Summary of the Thidrekssaga

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Hildebrand and Heime

15

Duke Erik ruled in the town called Wenden, and his sons were Bertram and Reginbald, who became dukes of Wenden after him. Duke Reginbald had a son named Hildebrand, and when he was fifteen years old his father knighted him.

Duke Bertram had a son called Reginbald, and his son was Sintram, who we'll talk about later 106.

When Hildebrand was thirty years not 'winters'; er þrítugr at aldri old he told his father that he wanted to get to know the customs of strange men, and he couldn't gain fame if he stayed here in Wenden A adds: or ride to Svava to eat with the warriors.

The duke asked where he wanted to go, and Hildebrand said he wanted to go to king Dietmar of Bern. He armed himself and rode with twelve knights to Bern. The king received him well and asked him to stay there. And Hildebrand accepted, and the king set him next to him something like: made him a principal counsellor?. And Hildebrand stayed with king Dietmar for a long time, as this saga will show.

Diet­rich, king Dietmar's son, was seven winters old when Hildebrand set him next to him and became his teacher until he was fifteen winters old. And he was a chief over the knights at court. And the two loved one another so much as no two men have done, except for David and Jonathan.

Witig

83

They dismounted and walked to the river. But Witig had heard them quite clearly and called: Allowe me to come to land unharmed and I'll show you I'm not a dwarf. And they allowed him, and Witig jumped from the river, and he covered nine feet in one jump. Then Hildebrand asked who he was, and Witig said: If you're a good hero, do you ask such questions of a naked man? Let me first find my clothes and weapons, and then you can ask.

Witig clothed and armed himself, mounted his horse, and rode to the three. Good sirs knight, he said, God help me, I'd name all of you by name if I but knew them. But ask me anything you like. Hildebrand asked for his name and what he was doing here traveling alone. And Witig said he was a Dane named Witig, and his father was Wieland the Smith, and his mother was daughter to king Nidung of Jutland, and he was traveling to Diet­rich Dietmar's son to challenge him to a duel.

When Hildebrand saw how strong this man was, and how well-made his weapons and armour were, he understood his lord Diet­rich would come to great danger if he fought against this man, and he wasn't sure who would win. Therefore he joyously replied: Thank God I finally found a man courageous enough to swing his sword against Diet­rich, and I hope you will win, because Diet­rich thinks no one is braver and stronger than he. Come, now let's swear brotherhood, that we will help one another when we need it most.

Witig said he felt Hildebrand was a noble man, and he would love to swear brotherhood, but he'd first liked to know their names. And Hildebrand said he was Voltram son of Reginbald, jarl of Wenden, and here is Sintram Herbrand's son, and the third is jarl Hornboge of Vindland. Now Witig and Hildebrand held hands and swore brotherhood. And Hildebrand knew where the ford was, and they rode over it and continued.

Journey to Osning

106

Thus the man was freed from the dragon. The man thanked them, and asked if he could get his sword back from Fasold The man knows his name. Diet­rich asked who he was, and he said he was Sintram son of Reginbald, jarl of Wenden, and he was traveling to his relative Hildebrand and his foster son Diet­rich von Bern. He had stopped to rest here when the dragon captured him.

Diet­rich told him he could keep his sword and had found Diet­rich von Bern.

107

Then they went into the forest and quickly found Sintram's shield, but for two days they searched for his horse and could not find it. They exited the forest and came to a castle called Aldinfils owned by a count called Ludwig, and here he Diet­rich is alone now saw the horse, which the count's men had found and brought to their lord. Diet­rich asked for the horse and told Ludwig whom it belonged to, but the count was unwilling to give it.

Diet­rich said that it could be that, if he didn't give the horse now, he might lose ten horses instead, as well as his life and realm. Ludwig took a good look at this man, and relented, offering the horse and a golden ring besides. And then he asked if this was Diet­rich von Bern. Diet­rich confirmed this, and thanked him for his gifts.

Then he took the horse, found his companions and gave the horse back to Sintram. Then they rode back to Bern.

Dietrich's feast

171

All these sat on one bench or platform; pall: king Diet­rich, king Gunther and Hagen, Hildebrand and jarl Hornboge. To his Diet­rich's left hand sat Witig and Amelung, Detlef and Fasold, Sintram and Wildeber, Herbrand the wise and well-traveled, and Heime the Cruel.

And everyone said that they had never seen such noble and brave men, so perfect in all virtues in one hall together.

178

Sintram of Fenedi's colour was green, and on it a dragon that was brown on top and gold at the bottom. This was because Diet­rich had saved him from a dragon 105. And the green colour meant that his sword had a green shine, like grass.

The tournament

200

One day king Isung and his eleven sons were in their castle, and Sigfrid came to them and said to them: My lord, I saw a tent on the field before your castle, of a different type than I saw before. In the middle of this tent is a pole, and on it a knot of gold. And there is a second, red tent before it, and a third, green tent behind it, and on the right a golden tent, and on the left a white tent.

And before the tents there are thirteen shields, and on the outer shield there is a horse, and that is Heime's, and on the next a golden hawk with two birds, and that is my relative see 203 for this relation jarl Hornboge's, and on the third shield is the same, and that is of his son Amelung, and on the fourth there is a tongues, hammer and anvil, and that is Witig's, and on the fifth is a crowned lion, and that is king Diet­rich's. On the sixth is a crowned eagle, and that is king Gunther's, and on the seventh an eagle without a crown, and that is his brother Hagen's, and on the eighth there are flames of gold, and that is Herbrand's, and on the ninth there is also a lion, but without a crown, and that is Fasold's, and on the tenth is a dragon, and that is Sintram's, and on the eleventh is the castle of Bern, and that is Hildebrand's, and on the twelfth are a boar and a bear, and that is Wildeber's, and on the thirteenth there are a man and an elephant, and that is Detlef's.

And from that, Sigfrid continued, it seems to me that foreign warriors have come to our land, and I am prepared, if you wish, to ride to them and find out who they are A bit pointless, since he just identified them, but that's how sagas work and why they have erected their tents against your will.

King Isung said: I'll send one of my men to them to tell them that if they want to keep their lives they should pay me tribute, as our laws require, and my emissary will ask them who they are, where they come from, where they were born, and where they're going, and if they have any other goal here than to pay me tribute.

And Sigfrid said: the man you're going to send should be none other than me.

210

Now Sintram von Wenden took the field, and against him the fourth prince. They gave each other many blows, and neither retreated. And Sintram's sword went through helmet, armour and shield as if it went through clothing, and the prince received three wounds, while Sintram had received none. Now the prince hit Sintram with all his force on his helmet, and his sword broke and he was disarmed. Then he took his shield and, because he was a brave man who preferred dying to fleeing or begging for peace, he ran toward Sintram and pushed him so hard that Sintram fell over, and he could not get back on to his feet before his hands and feet were bound.

The prince went back to his men, and he liked what had happened well.

Dietrich's fellowship falls apart

225

When king Diet­rich and his men had made sure that no man in the world would dare to carry a shield against them attack them, they wanted to appoint powerful chiefs to their realms to rule and protect them.

Thus jarl Hornboge went home to Windland, and with him his son Amelung and his wife Fallburg, and they ruled their realm for a long time with honour and fame. And Sintram went east to Fenedi and became duke there, and was one of the most famous men, like his ancestors had been. And Herbrand went back to his realm, and also became a powerful duke.

Status: summary of 9 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)