Summary of the Thidrekssaga

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Hertnit and Isung

349

King Hertnit was a poweful man in Wilkinenland, and he was married to Ostacia, the duaghter of Rune, king of Ostenreich. Her stepmother was so magically adept that she had taught Ostacia her magical arts in her youth, so that now Ostacia was just as her stepmother had been. Ostacia was the most beautiful and most wise of all women, but also very evil. King Hertnit loved her very much.

350

In these days king Isung ruled Bertangaland, and with him is sons. He was a great enemy of king Hertnit and had often helped king Attila in war. King Hertnit wanted to take revenge for the death of his father's brother, king Osantrix, first on king Attila and king Diet­rich, but also on king Isung, who was the third one to be guilty of Osantrix' death This is not attested anywhere else.

King Hertnit gathered a great army, went to Bertangaland into Isung's realm and killed a lot of people and took a lot of goods. King Isung and his sons sat in Bertangaburg and were not yet aware what king Hertnit was up to. And when king Hertnit had gathered great booty and had gone as far into Bertangaland as he wanted, he returned home again, and he had not lost even a single man.

351

Now king Isung and his sons heard what king Hertnit had done. They gathered a great army and went after Hertnit. Also he sent a message to his good friends Detlef the Dane and Fasold the Proud.

They happily gathered their men and went to king Isung. Together they invaded Wilkinenland, and destroyed many farms and killed many men. Everyone fled before them, and nobody dared to take the spear against them. Everyone fled to the forest, the ships, and onto the uninhabited heath.

Some fled to king Hertnit and told him what was going on, and that Isung, Detlef and Fasold had come with 5000 men. King Hertnit became angry at this message, and sent out messengers to gather all his men. But to everyone it seemed undoable to fight against such powerful heroes as those that had now come to Wilkinenland.

352

Thus king Hertnit gathered a great army. And his wife Ostacia went out and moved her hand hrærði sinn gand; Google Translate gives "stirred her hand". Von der Hagen says "rief ihre Götter an", which is unhelpful., which is what we The audience of the saga, 13th century Norwegians would call casting a spell færi at seiða; translation my own but likely not good enough, as was done in the past, when magical women that we call völur would do magic To be retranslated. She did so much witchcraft and sorcery fjölkynngi ok trollskap that she summoned all kinds of animals, lions and bears and flying dragons, and tamed them all until they obeyed her and she set them against her enemies. And it is said in German songs that her army herr; or lord? was like the Enemy Satan, I presume himself. And she herself took the form of a flying dragon.

Now king Hertnit moved his army against king Isung, and when they found one another a severe battle erupted. King Isung and his sons went forward and killed many men, and the army fell for them wherever they came. Elsewhere Detlef the Dane with his men rode forth and also gave many men death, and the Wilkinenmen could not hold before him. And the third army led by Fasold the Proud also fought with great courage this day. The Wilkinenmen fell in this battle as grain being scythed.

353

At this moment Ostacia arrived with her following that she had summoned by sorcery. The dragons flew over the army and killed many men with their claws and mouths, and the lions bit and tore, and so did the bears. And Ostacia herself flew over the army as a dragon, and forced all animals and dragons to fight.

Now king Isung and his sons saw how much damage this army did to them, he spurred on his horse and held his spear fast. This spear was long and thick, and it was one part of an ash that was split into three. He now saw the biggest dragon fly, and threw his spear at it. The dragon saw it coming and evaded it so that it flew over it, and the dragon descended on the king, damaged him with claws and mouth and swallowed him.

The oldest son, who was the strongest of them all, saw this and hit the dragon with his spear through its leg and body. The dragon turned to him, took him so tightly in its claws that they went through his armour into his body and he died, but before he had killed a lion and a bear.

In the same way Lorentin, the youngest son, had killed a lion, and had been wounded, and wounded a dragon to the death, but this dragon gave him the killing blow with its claws.

The battle went on until almost all dragons and bears lost their lives by the great blows of Isung's sons, but also king Isung and all his sons were killed by the animals and dragons, and no one but Ostacia's sorceries gave them this death.

354

Fasold the Proud had his banner carried forth into the army of Wilkiners against king Hertnit, and a sharp battle ensued. Fasolf killed many men, but became tired, and then king Hertnit rode against him and stabbed his spear through Fasold's chest, and Fasold fell dead from his horse.

Detlef the Dane, battling fiercely, saw that happen, and wanted to take revenge for his dear friend Fasold. He stabbed his spear through Hertnit's shield so that it and the twofold armor were breached, and the spear went under the arm and to the shoulder blade, and the king fell from his horse. Then Detlef killed many more men, but the most evil of the dragons flew over Detlef and wanted to kill him. Detlef stabbed his spear through the dragon's mouth so that it exited from its neck, but the dragon took him in its claws and batted him with its wings and fell all over him, and so Detlef was killed.

355

When all heroes from Bertangaland had fallen the Wilkiners did not stop until each of the Bertangers was killed.

The Wilkiners found their king Hernit gravely wounded and took jim, and the best doctors in Wilkinenland healed him. But when king Hertnit came home to his castle he found his wife Ostacia ill, and then Hertnit understood where the aid of dragons and animals had come from, and that his wife was a sorcerer, and three days later she died with little fame.

But king Hertnit healed and ruled his realm Wilkinenland as one hears in his saga This saga is otherwise unknown, and did many heroic deeds, as is told in his great saga, although no more mention will be made in this saga.

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)