Dietrich is the Lord of the Goths who lives in exile in Etzel’s court. He is one of the only characters who seems aware of the long-term effects of people’s actions and who ultimately rises above the cascade of violence at Kriemhild’s festival. As soon as the party from Burgundy arrives, he rides out to warn them that Kriemhild still grieves Siegfried’s death and harbors ill intentions toward her kinsmen. The next day, when Kriemhild appeals to him directly, he outright refuses to take part in her dishonorable scheme. After the fighting begins in earnest, he helps Kriemhild, Etzel, and Rüdiger temporarily escape the fray. Horrified when he later hears that Rüdiger has been slain, he sends Hildebrand, Wolfhart, and his men to investigate, but orders them not to fight. After most of his men are killed, he faces Gunther and Hagen and tries to persuade them to surrender themselves, but is forced to fight both, wounds them, and turns them over to Kriemhild. He appeals to Kriemhild to spare the warriors’ lives, but to no avail. With Etzel and Hildebrand, he is one of the only characters to remain alive at the story’s end.