The Nibelungenlied

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Anonymous

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Kriemhild Character Analysis

Kriemhild is a princess of the kingdom of Burgundy, whose family rules from Worms beside the Rhine. She is famously beautiful and charming, desired by many knights, though it transpires that she is also calculating, with a long memory for wrongs and a bottomless capacity for revenge. She is the daughter of Dancrat and Uote and under the charge of her brothers, Gunther, Gernot, and Giselher, the kings of Burgundy. Though she foreswears romance in her youth, hoping to avoid the sorrow that inevitably accompanies love, she begins to cherish Siegfried from afar after he arrives at Worms. She meets him face to face more than a year later, after he defends Burgundy against foreign invaders. Gunther promises Kriemhild to Siegfried in exchange for Siegfried’s help in wooing Brunhild, and they duly marry after Siegfried returns from the expedition to Iceland. About ten years after the couple settles in the Netherlands, Kriemhild gives birth to a son, named Gunther. During the festivity at Worms, Kriemhild provokes Brunhild by boasting of Siegfried’s royal status and calling Brunhild Siegfried’s paramour. Her accusation prompts Hagen to defend Brunhild’s honor by slaying Siegfried. Kriemhild, in turn, becomes obsessed with exacting vengeance on Hagen. This desire is only intensified when Hagen takes the Nibelung treasure, Kriemhild’s inheritance from Siegfried, and refuses her access to it. After years of stewing on these wrongs, Kriemhild assents to marry Etzel, King of Hungary, because his power and riches may facilitate her hopes for revenge. Several years later, she invites Hagen and her kinsmen to a festival in Hungary, where she instigates a terrible bloodbath, and she finally slays Hagen with her own hand—only to be slain by Hildebrand moments later.

Kriemhild Quotes in The Nibelungenlied

The The Nibelungenlied quotes below are all either spoken by Kriemhild or refer to Kriemhild. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Idealized and Deviant Womanhood Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of The Nibelungenlied published in 1969.
Chapter 1 Quotes

Kriemhild dreamt she reared a falcon, strong, handsome and wild, but that two eagles rent it while she perforce looked on, the most grievous thing that could ever befall her. She told her dream to her mother Uote, who could give the good maiden no better reading than this: “The falcon you are rearing is a noble man who, unless God preserve him, will soon be taken from you.”

“Why do you talk to me of a man, dear Mother? I intend to stay free of a warrior’s love all my life. I mean to keep my beauty till I die, and never be made wretched by the love of any man. […] There are many examples of women who have paid for happiness with sorrow in the end. I shall avoid both, and so I shall come to no harm.”

Related Characters: Kriemhild (speaker), Uote (speaker), Siegfried
Page Number: 18
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3 Quotes

In the days that followed, Siegfried was a most welcome guest among the Burgundians, and, believe me, he was honoured by them for his manly courage a thousand times more than I can tell you, so that none could see him and harbour any grudge against him. […] And whenever gay knights were passing the time with the ladies and displaying their good breeding, people were glad to see him, for he aspired to a noble love. Whatever the company undertook, Siegfried was ready to join in. Meanwhile he cherished a lovely girl in his heart and was cherished in return by this same young lady whom he had never seen but who in her own intimate circle nevertheless often spoke kindly of him.

Related Characters: Kriemhild, Siegfried
Page Number: 31
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10 Quotes

Siegfried left the maiden lying there and stepped aside as through to remove his clothes and, without the noble Queen’s noticing it, he drew a golden ring from her finger and then took her girdle, a splendid orphrey. I do not know whether it was his pride which made him do it. Later he gave them to his wife, and well did he rue it!

Related Characters: Kriemhild, Gunther, Siegfried, Brunhild
Related Symbols: Clothes
Page Number: 93
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 14 Quotes

“Whom are you calling a paramour?” asked the Queen.

“I call you one,” answered Kriemhild. “My dear husband Siegfried was the first to enjoy your lovely body, since it was not my brother who took your maidenhead. Where were your poor wits? - It was a vile trick. - Seeing that he is your vassal, why did you let him love you? Your complaints have no foundation.”

“I swear I shall tell Gunther of this,” replied Brunhild.

“What is that to me? Your arrogance has got the better of you. You used words that made me your servant, and, believe me, in all sincerity I shall always be sorry you did so.”

Related Characters: Kriemhild (speaker), Brunhild (speaker), Gunther, Siegfried
Page Number: 114
Explanation and Analysis:

“How could the thing be done?” asked King Gunther. “I will tell you,” replied Hagen. “We shall send envoys to ourselves here in Burgundy to declare war on us publicly, men whom no one knows. Then you will announce in the hearing of your guests that you and your men plan to go campaigning, whereupon Siegfried will promise you his aid, and so he will lose his life. For in this way I shall learn the brave man’s secret from his wife.”

The King followed his vassal Hagen’s advice, to evil effect, and those rare knights began to set afoot the great betrayal before any might discover it, so that, thanks to the wrangling of two women, countless warriors met their doom.

After Hagen learns of Kriemhild’s charge that Brunhild slept with Siegfried, he wastes no time beginning to plot Siegfried’s death. After winning over the other Burgundians and even the weak Gunther to his view, he explains his plan to discover Siegfried’s vulnerability. It’s striking that he uses the device of a military engagement to bring about the betrayal. Siegfried initially won the Burgundians’ trust by offering to fight off invaders for them; now, Hagen and the others betray that loyalty by laying a trap for Siegfried, knowing he will leap to defend them in battle. Of course, Siegfried isn’t faultless; much as Siegfried defeated Brunhild by secretly using the magical cloak, now the others defend Brunhild’s honor by means of an even more convoluted deception. And while it’s true that the crisis was touched off by the queens’ quarreling, it’s Hagen’s choice to capitalize on the situation, ostensibly in Brunhild’s defense, that triggers actual violence. In addition, Gunther shows himself to be incredibly weak-willed and unwilling to oppose Hagen, despite Siegfried’s faithful friendship in the past. There is much more guilt to go around than the poet’s terse summary suggests.

Related Characters: Gunther (speaker), Hagen (speaker), Kriemhild, Siegfried, Brunhild
Page Number: 118
Chapter 15 Quotes

“You and I are of one blood, dear Hagen, and I earnestly commend my beloved spouse to you to guard him.” Then she divulged some matters that had better been left alone. […] “Now I shall reveal this to you in confidence, dearest kinsman, so that you may keep faith with me, and I shall tell you, trusting utterly in you, where my dear husband can be harmed. When the hot blood flowed from the dragon’s wound and the good knight was bathing in it, a broad leaf fell from the linden between his shoulder-blades. It is there that he can be wounded, and this is why I am so anxious.”

“Sew a little mark on his clothing so that I shall know where I must shield him in battle.”

She fancied she was saving the hero, yet this was aimed at his death.

Related Characters: Kriemhild (speaker), Hagen (speaker), Siegfried
Related Symbols: Clothes
Page Number: 121
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 16 Quotes

The lady Kriemhild’s lord fell among the flowers, where you could see the blood surging from his wound. Then – and he had cause - he rebuked those who had plotted his foul murder. “You vile cowards,” he said as he lay dying. “What good has my service done me now that you have slain me? I was always loyal to you, but now I have paid for it. Alas, you have wronged your kinsmen so that all who are born in days to come will be dishonoured by your deed. You have cooled your anger on me beyond all measure. You will be held in contempt and stand apart from all good warriors.”

Related Characters: Siegfried (speaker), Kriemhild, Gunther, Hagen
Page Number: 131
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 17 Quotes

Now learn of a deed of overweening pride and grisly vengeance. Hagen ordered the corpse of Siegfried of Nibelungland to be carried in secret to Kriemhild’s apartment and set down on the threshold, so that she should find him there before daybreak when she went out to matins, an office she never overslept.

They pealed the bells as usual at the minster, and lovely Kriemhild waked her many maids and asked for a light and her attire. A chamberlain answered - and came upon Siegfried’s body. […] Before she had ascertained that it was her husband she was already thinking of Hagen’s question how he might shelter Siegfried, and now she rued it with a vengeance! From the moment she

learned of Siegfried’s death she was the sworn enemy of her own happiness.

Related Characters: Kriemhild, Siegfried, Hagen
Related Symbols: Dawn
Page Number: 133
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 19 Quotes

Now that Kriemhild had possession of the hoard she lured many foreign warriors to Burgundy, and indeed her fair hand lavished gifts with such bounty that the like has never been seen […] Hagen declared that were she to live for any time she would recruit so many men that matters would go ill with the Burgundians. […] “No man who is firm in his purpose should leave the treasure to a woman,” said Hagen. “By means of her gifts she will bring things to the point where the brave sons of Burgundy will bitterly regret it.”

Related Characters: Hagen (speaker), Kriemhild, Gunther
Page Number: 148
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 28 Quotes

“Alas,” cried lady Kriemhild, “why will my brother and Hagen not let their shields be placed in safety? Someone must have warned them! If I knew who it was he would surely die!”

“It was I that warned the illustrious kings of Burgundy and their vassal, fearless Hagen,” replied King Dietrich angrily. “Now come on, you she-devil, you must not let me go unpunished!”

Related Characters: Kriemhild (speaker), Dietrich (speaker), Hagen
Page Number: 217
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 31 Quotes

Leaving Bloedelin resolved on battle, the Queen went to table with King Etzel and his men. She had laid a deadly plot against their guests.

Kriemhild’s old grief was embedded deep in her heart. Since there was no beginning the fighting in any other way, she had Etzel’s son carried to the board. (How could a woman ever do a more dreadful thing in pursuance of her

revenge?) Four of Etzel’s followers went immediately and returned bearing the young Prince Ortlieb to the King’s table, where Hagen, too, was seated, owing to whose murderous hate the boy must needs soon die.

Related Characters: Kriemhild, Hagen , Etzel, Ortlieb, Bloedelin
Page Number: 236
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 39 Quotes

“You have repaid me in base coin,” she said, “but Siegfried’s sword I shall have and hold! My fair lover was wearing it when last I saw him, through whom I suffered mortal sorrow at your hands.” She drew it from its sheath -he was powerless to prevent it - and bent her thoughts to robbing him of life. She raised it in both hands - and struck off his head! King Etzel saw this, and great was the grief it gave him.

Related Characters: Kriemhild (speaker), Siegfried, Hagen , Etzel
Page Number: 290
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Nibelungenlied LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Nibelungenlied PDF

Kriemhild Character Timeline in The Nibelungenlied

The timeline below shows where the character Kriemhild 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
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The poet introduces Kriemhild, a maiden of Burgundy. Kriemhild has grown up to be a beautiful woman, “causing many... (full context)
Idealized and Deviant Womanhood Theme Icon
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Kriemhild is a princess, the sister and ward of the renowned kings Gunther, Gernot, and Giselher,... (full context)
Idealized and Deviant Womanhood Theme Icon
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Fate and Action Theme Icon
Kriemhild dreams that she raised a wild falcon, which was torn apart by two eagles while... (full context)
Idealized and Deviant Womanhood Theme Icon
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Kriemhild explains that she has heard many examples of women who paid for happiness with sorrow... (full context)
Chapter 3
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One day, Siegfried hears about Kriemhild’s rare beauty and spirited disposition. (Her reputation has spread beyond Burgundy, though she never admits... (full context)
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...a conflict. Siegfried taunts them for their hesitation, but is nevertheless mollified by thoughts of Kriemhild. (full context)
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...glad to include Siegfried, “for he aspired to a noble love.” Meanwhile, Siegfried quietly treasures Kriemhild in his heart, although he has never actually seen her. Kriemhild returns his feelings, often... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Back in Worms, Kriemhild secretly summons one of the returning messengers into her chamber to report on the battle.... (full context)
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Hearing the news, Kriemhild blushes with delight and rewards the page with fine clothes and gold. (Such gifts, the... (full context)
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...to the Netherlands, Gunther begs him to stay, and Siegfried agrees, in hopes of meeting Kriemhild. Everyone begins to plan the magnificent clothes they will wear to the festival. (full context)
Chapter 5
Idealized and Deviant Womanhood Theme Icon
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...in Burgundy for the great festivity. Meanwhile, Gunther has observed Siegfried’s love for his sister, Kriemhild. Ortwin suggests that Kriemhild should be allowed to appear before the guests. Gunther sends word... (full context)
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Kriemhild emerges “like the dawn from the dark clouds,” and Siegfried is freed from the distress... (full context)
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Gernot then encourages Gunther to present Siegfried to Kriemhild. “With this,” he counsels, “we shall attach this splendid warrior to ourselves.” When he is... (full context)
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Siegfried accompanies Kriemhild to and from church. Kriemhild thanks him for his service in battle, and Siegfried tells... (full context)
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...to leave, but Giselher urges him to stay. Siegfried agrees. As a result, he sees Kriemhild daily. It is her “transcendent beauty” that keeps him there, but Siegfried is “tormented” by... (full context)
Chapter 6
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...Siegfried’s help, which he does—promising to help Siegfried in turn. Siegfried requests the hand of Kriemhild in return for helping Gunther, and Gunther agrees. The two knights swear oaths accordingly. (full context)
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...deciding to take only Hagen and Dancwart as additional companions. Gunther and Siegfried also visit Kriemhild, and, while Kriemhild and Siegfried exchange flirtatious glances, Gunther explains that their party will require... (full context)
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Kriemhild demonstrates her favor for the knights by supplying them with elaborate, exotic clothing. The fabrics... (full context)
Chapter 9
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After more than a week of sailing, Gunther dispatches Siegfried to the Rhine to give Kriemhild and the rest of the Burgundian court news of what has taken place in Iceland.... (full context)
Chapter 10
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Queen Uote and Kriemhild are escorted to the shores of the Rhine by Siegfried to greet Gunther and Brunhild.... (full context)
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During the subsequent feast, Siegfried reminds Gunther of his oath, that he should have Kriemhild as his wife in exchange for Siegfried’s help in gaining Brunhild. Kriemhild is duly summoned... (full context)
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When Brunhild sees Kriemhild seated at Siegfried’s side, she begins to weep. When Gunther asks her what is the... (full context)
Idealized and Deviant Womanhood Theme Icon
...good as his own and that he’s a mighty king; he’s a worthy husband for Kriemhild. Brunhild still feels troubled, however. (full context)
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Gunther and Brunhild soon retire from the festivities, followed by Siegfried and Kriemhild. The latter enjoy a tender and contented night together. Gunther’s night is much different, however.... (full context)
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That night, Siegfried affectionately lies in bed with Kriemhild—and abruptly disappears. He has put on the magical cloak and gone to Gunther’s chamber, where... (full context)
Chapter 11
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...depart, Siegfried tells his wife and his men that he, too, wants to return home. Kriemhild, however, doesn’t want to leave before she and her brothers have divided their landholdings. The... (full context)
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Gernot grants Siegfried a thousand knights for his household. Kriemhild wants to take Hagen and Ortwin as her liegemen, but Hagen is incensed at the... (full context)
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They abandon this matter and get ready to leave, taking Kriemhild’s retinue of 32 maidens and 500 vassals. Messengers are sent to inform Siegmund and Sieglind... (full context)
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Siegfried lives in magnificence and dispenses justice for ten years, at which time Kriemhild gives birth to a son, named Gunther after his uncle. Brunhild, too, gives birth to... (full context)
Chapter 12
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Over the past ten years, Brunhild has been disquieted by Kriemhild’s marriage to Siegfried, and she wonders why they hold themselves aloof and offer Burgundy so... (full context)
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Messengers are sent on the three-week journey to the Netherlands to invite Siegfried and Kriemhild to a festivity that will be held before midsummer. Though the messengers are warmly welcomed,... (full context)
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The messengers return to Burgundy and share the news that Siegfried and Kriemhild will attend the festivity. They also show off the munificent gifts they received, prompting Hagen... (full context)
Chapter 13
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Siegfried, Kriemhild, and Siegmund set out for the festival expecting great joy, though, the poet notes, “it... (full context)
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As the guests are conducted to the palace, Brunhild “[darts] a glance” at Kriemhild “now and again.” A lavish feast is set up, and Siegfried is seated with 1,200... (full context)
Chapter 14
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One evening, while the two queens sit watching the warriors at their sports, Kriemhild remarks that her husband, Siegfried, is of such merit that he could rule over all... (full context)
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Kriemhild persists in saying that splendid Siegfried is fully Gunther’s equal. Brunhild replies that, when the... (full context)
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...renounce my claim to so many knights who owe us service through Siegfried?” At this, Kriemhild loses her temper and tells Brunhild that Siegfried in fact ranks above Gunther, so Brunhild... (full context)
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Both ladies are very angry. Kriemhild declares that, since Brunhild thinks Siegfried to be her liegeman, the King’s vassals must witness... (full context)
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Kriemhild instructs her maidens to dress well so that they won’t be put to shame in... (full context)
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At the church entrance, Brunhild harshly orders Kriemhild to stop, since a liegewoman may not enter before a queen. Kriemhild retorts that Brunhild... (full context)
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Brunhild asks whom Kriemhild is calling a paramour. Kriemhild claims that it wasn’t Gunther who took Brunhild’s maidenhead, but... (full context)
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Brunhild swears to tell Gunther of Kriemhild’s charge and begins to weep. Kriemhild proceeds into the church before her. “Thus,” the poet... (full context)
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Outside the church, Brunhild demands proof of Kriemhild’s charge. Kriemhild proves it by displaying the gold ring on her finger, which, she claims,... (full context)
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Gunther asks Brunhild what is the matter. Brunhild explains that Kriemhild has tried to rob her of her honor. She formally accuses Kriemhild of saying that... (full context)
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Gunther tells Siegfried of Kriemhild’s accusation. Siegfried denies it, and Gunther lets him offer an oath in the presence of... (full context)
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...him in secret by having a fake “war” declared on Burgundy. Hagen will learn from Kriemhild where Siegfried is vulnerable, and, in the course of the fictitious campaign, Siegfried will lose... (full context)
Chapter 15
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...Knights from both Burgundy and the Netherlands begin to prepare for battle. When Hagen tells Kriemhild about the impending war, she mentions that Siegfried should not be made to pay for... (full context)
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Hagen asks Kriemhild what he can do to help protect Siegfried from harm in battle. Kriemhild commends Siegfried... (full context)
Chapter 16
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Before the men leave for the hunt, Siegfried finds Kriemhild distraught. Last night, she dreamed that two boars chased Siegfried over the heath, and that... (full context)
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...an end to Siegfried’s supremacy. With his last words, Siegfried asks Gunther to stand by Kriemhild loyally. Then he dies, the flowers around him drenched with blood. (full context)
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...was killed by robbers while hunting alone in the forest. Hagen, however, doesn’t care if Kriemhild learns what he has done. “It will trouble me very little,” he claims, “however much... (full context)
Chapter 17
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...pride and grisly vengeance.” He orders that the corpse be placed on the threshold of Kriemhild’s apartment so that she will discover it at dawn. (full context)
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When the church bells ring the next morning, Kriemhild wakes and begins dressing for the early service. Her chamberlain discovers the bloody corpse on... (full context)
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When her attendants suggest that the dead man might be a stranger, Kriemhild replies, in anguish, that it is Siegfried. She adds, “It is Brunhild who urged it,... (full context)
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...Siegfried’s Nibelung vassals stand ready to avenge their lord, but don’t know where to turn. Kriemhild warns them that sudden action would be suicidal. She persuades them to grieve with her... (full context)
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The next morning, Siegfried’s body is carried to the cathedral. There Kriemhild meets Gunther and Hagen. Gunther expresses his sorrow, but Kriemhild says that if he truly... (full context)
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...brought that a hundred masses are sung in a day. The townsfolk go home, but Kriemhild asks all the priests and monks and all Siegfried’s followers to keep vigil with her... (full context)
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...morning, the funeral mass is held, and as they accompany the body to the grave, Kriemhild is repeatedly overcome with emotion. She begs Siegfried’s men to break open his sarcophagus so... (full context)
Chapter 18
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Siegmund urges Kriemhild to return to the Netherlands with him, as she seems to be an unwelcome guest... (full context)
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The Nibelungs ride homeward without requesting a Burgundian escort. Kriemhild continues to live at Worms in ceaseless lament, with only Giselher able to comfort her.... (full context)
Chapter 19
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Count Eckewart remains in Burgundy with the widowed Kriemhild. A magnificent house is built for her next to the church, and she lives there... (full context)
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For three and a half years, Kriemhild avoids speaking to Gunther or even setting eyes on Hagen. Meanwhile, Hagen tells Gunther that... (full context)
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Kriemhild makes peace with Gunther, and it isn’t long before the Nibelung treasure, her nuptial dower,... (full context)
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Kriemhild’s hoard draws many foreign warriors to Burgundy, and she bestows lavish gifts on rich and... (full context)
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Kriemhild appeals to her brothers to intervene, but while they are away on a journey, Hagen... (full context)
Chapter 20
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...King Etzel, a widower, desires to take another wife. His friends encourage him to consider Kriemhild. He replies that this would be a miracle, since Kriemhild is a Christian, and he... (full context)
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...Rüdiger explains that he and the whole land have been bereaved. They have heard that Kriemhild, too, is a widow, and they seek Gunther’s blessing for her marriage to Etzel. (full context)
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...allows the marriage. Giselher appeals to Hagen to make amends for the harm he’s done Kriemhild by letting her enjoy this good fortune. Hagen retorts that he foresees revenge; somehow, Kriemhild... (full context)
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Lord Gere goes to Kriemhild with the news and to encourage her to assent to the marriage. Kriemhild refuses, though... (full context)
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Giselher and Uote appeal to Kriemhild in private, trying to convince her that marriage to Etzel will make her happy. Kriemhild... (full context)
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When Rüdiger meets with Kriemhild again the following day, she is persistent in her refusals. However, in private, Rüdiger tells... (full context)
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Considering her newfound allies, Kriemhild thinks that perhaps Siegfried may yet be avenged. She will have command of many warriors,... (full context)
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Finally, Kriemhild consents to marry Etzel. Rüdiger urges her to prepare for the journey to Hungary at... (full context)
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Kriemhild ruefully asks who will accompany her to a strange land, and Margrave Eckewart agrees to... (full context)
Chapter 21
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Giselher and Gernot accompany Kriemhild as far as the Danube before tearfully taking their leave. Rüdiger’s party then passes through... (full context)
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Kriemhild and Gotelind greet one another courteously and spend time getting acquainted, “neither [having] any foreboding... (full context)
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Kriemhild’s party stays in Etzel’s fortress on the Traisen River in Austria for a few days... (full context)
Chapter 22
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As Etzel rides out to meet Kriemhild, “bold knights of many different languages […] great companies past counting of both Christians and... (full context)
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Finally, King Etzel appears, accompanied by Lord Dietrich and his comrades. He joyfully approaches Kriemhild and greets her with a kiss. After a brief jousting display, the couple retires to... (full context)
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...left there with no clothes to stand up in!” In the midst of all this, Kriemhild weeps in memory of Siegfried, but she masks her feelings, and no one notices. (full context)
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...next day, they ride away from Vienna and into Hungary. When they arrive at Etzelnburg, Kriemhild receives marks of submission from her new subjects, and she gives away all that she... (full context)
Chapter 23
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Etzel and Kriemhild live together peacefully for seven years, at which time Kriemhild gives birth to a son,... (full context)
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All this time, however, Kriemhild has been brooding over the wrongs that had been done to her in Burgundy. She... (full context)
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“If you ask me,” remarks the poet, “it was the foul fiend who prompted Kriemhild to break with Gunther.” Kriemhild is oppressed by the memory of how, through no fault... (full context)
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Kriemhild knows that no one in Hungary would dare thwart her plans, so she decides she... (full context)
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...Werbel, and explains that he is sending them to the Rhine as envoys to invite Kriemhild’s kinsmen to a midsummer festival. He outfits them with new clothes and a company of... (full context)
Chapter 24
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...The minstrels are graciously welcomed by Gunther’s court, and they share good news of the Kriemhild’s health and well-wishes. Then they relay the invitation to the festival, and Gunther requests a... (full context)
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Gunther dismisses this, saying that Kriemhild had renounced her feud with him before she left for Hungary, though her quarrel with... (full context)
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...Etzel’s envoys so that they can’t arrive too far in advance of the Burgundians, lest Kriemhild have extra time to plot harm to her enemies. (full context)
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At last, Swemmel and Werbel, laden with gifts, set out with speed for Hungary. Kriemhild is pleased to receive them and lavishes them with gifts as she’d promised. She questions... (full context)
Chapter 25
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...many at home whom they will never see again, “for Siegfried’s wounds were still tormenting Kriemhild.” (full context)
Chapter 27
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...as his wife, to be escorted back to Burgundy with him after the visit to Kriemhild. (full context)
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Meanwhile, messengers rush to Etzel’s court to announce that the Nibelungs are in Hungary. Kriemhild stands at a window watching for her relatives’ arrival. “How happy am I!” says Kriemhild.... (full context)
Chapter 28
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...but he rides out to give them a warm welcome. He immediately tells them that Kriemhild still weeps for Siegfried. Hagen is dismissive, but Dietrich warns the men to be on... (full context)
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Gunther, Gernot, and Dietrich withdraw to discuss Kriemhild’s state of mind in private. Dietrich reveals that he hears Kriemhild weeping and grieving for... (full context)
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Kriemhild welcomes the men of Burgundy “with perfidy in her heart.” She kisses only Giselher, prompting... (full context)
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Hagen and the others refuse to let their weapons be stowed, and when Kriemhild is enraged by this, Dietrich quickly admits that he has warned them of her ill... (full context)
Chapter 29
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...palace courtyard, many of the Huns stare at them as though they are strange beasts. Kriemhild looks on from a window and weeps, puzzling her vassals, who have only recently seen... (full context)
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Kriemhild summons 400 knights who are eager to slay Hagen. She tells them to wait until... (full context)
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Kriemhild demands to know why Hagen slew Siegfried. Hagen admits his responsibility for the deed, and... (full context)
Chapter 30
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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... (full context)
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...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... (full context)
Chapter 31
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...that it’s the Burgundian custom to go armed for three whole days at a festivity. Kriemhild looks at Hagen savagely when she hears this lie. (full context)
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Everyone retreats to the palace for a feast. Kriemhild beseeches Dietrich for help, but he refuses to participate in her plot against her kinsmen,... (full context)
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Kriemhild’s grief remains “embedded deep in her heart.” Since the fighting could be instigated in no... (full context)
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Etzel happily praises Ortlieb’s great promise and asks that he be taken home with Kriemhild’s relatives to Burgundy, so that he can be reared as a knight. Hagen says that... (full context)
Chapter 33
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...first.” With this, he strikes off Ortlieb’s head so that the boy’s head falls into Kriemhild’s lap, unleashing a savage slaughter among the warriors. (full context)
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...to the violence, so they enter the fray themselves. In the midst of the bloodshed, Kriemhild appeals to Dietrich to help her escape. He promises to try, although he has never... (full context)
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The warriors allow Dietrich safe-conduct to leave the scene of the fight along with Etzel, Kriemhild, and Rüdiger. Once outside the hall, Etzel laments that Volker’s “lays grate on the ear,”... (full context)
Chapter 34
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...and Siegfried have a very distant relationship, he jeers, since Siegfried had his pleasure with Kriemhild long before she met him; what does Etzel have against him? Kriemhild is incensed anew... (full context)
Chapter 35
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...water-spouts into the gutters. There is another respite from the fighting, during which Etzel and Kriemhild lament bitterly. (full context)
Chapter 36
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...is on the point of agreeing and dispatching more warriors to do the job, but Kriemhild angrily intervenes, believing her brothers and vassals would successfully avenge themselves in this scenario. (full context)
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When Giselher protests that he has done Kriemhild no wrong and that she should show mercy, Kriemhild retorts that her heart has no... (full context)
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...in Hagen’s defense, protesting that they cannot break faith with a friend in this way. Kriemhild then orders her men to drive all the Burgundians back inside the hall while she... (full context)
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...thirst, and many of them do. Giselher calls their predicament “a vile banquet my sister Kriemhild has been giving us.” (full context)
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As dawn breaks, Kriemhild is shocked by the report that 600 men have survived the perilous night in the... (full context)
Chapter 37
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...on both sides, he weeps from the bottom of his heart. A Hunnish warrior tells Kriemhild, “They say he is fabulously brave, but amid all these perils there has been shockingly... (full context)
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...their escort into Etzel’s country, so he is honor-bound to them and cannot fight them. Kriemhild argues that he swore to risk his life for her. Rüdiger replies that this is... (full context)
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Etzel joins his wife, Kriemhild, in entreating Rüdiger on their knees. Rüdiger declares himself a “godforsaken man,” crying, “I must... (full context)
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Finally, Rüdiger agrees to discharge his oath to Kriemhild and attack his friends against his will. He and his men arm themselves. To the... (full context)
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...grief-stricken by this turn of events. When they see Rüdiger’s body carried out, Etzel and Kriemhild, too, lament loudly. (full context)
Chapter 39
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...bind his opponent and deliver him, “the boldest warrior that ever bore sword,” to Queen Kriemhild. (full context)
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At long last, Kriemhild is happy. She has Hagen locked in a dungeon. Dietrich says that Hagen should be... (full context)
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Kriemhild visits Hagen in the dungeon and says that if he returns her treasure, he may... (full context)
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“You have repaid me in base coin,” says Kriemhild, “but Siegfried’s sword I shall have!” She takes the sword Balmung in her hands and... (full context)