Summary of the Thidrekssaga

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Sigmund and Sisibe

152

A king named Sigmund ruled over Tarlungaland According to Ritter the Darlingau in the Harz mountains. His father king Sisian was a rich man and a powerful prince. When he took over his father's realm, Sigmund sent messengers westward to king Nidung in Hispanien and his son Ortwangis for the hand of Nidung's daughter Sisibe. Nidung and his son received Sigmund's messengers well, but Nidung said that he would not send his daughter into an unkonwn country with men who were unknown to him. Still, he knew Sigmund by reputation, and would gladly give him his daughter in marriage if he would come himself. And the messengers returned with gifts and told Sigmund what had happened.

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Not long after Sigmung went to Hispanien himself, and he took four hundred Mss. A and B: 300 knights with him. King Nidung received him with a great feast. And afterwards Sigmund asked for the hand of Nidung's daughter, and he agreed because Sigmund had come himself.

154

Now the marriage was celebrated in style, and Nidung gave his daughter and son in law towns and strong castles, almost half of his realm. The rest he gave to his son Ortwangis, because Nidung was already weak with age.

And when the marriage feast had been celebrated for five days king Sigmund rode away with his knights and his wife Sisibe, back to his realm.

155

When he had been home for seven days two messengers of king Drasolf arrived, handed their letter and seal, and told him: King Drasolf and your sister Mss. A and B call her Signy, as in the Vǫlsungasaga; apparently she is Drasolf's wife send you greetings, and also note he created a great army with all his dukes and counts, and wants to go on an expedition to Pulinaland, and he asks for your help with as many men as you can gather.

Sigmund replied: If my brother in law and my sister need my help, I should give it. And on the same day he sent out letters and seals to his vassals followers? ríkismanna that they should come within four nights if they wanted to give him help, and that each should carry supplies as if they wouldn't come home for twelve months. And when his army had gathered he led it from his realm to his brother in law.

156

When king Sigmund rode off he called his counselors Hartwin and Herman, counts in Svava, and he transferred his wife and realm into their care because he trusted them completely. But it has often happened that if a man trusted another man completely he was still betrayed.

The two counts rode with the king for a while, and he told him what to do while he was away, but above all he told them to do what Sisibe wanted. And they promised to do so.

When king Sigmund met his brother in law Drasolf had no less than three thousand knights, and an army including non-knights of seven thousand. But king Sigmund had no less of an army than his brother in law, and together they rode to Pulinaland and worked many heroic deed.

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When the two counts had ruled the realm for a while, Hartwin came to Sisibe and told her: I now rule this realm and its treasure, and I have chosen you as my dearest wife. It is unclear that king Sigmund will ever return, and even if he does he will not get his realm back from me, or from us, if you wish. I am not a worse knight than king Sigmund, in fact, I'm a bit better.

Sisibe replied: I will not take another husband than king Sigmund. For now I will keep silent about what you said, but if you ever say this again I will have words with king Sigmund when he comes home and you'll be hanged.

He said: Lady, don't talk like that. You must have heard I'm as powerful in my lands as king Sigmund is in his Not entirely clear what that means; 'I'm powerful enough to do what I want'?. And she said: Even if you're so powerful you're still king Sigmund's servant, and I want him, not you. Don't say another word if you value your life. Then Hartwin went away.

158

Now Hartwin told Herman all that had happened and asked him for counsel. And Herman said: I think you should not do this. But if you must, I'll help you as much as I can. And Hartwin said: I will do this or lose my life, or she loses hers. Now Herman said: If you make a great effort it can still go as we want.

A few hours later Herman went to Sisibe and told her the same Hartwin had said, and she answered the same, and became angry. Then Herman told his companion how it had gone. Thus many hours Feels more like days or even weeks, but the text says stundir passed, and Hartwin often tried to talk to the queen, but never got what he wanted.

Meanwhile king Sigmund and his brother in law Drasolf fought in Pulinaland and killed and burned and looted, and often fought with the men of the land, and sometimes won, sometimes lost. And when they returned home they had left many men there, but they themselves came back safe.

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When Hartwin and Herman heard king Sigmund had returned to the marks outlying or border territories, I assume of his realm they held counsel. Hartwin said: I'm afraid that queen Sisibe will tell king Sigmund all that has happened, and the king will hold us for guilty. And before they separated they had taken a decision on what to do.

Then they went to the queen and told her they would go meet the king and see how he was. She asked them to do so quickly, and thus they did. When they came to king Sigmund they asked for a secret meeting, and then Hartwin said: My lord, I have bad news; please do not hold it against me. Hardly had you gone away that queen Sisibe started taking up an indecent life, she took a handsome slave and took him to bed. And when we tried to forbid this, she threatened to slander us to you when you came back. And this slave has slept in her arms nearly every night, and she is pregnant now. We did not want you to come home before you knew all of this.

King Sigmund replied: Surely you know that if you lie it will be your death. And Herman swore that all they had said was true. And king Sigmund said: Good friends, how shall we punish this woman? Hartwin said: Decide, my lord, and we'll do it. Then the king said: She could be hanged, but we could also blind her and cut off her feet and sent her back to her father like that.

Hartwin said: We could also send her into the Svava forest, where no man has returned from, and cut out her tongue there, and then she will live as long as God wills. And the king took this counsel.

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Now the counts rode home. And one day the queen stood on the tower and saw a dust cloud from horses, and then she saw men, and from the banner she knew it was the counts that returned. And she called to them: Do you bring good tidings from king Sigmund? And Hartwin replied: King Sigmund is well, he is currently in the Svava forest with his army and wants you to come there. And we will bring you there, as he commanded.

And she replied: I will come to him, but which woman shall accomnaby me? And Herman said: It's not necessary for a woman to accompany you, it's not a long trip. And she said she was ready.

Now they went until they came to a valley in the forest, where never before a human had been, and there they dismounted. And the queen called: Where are you, king Sigmund? WHy have you told your men to bring me here? I know now that I have been deceived, and not just me, but also our child.

Then Hartwin said: We should now do the king's command: cut out your tongue and bring it to the king, and here you shall lose your life.

Herman said: This woman is innocent, so let's take the tongue of the dog that follows us and bring that to the king.

Hartwin replied: She should now pay for rejecting our proposal, and our plans will be carried out.

And Herman said: God help me, you shall never harm her as long as I can help it. And he drew his sword.

At this time however the queen gave birth to an allvænt all-knowing? universal? Retranslate boy. ANd she took a glass pot she had mead in, and after she had wrapped the child in a cloth she out him in the pot, closed it carefully and put it next to her.

Meanwhile the two had started to fight, and it was a hard duel. Finally Harwin went down where the queen rested, and with his foot he hit the glass pot and it fell into the river. And in that moment Herman swung his sword and cut off his head.

And when the queen saw what happened to her child she fell unconscious while she was ill from giving birth? and died.

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Then Herman buried her, mounted, and rode back to king Sigmund. The king asked: Where is Hartwin your companion? And Herman replied: He wanted to kill the queen, but I wanted to help her, and we fought and I killed him. The queen gave birth to an allvænt boy, but Hartwin killed him before he died himself.

And king Sigmund asked: Didn't the queen say whether the king or the slave was his father? Or did both of you lie?

Herman said: We did not lie, my lord, but it could be that a man commits a great crime but understands what he has done and repents, but he still remains a good man.

And the king said angrily: Go from my eyes, I no longer want your service. You have betrayed your lord. And Herman rode away with his men, and he was happy to have escaped. But king Sigmund now sat in his realm.

Status: summary of 10 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)