Summary of the Thidrekssaga

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Sigfrid's youth

162

The glass pot with the child floated on the river to the sea, and it didn't take too long, and it was ebb. The pot now floated onti a sand bank, and the water fell further, so that it was dry. Meanwhile the child had grown somewhat, and he broke it in two, and cried.

Then a hind came, took the child in her mouth and carried it home to her lair. She had two calves, and she put the boy down and let him drink, and thus she nursed him like her own calves, and he was with the hind for twelve months. Then he was so large and strong as other children that were four years old.

163

A man called Mime was a famous and skilfull smith. He had many journeymen that served him. He also had a wife, but in the nine Ms. B: twelve winters since their marriage she had not yet had a child, and he regretted that.

He had a brother named Regin, who was very strong, and the most evil of all men, and as a punishment for doing witchcraft and magic he became a dragon. And thus it happened that he became the largest and most evil dragon, and he would kill anyone except for his brother. And nobody knew where his lair was, except for Mime.

164

One day Mime went into the forest to burn coal, and he thought to be away for three days. And when he came into the forest he made a great fire, and when he stood by this fire alone a small boy came and ran to him. He asked the boy who he was, but the boy could not speak. Still Mime took him and put him on his knee Is this a gesture that indicates fosterage? and put a cloth over him, because he had no clothes.

Then a hind came and went to Mime's knee and licked the face and head of the boy. And from this Mime understood that the hind had nursed the child, and he did not want to kill the hind. But he took the boy home with him and wanted to raise him like his son and gave him the name Sigfrid.

Thus the boy grew up until he was twelve says ms. A; Mb: nine, B: eleven winters old. He was large and strong, and no one had seen his equal, but he was so wild that he hit Mime's journeymen so that they hardly put up with him.

165

One of the journeymen was called Eckhart, and he was the strongest of the twelve. One day Sigfrid came to the smithy, and Eckhart was smithing, and Eckhart hit Sigfrid on the ear with a tongue, but Sigfrid took him by the hair in his left hand so tightly that he fell to the ground unclear. Now all journeymen came and wanted to help Eckhart, but Sigfrid went out through the door and dragged Eckhart with him by his hair, and they went to Mime.

Then Mime said to Sigfrid: Don't hit my journeymen. They do useful work, but you do nothing except evil, even though you're strong enough and could work as hard as the others. I will help you to work, but if you don't want to I'll hit you until you will. And he took Sigfrid by the hand and took him to the smithy.

There Mime sat down and took iron and put it in the fire, and he gave Sigfrid the heaviest hammer. When the iron had become hot he put it on the anvil and told Sigfrid to hit it. And Sigfrid's first hit was so strong that the anvil split in two and sank into the anvil stone, and the iron splattered all around, the tongues broke, and the hammehead flew from the shaft.Mime said: I have never seen a man hit harder or worse than this, and whatever you will do, it won't be crafts. Now Sigfrid went to the house and sat with his foster mother and did not tell anyone how he felt, good or bad.

166

Now Mime sae that the boy would do more bad things and he decided to kill him. He now went into the forest where the dragon was, and told him he'd give him a boy and asked the dragon to kill him. Then he went home.

The next day Mime told Sigfrid to go into the forest to burn coal. Sigfrid said: If that can patch up things between us I will do so. And Mime propared his journey and gave him food and wine for nine Mss. A and B: six days, and a wood axe, and he went with him and pointed out where he should go. Now Sigfrid went into the forest and settled, and cut many strong trees and built a great fire, and added another large tree he had cut down.

Then it was dinner time, and he sat down to eat, and ate all the food, and he drank all the wine as well, while Mime had thought it would serve him for nine days. And he said to himself: I don't think I could find a man that I would not fight, and I don't think any man's hand will be too strong for me.

And when he had said this a large dragon came to him. And he said to himself: Now it could happen that I can try what I just wished for. And he jumped to the fire, too the largest tree, walked to the dragon and hit it on the head, and with the first stroke the dragon went down, and he hit the dragon again, and it fell to the ground, and he hit again and again until the dragon was taken to hell dead. Then he took his axe and cut off its head.

Now he sat down and he had become tired. It was already late in the day and he understood he would not come home today, and he didn't know what food he could get. Then he realised he could eat the dragon for supper, and he took his kettle and put it on the fire. Then he cut large pieces from the dragon with his axe until the kettle was full and he had enough to eat. And when he thought it was ready he dipped his hand into the kettle, and burned his fingers, and put them in his mouth to cool them.

As soon as the broth went over his tongue and down into his throat he heard how two birds who were sitting in a tree sang, and he now understood what one said: It would be better for this man to know what we know, then he would go home and kill Mime his foster father because Mime plotted to kill him if everything had gone as he wanted. And this dragon was Mime's brother, and Mime will want to avenge his brother and kill the boy.

Then Sigfrid took the dragon's blood and rubbed it on his hands, and everywhere he could reach, and it was as if his skin became horn. Then he took off his clothes and rubbed himself entirely with the blood but he could not reach in the middle between the shoulders. Now he dressed and took the dragon's head in his hand.

167

Eckehart stood outside and saw how Sigfrid came back. And he want to his master and said: Sigfrid comes home, and he has the dragon's head in his hand. He must have killed it. Now everyone should save himself, because even though there's twelve of us, and even if there were half again as many, he would still kill all of us. And with that they all ran into the forest and hid.

But Mime went to Sigfrid alone and welcomed him. Sigfrid said: No welcomes! You will gnaw on this head like a dog. And Mime said: Don't do that. I will make up for what I did to you. I'll give you the helmet and armour that I made for king Hertnit in Holmgard, and I will give you a stallion called Grani, who is in Brunhild's herd, and also a sword named Gram, it is the best of all swords.

And Sigfrid said: I agree, if you do as you promise. And Mime gave him amrour and helmet and shield, and finally the sword, and when Sigfrid took the sword he swung it as powerfully as he could and gave Mime the death blow.

168

Now Signfrid went away and took the road that he was told went to Brunhild's castle. And when he came to the castle he found an iron door and nobody was there to open it for him. Then he hit the door so hard that the irons on the door were torn apart and went into the castle. Seven guards came to him, and they were guarding the gate, and didn't like him breaking open the door and wanted to kill him. But Sigfrid drew his sword and didn't stop until all these servants were slain. When the knights noticed this they took their weapons and attacked him, but he defended himself well.Brunhild now heard of all of this in her room, and she said: That must be Sigfrid Sigmund's son. And even though he may have killed seven of my knights ans seven servantsm he should still be welcome. And she went to the fight and told them to stop. And she asked who the man was that had come, and he said he was Sigfrid. She asked him for his ancestors, but he did not know.

And she said: If you don't know, then I can tell you you are Sigfrid, son of king Sigmund and Sisibe, and you are welcome here. But where do you travel to?

Sigfrid replied: I came here, because my foster father Mime told me to go here to get a stallion called Grani that you have. And I'd like to have him, if you please.

She said: I will give you a horse, or even several, if you want. Von der Hagen adds that she offered him hospitality and everything he wanted, but that is not in Jónsson

She ordered her men to catch the horse, and they took all day to do so, but they could not take it and in the evening they came home without it.

Sigfrid stayed the night. But in the morning she called twelve of her men, and went herself as the thirteenth. And the twelve men chased the horse for a long time and could not catch it. In the end Sigfrid asked for the bridle, and with it he went to the stallion, and the stallion wehnt to him and he caught it and jumped on his back.

Now Sigfrid rode away and thanked Brunhild for her hospitality. He stayd in no place for more than one night until he came to Bertangaland. There ruled a king named Isung, who had eleven sons. He took in Sigfrid and made him his counselor and banner bearer, and Sigfrid felt welcome here.

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)