Re: a bit of lime

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This is Hel, daughter of Loki and administrator of the less-exciting Norse afterlife for people who don’t get picked for Valhalla. She didn’t volunteer for the position. Like her brothers Fenris-ulf and Jormangand, she had a monstrous bearing that frightened the residents of Asgard. So the gods cast Jormagand (also known as Midgardsormr, the Midgard Serpent) into the sea, chained up Fenris-ulf, and, as mentioned, sent Hel to the outskirts of Niflheim (the really cold place) to look after the dead.

This picture is meant to suggest the moment she realized she wasn’t coming back from this place she’s been taken to. It’s a detail of a picture too large for the forum. You can see the full version here: It includes the Gjoll bridge and also Modgud, its skeletal guardian.


You may know the story of how Loki tricked Hodur into killing Baldur with mistletoe, the one thing to which that god was vulnerable. Hel agreed to allow Baldur to return to the living, if his mother Frigga could convince every single thing in the world to weep for him. Loki, disguised as an old woman, was the sole holdout. I do have to wonder if Loki’s doings in this story wasn’t revenge for the fate of his own children. I don’t suppose there were too many who wept for them.