Odin, ruler of the Asgardian gods, decreed that Hela the daughter of Loki would become goddess and ruler of the spirits of the dead on the day of her maturity. However, Odin himself directly ruled the souls of Asgardians and their human worshipers who died in battle as heroes, and had the palace of Valhalla built in a distant section of Asgard, known as Valhalla, to house them.
Hel is not at all a bad place, parts of it are an afterlife paradise while other parts are seen as dark and gloomy. Hel is not a place of punishment, but simply a resting place for the normal dead people. It may be reached by the road Hvergelmir "the Hell way", through a cave called Gnipahellir.
Also associated much like Niffleheim is Nastrond which translates as "corpse strand" which also the home of various giant serpents.
Points of Interest
- Unlike the Christian purgatory, it is not an abode of punishment, but simply a resting place for the dead.
- Hela has no control over Valhalla, the home of fallen heroes.
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