Hela is the goddess of the Underworld in the Norse cosmology, that is what everybody knows and hears about her, but she is also the goddess of death and one of the most powerful Jotnar. She is the eldest child of Angrboda and Loki.
Hela usually appears to people ihalf rotten or half skeletal form, at one side and a completly normal figure on the other side. Her hair is usually pale and long on the normal fleshy side, although sometimes it is black, no one is really certain about it, it is possible that she changes are appearance according with some situations, it is also possible to see her sometimes with her living appearance above the waits andtimes as a pale white woman who merely smells of rotten below it. One thing is certain, she choses to appear in such forms to remind people about death, to show them its true forms and to force people in accepting it the way it is, as a natural part of life, as another part of nature itself, so people might respect this natural process of all things.
Hela is a tall figure, usually wearing a robe with the colours of black or grey. She is very calm, actually the atmosphere around her is quite calm and cold, as if the very air was frozen and still. Her only forms aren’t just the rotte or skeletal ones, because she also appears as a beautiful woman, perfectly normal when it comes to welcome people into her Halls or the villages for the dead, so we can’t be sure what her true form might be, but the “death mask” she wears is certainly to be used when she needs to deal with death or anything linked to that ( which is quite often ).
It seems that before Hela, the daughter of Loki and Angrboda, there used to be another Hel, she was the goddess of death or at least the keeper of the dead, in a time where human folk didn’t exist yet, so she was the keeper of all the dead souls of the Jotnar kin. But when this old Hel died or retired, the dead walked on every place of the Nine Worlds, so there always must exist a keeper of the dead, and so Hela, the daughter of Loki and Angrboda took such a task. We don’t know if her name comes after the first goddess of the underworld in homage, or if Hel/Hela is a title that the one who replaces the previous deity of death takes, but one thing is certain, this new Hela reshaped the entire place, Helheim, giving it a better look, wonderful, cosy, eternal Autumn like landscape, and she definitely loves all those who come o live with her and she takes good care of them.