The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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    Default Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    Oots is not the story of how the world will be destroyed.

    Yet, on a theorical level, what would happen?
    In #1144, Thor explains that Gods need Belief, Worship, Dedication and Souls.

    Despite being the only gods of the numerous goublins, The Dark One might not survive the interim period between two worlds because he'd lack... Belief and Worship .


    Hel has been there for an awful lot of time. But old souls gives less power as time goes. They dissolve into outer plane and don't give anymore the burst of power that they can grant on death.

    These two quotes may be more or less answers created by The Giant while he was answering some people saying the plot does not work. So maybe I'm looking to much into that, but:
    Hel has plenty of Belief (as a god of the Northern Pantheon, people acknowledge her existence).
    Hel severely lacks Worship.
    Hel this lacks Dedication.
    Hel does not have lots of (recent) Souls.

    So wouldn't she, despite of since how long she's there, be in danger if she does not get Souls on the world's destruction?
    Especially since she seem to imply that killing Loki's follower in the next world would make Loki die.

    Your thoughts?
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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    My thoughts are that the dangers of divine starvation apply only to ascended gods, and that belief alone is sufficient to save Hel. As long as enough people know of her existence, she will survive. Hungry and wane, but won't fully fade. And it is hard to not believe in Death.

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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    We have word of God (quite literally) that TDO likely wouldn’t survive the worlds destruction, and he has a balanced diet and isn’t fading from existence, I sort of doubt Hel would be able to survive Book 7 if the deal isn’t changed.

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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    She's fading fast. If she does too many more Rage-Outs or burns too much more power, she may not even make it until the Snarl Snarls everything.
    "Besides, you know the saying: Kill one, and you are a murderer. Kill millions, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god." -- Fishman

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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    We don't know that she's fading fast. We don't know how far along she is. We don't know how fast the Dark One would fade. We don't know how fast or to what extent Odin faded.

    We know nothing.

    I imagine the danger is real enough for Loki to worry, but beyond that? Ż\_(ツ)_/Ż
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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Schroeswald View Post
    We have word of God (quite literally) that TDO likely wouldn’t survive the worlds destruction, and he has a balanced diet and isn’t fading from existence, I sort of doubt Hel would be able to survive Book 7 if the deal isn’t changed.
    Do we know for how long Souls power gods? Hel has been around for millions of worlds; TDO for what, centuries? Even if Hel is getting less souls now, she may still have enough souls in total to carry her over from previous worlds.

    The way I understand it, no-one gets fresh Belief, Worship, or Dedication in between the worlds. All the gods survive on stores of energy and souls only. We don't know for how long these stores of energy may be built up, but again it may be for thousands and thousands of years - so Hel still has some while TDO doesn't.

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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by hroțila View Post
    We don't know that she's fading fast.
    She LITTERALLY Faded out in that last strip after her Rage. That seems fast to me.
    "Besides, you know the saying: Kill one, and you are a murderer. Kill millions, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god." -- Fishman

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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by The MunchKING View Post
    She LITTERALLY Faded out in that last strip after her Rage. That seems fast to me.
    Assuming extra exertion hasn't been doing that to her for centuries and that it's gotten worse lately.
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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    I do not believe that Hel can survive, I'd put her in at least as much of a bad spot as TDO. I think she was actually trying to compel Loki to leave her domain, and instead of being thrown out, Loki could feel how weak Hel had become.

    My pet theory is that Zycon, or someone of equal power, is going to swoop in and finish her off.

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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    My thoughts are that the dangers of divine starvation apply only to ascended gods, and that belief alone is sufficient to save Hel. As long as enough people know of her existence, she will survive. Hungry and wane, but won't fully fade. And it is hard to not believe in Death.

    Grey Wolf
    “You will waste away and DIE!” Seems to show that at least Hel thinks non-ascended gods can die.

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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    My guess is that Hel personally has very little stores left, but that the other pantheon members will help her through. After all, she is family. However much they may dislike her personally, none of the other gods seem to want her dead. Sharing stores is likely how the Elven gods survived between worlds anyhow. The pantheon supported them.

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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Angrith View Post
    My guess is that Hel personally has very little stores left, but that the other pantheon members will help her through. After all, she is family. However much they may dislike her personally, none of the other gods seem to want her dead. Sharing stores is likely how the Elven gods survived between worlds anyhow. The pantheon supported them.
    Why would the elven gods have survived between worlds? We have precisely 0 evidence that a single ascended god has survived the transition period (not saying they can't but that we have no evidence that says any of them have).

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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Schroeswald View Post
    Why would the elven gods have survived between worlds? We have precisely 0 evidence that a single ascended god has survived the transition period (not saying they can't but that we have no evidence that says any of them have).
    We don’t have hard evidence, but the way Thor talks about ascended gods, it doesn’t sound like there’s a 0% chance of them surviving between worlds. “I’ve seen new gods with more worshippers than [The Dark One] has fail to make it” is more the sort of thing that you’d say about a process that rarely lets new gods make it, not one that they absolutely never survive. If an ascended god had never survived the process of a world being destroyed, I’d expect Thor to have said as much.

    So it’s circumstantial, but it sort of seems that yes, there are some gods who have ascended and survived. I wouldn’t bet a lot on it, but I’d bet a few dollars.
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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    Some analysis on my part

    This comic: http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots1144.html indicates that there is a whole pantheon of belief in Hel, multiple followers for multiple deities believe in her.

    It may not be necessary to share the soul power by the other Gods to have Hel survive the interim from the last world's destruction to the next worlds creation, the belief of the existing souls my be sufficient. This thought doesn't preclude sharing from the other gods to Hel, but offers a mechanism where it might not be needed. It is also possible, as some have mentioned, that there may be residual energy from the last world to help sustain Hel.

    She will not be healthy nor will she be strong. Exertions are likely to cause her to fade, as we have seen here, but not necessarily fade to permanent black.

    She obviously has reasons for anger with Loki and Thor, but I am unsure if here current responses are because she fears for her continued existence, or loss of power. Both are a possibility/probability.

    TDO has none of the benefits of the above, and his current level of souls, belief, dedication, and worship are likely insufficient to support him in the interim between worlds per Thor.
    Last edited by RaveDave92084; 2019-08-20 at 03:45 PM. Reason: her for here, I am so pendantic

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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Emanick View Post
    We don’t have hard evidence, but the way Thor talks about ascended gods, it doesn’t sound like there’s a 0% chance of them surviving between worlds. “I’ve seen new gods with more worshippers than [The Dark One] has fail to make it” is more the sort of thing that you’d say about a process that rarely lets new gods make it, not one that they absolutely never survive. If an ascended god had never survived the process of a world being destroyed, I’d expect Thor to have said as much.

    So it’s circumstantial, but it sort of seems that yes, there are some gods who have ascended and survived. I wouldn’t bet a lot on it, but I’d bet a few dollars.
    I'd agree with you there, maybe one or two elven gods, Surtur, Singrum and Thrym have lasted more than one world, what I was disagreeing with was the assertion that the elven gods would have mostly survived due to their pantheon-hood (I think thats much of the reason most of the gods have survived, but you must also have strong reason for being and the longer you've been around the less likely you'll die).

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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    My thoughts are that the dangers of divine starvation apply only to ascended gods, and that belief alone is sufficient to save Hel. As long as enough people know of her existence, she will survive. Hungry and wane, but won't fully fade. And it is hard to not believe in Death.
    Even those who disbelieve in death will still die.

    For the OP: Oots is not the story of how the world will be destroyed. In other words, you answered your own question. Whatever might happen to Hel would happen off screen, and necessarily be part of a different story.
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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Even those who disbelieve in death will still die.
    "...and with many strange aeons even disbelief in death may die."
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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    The fact that we're supposed to be taking it as a fact that Hel's plan would have worked (and we are, although I don't know where that exact quote by the Giant is) tells us that, yes, Hel would survive to the next world.

    I'd dispute Grey Wolf's claim that only Ascended Gods have to worry about fading away, because Thor specifically mentions things all of the gods need to survive, but that's a moot point here.
    I'd just like to point out that saying that something unsupported is the case unless someone else can prove that it is not is an utter failure of logic. - Kish

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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    I have a better question. Will Hel survive if the Snarl doesn't destroy the world? After all, that means she's still locked in the wager, and will continue to be locked in the wager for potentially millions of years.
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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    I have a better question. Will Hel survive if the Snarl doesn't destroy the world? After all, that means she's still locked in the wager, and will continue to be locked in the wager for potentially millions of years.
    Before #1176, I'd have said absolutely. She still has three of the four major divine food groups, and while that's imbalancing it doesn't sound directly fatal.

    Currently I still think she's likely to make it, but that has less to do with the nature of divine diets and more to do with Rich and the story being told. If Hel dies from malnourishment, Loki and Thor will be somewhat to blame for that. The world will survive (because this isn't the story of five fools who get blown up anticlimactically), and something will happen to keep the CG guy from being responsible for his niece's death.

    The bigger question, to me, is how. More specifically, if the bet is hardcoded into this world, or if either party could end it at any time if they were willing to pay off the stakes and didn't let their pride get in the way. (Realistically Hel's. She'd know she was whipped, and wouldn't even accept a graceful concession from Thor unless her situation was dire.) If she can back out, I expect her to relent once she finds out that this world can expect to last for a good long while. If she can't, her solution will rest in the remaining vampire clerics; she'd have to tell them to play nice so that they aren't seen as quite so unholy abominations, but having clerics who can spread her worship is better than being entirely without.

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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rrmcklin View Post
    The fact that we're supposed to be taking it as a fact that Hel's plan would have worked (and we are, although I don't know where that exact quote by the Giant is) tells us that, yes, Hel would survive to the next world.
    I don't think that quote exists--I certainly don't remember the Giant saying anything like that, but willing to be proven wrong. Fact is, it really doesn't matter to the story if Hel's plan would have worked, because it's only critical that she *believes* it would work.

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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    I don't think that quote exists--I certainly don't remember the Giant saying anything like that, but willing to be proven wrong. Fact is, it really doesn't matter to the story if Hel's plan would have worked, because it's only critical that she *believes* it would work.
    I believe I found it, apologies for any format issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant;2015-08-29, 11:27 PM
    I do not understand comments that boil down to, "I don't think the plot works the way the text says it works." I understand that characters can lie or be mistaken, but at a certain point you have to understand that the only way for me to communicate non-visual information to you in the strip is through dialogue.

    I do not crunch numbers when writing dialogue. Do you know how I picked 10 million? I googled the medieval population of Scandinavia and made it about the same. The more important point is that you should assume that the characters are more familiar with the relevant details than you are—and if they say, "Hey, this number is the right number!" than you, as a reader, should accept that as being true within this story unless the story gives you some clue otherwise (like a character saying, "Ten million? That doesn't sound right").

    I promise you that the resolution to this story will not be, "Oh, hey, Hel did the math wrong!" In fact, I promise you that the exact number of dwarves will never matter at all, for any reason, ever, and that every single character will continue to act in a way consistent with all of Hel's math being correct and true. And if that bothers you on some math-level of your brain, just pretend that the words "ten million" are a typo and it should say whatever number you would feel would be big enough to make Hel's stated plan "make sense" to you, personally. Because it really doesn't matter. It's not like I could have possibly picked a number that would please everyone anyway.
    Going off of this, if we're supposed to reason that Hel is correct in all of the dwarf souls being enough to make her powerful enough to become the new Queen of the Northern Pantheon, that only makes sense if Hel would actually survive long enough to do it.
    Last edited by Rrmcklin; 2019-08-21 at 03:12 PM.
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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rrmcklin View Post
    Going off of this, if we're supposed to reason that Hel is correct in all of the dwarf souls being enough to make her powerful enough to become the new Queen of the Northern Pantheon, that only makes sense if Hel would actually survive long enough to do it.
    That's a good point.

    The Belief/Worship/Dedication/Souls diet raises an issue that didn't exist before.
    I suppose that plenty of souls with unbalanced diet are better than few souls with balanced diet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anymage View Post
    If she can't, her solution will rest in the remaining vampire clerics; she'd have to tell them to play nice so that they aren't seen as quite so unholy abominations, but having clerics who can spread her worship is better than being entirely without.
    I guess some evil gods have clerics who don't play nice. The issue for Hel is that hers are undead. And targeted as such.
    Loki, especially, wants his followers to hunt undeads...
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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rrmcklin View Post
    The fact that we're supposed to be taking it as a fact that Hel's plan would have worked (and we are, although I don't know where that exact quote by the Giant is) tells us that, yes, Hel would survive to the next world.

    I'd dispute Grey Wolf's claim that only Ascended Gods have to worry about fading away, because Thor specifically mentions things all of the gods need to survive, but that's a moot point here.
    It doesn't matter if Hel's plan would have worked if the gods destroyed the world, because the question posed was if the Snarl destroys the world. If the Snarl destroys the world it will consume all of the souls Hel was banking on getting, leaving her wasting away in the interim period with her current level of resources.

    She's not looking too good at the moment.
    Last edited by RatElemental; 2019-08-21 at 06:01 AM.

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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rrmcklin View Post
    I believe I found it, apologizes for any format issues.

    Going off of this, if we're supposed to reason that Hel is correct in all of the dwarf souls being enough to make her powerful enough to become the new Queen of the Northern Pantheon, that only makes sense if Hel would actually survive long enough to do it.
    OK, ignore my previous comment! Although, Hel clearly isn't absolutely certain that this will be enough to make her the Queen, because she says "Such an influx of resources could well render me more powerful than Grandfather Odin himself" when talking about her plan--that "could well" indicates a measure of uncertainty. Again, I would say it doesn't actually matter whether her plan would work or not, though, because the fact she has to *destroy the world* in order to carry it out is the reason they're trying to stop her, not because she might be the most powerful God in the next world.

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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quild View Post
    Oots is not the story of how the world will be destroyed.

    Yet, on a theorical level, what would happen?
    In #1144, Thor explains that Gods need Belief, Worship, Dedication and Souls.

    Despite being the only gods of the numerous goublins, The Dark One might not survive the interim period between two worlds because he'd lack... Belief and Worship .


    Hel has been there for an awful lot of time. But old souls gives less power as time goes. They dissolve into outer plane and don't give anymore the burst of power that they can grant on death.

    These two quotes may be more or less answers created by The Giant while he was answering some people saying the plot does not work. So maybe I'm looking to much into that, but:
    Hel has plenty of Belief (as a god of the Northern Pantheon, people acknowledge her existence).
    Hel severely lacks Worship.
    Hel this lacks Dedication.
    Hel does not have lots of (recent) Souls.

    So wouldn't she, despite of since how long she's there, be in danger if she does not get Souls on the world's destruction?
    Especially since she seem to imply that killing Loki's follower in the next world would make Loki die.

    Your thoughts?
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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    From a story perspective, it really doesn't matter if the plan could actually work or not. Hel is committed to her plan and there's no reason to Believe she wouldn't try to destroy the World if given the chance, thus (presumably) ending the story of the Order of the Stick.

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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    I don't think Hel's problem is due of a lack of souls.

    In my opinion, her problem is that everything is shaped around ideas at the Outer Planes. Even the Gods. Belief from the mortals provokes changes in the Gods. Thor used to be a Ginger until the Mortals began to think about him as a Blonde due to a certain comic-book character. Odin used to be wise and sage but it only took one iteration of believers thinking he is a simpleton fool to throw him off-balance.

    Loki asked Hel what was more important, Clerics or Souls. Hel foolishy replied that Souls were more important because they gave you power, while Clerics used it. She didn't realize that Clerics did something more important than "using your power". By spreading your Word, Clerics not only spread belief in you, they also spread belief in the particular way you want mortals to believe in you.

    With no Clerics, mortals may still believe Hel exists because she is part of the Northern Pantheon, but she lacks any control on how do mortals perceive her. In previous worlds, Mortals did respect her and would praise her every time they didn't die. But in this world she is not getting the praise she never deserved. Mortals just dismiss her as a powerless passive leech, too lazy and too lame to even grant spells to clerics. And that is affecting her, of course. She is slowly but steadly withering away because Mortals believe her to be just a pile of waste.

    I bet Loki just wants Hel to learn the lesson, acknowledge her defeat, and accept to call out the bet. Otherwise, she's a goner, whenever this world gets destroyed by the Snarl or keeps existing.
    Last edited by The Pilgrim; 2019-08-21 at 11:03 AM.

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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    The gods have been doing this for an impossibly long time and a very large number of worlds. This isn't quite infinity, but you can see it from here - so if it was possible for established gods to die, I feel like the pantheons should've been trimmed down a lot by now. Agreeing to the bet might've been a uniquely poor decision on Hel's part, but surely there would have been worlds with strange circumstances before. Have the Northerners never ended up as (say) pacifists who refuse to worship Tyr? We know Odin took a bad hit during the previous world, but he's also the most powerful god by a long shot, so he's got a long way to fall. What happens if you end up as a marginal god in several consecutive worlds?

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    Default Re: Would Hel survive if the Snarl destroys the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Khay View Post
    The gods have been doing this for an impossibly long time and a very large number of worlds. This isn't quite infinity, but you can see it from here - so if it was possible for established gods to die, I feel like the pantheons should've been trimmed down a lot by now. Agreeing to the bet might've been a uniquely poor decision on Hel's part, but surely there would have been worlds with strange circumstances before. Have the Northerners never ended up as (say) pacifists who refuse to worship Tyr? We know Odin took a bad hit during the previous world, but he's also the most powerful god by a long shot, so he's got a long way to fall. What happens if you end up as a marginal god in several consecutive worlds?
    Yep, this is my point too. Gods (now) exist because their creations believe they exist. Unless the next world is populated by immortal super-immune people, those people will continue to believe in a death & sickness goddess, and Hel will continue to exist. Powerless, a shade of her former self, maybe, but can't completely fade.

    Grey Wolf
    Last edited by Grey_Wolf_c; 2019-08-21 at 12:30 PM.
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    There is a world of imagination
    Deep in the corners of your mind
    Where reality is an intruder
    And myth and legend thrive
    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I would say that's the dumbest theory Grey Wolf's heard, but, let's be honest: It's Grey Wolf. They've probably heard dumber theories today. Point is, neat idea, but it's a real stretch.
    Ceterum autem censeo Hilgya malefica est

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