Valkyrie Picture

Originally I designed a Valkyrie costume and performance act for a local theatrical group. In research I discovered that Valkyries were originally associated with the Goddess Morrighan (which is also my family name) and originally were ravens, or women with "cloaks of raven's wings" who rode into battlefields on the backs of wolves.

When you look at the original context of their mythological origin, you can see how they became "choosers of the slain" because on old battlefields in the north, it would be ravens and wolves who would be in among the corpses on the battlefields. It doesnt take a whole lot of immagination to transpose that into the ravens and wolves choosing the bravest warriors to carry into the afterlife, where they would fight in the army of Heaven.

Eventually, as the story was told and re-told and re-invented over the centuries, the wolves they rode were romanticized into horses, and you get the familiar immage of the Valkyrie as this beautiful woman with a feathered helmet riding a winged horse into battle.

In the costume I designed, we made a feathered circlet for the head I made out of woven wire in both copper and Gold, then I designed a somewhat menacing face paint job to emphesize the eyes and give sort of a Phantasm-like appearance (paying homage to the more gruesome origin of the myths), gold armor, and then a staff with a golden bear's skull and wings for the shoulders to sort of pay hommage to the "cloak of raven feathers". Then we embellished the bridle with fur and feathers and weasle skulls as well as shiny X-mas garlands (to remind one of the fact that glittering armor of the Valkyrie was supposed to be the Northern Lights)... and a fur cover to the Saddle which was intended to represent a Wolf's pelt (so she would technically be "riding on the back of a wolf")

Later another Friend/Client of mine who happened to own and breed Friesians entered the picture, and the thought occured to me that if this was to be done on horses, what more appropriate horse than a Friesian... the big black "Feathered" horse?

So this sketch was more about combining the ideas I had come up with for Valkyries with a Friesian (modeled after my Friend's mare named "Glacier")... unfortunately with all the flowy hair I had to simplify the costume a bit so that we could make room for the more visually powerful mane...

Just a fun idea....
Continue Reading: The Myths