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What is a Valkyrie?

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The word "Valkyrie" or "Valkyr" comes from the old Norse meaning "Maiden of the father". It later also came to mean "Chooser of the slain".

The Valkyrs were personal handmaidens to the father of the Norse gods, Odin. They were nine in number, each a beautifull, young woman and a virgin, despite the "services" they rendered. Each rode a resplendent white steed.

Their primary duty was to tend for Odin and his Einherjar (Chosen slain) in Valhalla. This function became rescindant upon the onset of a battle in Midgard (Earth), whereby the Valkyrs would mount their steeds and ride to the battlefield to observe the melee and to choose the honourable-slain who would accompany them back to Valhalla and become Einherjar.

The theme "Ride of the Valkyries" by Wagner aludes to their visitations to Earth in this regard.
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