The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun

By JRR Tolkien

The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun, a novel by JRR Tolkien
Book details About the author

The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun is a previously unknown work written by the late JRR Tolkien over 80 years ago. Edited by his son Christopher, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun tells the story of the Norse legend Sigurd the dragon slayer,the revenge of his wife, Gudrun, and the Fall of the Nibelungs.

Sigurd is the mythical son of Sigmund and Hjordis, depicted in the Volsung Saga. When Sigmund dies in battle, he leaves his broken sword to his yet unborn son. Eventually Hjordis marries the legendary Swedish king Alf. Alf sends Sigurd to train with the blacksmith Regin who raises him and crafts a special sword from the broken sword of Sigurds father.

Sigurd uses this sword to slay the mighty dragon Fafnir and in doing so acquires his golden treasure. Sigurd cooks Fafnir's heart so that Regin may eat it but while doing so burns his finger. As he sucks his burned appendage he tastes the blood of the dragon and in doing so gains the power to speak to birds.

The birds all warn Sigurd that Regin will betray him so he kills him. When searching through his new treasure he finds a ring, which he wears. Unknown to him, the ring bears a curse that will bring misfortune to it's wearer.

As he travels, Sigurd finds a castle in which lies the Warrior maiden Brunhilde, under a magical sleep cast by Odin. Sigurd wakes Brunhilde, gives her his ring and makes a promise to marry her. During his journey however Sigurd had been given a magic drink that makes him forget Brunhilde and he marries the princess Gudrun instead.

Written on 15th October 2009 by .

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