Just as Urd and her sisters choose mothers to give the sacred fruits of childbirth to, and thus dispense the gift of life, so too do they decide when, where, and how someone will die. Not only that, they also own the hall where the Helthing takes place and where the righteous dead shall dwell in the afterlife, called Gimle. It is only sensical that the Goddesses of Fate would also be the Goddesses of Death, for they decise how long one's urlag-thread (örlögþættir) will be, then it is Skuld who cuts it and ends that particular incarnation. Death is only the end of one cycle of life, and the beginning of another, as all things are subject to the law of life/death/rebirth.
The Norns are the weavers of destiny, and thus choose our demise based upon the fulfillment of our urlag. You may not know what your destiny is, and your part in the grand Web of Wyrd may seem miniscule, but that does not mean it is insignificant.
Everything is connected, everything moves forward in the various cycles of the micro- and macrocosm, and everything has its role to play.
The Norns gave us our fylgja at birth, and she will walk with us into the realms of the dead. She will stand witness for us at the Helthing, since she knows our innermost thoughts and desires. She is said to be a personification of our thoughts, words, and deeds—good or bad—and will display these to the Gods for judgment. If your fylgja accompanies you to the Thing you are more than likely to be given Lofstirr, the laudatory judgment of the blessed.
Only acts of terrible violence and cruelty that are never compensated for will separate you from your fylgja, and if one stands alone before the Gods without their lifelong guardian at their side, they are likely doomed to receive Namæli, the declaration of the damned. If they have malrúnar ("speech-runes") they may be able to defend themselves before the court of the dead, but even then their chances are slim.
Our lesson from the Teutonic Parcae is that it is not how we die that matters, but rather how we live! It is absurd and disrespectful to our forefathers to think that they ever viewed one's mode of death as the litmus test for a blessed afterlife. According to some, we have to die in battle to go to Valhall, die a "straw-death" to go to Niflhel, the realm of the damned, or drown to live in the hall of Ran, who is none other than Gullveig herself! What nonsense. What ludicrous blather promoted by so-called 'academics' using shoddy, half-baked research and ideas.
Your judgment will be based on how you lived, on the morals you followed, your devotion to the Gods, and whether you were a man or woman of peace, of war, or of cruelty.
Peaceful folk will live in Hel, in the hall called Gimle (also called Vingolf 'The Friendly Quarters"), which is our Elysium. Men and women who protect their lands with the ultimate sacrifice will go to Valhall and live with the Gods in Asgard. Those who are cruel and bloodthirsty will face the punishments of Nastrands in Niflhel.
This is the standard; this is the model of moral justice that we follow; not some insane, bogus doctrine of happenstance where one enjoys an afterlife based on being in a certain place when they died. That this ridiculous notion has ever been entertained by anyone shows how truly biased and untrustworthy the mainstream academie is towards our faith.
Our ancestors were very much concerned with fatalism, and recognized that the Norns' decrees are concrete and final. They do not change, they cannot be altered, and only the Gods can influence them in a way that benefits mankind, but this itself has already been weaved into their web. Although we will go further into the concept of Fate later on, it is important to understand here that our beliefs in destiny form the cornerstone of the Odinist religion.
What will happen will happen, and nothing we do can change that, for everything in the universe has a formula; all life is moving in some direction, but only the Fates know exactly what that direction is.