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In Norse mythology, a valkyrie (from the Old Norse word for "chooser of the slain") is one of a host of female figures who choose those who may die in battle and those who may live. Selecting half of those who die in battle, the valkyrie bring them to the Valhalla, ruled over by the god Odin, where they become einherjaren ("single (or once) fighters"). When the einherjaren do not train for Ragnarök, they are served mead and meat, with valkyries bearing 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.
Valkyries are attested in the Poetic Edda, a book of poems compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources; the Prose Edda and Heimskringla.[Footnote 1]