The Valkyrie

The costume of the Northman’s valkyrie is a bit trickier than the other others. There’s no solid archaeological evidence for what valkyries would have worn as they were spiritual deities. Most of the valkyrie’s costume was created with artistic license with influence from historical consultant Neil Price. In an interview with Inverse Magazine, Price comments on the valkyries’ helmet, cloak, and teeth modifications and how they helped to portray a “historically accurate” valkyrie that lies outside of the male gaze.

The valkyrie’s cape also references a swan with its large white feathers (Hollywood Movie Costumes and Props 2023).

The costume contains clear references to swans, something valkyries are mythologically connected to. According to Scandinavian magazine Scandification, the term “Swan-maiden” could be used in reference to valkyries - they often turned into swans so they could remain unnoticed (Shenoy 2023). Price is very upfront about how the swan connections are more rooted in mythology than historical accuracy. “The swan on her helmet is fantasy. It is invented because I don’t know what Valkyries’ helmets are like. But swans are associated with them, so that’s where that comes from.” (Price 2022).

Another key accessory the valkyrie wears is fillings in her teeth. Teeth modifications have been found on male skeletons in viking-age gravesites, specifically of those who were warriors and/or vikings. Price thought the teeth fillings would be a good way to express the valkyrie’s status as a warrior, while also separating her from the modern depictions of valkyries being hyper-feminine and sexualized (Price 2022). The valkyrie’s costume seems contradictory: she has long, flowing white hair and swan motifs, suggesting femininity. Yet she has masculine teeth fillings and an expression meant to induce terror. Similarly to the character of the He-Witch, Neil Price and Robert Eggers combine opposing forms of gender expression to create a character more authentic to the mythology of the Viking Age. This depiction of a valkyrie suggests Western ideas of masculinity and femininity are not mutually exclusive in Viking-Age culture. The valkyrie in The Northman is beautiful and she is terror-inducing.

A modern depiction of a valkyrie by Seungjin Ok on I won’t harshly criticize the artist as they clearly aren’t trying to be historically accurate, but this picture is a perfect example of the modern feminization and sexualization of the Viking-Age valkyrie (Seungjin Ok, 2021).


Price, Neil. 2022. “The Northman explained: How the Viking epic brings “real authenticity” to Valhalla and Valkyries” Interview by Isaac Feldberg, Inverse Magazine.

Shenoy, Selene. 2023. “The Valkyrie symbol in Norse mythology and what Valkyries are really like” Scandification.

Seungjn Ok, 2021. “Valkyrie concept study” ArtStation.

“The Northman movie costumes on display…” 2023. Hollywood Movie Costumes and Props.