Timeline: 426-450

BEFORE

429

June 22. The dwarf Regin (274) attempts to convince the young hero Sigurd (16) to get vengeance against his brother Fafnir. Sigurd agrees, and Regin begins forging a sword for the boy.
July 2. After having failed twice with new swords, Regin completes a new sword by welding together the remnants of Gram. Sigurd tests Gram by slicing Regin's anvil in half. Sigurd sets out on his quest.
July 5. On advice from Odin, Sigurd builds a trench and slays Fafnir (269) from below, and he strips and bathes himself in the draconic blood. Every part of him is coated with the blood, save for a small piece on his back where a leaf had landed. He gains the ability to communicate telepathically with birds. He heads for home with the treasure and the ring Andvaranaut.
July 8. Returning to Regin (274), a bird indicates to Sigurd that Regin means to betray him. Sigurd beheads him.

430

September 13. The young hero Sigurd (17) travels to Iceland, where he finds the Valkyrie Brynhildr (46) asleep, surrounded by a ring of fire. Proving himself worthy of Odin, Sigurd passes through the barrier, and awakens Brynhildr with a kiss. They fall madly in love. He departs, promising to return after he has become a prince, and he gives her the ring Andvaranaut. She begins the process of setting herself up as Queen of Iceland.1
October 29. Sigurd, now prince of Xanten, comes to the court of Gunther (45), King of the Burgundians. Gunther's mother, Grimhilde conspires with her daughter, Gudrun (19), who lusts for Sigurd, to create a potion of forgetting. Sigurd drinks it, and forgets his true love Brynhildr.2

432

July. Having fallen in love with Gudrun (20), Sigurd (19) asks her brother Gunther (46) for the right to marry her. Gunther agrees only if Sigurd will help him woo Queen Brynhildr of Iceland. Sigurd agrees, and the pair travel to the island.3
August 14. When Sigurd and Gunther meet Brynhildr (48), she is dismayed that Sigurd has forgotten her. She refuses to marry anyone unless they can defeat her in battle.4
August 15. Using the Tarnhelm, Sigurd takes the form of Gunther, and in a difficult battle, eventually defeats Brynhildr. He takes Andvaranaut from her. She agrees to marry Gunther, as she promised.5
September 30. Gunther marries Brynhildr (49) and Sigurd marries Gudrun (21) in a mutual ceremony.

435

June 10. Uther is born on the island of Great Britain.

436

November 19. Gudrun (25) and Sigurd (23) visit the home of Gunther (51) and Brynhildr (53). A casual discussion about the relative import of their husbands results in an offended Gudrun retrieving the ring Andvaranaut, and presenting it to Brynhildr, revealing the deception that resulted in her marriage to Gunther. Offended and outraged, Brynhildr decides to avenge herself on Sigurd. She tells Hagen, Gunther's even more terrible half-brother, of the site of Sigurd's one weakness: the leaf-shaped spot on his back.6
November 20. While out hunting with Hagen and Gunther, Sigurd (23) stops to take a drink from a stream. Hagen takes the opportunity to murder Sigurd, stabbing him in his weak spot with a spear. Upon learning of the success of the murder, Brynhildr, foreseeing Gunther and Gudrun would also suffer, immolates herself on a funeral pyre, destroying herself and the cursed ring Andvaranaut as well. She sings a beautiful aria with her soprano voice as it happens.7
November 22. After the spirit of Brynhildr arrives in Hel, Odin (1424) resurrects her as a full goddess and returns her to Asgard.

437

April 24. King Gunther (51) of the Burgundians accepts an invitation to the court of Attila the Hun (30), his sister Gudrun's (25) new husband. There, he is betrayed, and he and his men are slaughtered. Gudrun swears revenge.8

AFTER

Categories

Norse mythology

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