Hel: Norse Goddess of the Kingdom of the Dead

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Hel: Norse Goddess of the Kingdom of the Dead

The goddess of the underworld and queen of Helheim and Nifelheim

In Norse mythology Hel or Hela, is the daughter of the God Loki and the giant Angrboda, as well as the sister of the wolf Fenrir and the snake Jörmungand. The name of this goddess means: to welcome and hide, because she welcomes the dead and lives in the shadows. Hel's husband is the former King of Sweden, Dyggve. This couple lives in the palace of the goddess in the center of Nifelheim, the world of the dead, for those who have not been good during their lives, and the Helheim, is the world of the dead who have had a straw death, that is, a natural death in their bed.


What is Hel the goddess of?

Hel is the sweet goddess of death.


Half of her face is plunged into the darkness of death and the other half into the light of life.
It leads the spirits of the deceased on the twelve rivers of the Forth Dead, the Elivágar. The German and Nordic people, who had no possibility of being buried in real ships, had "naviform graves". Hel transformed these naviform graves into real ships for the journey on the rivers of the before death.


At the birth of death, (Hel), she already had half her face in death and the other half in life.

The Allfather, the almighty God Odin, learns of the terrible prophecy about the three children of the God Loki and the giant Angrboda, who according to this same prophecy will be at the origin of the Twilight of the Gods and that of the nine worlds.

  • Then Odin locked the wolf in a window thanks to the sacrifice of one of the hands of the war god Týr.
  • He put the terrible Jörmungand in the deepest parts of all the Midgard oceans.
  • Then gave Hel the kingdom of the dead and the hells.

Thus Fenrir in his prison, Jörmungand on the bottom of the oceans, and Hel in the shadows of death, prophecy was quickly fought and defeated.


Hel builds Naglfar, a ship made from the nails and bones of Nifelheim's dead. She will not be present directly at the Ragnarök, but she will send two armies of the dead, one from Helheim to support the forces of Asgard, and one from Nifelheim to support the forces of her father, the God Loki at the head of chaos.


Hel, is a warrior goddess who, however, rarely fights. It can cause perfidy, disease, famine and hunger in humans and beings of the nine worlds. Her dog and the terrible and monstrous Garm, who guards the gates of Niflheim, she has a very beautiful horse, the helhest.


The Goddess of the Dead is the mistress of all that is dead, she has an abosluous control over the afterlife.

Hel is a goddess of death, but she is also a goddess of life.

Indeed, if Hel takes life, she can also give it, or rather, give it back. At the prophetic death of the God Balder, the Gods ask Hel to restore life to Balder, but with a trick of Loki, Balder will finally have to stay in Helheim until the day of the Twilight of the Gods. On the day of the great Ragnarök, all the dead will rise again to fight for the last battle. Hel will not guide her armies, for her noble mission is to remain in the shadows to take life, but she fights, and according to some sagas, she has warrior talents that can be as powerful as those of the Valkyries, but she never fights, her sword is useless to her, because she controls all death, and is able to take life. Hel is also the queen of the small kingdom of Náströnd, between Helheim (the kingdom of the dead for all good people), and Nifelheim (the kingdom of the dead for all evil people).


Náströnd, known as: the bank of corpses, is a place where the dragon Nídhögg sucks the blood of the bodies of the dead, perjurers, traitors, cowards, infidels, criminals, banished etc... Goddess Hel is the queen, and better still the empress of the dead, yet she is not evil, she is not in any camp, although she is under the orders of Odin Father of All and King of the Gods, she is undoubtedly the only divinity who can openly contest her authority.

Discover our collection of viking jewelry related to hell, the queen of the dead!



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