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The Valkyries ("choosers of the slain", alternative spelling: Walkyries) are figures of Norse mythology. Generally held to be daughters of Odin, they appear as the beautiful warrior-maidens on winged horses, armed with helmets and spears. Their purpose is to visit battlefields and chose the most heroic of those who have died in battle (called Einherjar), to carry them off to Valhalla. This was necessary because Odin needed warriors to fight at his side at the preordained battle at the end of the world, Ragnarok.

The Valkyries also acted as Odin's messengers. Their armor, while doing his bidding, was thought to have caused Aurora Borealis.

List of the Valkyries:

  1. Brunhilde
  2. Göll
  3. Göndul
  4. Gudr
  5. Gunn
  6. Herfjoturr
  7. Hildr
  8. Hladgunnr
  9. Hlokk
  10. Hrist
  11. Sigrdrifa
  12. Sigrún
  13. Svafa

Richard Wagner adapted one of the Valkyrie myths, dealing with the Valkyrie Brunhilde and her love for the warrior Siegfried, into his opera Die Walkure.

See also: Alaisiagae

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