Hel Picture

As a child of the wicked Loki and Angrboda, Hel was foretold to bring about great misfortune to the universe, along with her brothers Fenrir and Jormungand. The gods thus stole the children away from their parents and cast Hel into the underworld, charging her with caring for those that died from sickness, age, or anything else besides "glorious battle." Hel named her new home after herself and made the afterlife as dismal as she could, such as by serving dishes called "hunger."

When the god Baldr was murdered his soul went to Hel, and when the gods begged her to release him Hel demanded that everything in existence must weep for Baldr. The gods nearly succeeded, but Loki (the culprit behind Baldr's death in the first place) in the form of a giantess refused to mourn and thus kept Baldr dead.
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