There are similar lines in Eyvind's dirge on Hakon the Good. In this way a host was collected ready for Ragnarök: for Grimnismal says: "There are five hundred doors and eighty in Valhalla; eight hundred Einherjar will go out from each door, when they go to fight the wolf."
To choose the heroes, and to give victory to those whom he willed to have victory, Odin had battle-maidens that went to the fields of war. Beautiful were those battle-maidens and fearless; wise were they also, for to them Odin showed the Runes of Wisdom. Valkyries, Choosers of the Slain, they were named. Those who were chosen on the fields of the slain were called in Asgard the Einherjar.
So Helgi took to him that realm and dwelt there long, when he had wedded Sigrun, and became a king of great honour and renown, though he has naught more to do with this story. The women were so called whom Odin sent to choose those for death in battle who were to join the "Einherjar" in the hall of the elected, "Val-holl."
The poem ends with impressive abruptness by his turning to Geirröd: "Thou art drunk, Geirröd, thou hast drunk too deep; thou art bereft of much since thou hast lost my favour, the favour of Odin and all the Einherjar. I have told thee much, but thou hast minded little. Thy friends betray thee: I see my friend's sword lie drenched in blood.
Probably it does not; at all events, none of the old Aesir, according to the poems, are to survive, for Modi and Magni are not really Gods at all, Baldr, Höd and Vali belong to another myth, Hoeni had passed out of the hierarchy by his exchange with Njörd, and Vidar's origin is obscure. The Einherjar, the great champions or chosen warriors, are intimately connected with Ragnarök.
Up from the waters of the Well of Wisdom he drew it, and by the power of the runes he knew he made the head speak to him. Where best might the Æsir and the Vanir and the Einherjar, who were the Champions of Midgard, meet, and how best might they strive with the forces of Muspelheim and Jötunheim and Hel?
Odin replies, and proceeds to question in his turn; first about the creation of Earth and Sky, the origin of Sun and Moon, Winter and Summer, the Giants and the Winds; the coming of Njörd the Wane to the Aesir as a hostage; the Einherjar, or chosen warriors of Valhalla.
Since Bifröst was broken, the Æsir and the Vanir, the Asyniur and the Vana, the Einherjar and the Valkyries rode downward to Vigard through the waters of Thund. Odin rode at the head of his Champions. His helmet was of gold and in his hand was his spear Gungnir. Thor and Tyr were in his company. In Mirkvid, the Dark Forest, the Vanir stood against the host of Muspelheim.
This island battle among dead and living is peculiar to the Norse version, and coloured by, if not originating in, the Valhalla idea: Högni and Hedin and their men are the Einherjar who fight every day and rest and feast at night, Hild is a war-goddess.