In Norse mythology the valkyries (Old Norse Valkyrja "Choosers of the Slain") are dísir, minor female deities, who served Odin. The valkyries' purpose was to determine the victors of battles and wars, and to choose the most heroic of those who had died in battle. Freyja, called Mistress of the slain (Valfreyja) and of the Valkyries in general, chose half of these fallen heroes for her hall Fólkvangr. The rest went to Valhalla where they became einherjar. In Norse religion, the einherjar or einheriar were spirits of warriors who had died bravely in battle.
In modern art, the valkyries are sometimes depicted as beautiful shieldmaidens on winged horses, armed with helmets and spears. However, the valkyrie 'horses' were most likely the packs of wolves that frequented the corpses of dead warriors. Whereas the wolf was the valkyrie's mount, the valkyrie herself appears to be akin to the raven, flying over the battlefield and "choosing" corpses. Thus, the packs of wolves and ravens that scavenged the aftermath of battles may have been seen as serving a higher purpose.