The best-known vision of the Norse afterlife is that of Valhalla, the hall of the heroes where warriors chosen by the Valkyries feast with the god Odin, tell stories from their lives, and fight each other in preparation for the final battle of Ragnarök, the end of the world and death of the gods.
The old Nordic religion (asatro) today. Thor and Odin are still going strong 1000 years after the Viking Age. Today there are between 500 and 1000 people in Denmark who believe in the old Nordic religion and worship its ancient gods.
In the Viking Age, people would pray to the goddesses Frigg and Freyja, and sing ritual galdr-songs to protect the mother and the child. Children were often named after deceased ancestors and the names of deities could be a part of the name.
When Vikings died they believed they would go to Valhalla, where they would spend their afterlife. Before Christianity, Valhalla was the Viking eternal paradise, like Heaven. Valkyries were warrior-women goddesses who searched battlefields for dead heroes.
Hel , in Norse mythology, originally the name of the world of the dead; it later came to mean the goddess of death. Hel was one of the children of the trickster god Loki, and her kingdom was said to lie downward and northward.
In the Heimskringla, Hel is referred to as a daughter of Loki . In the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, Hel is described as having been appointed by the god Odin as ruler of a realm of the same name, located in Niflheim.
Described as an immensely wise, one-eyed old man, Odin has by far the most varied characteristics of any of the gods and is not only the man to call upon when war was being prepared but is also the god of poetry, of the dead, of runes, and of magic.
From earliest times Odin was a war god , and he appeared in heroic literature as the protector of heroes. Fallen warriors joined him in his palace, Valhalla. Odin was the great magician among the gods and was associated with runes. He was also the god of poets.
Old Norse religion, also known as Norse paganism , is the most common name for a branch of Germanic religion which developed during the Proto- Norse period, when the North Germanic peoples separated into a distinct branch of the Germanic peoples. It was replaced by Christianity during the Christianization of Scandinavia.
Meet two present-day Vikings who aren’t only fascinated by the Viking culture – they live it. The Vikings are warriors of legend. In the old Viking country on the west coast of Norway, there are people today who live by their forebears’ values, albeit the more positive ones.
Old Norse , Old Nordic , or Old Scandinavian was a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and their overseas settlements from about the 7th to the 15th centuries.
Vikings ate fruit and vegetables and kept animals for meat, milk, cheese and eggs. They had plenty of fish as they lived near the sea. Bread was made using quern stones, stone tools for hand grinding grain.
Most of what we know about women warriors in the Viking Age comes from literary works, including the romantic sagas Saxo called upon as some of his sources. Female warriors known as “Valkyries,” who may have been based on shieldmaidens, are certainly an important part of Old Norse literature.
Surviving gods Hoenir, Magni , Modi, Njord, Vidar , Vali , and the daughter of Sol are all stated to survive Ragnarok. All of the remaining Æsir then reunite at Ithavllir. Baldr and Hod return from the underworld – Baldr having been killed by Hod , and Hod by Vali , before Ragnarok.
In chapter 42, High describes that “right at the beginning, when the gods were settling” they had established Asgard and then built Valhalla . The death of the god Baldr is recounted in chapter 49, where the mistletoe that is used to kill Baldr is described as growing west of Valhalla .