The Nibelungenlied

by

Anonymous

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Giselher Character Analysis

A renowned warrior and king of Burgundy, Giselher is the brother of Kriemhild, Gunther, and Gernot and son of Dancrat and Uote. He rules from Worms beside the Rhine. He is reluctant to enter into Hagen’s plot against Siegfried. He and Kriemhild share an especially close bond. En route to Kriemhild’s festival in Hungary, he is betrothed to Rüdiger’s daughter. However, before he can marry, he is killed by Wolfhart at Etzel’s court.
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Giselher Character Timeline in The Nibelungenlied

The timeline below shows where the character Giselher appears in The Nibelungenlied. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Idealized and Deviant Womanhood Theme Icon
Civilization vs. Barbarism Theme Icon
Honor vs. Vengeance Theme Icon
Kriemhild is a princess, the sister and ward of the renowned kings Gunther, Gernot, and Giselher, and daughter of Dancrat and Uote. The family rules from Worms beside the Rhine, and... (full context)
Chapter 5
Idealized and Deviant Womanhood Theme Icon
Civilization vs. Barbarism Theme Icon
Honor vs. Vengeance Theme Icon
Siegfried, too, makes preparations to leave, but Giselher urges him to stay. Siegfried agrees. As a result, he sees Kriemhild daily. It is... (full context)
Chapter 14
Honor vs. Vengeance Theme Icon
Hospitality, Gifts, and Exchange Theme Icon
Fate and Action Theme Icon
...he vows that Siegfried must pay. Ortwin, Gernot, and Hagen begin plotting Siegfried’s death. When Giselher comes upon this discussion, he defends Siegfried and asks why they are going to such... (full context)
Chapter 18
Honor vs. Vengeance Theme Icon
...He reminds her that Siegfried’s crown and realm will be hers. However, her kinsmen, especially Giselher, beg her to remain, promising that she need never see Hagen and that it will... (full context)
Idealized and Deviant Womanhood Theme Icon
Honor vs. Vengeance Theme Icon
Hospitality, Gifts, and Exchange Theme Icon
...requesting a Burgundian escort. Kriemhild continues to live at Worms in ceaseless lament, with only Giselher able to comfort her. Brunhild, meanwhile, sits “enthroned in her pride,” extending no affection toward... (full context)
Chapter 19
Honor vs. Vengeance Theme Icon
Hospitality, Gifts, and Exchange Theme Icon
...to Burgundy. Gunther agrees to make overtures to Kriemhild through his brothers. After Gernot and Giselher entreat her, she agrees to see Gunther, though Hagen doesn’t dare enter her presence. (full context)
Hospitality, Gifts, and Exchange Theme Icon
...it isn’t long before the Nibelung treasure, her nuptial dower, is ferried over the Rhine. Giselher and Gernot, along with 8,000 men, travel to Nibelungenland to fetch it from Alberich the... (full context)
Chapter 20
Honor vs. Vengeance Theme Icon
...Hagen insists that they will have trouble on their hands if Gunther allows the marriage. Giselher appeals to Hagen to make amends for the harm he’s done Kriemhild by letting her... (full context)
Idealized and Deviant Womanhood Theme Icon
Civilization vs. Barbarism Theme Icon
Hospitality, Gifts, and Exchange Theme Icon
Fate and Action Theme Icon
Giselher and Uote appeal to Kriemhild in private, trying to convince her that marriage to Etzel... (full context)
Chapter 21
Idealized and Deviant Womanhood Theme Icon
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Giselher and Gernot accompany Kriemhild as far as the Danube before tearfully taking their leave. Rüdiger’s... (full context)
Chapter 23
Honor vs. Vengeance Theme Icon
Fate and Action Theme Icon
...way, she could exact revenge on him. She also dreams of walking with her brother Giselher and kissing him. (full context)
Chapter 24
Idealized and Deviant Womanhood Theme Icon
Honor vs. Vengeance Theme Icon
Fate and Action Theme Icon
...revenge King Etzel’s queen has a long memory.” Seeing Hagen’s hesitation to go to Hungary, Giselher taunts him that “those that dare” should make the journey. At this, Hagen is determined... (full context)
Chapter 27
Civilization vs. Barbarism Theme Icon
Hospitality, Gifts, and Exchange Theme Icon
Fate and Action Theme Icon
...Rüdiger’s young daughter attracts the admiration of many knights. After some discussion, it’s agreed that Giselher will take her as his wife, to be escorted back to Burgundy with him after... (full context)
Chapter 28
Idealized and Deviant Womanhood Theme Icon
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Honor vs. Vengeance Theme Icon
Hospitality, Gifts, and Exchange Theme Icon
Kriemhild welcomes the men of Burgundy “with perfidy in her heart.” She kisses only Giselher, prompting Hagen to lace his helmet tighter. Kriemhild refuses to greet Hagen personally, instead demanding... (full context)
Chapter 30
Idealized and Deviant Womanhood Theme Icon
Honor vs. Vengeance Theme Icon
Hospitality, Gifts, and Exchange Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Chapter 32
Idealized and Deviant Womanhood Theme Icon
Civilization vs. Barbarism Theme Icon
Honor vs. Vengeance Theme Icon
Hospitality, Gifts, and Exchange Theme Icon
Bloedelin takes his squires to the quarters of Giselher’s vassal and Hagen’s brother, Dancwart. Dancwart welcomes him warmly, but Bloedelin replies that Hagen slew... (full context)
Chapter 36
Idealized and Deviant Womanhood Theme Icon
Honor vs. Vengeance Theme Icon
Hospitality, Gifts, and Exchange Theme Icon
When Giselher protests that he has done Kriemhild no wrong and that she should show mercy, Kriemhild... (full context)
Idealized and Deviant Womanhood Theme Icon
Civilization vs. Barbarism Theme Icon
Honor vs. Vengeance Theme Icon
Hospitality, Gifts, and Exchange Theme Icon
Gernot, Giselher, and Dancwart immediately speak up in Hagen’s defense, protesting that they cannot break faith with... (full context)
Idealized and Deviant Womanhood Theme Icon
Civilization vs. Barbarism Theme Icon
Honor vs. Vengeance Theme Icon
Hospitality, Gifts, and Exchange Theme Icon
...blood from corpses’ wounds in order to assuage their thirst, and many of them do. Giselher calls their predicament “a vile banquet my sister Kriemhild has been giving us.” (full context)
Chapter 37
Honor vs. Vengeance Theme Icon
Hospitality, Gifts, and Exchange Theme Icon
...past. Gernot laments having to fight Rüdiger with the very sword he had gifted him. Giselher bewails the fact that Rüdiger will be widowing his daughter before she is even a... (full context)
Chapter 38
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...Hildebrand fights as if he’s gone berserk and finally kills Volker. Soon after, Wolfhart and Giselher slay one another. Then Hagen, grieving for Volker, wounds Hildebrand. Now Gunther and Hagen are... (full context)