Voluspá Discussion XXX

XXX
The valkyries flock     from afar she beholds,
ready to ride     to the realm of men:
Skuld held her shield,     Skogul likewise,
Guth, Hild, Gondul,     and Geirskogul:
for thus are hight     Herjan's maidens,
ready to ride     o'er reddened battlefields.

So, again we're back here after quite a long break, and kicking in to a fairly uninteresting stanza, but that's ok. I have time to kill, and I'd really sorta like to get back in, so I figure this is as good a place as any to try to get motivated to get running again. I won't be adding a great deal to Hollander's notes on this one. He feels that this might be an addition made to the poem at a point later than the original writing. 
What we're looking at here is a a catalog of the names of some of the valkyries. A quick Google would lead one to believe that these are evil beings that hunt and kill men to take them to the other side. Taking a step back and looking at them from a wider view shows this to be a somewhat narrow minded and shallow view. The valkyrie are the choosers of the battle slain. Their purpose is to choose, and gather, warriors from the battle field, on behalf of Odin, and take them to grow the ranks of the Einherjer who will fight for the gods at Ragnarok. 
These aren't creatures hunting and killing for sport or out of malevolence. They choose the strongest. They choose the best. They choose those best suited to fight with the gods as the gods ultimately meet their end. To the people who created these myths the valkyrie would have provided some comfort, small thought it might be, that the deaths of loved ones would ultimately serve a higher purpose. That their deaths had meaning. That in this life they had proven themselves worthy of standing with the gods at the very end. 



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