And I know I’m just a coward when it comes to love
Disarmed by words, like an old white stain
Goodbye my deeper child
Time to break down your barricades
And follow your own heart now

The Screamer was holding Winflæd back, the latter’s howls and sobs echoing loud enough without the artificial amplification. On the Wall, a handful of einherjar were returning the favor for Hræiðarr.

“That’s my wife!” Munin heard him roar. “Let me go to her!”

“No one is to pass the Wall!” That was Ullr, voice equal parts fear and panic, arrow wavering between the two spouses.

Behind the Line, the dead split apart like a sea, bowing as Hel herself moved to the front. When she reached Winflæd, she said nothing. Just put a hand on the woman’s shoulder, Winflæd falling still with the touch. Still, but not silent, voice crying for her husband. Joy and heartbreak, all in one. And the Screamer, watching from two paces back, pink Shaker at her side. This, Munin thought, was what she’d been waiting for.

And, really. There was only ever one way it was gonna go.

Another song that’s actually included in the story, though this time it’s one line of lyrics rather than being mentioned by name. Also, it’s ironically not included in the scene quoted above, but it’s the song I imagine during the scene quoted above.

To me, the interesting thing about the Viking afterlife is how is splits families. Coming from a Christian cultural tradition means growing up with the idea of being reunited with loved ones after death. Not so with the Vikings. For them, warriors who died in battle went to Valhalla, the Special Heaven of endless battle. Everyone else ended up in Hel; a place that wasn’t particularly bad, but wasn’t especially great, either. Except for the part where you got to be with (most of) your family, that is.

Everything is true, some of it’s embellished.

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