Summary of the Thidrekssaga

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Hildebrand and Heime

14

Now king Dietmar ruled over Bern, and he and his wife Odilia had a son named Diet­rich. And he was large and strong, but not so long that he was called a giant, and as long as he lived he never grew a beard. And all who had known king Samson said that Diet­rich resembled him very much.King Dietmar knighted Diet­rich when he was fifteen winters according to B; A says twelve old, and made him a chief over his court I assume Dietmar's court is meant here, and not that Diet­rich got his own court and all his knights and other people.

15

Duke Erik ruled in the town called Wenden, and his sons were Bertram and Reginbald, who became dukes of Wenden after him. Duke Reginbald had a son named Hildebrand, and when he was fifteen years old his father knighted him.

Duke Bertram had a son called Reginbald, and his son was Sintram, who we'll talk about later 106.

When Hildebrand was thirty years not 'winters'; er þrítugr at aldri old he told his father that he wanted to get to know the customs of strange men, and he couldn't gain fame if he stayed here in Wenden A adds: or ride to Svava to eat with the warriors.

The duke asked where he wanted to go, and Hildebrand said he wanted to go to king Dietmar of Bern. He armed himself and rode with twelve knights to Bern. The king received him well and asked him to stay there. And Hildebrand accepted, and the king set him next to him something like: made him a principal counsellor?. And Hildebrand stayed with king Dietmar for a long time, as this saga will show.

Diet­rich, king Dietmar's son, was seven winters old when Hildebrand set him next to him and became his teacher until he was fifteen winters old. And he was a chief over the knights at court. And the two loved one another so much as no two men have done, except for David and Jonathan.

16

Now it is said that Diet­rich and Hildebrand rode forth from Bern with their hawks and dogs to the forest to enjoy themselves. They let the hawks fly and loosed the dogs. And when Diet­rich followed a hawk he saw a dwarf walking. Diet­rich spurred his horse and pursued the dwarf, and before he could come to his cave Diet­rich took him by the neck and took him with him in the saddle, and this was the dwarf Alberich the famous thief from whom old sagas speak Otherwise unknown.

The dwarf spoke: Lord, if I can buy my life with it, I'll show you where so much gold, silver and jewelry are that even the rich king Dietmar, your father, doesn't have such amounts. And this treasure is with two people, a woman called Hilda, and her husband is Grim, who is as strong as twelve men, but his wife is even stronger, and they are cruel and evil. He also has a sword called Nagelring, and it is the best of all swords. But you can only defeat them if you first take the sword. And it would be a greater heroic deed of you two to conquer this treasure than to take me with my small body and weak legs.

Diet­rich said: I will never free you unless you give me Nagelring in my hand today, and even then you will show us where this treasure is. The dwarf agreed and swore the oath Diet­rich required. Diet­rich freed him, and he and Hildebrand hunted birds and animals the entire day until the ninth hour from sunrise. Then Diet­rich and Hildebrand were at a mountain slope, and Alberich came back with Nagelring and gave it to Diet­rich. Then he said: On this slope is a gap and there you'll find their earth-house underground house, cave. You can take as much gold and jewelry there as are left, but you'll need your manliness courage to win it, but you will never get me in your power again even if you live two men's lives. And with that the dwarf disappeared.

Diet­rich and Hildebrand dismounted, tethered their horses, and then Diet­rich drew Nagelring, and both felt they had never seen a better sword.

17

Then they entered the gap and found the earth-house. Then they bound their helmets tight, donned their armour, and took their shields. Now Diet­rich courageously went into the earthen-house, and Hildebrand close behind him. And when the giant Grim saw a strange man had entered his house he jumped to his weapon rack, but saw his sword was missing, and he understood that the dwarf Alberich, the famous thief, must have stole it. From the fire he took a burning tree and attacked Diet­rich.

But Hilda took Hildebrand by the neck so tightly he could not move, and Hildebrand fell to the ground and Hilda on top of him. She wanted to bind him, and pressed his arms so hard that blood sprang from his nails, and so tightly she pressed her knees against his breast that he fell unconscious. Then Hildebrand called Unconscious people frequently act in the saga; maybe I mistranslate it to his foster son: Lord Diet­rich, help me, for I have never been in such danger.

I'll help you, Diet­rich called, because I will not suffer my foster father to be brought into mortal danger by a woman. And with one stroke Diet­rich beheaded Grim, and sprang to where his tutor lay, and cut Hilda in two. But she was so magical fjölkunnig ok mikit troll in nature that the two pieces rejoined and she was as before. Diet­rich thought this was a great wonder, and he hit her with another strike on her back, but everything went as before. And then Hildebrand called: Stand with your feet between her head and feet, and you will destroy this troll.

And a third time Diet­rich clove her in two, and stood with both feet between the parts, and her lower part was dead, but her upper part said: I would want that Grim had taken Diet­rich as I have taken Hildebrand, then we would have won. And now both pieces fell apart.

Hildebrand sprang up and said: You have given me as much help as possible, and God thanks you for it. Then they took the gold and silver and jewelry, and they saw the dwarf had not lied. Under the treasure Diet­rich found a helmet, and the dwarf Alberich had told Diet­rich the following about it says A; B says: and the dwarf Malpriant had forged it, and Diet­rich said: Hilda and Grim had thought it such a great treasure that they maned if after the two of them, and it was called Hildegrim, and Diet­rich wore it for a long time in many battles.

Now Diet­rich and Hildebrand took so much treasure as their horses could carry, and buried what was left. Then they went home, and Diet­rich became famous in all lands because of this heroic deed.

18

Northward of the mountains in Svava there stood a castle names Seegard, and the wealthy and proud Brunhild ruled over it. And she was the most beautiful and most famous of all women in the South- and Northlands because of her wisdom and the heroic deeds done because of her, which have been told in many languages and will never be forgotten.

In a forest not far from there was a large estate owned by Brunhild, which was run by a man named Studa. In this forest there were many horses, and one herd was the best in the entire Northlands, and these horses were grey in colour, or white, or black, but always in one colour. Among this herd there were stallions big and strong, quick like a bird in flight, but they were easy to tame and well-tempered. Studa knew best of all men to train these horses for both tournaments and travel.

Studa was old, but he had a son also named Studa after his father. He was sixteen says B; A says twelve winters old when the saga comes to him. He was cruel and hard-hearted, greedy and ambitious, so that he wanted to serve no one and hated almost everyone.

He was later called Heime, and lost his original name, because there was a snake ormr; or dragon? out on the fields called Heime, and it was the strongest and most poisonous of all snakes so that all feared to come near its lair. And thus Studa got his name, because everyone compared him to this snake, and the Northmen Væringjar called him Heime. He got a strong stallion from the best herd which Studa had trained, and it was called Rispa.

19

One day when Heime had taken his horse and his sword Blutgang he stood before his father and told him he didn't want to stay in this forest but ride forth, and meet famous men and win fame himself. And Studa asked where he wanted to go.

Heime replied that he wanted to go southwards to the town called Bern, there is a famous man there called Diet­rich, and I want to find out if he or I is stronger with weapons. Studa said that wise men had told him of Diet­rich, and that is was madness for Heime to measure himself against him, and that he should ride elsewhere. Heime angrily said he wanted to be a greater man than Diet­rich or be killed quickly. Now I am sixteen says B; A says seventeen winters old, and he is not quite twelve yet, and where is the man I don't dare to fight against i.e. I can handle anyone?

Angry as he was he jumped on his horse Rispa and rode away, along a long unknown road, and he didn't stop until he came to Bern, and rode into the town to the king's hall. He asked a man to hold his horse and spear, and went into the hall to the king's throne, greeted him, and , in the eyes of all who were there, came before Diet­rich and said: Lord Diet­rich, much have I heard from you, and a long way I have gone to see you, and I challenge you to a duel today outside of Bern, then we will find out who the stronger man is.

Diet­rich thought this man was bold to speak these words, because no one had challenged him to a duel yet. But he did not hesitate and had confidence that this man would get what he deserved. He sprang up and left the hall, and Hildebrand and several other men with him, and had his weapons fetched. They brought him his armour and his red shield with a golden lion, and his helm Hildegrim, and his sword Nagelring, and his horse, which was saddled, and they gave him his spear, and Hildebrand held his stirrup for him when he mounted.

20

Then Diet­rich rode from Bern, and with him Hildebrand his foster and several other men, and they went to where Heime awaited Diet­rich. And they rode against one another with their spears, but neither of them hit the other's shield, and the horses ran past one another. They turned their horses and tried again, but the same happened. On the third try Heime hit Diet­rich's shield and through his armour, but didn't wound him, but Diet­rich stabbed his spear through Heime's shield and armour and wounded him slightly. And so powerfully rode Diet­rich that his stallion almost sank to its hind legs and Diet­rich's feet briefly touched the ground. Both spears broke.

Both dismounted and drew their swords and fought. Heime landed a big blow with his sword Blutgang on Diet­rich's helmet Hildegrim, but the sword sprang in two pieces. Since he was now defenceless he surrendered to Diet­rich. And Diet­rich did not want to kill him and took him among his men, and from now on the two were the best friends. And Diet­rich had increased his fame by yet another heroic deed.

Status: summary of 7 chapters complete.

Other parts

  1. Samson (1-13)
  2. Hildebrand and Heime (14-20)
  3. Wieland the Smith (57-79)
  4. Witig (80-95)
  5. Journey to Osning (96-107)
  6. Witig and Heime (108-110,134-137,146-151)
  7. Detlef the Dane (111-129)
  8. Amelung, Wildeber, and Herbrand (130-133)
  9. Wildeber and Isung (138-145)
  10. Sigmund and Sisibe (152-161)
  11. Sigfrid's youth (162-168)
  12. Origins of the Niflungen (169-170)
  13. Dietrich's feast (171-191)
  14. The road to Bertangaland (192-199)
  15. The tournament (200-222)
  16. Dietrich's fellowship falls apart (223-226,240)
  17. Gunther and Brunhild (227-230)
  18. Walther and Hildegund (241-244)
  19. Ake and Iron (269-275)
  20. Dietrich's flight (276-290)
  21. The Wilkinen wars (291-315)
  22. The battle of Gransport (316-341)
  23. Sigfrid's death (342-348)
  24. Hertnit and Isung (349-355)
  25. Grimhild's revenge (356-394)