The Nibelungenlied

by

Anonymous

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The Nibelungenlied: Chapter 30 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
As the Burgundian guests retire to bed, they are jostled by Kriemhild’s Hunnish knights. Hagen warns them that if they’re spoiling for a fight, they should come back the next morning. They are conducted into a spacious hall filled with expensive quilts. Giselher laments that, in spite of her hospitable treatment, Kriemhild means to do them harm. Hagen and Volker offer to keep watch so that the rest can sleep.
Kriemhild’s hospitality belies her violent intentions, and her guests are painfully aware of the incongruity between her simmering anger and her outward display.
Themes
Idealized and Deviant Womanhood Theme Icon
Honor vs. Vengeance Theme Icon
Hospitality, Gifts, and Exchange Theme Icon
The two take their stand outside the building, and Volker plays lullabies on his fiddle to help the other knights sleep. Overnight, Kriemhild tries to send some of her knights to slay the guests in their sleep, but they are intimidated by Hagen and Volker. The Queen, filled with hatred, must devise other means to carry out her revenge.
Attempting to kill the guests in their sleep is a yet more egregious distortion of the code of hospitality, which, at bare minimum, should ensure the safe lodging of guests. This suggests that there are no lows to which Kriemhild wouldn’t stoop.
Themes
Idealized and Deviant Womanhood Theme Icon
Civilization vs. Barbarism Theme Icon
Honor vs. Vengeance Theme Icon
Hospitality, Gifts, and Exchange Theme Icon