Forgotten Realms female Dwarf concept art

Usually when I write about mythology on the blog I am using the sagas as my source material (the Prose and Poetic Eddas, most often.) So I can understand how people might get a bit confused after reading the promo copy for my book Valda & the Valkyries. The book is about the adventures of a 15 year old Dwarf girl who becomes a Valkyrie. I want to be upfront about this – the book is fiction. While it is based on Norse mythology and uses characters from the myths, I made up the story. Also, I have not read any sagas that mention Dwarves being Valkyries. And yet the idea that a Dwarf could become a Valkyrie is not as crazy as it seems at first.

Bear with me for a bit as I first talk about the Norns. The Norns were the magical entities who ruled over the destinies of god and man. We know the names of the three most prominent ones: Urd, Verdandi and Skuld. Their names roughly translate to “that which happened,” “that which is happening” and “that which should occur” or, to be more blunt: past, present and future. Henry Adams Bellows writes

In Vafthruthnismol, 49, the Norns (this time “three throngs” instead of simply “three”) are spoken of as giant-maidens.

This, and one of the passages in Voluspa, could lead us to believe that the Norns are Jotun, or giantesses. However that may be, we are also told specifically that there are more than three Norns. The three chief ones we have already mentioned determine the destinies of mankind, the others watch over an individual throughout their life in a role similar to the Christian concept of the guardian angel.

Going to Voluspa again we can read:

‘Methinks the Norns were born far asunder, for they are not of the same race. Some belong to the Æsir, some to the Elves, and some are Dvalin’s daughters.”

Dvalin was a famous dwarf, so Dvalin’s daughters would be a kenning for dvergar, or dwarves. So in this passage we learn that the lesser Norns could be any of several races, including the Dwarves.

Back to the Valkyries – as I wrote about in this article, human maidens could, under the right conditions,  become Valkyries. We also know that Skuld was a Valkyrie and a Norn and that she might have been a giantess. So while my conclusion is not official in any way, shape or form, it seems to me it isn’t that far-fetched to assume that a Dwarf, who we know could be a lesser Norn, could also become a Valkyrie. What do you think?

Posted by Mark Neumayer

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