Hela

Finally, we have some juicy updates from Thor: Ragnarok…as well as some tasty new pic. Let’s start from the most anticipated character from the roster, the big bad of the movie: Hela, the Death Queen herself. Portrayed by Cate Blanchett, Hela will be introduced as an “ancient evil” sealed in “a box” (?) millennia ago, and accidentally released by someone, possibly Loki. Judging from Thor‘s vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron, she’ll wreak quite a havoc on Asgard, adding many to her army of the dead. In the original Norse myth, Hela is the ruler of Hel, and the daughter of Loki; in the Marvel Universe she mantained her kingdom and title, but not her family relations…maybe. Things are a bit complicated here. Anyway, let’s meet together one of Asgard’s most feared villains.

According to legends, Hela was born in Jotunheim, the daughter of Loki (possibly a different incarnation of him, killed during the infinite cycles of death and rebirth of the Ragnarok) and of the witch and giantess Angerboda (or Angrboða). When she was still a baby, the three Norns (the goddesses of fate) prophetized that she would have grown to become an unprecedented threat to the safety of Asgard; not wanting to kill the child, but neither to ignore the Norns’ warning, Odin decided to appoint the girl as the Goddess of Death, and ruler of the spirits of the dead: as such, when she came of age she was entrusted with the rule of the one among the Nine Worlds farthest from Asgard, Niflheim, the cold and deserted wastes in which the souls not worthy of the Valhalla took residence after death. Hela was the absolute ruler of Niflheim, and one region in particular, Hel, became so much part of herself that she could shape it with her mind only, making it a realm of trials for the souls trapped there. Ironically, this division was the very cause of the threat the Norns had forseen: Hela had become the queen of all dead souls, but the ones who had died a hero resided in another kingdom, under Odin’s direct supervision, and this she perceived as a theft. As a result, during the centuries she tried more than once to expand her dominion to Valhalla as well, thus entering in conflict with Odin (and later with his son Thor) over and over again. With all her attention focused on Asgard, Hela cared little or nothing of Midgard (Asgardian for Earth), but it didn’t work also the other way round: during World War II, some Nazis who studied the Norse myths managed to summon her and to force her to do their will, thus using the powerful Death Goddess against the Invaders. This, however, proved to be but a minor indrance, as soon Hela was able to come back to Niflheim and to start plotting against her enemies once again; growingly frustrated, she even increased her ambitions, and she started longing for possessing even the souls of Odin and Thor.

Hela had met Thor for the first time when she had imprisoned a young Asgardian, Lady Sif, in Hel: when the Thunder God came to free her, he offered his own life in exchange of Sif’s freedom, and Hela, impressed by his nobility, let them both go. With time, however, collecting that one pure soul became another obsession. She tried to lure Thor into her own realm when the hero apparently died in a battle with the Wrecker, but he managed to escape her grasps also this time. The perfect occasion came when Odin travelled through the Sea of Eternal Night, in her dominion: swiftly, Hela took possession of a fragment of his soul, and created with it the being known as Infinity, releasing him in the worlds. Infinity even took possession of Odin’s body, becoming an unprecedented threat to the Nine Realms; when, confronting Infinity, Thor was weakened enough, Hela finally was able to kill him. Thor was soon revived by the Silent One, Odin’s advisor, who traded his life for the Asgardian prince’s one; when Hela tried to attack again and claim Thor’s soul, Odin, back in himself, intervened, and slained the Death Goddess. The universal order claimed that life and death always balanced themselves, so Hela was restored to life to grant that balance…but even experiencing death herself didn’t make her abandon her ambitions. Sometimes, however, she found herself forced to cooperate with her enemies in some capacity: when the monstrous Mangog succeeded where she had failed and killed Odin, Hela stepped in to claim his soul…but another death god had similar claims: Pluto, the lord of Hades. Hela battled Pluto over Odin’s soul, and she even allied herself with Thor to prevent the Greek god from succeeding, but when she realised she was about to lose her precious prize, she preferred to restore Odin to life rather than letting his soul be collected by someone other than her. This, however, was but a brief alliance, and even if others would have followed, the Death Queen would have always put her greatest desire in adding Valhalla’s souls to her dominion.

An ambiguous and mysterious goddess, Hela is a cold-hearted and pitiless planner, who plays with mortals and immortals alike as in an eternal game of chess; her allegiance and interests change often, as she follows patterns perfectly clear to herself only. As the Goddess of Death, she possesses the usual Asgardian superhuman physical abilities, albeit her strength exceeds by far the average Asgardian’s one, and she’s one of the most powerful black magic users in the Nine Realms, obviously excelling in necromancy; her most notable spell is the Hand of Glory, that can augment her power to the point that she’s able to stop Mjolnir in midhair and to redirect it against Thor; thanks to her Touch of Death she can instantly kill anyone, even Asgardians, by barely touching their skin, making them also age or decay at will; not only Hela is a master tactician, but she’s also an extremely skilled combatant, and her proficiency with her Nightsword is among the finest in the universe. Beautiful and deadly, Hela rules over the dead, and she does anything in her power to expand her dominion: killing is just the first option at hand.

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4 Comments

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  4. […] believing a “baby Fenris wolf” would have had the same effect of the father; even the Death Goddess Hela freed Fenris in an attempt to start Ragnarok, but she was stopped by Thor the God of […]


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