In Norse mythology, there was a being with the name Valkyrie. They were the female helping spirits of Odin the Allfather. Many people believe that the Valkyries were the inspiration for Viking Shieldmaidens. While other mythologies might have the beautiful and gentle angels playing the harps, the Viking Valkyries would wield a weapon. Below are top 5 Viking Valkyries Facts.
The Meaning of the Name
The meaning of the word “valkyrie” should be in the list of Viking Valkyries Facts. Valkyrie meant “the choosers of the fallen”. It consists of two compounds: “valr” for the fallen in the battle and “kjosa” for “to choose”. It reflected the main responsibility of the Valkyries in the myth. In Norse mythology, the Valkyries would travel to observe the battles and would pick the bravest souls to come and dwell with Odin up in Valhalla.
The Valkyries were also sinful
This point is somewhat controversial because it might reveal the dark side of the Valkyries. The meaning of “the choosers of the fallen” doesn’t only mean choosing the dead warriors to Valhalla bu also deciding who would die in the battle. This was vividly depicted in Eddas and sagas. For example, before Battle of Clontarf, the Valkyries wove the fate of tragic battles for the warriors.
The Valkyries served in Valhalla
The warriors who lived in Valhalla with Odin were the Einherjar. On the day, the Einherjar would fight and train themselves. When the dawn broke, they would sit in the Hall feasting and chanting. The Valkyries were there to serve them the mead.
Valkyries had high ranks in Norse myth
According to Norse mythology, Odin often offered the Valkyries with prizes. The Valkyries were also treated with respect. Some of them could shapeshift into the swans. This provided them with the opportunity to travel the Midgard and even live with the humans there. If ever there was a time that the Valkyries were seen without a form of a swan, they would no longer be immortal and could not enter Valhalla again.
Valkyries appeared in Viking ancient artifacts
In many picture stones, we can see a similar motif of drawing and carving in the Viking ancient times. Some famous Viking picture stones must include Andre Stones, Tjangvide Image Stone, etc. Many of them vividly depicted the Viking Valkyries standing in the gates of Valhalla, holding the drinking horn (?) and welcoming Odin back to his Great Hall.