Welcome to The Original Valkyries, a short, descriptive history of the Norse Valkyries.
Heh, I finally gave up and started paying for web-space **sigh** lol - but at least you won't get the "exceeded traffic" notice instead of the page!
While I was designing these pages, I searched the web, looking for information on my namesake. What I found was VERY little.
By luck I found the Viking Answer Lady web page, and she very kindly came to my rescue. Most of the following information came directly from her. Any mistakes would be mine.

Want a Text Only version? THANKS for telling me it was needed Penny!

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The Valkyrie is, in the oldest strata of belief, a corpse goddess, represented by the carrion-eating raven. The name in Old Norse, valkyrja, means literally, "chooser of the slain." The Valkyrie is related to the Celtic warrior-goddess, the Morrigan, who likewise may assume the form of the raven.

Midway between the third and eleventh centuries, the Valkyries begin assuming a more benign aspect. Small amulets and pictures on memorial stones begin to depict the figure of the beautiful woman welcoming the deceased hero with a horn of mead to the afterlife. Valkyries are usually represented as blonde, blue eyed and fair skinned. They wear scarlet corslets and carry shields and spears.

By this later time, the Valkyries, as demigoddesses of death, had their legend conflated with the folklore motif of the swan maiden (young girls who are able to take on the form of a swan, sometimes as the result of a curse). If one could capture and hold a swan maiden, or her feathered cloak, one could extract a wish from her. This is why valkyries were sometimes known as swan maidens or wish maidens.

Although the sources consulted are not clear on this, the chief of the Valkyries seems to have been the goddess Freyja. She is the Norse goddess of love, fertility, and beauty, sometimes identified as the goddess of battle and death. Blond, blue-eyed, and beautiful, Freyja travels on a golden-bristled boar or in a chariot drawn by cats. She resides in the celestial realm of Folkvang. Like Odinn, she received half of those slain in battle, but since ladies go first she was allowed first choice! Freyja possessed a magical cloak of falcon feathers that allowed her to take the shape of a falcon if she wished, making the swan maidens similar to the goddess by having "feather coats" or cloaks that enable their shape-shifting abilities and the power of flight.

The Valkyries carry out the will of Odinn in determining the victors of the battle, and the course of the war. Their primary duty is to choose the bravest of those who have been slain, gathering the souls of dying heros or warriors found deserving of afterlife in Valhalla. They scout the battle ground in search of mortals worthy of the grand hall. If you are deemed by the Valkyries as un-worthy of the hall of Valhalla you will be received after death by the goddess Hel in a cheerless underground world.

The descriptions of Odinn's hall describe the Valkyries as foster-daughters, just as the einherjar (the chosen warriors of Odinn) are foster sons Freyja is said to be the first of the Valkyries, called Valfreyja, "Mistress of the Slain," she pours ale at the feasts of the Aesir . The Valkyries also have duties in the great hall. There, having exchanged their armor for pure white robes, they will serve the warriors they have chosen.

Valhalla, the great hall of slain warriors is located in Asguard, the realm of Odinn. It contains 540 doors each of which leads to a room which can accommodate 800 warriors. The roof is made of warrior's shields. There the warriors spend their days fighting and their nights feasting, until Ragnarok, the day of the final world battle, in which the old gods will perish and a new reign of peace and love will be instituted.

There are several traditional names for Valkyries mentioned in the sagas and the Eddas:

Brynhildr ("Byrnie of Battle" or "Mail-coat of Battle") Sigrdrifa ("Victory Blizzard")
Sigrún ("Victory Rune") Sváva
Kára Hrist ("The Shaker")
Mist ("The Mist" or "The Fog") Skeggjöld ("Wearing a War Axe")
Skögul ("Battle" or "Rager") Hildr ("Battle")
Ţrúđr ("Power") Hlökk ("Noise", "Din of Battle")
Herfjötur ("War-Fetter") Göll ("Loud Cry", "Battle Cry")
Geirahöd ("Spear of Battle") Randgríđr ("Shield of Peace")
Ráđgri'đr ("Counsel of Peace" or "Gods' Peace") Reginleif ("Heritage of the Gods")
Gunnr ("Battle") Róta ("She Who Causes Turmoil")
Skuld ("She Who Is Becoming") Göndul ("Magic Wand" or "Enchanted Stave" or perhaps, "She-Were-Wolf")
Friagabi ("Giver of Freedom")

The Valkyries are connected with the legend of the Raven Banner. This banner was woven of the cleanest and whitest silk and no picture of any figure was found upon it except in the case of war, at which time a raven always appeared upon it, as if woven into it.
If the Danes were going to win the upcoming battle, the raven appeared with his beak wide open, flapping its wings and restless on its feet.
If they were going to be defeated, the raven did not stir at all, and its limbs hung motionless.
Sometimes the blood-covered Valkyrie-prophetesses are seen themselves as weavers, to prophesy the outcome of the next day's battle.

The Valkyries are also Odinn's messengers and when they ride forth on their errands, their armor causes the strange flickering light that is called the "Aurora Borealis" (Northern Lights).

Depending on who you talk to, the number of Valkyries varies from three to sixteen.

Any maiden who becomes a valkyrie will remain immortal and invulnerable as long as they obey the gods and remain virginal.

It is often said that if you see a Valkyrie before a battle, you will die in that battle.

The Valkyries appeared riding in a troop, often of nine war-like women:

For those of you who made it this far....

Bradamante

Brademante
by Nene Thomas
Click anywhere on these underlined words to go to her web-site.

Legends by Valkyrie

:-D - Just for fun and entertainment, I make OOAK dolls. Being me - i.e. not overly enthused with Lace and fluff - I'm making Valkries (and other assorted legends, actually). Wanna see?

Brunhilde
Meaning: "Mail Coat of Battle"
9th of the Valkyries of Legend

For those looking for more information on Norse Mythology or Viking culture the following are my favorite links to these areas.


The Viking Answer Lady Encyclopedia Mythica Link Looking for armor, leather, or simply a good tale? List of site links, just like it says! Since so many of my visitor's RIDE!

Another killer link for those of you who ride. Check out Valkyrie Riders
The "World's Largest Valkyrie Club".

NEW!! - The "Viking Answer Lady"has posted her own page on the Valkyries. If you're looking for a bit more information, or perhaps the references from where this page was derived, go see!

I'm sure you've noticed that most of my dolls carry weapons - well - if you just so happen to be looking for a magnificent hand made knife for yourself instead of your doll.............. :-D


Click on the Picture for more! :-D

As for the rest of my own pages...............

This would be your basic navigation type page! My collection of funnies
My Graphics page - HTML tips, funnies, fonts and of course my graphics.  The graphics on this page, by the by, are also mine. It is what it says it is!

NEW!! - Looking for fonts? CELTIC fonts? Medieval fonts? - try
Valkyrie's Fonts

I hope you enjoyed this page. How 'bout you let me know one way or the other?

The Boris was taken out because it's no longer available in print, he's thinking about bringing it back though. The Ruth Thompson was taken out because I truly prefer the Bradamante as "valkyrie".




This page (I'll stop moving it around SOON - promise!) has had over 4 million visitors! :-D - aren't you proud?