Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

Odin's feasting-hall in Asgard. Its walls are spears, its roof golden shields. Valkyries swoop on the battlefield choosing who shall die. Half go to Freya, Goddess of Love. Women follow their men into battle or kill themselves to join them. The rest of the slain go to Odin's Valhalla to form his army, the Einheriar. Daily, they ride out to fight. At night their wounds are healed. They drink mead from a goat which feeds on Yggdrasil (> World-Tree) and eat the same boar every night. Men dying in bed ask to be marked with a spear, to gain Valhalla and avoid the goddess Hel (> Hell). [FS]

see also: Aesir; Nordic Fantasy.

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.