More on Max Payne Tattoos

Max Payne Valkyrie wings tattoo

For quite a long time I have been wondering what kind of a book the tattoo artist (Stephen R. Hart) shows to Max (Mark Wahlberg) and Mona (Mila Kunis) in Max Payne movie. Now I have the answer: no such book ever existed. The page to the left is numbered 290, and the page to the right, which has the picture of a winged creature, is numbered 291. The heading to the left reads THE VALKYRIES, and the heading to the right reads THE NORSE GODS AND DEITIES. All this looks quite convincing, but on the page to the left the same text is repeated three times, which, of course, never occurs in real books. They just wanted to make it look like something real, placing a picture to the right and some text to the left. Perhaps, spectators were not supposed to try reading it.
Valkyrie wingsThe text will not be quoted here, since it may be copyright protected. It is not something which went into the public domain long ago, since it refers to a source published in 1964. There are two paragraphs that say general things about valkyries in the Norse mythology. The author gives a rather accurate account of the Viking beliefs related to valkyries. However, the image to the right of the text that features a demonic winged creature with a shield and a sword seems to be far cry from the actual Norse heathen idea of the valkyries. In Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda, written in the 13th century, valkyries’ duty “is to serve in Valhalla. They bring drink and see to the table and the ale cups.” As it seems, silver amulets representing women who bear forth drinking horns, are in fact images of valkyries. Such amulets were in use throughout Scandinavia during the Viking Age. In the Eddaic tradition valkyries are helmeted women who fly through the sky (or ride through air and sea) to choose the slain and decide the outcome of battle. Lupino wing tattooThis is their duty assigned to them by Odin. In Helgakviða Hundingsbana I Valkyrie named Sigrún is described as consuming corpses with wolves after battle. Not only wolves, but also ravens are valkyries’ companions: when Odin and his wife Frigg arrived at Baldr’s funeral, they were accompanied by valkyries and Odin’s ravens, Huginn and Muninn. I am aware of only one instance when valkyries are thought of as winged in the Eddas: in Völundarkviða three brothers see three women spinning linen on the shore of the lake Úlfsjár (wolf lake), and “near them were their swan’s garments; they were valkyries.”
In Max Payne valkyrie wings tattoos are an important element of the plot. They are used by people who take the drug invented to improve the morale of the U. S. soldiers. Because of a side effect they have visions of demonic winged creatures, and Norse valkyrie wings tattooed on their hands are intended to protect them. Jack Lupino does not only have wings tattoos on his hands, but also one on his face and a large pair of wings on his back. More on Max Payne movie and Norse Viking mythology in my other article treating Valkyries and Norse myths in Max Payne.

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49 comments… add one
  • skipper

    hey …. ur artwork is an excellent one … i was just wandering around for some pict that ill use for my tattooo … would u mind if i use one of ur artwork up there???

  • Christian

    Would you mind if i resized one for a tattoo?

    • Viking Rune

      Hi Christian. Yes, you may resize and use it for your tattoo.

  • Terry

    I think the pictures are AMAZING im getting a norse valkyrie wing tattoo on sunday i think the wings are a brilliant tattoo desighn so yeah and great info on them by the way

  • Edvard

    Jeg har alltid lurte på om dere har noen tegninger fra typisk bilder av norske symbol fra viking tiden??

  • Ralston

    So I have read both your passages on the Valkyrie wings and still have a couple questions.
    so the winged tattoos they showed in the movie, were those used by the vikings to gain protection or strength or anything on those lines, or did the writers of the movie just make that up?
    And could you refer me to a site or book that has norse symbols in it?
    thanks so much

    • Viking Rune

      Hi Ralston. As far as I know, Vikings did not use wing tattoos for protection. As for Norse symbols, have a look at the Norse Symbols category.

  • T.J.

    I recently used the design of the single wing as a stinsle for a tatto on my forearm and it turned out quite nice. I have about 15 tattoos and its now my favorite.

  • Ben

    How do admin?

    I have been searching for a decent picture of the Valkyrie tattoo to get a similar design, is it cool to use this one?


    • Viking Rune

      Hi Ben. Yes, you may use this design for a tattoo.

  • shane

    Hey I like the Valkyrie wing designs but I’m wondering how accurate are these tattoos to Viking history?

    • Viking Rune

      Hello Shane. They have nothing to do with history.

  • jiraiya

    Why do you refer to the Norse as heathens? I don’t see how anything they did was in anyway related to heathens.

    • Viking Rune

      Hello Jiraiya. Heathen basically means ‘pagan’. Norse people were certainly heathen before they accepted Christianity.

  • Gordon Brough

    Have you any suggestions for a tattoo following in the Norse style. Maybe could incorporate my two sons’ names Thoran and Odin ?

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