What Does Until Valhalla Mean

‘Til Valhalla in Norse mythology: What does until Valhalla mean?

What does “until Valhalla” mean, and why is it something still mentioned in the military today? The term ‘til Valhalla might not be particularly commonplace in the civilian world, but it’s something many Scandinavians and fighters around the globe are familiar with.

This phrase dates all the way back to the days of the Vikings and is based on their unique perception of what might await in the afterlife. After all, many communities and civilizations over the years have formed their own beliefs about what happens when we die, and the Vikings were no exception.

Today, we’re going to get to the bottom of the phrase “until Valhalla” and help you to decide whether you should be using this term as a civilian.

Where did “until Valhalla” come from?

“Until Valhalla” is a phrase taken from the Vikings in the middle ages. It’s based around the concept of “Valhalla”, which comes from the Old Norse phrase “Valhǫll”, meaning “hall of the slain”.

According to Norse mythology, Valhalla is essentially the afterlife for warriors.

The stories told by Vikings said half of all those who died in combat would be taken to Valhalla by Valkyries (winged warriors), to live alongside Odin in a heavenly landscape.

The other half of the warriors slain in battle were said to be chosen by the Goddess Freyja to thrive in the field of Fólkvangr.

As a group of world-renowned warriors, its little wonder the Vikings spoke of various magical places awaiting their slain loved ones after death.

Various stories collected from Norse mythology over the years have discussed what Valhalla might look like, and who may have gone there throughout the centuries.

Valhalla is also depicted in the “Poetic Edda”, one of the best-known collections of Old Norse poems in history. Though the concept of Valhalla first emerged hundreds of years ago, it’s still commonly referenced in the Nordic countries, and even appears in various pieces of pop culture.

Descriptions in sagas, poems, and stories tend to describe Valhalla as a giant feasting hall, with a roof thatched from golden spears and shields. However, there have been many depictions shared by different creators over the years.

What Does Until Valhalla Mean

What does “until Valhalla” mean?

Ultimately, Valhalla is a place with great meaning in Norse mythology. In the eyes of Viking warriors, it was the ultimate reward for showing courage and strength in the field of battle. The concept of Valhalla was said to keep Vikings fighting, no matter the odds.

So, if “Valhalla” is a magical afterlife reserved for warriors and fighters, what do people mean when they say, “until Valhalla?” The answer to this question may depend on who you ask. However, most historians and experts believe the phrase is, in some ways, a positive one.

“Until Valhalla” basically means, “Until we meet again, in Valhalla”. When uttered before a battle, this phrase is often intended as a rallying cry, reminding frightened soldiers that their loved ones and friends will be waiting for them in the world beyond life.

The term can also be a motivational one, suggesting even if the worst should happen and a warrior didn’t survive a fight, they would be welcomed into a better place in death.

Although the phrase is somewhat morbid in its reference to the afterlife, it has become a popular phrase among members of the military — even those who don’t believe in Norse mythology.

A reference to Valhalla could be a way to remind a companion as their status as a powerful warrior and give them confidence going out into the battlefield.

Why do marines still say until Valhalla?

The Vikings often fought without fear of dying because they believed dying in battle would bring them honor beyond measure, and a place by Odin’s side in the halls of Valhalla.

In the same spirit, many modern soldiers have adopted this phrase, and the idea something greater waits for them on the other side if they should fall in battle.

For the most part, marines and military soldiers today may not believe “Valhalla” is a real place. They also probably don’t spend a lot of time reading up about Odin and following the practices of the Old Norse religion.

However, the concept of honor and valor in battle clearly resonates with all soldiers.

Even if today’s soldiers don’t believe they’ll join Odin’s great army somewhere in a mystical universe, they can take solace in the knowledge they’re fighting for something honorable.

The term ‘Til Valhalla reinforces an idea that people who die in battle are never truly gone, because they’re remembered and valued by the people left behind.

In many ways, the use of the term “Until Valhalla” in the military is also a way to promote camaraderie among peers. It connects everyone within a troop or squad by identifying each individual as a warrior worthy of recognition and celebration in a place like Valhalla.

Valhalla in general also reminds us of the Vikings, and their brave approach to war and battle. Telling your comrade he’s as powerful as a Viking before a dangerous journey with the terms “Until Valhalla” is a great way to inspire confidence.

What Does Until Valhalla Mean

Can a civilian say, “until Valhalla?”

While the phrase ‘Til Valhalla has become relatively commonplace in military circles, there are circumstances when it might be perceived negatively.

In one famous incident in 2010, a branch of the Norwegian armed forces released a video of one of its commanders shouting “Til Valhall” in Norwegian to a group of soldiers.

In most circumstances, the use of this phrase in a military context would be seen as supportive and motivational. However, in this particular case, some Norwegians felt the phrase was mis-used.

At the time, the particular branch of the armed forces was working in Afghanistan to keep people safe, rather than to fight or kill anyone. The reference to death made in “Til Valhalla” was considered by some to be inappropriate.

In the same vein, it can often be difficult for a civilian to use the term correctly outside of military circles.

Without a deep connection to the phrase and what it means to someone about to enter battle, you may accidentally offend someone, particularly if you’re speaking to a soldier with a Norse background.

For many members of the military, the phrase is considered sacred, and is uttered only at the moments when inspiration, motivation, and confidence are needed most. As such, saying ‘Til Valhalla to a soldier you meet in the street may come across as tone deaf.

It may also indicate you’re presenting yourself as a soldier or warrior, as the phrase indicates you’ll be meeting the person again in the afterlife. This could rub some soldiers the wrong way.

Is until Valhalla a good saying?

Answering the question “What does “Until Valhalla” mean” can be complicated, because the sentence has a unique impact on different people who hear it. For people with a knowledge of the Norse mythology, it’s a reference to the history and heritage of the Nordic people.

For those in the military, “Until Valhalla” is a valuable rallying cry.

In recent years, the phrase has also been adopted by other groups to convey additional meanings.

For instance, some organizations working in the fight for suicide prevention among veterans have also begun using the words “Until Valhalla” to suggest those who lose their life to depression or PTSD after war will never be forgotten, and still have a place in the hall of warriors.

Ultimately, “Until Valhalla” is a reminder of the Vikings who fought with honor and valor in every battle, and the incredible destiny they believed awaited them in the afterlife.

However, it’s also a versatile phrase, which can hold significant meaning for anyone who hears it.

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