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In that court there sprang great love but also great hate, brought about by the power of the enchantress, mother of the Niflungs, skilled in the arts of magic, of shape-changing and potions of forgetfulness. In the Lay of Gudrun her fate after the death of Sigurd is told, her marriage against her will to the mighty Atli, ruler of the Huns the Attila of history , his murder of her brothers the Niflung lords, and her hideous revenge.

The Legend Of Sigurd and Gudrun

Tolkien employed a verse-form of short stanzas whose lines embody in English the exacting alliterative rhythms and the concentrated energy of the poems of the Edda. Tolkien was born on 3rd January After serving in the First World War, he became best known for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, selling million copies in more than 40 languages worldwide. Christopher Tolkien is the third son of J. Appointed by J. Tolkien to be his literary executor, he has devoted himself to the publication of his father's unpublished writings, notably The Silmarillion and The History of Middle-earth.

He lives in France with his wife Baillie. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on the 3rd January, at Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State, but at the age of four he and his brother were taken back to England by their mother. After his father's death the family moved to Sarehole, on the south-eastern edge of Birmingham. Tolkien spent a happy childhood in the countryside and his sensibility to the rural landscape can clearly be seen in his writing and his pictures. His mother died when he was only twelve and both he and his brother were made wards of the local priest and sent to King Edward's School, Birmingham, where Tolkien shone in his classical work.

He was also commissioned in the Lancashire Fusiliers and fought in the battle of the Somme. After the war, he obtained a post on the New English Dictionary and began to write the mythological and legendary cycle which he originally called The Book of Lost Tales but which eventually became known as The Silmarillion.

In Tolkien was appointed Reader in English Language at the University of Leeds which was the beginning of a distinguished academic career culminating with his election as Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford.

Tolkien's Sigurd and Gudrún | Signum University

Meanwhile Tolkien wrote for his children and told them the story of The Hobbit. It was his publisher, Stanley Unwin, who asked for a sequel to The Hobbit and gradually Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings , a huge story that took twelve years to complete and which was not published until Tolkien was approaching retirement. After retirement Tolkien and his wife lived near Oxford, but then moved to Bournemouth.

Tolkien returned to Oxford after his wife's death in He died on 2 September leaving The Silmarillion to be edited for publication by his son, Christopher. Help Centre. Track My Order. My Wishlist Sign In Join. Be the first to write a review. Paperback Limited Stock Available.

Add to Wishlist. In Stock. With an icy laugh, Gudrun reveals that Sigurd rode through the fire and shows the ring of Brynhild on her own hand. Shocked and horrified, Brynhild departs the river and return to her bower , where she curses the Norns for framing her fate. As days pass, Brynhild refuses to eat, drink, or depart her bed. When Gunnar approaches her, she call him a coward and curses him for causing her to break her oath to marry Sigurd.

Reluctantly, Sigurd agrees to speak with her and, raising her coverlet, awakens her as he once did on the heights of Hindarfell. Seething with hatred, Brynhild addresses him as "cruel forswearer," and curses both him and Gudrun to an early death. Stunned, Sigurd speaks lovingly to her of the spell that was cast upon him and admits that his only comfort has been to see her in Gunnar's hall. Although deeply touched, Brynhild states that it is too late to avert the evil of her curse.

The one comfort which she can offer is that Sigurd shall die an honourable death at the point of a sword. Deeply grieved, Sigurd and Brynhild prepare for their respective fates. Upon returning to Gudrun, Sigurd sadly tells her of the curse, saying, "Woe worth the words by women spoken! In response, Gunnar approaches his wife, offering her a hoard of gold and silver. Stunned, Gunnar insists that he has sworn a blood oath of eternal brotherhood with Sigurd and will never break it. Brynhild, however, insists that Sigurd has already broken the oath by seducing her in Gunnar's shape after riding through the fire.

Devastated, Gunnar departs Brynhild's room and spends many days pondering over what to do. Gunnar insists, however, that he loves and trusts Brynhild more than anyone in the world and adds that, by slaying Sigurd, they will be masters again of their kingdom and able to seize the gold hoard of Fafnir. Knowing that he swore no oath, Gunnar approaches his half brother Gotthorm and promises him both gold and lordship if he will kill Sigurd.

Later, as Sigurd hunts with his falcon, Gutthorm accuses him of being a "wife marrer" who wishes to usurp the Niflung throne. Enraged, Sigurd grips his sword hilt and orders Gutthorm to say no more if he values his life. Waiting for a more opportune moment, Gutthorm obeys. At dawn the following morning, Gutthorm enters Sigurd's room with a drawn sword and stabs the serpent slayer, impaling him to the mattress. Awakening, Sigurd brandishes Gram and slays his attacker on the spot. In anguish, Gudrun awakens and, in horror, cradles her dying husband.

Sigurd, however, orders her not to weep and not to blame her brothers for his death. As the light drains from his eyes, Sigurd declares,.

Matthew's Random Ramblings

As Gudrun screams in anguish over Sigurd's body, Brynhild cackles in laughter. When Gunnar criticises her as a cold and "fell-hearted" woman, Brynhild curses the Niflungs for murdering their blood brother. She further reveals that Sigurd's seduction of her was a lie and that the sword Gram lay unsheathed between them. To the further horror of Gunnar, Brynhild announces that she is leaving him forever. In vain do Gunnar and his courtiers attempt to sway her from her purpose.

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Attiring herself in a golden corslet , Brynhild falls upon her sword. As she lies dying she requests that her corpse be burned in Sigurd's funeral pyre. She requests that Sigurd's hawks be laid at each side and his dog at their feet. Their horses are to be slain and laid beside them. The sword Gram is to lie unsheathed between them as on their only night together.


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Her wishes are obeyed and both Sigurd and Brynhild are carried to Valhalla in the flames of a Viking funeral. Although most of the Aesir gods shall die, the forces of darkness shall be struck down at Sigurd's hands. Then, under the rule of Baldur , the nine worlds shall be created anew. As the flames of the funeral pyre sink down and the ashes turn cold, a devastated Gudrun wanders through the forest witless.


  • The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by JRR Tolkien;
  • The Cambridge Dictionary of Christian Theology.
  • The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun: Tolkien’s Norse Eddic poetry;

Despite loathing every moment of her life, she cannot bring herself to commit suicide. Meanwhile, King Atli 's Hunnic Empire grows ever stronger. Although Atli has overthrown the Goths and seized many treasures, the gold hoard of Fafnir and the beauty of Gudrun have caught his interest. Determined to claim both as his own, Atli's Huns hasten westward. Despite the dangers, he advises Gunnar to meet Atli on the field of battle. Grimhild , however, has another idea and counsels that Atli's friendship can be bought via Gudrun's hand in marriage. It is this advice which the Niflungs choose to take.

Although they offer her a large payment of gold as weregild for her husband's death, Gudrun refuses to forgive her brothers or even acknowledge their presence. Only Grimhild is able to gain a response from the widow. Grimhild advises her daughter to mourn no longer, commenting that Brynhild is dead and that Gudrun is still beautiful. She explains that King Atli wishes her hand in marriage and speaks of the great respect which the Queen of Hunland will command. Gudrun, however, is unmoved.

The widow speaks longingly of the days before Sigurd came, saying that then only nightmares vexed her. She speaks again of the dream she had before Sigurd's arrival, commenting that one half of it has already been fulfilled in Sigurd's death.