Today’s Music inspiration – is… From my old Viking inheritance, the people without fear come heaven or Hell.

‘Hel’, in Norse mythology, originally the name of the world of the dead; it later came to mean the goddess of death. Hel was one of the children of the trickster god Loki, and her kingdom was said to lie downward and northward. It was called Niflheim, or the World of Darkness, and appears to have been divided into several sections, one of which was Náströnd, the shore of corpses. There stood a castle facing north; it was filled with the venom of serpents, in which murderers, adulterers, and perjurers suffered torment, while the dragon Nidhogg sucked the blood from their bodies. Mention is made in an early poem of the nine worlds of Niflheim. It was said that those who fell in battle did not go to Hel but to the god Odin, in Valhalla, the hall of the slain.

‘Gjöll’ is one of the eleven rivers of ‘Hel’, in Norse mythology, Gjöll is the river that flows closest to the gate of underworld and it’s spanned by a bridge (Gjallarbrú), which must be crossed in order to reach ‘Hel’. According to Gylfaginning. It is described as a covered bridge, “thatched with glittering gold”, which was crossed by ‘Hermód’ during his quest to retrieve ‘Baldr’ from the land of the dead. The river is said to be freezing cold and have knives flowing through it.

Hermód was sent to retrieve the fallen god from the land of the dead. When ‘Hermód’ arrived at the bridge he was challenged by the giant maiden Módgud who demanded that he state his name and business before allowing him to pass.