Valkyries (vălkērˈēz) [key], in Germanic mythology, warrior maidens of Odin. They presided over battles, chose those who were to die, and brought the souls of the dead heroes back to Valhalla. Chief among them was Brunhild. They were usually represented as riding through the air on horseback, helmeted and carrying a spear. The Valkyries play a prominent role in Die Walküre of Richard Wagner.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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