With the help of the dwarf Eugel, Siegfried fights the giant Kuperan, who has the key to the mountain Kriemhild has been taken to. He rescues the princess and slays the dragon, finding the treasure of the Nibelungen inside the mountain.
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Eugel prophesies, however, the Siegfried only has eight years to live. Realizing he will not be able to use the treasure, Siegfried dumps the treasure into the Rhine on his way to Worms. He marries Kriemhild and rules there together with her brothers Gunther, Hagen, and Giselher, but they resent him and have him killed after eight years. The Icelandic Abbot Nicholaus of Thvera records that while traveling through Westphalia , he was shown the place where Sigurd slew the dragon called Gnita-Heath in the Norse tradition between two villages south of Paderborn.
In a song of the mid-thirteenth-century wandering lyric poet Der Marner, "the death of Siegfried" Sigfrides [ The chronicles of the city of Worms record that when Emperor Frederick III visited the city in , he learned that the townspeople said that the "giant Siegfried" gigas [ Frederick ordered the graveyard dug up—according to one Latin source, he found nothing, but a German chronicle reports that he found a skull and some bones that were larger than normal.
In contrast to the surviving continental traditions, Scandinavian stories about Sigurd have a strong connection to Germanic mythology. While older scholarship took this to represent the original form of the Sigurd story, newer scholarship is more inclined to see it as a development of the tradition that is unique to Scandinavia.
Although the earliest attestations for the Scandinavian tradition are pictorial depictions, because these images can only be understood with a knowledge of the stories they depict, they are listed last here. The so-called Prose Edda of Snorri Sturluson is the earliest non-pictorial attestation of the Scandinavian version of Sigurd's life, dating to around Sigurd tastes the dragon's blood and understands the birds when they say that Regin will kill him in order to acquire the dragon's gold.
He then kills Regin and takes the hoard of the Nibelungen for himself. He rides away with the hoard and then awakens the valkyrie Brynhild by cutting the armor from her, before coming to king Gjuki 's kingdom. There he marries Gjuki's daughter, Gudrun, and helps her brother, Gunnar, to acquire Brynhild's hand from her brother Atli.
Sigurd deceives Brynhild by taking Gunnar's shape when Gunnar cannot fulfill the condition that he ride through a wall of flames to wed her; Sigurd rides through the flames and weds Brynhild, but does not sleep with her, placing his sword between them in the marriage bed. Sigurd and Gunnar then return to their own shapes. Sigurd and Gudrun have two children, Svanhild and young Sigmund.
Later, Brynhild and Gudrun quarrel and Gudrun reveals that Sigurd was the one who rode through the fire, and shows a ring that Sigurd took from Brynhild as proof. Brynhild then arranges to have Sigurd killed by Gunnar's brother Guthorm. Guthorm stabs Sigurd in his sleep, but Sigurd is able to slice Guthorm in half by throwing his sword before dying. Guthorm has also killed Sigurd's three-year-old son Sigmund.
Brynhild then kills herself and is burned on the same pyre as Sigurd. The Poetic Edda appears to have been compiled around in Iceland, and assembles mythological and heroic songs of various ages. Generally, none of the poems is thought to be have been composed before and some appear to have been written in the thirteenth century.
The Poetic Edda identifies Sigurd as a king of the Franks. Sigurd is born at the end of the poem; he is the posthumous son of Sigmund, who dies fighting the sons of Hunding, and Hjordis. Then he will wake a valkyrie and learn runes from her. He says that Sigurd will go to the home of Heimer and betroth himself to Brynhild, but then at the court of King Gjuki he will receive a potion that will make him forget his promise and marry Gudrun.
He will then acquire Brynhild as a wife for Gunnar and sleep with Brynhild without having sex with her. Brynhild will recognize the deception, however, and claim that Sigurd did sleep with her, and this will cause Gunnar to have him killed. The poem is likely fairly young and seems to have been written to connect the previous poems about Helgi Hundingsbane with those about Sigurd.
The following three poems form a single unit in the manuscript of the Poetic Edda , but are split into three by modern scholars. It is most likely that Sigurd's youth with the smith, his stupidity, and his success through supernatural aid rather than his own cunning is the more original of these conceptions. Regin wants Sigurd to kill the dragon. He makes the sword Gram for Sigurd, but Sigurd chooses to kill the sons of Hunding before he kills the dragon. On his way he is accompanied by Odin. He stabs Fafnir through the heart from underneath when the dragon passes over the pit.
Fafnir, before he dies, tells Sigurd some wisdom and warns him of the curse that lays on the hoard. Once the dragon is dead, Regin tears out the Fafnir's heart and tells Sigurd to cook it. Sigurd checks whether the heart is done with his finger and burns it. When he puts his finger into his mouth, he can understand the language of the birds, who warn him of Regin's plan to kill him.
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He kills the smith and is told by the birds to go to a palace surrounded by flames where the valkyrie Sigdrifa is asleep. Sigurd heads there, loading the hoard on his horse. Inside he finds a sleeping woman who is wearing armor that seems to have grown into her skin. Sigurd cuts open the armor and Sigdrifa, the valkyrie, wakes up. She teaches him the runes, some magic spells, and gives him advice.
The poem shows the influence of continental Germanic traditions, as it portrays Sigurd's death in the forest rather than in his bed. The text mentions that, although the previous song said that Sigurd was killed in the forest, other songs say he was murdered in bed. Sigurd marries Gudrun, then acquires Brynhild for Gunnar and does not sleep with her.
The Story of Siegfried
Brynhild desires Sigurd, however, and when she cannot have him decides to have him killed. Guthorm then slays Sigurd in his bed, but Sigurd kills him before dying. Brynhild then kills herself and asks to be burned on the same pyre as Sigurd. The poem is generally assumed not to be very old. He died fighting Lyngvi, a rival for Hjordis's hand.
Hjordis was left alone on the battlefield where Sigmund died, and was found there by King Alf, who married her and took the Sigmund's shattered sword. She gave birth to Sigurd soon afterwards, and was raised by the smith Regin at the court of King Hjalprek. Sigurd asks Regin to make him a sword to kill the dragon, but each sword that Regin makes breaks when Sigurd proofs them against the anvil.
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Finally, Sigurd has Regin make a new sword out of Sigmund's shattered sword, and with this sword he is able to cut through the smith's anvil. Regin asks Sigurd to retrieve Regin's part of Fafnir's treasure, but Sigurd decides to avenge his father first. With an army he attacks and kills Lyngvi, receiving the help of Odin. Then Sigurd heads to Gnita-Heath to kill the dragon, hiding in a pit that Fafnir will travel over. Sigurd stabs Fafnir through the heart from underneath, killing him.
Regin then appears, drinks some of the dragon's blood, and tells Sigurd to cook its heart. Sigurd tests with his finger whether the heart is done and burns himself; he sticks his finger in his mouth and can understand the language of the birds. The birds tell him that Regin plans to kill Sigurd and that he would be wiser to kill Regin first and then take the hoard and go to Brynhild.
Sigurd does all of this, coming to where Brynhild lies asleep in a ring of shields and wearing armor that seems to have grown to her skin. Sigurd cuts the armor off her, waking Brynhild. Brynhild and Sigurd promise to marry each other, repeating their promise also at the court of Brynhild's brother-in-law Heimir.
Sigurd than comes to the court of king Gjuki ; queen Grimhild gives him a potion so that he forgets his promise to Brynhild and agrees to marry her daughter Gudrun. However, Brynhild will only marry Gunnar if he can cross the wall of fire that surrounds her castle. Gunnar is unable to do this, and Sigurd and Gunnar use a spell taught to them by Grimhild to change shapes. Sigurd then crosses the wall of flames, and Brynhild is astonished that anyone but Sigurd was able to perform this task.
Sigurd then lies with Brynhild for three nights with a sword placed between them. One day, Gudrun and Brynhild fight while bathing in the river over which of them has married the most noble man, and Gudrun tells Brynhild how she was tricked and shows her a ring that Sigurd had taken from her on her first night of marriage as proof. Brynhild is furious and wants revenge.
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When Sigurd goes to talk to her, the two confess their love for each other and Sigurd proposes divorcing Gudrun to be with Brynhild. Brynhild refuses, and later demands that Gunnar kill Sigurd. Gunnar tells his younger brother Guthorm to kill Sigurd, because he has never sworn loyalty to Sigurd. Guthorm, having eaten wolf's flesh, forces his way into Sigurd's bedchamber and stabs him in the back with his sword.
Siegfried , Old Norse Sigurd , figure from the heroic literature of the ancient Germanic people. He appears in both German and Old Norse literature, although the versions of his stories told by these two branches of the Germanic tradition do not always agree. He plays a part in the story of Brunhild , in which he meets his death, but in other stories he is the leading character and triumphs. A feature common to all versions is his outstanding strength and courage.
These two stories are combined into one in the Norse Poetic Edda and told in detail, whereas in German literature , where they are kept entirely separate, the information is scant and largely contained in allusions. Siegfried plays a major part in the Nibelungenlied , where this old material is used but is much overlaid with more recent additions. Here, too, many critics have tried to establish a connection between German and Norse; but besides important differences, there is doubt about the antiquity of both poems.
In the original stories Siegfried was presented as a boy of noble lineage who grew up without parental care; this background shows through clearly, although in the full accounts in both Norse and German it is overlaid with elaborate accounts of his courtly upbringing. It is still disputed, as with Brunhild, whether the figure of Siegfried is of mythical or historical Merovingian origin. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind.
Your contribution may be further edited by our staff, and its publication is subject to our final approval. Put your note in the foot note! I really did enjoy the comparisons to other types of mythology. Some were obvious, like winter battling spring. Others I simply had never thought about. The story of Brunhild being the source of Sleeping Beauty was really interesting to me.
It had never occurred to me that it had originated as a Norse myth as opposed to a Grimm Fairy Tale. I thought that was very interesting. You learn something new every day, right? The illustrations were fun, but not really accurate to the story. I commented that the illustration of Thor was funny to me because if he lifted his arms, you'd get to see the crowned jewels of Asgard. Also, a lot of pink! I don't think I've ever seen so much pink used when it comes to Viking stories in my life.
Overall, this isn't really something I would suggest to others. The voice in which it's written is like a boring Shakespeare knock off, meaning you really need to love mythology to enjoy this book. I would recommend it to people looking for interpretations of Norse mythology, but not something necessarily to be read for fun. It definitely was not something I felt compelled to read out of sheer joy and personal amusement.
Aug 07, Maggie rated it really liked it Shelves: Aug 12, Ocianain rated it it was amazing. Written for young adults, it really reads well from anyone interested in just a good story. Faced paced and well written, it's sure to entertain. I liked it so much I ordered his retelling of Roland. Jul 31, Amy rated it it was amazing. Tolkein-esque story and Norse mythology blended together. Dec 08, Peregrine rated it liked it. Norse mythology is my favorite. Patty rated it it was amazing May 27, Gabriel Patillo rated it liked it Mar 25, Jon Steffens rated it liked it Jul 12, Jocelyn rated it it was amazing May 03, Ckr rated it liked it Jun 26,
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