WALKY'RIES, beings of the Scandinavian mythology (q.v.), the legend of whom is the most terribly beautiful in the whole system. The name is derived froth the old Norse val, which signifies a heap of slaughtered men, and kjora, to choose. Val itself contains the notion of chosen, elect, being allied to Ger. wahlen, Scotch wale, to choose. The walky ries, also called battle-maidens, shield-maidens, wish-maidens, are charming young women who, adorned with golden ornaments, ride through the air in brilliant armor, order battles, and distribute the death-lots according to Odin's commands. Fertilizing dew drops on the ground from the manes of their horses, light streams from the points of their lances, and a flickering brightness announces their arrival in the battle. With their charming glance, they rejoice the glazing eye of the hero, and lead him to Wal halla, where they act as his cup-bearers. Two walkyries, Hrist and Mist, are cup-bearers to Odin himself.
They differ in regard to their origin; some of them spring from elves and other super-. human beings; some also are the daughter's of princes, who in their lifetime are numbered among the walkyries, showing all their qualities, and when they die, their spirits become walkyries. They ride generally in companies of three, or of three times three, or four times three, and have the rift of changing themselves into swans. They often choose noble heroes for lovers. Whoever deprives a walkyrie of her swan-robe gets her into his power. But the song of the walkyries sounds terrible, as sitting on a hill, they weave the fateful battle-web. The walkyries were frequently confounded with the norns or des tinies. They were also conceived under the figure of the clouds. Thus, Hrist signifies dark sky, and Mist signifies quaking. Most of the names of the walkyries, however, relate to war and battle.