Terrifying Rulers of The Underworld
Hel is a Norse goddess who rules over a portion of the underworld. She was not born a goddess of the afterlife, though. The title was forced upon her when Odin cast her below the roots of the World Tree to rule over Niflheima cold, dark world of the deadto thwart Ragnarok, the end of the world. The three goddesses of fate had prophesied that the children of Loki, Hel and her siblings, would cause the death of the Norse pantheons leaders. To spare himself that fate, Odin hurled them to the far corners of the world. Hels underworld was reserved for the souls of those who died of sickness, corruption, and old age.
While the souls of the valiant dead feasted in Valhalla, Hel, not to be outdone, provided her own course. Her table was Hunger; her knife was Starvation. Her bed was Sickness, and the surrounding curtains were Misfortune. Hel herself struck a grisly figure. She was sinister, with half of her body appearing like a rotting corpse. Though Odin cast her down into the underworld, Hel got her revenge when his son, Balder, died of poison. Despite the Allfathers pleas to ransom him, Hel refused to relinquish his soul. Since her power over her realm is absolute, Odins beloved son was doomed to spend eternity in her dreary abode.