Helheim, or simply Hel, is a major location in God of War (2018) and one of the Nine Realms of Nordic Mythology. It is also known as the Realm of the Dead.
This realm is the home of dishonorable dead and ruled by the Goddess of Death, Hel, and it is known for torturing its inhabitants with their own past through illusions of their committed crimes.
Helheim is a dark realm of unyielding cold, so much that even the Aesir gods fear the realm and avoid going there at any cost. Odin himself, in fact, can't survive the realm's brutal cold. Indeed, if one were to cross the Bridge of the Damned then they are trapped forever, for there is no road back.
In the aftermath of the Desolation, the corrupted malady inflicting the Nine Realms and the imprisonment of the Valkyries, Hel is overflowed with souls. Without the Valkyries to sort out the souls, the city of Helheim beyond the Bridge of the Damned is overwhelmed. This results in an overspill of the dead into Midgard. These walking dead are known as Hel-Walkers.
The Bridge of the Damned was guarded by Máttugr Helson.
- Helheim is ruled by the goddess of death, Hel, who is the daughter of Loki. Seeing as how Loki (Atreus) is still a child in this game, it's possible that Hel hasn't been born yet.
- Interestingly, at least one of her brothers, Jörmungandr, is alive at the time.
- When closely examined from the Bridge of the Damned, a giant eagle can be seen perched in this realm. It is possible that the eagle is Hræsvelgr/Hraesvelg (Old Norse "Corpse Swallower"), a giant who sits at the edge of the world overlooking Helheim and makes the wind blow with the flapping of his wings.
- Players get a much closer look at the eagle when Kratos and Atreus air-sail next to it.
- According to Mimir, time moves much slower in Helheim than it does in Midgard.
- The Dishonorable Dead that inhabits this realm includes those who died as criminals or of disease, mishap or even age. The Nordic culture believes that it is better to go out fighting.
- Though the cold and wind are so great within Helheim that no fire of any kind in the Nine Realms can stay alight, fire from foreign realms can remain burning. This includes the fire from Kratos's original weapons, the Blades of Chaos.
- Thus, such fire is very effective and deadly to the denizens of Helheim.
- This could be considered a direct contrast to the Greco-Roman Underworld which was often seen as a heavily volcanic area.
- Helheim can recreate past events for anyone who enters as a form of cruel torture.
- Mimir states that the Aesir have their own special way to Valhalla, even if the Valkyries aren't present.
- Helheim continues the tradition in the God of War series for Kratos to visit the land of the dead; in the Greek Era Kratos explored or was sent to the Underworld numerous times as well as exploring Thanatos' realm when searching for his brother.
- It is possible that Helheim is infinite in size like the Underworld.