The Battleworn Collection is a new series honoring legendary warriors and those who choose to live by the warrior code.
There is a brotherhood in warriors. Across cultures and time, they represent the best in each of us. An honorific, the title of Warrior goes beyond merely signifying a skilled combatant. It implies the adoption of a code of honor and a way of life that maintains the balance between virtue and bravery. And with that title comes the responsibility to fight for what is right, both on and off the battlefield. These principles are what bind Warriors together.
Japanese: “The Way of Warrior”
The complex code of honor and morals developed by the Japanese samurai.
The Japanese Samurai is, in many ways, the quintessential Warrior. Being born into a warrior class meant mastering many aspects of weaponry, war, and battle—but also mastery of oneself. And upholding the honor of their family name required striving to embody bushido in every facet of life. Incorporating such virtues as justice, mercy, honesty, and loyalty, bushido encompasses a strict code of conduct and ideals to be applied not just to war but home life, business dealings, and social situations. In bushido, both living honorably and dying honorably are essential.
Old Norse: “Lone Warrior”
Those who have died in battle and are brought to Valhalla by Valkyries.
In Norse mythology, the Einherjar are the undead spirits of warriors who died bravely in battle. They are the ones deemed worthy, as they are the most courageous of all the fallen. These chosen are escorted triumphantly to Odin’s Hall of the Dead by the Valkyries, where they dwell in Valhalla and prepare each day for the inevitable battle of Ragnarok. The Einherjar endlessly spar and go on valiant quests—returning to the Hall each evening where their wounds are healed, and they feast the night away.
Greek: “The Hot Gates”
Spartan Hoplite Warrior
The 300 stood against all odds. Shoulder to shoulder, with shields interlocking to create a solid wall in the phalanx formation. Prepared to fight to the last man in defense of their families, homeland, and way of life, they stood together. They did not waiver, and never dropped their shields—to do so would mean failing to protect their brothers in battle. With a defiant battle cry forever frozen on their lips, these citizen-soldiers could not have known that the Battle of Thermopylae would go down in history as one of the most powerful examples of patriotism and brotherhood.
Old Norse: “Chooser of the Slain”
Norse Shield Maiden
In the Nordic legends, the Valkyries were a host of demi-goddesses chosen by Odin and entrusted with incredible power. The Valkyries’ role was to prophesy the outcome of battles—and when necessary, decide the victor and who should live and die. Afterward, the Valkyries would scour the battlefields looking for the worthiest of the slain warriors to escort to Valhalla—Odin’s “Hall of the Dead.” It is said that the Northern Lights are the flickering of the Valkyries’ armor and the light streaming from their spears as they ride across the night skies, and that the morning's dew falls from the manes of their horses.