MYTHOLOGY
SIEGFRIED
SigfridoTwo different literary sources narrate the achievements of Siegfried, hero of the Germanic mythology.
The first one, represented by the Edda and by the tales of the Volsungar Saga, narrates the achievements of Sigurdh since his birth; the second one, handed down for the most part through the Nibelungenlied, narrates the achievements immediately before his death.

The Volsungar Saga narrates that Sigmundr, Siegfried’s father, died in battle against Odin, the father of gods, who smashed his sword into pieces.

While his spirit was parting from his body, he preannounced to Hjordis, his second wife, that she would have given birth to a son, whom he left the fragments of his sword.

Hjordis married king Alfr and the young Sigfried was sent to Reginn as an adopted son.
Reginn attempted in any way to divert the young, enquiring whether Siegfried controlled his father’s treasure, and as the young revealed him that his stepfather owned the riches of his dead father, that he himself occupied a prestigious position and that his family would have given him anything he desired, Reginn challenged him by asking why he pretended to be the king’s stableman despite the fact that he did not even have his own horse. Siegfried, taken by surprise, left immediately to look for a horse.

On his way he ran into an old man, who wasn’t anyone but Odin disguised and who recommended him the horse to choose: the choice fell on Grani, direct descendant of Sleipnir, Odin’s steed.

Reginn’s family was formed by Hreiðmarr, the father, and two brothers, Fàfnir e Ótr.
Otr was an excellent swimmer, and he used to go swimming to Andvarafors falls, the dwelling of dwarf Andaviri, who had the power to turn into a luce, so that he could easily swim.

One day Odin, Loki and Hoenir saw Otr ashore by the falls with a fish. Loki took him for an otter and killed him.
When the gods went to Hreiðmarr’s home to show him their prey, they got immediately imprisoned. To get back their freedom, the gods had to pay a ransom, and so they went to goddess Ràn to borrow her fishnet, and with that they trapped the dwarf. He had to give the gods all his riches, but he tried to keep Andvaranautr ring, which had the power to generate gold. The gods were aware of the magic powers of the ring, and forced the dwarf to give them the precious object. But before doing that, he put a heavy curse on it. Hreiðmarr, who had found out about the ring, obliged the gods to give it to him, and the curse was immediately put into effect: Fafnir killed his father and chased his brother away from home, keeping the whole treasure for himself.
Fáfnir turned into a dragon and Siegfried accepted to kill him.
He asked for a sword and, once he got it, he immediately tested it by striking an anvil, but the weapon smashed into pieces. He asked Reginn to make anothner one, but this one smashed into pieces too. Eventually Siegfried asked his uncle to make a sword with the fragments of his father’s one. The sword, called Gramr, with only a stroke cut off the anvil in two. Reginn recommended that Siegfried dug a hole, hid in there and waited for the dragon to be above him to run through it.
Odin, disguised as an old man again, recommended that he dug more holes to drain off the blood, and that he drenched himself into it to obtain the gift of invulnerability.
Siegfried followed such advices, killed the dragon and drenched himself into its blood, but a part of it, his shoulder, remained vulnerable because it was covered with a leaf. Siegfried drank the dragon’s blood and obtained the gift of understanding the language of birds, which advised him to kill Reginn, who was plotting against him. Siegfried killed Reginn by decapitating him, then roasted Fafnir’s heart and ate a part of it, obtaining the gift of prophecy.

Love entered Siegfried’s life as he met a Valkyrie, Brunilde, but according to the prophecy the woman would have married another man.

Siegfried went to the court of Heimar, the husband of Bekkhild, Brunilde’s sister, and finally to the court of Gjuki, where he settled. Gjuki and his wife Grimilde had three sons, Gunnar, Hogi and Guttorm, and a daughter, Gudrun. Grimilde got Siegfried to drink a potion in order to make him forget Brunilde and marry Gudrun.

Meanwhile Gunnar began courting Brunilde.
Brunilde, surrounded by flames, promised that she would have married only a man who would have been brave enough to cross the fire.
Only Grani, Siegfried’s horse, could have done it, and only Siegfried could ride it.
The young disguised himself as Gunnar, crossed the flames and gained Brunilde for him.
Gudrun told Brunilde about the deceit, and she decided to plot her revenge. She turned away refusing to talk to anyone, and when Siegfried, sent by Gunnar, asked for an explanation, she charged him with betrayal.
Gunnar and Hogi, who were meanwhile plotting against Siegfried, persuaded their brother Guttorm to kill him in his bed, while Brunilde killed her three years old son and then, driven by guilt, took her life.

The corpses of Siegfried, Brunilde and her son were laid down on a great funeral pyre, whose flames gave birth to a legend
 




Mitologia