Originally posted by twiceaknight
All those souls. They never worshipped God or followed the teachings of the Bible, so presumably they are not in Christian Heaven. Where are their souls now? There were millions of them.
That depends. If one was a heathen living in Scandinavia there were two main possibilities:
1. If you were lucky enough to be chosen by Odin and slain in battle (i.e. if he chose you then being slain in battle was a certainty) then you would find yourself in Valhalla where you would practice combat all day with the other Einherjar (in preparation for Ragnarok) and feast and drink mead at night served by Valkyries.
2. The average person however, would descend to the underworld Hel (spelled with one l). This is not a place of torture like the Christian version of Hell but instead a place of bliss where the soul of the average man or women would journey. It was believed by some that one would be reunited with their ancestors in this afterlife. Reincarnation, being reborn into ones family line in particular, was also considered a possibility. To try and fully understand this version pre-Christian afterlife one should read the Eddas, Sagas, Rydbergs work on Teutonic mythology, Jacob Grimm, and there is a fine work out there by the scholar Hilda Ellis Davidson called "The Road to Hel" that goes into the subject in great detail.
There may be similarities between this and other pagan mythologies such as Greek and Indian. I wouldn't know since I don't study Greek mythology but Grimm does make some comparisons.
What does this have to do with Christianity? Not a single thing!
Christian Mythology has no say regarding the afterlife of pre-Christians Heathens and it has no say regarding the afterlife of Heathens today.
My point is that you're not going to learn the answer to your question by reading the Bible.