Summary of the Thidrekssaga

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The road to Bertangaland

192

Then Herbrand went to his weapons, armed himself, mounted on his horse, and took king Dietrich's banner, and rode into the king's court. Let's wait no longer, he said, I'll show you the way to Bertangaland.

King Dietrich and all his men mounted, and Herbrand led them from Bern, with Dietrich behind him and the rest behind Dietrich, and they rode over long roads through wild woods, settlements and wilderness, to places where Dietrich had never been, nor one of his men.

193

Now they came to a large forest their road went through. Herbrand held his horse and told king Dietrich they had reached the Bertangaland forest, and in the forest lives a giant called Etger, a son of king Nordian and a brother of the giants Wildeber killed144. Etger is here to protect king Isung's lands. Now the road to Bertangaland goes through this forest, but the giant is so strong that I do not know his equal. Anyone who wishes should ride into the forest, but I will not go any further than this unless all of us go. And now I have warned you.

Witig replied: If all that is the case, Herbrand, you and king Dietrich and all the others should wait outside, but I will ride into the forest and talk to the giant, and it could be I get him to allow us to pass through, since we are relatives. And if he refuses, my stallion will not carry me slower back to you than forward to the giant. The king and all companions agreed to this.

194

Although they did not cultivate it much, Witig and Etger the giant were related. Because Witig was the son of Wieland the Smith, whom the NorthmenVæringjar call Völund fyrir hagleiks sakarGoogle Translate says 'for the sake of good fortune'. This part is missing from Von der Hagen's translation., and Wieland was a son of the giant Wade, and Wade was the son of king Wilkinus and a sea ladysjókona, as was said earlier23. But king Wilkinus had another son with his own wifeeiginkona called Nordian, who was also a king, but a lesser one than his father, and Nordian had four sons who were all strong giants: Aventrod, Widolf with the Pole, and the third was Etger, who lived in this forest, and the fourth was Aspilian, who was also a king, and he was like other children of meni.e. not a giant. In this way Witig and the giant Etger were related.

195

Now Witig rode into the forest, and he saw a man sleeping who was very large and terrible, and he snored so hard that the branches on the trees shook. Witig dismounted and tied his horse to an olive tree, drew his sword Mimung, and poked the giant with his left foot. Rise, giant, he said, and defend yourself. The man has come who will take your life. The one who guards this country for a rich chieftain should not sleep.

The giant awoke, and saw a man had come here, but he was not afraid. He said: I don't always sleep, I awake when there is need. But when you are concerned I can either sleep or wakei.e. I can kill you even in my sleep. But why did you wake me and who are you? I think you should go on your way and not threaten me, because it's too much trouble for me to straighten my legs and stand up just to kill you. And the giant went back to sleep.

Then Witig again poked him with his foot, so hard that two ribs broke, and now the giant jumped up and was angry. He took his iron pole and swung at Witig. Witig jumped aside, and the giant hit the ground so hard the pole was stuck between two rockshanira.

Now king Dietrich and the others heard a great crash when the pole came down, and Herbrand said: We may well have heard Witig's death, so let's ride away as quickly as we can, because if we don't we'll get killed as well.

The giant now took his spear and threw it at Witig, but Witig ran towards him and the spear went over his head and deep into the ground, where it remained stuck. And now Witig struck the giant on his thigh, and carved off a piece so large no horse could carry it, and then he struck another blow and another until the giant fell down with many wounds. And while he had no more weapons he saw he would be defeated in this duel, so he fell to the ground in such a way that he hoped to catch Witig under him and thus kill him. But Witig ran through his legs and thus escaped.

When they heard this mighty fall, Witig's companions said: Now the giant has surely killed Witig. But others said that maybe Witig had won and the giant had fallen.

196

Now Witig told the giant he would cut off his head unless he bought himself free. And the giant offered gold and silver for his head, and Witig told him to bring him to the treasure. Then the giant rose, tired and blood-soaked, and went further into the forest, where they came to a large stone that had an iron ring in it.

The giant said: now remove this stone, and you will find the treasure. Witig pulled with all his might, but the stone didn't move. Then Witig said: if you want to keep your life, remove this stone.

Then the giant perforce took the stone and removed it with one hand, and under the stone was a door, and the giant opened it and below it was a hole in the groundjarðhús. And the giant said: Now, good knight, take the the goods I told you about, because the stone no longer blocks your way.

Witig considered that, when he went into the hole, the giant might close the door behind him and put the stone on top of it, and then he might never escape. So he told the giant: Go in and bring me your treasure. The giant stepped down into the hole, and Witig swung his sword with both hands and struck the giant's neck so that his head was cut off. And thus the giant fell.

197

Then Witig cut the giant's tongue out of his head and covered himself in the blood that flowed from it, then went to his horse and also covered it in blood, and he bound the tongue to his horse's tail, because he wanted to have it as evidence. Now he jumped on his horse and rode beack to his companions as quickly as he could.

Then he held up his sword as high as he could and crief: Away, my friends! The giant wounded me mortally, and you can expect the same when you don't flee now.

And when they heard this, all became afraid, and fled, except for king Dietrich. He courageously turned his horse toward Witig, drew his sword, and called: Good friend, turn around and come with me. We must remember that we said we would never flee, even when it is certain we'll be killed, but it won't matter since we'll be together.

198

When they met each other Witig explained to king Dietrich what he had done, and Dietrich thought Witig had done well, as was to be expected.

When king Guntherhe is probably mentioned here because he's the next highest in rank. and the other companions noticed that Dietrich and Witig were not with them, and nobody was pursuing them, they thought Witig had fooled them, and returned to king Dietrich and Witig, and misliked what they had done.

Then Witig said to king Gunther and the others: Dear friends, I beg you, don't hold it against me that I did not tell you the truth. I know that among you many are not less than me. But if I have done you a bad turn, then let me make up with gold and jewelry.

Then nearlyOne would like to know who dissented. Heime? all replied: We will forgive you, and you bear no guiltfor our reaction, but we did it to ourselves.

199

Now they all rode on, and they saw how deep the pole had gone into the earth, and the place where the spear had gone into the earth, and then to the hole in the ground where the giant had fallen, and there they found innumerable treasures of gold, silver, and jewelry, because that was all the treasure of king IsungI sure assume this means: the treasure Isung had given to Etger as well as what EtgerThis is the first time since 194 that his name is mentioned. had taken with him from Denmark.

Then king Dietrich said: Witig, I counsel you to leave this treasure here, and not take a penny with you. Now I first want to go to king Isung and fight him, and when we win we will take this treasure with us and do what we like. But if we lose, people could say we took booty here but still lost in our main endeavournot to mention that Isung would take it back from them. And if we part as good friends after the battle, we will share this treasure with them in friendship.

Witig replied the king but had to command him, as in everything. And so it was done.This sentence is not in Jónsson's Old Norse text. I’m not sure where Von der Hagen got it. A or B?

Now they exited the forest and saw a mountain, and on it a beautiful and large castle. King Dietrich had his tents erected under the mountain, and camped there.

Status: summary of 8 chapters complete.

Other parts

  1. Samson (1-13)
  2. Hildebrand and Heime (14-20)
  3. Wieland the Smith (57-79)
  4. Witig (80-95)
  5. Journey to Osning (96-107)
  6. Witig and Heime (108-110,134-137,146-151)
  7. Detlef the Dane (111-129)
  8. Amelung, Wildeber, and Herbrand (130-133)
  9. Wildeber and Isung (138-145)
  10. Sigmund and Sisibe (152-161)
  11. Sigfrid's youth (162-168)
  12. Origins of the Niflungen (169-170)
  13. Dietrich's feast (171-191)
  14. The road to Bertangaland (192-199)
  15. The tournament (200-222)
  16. Dietrich's fellowship falls apart (223-226,240)
  17. Gunther and Brunhild (227-230)
  18. Walther and Hildegund (241-244)
  19. Ake and Iron (269-275)
  20. Dietrich's flight (276-290)
  21. The Wilkinen wars (291-315)
  22. The battle of Gransport (316-341)
  23. Sigfrid's death (342-348)
  24. Hertnit and Isung (349-355)
  25. Grimhild's revenge (356-394)
  26. Dietrich's return (395-415)
  27. Attila's death (423-428)
  28. Heime's death (429-437)
  29. Dietrich's death (438-441)