These lovely ladies are part of the Norse pantheon, both loved and feared by those big hairy Vikings. The three most important Norns were Urðr), Verðandi and Skuld, who functioned as minders of Yggdrasil, the World Tree, and prevented his roots from rotting, but other Norns governed the fate of mankind, turning up at births and deaths and determining what happened in between.
The Valkyries were a separate branch of the Norns, responsible for harvesting the souls of the most valiant amongst the recently slain. Other norns fulfilled the same function as Morai did in Greek mythology, spinning the thread of a man’s life and deciding when it should be cut short. Although it’s possible that the idea of these spinning females had cross-pollinated from the Mediterranean to the chilly North, I prefer to think that warriors all over the place looked at the complexities of weaving and thought, rather uneasily, that women might be a bit more clever than they ususally gave them credit for.
Tomorrow – actually I have no idea what to write about tomorrow so it’ll be a nice surprise for me too.