Warrior Heaven

"I will die with sword in hand
And then my seat's secured
When Odin calls from golden hall
He will greet me at the door"
Where Silent Gods Stand Guard, Amon Amarth

Sitting around all eternity playing a harp not your idea of paradise? Reality without the bad parts sound a bit... dull? Some cultures, particularly of the Proud Warrior Race variety, inspire their warriors with stories of a different afterlife. Those who fall in battle will go to a land of eternal, glorious war, their days spent fighting each other in friendly combat and their nights spent feasting, with any who fell earlier being resurrected at the day's end.

In other words, an afterlife much like any decent Team Deathmatch server, but with more food, less abuse, and a lot more girlsnote .

Contrast Hell Is War, where a violent afterlife is a form of punishment. Of course, either can be interpreted as the other according on inidividual taste; see A Hell of a Time and A Hell Of A Heaven.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Dragon Ball has one of these in the form of the "Grand Kai's planet", where the universe's mightiest heroes spend all eternity perfecting their fighting skills. The criteria seem to be based on valor rather than deeds - Krillin and Yamcha wind up there after being mopped up by Majin Buu.
    • The afterlife in general is based around combat. While the good pass on to Heaven as spirits and the evil end up imprisoned in the Home For Infinite Losers (it's a nice place, but you have to live with the fact that you're a loser for all eternity), the heroic get to keep their bodies and travel the afterlife to receive training from various deities. Even the villainous get to keep their bodies as long as they fought courageously, but they're locked up in actual prison cells in HFIL. The only downside is if you die as a dead man your soul is obliterated, with no resurrections at the day's end like other incarnations of this trope.
  • In Shin Getter Robo Armageddon, after cutting Jupiter in half, Ryoma, Hayato and Benkei are sucked into a giant space vagina where they will spend all eternity fighting alongside parallel reality versions of themselves against aliens who gain power by sucking up god's evolutionary divine energy. In New Getter Robo, that Ryoma seems to end up there, too. Fans oftentimes refer to this as "Getter Valhalla", some going so far as to posit that it was created by the actions of other versions of the same characters in the other various Getter Robo manga and OVAs.
    • It was actually just the future.
  • Gundam Build Fighters is a milder example. According to Word of God, the world of Build Fighters is where Gundam characters go when they die, a peaceful heaven where they can enjoy the excitement of mobile suit combat as a game rather than real warfare.

  • Nodwick had a king who worshipped a god of war named P'taon. When the heroes summon his spirit to ask him some questions, they find him enjoying an eternity of glorious battle.
  • A side-story in B.P.R.D. features Johann and Kate trying to exorcise the spirit of Lobster Johnson, a World War 2-era adventure hero. After taking him to the ruins of the Nazi fortress where he died, Lobster's ghost disappears and Johann sees a vision of him battling an army of Nazis and zombies, standing atop a mountain of his enemies' corpses. When Kate asks if his spirit is at rest, Johann simply says, "He's happy."
  • Valhalla exists in Marvel Comics continuity too, but exactly what their policy is in modern times isn't clear. The Valkyries - led by Brunnhilde, a member of the now-defunct Defenders - are still around, and while they officially stopped gathering heroic warriors roughly a millennium ago, she has been seen a couple of times by other heroes who were on the verge of dying, suggesting the place might make a few exceptions.

  • Discworld features it as one of many afterlives, complete with Valkyries showing up to ferry the souls of dead warriors (and one slightly confused school teacher) there. The Nac Mac Feegle, on the other hand, believe that they're already dead and the Discworld is their Valhalla.
  • The Xenexian afterlife in Star Trek: New Frontier involves perpetual fighting; whether you fall or survive, you wake up the next day to the same battle.
  • The Viking heaven of Valhalla is seen in one book of Everworld. It's depicted as an enormous raucous hall, full of tens of thousands of vikings feasting and fighting. The main characters see it after Valkyries appear and tear open the sky to reveal it. The characters then proceed to teach the vikings their "Viking battle song" and a near-riot of fun breaks out.
  • The ancient Taung (predecessors of the Mandalorians) of the Star Wars Expanded Universe had a belief that the God of Chaos and the God of Order would enlist fallen warriors to their armies who battled constantly against one another over what would rule the mortal world at any given time. While the Mandalorians of the game and film eras are too pragmatic to believe in gods, the remnants of this belief still pop up from time to time, particularly in their language. A true Mandalorian warrior is never dead, just "marching far away".
  • The Stormlight Archive: Variant. The Vorin religion teaches that the demonic Voidbringers forced humanity out of the Tranquiline Halls before recorded history, and that now the afterlife is one long war to reclaim Heaven. Those who lived the greatest lives will join the fight, while everyone else will sleep until the war is won. Spearmen will be able to cause thunder and lightning with their weapons, farmers will be able to grow great fields of spiritual crops with a wave of their hand. Therefore, soldiers are seen as by far the most important profession in life, and Vorin cultures often start pointless wars that aren't seen as a problem since they're important training for the afterlife.

    Live Action TV 
  • Is it any surprise that Klingon heaven, Sto'Vo'Kor, is described as this? Traditionally, when a Klingon dies in combat, any other Klingons who witness his death (including the one who killed him, if he is a Klingon and he has a chance to do so) howl to the sky to inform Sto'Vo'Kor that a warrior is about to arrive.
    • The best part is that their belief system not only features this, it says they set it up themselves, after killing off their gods. They were, apparently, "Too much trouble."
    • It's somewhat telling that Duras didn't get this treatment when Worf killed him, even from his own men (at least, in front of Worf and Picard). Worf, of course, wasn't about to perform the ritual as he knew Duras was going to Gre'thor anyway.
  • In Doctor Who, BRIAN BLESSED's character describes one of these. Peri didn't seem too impressed.
  • In True Blood this trope is literally invoked in all it's Norse Mythology glory when Eric remembers being fatally wounded in some Viking raid. He is turned into a vampire instead.

  • In Mad Max: Fury Road, a central belief of the War Boys is that those who die in battle while shiny and chrome will be reborn to ride eternally on the highways of Valhalla. This makes a Not Quite Dead War Boy especially dangerous.

  • In Norse Mythology, it's believed that half the dead in battle that are chosen by Valkyries go to Valhöll (or Valhalla), Odin's hall. Valhöll is an incredibly vast, majestic hall located in Ásgarðr/Asgard. Odin is, of course, a God of war, poetry, wisdom, and magic. The other half would go to Freyja's hall, Sessrúmnir. Freyja being, of course, a Goddess of fertility, beauty, and war. In Odin's hall, warriors feast all night and train all day for Ragnarök.
  • The Aztecs believed that those who died in battle or childbirth went to the afterlife personally ruled by their top god Huitzilopochtli, to help him in his eternal battle against the monsters who threatened the world.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Eye of Terror/Realm of Chaos of Warhammer 40,000, though it's perhaps more of a Warrior Hell.
    • For the Chaos Space Marines and the Orks, it's certainly heaven. The only thing better than fighting there, is fighting the Imperium in real-space.
      • Played straight also by the Orks, naturally. The Imperial world of Armageddon is presently in a state of constant warfare between the Orks and the Imperium, and is thus seen as a type of Warrior Heaven by nearby Orks, who flock to it whenever possible. In a more literal example, a Warboss named Tuska fought his way into the Eye of Terror after acquiring a taste for killing Warp-spawned abominations and wound up stranded on a Daemon World, trapped in an eternal battle where the fallen auto-revive each day. Orks being Orks, what would be hell for any unfortunate Imperial Guardsman is pretty much Orky paradise. "Told yer I knew where da best fightin' woz."
    • The Space Wolves chapter, as part of their whole "Space Vikings" schtick, recruit young warriors from the primitive tribes of their homeworld who "died" in battle.
    • Khorne's realm in the Warp is a huge fortress manned by his daemons and by warriors who died in battle, while the foot of his throne is surrounded by vast forges where enslaved sorcerers and cowards (warriors who died in their sleep or ran away) make weapons for his champions. Later fluff has also added orks, as even though they're not as susceptible to demonic possession as humans are, they still ake good opponents.
  • In Warhammer Fantasy, it's implied in writings involving Khorne, the Chaos God of War, that his realm of Chaos is seen as something akin to this by the Warriors of Chaos. Unsurprising, given the Warrior's "Demonic Vikings" shtick. It helps that Khorne has his very own Valkyries in this version of Warhammer, who are female Daemon Princes. The most significant is Valkia the Bloody, who is said to choose the followers of Khorne who die in battle valorously to fight on in their God's endless daemonic legions on the blasted hellscapes of the Realm of Chaos.
  • Dungeons & Dragons features both a Warrior Heaven, the chaotic-good-aligned Ysgard, and a Warrior Hell, the lawful-evil-aligned Acheron. Not coincidentally, Ysgard is where the Norse Gods live in this continuity. Ysgard has the property that everyone continually regenerates, and anyone who dies, including mortal visitors, is resurrected the next day.
    • The Forgotten Realms setting for D&D has Warrior's Rest, where the worshippers of Tempus engage in glorious battles for all of eternity, with the slain being resurrected to fight once more. The realm is even divided into separate sections for land combat, naval warfare, and the like.

    Video Games 
  • Age of Mythology, featuring aspects of Greek, Norse and Egyptian mythology into the gameplay, allow the Norse to potentially create the inhabitants of Valhalla - Einherjars (the warriors who went to Valhalla, as mentioned under the Mythology section), and/or Valkyries.
  • Big Boss from Metal Gear tried to make this ideal on Earth by making a giant fortress called "Outer Heaven," a world where Warriors will always be needed, honored and respected, never to be callously and ungratefully discarded of by nations like his mentor/adoptive-mother The Boss was. (This would be followed by Zanzibar Land, after Outer Heaven's destruction.) Of course, he did this by trying to start perpetual worldwide warfare.
  • Vindel Mauser from Super Robot Wars Advance believed that peace breeds corruption and decay and attempted to cause perpetual chaos and war across all dimensions, believing that the benefits of it (advances in technology amongst other things) outweighed the costs.
  • The Hall of Heroes in MediEvil is an eternal paradise for Gallowmere's greatest warriors, where they spend eternity singing, feasting and arm-wrestling with one another. Throughout the first game, Dan makes repeated visits to the Hall, hoping to be inducted there himself...
  • Quake III Arena's background story indicate player are fighting in Arena Eternal, a extradimensional structure created by an super advanced alien race called Vadrigar. They populated the Arena Eternal with the greatest warriors in all of time and space whom they kidnap at the split moment before they die a heroic death, for entertainment. It's basically a SF version of Valhalla.
  • In RuneScape, the not-so-intelligent goblins think they will go to their ancestral homeland Yu'Biusk upon death in combat, where they will fight each other for all eternity. In the end, it turns out that Bandos, god of war and the one who brought them to Gielinor, has lied to them. Yu'Biusk is nothing but a toxic wasteland, devastated by war for a millennia.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Sovngarde is the Warrior Heaven where all heroic Nords ascend to upon death, and it fits the bill, essentially being a giant expy of Valhalla. The main hall, the Hall of Valor, is a magnificent palace where the glorious dead drink golden mead, feast on massive boars, and battle for sport. Unfortunately when you go there in Skyrim, Alduin, the dragon god of the end times, has come to feed on the souls of newly dead warriors for sustenance, effectively turning Sovngarde into a Warrior Hell. Only the Hall of Valor is safe, due to protection from the nordic god Shor and his shield-thane and fellow nordic god, Tsun.
  • In the first Valkyrie Profile, the player assumes the role of the Valkyrie Lenneth, sent to Midgard (the mortal realm, i.e. Earth) to recruit Einjerhar for the coming Ragnarok. How the story progresses (and what ending you get) hinges on your ability to recruit, train, and send the very best.
  • Lampshaded in the rulebook of Knights of the Desert, an old Commodore 64 game.
  • The second half of Super Columbine Massacre RPG! combines this with A Hell of a Time when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the Columbine gunmen, get sent to Hell for their crimes. It's an old-fashioned Fire and Brimstone Hell complete with big, ugly demons straight out of Doom trying to kill them... in other words, it's paradise for a pair of nihilistic spree killers who were both huge fans of Doom in life. By the time they're through, Satan himself declares the two to be Worthy Opponents and makes them his minions.
  • The Halls of Valor in World of Warcraft's Legion expansion serves as this, with Odyn himself acting as the final boss because he's suitably impressed by the group coming to claim the Aegis.
    • The Halls also serves as the (still living) Warrior player's class hall after the opening quests.
  • Heroes of the Storm plays with this trope in conjunction to a certain event at Legion where King Varian Wrynn died in a Heroic Sacrifice early in the expansion. His reveal trailer imply that the Nexus is his afterlife where he will fight to his warrior spirit's content.

  • Hrothgar the Faceless from Zukahnaut claims to be an Einherjar, one of Odin's chosen warriors from Valhalla, who unexpectedly woke on Midgard one morning. Though he walks the land of the living once again, he retains the powers of regeneration and bestowed to him by the Allfather — as such, he is unable to return to Valhalla by dying.

    Web Original 
  • The desire to go to Valhalla is what motivates the title character in The Saga of Biorn.
  • Zolomon's fate after his death in the collective game Zeon Quest. Implied to be Lister's eventual fate as well.

     Western Animation 
  • In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Billy gets sent to Valhalla. (Apparently it was some afterlife clerical error.) Eventually Odin and Thor want him out because he out-eats and out-fights everyone.
  • In the Samurai Jack episode "Jack and the Lava Monster", Jack is challenged by a lava monster who built a labyrinth of such lethal hazards that only the mightiest warriors would survive to reach him. As it turns out, he is actually a Viking warrior imprisoned in a body of stone by Aku, and seeks to die in honorable combat, as that is the only way one can gain acceptance into Valhalla. (Jack complies, and he gets his wish. The episode ends with the warrior - in his original, young human form - looking down from Valhalla as Jack walks away.)