- I've defended and avenged... fought the incredible and the mighty... and carried the worthy to their great reward... I am Valkyrior... Brunnhilde, shield maiden of Asgard... I am Valkyrie!
- -- Valkyrie src
The origin of Brunnhilde the Valkyrie was a mystery. Her parentage was unknown. She claimed she was not "just an Asgardian" and to have served something older than Asgard, but what she meant by this statement is as yet unknown.
Brunnhilde was selected by Odin, monarch of the gods of the other-dimensional realm of Asgard, to lead the Valkyrior, the Choosers of the Slain, a group of warrior goddesses who would appear over the battlefields of mortal worshipers of the Asgardian gods and choose which of the fallen were worthy to be taken to Valhalla, the land of the honored dead in the dimension of Asgard. Brunnhilde served Asgard capably in this capacity for centuries.
According to a sentient, disembodied eye that once belonged to Odin, the Asgardian monarch once gave his son Thor the mortal identity of the warrior Siegmund. Circumstances reluctantly forced Odin to decree that Siegmund must be slain. Brunnhilde, recognizing that Odin was acting against his true wishes, sought to protect Siegmund, but Odin himself then caused Siegmund's death. Brunnhilde helped Siegmund's pregnant lover, Sieglinde, get to safety. As punishment for her defiance, Odin removed Brunhilde's godly powers and immortality and cast her into a trance. She was eventually awakened by Siegfried, who was the son of Siegmund and Sieglinde and was a mortal reincarnation of Thor. Brunnhilde and Siegfried became lovers, but Siegfried fell under the influence of magic and betrayed her. Siegfried was later murdered, and Brunnhilde, still in love with him, leaped into his blazing funeral pyre. Odin restored both Siegfried and Brunnhilde to life, giving them back their godly roles, powers, and near-immortality as Thor and the Valkyrie, but removing their memories of their recent lives on Earth. Odin himself would centuries later admit that he had mind-wiped the Valkyrie and Thor of their memories of these incidents.
Brunnhilde and her fellow Valkyries continued to gather heroic mortal warriors for Valhalla until roughly a millennium ago, when Odin was forced to cease virtually all intercourse with the Earth in accordance with a pact that he and the leaders of Earth's other pantheons of gods made with extraterrestrial Celestials. From then onward, the Valkyries could only choose slain heroes from among fallen Asgardian warriors. Brunnhilde was bitter over being barred from choosing warriors on Earth and roamed Asgard in pursuit of something meaningful to do.
In a tavern on the outskirts of Marmoragard, Brunnhilde encountered Amora the Enchantress, who offered her a life of adventure. For several weeks Brunnhilde accompanied the Enchantress on her conquests. Brunnhilde soon discovered Amora's inclinations towards immorality and tried to end their partnership. In response, Amora entrapped Brunnhilde within a mystic crystal of souls. With Brunhilde's body remained in suspended animation, her immortal soul became Amora's plaything. Over the centuries the Enchantress used Brunhilde's spiritual essence to give the Valkyrie’s powers to herself or to her pawns. The Enchantress usually used her magic to alter the recipient's appearance to resemble Brunnhilde herself.
Specific instances of Amora's exploitation of the Valkyrie before recent years are not yet known. The first time Amora assumed the Valkyrie's physical aspect in recent years was in a plot to lead a handful of female super-humans against the male Avengers. Her true identity was discovered, however, and her plan thwarted. Months later, the Enchantress bestowed the Valkyries power upon a socialite named Samantha Parrington in an attempt to get revenge on the Hulk.
Finally, a woman driven mad by being trapped in another mystical dimension, Barbara Norriss, was given the Valkyrie's power and consciousness by Amora in order to help the Enchantress and her erstwhile allies, the group of super-humans called the Defenders, escape from the clutches of the sorceress Casiolena. Amora did not undo her spell on Norriss after Casiolena's defeat. As a result, Norriss' body now possessed Brunhilda's consciousness, appearance, and powers, while Norriss' own mental essence was trapped in Brunhilde's real body in Asgard. However, thanks to partial amnesia induced by the Enchantress, Brunnhilde was unaware that she was not in possession of her real body and full memory. Indeed, while trapped in Norriss' body Brunnhilde personality lacked much of its usual strength of will. She was also constantly pursued by Barbara's husband Jack Norriss, who refused to accept that she was not his wife.
It was not until a minor Asgardian warrior named Ollerus attempted to take over Valhalla that the Valkyrie’s two mixed aspects met for the first time. Brunhilde's mental essence trapped Norriss' transformed body, fought Norriss' mental essence trapped in Brunhilde's real body. At the end of that encounter, the Valkyrie’s body, still possessed by Norriss' mind was consigned to Niffleheim, the realm inhabited by the spirits at the non-heroic Asgardian dead, while Brunhilde’s mind in Norriss' transformed body accompanied the Defenders, who had made the other-dimensional journey with her, back to Earth.
For reasons yet unknown, Brunnhilde was not concerned at this time about reuniting her mind with her true body. It was not until Barbara Norriss' body was murdered that the Valkyrie's spirit and mind were inadvertently freed from their mortal host. With the help of Doctor Strange's magic, Brunnhilde regained her true body, which was rescued from Niffleheim by the Enchantress. Back in her real body, Brunnhilde regained her full memory and normal warriors personality as well. Brunnhilde then battled Amora and banished her into the crystal of souls in which she had been trapped.
Feeling estranged from Asgard in general and Odin in particular for their neglect of her centuries-long plight, Brunnhilde chose to return to Earth with her mortal friends, the Defenders, rather than to remain in Asgard. She had joined the Defenders after their battle with Casiolena and remained with them continuously until the group finally came to its end.
Odin placed the dangerously powerful self-styled goddess Moondragon into Brunhilde's charge. Brunnhilde was to teach Moondragon humility, and Moondragon served alongside Brunnhilde in the Defenders. Brunnhilde was to take action against Moondragon should she again become a menace. Eventually Moondragon reformed, but later she fell once again under the malevolent influence of the alien entity called the Dragon of the Moon. Moondragon attacked the Defenders, but Brunnhilde, given temporary additional powers by Odin for this occasion, including the power to grow to gigantic stature, opposed her. Brunnhilde summoned other Valkyries to her aid and together with two other Defenders, the Angel and Cloud they battled and, thanks to Cloud especially, defeated Moondragon.
Moondragon escaped, however, and months later Moondragon returned to attack the Defenders, and during the encounter her power was vastly augmented by the alien Beyonder. In order to defeat the Dragon, Brunnhilde and the Eternal called Interloper projected their immortal life forces against it. They were joined by the Defender Andromeda and the Defenders’ former foe Manslaughter, for it was necessary that Brunnhilde' and Interloper’s life forces pass through "mortal instruments" in order that Moondragon be defeated as well. Joining hands, the four allies hurled the tremendous power of their combined life forces at the Dragon, Moondragon, and the Gargoyle, whose body was now under the Dragons control. Three other Defenders went to rescue endangered innocents, and when they returned, Brunnhilde, Interloper, Andromeda, Manslaughter, Moondragon and the Gargoyle had all seemingly been transformed into statues of ashes and dust, and the Dragon of the Moon was apparently gone.
When Doctor Strange was on the brink of death, his astral form found itself being drawn towards a realm of the afterlife. His astral form saw Brunnhilda, who had come to escort him into the hereafter. Strange, however, refused, and after considerable effort, returned to life in the mortal world. Shortly afterward, Brunnhilde returned to a semblance of life by possessing various mortal hosts. For a brief time, Brunnhilde served as a member of "the Dragon Circle" with the other fallen Defenders who had returned to life. She eventually passed on Aragorn and Dragonfang to Samantha Parrington, who joined the Defenders as the Valkyrie's replacement.
Brunnhilde was one among the many casualties of Ragnarok, having been killed by Durok the Demolisher. Before her death, she ceded leadership of the Valkyries to Sif, who also inherited her sword Dragonfang upon Brunhilde's death. However, Aragorn was later sighted on Earth with Samantha Parrington. Brunnhilde herself has since apparently returned following the Asgardians' resurrection and joined the Secret Avengers.
After the events of Fear Itself Brunnhilde was charged by Odin to find and destroy the Serpent's eight remaining Hammers so their power would not be used again. She was unable to prevent Sin from obtaining the hammers and activating the Final Sleeper, a giant war-machine. This machine killed Bruunhilde by snapping her neck, but she forfeited her place in Valhalla and that sacrifice enabled the other eight Valkyrior to return to Midgard and claim the hammers. Afterward, Freyja the All-Mother suggested that Bruunhilde choose and lead a new team of shieldmaidens from Midgard's heroines.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Brunnhilde the Valkyrie possesses all the superhuman attributes common among the Asgardians.
Superhuman Strength: Brunnhilde, like all Asgardians, possesses superhuman strength. She is significantly stronger than any other Valkyrie, and most other Asgardian men and women for that matter. She can lift up to 45 tons whereas the average Asgardian male and female can lift 30 and 25 tons respectively.
Superhuman Speed: Brunnhilde can run and move at speeds that are beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete.
Superhuman Stamina: Brunhilde's advanced musculature produces considerably less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of a human being. At her peak, she can exert herself physically at peak capacity for about 24 hours before the build up of fatigue toxins in her blood begins to impair her.
Superhumanly Dense Tissue: Brunhilde's bodily tissue, like that of all Asgardians, possesses about 3 times the density of the bodily tissue of a human. As a result, she is much heavier than she appears and her denser tissue contributes somewhat to her physical strength.
Superhuman Durability: Brunhilde's body is much harder and more resistant to conventional forms of physical injury than the body of a human. She can withstand falls from great heights, exposure to extremes in both temperature and pressure, high caliber bullets, and tremendous impact forces without sustaining injury.
Superhuman Agility: Brunhilde's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are all enhanced to levels that are beyond the physical limits of the finest human athlete.
Superhuman Reflexes: Brunhilde's reflexes are similarly enhanced and are superior to those of the finest human athlete.
Superhuman Longevity: Like all Asgardians, Brunnhilde is extremely long lived and ages at a pace much slower than that of a human being. However, unlike some other god pantheons like the Olympians, Asgardians do continue to age.
Regenerative Healing Factor: Despite her body's great resistance, Brunnhilde can sustain physical injury just like any other Asgardian. If injured, her metabolism enables her to rapidly regenerate damaged bodily tissue faster and more extensive than a human being is capable of. Injuries such as slashes and puncture wounds can heal completely within a matter of hours and broken bones within a matter of days. However, she isn't able to regenerate a severed limb or missing organ.
Death Perception: Like all Valkyries, Brunnhilde can perceive and sense the coming of Death. She can see a "death-glow" surrounding a person who is in serious danger of dying, although most Asgardians and human beings cannot see the glow. A person surrounded by the death-glow might still be saved from dying until he or she meets his or her inevitable end at some later time under different circumstances.
Mystical Teleportation: Brunnhilde can transport herself and a dying or dead person from the Earth dimension to an other-dimensional realm of the dead, just by willing herself to do so. She can also return through an act of will.
AbilitiesBrunnhilde has had extensive training in unarmed combat swordplay, and horseback riding. Her natural fighting ability is unsurpassed among Asgardian women, and is perhaps equaled only by Sif.
Class 50 ; She is able to lift 45 tons.
TransportationBrunnhilda rides the artificially mutated winged horse, Aragorn, a gift from the current Black Knight.
Brunnhilde employs two weapons: an unnamed iron spear and the enchanted sword, Dragonfang. An Oriental wizard named Kahji-Da was said to have carved the sword from the tusk of an extra-dimensional dragon. The sword eventually passed into the possession of the Ancient One, who in turn gave it to his disciple Doctor Strange. Strange awarded the sword to the Valkyrie after she had returned the current Black Knight's Ebony Blade, which she had been using, to its rightful owner. Dragonfang is virtually indestructible.
- With Thor's return after the events of Ragnarok and the apparent theme of the series being his gathering of the aesir and vanir into a new Asgard that he might create with his power over the Odinforce, Brunnhilde and the Valkyries might make a return to the Marvel universe.
- 344 Appearances of Brunnhilde (Earth-616)
- 108 Images featuring Brunnhilde (Earth-616)
- 18 Quotations by or about Brunnhilde (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Brunnhilde (Earth-616)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Brunnhilde (Earth-616)
- Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme Vol 1, No 3-4 March-May 1989; Featuring: Dragon Circle
- Black Knight Vol 1, No. 3 August 1990; Featuring: Doctor Strange, Morgan Le Fey, The Evil Eye
- Ghost Rider Vol 2, No. 80-81 December 1996-January 1997; Featuring: Jennifer Kale, BlackHeart
- Brynhilda at the Guide to the Mythological Universe
- Marvel Directory
- Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 #14
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