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Problems With Sara Irine And The Valkyries Of Ragnarok Manhwa

Sunday, January 05, 2014
Sara Irine is a character from Ragnarok: Into The Abyss. She's a Valkyrie and a pretty powerful one at that. But what are some of the things that can be pretty confusing (or that doesn't seem to make sense) about her and the other Valkyries that appear in said manhwa?
sara irine, valkyries, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
Let's start with Sara since she is the first Valkyrie to be introduced in Ragnarok and she is the one that this post title specifies. When we first meet Sara in volume 1 of the manhwa and then find out that she is a Valkyrie, there's nothing that seems odd about that.

However, events that happen in volume 2 quickly change the way we know things, causing us to feel confused and even disbelieving. Volume 2 tells us that Sara Irine wants revenge on the city that abandoned her. She then shows up in Fayon, a city in Midgard. The fact that she shows up in this city seems to clearly indicate that she was born here and that's where the problem lies.

If she is from Fayon and if Fayon is a city in Midgard, then doesn't that mean that Sara is a mortal, a human? If so, how can she be a Valkyrie? In Norse Mythology, Valkyries are women that have been tasked to bring heroes and warriors to Valhalla (located in Asgard, the realm of the gods) upon the deaths of these people.

There is nothing in Norse Mythology that seems to indicate that Valkyries are mortals. In fact, they appear to reside in Asgard themselves, which seems to imply that they could be Norse goddesses of a sort.

valkyries, norse mythology, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, comic
I understand that the Ragnarok manhwa is only loosely based on Norse Mythology, so a lot of things are bound to be different.

However, if the comic doesn't make these things clear to us, it's highly likely that many would think or assume that the Valkyries in the graphic novel are pretty much the same as the Valkyries in the stories.

We only know that Sara Irine is one of the 12 Valkyries of Valhalla and that she works for the goddess Freya. This wouldn't have been a problem at all had she not also been introduced as the daughter of Lord Irine who is a mortal.

Part of Volume 3's summary or story so far portion even tells us that, 12 years ago, Sara Irine was apparently going to be sacrificed so that a new heir to the city of Fayon could be named. The question is, of course, why? Why is this even necessary? What's wrong with Sara being the heir of Fayon? Why couldn't she be the heir?

But, more importantly, when Sara escaped from the aforementioned city, it was said that she became one of Freya's Valkyries, which thus appears to indicate that Valkyries aren't born (as in, you're not born as a Valkyrie), but made.

sara irine, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa, valkyrie
How does this work though? And how can this just happen? What is the criteria for one to become a Valkyrie?

Does this mean that any mortal could become a Valkyrie if they want to? So, how did Sara get all her powers and abilities?

If she was made into a Valkyrie, does that mean all her strength and the things that she can do weren't inherent in her and that the only reason she can do these things was because she became a Valkyrie?

*Sigh*. Yeah, I also wish it wasn't this confusing. The only thing that seems pretty clear is that the Valkyries in the manhwa are obviously different from the ones in Norse Mythology, though how exactly these things work and all the other aforementioned questions are still in dire need of answers.

Anyway, let's just move on to another Valkyrie before we get any more confused with Sara Irine. Volume 1 of Ragnarok also introduces us to another Valkyrie named Zenobia. She's apparently from the city of Daema, but what does that mean to us readers? We don't even know where Daema is. Is this city in Asgard or Midgard?

zenobia, valkyrie, ragnarok: into the abyss, manhwa
And why is she a Valkyrie from Daema while Sara is a Valkyrie from Valhalla?

The character Arkana is also introduced, but we don't know if she's also a Valkyrie or not or if she's even human or not.

In Chapter 4 of Volume 1, Zenobia says that Sara Irine is her sister. But how can this work? They have different last names. Could they be just half-sisters then? Or could Zenobia simply mean that they are like sisters because they are both Valkyries?

What do you think of Ragnarok's Valkyries? Do they confuse you? Do you wish they were more like the Valkyries in Norse Mythology or at least that the manhwa had better been able to explain exactly how its Valkyries worked?

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki based on the image by Rusembell (CC:BY) from deviantArt
- Said image is meant to represent Sara Irine since the figure in said image appears to be powerful and strong
- The rest of the pics are enlarged product images from Amazon.com; links shown above via Amazon's Native Shopping Ads widget

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