Valkyries, in Scandinavian mythology, warrior maidens who attended Odin, ruler of the gods. The Valkyries rode through the air in brilliant armor, directed battles, distributed death lots among the warriors, and conducted the souls of slain heroes to Valhalla, the great hall of Odin. Their leader was Brunhild. The Valkyries play an important part in the opera Die Walküre (The Valkyries, 1856) by the German composer Richard Wagner.