View Full Version : Kobold Quarterly Valkyries: Shieldmaidens of the North

PnP News Bot
04-26-2011, 02:44 AM
Originally posted on Tuesday 04-26-2011 02:12 AM at koboldquarterly.com (http://www.koboldquarterly.com)

http://www.koboldquarterly.com/k/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Brynhild-by-Gaston-Bussière-1897-205x300.jpg (http://www.koboldquarterly.com/k/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Brynhild-by-Gaston-Bussière-1897.jpg)In Norse mythology, valkyries are servants of Odin. These female figures choose the most valorous of those that die on the battlefield to bring to Valhalla to become einherjar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einherjar)—or the warriors who’ll fight during Ragnarök (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ragnar%C3%B6k). This is far from Valkyries’ only function, however. The incomparable valkyries appear throughout the poetry of the skalds (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skald) as lovers of champions and mortals, daughters of royalty, mentors to heroes, shieldmaidens, and tragic heroes. They sometimes have raven companions or possess the ability to shapeshift between human and swan. These battle-mistresses have thus been attributed many titles, and their very names always describe some aspect of the battlefield, conflict, or war.

Terms Describing Valkyries

• Alvítr: “All-White”

• Biört: “Bright”

• Dísir Suðrænar: “Southern Dísir” or “Goddesses” …

• Drósir Suðrænar: “Southern Maids”

• Hjalmmeyjar: “Helm Maidens”

• Hjalmvítr: “Helm-White”

• Hvít: “White”

• Óskmeyjar: “Wish Maidens”

• Skjaldmeyjar: “Shield Maidens”

• Sólbiört: “Sun-Bright”

• Suðræn: “Southern One”

• Svanmeyja: “Swan Maiden”

• Valakusjó: Gothic form of the word Valkyrie

• Valkyrie: “Chooser of the Slain”

• Valmeyjar: “Battle Maidens” or “Corpse Maidens”

• Waelcyrie or Waelcyrge: Old English form of the word Valkyrie; also means “Raven”

• Walachuriá: Old High German form of the word Valkyrie

Valkyries’ Names and Their Meanings

• Brynhildr: “Bright Battle,” “Byrnie of Battle,” or “Mail-Coat of Battle”

• Eir: “Clemency,” “Help,” “Mercy” or “Peace”

• Friagabi: “Giver of Freedom”

• Geirahöð or Geirahöd: “Spear-Battle,” or “Spear of Battle”

• Geiravör: “Spear-Vör”

• Geirdriful: “Spear-Flinger”

• Geirönul, Geirrönul, Geirömul, or Geirölul: “The One Charging Forth With the Spear”

• Geirskögul: “Spear-Skögul” (see Skögul below)

• Göll: “Battle,” “Battle Cry,” “Loud Cry,” “Noise,” or “Tumult”

• Göndul: “Enchanted Stave,” “Magic Wand,” “She-Were-Wolf,” or “Wand-Wielder”

• Grimhildr: “Mask” or “Helm of Battle”

• Guðr (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gu%C3%B0r) or Gunnr: “Battle” or “War”

• Herfjötur: “Fetter of the Army,” “Host-Fetter,” or “War-Fetter”

• Herja: “Devastate”

• Hervör Alvitr: “Hervör All-Wise,” or “Hervör Strange-Creature”

• Hilda or Hildr: “Battle”

• Hildeberg: “Battle Fortress”

• Hildegund: “Battle War”

• Hjalmþrimul: “Female Warrior” or “Helmet Clatterer”

• Hjörþrimul: “The Sword Warrioress”

• Hlaðguðr Svanhvít (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hla%C3%B0gu%C3%B0r_svanhv%C3%ADt): “Hlaðguðr Swan-White”

• Hlökk: “Battle,” “Din of Battle,” or “Noise”

• Hrist: “The Quaking One” or “The Shaker”

• Hrund: “Pricker”

• Kára: “The Curly One,” “The Stormy One,” or “The Wild”

• Kreimhildr: Signification unknown

• Mist: “Cloud,” “Fog,” or “Mist”

• Ölrún (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%96lr%C3%BAn): “Ale-Rune”

• Raðgrðr or Ráðgriðr: “Counsel of Peace,” “Council-Truce,” “Gods’ Peace,” or “The Bossy”

• Randgriðr or Rangrid: “Shield-Destroyer,” “Shield of Peace,” or “Shield-Truce”

• Reginleif: “Daughter of the Gods,” “Heritage of the Gods,” or “Power-Trace”

• Róta: “She Who Causes Turmoil” or “Sleet and Storm”

• Sanngriðr: “Very Cruel” or “Very Violent”

• Sigrdrífa or Sigrdrifa: “Inciter to Victory,” “Victory Blizzard,” or “Victory-Urger”

• Sigrún: “Victory Rune”

• Skamöld: “Sword-Time”

• Skeggöld or Skeggjöld: “Axe-Age” or “Wearing a War Axe”

• Skögul: “Battle,” “High-Towering,” “Rager,” or “Shaker”

• Skuld: “Debt,” “Future” or “She Who Is Becoming”

• Sváva: Signification unknown

• Sveið: “Noise” or “Vibration”

• Svipul: “Changeable”

• Þögn: “Silence”

• Þrima: “Fight”

• Þrúðr: “Power” or “Strength”

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