Summary of the Thidrekssaga

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Hildebrand and Heime

16

Now it is said that Diet­rich and Hildebrand rode forth from Bern with their hawks and dogs to the forest to enjoy themselves. They let the hawks fly and loosed the dogs. And when Diet­rich followed a hawk he saw a dwarf walking. Diet­rich spurred his horse and pursued the dwarf, and before he could come to his cave Diet­rich took him by the neck and took him with him in the saddle, and this was the dwarf Alberich the famous thief from whom old sagas speak Otherwise unknown.

The dwarf spoke: Lord, if I can buy my life with it, I'll show you where so much gold, silver and jewelry are that even the rich king Dietmar, your father, doesn't have such amounts. And this treasure is with two people, a woman called Hilda, and her husband is Grim, who is as strong as twelve men, but his wife is even stronger, and they are cruel and evil. He also has a sword called Nagelring, and it is the best of all swords. But you can only defeat them if you first take the sword. And it would be a greater heroic deed of you two to conquer this treasure than to take me with my small body and weak legs.

Diet­rich said: I will never free you unless you give me Nagelring in my hand today, and even then you will show us where this treasure is. The dwarf agreed and swore the oath Diet­rich required. Diet­rich freed him, and he and Hildebrand hunted birds and animals the entire day until the ninth hour from sunrise. Then Diet­rich and Hildebrand were at a mountain slope, and Alberich came back with Nagelring and gave it to Diet­rich. Then he said: On this slope is a gap and there you'll find their earth-house underground house, cave. You can take as much gold and jewelry there as are left, but you'll need your manliness courage to win it, but you will never get me in your power again even if you live two men's lives. And with that the dwarf disappeared.

Diet­rich and Hildebrand dismounted, tethered their horses, and then Diet­rich drew Nagelring, and both felt they had never seen a better sword.

17

Then they entered the gap and found the earth-house. Then they bound their helmets tight, donned their armour, and took their shields. Now Diet­rich courageously went into the earthen-house, and Hildebrand close behind him. And when the giant Grim saw a strange man had entered his house he jumped to his weapon rack, but saw his sword was missing, and he understood that the dwarf Alberich, the famous thief, must have stole it. From the fire he took a burning tree and attacked Diet­rich.

But Hilda took Hildebrand by the neck so tightly he could not move, and Hildebrand fell to the ground and Hilda on top of him. She wanted to bind him, and pressed his arms so hard that blood sprang from his nails, and so tightly she pressed her knees against his breast that he fell unconscious. Then Hildebrand called Unconscious people frequently act in the saga; maybe I mistranslate it to his foster son: Lord Diet­rich, help me, for I have never been in such danger.

I'll help you, Diet­rich called, because I will not suffer my foster father to be brought into mortal danger by a woman. And with one stroke Diet­rich beheaded Grim, and sprang to where his tutor lay, and cut Hilda in two. But she was so magical fjölkunnig ok mikit troll in nature that the two pieces rejoined and she was as before. Diet­rich thought this was a great wonder, and he hit her with another strike on her back, but everything went as before. And then Hildebrand called: Stand with your feet between her head and feet, and you will destroy this troll.

And a third time Diet­rich clove her in two, and stood with both feet between the parts, and her lower part was dead, but her upper part said: I would want that Grim had taken Diet­rich as I have taken Hildebrand, then we would have won. And now both pieces fell apart.

Hildebrand sprang up and said: You have given me as much help as possible, and God thanks you for it. Then they took the gold and silver and jewelry, and they saw the dwarf had not lied. Under the treasure Diet­rich found a helmet, and the dwarf Alberich had told Diet­rich the following about it says A; B says: and the dwarf Malpriant had forged it, and Diet­rich said: Hilda and Grim had thought it such a great treasure that they maned if after the two of them, and it was called Hildegrim, and Diet­rich wore it for a long time in many battles.

Now Diet­rich and Hildebrand took so much treasure as their horses could carry, and buried what was left. Then they went home, and Diet­rich became famous in all lands because of this heroic deed.

Witig

82

Now Witig rode a long way through forests and lands inhabited and uninhabited. He came to a large river called Eiðisá According to Ritter this is the Eitzer-See, the former mouth of the Aller into the Weser, but he could not find the ford his father had told him about. He tied his horse to a tree, took off his armour and clothes, carefully hid them under the ground, because he was afraid they'd be stolen, and waded into the water that was so deep that only his head was above it, and he went up and down the river.

Meanwhile three knights rode by, and these were Hildebrand, Diet­rich's foster, and the other Heime, and the third was jarl Hornboge. Diet­rich had sent the first two to jarl Hornboge to invite him to come to Bern, since he had heard the jarl was a great hero, and he wanted to make Hornboge his companion.

Now Hildebrand said to his companions: In this river I see a dwarf, which might well be the dwarf Alberich that Diet­rich once defeated and won his sword Nagelring from, and his helmet Hildegrim, and I was there as well 16. Let's try to capture him again; we will certainly get a nice ransom.

Journey to Osning

98

Then Ecke said that nine royal daughters and their mother, his fiancée, had armed him for this battle, and he came here for their sake, and he went on to describe his armour in great detail, as well as his sword Eckisax, which was wrought by the same Alberich that made Diet­rich's sword Nagelring, deep under the earth, and when he was done he searched for the water to harden it in nine kingdoms, and found it in the stream called Treya. Blade and hilt are both made of red gold, and the sword was fitted with gemstones. And one had to search far and wide before one found a sword similar to it, but Alberich the dwarf, the great thief Compare 16; it appears that the smith Alberich and the thief Alberich are the same person stole it from his father under the mountain, and gave it to king Roseleif, and many princes after him carried it.

Then Diet­rich wondered aloud why he would flee for a sword he couldn't see, and from a man he knew nothing about except for his boasting. He had lost his way and his companions, and if Ecke wanted to keep his life he should not challenge him to a duel again.

Status: summary of 4 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)