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Kevin Holly
Kevin Holly

Valhalla: The Ultimate Destination for Norse Warriors

Valhalla: The Hall of the Fallen in Norse Mythology

Norse mythology is the body of myths belonging to the North Germanic peoples, stemming from Old Norse religion and continuing after the Christianization of Scandinavia, and into the Nordic folklore of the modern period. One of the most prominent and fascinating elements of Norse mythology is the concept of Valhalla, the hall where the god Odin houses the dead whom he deems worthy of dwelling with him. In this article, we will explore what Valhalla is, how one can enter it, what its purpose is, and how it has influenced popular culture.


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What is Valhalla?

Valhalla is the anglicised name for Old Norse: Valhǫll, which means "hall of the slain". It is described as a majestic hall located in Asgard, the realm of the gods, and presided over by Odin, the chief god and ruler of Asgard.

The origin and meaning of the name Valhalla

The name Valhalla derives from two Old Norse words: valr, which means "the slain", and hǫll, which means "hall". The word valr has cognates in other Germanic languages, such as Old English wæl, which means "the slain, slaughter, carnage", and Old High German wal-dād, which means "murder". These words all descend from the Proto-Germanic noun *walaz, which refers to those who die in battle. The word hǫll is a common Old Norse noun that means "covered place, hall", and is cognate to Modern English hall. It developed from Proto-Germanic *xallō or *hallō, which in turn derived from Proto-Indo-European *kol-, meaning "to cover, conceal".

The name Valhalla thus conveys the idea of a hall where those who die in combat are hidden or protected by Odin. Some scholars have suggested that the hǫll element may also derive from hallr, which means "rock", and that Valhalla originally referred to an underworld or a cave where the dead were buried. However, this theory is not widely accepted.

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