|“||Five hundred and forty floors has Valhalla; five hundred and forty doors leading out into the Nine Worlds.||”|
Hotel Valhalla has 540 floors with 540 doors leading out into the nine worlds. The Hotel has exit points all over the Nine Worlds. The one that Magnus entered through was from Midgard, specifically in Boston, as Boston is the magical center of Yggdrasil. The Nine Worlds tend to overlap there more than any other location in the realms, hence the hotel's location is one of convenience.
There are a lot of pastimes in Valhalla such as battle training, white water rafting, even, as Halfborn Gunderson says, learning a new language and becoming multi-lingual.
The elevators' cage door was made out of spears. Overlapping gold shields lined the walls. The control panel had so many buttons, it stretched from floor to ceiling. Valkyries are people chosen by Odin to be the staff and caretakers of Valhalla.
One Valkyrie is assigned to each einherjar. Magnus' Valkyrie is Samirah al Abbas. Out of all the Valkyries a captain is chosen. Gunilla was the previous Valkyrie captain. Samirah was offered the captaincy by Odin at the end of The Sword of Summer, however she declined the offer, instead taking up a high-risk, high-reward assignment.
The einherijar of Valhalla all are preparing for Ragnarok, so battle training is of much importance to them.
In The Sword of Summer, Odin, the founder and owner of Hotel Valhalla had been absent from the hostel for a long time according to all the einherjar and thanes. Little did they know, Odin had disguised himself as X to inspect what the einherjar and thanes would do when he was not constantly watching them.
The Midgard entrance to Hotel Valhalla is located on Beacon Street in Boston, Massachusetts. From the outside it looks like an eight-story mansion of white-and-gray stone. The double front doors are made from dark heavy wood bound with iron, with a life-size wolf’s-head door knocker in the center of each wing. In order to prevent mortals and non-einherjar from trespassing, the hotel’s front garden is completely enclosed by a fifteen-foot-tall limestone wall with no entryway. The courtyard area behind the wall is called the Grove of Glasir, where birch trees with pure white bark and leaves of gold grow. Next to the tree, a bronze plaque was affixed to the wall. The inscriptions are in both English and the Norse alphabet.
The foyer of Hotel Valhalla was compared to the world’s largest hunting lodge – a space twice as big as what the exterior would indicate, with an acre of hardwood floor covered with exotic animal skins: zebra, lion and an unknown forty-foot-long reptile. Against the right wall of the lobby, there is a hearth the size of a bedroom. Over the mantel hangs the stuffed head of a wolf. In the far corner of the room stands an overturned boat’s keel, which serves as Helgi's reception desk.
Columns supporting the ceiling are made from rough-hewn tree trunks, and the ceiling held itself is lined with spears for rafters. Polished shields gleam on the walls and the entire place seems to be illuminated from every direction. In the middle of the foyer, there is an announcement board displaying the activities for the day.
One of the many lounges in Hotel Valhalla has sofas and fireplaces all around, with various activities such as board games, pool, card games, arcade machines, and dice games, and Monopoly. Hunding says the lounge is a "No Impaling" area.
Feast Hall of the Slain
The hotel's dining area is the size of a concert hall, with a hundred doors circling the perimeter. Tiers of long tables curve downwards in a bowl-like manner, until they reach the center of the hall, where the tree Læraðr grows. The tree rose taller than the Statue of Liberty. Its lowest branches were maybe a hundred feet up. Its canopy spread over the entire hall, scraping against the domed ceiling and sprouting through a massive opening at the top. Above, stars glittered in the night sky. In the tree live immortal animals, each assigned to a particular task. Somewhere high up in the tree lives a stag named Eikthrymir, whose horns spray out water that runs down the tree's branches and falls into a pond at its roots. It flows down the branches into that lake. From there, it goes underground and feeds every river in every world. The long tables have golden plates and jewel-encrusted goblets. In the place of honor stood an empty wooden throne with a high back, where two ravens perched, grooming their feathers. A roasting pit is located at the end of the room.
The floor where Magnus Chase and his friends reside. The vaulted ceiling is twenty feet tall, lined with spears for rafters. Torches burn in iron sconces on the walls, casting warm orange light onto the wall display of swords, shields and tapestries. The floor is laid with blood-red carpet that has tree-branch designs that move. Each room door is made from rough-hewn oak bound in iron, and set about fifty feet apart. There are no doorknobs or locks, as the rooms are personal afterlives which can be accessed with a dagaz rune. Each room has an iron nameplate the size of a plate, with a name surrounded by a ring of runes. Once the dagaz rune is used on a room door, the ring of runes glows green.
Valhalla’s battlefield offered maybe three square miles of interesting places to die, all contained within the hotel like an interior courtyard. On all four sides rose the walls of the building – cliffs of white marble and gold-railed balconies, some hang with banners, some decorated with shields, some fitted with catapults. The upper floors seem to dissolve in the hazy glow of the sky, as blank white as a fluorescent light. In the center of the field loomed a few craggy hills. Clumps of forest marbled the landscape. The outer rim was mostly rolling pastures, with a river as wide as the Charles River snaking through. Several villages dotted the riverbank, maybe for those who preferred their warfare urban. From hundreds of doors in the walls around the field, battalions of warriors were streaming in, their weapons and armor glinting in the harsh light.
The gift shop is a five-level department store combined with a convention-center trade show. The gift shop has a supermarket, a clothing boutique with the latest in Viking fashions and an IKEA outlet. Most of the showroom floor was a maze of stalls, kiosks and workshops. Bearded guys in leather aprons stood outside their forges offering free samples of arrowheads. There were specialized merchants for shields, spears, crossbows, helmets and lots and lots of drinking cups. Several of the larger booths had full-size boats for sale. The gift shop even has a riding ring where a dozen horses are tethered. The Nordic Knick-knacks aisle has a big iron door marked: AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY.
- Odin - Also known as the All-Father, he is the third chief of the Æsir tribe of gods. Despite being the owner and founder of the hotel, Odin is very often out on travels in search of knowledge, and leaves the important decisions to his management. His ravens Huginn and Muninn (ON: "Thought" and "memory"), along with the wolves Geri and Freki (ON: "the ravenous" and "[the] greedy one") represent him at the official meetings.
- Helgi - A Viking from East Gothland. Arrived at Hotel Valhalla in the eighth century, and has been given the position of a manager. Hunding's worst enemy and supervisor. Works at the reception desk.
- Hunding - King of Saxons, slain by Helgi in 749 C.E. Both arrived at the same time at Valhalla, yet it was Helgi that gained Odin's sympathy, and has been given Hunding as his servant. At the hotel, Hunding is a doorman and a bellhop.
- Thanes - Lords of Valhalla. Mostly comprised of famous historical figures, chosen personally by Odin as the hotel's board of directors.
- Valkyries - Odin's handmaidens whose primary job is to choose slain heroes to bring them to Hotel Valhalla. Their other duties include being waitresses during feasts, as well as providing room service.
- Magnus Chase
- Mallory Keen
- Thomas Jefferson, Jr.
- Halfborn Gunderson
- X (formerly, Odin in disguise)
- Alex Fierro
- 12: There is a Whitewater Rafting Experience on this floor.
- 19: Magnus Chase and his friends live on this floor.
- 63: A group of occupants from this floor sent down a chunk of limestone that smashed several einherjar (including X) during Magnus' first battle practice.
- 76: A residential floor.
- 112: There is a spa on this floor.
- 540: The hotel's top floor.
- Unknown floor: Oslo Room, where Single Combat to the Death is practiced.
- Unknown floor: Stockholm Room, where Group Combat to the Death is practiced.
- Unknown floor: Copenhagen Room, where Bikram Yoga to the Death is practiced.
Magnus Chase's Room
Magnus' suite has a central atrium opened to the sky and a grass floor. Four large oak trees ring the garden like pillars. The lower branches spread into the room across the ceiling, interweaving with the rafters. The taller branches grew up through the opening of the atrium, making a lacy canopy. A pleasant breeze wafts through the room, bringing the smell of jasmine. The suite is shaped like a cross, with four sections radiating from the central atrium. Each wing is as large as his old apartment.
One was the entry hall. The next is a bedroom with a king-size bed. Despite its size, the room was spare and simple: beige covers and fluffy-looking pillows on the bed, beige walls with no artwork or mirrors or other decoration. Heavy brown curtains could be drawn to close off the space.
The wing to the left was a dressing area/bathroom tiled in black and beige, my favorite colors. The perks included a sauna, a hot tub, a walk-in wardrobe, a walk-in shower and a fancy toilet.
The suite’s fourth wing was a full kitchen and living room. At one end of the living room, a big leather couch face a plasma-screen TV with about six different game systems stacked in the media cabinet. On the other side, two recliners sit in front of a crackling fireplace and a wall of books. A picture of him, when he was eight, and his mom at the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire is framed in silver on the fireplace mantel. The bookshelves contain his favorite fantasy and horror authors from when he was younger – Stephen King, Darren Shan, Neal Shusterman, Michael Grant, Joe Hill; my favorite graphic-novel series – Scott Pilgrim, Sandman, Watchmen, Saga; plus a lot of books he'd been meaning to read at the library. One of the books is an illustrated children's book of Norse myths. On the coffee table was a leather-bound notebook titled GUEST SERVICES which had the room-service menu, TV channel list and the hotel map.
His closet contains three sets of blue jeans, three green T-shirts (all marked PROPERTY OF HOTEL VALHALLA), underwear, socks, a pair of good running shoes and a sheathed sword. Leaning against the ironing board was a circular green shield with the golden rune of Frey painted in the middle.
Alex Fierro's Room
Upon arrival, Alex was assigned to X's old room. Her room, just like Magnus', has four square sections jutting out from a central atrium like a giant plus sign.
The foyer is a sitting area with a sofa, bookshelves, a TV, and a fireplace.
Just like Magnus' room, there is a huge tree growing in the middle, with a small patch of grass surrounding it.
In the kitchen, there is a kiln and a potter's wheel at which Alex makes her ceramics.
Halfborn Gunderson’s Room
Not much about Halfborn’s room is known except for that it has a craft room and a weapons closet.
- Valhalla's ceiling was said to be thatched with golden shields. The tree Læraðr reportedly stood atop the great hall, where the female goat Heiðrún and the stag Eikþyrnir (Old Norse: “oak-thorny”) would graze its foliage.