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Brunhild
Brunhild (Postkarte), G. Bussiere, 1897

Real Name

Brunhild/Brunhilda/Brynhild/Brynhildr/Brünhilt/Brünhild/Brünhilde

First Appearance

Unknown

Created by

Unknown

Origin

Brunhild is a powerful female figure from Germanic heroic legend. She may have her origins in the Visigothic princess Brunhilda of Austrasia.

In the Norse tradition, Brunhild is a shieldmaiden or valkyrie, who appears as a main character in the Völsunga saga and some Eddic poems treating the same events. In the continental Germanic tradition, where she is a central character in the Nibelungenlied, she is a powerful Amazon-like queen. In both traditions, she is instrumental in bringing about the death of the hero Sigurd or Siegfried after he deceives her into marrying the Burgundian king Gunther or Gunnar. In both traditions, the immediate cause for her desire to have Sigurd murdered is a quarrel with the hero's wife, Gudrun/Kriemhild. In the Scandinavian tradition, but not in the continental tradition, Brunhild kills herself after Sigurd's death.

Notes

  • Brunhild has been called "the paramount figure of Germanic legend."

See Also

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