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Hel (“Hidden”) is a giantess and goddess in Norse mythology who rules over Helheim, the underworld where the dead dwell.
She’s the daughter of Loki and the giant Angrboða (“Anguish-boding”), and therefore the sister of the wolf Fenrir and the world serpent, Jormungand.
Hel is generally rather greedy and indifferent to the concerns of both the living and the dead.
She is usually described as a horrible hag, half alive and half dead, with a gloomy and grim expression. Her face and body are those of a living woman, but her thighs and legs are those of a corpse, mottled and moldering.
The gods had abducted Hel and her brothers from Angrboda's hall. They cast her in the underworld, into which she distributes those who are send to her; the wicked and those who died of sickness or old age. Her hall in Helheim is called Eljudnir, home of the dead. Her manservant is Ganglati and her maidservant is Ganglot (which both can be translated as "tardy").