Where Was Valhalla?
In ancient legends about the Norsemen, Valhalla was the place where all the brave warriors went when they died, a majestic, enormous hall located in Asgard, ruled over by the god Odin. The kind of man they most admired was one who had great courage and a spirit of adventure. The warriors who went to Valhalla were supposed to lead a very happy life, eating boar’s meat daily and amusing themselves by fighting each other.
Chosen by Odin, half of those who die in combat travel to Valhalla upon death, led by valkyries, while the other half go to the goddess Freyja’s field Fólkvangr. In Valhalla, the dead join the masses of those who have died in combat known as Einherjar and various legendary Germanic heroes and kings, as they prepare to aid Odin during the events of Ragnarök. They were supposed to live in Valhalla till Doomsday, the end of the world. Then, led by Odin, father of the gods, they would march out of the 640 doors of the palace to fight against the giants.
In Norse mythology, before the hall stands the golden tree Glasir, and the hall’s ceiling is thatched with golden shields. Various creatures live around Valhalla, such as the stag Eikþyrnir and the goat Heiðrún, both described as standing atop Valhalla and consuming the foliage of the tree Læraðr.
Valhalla is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, the Prose Edda (written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson), Heimskringla (also written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson) and in stanzas of an anonymous 10th century poem commemorating the death of Eric Bloodaxe known as Eiríksmál as compiled in Fagrskinna. Valhalla has inspired various works of art, publication titles, and elements of popular culture, and has become a term synonymous with a martial (or otherwise) hall of the chosen dead.