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Main > Norway folktales > Fairy tale "The Epic of Siegfried"

The Epic of Siegfried

The little vessel sped gladly away over the sea.



Did Siegfried do the right thing to help Regin? Say YES or NO and explain why.

Part Two - The Original Sleeping Beauty

THE SHIP of the gentle musician Bragi glided silently over an unknown sea until at last it reached a sandy beach. The sailors moored the ship to shore, and Siegfried and the harper sat together in the ship, staring in silence at the land. For silence brooded in the very air - there was no sound, no bird nor any moving, living thing. There was a castle in the distance but it seemed to be wrapped in slumber; its sentinels stood like statues of stone upon the ramparts.

Seigfried looked in vain for any movement or sign of wakeful life. Not a breath of air was stirring. The leaves of the trees hung motionless as if they, too, were asleep. The great green banner on the tower's top clung around the flagstaff as if it had never fluttered to the breeze. No song of birds, nor hum of insects, came to their ears. There was no sound or motion anywhere.

"What is the meaning of this, good Bragi?" said Siegfried.

Bragi told this story. It was about one of the Valkyries, handmaidens to Odin, whose job it was to deliver the slain heroes on the battlefield to the great hall in Asgaard. There they'd feast and cavort until the day when they would be called to fight for Odin in the final great battle at the end of the world. However one of the Valkyries, Brynhild, was willful and sometimes snatched the doomed from death or even helped her chosen friends to victory. Odin became angry with her and condemned her to live the life of a mortal woman in the remote land of Isenland (Iceland). As Brynhild wandered among the world of humans, weary and alone over the earth, the good old King of Isenland saw her beauty and her distress, and pity and love moved his heart. As he had no children of his own, he took her for his daughter and made her his heir. Not long afterward he died, and the matchless Brynhild became queen of all the fair lands of Isenland.

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