11. Hel Picture

Hel: Norse Goddess of the Underworld

100 Gods and Goddesses Challenge

Finally, I can get back to this challenge. >w<

Here's one I've been looking forward to. I'm not sure what my major influence on her appearance is- I have an illustrated book of Norse Gods which I don't particularly like, but it might have had some impact. I also probably had some influence from Age of Mythology and some pictures around the internet. XD;;

Hel is a whole whack of contradictions in one- her appearance comes from many contradictiory sources. I had to make some compromises so here are the bits I picked:
- Hel is half white/pink and half black/blue
- Hel is half living and dead- here I chose to make her lower half the corpse.
- Hel was born with her bones on the outside of her body. I halved it. XD

Since she is in a way the boundary between life and death, so contradictions and mystery really suit her, which is why it's interesting to look at different interpretations.

We're not sure how the vikings actually thought of Hel since there has been a lot of heavy Christianization over the years, but I think there have been cases where vikings would stab themselves with weapons to trick her into thinking they had died in battle rather than of old age or sickness. Those who did die in battle or possibly childbirth went to Valhalla, while the rest went to Hel.

The English word "hell" obviously comes from Hel's name, but it's not clear whether the Vikings considered Helheim to be a place of punishment. It's also not clear whether the idea of Hel as a place preceded the idea of Hel as a personification.

Hel herself is a daughter of Loki and I need to draw them having fluffy father-daughter time okay :I
She's holding her knife- known as "hunger"- and her plate- known as "famine". She's got all sorts of dreary names for things around her. XD
Continue Reading: The Underworld