Female spirits in Norse* mythology, the Valkyries were servants of the god Odin*. Originally, the Valkyries were fierce creatures who took part in battles and devoured bodies of the dead on battlefields. They later emerged as beautiful female warriors—clad in armor on horseback—who rode over battlefields selecting the bravest slain warriors to enter Valhalla*, Odin's great hall in Asgard. During battles the Valkyries carried out Odin's commands, bringing either victory or defeat according to his wishes. After leading slain warriors to Valhalla, the Valkyries waited on them, serving them food and drink.

supernatural related to forces beyond the normaf world; magical or miraculous

In several myths, the Valkyries appeared as giant beings with supernatural powers who could cause a rain of blood to fall upon the land or row ships across the sky on rivers of blood. Some Valkyries caused warriors to die, while others served as protectors, guarding the lives of those most dear to them. Valkyries were often shown as wives of heroes. Brunhilde, one of the most famous Valkyries in mythology, disobeyed Odin and was placed in an enchanted sleep within a wall of fire as punishment.

See also Brunhilde ; Norse Mythology ; Odin ; Valhalla .

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