| Share
 

Günther

King of Burgundy and brother of Kriemhild. He resolved to wed Brunhild, the martial queen of Issland, who had made a vow that none should win her who could not surpass her in three trials of skill and strength. The first was hurling a spear, the second throwing a stone, and the third was jumping. The spear could scarcely be lifted by three men. The queen hurled it towards Günther, when Siegfried, in his invisible cloak, reversed it, hurled it back again, and the queen was knocked down. The stone took twelve brawny champions to carry, but Brunhild lifted it on high, flung it twelve fathoms, and jumped beyond it. Again the unseen Siegfried came to his friend's rescue, flung the stone still farther, and, as he leaped, bore Günther with him. The queen, overmastered, exclaimed to her subjects, “I am no more your mistress; you are Günther's liegemen now” (Lied, vii.). After the marriage the masculine maid behaved so obstreperously that Günther had again to avail himself of his friend's aid. Siegfried entered the chamber in his cloud-cloak, and wrestled with the bride till all her strength was gone; then he drew a ring from her finger, and took away her girdle. After which he left her, and she became a submissive wife. Günther, with unpardonable ingratitude, was privy to the murder of his friend and brother-in-law, and was himself slain in the dungeon of Etzel's palace by his sister Kriemhild. In history this Burgundian king is called Güntacher. (The Nibelungen-Lied.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Related Content


24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring