Brynhild claims that Sigurd is not of noble birth, after which Grimhild announces that Sigurd and not Gunnar deflowered Brynhild. The brothers then place his corpse in Grimhild's bed, and she mourns. The author of the saga has made a number of changes to create a more or less coherent story out of the many oral and possibly written sources that he used to create the saga.
The Thidrekssaga makes no mention of how Sigurd won the hoard of the Nibelungen. The second half of the heroic poem Biterolf und Dietleib between and  features a war between the Burgundian heroes of the Nibelungenlied and the heroes of the cycle around Dietrich von Bern, something likely inspired by the Rosengarten zu Worms.
In this context, it also features a fight between Siegfried and Dietrich in which Dietrich defeats Siegfried after initially appearing cowardly. The text also features a fight between Siegfried and the hero Heime , in which Siegfried knocks Heime's famous sword Nagelring out of his hand, after which both armies fight for control over the sword. The text also relates that Dietrich once brought Siegfried to Etzel's court as a hostage, something which is also alluded to in the Nibelungenlied.
The so-called "Heldenbuch-Prosa" , first found in the Heldenbuch of Diebolt von Hanowe and afterwards contained in printings until , is considered one of the most important attestations of a continued oral tradition outside of the Nibelungenlied , with many details agreeing with the Thidrekssaga.
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The Heldenbuch-Prosa has very little to say about Siegfried: Unattested in any other source, however, is that Kriemhild orchestrated the disaster at Etzel's court in order to avenge Siegfried being killed by Dietrich von Bern. According to the Heldenbuch-Prosa, Dietrich killed Siegfried fighting in the rose garden at Worms see the Rosengarten zu Worms section above.
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This may have been another version of Siegfried's death that was in oral circulation. It agrees in many details with the Thidrekssaga and other Old Norse accounts over the Nibelungenlied , suggesting that these details existed in an oral tradition about Siegfried in Germany. He was so unruly, however, that the smith arranged for him to be killed by a dragon. Siegfried was able to kill the dragon, however, and eventually kills many more by trapping them under logs and setting them on fire.
The dragon's skin, described as hard as horn, melts, and Siegfried sticks his finger into it, discovering that his finger is now hard as horn as well.
He smears himself with the melted dragon skin everywhere except for one spot. Later, he stumbles upon the trail of another dragon that has kidnapped princess Kriemhild of Worms. 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. 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.
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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.
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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.
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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. 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.
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. 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.
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We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works. Hardcover , pages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Grimhild's Vengeance , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. George Henry Borrow was an English author who wrote novels and travelogues based on his own experiences traveling around Europe.
Over the course of his wanderings, he developed a close affinity with the Romani people of Europe, who figure prominently in his work. His best known books are The Bible in Spain, the autobiographical Lavengro, and The Romany Rye, about his time with the English Romanich George Henry Borrow was an English author who wrote novels and travelogues based on his own experiences traveling around Europe.