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Nibelungenlied

By | Feb. 2007
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Nibelungenlied
Nibelungenlied, or "Song of the Nibelungs," was an epic poem about the betrayal and revenge of the Burgundian royal family. The poem was mostly likely written in Austria during the early 13th century (Joe). The first part of the poem explores the story of Siegfried and Kriemhild, while the second part shows the story of Kriemhild's marriage and her revenge ("Nibelungenlied").

The epic started with the introduction of Kriemhild, the sister of King Gunther, Gernot and Giselher. Kriemhild told her family about her dream of two eagles causing the death of the falcon that she raised. The dream was interpreted by her mother as a premonition that her future husband will suffer a draconic death (Tennant).

Afterwards, the story transitioned to the adventures of Siegfried, crown prince of Xanten. His story began with Siegfried's dragon slaying. Then, he bathed in the dragon's blood to make him invincible. However, a leaf fell from a linden tree and landed on his back, making that spot vulnerable: a story similar to the ancient Greek hero Achilles. In his arrival in the town of Worms, Siegfried assisted Gunther in defeating the Saxons and Brunhild, the queen of Iceland. After their battle, Siegfried took the queen's ring and belt and gave the items to Kriemhild as wedding presents (Joe).

Many years later, Brunhild's marriage to Gunther and Kriemhild's marriage to Siegfried created an argument on who should receive the power to rule Worms. This obdurate dispute drove Hagen von Tronje, a faithful ally of Gunther, to kill Siegfried with a spear that targeted his vulnerable spot (Galens).

The beginning of the second section starts with the marriage of Kriemhild to King Etzel of the Huns. Kriemhild's invitation of her family in Worms established her revenge. During the feast, an open fight was initiated when Hagen decapitated Kriemhild and King Etzel's son, which caused the death of all the Burgundians except for Hagen and Gunther....
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