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Warrior Heaven

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The only unsung Epic in this heavenly mead-hall is 'Hangover'.
"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 .


Sub-trope to Overly Specific Afterlife. Contrast Hell Is War, where a violent afterlife is a form of punishment. Of course, either can be interpreted as the other according on individual taste; see A Hell of a Time and Hell of a Heaven.


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    Anime & 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 Negative Space Wedgie 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.
  • 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.
  • Drifters is set in a fantasy world where historical figures from our world are transported to on the day of their deaths to fight each other.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, it's implied that Madoka created one of these after she became a god and Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence; she takes the souls of dying magical girls there before they witch out. Although, it is unlikely that there is any fighting going on there, Rebellion implies that at least some of them fight on her behalf.

    Comic Books 
  • 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.
  • In Mark Millar's Reborn, good people who die are reborn in a fantasy world called Adystria while evil people are sent to the Dark Lands. The two factions battle for all eternity.
  • In the Elseworld Wonder Woman: Warbringer Themyscira is a type of afterlife for women who died fighting for the protection of others, who were given the chance to "live" in a paradise tied to earth but not on the same plane of reality as the living and test their skills as warriors against other similar women so long as they do not attempt to mess with the deaths of those still living on the other side of the barrier.

    Comic Strips 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 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.
  • Grig from The Last Starfighter believes that death is a primitive concept and likes to think his fallen comrades are "battling evil in Another Dimension".
  • There was talk of a sequel to Gladiator that would have started with Maximus beating the roman gods in a gladiator arena in the afterlife and being rewarded with being reincarnated on Earth as an immortal.

  • 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.
  • Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard features Valhalla as one of its main settings as Magnus, the protagonist, is chosen to become one of its warriors in the beginning of the series upon his untimely death. In a twist befitting Rick Riordan works, this Valhalla is set up as a gigantic, 540-floor luxury hotel; in addition to the requisite feasting hall and battlefield, it has high quality personalized bedrooms for the fallen heroes' comfort, a spa, a gift shop, and dozens of activities ranging from arcade and board games to "Whitewater Rafting Experience" and "Bikram Yoga to the Death".
  • The ancient Taung (predecessors of the Mandalorians) of Star Wars Legends 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.
  • The Berserker spirits from Artemis Fowl and The Last Guardian move on to their own Heaven after their job is done.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Star Trek:
    • 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.
      Worf: They were more trouble than they were worth.
    • 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 Riker). Worf, of course, wasn't about to perform the ritual as he knew Duras was going to Gre'thor anyway.
    • The Discovery episode Terra Firma Part One implies that the Terrans of the Mirror Universe believe in something like this as Georgiou keeps talking about wanting to die in battle and mentions that anyone she kills will be her servant in the afterlife.
  • 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.
  • The final episode of Ashes to Ashes (2008) reveals that it and its parent series, Life on Mars are set in a purgatory for police officers who die in action. The world exists to rebuild their confidence until they can Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence. Notable that some of its denizens are still alive but having Adventures In Coma Land.
  • Red Dwarf has Mercenoids, mercenary robots that agree to sacrifice their lives in exchange for free software updates in Silicon Heaven.

  • Hulk Hogan released the song, "Hulkster In Heaven" as a tribute to a dead fan. The lines "When the Hulkster comes to Heaven (Heaven, heaven, heaven) We'll tag up again" imply that Hogan intends to fight alongside the child when he gets up there.

    Myths & Religion 
  • 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 field, Fólkvangr, and her 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 true purpose of Freyja's field and hall is uncertain as a surviving source to attest to that has never been found, though it is frequently theorized to been similar to Odin's hall to some degree given that Freyja was also associated with war.
  • 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. These dead were said to be reincarnated into hummingbirds to get to him.
  • Uchmak, the preferred afterlife for Mongols and pre-Islamic Turks was said to be a battlefield ruled over by Tengri, the Skyfather.

  • Zolomon's fate after his death in the collective game Zeon Quest. Implied to be Lister's eventual fate as well.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Eye of Terror/Realm of Chaos is basically hell but is certainly heaven for the Chaos Space Marines and the Orks. 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 (possibly including Tuska), as even though they're not as susceptible to demonic possession as humans are, they still make 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:
    • The game 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.
  • Assassin's Creed: Valhalla has Eivor, with the help of Raven Clan seer Valka getting sense of their visions, takes a potion that transports them into the body of Odin in Asgard where they also interact with fallen warriors from Midgard, aka the mortal world.
  • 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. The Patriots perverted this by creating a world economy dependent on war, necessitating the need for Forever War.
  • 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.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Sovngarde is the desired afterlife of the Nords, a Proud Warrior Race of Horny Vikings with Blood Knight, Boisterous Bruiser, and even some Honor Before Reason traits. The idea was passed down to them from their ancestors, the ancient Atmorans, who were very much a Barbarian Tribe race with some proto-Horny Viking traits (such as being master shipbuilders and sailors despite having never discovered agriculture or developing their own written language). In Skyrim, you get the opportunity to visit Sovngarde and it really fits the bill. The main hall, the Hall of Valor, is a magnificent longhouse-style palace where the glorious dead drink golden mead, feast on massive boars, battle for sport, and swap stories of their glories on the battlefield. Unfortunately, your visit is due to Alduin, the draconic Beast of the Apocalypse, entering Sovngarde 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. Until the situation is resolved, no new warrior souls may enter the Hall of Valor.
    • The Redguards, a dark-skinned Proud Warrior Race with a particular cultural affinity for swords and swordplay, has their own version in the Far Shores. According to ancient Yokudan myth (ancestors of the Redguards), Satakal, the serpentine "God of Everything", eats itself over and over, periodically consuming all of creation. By "moving at strange angles" to stride between "worldskins", a process known as the "Walkabout", the strongest of the spirits learned to bypass this cycle of destruction. Following the guidance of Ruptga, or "Tall Papa," the chief deity of the Yokudan pantheon, weaker spirits (like those of Men) are able to perform the Walkabout to the Far Shores as well. There, they are safe until Satakal has passed and a new worldskin has emerged. In the Far Shores, there is no hunger or thirst, and there are plenty of martial challenges to keep Redguard warrior spirits engaged and entertained. The Far Shores are overseen by Tu'whacca, the Yokudan/Redguard aspect of Arkay, the God of Life and Death, who also serves to guide the spirits there.
    • The Orcs have one known as the Ashen Forge. It is part of the Daedric realm of Malacath, Daedric Prince of the Spurned and Ostracized and patron deity of the Orcs, known as the Ashpit. It is also said that the Ashpit stretches endlessly across the planes, extending even behind the stars to Aetherius, granting access to every worthy Orc who crosses from this life into the next. Entering it brings immortality, abundant food and drink, and of course, many great battles. It is said that every Orc is a chief, every chief has a thousand wives, and every wife has a thousand slaves to cater to their every need.
  • 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.
  • There are two examples in World of Warcraft.
    • Odyn created the Halls of Valor to elevate the souls of the dead who he deemed great warriors as Valajar to serve as his immortal protectors of Azeroth.
    • In the Shadowlands, the true realm of Death, one of the many afterlives is Maldraxxus. Maldraxxus is a blighted wasteland of death, decay, and warfare. It is home to the Necrolords who serve in the Undying Army, the standing army of the Shadowlands to protect the realms of Death from outside invasion. Souls who sought personal greatness in life, through combat, political power, and other means become part of Maldraxxus after death. The Undying Army is divided into five Houses who frequently compete against each other in Gladiator Games. One soul, Lady Vashj, admits she was very surprised that such an outwardly ugly and violent place was her final reward after her death. She then admits that she was surprised she liked it that way.
  • 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.
  • Brawlhalla takes place in one of these, in the famous Grand Tournament of Valhalla. Numerous legends who have earned their place in Valhalla duke it out for all eternity, and have a great deal of fun in the meantine. The Grand Tournament was actually created to provide some semblance of order to the massive battles that kept breaking out and smashing Asgard to bits (and to reduce Odin's astronomical cleaning bills).
  • Hades: The Fields of Elysium, being inhabited almost entirely by the shades of the heroic dead, has become this thanks to its inhabitants. Since almost everyone in Elysium is a heroic figure, they started competing with and fighting each other just as they would have in life and the Fields have become an eternal battleground as a result where anyone 'slain' is shortly brought back again. Needless to say, when protagonist Zagreus intrudes upon their eternal paradise everyone there is eager to test themselves on him.

    Web Animation 
  • The desire to go to Valhalla is what motivates the title character in The Saga of Biorn.

    Web Comics 
  • 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.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: With Iceland and Norway having gone back to worshipping the Norse pantheon and one of its worshippers in the main cast being a Blood Knight, Valhalla could only go so long without getting a mention.

    Web Original 
  • Felarya:
    • The Jotuns believe that if they live a perfect life, they'll go to Jotun Heaven where there will be fighting and feasting for all time.
    • Talbeln Veridimus's article on Heaven and Hell mentions that Heaven has a realm called Valhalla, a place welcoming the souls of brave warriors from a Norse tribe in the world called Earth.

     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.)
  • Parodied in Rick and Morty: an alien from a Martyrdom Culture is hired by Rick to kill him honorably so that he can get into their heaven. Morty offhandedly mentions that it must be nice to have a proof that there is such a heaven, which frightens the warrior, who has never received any proof. He gets cold feet and runs away, is hit by a car, and immediately dragged down to Hell by a visible vortex of angry ghosts. The whole incident is bad enough that Morty wipes his memory of it.
  • Tigtone trades a small piece of his soul to the Giant's pocket, where it can forever happily duel with his Distaff Counterpart, Beconka, who made the same trade.


Video Example(s):


The Hall of Heroes

The Hall of Heroesis an afterlife where heroes from history spend their time feasting, drinking and arm-wrestling. Unlike every other location in Gallowmere, Sir Dan cannot access this location by conventional means; though he can temporarily visit this location by collecting a Chalice of Souls. With the exception of his personal statue, the statues of the heroes can grant him either a new weapon or another item (such as chests gold, or an energy vial/life bottle) that may prove useful. After collecting all the chalices, Daniel becomes one of the heroes.

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