Norse - Minor goddesses acting as handmaidens of Freya and choosers of the slain. It was the work of the Valkyries to decide who should fall in battle and to bring the bodies of some of the fallen to Valhalla; the others were taken by Freya. Those chosen for Valhalla were destined to fight on the side of the gods at Ragnarok and, having conducted the warriors to Valhalla, the Valkyries then waited on their needs. Some depict them as bloodthirsty giants, rather than maidens, and various accounts put their numbers at three, six, nine or twenty-seven. They had the ability to put on swan-plumage and fly down to earth and, on one occasion, three of them (Alvit, Olrun and Svanhvit) left their wings on the shore while they bathed. The brothers Egil, Slagfinn and Volund seized the wings and kept the maidens as their wives for nine years. Some say they could change into wolves or ravens. Occasionally identified as Valkyries, Battle-maidens, Battle-maidens, Herjan's Maids, Herjan's Maids, Osk-meyjar, Osk-meyjar, Shield Maidens, Shield Maidens, Valkyr, Valkyr, Valkyrior, Valkyrior, Valkyriur, Valkyriur, Valkyrja, Valkyrja, Walkyries, Walkyries, Wish Maidens, Wish Maidens, Skialdmeyjar, Skialdmeyjar, Skjaldmeyjar, Wish-maidens, Wish-maidens, singValkyr, singValkyr, Muslim houri l'Aini or Muslim houri l'Aini.

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