7. Hagen’s Plan
Hagen said that the Saxons were going to attack again.
Have you ever been to Saxony?
Siegfried promised to help.
Are you a helpful person?
He was a good friend and brother-in-law to Gunther.
Do you have a brother-in-law or a sister-in-law?
Siegfried got some of the Nibelung Hoard and used it to hire an army of mercenaries. The gold was very useful in time of war.
Actually the Saxons were not attacking and there was no danger. It was a trick.
Have you ever been completely taken in by a trick?
Kriemhild loved Siegfried very much. He loved her too.
Love is the strongest power in the universe, isn’t it?
Hagen pretended to be a good and trustworthy friend of Siegfried. Kriemhild thought that Hagen was a good and trustworthy friend.
Are you a good and trustworthy friend?
Hagen promised to protect Siegfried in battle. He asked Kriemhild about Siegfried’s weak spot. He wanted to know which place to protect with special care and attention. It was a place on his back.
Do you have a sore back?
Kriemhild sewed a patch on his cloak at the weak spot. It marked the only place where Siegfried was not invincible.
Does Kriemhild seem somehow naive and dim-witted to you?
After the soldiers from Burgundy realised that there was nobody to fight, they returned home.
Are you at home right now?
Hagen traveled with Siegfried.
Have you ever traveled by horse?
They rode through the forest. They stopped for a drink.
Do you take enough liquid?
Hagen killed Siegfried with a spear while he was drinking from a pond.
Is it ok to drink from mountain streams?
What a dirty trick! What a treachorous villain! Hagen was so crooked that he could not lie straight in bed at night. (hyperbole) (the exaggeration indicates the veracity and significance of the point.)
Siegfried was bending over. His back was turned. He was not facing Hagen. He was not facing Hagen but Hagen was facing him. Hagen was facing his back. Hagen threw the spear and it went straight into Siegfried’s back. It went into the place where the linden leaf had fallen on his shoulder. It killed him. It was the only place where he was not invincible and the spear thrust killed him. He lay by the pond and died.
Is that an honourable death?
Hagen took the body back to Worms. He said that Siegfried had been killed in a hunting accident. He stole the Nibelung gold and threw it into the river. It was called the Rhinegold after that.
Are you familiar with Wagner’s opera: “Das Rheingold”?
Hagen was afraid that Kriemhild would use the gold to raise an army of mercenaries and attack him and take revenge for the murder of her husband. He threw the gold in the river to get rid of it. The world was safer and more stable without it.
Do you understand his point of view?
Kriemhild was devastated. She was devastated to learn that Siegfried had been killed. She was overcome wth grief. She broke down and wept.
Is that how you grieve?
It was terrible. The prophecy had been fulfilled. Her husband had been killed in a violent accident. He had died a violent death. It was just as her mother had said. It was just as the dream foretold.
Do you write down dreams in a journal each morning?
The grief stricken Kriemhild stayed alone for a long time.
Do you think time heals all wounds?
Finally an invitation came to marry from a king who lived across the Danube.
Was the Danube blue in Strauss’s time?
The name of the king was King Etzel. He took Kriemhild as his second wife and she lived in his kingdom. He was not a christian. He was a muslim.
Are you a christian or a muslim?
Is it possible to be both?
The Story of Siegfried the Dragon Slayer and of his Beautiful Wife, Kriemhild and of his Tragic Murder and of her Terrible Revenge
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