Valhalla and Fallen Warriors

Image of Valhalla

What was Valhalla?

In Norse mythology, Valhalla was a majestic and colossal hall located in Asgard and presided over by Odin the Allfather. The roof of the shimmering hall was full of shining shields. There were a lot of seats surrounding many feasting tables. Wolves and eagles flying above Valhalla guarded the palace against any uninvited guests.

Image of Valhalla Palace of Slain Warriors
Valhalla

According to the myth, in Valhalla, Odin welcomed human warriors who had not survived their combat. However, Valhalla would not house the ones who died of sickness or old age. Instead of moving to Valhalla, such people would find themselves a place in Hel, the underworld. The men Odin received to his palace were the brave and skillful warriors who died as great heroes in Midgard (Earth).

In many depictions and words, Odin appeared with his constant companions, who were wolves and ravens. And with the Valknut symbol (three interlocking triangles) Odin welcomed the slain warriors to his palace Valhalla. The Valknut symbol thereby earned its own reputation as a transition from life to death.

The dead warriors Einherjars

The dead warriors who resided in Odin’s palace were the Einherjar. Odin promised them with an everlasting life which became the envy of all the human warriors. All day long, their main task was to fight with each other and carry out many courageous actions all day. But when the nights wore on, their wounds were healed and they did recharge themselves on the feasting tables. The meals that served the warriors were abundant and absolutely delicious. For their drink, they enjoyed the mead taken from the udder of the goat Heidrun. Their food came from another magical creature whose name was Saehrimnir the Boar. This boar was killed every night for sustenance for the warriors, it would be resurrected the day after, and the cycle repeated. Despite their enormous appetite, the Einherjars were never hungry or thirsty.

 

Image of Einherjars Warriors
The Warriors

 

Actually, the Valhalla was a palace that Odin kept his own warriors who would take his side when they days of Ragnarok came. Specifically, to prepare for combat with giants and his final fight with the monstrous Wolf Fenrir, Odin chose such brave slain human warriors to dwell with him in the Hall of the Slain and fight alongside him during the event of Ragnarok. However, the holy prophecy came true. The Einherjars would not live their charmed life ever after.  They were about to fall with their master, Odin, in Ragnarok the Doom of Gods.

 

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