Created By: Warlock on August 24, 2009
Nuked

Choosers of the Slain

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Launch is scheduled for Monday afternoon, under the name Valkyries, unless there are any objections.

Rolling Updates in effect.

The Valkyries are a group of figures from Norse Mythology, fierce women who served the Norse gods. They were sometimes depicted as Psychopomps, derived from their name which means Chooser of the Slain. What sets them apart is that their classical depiction has become so ingrained that it is copied, parodied, and even outright inverted.

Sometimes seen as related to the Irish Morrigan. Not to be confused with the Tom Cruise historical drama Valkyrie, which takes its name from these figures.

  • The Ur-Example is of course the Norse Mythology reference. Oftentimes depicted with wings, or riding winged horses. (The kenning (poetic title) used to describe their steeds was mistranslated, as they may have instead ridden wolves.) Their role was to choose those who died a worthy death in battle and take them to Valhalla, making them Einherjar (lone fighters) who battle in the afterlife, are slain again, but ride every night to feast in the great hall. These warriors prepare for the final battle, Ragnarok.
  • Wagner's The Ring of the Nibelung was composed of four operas, one of which was called Die Walkure (The Valkyrie), which contains the famous snippet Ride of the Valkyries. He mostly uses the straight version from myth, except here is where the (likely incorrect) winged horse depiction was ingrained. This is also where the stereotypical depiction of an opera singer was born, as well as the phrase 'the fat lady sings', which referred to the final solo by one of the characters in this piece.
  • In World of Warcraft, the giant-like Vrykul represent an evil Fantasy Counterpart Culture for norse culture and mythology. The Lich King used undead female vrykul, called Val'Kyr, who have been given glowing feathery wings of energy, to choose the worthy, turning them into Ymirjar, (loosely translates from old Norse as 'giant fighter'), while the unworthy are turned into undead called Vargul.
  • Valkyrie Profile has the main character as a valkyrie.
  • On the other hand, UFO Princess Valkyrie has nothing whatsoever to do with this trope.
  • The Amazon in Diablo2 can summon a Valkyrie.
  • Marvel has a character named Valkyrie. She is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Like every other mythological character, Valkyries appear in the Shin Megami Tensei games. In Nocturne they have the neat "soul recruit" ability (said ability only works when used by them) where they recruit foes for your team with amazing success rates (even higher with brute race demons)
  • Max Payne follows the titular detective's investigation of the designer drug "Valkyr". The symbolism of the name becomes apparent near the end of the game when we learn that Valkyr was originally a part of Government Conspiracy to produce super-strong soldiers. As Max put it: "Valkyr was meant to be a white-winged maiden that would lift you up to a warrior's heaven. Instead, it had turned out to be a one-way demon ride to hell."
  • The Charmed episode "Valhalley of the Dolls" featured Valkyries.
  • The Dungeons & Dragons supplement ''Deities and Demigods Cyclopedia" had Valkyries as servants of the Norse deities.
    • The later supplement Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords reworked Valkyries to make use of that book's new system of martial maneuvers and stances.
  • This is how Warhammer 40,000's Space Wolves are recruited - their Rune Priests often wander amongst the primitive human tribes of Fenris, observing young warriors in battle. Those that perform well but are mortally-wounded are rescued on the brink of death and ferried away to the Space Wolves' fortress-monastery, where they are healed and subjected to the crucible that is a Space Marine's initiation process. The Rune Priests even get psyber-linked raven familiars to act as their eyes, specifically called "Choosers of the Slain."

Needs a Better Title. I was going to use Valkyrie at first, then Ride of the Valkyries, but they were both taken. (Looks like we might shuffle Valkyrie off to Film/, and let this take the main namespace.)
Community Feedback Replies: 24
  • August 19, 2009
    quedonX
  • August 20, 2009
    BlackDragon
    On the other hand, UFO Princess Valkyrie has nothing whatsoever to do with this trope.
  • August 20, 2009
    Arilou
    The Amazon in Diablo 2 can summon a Valkyrie.

    A few of them show up in Disc World.

    A stereotypical opera singer in comedic formats is often portrayed as a valkyrie. (Wagner's fault, I guess)

  • August 20, 2009
    foxley
    In The DCU, Gudra was a valkyrie who served the Nazis in WWII.
  • August 20, 2009
    Arilou
    Marvel has a character named Valkyrie. She is Exactly What It Says On The Tin.
  • August 20, 2009
    Andyzero
    Sounds like this is a variant of Shinigami, just with Norse overtones.
  • August 20, 2009
    quedonX
    The Shinigami page literally opens with "The Japanese version of The Grim Reaper." So, why can't the Norse version, which is pretty unique, have a page? The Psychopomps page already lists valkyrie as an example under mythology, and there are probably enough fictional examples that having its own page is justified.
  • August 20, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Like every other mythological character, Valkyries appear in the Shin Megami Tensei games. In Nocturne they have the neat "soul recruit" ability (said ability only works when used by them) where they recruit foes for your team with amazing success rates (even higher with brute race demons)
  • August 20, 2009
    Koveras
    Max Payne follows the titular detective's investigation of the designer drug "Valkyr". The symbolism of the name becomes apparent near the end of the game when we learn that Valkyr was originally a part of Government Conspiracy to produce super-strong soldiers. As Max put it: "Valkyr was meant to be a white-winged maiden that would lift you up to a warrior's heaven. Instead, it had turned out to be a one-way demon ride to hell."
  • August 20, 2009
    DracMonster
    Why not just Valkyrie for the name?

    EDIT: Oh, we have it.
  • August 20, 2009
    BlackDragon
    No, we just have something else using that name... some obscure drama, apparently.
  • August 20, 2009
    Wulf
    Looks like that Tom Cruise movie that came out last Christmas.

    In any case, you can use Valkyrie, since that's what they're called. Just move the film to Film/Valkyrie.
  • August 20, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
  • August 20, 2009
    Warlock
    Yeah, they did show up in the Max Payne film. I only caught the trailers, so someone's gonna have to fill me in on whether they were real, a drug trip, or what.
  • August 21, 2009
    Arivne
    Live Action TV
    • The Charmed episode "Valhalley of the Dolls" featured Valkyries.

    Tabletop RPG
    • The Dungeons And Dragons supplement ''Deities and Demigods Cyclopedia" had Valkyries as servants of the Norse deities.
  • August 23, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    The Arrogant Worms use the word "valkyrie" out of place in their song "Sponges:"
    There's lots of songs of peace
    Lots of songs of love
    Even songs about peaches and Valkyries
  • August 23, 2009
    Frodo Goofball CoTV
    Needs A Better Description / Needs A Better Title. Choosers Of The Slain sounds like people who are the victims of a Sadistic Choice (Example: in Shindlers List a particularly nasty Nazi tells a small group of prisoners to each select a fellow inmate to be executed with them or the whole group will be killed.)

    Maybe:
  • August 23, 2009
    Warlock
    Probably going to shift the movie Valkyrie over to the Film namepsace, and put this there. (How does the no-tropes-named-after-works rule work when it's the other way around?)
  • August 23, 2009
    quedonX
    @Frodo: The problem with calling this something other than Valkyrie is that...only valkyrie should go on this page. This isn't as broad as those names suggest.

    Valkyries, by the way.
  • August 23, 2009
    Frodo Goofball CoTV
    It wasn't clear to me from the description that we were talking about such a narrow trope. My bad, I guess...
  • August 23, 2009
    Warlock
    I thought we frowned on plural titles. Maybe not, in this case.

    So, Valkyries, then?
  • August 23, 2009
    quedonX
    Yeah, plural titles that are unnecessary are actively discouraged, but this seems justified. Yeah, you could move Valkyrie to Film, but then people have to remember to add the namespace when they want that one. And I would imagine all the current wicks would have to be changed [Edit: Turns out there aren't that many of those, anyway].
  • August 23, 2009
    Tacitus
    • This is how Warhammer 40000's Space Wolves are recruited - their Rune Priests often wander amongst the primitive human tribes of Fenris, observing young warriors in battle. Those that perform well but are mortally-wounded are rescued on the brink of death and ferried away to the Space Wolves' fortress-monastery, where they are healed and subjected to the crucible that is a Space Marine's initiation process. The Rune Priests even get psyber-linked raven familiars to act as their eyes, specifically called "Choosers of the Slain."
  • August 23, 2009
    Warlock
    @Tacitus - Interesting. Are these Rune Priests often, or at least sometimes, female?

    Edit- Okay, then. If nobody has any more additions or objections, I'm gonna launch this tomorrow morning.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=bwrrbwqb4xrlonrz3xryrium