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Asgard

Asgard

Asgard was one of the nine realms of Norse Cosmology. It was associated with the Aesir tribe of Gods, and served as their homeland. The Aesir were considered the higher tier Gods in Norse Mythology and included Gods such as; Odin, Thor, Frigg, Loki and Baldur.

Valhalla - asgard - viking style 

Valhalla - Emil Doepler, 1905

The legendary hall of Valhalla, where warriors who were slain in battle would go when they died, was also located in Asgard. The Valkyries would guide the fallen warriors to Valhalla where they would become Einherjar and wait to fight besides Odin at the battle of Ragnarok.

The realm of Asgard was said to be located in the sky, however it is not known whether this was meant to be taken literally or metaphorically, like many aspects of Norse Mythology. It was described as being connected to Midgard (the world of humans) by a rainbow bridge called the Bifrost. 

bifrost - asgard - viking style

The bifrost - Richard Wagner's Das Rheingold, Directed by Otto Schenk (1990)

The philosophy behind the realms was that there were two types of worlds; civilised and chaotic. Asgard was seen as a civilised world, with order, and rule of law, where as Jotunheim and Muspelheim were realms of chaos and anarchy. Midgard, the human world, was somewhere in-between, although it was thought to have been aspiring to the ideal of a civilised world like Asgard. The two words used by the Germanic peoples for this concept were 'innagard' meaning 'inside the fence' and 'utangard' which meany 'beyond the fence'. 

This idea is reinforced by the fact that Asgard itself was described a giant citadel surrounded by high walls, and Midgard as being surrounded by a fence in the physical plane. These descriptions strengthen the theory that the 'inngard' metaphor can be applied to these realms.

Ragnarok - viking style

Ragnarok - Emil Doepler, 1905

In Norse mythology the end of Asgard is is prophesied to happen during Ragnarok, where the armies of chaos will spill out from Muspelheim and march down the Bifrost to Asgard. The army will be lead by the fire giant, Surt, who will destroy the great realm of the gods with his flaming sword.

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