Valhalla

"Valhalla" or Valhöll" means "hall of the battle-slain." Valhalla is what the Vikings considered as heaven. It’s a Norse afterlife destination that Vikings aspire to go to when they die. This is a lovely place where the spirits of the greatest Viking warriors who ever lived are welcomed. They say that this place is only for the worthy and a place where the brave souls who died fighting during battles get the chance to live and celebrate with Odin the allfather.              

Valhalla is certainly a destination that makes the afterlife a glorious place to look forward to. Unfortunately, not everyone can go there. Only fallen warriors who had distinguished themselves in virtue and valor can live in Odin’s great hall. These Vikings who were adapted by Odin or the Father of the Slain were called “einherjar" or "lone-fighters."

The spirits of these fallen warriors were then carried by valkyries (a group of maidens who decide the fate of dead Vikings) after dying. The lucky and deserving ones who were chosen to reside in Valhalla could feast upon a magical boar called “Sæhrímnir.” This boar could regenerate on its own so all the mighty warriors could eat it again the following day. Even though the number of righteous people kept increasing as time went by, they never ran out of meat and mead. This is the reason why every night in Valhalla is a festive one. At day time, einherjar’s fight each other and do all sorts of stuff. Those unfortunate to be killed and injured in the afterlife realm were said to be restored to health again. 

It was said that Valhalla’s gates were guarded by wolves and that its roof where two miraculous animals live was covered in shining golden shields. There’s also a tree called “Glasir” located outside its front door which was considered the fairest tree known among gods and men.       

According to a poem called “Grimnisma”, Valhalla is located within a realm in Asgard known as Glaðsheimr ("bright home").  It stands behind Valgrind (sacred gate) which give access to 540 doors that’s big enough for every door to have 800 warriors go through at the same time.There’s also another place inside Valhalla called Bilskírnir which is where Thor and his family live.

Aside from Valhalla, some valorous warriors end up in Folkvangr, the realm of the goddess Freya. Valkyries can only take with them half of the group of dead warriors and the ones who they don’t choose will stay at this place instead. Just like there’s Bilskírnir in Valhalla, there's a similar one in Folkvangr called Sessrumnir. This hall is where the souls of female warriors who died noble deaths will end up. On the other hand, those who will be punished (no matter what gender) will go to Nastrond, a scary place with snake-covered floors and ceilings with poisons.       


References:

https://www.grunge.com/213352/the-untold-truth-of-valhalla/

https://norse-mythology.org/cosmology/valhalla/            

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