary Germanic heroes and kings, as they prepare to aid Odin during the events of Ragnarök. Before the hall stands the golden tree Glasir, and the hall's ceiling is thatched with golden shields. Various creatures live around Valhalla, such as the stag Eikþyrnir and the goat Heiðrún, both described as standing atop Valhalla and consuming the foliage of the tree Læraðr.

Hel/Helheim (Hell)

the location, shares a name with Hel, a female figure associated with the location. To avoid confusion between the two, a number of academic studies in Teutonic literature have often referred to this underworld as Helheim (from Old Norse heimr, heima — "abode", "region", "world", Hel's domain) or Helvíti (from Old Icel. víti, deriv. of O.E. wite — "fine", "sconce", "penalty", Hel's place of punishment). In late Icelandic sources, varying descriptions of Hel are given and various figures are described as being buried with items that will facilitate their journey to Hel after their death. In the Poetic Edda, Brynhildr's trip to Hel after her death is described and Odin, while alive, also visits Hel upon his horse Sleipnir. In Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda, Baldr goes to Hel upon death and subsequently Hermóðr uses Sleipnir to attempt to retrieve him.
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