The triquetra has been found on runestones in Northern Europe and on early Germanic coins. It presumably had pagan religious meaning and it bears a resemblance to the Valknut, a symbol associated with Odin. The triquetra is often found in Insular art, most notably metal work and in illuminated manuscripts like the Book of Kells. It is also found in similar artwork on Celtic crosses and slabs from the early Christian period.
The "Shieldmaiden" was a woman who had chosen to fight as a warrior in Scandinavian folklore and mythology. They are often mentioned in sagas such as Hervarar saga and in Gesta Danorum. Shieldmaidens also appear in stories of other Germanic nations: Goths, Cimbri, and Marcomanni. The mythical Valkyries may have been based on the shieldmaidens.