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I long for death, not because I seek peace, but because I seek the war eternal.
Cardinal Armandus Helfire, Warhammer 40000

Sitting around all eternity playing a harp not your idea of paradise? Reality without the bad parts sound a bit... dull? Some cultures, particularly the ancient Norsemen, inspired their warriors with stories of a different afterlife. Those who fell in battle would 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 and wenches.

Contrast Hell Is War, where a violent afterlife is a form of punishment.

Examples of Warrior Heaven include:


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.
  • This is the idealized vision of Japan of Shishio Makoto, Big Bad of the Rurouni Kenshin universe: It is a country wherein "the flesh of the weak is food for the strong", and only warriors as great as he may survive, eventually creating a universally strong Japan that can hold its head up with pride in the international arena. A vision truly worthy of respect, nightmarish cruelty notwithstanding.
  • 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.
  • The Eleventh Division in Bleach might be just this.

Comics

  • 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 BPRD 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."


Literature

  • Discworld features it as one of many afterlives, complete with Valkyries showing up to ferry the souls of dead warriors (and one slightly confused college professor) 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.

Live Action TV

  • Is it any surprise that Klingon heaven, Sto'Vo'Kor, is described as this?
    • 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."
  • 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.

Mythology

Tabletop Games

  • The Eye of Terror/Realm of Chaos of Warhammer 40000, though it's perhaps more of a Warrior Hell.
    • For the Chaos Space Marines, it's 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 fell in battle.
  • Dungeons and Dragons features both a Warrior Heaven, the chaotic-good-aligned Ysgard, and a Warrior Hell, the lawful-evil-aligned Acheron.

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 held the same ideals, believing that peace breeds corruption and decay and attempting 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 eachother 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, devestated by war since millenia.
  • In The Elder Scrolls, Sovngarde is the Warrior Heaven where all heroic Nords ascend to upon death, and it fits the bill. The main hall 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.
    • Well, only the outskirts. The Valhalla-counterpart, the aptly named Hall of Valor is freed from Alduin's depredations, due to Shor's power protecting it. Those within the Hall continue their day mostly normally, but lament that they cannot go and out and kick Alduin's ass themselves, having to wait for the Dragonborn to do it.
  • 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.

Web Original


Western Animation

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