|“||The prayers and wishes of the living often affect the dead, Magnus. Mortals have always known that."||”|
–Hel, to Magnus Chase
Hel (Hela in other versions) is the Norse goddess of the dead. She is the daughter of Loki and Angrboða and the sister of Fenrir and Jörmungandr, as well as the half-sister of Sleipnir, Alex Fierro and Samirah al-Abbas.
Hel was one of three children born to Loki and Angrboða. As the children's birth were one of the catalysts for Ragnarök, she and her brothers were placed under careful watch, with Hel becoming queen of the dishonorable dead. After the death of Baldr at her father's hands, she agreed to resurrect him only if all living things cried for the fallen god. All but a giantess (Loki in disguise) wept for him, so he will stay dead until Ragnarök.
Thor sends Magnus Chase to Blue Hill where he meets Hel. While there, she tells the son of Frey that "for every einherji, a thousand souls who enter her realm. " She tries to get Magnus to give his uncle, Randolph, Jack and abandon his quest in exchange to be reunited with his mother Natalie. Magnus refuses her offers and threatens to cut her in two if they ever met again. She then turns into snow and vanishes.
While Magnus, Sam, and Alex were travelling to Naglfar, Hel opens a hole that leads to Helheim and torments him with the voices of his deceased family, including his mother and Randolph's voices. She promised Magnus that he could be with them again so he starts to move towards the hole, though he is stopped by Alex, who revealed that she was hearing her grandfather and a deceased friend called Adrian.
Magnus later mentions her when he decides that one day he will eventually have to go into her realm for his deceased family.
Thomas Jefferson Jr. first witnesses Hel threatening his mother in a dream. Once he arrives at Helheim, she explains that Garm has run off. Since the Hellhound and T.J.'s father Tyr, are destined to kill each other at Ragnarök, Hel wants him to find the dog lest his mother be tortured. With the help of Balder, T.J. succeeds in luring Garm back to its cave, Hel transports T.J. back to Hotel Valhalla after Balder got his arrow back. She says his mother is safe and may even grant him permission to visit her from time to time, T.J. is glad and he asks her to go to Helheim.
The left side of Hel's body and face is described as "heart-achingly beautiful, about twenty-five years old, with her ermine cloak shimmering like a snowdrift rippling in the wind." She has long dark hair and pale elven skin. The right side, however, is terrifying - withered skin, a skeletal hand, and leg, patches of blue ice covering decayed flesh, membrane-thin lips over rotten teeth, a milky-white eye and tufts of desiccated hair like black spider webs. She has a milky zombie gaze, which Magnus finds very unnerving.
Her half-sister, Samirah, describes Hel as even more deceitful than their father, Loki. She also appears to take pity on those in her realm.
- Cryokinesis: As her world is cold and ice ridden, she may have control over ice and the cold.
- Snow Mimicry: She is able to turn into a flurry of snow, as she did when leaving Magnus.
- Necromancy: As the Goddess of the Dishonorable Dead, she has control over her subjects.
- Charmspeaking (probably limited): Like her father and brothers, Hel can be much persuasive to manipulate persons and possible control them, like she tried to make with Magnus' in The Sword of Summer.
- Portal Creation (presumed): It can inferred that Hel was the one who created the hole/portal to Helheim near the Naglfar since it is her realm.
- Hel's Greco-Roman equivalent is Hades/Pluto.
- Her Egyptian equivalent is Osiris.
- Her name Hel means "hidden".
- Her name was also adopted by the Christians to refer to their inferno, Hell.
- Interestingly, the Old Norse word for "rime" or "hoarfrost" is Héla.
- Hel's appearance is similar to Melinoe's since one-half of their body is withered and the other half is pale. They also share scope as goddess of ghosts.
- In some myths she is said to be the mother of Krampus, a horned creature from alpine lore.