The Valkyries are the female warriors responsible for taking warriors to Valhalla upon their death in the mortal realm. One of the Valkyries is described as having beautiful long braided hair, carrying a shiny sword and a shield.
In Norse mythology, a Valkyrie is one of a host of female figures who choose those who may die in battle and those who may live. Selecting among half of those who die in battle (the other half go to the goddess Freya's afterlife field Fólkvangr), the Valkyries bring their chosen to the afterlife hall of the slain, Valhalla, ruled over by the god Odin. There, the deceased warriors become einherjar. When the einherjar are not preparing for the events of Ragnarök, the Valkyries bear them mead. Valkyries also appear as lovers of heroes and other mortals, where they are sometimes described as the daughters of royalty, sometimes accompanied by ravens and sometimes connected to swans or horses.
In the God of War series
The Valkyries are servants of Odin, set to choose half of the warriors killed in battle to take them to Valhalla, where every warrior fights and feasts until the day of Ragnarök. If a warrior declines the call of the Valkyrie and engages her in battle, the warrior will be burnt by the intensity of the fight and be doomed to forever roam the mortal realm as a Draugr.
The Valkyries encountered in the game have become corrupted by a curse. The first Valkyrie Kratos and Atreus successfully defeats asks for them to free her sisters from the curse. This curse was later revealed to having been cast by Odin, out of spite after Freya lost her position as the queen- her stand-in, Sigrun, states that no matter what she did, it was 'not enough' for the Allfather. The curse forces the Valkyries to remain in a physical form, which is an unnatural state to Valkyries. Prolonged stay in a physical form drives Valkyries to insanity, with the only way to free them being to destroy their physical form.
Due to the danger the corrupted Valkyries posed, the Valkyrie Queen Sigrun was forced to seal away the Valkyries to prevent their insanity from causing unnecessary destruction. Because of this, the Valkyries were unable to escort the warrior dead to their rightful place in Valhalla. This lead to the overflowing of dead in the realm Helheim, which contributed to the rise of Hel-Walkers in Midgard.
After being freed from their mortal forms by Kratos and Atreus, the Valkyries thank the Spartan and his son with their eternal gratitude.
Out of all the boss fights in the game, the Valkyries are considered the most dangerous, surpassing even Baldur with his infamous invulnerability in terms of difficulty.
The Valkyries are a side-quest of the game and there are nine different locations to find them. The first eight locations are revealed upon completing the main story but can still be accessed prior to this by discovering them. The Chisel is needed to unlock the Hidden Chambers of Odin and six of the Valkyries, which is obtained at one point during the story. It is recommended to complete the main journey before fighting them as they are powerful warriors.
The ninth Valkyrie location can only be accessed once you’ve defeated the other eight and taken their helmets to the Council of Valkyries, on the north side of Lake of Nine. This will summon the Valkyrie Queen.
Each Valkyrie in God of War has its own fighting style and you’ll need to adapt accordingly. They all have high health and defense, and are resistant to burn, frost, and shock damage, being weakened, and Kratos' rage. When challenging a Valkyrie, be ready for a long, drawn-out fight.
Gunnr is a Blade User, whose specialty is using her wings and scythe to fight and cut you. She has four normal attacks. She is located in a Hidden Chamber of Odin near Thamur's Corpse in Midgard.
Geirdriful is a Shooter Valkyrie located in a Hidden Chamber of Odin at The Foothills in Midgard. She can cause a frost eruption (an area attack). She is also capable of grappling (though it's not nearly as devastating as Rota) and launching different types of projectiles.
Eir is a Defender Valkyrie located in The Mountain in Midgard. She will use her wings/shield to block your attacks and use her mace to hit you with an area of effect attack and blind you with light. In the air she will use her scythe and dash at you.
Kara is a Summoner Valkyrie who is located in the Hidden Chamber of Odin near The River Pass in Midgard. She may be the easiest Valkyrie in the game and fighting her is a good way to check if you have the equipment to challenge the other ones. She utilizes spikes and lightning-fast disk projectiles. She is also the only Valkyrie who summons Draugr to aid her in combat.
Rota is a Grappler Valkyrie located in a Hidden Chamber of Odin in Helheim. She will yell before hurling herself at you to grapple you and deal heavy damage, either from the front or from the sky. She has an additional spinning attack she charges before launching it towards you.
Olrun is a Dodger Valkyrie located in Alfheim. She is one of the quicker Valkyries and has many unblockable moves that can do devastating damage. She spins to throw multiple feathers at you, and dashes at you to spin-attack or attack normally. She can also fall from the sky on you in the same way as Rota. As she is very nimble you will have difficulty touching her. Prepare for a long battle if you do not have the required damage to finish her.
Gondul is a Fire Valkyrie who is the main focus of Trial VI (the summit of the volcano) on Muspelheim. She can attack by causing lava to erupt from the floor of the arena. Her fire attacks explode and leave a temporary area setting you aflame. She also uses some of the other Valkyries' moves such as: grappling Kratos by falling from the sky, an area-of-effect attack and hitting directly with a mace, spinning and dashing at the player after dodging an attack.
Hildr is a Frost Valkyrie who is located within the labyrinth on Niflheim. She can attack by launching an array of ice shards, which will inflict Frost damage. The battle against her takes place within the cursed mist.
Sigrún, The Valkyrie Queen
Sigrún can be battled at The Council of the Valkyries once all eight of the other Valkyrie helms have been placed on the thrones at the said location. Once all helms are placed, a Realm Tear will appear at the center of the location. Interacting with this Realm Tear will immediately initiate the battle against the Queen.
Sigrún has every move the other eight warriors did, except for the summoning ability. In addition to this, all of her abilities are empowered and do significantly more damage than their counterparts. The battle is difficult as she's unpredictable and can kill you in one hit even in the lower difficulties. Defeating her will grant you the trophy "Chooser of the Slain".
Freya, The Former Valkyrie Queen
Freya presumably handed the title over to Sigrun sometime prior to her marriage with Odin. But she was banished to Midgard and got her wings severed by her ex-husband, Odin. After the death of her estranged son Baldur, Freya seeks to find where Odin keeps her wings in order to regain her warrior spirit, so that she may exact revenge on Kratos.
- The word "Valkyrie" comes from the Old Norse "valkyrja", meaning "Chooser of the slain".
- Sigrún was later reborn as Kara in the Edda poem Helgakviða Hundingsbana, yet here they are two different Valkyries.
- It seems that Valkyries, in terms of combat, are much less powerful in spiritual form than they are in physical form. This can be seen as in The Lost Pages of Norse Mythology, a mere mortal man is able to put up a decent fight against a Valkyrie in spiritual form while Kratos, the Greek God of War, experiences difficulty against the same Valkyrie in physical form.
- It seems the Valkyries can split their souls, as eight of them were able to impart some of it into their physical helmet, allowing one to reunite the council and summon the Valkyrie Queen without disrupting the Valkyries work to guide souls into Valhalla.
- All Valkyries have mastered the use of Bifröst, allowing them to summon weapons from different realms. This also might be what allowed them to hurl fireballs, fire icicles, travel the realms, and retrieve the souls of those who have died in battle.
- All the Valkyries armor design are based on different real animals, with the only exception of the armor of Sigrún, which is based on a dragon.
- Sigrun's plan to imprison the Valkyries in Odin's hidden chambers was in one instance botched when an unlucky dwarf stumbled onto one of the chambers looking for treasure, only to be killed by the Valkyrie trapped there, nearly leading to her escape. According to the scroll he left behind, Sigrun came and took the Valkyrie to another realm, either Muspelheim or Niflheim, meaning the Valkyrie taken was either Gondul or Hildr.
- Creating Valkyries
- The Art of God of War