Myth Monday: The curse of Andvari’s ring part 3

After leaving Fafnir’s lair with the gold, Sigurd rode on until he came across a building on a mountain. Inside the building, he found a woman sleeping who was wearing a helmet and mail-coat. “He drew his sword and cut the mail-coat off her. Then she awoke and said her name was Hild.” She was also called Brynhild and was a valkyrie. Then Sigurd rode on until he came to a king called Giuki. Giuki had a wife named Grimhild. They had three children named Gunnar, Hogni, Gudrun, and Gudny, and Giuki’s stepson Gothorm. Sigurd stayed with them a long time, and eventually married Giuki’s daughter, Gudrun. Her brothers, Gunnar and Hogni, swore brotherhood with Sigurd. Then Sigurd and the brothers rode out to ask for Brynhild as a wife for Gunnar. Brynhild was living in Hindafell, and around her hall was a flickering flame where she had made a vow to only marry a man that dared to ride the flickering flame. So the brothers went up the mountain, and Gunnar tried to ride the flame. But his horse, Goti, would not dare to gallop into the flame. “Then they exchanged forms, Sigurd and Gunnar, and also names, since Grani would move under no man but Sigurd. Then Sigurd leapt up on to Grani and rode the flickering flame. That evening he entered into marriage with Brynhild But when they got into bed, he drew his sword Gram from its sheath and laid it between them”. Then when they woke in the morning, he gave her as a morning gift, the gold ring that Loki had taken from Andvari. He then rode back to his companions where he and Gunnar changed back their forms and returned to Giuki with Brynhild. One day it happened that Brynhild and Gudrun had gone to the river to bleach their hair. But Brynhild waded out a little way away from Gudrun. She said she didn’t want to pour water over her head that ran out of Gudrun’s hair since she had the more valiant husband. So Gudrun waded up above Brynhild saying that her husband was more brave since he had killed Fafnir and Regin and got the wealth of gold from both of them. Brynhild answered that Gunnar was better because he rode the flickering flame when Sigurd didn’t even dare. Gudrun then laughed and asked Brynhild “Do you reckon it was Gunnar that rode the flickering flame?”. She continued saying that she reckoned the one who went to bed with Brynhild was the same that gave her her own wedding ring and that the ring Brynhild was given was the ring of Andvari and it was not Gunnar that won that ring. So Brynhild became silent and went home. After this, she incited Gunnar and Hogni to kill Sigurd. But since they had sworn oaths to Sigurd, they incited their brother Gothorm to do it. So he stabbed Sigurd through with his sword while he was sleeping. But when Sigurd received the wound, he threw his sword Gram after Gothorm so it severed him in two. Here is where Sigurd was killed, and they also killed his three year old son Sigmund. After this, Brynhild stabbed herself with a sword and she was burned with Sigurd while Gunnar and Hogni took over Fafnir’s gold and Andvari’s ring and went on ruling their lands. 

My thoughts:

1) What happened when Sigurd first met Brynhild? He cut off her mail-coat, she woke up and told him her name, and then it says he left. Did more happen between them and that’s why he suggested her as a bride to Gunnar? 2) Why did Brynhild not realize the change had been made between Sigurd and Gunnar? It says he met up and changed forms and then all headed back home with Brynhild. Did she not see him and Gunnar change back forms? Or did they change forms and then go back and get her? 3) There are a few stories that give a quick mention of a three year old son. Is there some significance to this age, or is to do with the number 9 and this being a division of that? 4) Finally, if they knew this was Andvari’s ring and how it was obtained, why do they keep giving it to people? Are they intending for that person to eventually die? Or do they doubt the curse until someone ends up dying? 

These are just a few things that stood out to me. What are your thoughts? Feel free to comment your thoughts, feelings, and questions. That’s all for now. See you soon.

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