Helheim in Norse mythology, is the kingdom of the cruel Hel (q.v.), large and extended, intersected by thirty-two rivers, which spring from the spring Hwergelmer, and one of which encircles the entire country. The gold- covered bridge, Gjalar, spans this valley. A maiden giantess, Modgudur, who keeps guard here, inquires of every one his name and family, and shows them the way to the palace of Hel. A high iron lattice surrounds the kingdom, and after having passed this, the visitor finds himself in one of the nine worlds. There are two maidens keeping guard also in Hel's palace; they have iron blood, which, when it falls to the ground, causes quarrel and war. Hel's palace contains a hall, Eliud, her table is called Hungur (hunger), Ganglate and Gangloit are her servant and maid, Kor her bed, Blick and Bol her covering. In Helheim or Niflheim lives the evil snake, Nidhogr, which gnaws at one of the three roots of the ash-tree, Ygdrasil. There, in a cave, the dog Garmr lives, who is to bring about the death of an Asa at the destruction of the world. Helheim is not a place of punishment, but simply the dwelling-place of those who do not die of wounds on the battle-field. After the end of-the world, the good are separated from the bad, the former go to eternal joy in Gimle (heaven), the latter to Nastrond.

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