MainNewsMembersResourcesPicturesChick LinksAmtgard LinksHouse Morrigan - Myth and Legend

The Valkyries by Moogie

The Valkyries are semi-divine beings from Norse mythology. They are the guardians and servants of Odin, the Father-God of the Norse pantheon. They served two major functions: They served the fallen warriors in Vallholl, Odin's feast hall, and they chose who would fall and who would conquer in mortal battles, selecting the dead who would go to Valholl at the will of Odin.

In Old Norse they were called Valkyrjor (sing. Valkyrja) which meant "choosers of the slain." They were described as beautiful maidens wearing breastplates, and helmets, carrying shields and spears, and riding fiery chargers over the battlefields of men. They were invisible except to those fated to die, and fought undetected on the battlefield, slaying those chosen for death and protecting certain mortal heroes. The Valkyries were able to take the forms of swans, and also of wolves and ravens, both animals sacred to Odin. They could become wives and mistresses of mortal heroes, often fighting beside them and protecting them in battle. They were mistresses of magic, and knew the secrets of Odin's runes. They appeared in groups of nine, and often played a part in Norse legends and sagas, such as the story of Seigfried.

They were also call the Oskmeyjar, the Wish-maidens, because they fulfilled Odin's wishes in battles. Half the warriors chosen by the Valkyries went to Vallholl, where they were called the einherjar, the foster sons of Odin. There they feasted and were served mead and beer by the Valkyries, and spent their days in endless combat, in preparation for Ragnarok, the battle of the Gods, when they would be called to fight for Odin. The other half of the slain belonged to Freya, Odin's wife and commander of the Valkyries.

The Valkyries present a strong and beautiful image - lovely but terrible maidens, skilled in both battle and magic, flying above the fields of mortal conflicts to carry out the will of Odin. In their hands lay the fate of warriors and heroes, and the outcome of every battle. The Norse warriors both revered and feared the Valkyries, who might be their protectors or their killers, according to the desires of Odin, the chief of the gods.

[main] [news] [members] [resources] [pictures] [chick links] [amtgard links]

Return to Main Page     Return to Resources

This page last updated 3/8/00

This site is owned and maintained by Moogie of House Morrigan. All works copyrighted Laura Brashear 2000 unless otherwise noted. To request  permission to reproduce any works on this website please send email to moogie.