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Quote1 Hel is a world bound to the mind of its mistress and queen, Hela, Ruler of the Dead. The realm shifts by her will. Its laws are ancient, and her whims can twist those laws until they scream... but not until they break. As Valhalla is a realm of honor, and Faerie a realm of temptation... Hel is the realm of trials. Sometimes, Hel is a pit. Sometimes, Hel is a palace. Now, Hel is a puzzle box. It's not a place of sheer suffering, you ought to know. For the wicked, it is punishment. For the righteous, it is reward. For everyone else, it's pretty chill. No Taco Tuesdays, and no Wi-Fi, but, you know. Still pretty chill... Quote2

Hel (pronounced like the English word "Hell")[3] is a region of Niffleheim,[5] one of the Nine Realms. It is one of the many realms of death across the cosmos making it the final resting place for the dead for the Nine Realms. It is presided over by a fearsome goddess Hela. Occasionally, it’s also referred to as "Helheim".[1][2] The appearance and nature of the realm can be altered on the whim and wishes of it's Queen. Sometimes, Hel is a pit, sometimes is a palace and other time a puzzle box.[6] It is not just a place of punishment, it is simply a resting place for the dead. While parts of it, like Elysium[7] and Valhalla,[8] are afterlife paradises, other parts are seen as dark and gloomy. It may be reached by taking a road known as the Helway, which begins with a cave called Gnipahellir.[9]

Also associated with Hel is Nastrond, on the far shores of Gjoll, which translates as "corpse strand," and is home to various giant serpents.[citation needed]



Odin, ruler of the Asgardian gods, decreed that Hela, daughter of Loki, would become the goddess and ruler of the spirits of the dead on the day of her maturity; however, Odin himself directly ruled the souls of Asgardians and their human worshipers who died in battle as heroes, and had the palace of Valhalla initially built in a distant section of Asgard to house them.[citation needed]

Thor's First Visit[]

In his youth Thor travelled to Hel to save Sif and offered Hela his own life in exchange for hers. So moved by his action she allowed them both to leave alive. It was this encounter with death that made him finally worthy of Mjolnir.[10]

Points of Interest



  • Hela has no control over Valhalla, the home of fallen heroes.
  • Not to be confused with Hell.


See Also

Links and References