The Legend of Sigurd & Gudrun is another great book I reread whilst in hospital. It retells the ancient Norse legend of the Ring Cycle in two closely connected poems, and is the latest of JRR Tolkien’s many posthumous works to be published. Having read, and thoroughly enjoyed The Silmarillian, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and Children of Hurin, I bought it on impulse (I just couldn’t help myself)
The first part “The Lay of the Voslings” tells the story of Sigurd (Siegfried), who slayed the great Dragon Fafnir, who was guarding stolen treasure, which was supposed to be paid for the building of Valhalla, but which had been “liberated“ by a rather angry dwarf.
The poem also tells of how he awoke the Valkyrie Brunhilde, who had been put to sleep, surrounded by a wall of fire, as punishment for disobeying Odin, and how Siegfried entered into a blood Brotherhood with powerful princes called The Niebelungs, and his dealings with an evil enchantress, who was skilled in the arts of magic, shape-shifting & potions. The second poem “The Lay of Gudrun” tells the story of Gudrun” the Niebelung, after the death of Siegfried, of her marriage against her will to the Mighty Atilla the Hun, his subsequent murder of all her brothers, the Niebelung, and her hideous revenge