Summary of the Thidrekssaga

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The battle of Gransport

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Now Soest was filled with sounds of weapons, and shouts, and neighing of horses. The entire town was so full of men that no one could pass through, and no one could hear anyone unless they were close to them.

Now king Attila went up into a tower and called loudly: Hear me, men, and be quiet, and hear my commands. And the town fell silent.

Then the king said: Now a great army has gathered here, and now you must go as I will tell you. King Diet­rich will travel alone with his army, and my man margrave Rodinger will go with another part of the knights that I have given to king Diet­rich, and all the other men will follow my sons and young Diether. And all did as king Attile had commanded.

Now margrave Rodinger rode forth from Soest with his army. And Erp and Ortwin mounted, and in their following were duke Nudung of Walkaburg, who bore Diet­rich's banner presumably because of Diether's presence in this group?, and Wolfhart and Helfrich, both Diet­rich's relatives Helfrich's relation is not mentioned anywhere else, and the details of Wolfhart's are unclear..

And when the latter mounted queen Erka said: Good friend Helfrich, guard my sons well, and let them ride beside you when the armies meet. And Helfrich said: I swear by God, I won't come home from this war if I lose your sons. And queen Erka thanked him.

Now duke Nudung rode from Soest, and next Diether, and then Erp and Ortwin and the good knight Helfrich, then Wolfhart, and then all their warriors. Now king Diet­rich mounted his horse Falke, and master Hildebrand bore his banner and went before king Diet­rich, and then Wildeber and the warriors who followed Diet­rich's banner i.e. the personal retainers Diet­rich brought with him on his flight. And in these three groups there were no less than ten thousand knights which would give Diet­rich 7,000 knights; seems rather too much to me and a great lot of other people.

330

And when light came king Diet­rich rose and had his horns blown, and then Diether did the same, as did margrave Rodinger. And now all rose and armed themselves. And when they had mounted master Hildebrand rode in front with king Diet­rich's banner pole in his hands, and close behind him king Diet­rich with all his men. And they rode to the same ford that Hildebrand had used during the night.

And when the Amelungen saw this, Sibich had king Ermenrik's horns blown, and Witig and Reinald did the same, and all their men armed themselves. Witig mounted his horse Schimming and was ready to fight; and so too Reinald with his army.

Walther of Waskastein bore king Ermenrik's banner in his hand, this banner had the outer part in black like a raven's, and the next part gold, and the third one green as grass, and seventy golden bells were sewn into this banner, so that one could hear it throughout the entire army as soon as the banner was moved or touched by the wind. And behind him came Sibich with his men.

And when king Diet­rich saw king Ermenrik's banner and knew Sibich followed it, he called on master Hildebrand to carry his banner that way; and this banner was made of white silk, and had a golden lion with a crown, and no fewer than seventy bells hung from it; queen Erka had had this banner made and gave it to king Diet­rich. So these two armies rode to one another.

Then rode Reinald with his troupe; and his banner was red silk like blood, and on the tip of the pole were three golden knots. And he led his army against margrave Rodinger.

Then rode Witig with his army, and his banner was carried by the strong Runga - no giant was found with equal strength - and this banner was black, and a white hammer, tongues, and anvil on it. Against him rode duke Nudung, and he bore a white banner with a golden lion, and this banner queen Erka had given to Diether. And after him rode Diether and Erp and Ortwin, Attila's sons, and the good knight Helfrich. Their shoes were covered with red gold so that they had a glow as if of fire.

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Then Ortwin bravely rode against Witig, and Helfrich with him, and against them came the strong Runga, and a fight broke out, and before it ended Ortwin and Helfrich fell dead on the ground.

And when Erp and Diether saw that the rode forward and Diether and Runga fought with great bravery, and Diether hit Runga on the helmet and went through helmet and head to the shoulders, so that Runga fell dead. But in the mean time Witig had killed Erp, and when Diether saw that both his friends were dead, he rode against Witig and wanted to either lose his life or avenge his foster brothers, and hit Witig hard and often.

But Witig said: Aren't you Diether, king Diet­rich's brother? I know you, now ride elsewhere, because for his sake I will not harm you, so go fight other men.

But Diether replied: God knows, since you killed Erp and Ortwin, you vile dog, I'll take revenge for them. and one of us will die. And again he hit Witig as strongly as he could.

Witig said: God knows I hate to do this, for your brother Diet­rich's sake. Then Diether hit Witig on his helmet, but the helmet was so hard that his steel could not penetrate it, and the sword sprang from the helmet down along the saddle bow and hit the head of his horse, and thus Schimming, Witig's war stallion, died.

Now Witig said, when he stood on the ground: Great necessity forces me to do something I'd rather not do. And now Witig took his sword Mimung in both hands and hit Diether in the back so that armour and body were rent apart and he fell to the ground in two pieces. And now the battle continued, and Witig killed many men, but also lost many men from the Amelungen.

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The good knight Wolfhart fought with great courage all day, and he carried margrave Rodinger's banner and had ridden far into the Amelung army. And margrave Rodinger followed him. In the same way Reinald rode into the Hun army and killed many men. Now he saw what great damage Wolfhart his relative did, and his men wanted to flee from Rodinger and Wolfhart. So he rode against them and hit his relative Wolfhart in the breast with his spear, so that it exited through the shoulder blades and he fell dead from his horse.

Margrave Rodinger was close by and took the banner pole and carried his banner himself, and attacked Reinald's banner bearer and beheaded him and also cut the banner pole so that the banner fell to the ground. When Reinald's men saw their banner fall and Sibich had fled they fled as well, and when Reinald saw that he went after them.

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Then one of Diet­rich's followers rode after the king and called: Good lord Diet­rich, turn back, that vile dog Witig has killed first duke Nudung, then Ortwin and Erp, then Helfrich, and now your brother Diether. Go back, my lord, and avenge them.

Then king Diet­rich said: What have I done that God grants me such an evil day? No weapon hit me today, and I have no wounds, but the princes are dead and so is Diether. I can never return to Hunnenland now. I will avenge them or be killed myself.

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When king Diet­rich came to Soest he went into a cooking house a small house separate from the main structure meant for baking bread and other food that required fire and refused to see king Attila and queen Erka.

But margrave Rodinger went into Attila's hall and greeted him. And Attila asked for news, and whether they had won, and if king Diet­rich had survived.

And margrave Rodinger replied: King Diet­rich is alive and the Huns have won, but still it was an evil dau, since we lost your sons Erp and Ortwin. Then queen Erka cried, and almost all who were in that hall. And king Attila asked: Who else of the Huns fell along with my sons?

And Rodinger replied: Many good warriors, young Diether von Bern, and your good fried Helfrich, and duke Nudung, and Wildeber, and many other good men and chiefs, but the Amelungen lost half as many men, and those who live had to flee.

Then king Attila said, and he was courageous under these tidings: Now it happened as before, those who are fated will fall, and good weapons and strength do not help when you have to die. And we have seen that in this expedition, because Erp and Ortwin and Diether all had the best weapons, but still they all lie dead. And then he asked: But where is my good friend king Diet­rich?

Someone replied: In a cooking house sit king Diet­rich and master Hildebrand, and they put down their weapons and do not want to come under your eyes, my lord, so bad they feel about losing the princes.

Then king Attila said: Two of my knights, go there and ask my friend king Diet­rich to come inside. He should still be close to me, despite all that has happened.

The two knights went to where king Diet­rich sat, and gave him the message. But king Diet­rich replied that his mood was so heavy and sad that he did not want to meet other people. And the knights went back to king Attila and told him what had happened.

Status: summary of 6 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)