God of War: How to defeat all the Valkyries
The Valkyries are a difficult set of bosses that can be found in the new God of War that are tied to a powerful set of armor, an achievement, and easily some of the most difficult battles in the whole game.
If you want to free these powerful warriors of Valhalla, you’re going to need to understand how they work, where to find them, and how to boost Kratos so he can break them, which is why we’ve taken the time to write up a guide on everything you need to know to bring the flight of the Valkyries to an end.
Keep in mind that the Valkyries are technically an end game set of boss encounters so there are some light spoilers attached to this guide in terms of locations and plot events. So, if you’re wary of this kind of light spoiler proceed with caution.
Each Valkyrie is locked up tight behind one of Odin’s mirror-like rune doors spread across the realms. These are the same doors that Atreus comments that Kratos still can’t open in the opening few missions of the game. To pop open these locks you’ll need a shard of the giant Thamor’s chisel, which can only be acquired as part of a story mission just after the halfway point in the story.
With chisel in hand you’ll be able to access the various hidden chambers spread across the realm, including those with a Valkyrie tucked away inside. There are eight normal Valkyries in all, but only four can be found in Midgard while there’s one each in Muspelheim, Niflheim, Helheim, and Alfheim. Additionally, there’s the Valkyrie Queen located at the Council of the Valkyries in Midgard which can only be accessed after defeating the other Valkyries and lighting the braziers located at each of the realm towers in Midgard.
With that said, even though you can access the Valkyries relatively quickly if you focus on completing the campaign that doesn’t mean you want to. Most of these warrior angels are exactly the worst possible enemy you want to meet in a dark alley after kicking in the teeth of various Norse gods. They’re strong, they’re fast, and they have no problem ripping Kratos to shreds if you aren’t properly prepared.
As a result, you’re going to want to make sure your gear level is as high as you can manage before you try to kick down any Asgardian prison cell doors. There are a few of the Valkyries that you can take on with a gear score of as low as five or six, but trust us from experience that it’s an incredibly difficult fight that isn’t worth it, we recommend focusing on Niflheim instead and getting your hands on the best armor in the game to push your overall gear level up to level seven, which makes most of these fights manageable and only a few feel like yanking teeth out of a giant’s jaw.
It’s also worthwhile to finish the main story itself first because it’ll give you access to the final weapon upgrades for your Leviathan Axe and the Blades of Chaos, which in a close battle with the Valkyrie Queen can mean the difference between success and failure in a big way.
Location: Midgard, Northern Coast Beside Thamur’s Corpse
The first Valkyrie on our list is Gunnr, who can be challenged almost immediately after getting your hands on the shard of Thamur’s chisel. On your way back to the boat you’ll find the door to the chamber immediately on your right just before you reach the dock.
Use the chisel to break in and take the long elevator ride down, even if you don’t plan on fighting this Valkyrie just yet it’s worth it to make your way down to unlock the Mystic Gateway to make it easier to return later.
That said, if you’re feeling saucy this is one of the few Valkyries that you can take out even at lower gear levels. Just make sure you grab a quality resurrection stone and give the fight a try or two. The trick is that Gunnr has a consistent set of attacks that can be easily dodged and countered.
Her main attack is a diving scythe motion where she slowly rises up into the air, then a yellow counter warning will trigger before she swings in for a double scythe attack. Your goal with this attack is to time a parry with your shield just before she hits you, which will give you time to trigger a runic ability or pull off a quick combo. You can technically dodge out of the way as well, but you have to manage your timing extremely well, because if you don’t you’ll dodge out of the way of the first hit but almost immediately take a hit from her second slash. If you’re quick you can pull off a parry from this attack as well and score some damage, but you have to be quick.
Her second combo is a set of scything wing attacks that you’ll undoubtedly get familiar with as you battle the other Valkyries. This is one of their go-to close range attacks, so get used to blocking to absorb the damage and then waiting for the red flash that indicates they’re about to pull off an unblockable attack. Time a dodge just as they stab at you with this attack and spin around to get a few quick hits in before they retreat.
Defeating Gunnr is all about the fundamentals, your primary goal is to just make sure you nail the parries on her main attack or to interrupt it as she rises in the air using Atreus’ arrows or a ranged runic attack. Otherwise, it’s all about balancing your health and damage with what runic attacks you have available, while keeping Atreus’ blue arrows flying through the air to rend her armor. Once you get the Blades of Chaos later on in the game you can melt Gunnr’s health by using the two attacks on your Leviathan Axe then immediately swapping to your Blades of Chaos and using those runic abilities. Combine it with a talisman that resets your cooldowns and a full rage meter and at gear level seven you can take down this Valkyrie in less than a minute.
Location: Midgard South of the Foothills.
Geirdriful is the first Valkyrie you can find on your way to the top of the mountain. Make your way through the realm gate just like you did the first time you approached the mountain and say hi to Sindri as you pass him in the Foothills. From here make your way up the cliff face and then make your way right at the fork in the path until you see the small stone container sealed by the Winds of Hel. If you head into the nearby cave, you’ll find the sealed door at the end of the tunnel and you’ll find Geridriful sleeping in the chamber below.
Geirdriful features quite a few light ranged attacks in addition to the usual Valkyrie affair. This includes a wave of energy that she creates by dragging her scythe across the ground, a volley of steel feathers thrown from her wings, and a two wave attack where she throws spinning yellow disks at you. Most of these can be nullified by a quick dodge or by blocking, but beware the spinning yellow disks because although the first volley can be blocked the follow up attack will often break your guard and do significant damage if you don’t dodge out of the way.
Additionally, the most dangerous attack occurs when she rises up in the air and releases a wave of energy that blinds and damages Kratos but is almost always followed up with a quick dash melee attack or a ranged ability that’s extremely difficult to dodge without the full extent of your vision. When she triggers this attack the trick is to immediately close the distance between you and her and do your best to keep her in melee range. This usually triggers her to use melee rather than her ranged abilities which can be blocked or dodged as long as you’re close enough to see her.
Location: Inside The Mountain
Eir can be found in the hidden chamber inside the mountain itself, which can be found by progressing through the various smaller rooms on your way to the summit until you arrive at the massive dwarven mining area. Hug the wall on the right and you’ll find the sealed door just on the other side of a small chasm.
Eir is probably one of the most manageable battles of the lot once you get a set of decent gear to work with. Most of her attacks are the usual Valkyrie melee abilities with the twist that she often ends a melee combo with a blast of light from her mace, which can momentarily stun Kratos.
She also has a similar blast of light that she can unleash after rising into the sky, but if you block you’ll absorb the attack, or if you’re quick, almost any ranged attack will interrupt her animation and give you a chance to sneak in a combo or two while Atreus rains down arrows from above.
Location: Inside The Witch’s Cave
Kara is located behind the sealed door in the Witch’s Cave. To find it, you’ll need to head up the elevator and immediately hang a right and follow the cave around the corner to the two light bridges. Snag a piece of World Tree Sap and use it to detonate the sap down the hall and climb up the cliff face to find the door to Kara’s prison.
As far as Valkyries go, Kara can be either a breeze or a pain depending on how you deal with the various draugr she summons throughout the fight. Her other attacks are mostly just light ranged damage like the spinning disks and the steel feathers we’ve seen before this, but this just gives her more ways to chip away at Kratos’ health as she summons wave after wave of draugr to make your life difficult.
The trick to the fight is to control the number of draugr on the field while still dealing damage to Kara proper. She doesn’t have much health, but you’ll have to make it past the draugr to actually deal damage to her.
To that end, we found that swapping our runic abilities to large AoE abilities or targeted piercing abilities made things a lot easier. Your goal is to either wipe out the draugr in the area using one big blast or to use an ability that disregards everything in its path to still deal damage to Kara. We found Ivaldi’s Anvil, Leviathan’s Wake, Fire of Ares, and Nemean Crush incredibly effective, but you may need to adapt these abilities to fit your playstyle.
Location: Alfheim Northern Beach
The next Valkyrie on our list begins our cross-realm journey by taking us to Alfheim. Once you arrive, make your way past the main opening boating scenes until you enter the larger lake where you previously did most of the plot mission. Instead of heading into the temple of the light like you did last time, make your way up the coast to the north and dock on the beach.
You’ll need to clear the area of a few draugr, but once they’re dead and buried you can make your way across the beach to a small cave next to a broken half statue. You’ll find the door at the end of the tunnel which can be opened by solving yet another chisel puzzle.
Once you’ve made your way inside and down the elevator you’ll find Olrun waiting for you in the usual open chamber.
Olrun isn’t near as uniquely challenging as some of the others on this list. Her gimmick seems to be a spinning, steel-feathered range attack and a sliding dash melee attack that can be difficult to dodge. Usually she dolls out the spin attack, then immediately transitions to a side slide and a lunge that you need to either dodge or interrupt with a well-timed heavy attack. Other than that her only other attack seems to be the slashing wing attack we’ve seen before.
The key here is that Olrun seems extremely vulnerable to fire attacks, so try to use your Blades of Chaos for most of the fight to keep stacks of burn damage active as much as possible. The other half of the fight is just getting used to the timing of her sliding lunge, so you can either dodge or time a runic power to interrupt the attack just before it lands.
Our next stop is Helheim, so lock in this cold frozen wasteland and make the jump across realms whenever you’re ready. Once you have boots on the ground, make your way past the gates and the various popsicle covered enemies and through the small ice cave to the battlefield on the other side.
Clear out the enemies and run past the first cross bridge to the second, climb up the broken stairs and immediately hang a left. Then use Atreus’ shock arrows to detonate the world tree sap blocking your path. Inside you’ll find a familiar chamber with Rota at the bottom.
Rota is a difficult Valkyrie by every definition of the word, mostly because she has two attacks that trigger scripted damage that are difficult to dodge and that deal massive damage.
The first attack is a flyby dive where she floats up in the air and then strafes through the air directly at Kratos, if she snags him she’ll drag him across the battlefield and slam him into the ground, doing enough damage to make Kratos seriously question his life choices. This one is a bit of a challenge to dodge, but mostly involves just waiting for her to dive and then dodging out of her path. Just be careful because she’ll usually dive two or three times if she doesn’t catch Kratos on the first.
The second attack is the one that’s much more concerning. When Rota triggers this attack she’ll yell and then hop into the sky out of your line of sight, then slam into the ground a few second later. If you’re anywhere near where she lands she’ll grab Kratos and stomp on his face until you end it by jamming the circle button. This attack deals massive damage and is incredibly difficult to dodge if you aren’t really quick on your feet.
What’s worse, is that there’s a glitch where this attack causes you to return to the respawn screen before you can trigger a resurrection stone. As of writing this article, if you die with a Valkyrie boot in your face you’ll be able to begin the animation to activate your resurrection stone, but the screen will fade to black just a few seconds before the stone can take effect. So, keep this in mind and do your best to dodge the attack or intentionally take a hit from a different attack if you want to activate your resurrection stone for a boost.
That said, the trick to dodging this attack is to keep your eye on the birdie. It’s not difficult to dodge if you know it’s coming, so you need to try and stay locked on to Rota so that you’ll know the second she jumps into the sky to divebomb you.
Once you see her fly into the air, we found that the best way to dodge this attack is to just trigger your sprint and move around the area in a broad circle. Rota will dive and try to grab you three times, but once she misses on the third she’s open for a fraction of a second to dish out some serious damage.
Location: Niflheim, within Ivaldi’s Maze
The next Valkyrie on our list is the one you’re most likely to encounter if you’ve started pushing to get your hands on Ivaldi’s armor set in Niflheim, which make every Valkyrie fight much more manageable.
If you’re having trouble accessing these realms we have a guide to how to get the best armor and weapons in God of War that covers how to get your hands on the Niflheim and Muspelheim ciphers which will let you realm travel to put some boot to Valkyrie tushy.
Once you arrive in Niflheim you’ll need to make your way to Ivaldi’s maze to find Hildr. Actually finding her, however, is incredibly difficult because the maze is randomly generated every time you enter and there are no checkpoints tied to any portion of the map. We know for sure that your mist echoes and other items reset if you die in the mist so it’s likely that if you want to rip Hildr’s wings off to free her from her mortal coil that you’ll probably need to do it all in a single pass.
That said, when you arrive in Niflheim your first goal should be to farm up some mist echoes and open up the center of the maze, so you can create Ivaldi’s armor. Not only is this armor arguably the best kit in the game, but it also gives you a massive boost to your resistance to the mist itself which makes finding Hildr in the maze, and getting out alive, much more manageable.
Once you have a bit of resistance to the mist stacked up you can dive into the maze in search for Hildr proper. The biggest problem with navigating the maze is the likelihood that you’ll get ripped apart by some of the tougher enemies in each area, which makes finding both Hildr and the various Fog Anchors in each area ridiculously difficult. The trick is to realize that you don’t have to kill all the enemies in an area unless you want to loot the chests, which means that if you’re looking for Hildr you should just keep on running rather than stopping to engage every Tom, Dick, and Wolver along the way.
The best way to find Hildr is to just choose a direction and turn that way at every intersection until you either find your way back to the entrance to the maze or until you find Hildr’s area. We’re not sure if it makes a difference, but we found Hildr really quickly by starting from the left intersection and only looting enemy free areas until we had enough echoes to make it worth banking them back at the entrance.
Once you find Hildr, the fight itself is not too difficult, it’s possible that the developers knew that you had to fight your way there with a time limit so they wanted to give you something more manageable, but either way it’s a refreshing change of pace.
The big thing to watch out for with Hildr is her ability to deliver ranged damage. First off, her melee attack is occasionally preceded by a wave of energy that you’ll want to dodge away from before either throwing your axe or triggering a runic power to break her momentum.
Additionally, you’re going to want to listen closely for Hildr to let out a low laugh as she disengages from a melee combo because this means she’s about to trigger a ranged ice attack. The first half of this attack is a continuous stream of shards of ice, which can be countered by just maintaining your block, but the second the ice stops it signals she’s about to throw a much larger shard of ice that’ll break your block and do a considerable amount of damage.
These ranged attacks are coupled with the usual diving scythe attacks that can be parried and the swinging wing attack that you’ll need to block and dodge accordingly.
Hildr can also pull off the sliding dive attack that Rota can so listen for her to yell as she flies in the air and try to carefully dodge away just as she begins the dive bomb. It can be tricky, because the hitbox is generous, so you want to make sure your dodge lands you well away from the path of her dive if you can help it.
The good news is that Hildr herself is fragile and squishy compared to most of her sisters, so you can usually burn her health down using your runic attacks and a full rage meter before she can do any kind of serious damage to you. Bring along one of the resurrection stones that revives you with a full rage meter and pay careful attention to the yellow and red flashes before her attacks and you should be able to take her out without too much trouble.
Location: Summit of Muspelheim
The next Valkyrie on our list is one of the most difficult short of the Queen herself. Gondul can be found at the summit of the volcano in Muspelheim, which means you’ll need to clear the other five trials before you can even try to take on Gondul in the first place.
Most of the trials are pretty manageable as long as you recognize when you should be going for quick AoE kills versus using Atreus’ arrows to stun enemies, so you can rip them to shreds with your fists and your R3 ability. Once you’ve managed to clear all five of the challenges make your way to the summit to confront Gondul.
Where Hildr is Ice, Gondul is fire, which means that rather than a ranged ice attack she’ll occasionally call down a series of fireballs that’ll shatter the ground and leave a smoldering fire hazard that you’ll need to avoid.
Other than that, she really just fights like Rota on lava steroids. She’ll pull off both the strafing dive attack and the glitched divebomb attack at various points in the fight, just remember that she’ll flip around to do both attacks two to three times a piece. Again, the trick here is to pay special attention to Gondul’s movement, so you’ll know when she’s flying into the air for a divebomb or aerial strafe, then focus on dodging accordingly.
A huge part of this fight is also making sure you don’t dodge into the flames Gondul summons across the battlefield because the burn damage they inflict can really rip your health to shreds. Other than that focus on taking things slow. Your first priority is dodging and interrupting Gondul’s attacks followed by special attention to the few seconds when she’s vulnerable after a divebomb attack where you can really dish out a chain of runic abilities to shred her health and armor.
Valkyrie Queen Sigmund
Location: Council of the Valkyries (Behind the Statue of Thor on the North side of the Lake of the Nine)
The final Valkyrie on our list is the queen herself, who can only be found by defeating all the other Valkyries and then following the questline to light the braziers at the top of each realm tower in Midgard. With that done you’ll be guided to the Council of the Valkyries hidden behind Thor’s shattered statue.
Once you arrive, you’ll place each of the helmets you collected from the previous eight Valkyries on their respective council seats to summon the Sigmund. Be sure to also listen to Mimir’s commentary about each Valkyrie to gain a bit of insight into the warriors you’ve been duking it out with for the last four hours.
Once all eight of the helmets are in place a tear in the fabric of reality will appear in the center of the council area, activating it will summon Sigmund, so be sure to prepare accordingly beforehand. It’s important to mention that this is easily the most difficult boss battle in the game so it’s worth doing as much prep as possible beforehand to try and stack things in your favor.
Head back to Muspelheim and Niflheim to grind some materials to upgrade your gear, stock up on experience to upgrade your runic abilities, and consider investing in gear and enchantments that boost your runic power and cooldown stats while also giving you useful utility boosts like health regen or uninterruptable attacks. There’s also a few gadgets from Ivaldi’s maze that you can get from closing realm tears in the Worship that’ll spread weakness to your enemies, which is incredibly useful.
That said, probably the most important tip is to make sure your rage meter is full right off the bat, and to equip Atreus with the Ratatoskr Runic Summon. Normally we would suggest using a more DPS focused summon, but Ratatoskr is ridiculously useful in this fight because of the consumables he can drop you mid-battle. Fully upgraded he’ll summon three health stones if you have Atreus equipped with blue arrows or three rage stones if Atreus is using his shock arrows, which is a heck of a boost to health or rage when things start getting tough.
Once the battle kicks off you’ll find that Sigmund is rocking every Valkyrie attack we’ve encountered up to this point so be careful to watch for cues to the most damaging attacks accordingly. The big ones to watch out for are the fire and ice attacks from Gondul and Hildr, and of course the dive strafe and glitched divebomb attack that are likely to take half your health in a single blast.
During the battle the most important thing is to balance your DPS with your interrupts and to keep a lot of distance between you and Sigmund so you can spot the cues for her most damaging attacks. Balancing your DPS with your interrupts means that you should always be trying to save at least one of your light runic attacks as a way to interrupt a melee charge or a big ranged attack so that you can move in to use your heavy runic attacks to deal damage.
That sometimes means resisting the urge to max your DPS by blowing every runic attack you have available because it could mean that you won’t have a light runic attack to interrupt Sigmund’s charge once she’s back on her feet. Trust us, this strategy will save you a lot of health in the long run, and this battle is a marathon, not a sprint.
You’ll need to hit Sigmund hard and fast, then retreat to a safe distance to watch her attack patterns so you can dodge and block the worst of her fury. The second she’s vulnerable after a strafe or a divebomb use a light runic attack to knock her off balance and then follow through with a heavy runic attack if you have time.
Once you have a good idea of the rhythm of Sigmund’s charges you can also start to pull off light runic attacks as she presses the attack to break her momentum and pull off another heavy runic attack or a melee combo.
Throughout the encounter keep a steady beat on your square button to keep Atreus’ arrows flying. The blue arrows in particular will still occasionally interrupt an attack and even the tiny DPS they offer is worth it in the long run.
Keep at it, and you’ll eventually bring Sigmund down and the Valkyries can finally be laid to rest, free to continue their duties ushering the dead and dying to Valhalla.