Valhalla is the legendary place in Norse mythology where the most valiant Vikings go after their death. It is in the fortress of Asgard, with Odin as its leader. You can meet Geri and Freki, his two wolves, as well as Hugin and Munin, his two crows. In this article, we will discover what this palace is so famous in the Scandinavian world. If you do not yet know the god Odin, I invite you to discover the Viking pantheon via an article made on our online store .
The word "Valhalla" comes from the Old Norse "Valhǫll". Valr means "death on the battlefield" and Hǫll translates to "the hall".
The Viking Valhalla, a palace for the greatest warriors
As explained above, it is in this building that all the most deserving fighters meet . They are chosen on the battlefield by the daughters of the god Odin, the Valkyries. These brave men are called the Einherjar. Those not lucky enough to be chosen by the Valkyries will either go to the dark world of Hel or Freyja's home, the Fölkvangr .
How are these places differentiated after death?
There are three possibilities :
- The Valhalla: paradise of the Vikings who died while attacking.
- The Fölkvangr: Home of Viking Warriors in Asgard Who Died Defending .
- Hel: place for all deceased of sickness, old age or other deaths not worth honoring .
These locations are discussed in more detail in the article on the Norse Nine Worlds .
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What does Viking Valhalla look like?
It is said to be a very large palace . It is so high, that according to some, we do not see the top of it. Its roof is composed of golden shields . In front, we find the Glasir tree which is made of gold leaf. It would actually be a metaphor for gold.
In this palace there are 640 gates. It is through these doors that hundreds of thousands of Einherjars will emerge during Ragnarok . Behind one of these doors is the access to the Hlidskjálf. According to the versions, it would be a tower or a seat allowing Odin to observe the nine worlds resting on the cosmic ash Yggdrasil.
At the top of Valhalla is also a deer. His name is Eikthyrnir and he eats the shoots of the Læradr tree. From its horns come drops of water that feed the Hvergelmir spring in Niflheim. This same source that feeds the many rivers of the worlds.
The Einherjar, warriors of the end of the world
These residents of Viking Valhalla are housed and fed until the end of time. On the menu, we find the flesh of the cosmic boar Sæhrímnir. The latter is brought back to life before each meal to feed the Ases and the Einherjars. Valhalla is blessed with a personal cook. His name is Andhrímnir and he has the Cauldron of Eldhrímnir.
As for drinking, tenants of Valhalla are quenched with mead. This mead actually comes from the Heidrun goat. This same goat feeding on the leaves of the Læradr tree which is at the top of the palace.
At the service, we find the Valkyries and the norn Skuld to feed all these deceased warriors.
Beyond being revelers and eaters, the Einherjar are first and foremost fighters. Thus, when they are not there to feast, they compete during games in enclosures. And that, until death! The advantage is that they resuscitate before the meal. So, it's an almost endless cycle until the day of Ragnarok.
Ragnarok and Valhalla
As you have well understood, Valhalla is the home of warriors. These were chosen to accomplish a mission: to fight alongside the Aesir gods during the end of the Viking times, Ragnarok.
This army will have to face the forces of chaos when the wolf Fenrir breaks free from his chains, when Loki, the god of cunning and deceit, leads the giants to attack Asgard or when the serpent Jormungand destroys the Midgard, the world of men.
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