Golden State Valkyries

What is a Valkyrie? Explaining Golden State's new WNBA team name

Here's everything you need to know about Valkyries

NBC Universal, Inc.

The Bay Area's WNBA team officially has a name.

The Golden State Valkyries are the newest WNBA expansion team, with the team name being announced Tuesday.

So, what exactly is a Valkyrie? It's certainly a unique team name, one that has never been used in any American professional sports.

Here's a deep dive into what the word truly means and how it relates to the Bay Area:

What is a Valkyrie in mythology?

A Valkyrie is a female figure in Norse mythology who chooses the fate or warriors in battle and guides the souls of the dead to the god Odin’s hall in Valhalla. Dating back to the 13th century, Valkyries are usually depicted as a woman on horseback, wolf or boar with a spear.

"Originating from Norse mythology, Valkyries are a host of warrior women who are fearless and unwavering – flying through air and sea alike," the team wrote in a press release. "This brand is Golden State’s modern interpretation of Valkyries: strong, bold, and fierce."

Essentially, a Valkyrie could be described as the female version of a warrior -- which parlays perfectly with their NBA counterpart, the Golden State Warriors.

When will the Golden State Valkyries join the WNBA?

The Valkyries will first take the court next season, in 2025. An expansion draft is scheduled for December 2024 and the team will participate in the 2025 WNBA Draft next spring.

They will play home games at the Chase Center in San Francisco, which will be shared with the Warriors.

How are Valkyries chosen?

OK, let's get back to Valkyries.

Not every Norse woman was cut out to be a Valkyrie. According to The Viking Dragon, Valkyries were decided by similar standards as Warriors in Valhalla. They had to be fearless, skilled in combat, honorable and unwavering in their devotion to the God of War.

Who are the 13 Valkyries?

According to Vikings Valhalla, 13 names of Valkyries who serve ale in Valhalla are given in the song Grímnismál. These are the most notable and legendary Valkyries in Norse history:

  • Hrist
  • Mist
  • Skeggjöld
  • Skögull
  • Hildr
  • Þrúðr
  • Hlökk
  • Herfjötur
  • Göll
  • Geirölul (Geirrömul, Geirahöd)
  • Randgríðr
  • Radgríðr
  • Reginleifr

How was the Bay Area WNBA team name chosen?

The club drew on inspiration from the NBA team to create synergy between the two teams, which are both owned by Joe Lacob and Peter Guber.

"We looked at a variety of team names, and we sort of landed in the Warriors-inspired space," said Amanda Chin, Golden State Warriors SVP of Marketing. "For anybody who doesn't know, a Valkyrie is a woman warrior. This is a host of women warriors who are responsible for granting an honorable afterlife for the bravest warriors."

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