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WTF is Valhalla?

As a fan of Death Wish Coffee, you most likely know that we not only produce The World's Strongest Coffee but another blend called Valhalla Java Odinforce Blend. But do you wonder where the real (and mythical) origins of Valhalla come from?

Is it a just a word?

According to The Prose Edda, the word 'Valhalla' originates from the Old Norse Valhöll, a compound noun composed of two elements: the masculine noun valr 'the slain' and the feminine noun höll 'hall'. Loosely translated it means "The house of the fallen".
What makes the etymology of the word even more interesting is that in some Swedish folklore mountains that were regarded as places for the dead were referred to as 'Valhall', - meaning the word could be derived from 'rock' and not necessarily 'hall', which is even cooler.

What is it really?

According to the Old Norse poem Grímnismál(“The Song of the Hooded One”), 'Valhalla' is the hall in Asgard (or the Underworld depending on the ancient text you are reading) where Odin brings the dead who he deems worthy to stay there with him. Traditionally in Norse mythology, Odin would pick half of the dead from battle to reside in Valhalla, while the other half were chosen by the goddess Freyja to remain in the fields of Fólkvangr. 

In the poem, Valhalla is depicted as a great hall with a bright golden roof made of shields and rafters made of spears. The seats surrounding the many feasting tables are made of breastplates and the hall is guarded by wolves and eagles. 

Life, or rather after-life' in Valhalla is what Viking warriors dream of. The residents do battle with each other every day and all their wounds are healed at night. Once healed, they all take part in bountiful feasts of meat and mead waited on by Odin's women warriors, the Valkeries

All of this is to prepare for the coming of Ragnarok, otherwise known as the twilight of the gods'. This inevitable battle is ushers in the destruction of the cosmos, including the realm of Asgard, only to be rebuilt and reborn with the gods returning to power once again.

 

Did it really exist?

The rich tapestry of mythology that the Norse culture created has led to many stories and interpretations, but in the end, they are all just stories passed on from generation to generation.

But there are few real-world homages to Valhalla.

The most famous is the Walhalla memorial which sits above the Danube River east of Regensburg in Bavaria. This is a hall of fame that honors notable people in German history.

Just because it only exists in Norse mythology doesn't mean it isn't based on reality somewhat, and maybe we just haven't found the true location of Valhalla yet.

Related: This is exactly how we make Valhalla Java

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