Valhalla

You're reading Valhalla, posted on Wednesday, August 27th, 2008 at 2:57 pm in Norse Mythology, on BrainBloggers at the Mythology blog. More after the jump.

Valhalla is the major god in Odin’s hall that is situated in Gradstein – the realm of Asgard. Gladsheim is also the home for the Einherjar – the ones who were killed gloriously in battle. Once they have died they are escorted to Valhalla by the valkryies.

The main gate of Valhalla is called Valgrind, which is described in Grímnismál as a “sacred gate”, behind which are the “holy doors” and “there are few who can tell the manner by which it is locked”. The hall itself has 540 doors, so wide that 800 warriors could walk through side-by-side. It is said that there is room enough for all those chosen.

Here, every day, the slain warriors who will assist Odin in Ragnarök, the gods’ final conflict with the giants, arm themselves for battle and ride forth by the thousands to engage in combat on the plains of Asgard. Those who die in the fighting will be brought back to life.

At night, they return to Valhalla to feast on the boar Sæhrímnir and drink intoxicating drink. Those who do not get to Valhalla go to the home of the dead (Hel), a place beneath the underworld (Niflheim), or one of various other places. Those who are lost at sea, for example, are taken to Ægir’s hall at the bottom of the sea or loch.