Vocabulary and Grammar Notes – The Plan to Win the Hand of Bruenhild

Gunther wanted to marry Bruenhild.

Do you want to get married?

Bruenhild was the virgin Queen of Iceland.

Is virgin olive oil easy to find near your house?

She did not have a husband. She wanted to marry a warrior.

Is there a war in your country?

She was very beautiful. Gunther had heard about her and he wanted her to be his bride.

Had he heard more about her beauty or her strength?

Gunther asked Siegfried to help him.
He asked Siegfried to help him to win the hand of Bruenhild.
He asked Siegfried to help him to win the hand of Bruenhild in marriage.
He asked him to help him to win her hand in marriage.

Is same sex marriage legal in your state?

Meanwhile Kriemhild sat each day by the window and dreamed of the man who she had heard of; the perfect man: Siegfried the Dragonslayer. One day Siegfried looked up at the window and he saw her and she saw him.

Siegfried asked to marry Kriemhild. He told Gunther that he would help him to win Bruenhild’s hand if Gunther allowed him to marry Kriemhild.

Does that sound fair?

Gunther and Goethe and Fleote and Hagen and Siegfried set sail on a ship. They sailed up to Iceland.

Have you ever been to Iceland?

Bruenhild met them at the dock. She invited them all to marry her.

Is polygamous marriage common in your society?

She said anyone could marry her but first he had to defeat her in three competitions.

Do you have a strong competitive nature?

The competitions were to be in spear throwing, boulder-tossing and wrestling.

Do you think all wrestling matches are fixed?

Then she picked up a huge boulder and hurled it into the air.

Did you throw stones when you were a kid?

The boulder flew across the harbour and splashed into the sea. All of the men were terrified. They ran below deck and consulted each other.

Gunther was afraid Bruenhild would fall in love with Siegfried because Siegfried was the best of men. Siegfried did not want this either. He loved Kriemhild.

Is loyalty the most important virtue?

Siegfried pretended to be Gunther’s servant so his social status was too low for Bruenhild.

Is marriage across social class a taboo in your society?

He could not marry her.

She did not recognise him because Iceland was far away across the sea and news of his exploits had not traveled that far.

Have you ever lived in a remote place where news did not travel fast?

Gunther was still very scared and did not know what to do.

Did you get panic attacks?

He asked Siegfried for help.

Siegfried had a magic cloak. He had obtained it on one of his previous adventures. It had the power to make him invisible. It was a cloak of invisibility. It also gave him the strength of twelve men.

How many people can sit comfortably at your dining room table?

When Siegfried put on the cloak he became invisible and he was as strong as twelve men. Nobody could see him and nobody could beat him. Using his cloak of invisibility, Siegfried secretly helped Gunther to defeat Bruenhild.

That is dishonest, isn’t it?

He beat her at boulder throwing. He beat her at spear throwing. He also beat her at wrestling but he did it all with Siegfried’s help. He cheated. He cheated and Siegfried helped him.

Have you ever cheated in a competition?

Have you ever told a lie?

After Bruenhild’s defeat, she was very impressed with Gunther’s strength. She was very impressed and she agreed to marry him.

Do you think first impressions are important?

They all traveled back to Burgundy. Back in Burgundy Siegfried married Kriemhild.

Have you been to a wedding recently?

This made Bruenhild suspicious. It made her suspicious because Siegfried was supposed to be the servant of King Gunther. He was not supposed to be his social equal. He was supposed to be his inferior. He should not have been able to marry the king’s sister in that day and age.

Are there any impediments to free marriage in your society?

Kriemhild went to live with Siegfried despite her vow to never marry. The wedding of Bruenhild and Gunther came soon after. On the wedding night King Gunther tried to consummate the marriage but Bruenhild was too strong for him. She would not allow him to make love to her. When he put his arms around her, she wrestled him to the ground.

Have you ever participated in a wrestling match?

She wrestled him to the ground then she tied him up. She tied him up with a piece of rope.

Are you good at tying knots?

She left him tied up on the floor all night. He was very embarrassed.

Which is more painful, embarrassment or jealousy?

Gunther asked Siegfried for help.

Siegfried is a very willing helper, isn’t he?

He asked Siegfried to put on the cloak of invisibility and climb into bed with them. He asked him to force Bruenhild to have sex with him.

Would you have helped?

That night Siegfried put on the cloak of invisibility and climbed into bed with Bruenhild and Gunther. There was a long struggle under the blankets and some people say that Siegfried did not make love to Bruenhild but some people say that he did. After she lost her virginity, Bruenhild lost her incredible strength and Gunther was able to control her. Siegfried took Bruenhild’s belt and gave it to Kriemhild.

That is an incredible story, isn’t it?

Do virgins have incredible strength in your country?

The Story of Siegfried the Dragon Slayer and of his Beautiful Wife, Kriemhild and of his Tragic Murder and of her Terrible Revenge

Title Page
1. Nibelung’s Gold
2. Siegfried the Dragon Slayer
3. Kriemhild’s Dream
4. Siegfried’s Trip to Worms
5. The Plan to win the Hand of Bruenhild
6. Bruenhild’s Suspicion
7. Hagen’s Plan
8. Kriemhild’s Revenge
9. Epilogue : The Gold at the Bottom of the River and the Ring of Power

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