The original valkyrie was a less domesticated creature than the mail-clad beauties of Wagner's pompous operas.
Once, several valkyries were seen sitting on a battlefield weaving a tapestry made of human intestines, with men's severed heads weighing down the ends of the cords and an arrow for a shuttle. Sometimes they rode wolves instead of horses, or poured blood down from the skies. One man told of seeing a Valkyrie walk an abandoned battlefield with her wolf mount, picking up the corpses one by one and throwing them to the wolf, who crunched them up with hungry jaws.
They could take the forms of swans or mares -- or ravens, the carrion- eating birds of the battlefield.
"In Old Saxon the Valkyries were walcyries or waelceasig, 'corpse-eaters," defined as 'man-eating women' during the 11th century A.D."
~Barbara Walker, The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets