The Eleven Most Neglected Deities in Teutono-Norse Mythology
Edward Wozniak, who brought us The Top Eleven Deities In Hawaiian Mythology has posted about the gods of other cultures as well. His latest is a rundown of lesser-known members of the Scandinavian pantheon. For example, you might not be familiar with the goddess Hel.
The goddess who ruled over the land of the dead which shared her name, the name which by some accounts evolved into the common word Hell. She was the daughter of Loki by the female Jotun Angerboda and her siblings from that union were the Fenrir Wolf and the Midgard Serpent. She ruled the land of her namesake from her castle, called Sleetcold, and was often pictured with a body that was half light and fair and half dark and decomposed. Hel was assigned her position by Odin himself and, as a reflection of the hard Viking world-view those sent to her were the souls of any who died of sickness or old age. Their miserable existence in her gloomy realm was in stark contrast to the joyous existence of the brave souls who died in combat, who feasted and drank nightly with Odin in his dining hall Valhalla.