Monday, 21 March 2011

Nibelungenlied: Chapter 9 & 10

Chapter 9:

King Gunther: "Oh, gee, I guess we should let mom and sis know I'm coming back with a monster-er--wife. Hagen! Go play messenger"

Hagen: "Hell no, I'm staying right here with the treasure and the women. Send Siegfried."

Siegfried: *whines* "Do I have to? Can't you people do anything on your own?"

King Gunther: "You'll get to see Kriemhild"

Siegfried: "And I'm off. See you later!"

Kriemheld is so happy to hear about her brother's impending wedding, that she gives Siegfried twelve armlets. Which he promptly gives away:  "he dealt them all around/Unto her fair attendants / whom he within the chamber found." (a little rude, don't you think?)

Chapter Ten:

Brunhild and Gunther return. Jousting, feasting, so on and so forth. Lots of friendmaking and flirting happen between members of Brunhild's party, and Gunther's court.

Kriemheld's hand is finally given to Siegfried, and the rest of her too. Brunhild seems upset by this, having apparently developed an infatuation with Kriemheld of her own. She claims Kriemhild will be dishonoured and wasted by Siegfried.

Gunther tells her to shut her hor mouth, and get her ass into the marriage bed. Bad idea, Gunther. Brunhild is less than willing to consumate their marriage (I know, I lied again), until he tells her what part Siegfried played in the winning of her.

Gunther gets all "wrathy" and attempts to rape Brunhild. Brunhild, being Brunhild, trusses him up and hangs him up on a nail on the wall. (this chick is awesome). She leaves him there, all night, until finally by morning Gunther is swearing to never touch her again if she'll just let him down. (beautiful scene, really)

Gunther whines about getting shut down and humiliated to Siegfried, and Siegfried must ONCE AGAIN go to the rescue, his mission this time to get Brunhild to give up her virginity to Gunther. This really is getting a little excessive.

So, Siegfried dons his invisible dwarf cloak (come to think of it, how can it fit him?) --nearly giving Kriemhild a heart attack in so-doing--and crawls into bed next to Brunhild under cover of invisibility and darkness. He attempts to hold her, and she hurls him across the room. Then:

"Up sprang again undaunted / the full doughty man,
To try for fortune better. / When he anew began
Perforce to curb her fury, / fell he in trouble sore.
I ween that ne’er a lady / did so defend herself before.

“Ah me!"–so thought the hero– / “shall I now my life
Lose at hand of woman, / then will every wife
Evermore hereafter / a shrewish temper show
Against her lord’s good wishes, / who now such thing ne’er thinks to do.”

Chauvanism, ladies and gentlemen.

They continue to grapple, and finally, Siegfried gets the upper hand. Having beaten Gunther's bride to nearly a pulp, she begs for mercy, and promises to never resist Gunther again. Siegfried steals her ring and her girdle for Kriemhild, to add insult to injury. Gunther tags in for Siegfried and makes love to Brunhild's cold, unwilling body. (sigh)

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